Richard Jobson (1623) The Golden Trade, pp. 82-105.
Our travell up the River.
WHEN I was come to Baraconda, which is the highest Towne the River flowes unto, and notwithstanding all the discouragement I received, was absolutely bent to proceed up the River, by meanes of Bacay Tombo, a principall man of that Countrey, who brought mee two beeves. I was furnished with two Blacke-men more to go up with mee, the one a Mary-bucke, the other Bacan Tombo his kinsman, who he said had lived at Tinda, which was the place wee aymed at, not to the Towne it selfe, but to the mouth of a little River, which was said to runne near unto the place, and from thence fell into the maine River where wee were: Two Blacke-men I had before, that was my Alchade, of whom I talked, and a pretty youth called Samgulley, who from the first coming of George Tompson into the River, had alwayes lived with the English, and followed their affaires, so as hee was come to speake our tongue, very handsomely, and him I used many times as an Interpreter: so as in all we had foure Blacke-men, whose help we could not misse, in regard wee carried with us a small Cano, that was ready at all times to put a shoare: and when wee came to an anker, to fetch wood, or any other provisions, as likewise to carry us ashore, and bring others to us, reserving our boate in the middest of the River, as a castle and refuge for us.
Thus we being ten Englishmen, and these foure Blackes, went the fifteenth of Ianuary in the evening from Baraconda, and were going against the streame, untill friday the twenty sixt in the morning, which was eleven dayes travel, wherein I desire to be rightly understood, that our labour was about foure houres in the morning, and foure in the evening, so as our whole time spent therein, a mounted but to foure score and eight houres, in which time, our Sabboth day was observed, onely two houres in the evening, whenas my men earnestly entreated to be going: in which time we recovered within half a league of hte place or Rivers mouth, wee intended to goe unto, and further wee would not have passed, nor endangered our selves, and what we carried into the little River, untill we had made triall of the peoples dispositions, and how they should stand affected to us; we met here with a shole, as I have said in the description of the River, which stayed us we could passe no higher; we concluded therefore in the after-noone, to send away three of our Blacke-men, who were willing to goe, directing them to Buckor Sano of Tinda, to whom we sent a Present, and likewise I sent to the King of the place, as the manner is; and gave our Blacke-men wherewithall to buy them victualls, demanding of them when they thought we should expect their returne, they said Sonday night, wherin I speake after our own phrase: and while they are travelling, it will be necessary I acquaint you, what were the grounds or reasons we sought after this Buckor Sano, and laboured to get neare to this Tinda, making more especiall choice of him, then of any other man.
George Tompson, in his diligence, while hee lived, hearing of diverse Caravans, that past in the Country, and went downe to the King of Bursals dominions for salt, had learned, that the onely and principallest man that maintained the greatest Trade, was that Buckor Sano, whose dwelling was at Tinda, who maintained and kept 300. Asses following that tedious travell. Tompsons desire led him forthwith, to goe finde this Marchant, and in a paire of Oares, as I spake in the beginning, went up the River, and travelling some way by land recovered Tinda, but found not his blacke Merchant, in regard he was travelled higher into the Country, in the sale and uttering of his salt Commodity: Thompson returned, but found his expectation so satisfied, in that he had hard of the Moores of Barbary, and was come so neere where they frequented, that hee talkt of nothing, but how to settle habitations, and fortefie the River to defende themselves, and keepe out other nations; but these his desires died in his unhappy end, and this was all our acquaintance; which now I came to second, by sending unto this Buckor Sano to come downe into the River to us, as the onely man we were willing to sell, and commend our commodities unto.
And by this time Sunday night is come, and none of my blackmen returned, monday likewise all spent in expectation, on twesday our men began to grumble, and my especiall consort to speake out, there was no reason wee should hazard our selves by staying any longer, in regard it was fallen out, as we were told below,, that they were a bloody, and dangerous people, and therefore those people we sent up were murdered; and if we stayed our turnes would be next, an dlikewise that we had no flesh left, and our other provisions were very scanty. I gave them content with faire words, that the place might be farther of then they conceited, in regard we had beene on the toppe of the mountaines, and could discerne no likelihood, of Townes or habitations, of which we had no acquaintance, since we came from Baraconde, and in regard the Country about us was aboundantly replenished, with all manner of wild beasts, we would try our indeavors, and on the wednesday morning I went out with two more, and killed a great and goodly beast,1 which was no sooner brought downe & cut out, & hanged to coole under the shady trees on shore, but there appeared in sight three black-men, the one was one of those we sent, who had brought with him Buckor Sanus brother, and the King of Tindas servant, and they came before to see us, and what commodities wee had, bringing word that the next day Buckor Sano would be there himselfe; I had them aboord my boate, and made them curteous entertainment, giving them some small commodities, and when the evening came, we feasted with our Venison.
The next day about noone, came Buckor Sano with his musicke playing before him, with great solemnity, and his best clothes on, and about some 40. more, armed with their bows and arrowes with him, hee shewed no more at first, howbeit within two houres after, there were two hundred men and women come thither: he sat downe upon the banke under a shady tree: after a little stay, I desired him to go aboord, whereof he kindly accepted; and withall shewed me a beefe he had brought to give me for the present I had sent him, diverse goates the people had likewise brought, and corne, and cockes, and hens, so as there was no neede to doubt any more want of victuall: He carried no more aboord with him, but two: after he was in the boate, I shot off three such guns as I had to welcome him, at the noyse whereof he seemed much to rejoyce, calling the report of the powder, by the name of the white mens thunder, and taking notice of the head, and the hide of the Deare which we had killed, which we shewed him was slaine by one of our guns, he sent, with admiration, from one place to another, and certified, that there was a people come, who with thunder killed the wild beasts in the wood, and the fowles in the ayre: Which for it was our dayly use to kill one sort of fowle called a Stalker, which is as high as a man, and hath as much meate of his body, as is in a Lambe, which diverse times we used to kill, and eate, more especiall we desired to have his feathers,2 which grew on his tayle, and which are of use, and such as are worne, and esteemed of here at home amongst us: I had of my owne provision good Rosa-solis, taking forth a glasse, I dranke unto him, after he had dranke he tooke off his sword and gave it me to lay up, saying defend me here in your boate, and I will secure you on shore, he liked our drinke so well, he suckt it in, and as it seems not knowing the strength of it, took more then he would have done, insomuch as he fell asleepe, the people that camme with him, in the meane time cutting of reedes, made them houses, others fetching in wood, made fires every where about them, so as it seemed a little towne; Buckor Sano slept soundly upon my bed by m in the boate, and in the morning complained of his head, and this much I must iustifie in his behalfe, that during the time we were together, he was never overtaken by drinking after, but observed the course he saw we used, to take a small cup before meate, and another after, and this ever gave him satisfaction: He desired to see all the Commodities we had, which he liked very well of, and whereas we thought our Iron would have been greedily desired, we found it not so, for they told us, there was a people neighbours unto them who had knowledge to make it, howbeit they were diverse times in wars together, but some of our Iron we put away, at better rates then below, by one third, and might have done away all we had, if we would have accepted of hides, which for the reason I shall presently shew was refused; howsomever this was the maine businesse, that after they saw our salt, no other thing was esteemed amongst them, which at first seemed strange unto them, forasmuch as they had never seen any of that fashion before: the salt we had, was onely bay salt, which after they put in their mouthes, and tasted, they would looke up and cry, Alle, in token of the good esteeme they had of it; After two houres of the morning spent, my Merchant went on shore, keeping my gowne about him, which when the evening shut in, the night before I had put upon him, and in a manner of state, he went one shore withall, wearing of it in that manner, it might well appeare, they were not used to such kind of ornaments.
The first thing he did, after he came on shore, he caused on to make a lowed outcry, in manner of a proclamation prohibiting any of the people, to buy or barter with us, but as he bargained.
All that day hee found himselfe so sicke, after his drinking, that hee told me hee could tend no businesse, onely hee shewed unto mee, certaine young blacke women, who were standing by themselves, and had white strings crosse their bodies, which hee told me were slaves, brought for me to buy, I made answer, We were a people, who did not deale in any such commodities, neither did wee buy or sell one another, or any that had our owne shapes; he seemed to marvell much at it, and told us, it was the only marchandize, they carried downe into the countrey, where they fetcht all their salt, and that they were solde there to white men, who earnestly desired them, especially such young women, as hee had brought for us: we answered, They were another kinde of people different from us, but for our part, if they had no other commodities, we would returne againe: he made reply, that they had hides and Elephants teeth, cotton yarne, and clothes of the country, which in our trade we call Negroes clothes: he was answered, for their hides, we would not buy, in regard our boate was little, and wee could not conveniently carry them, but if they would bring them lower downe the River, where our bigger vessels could come, we would buy them all, but for their teeth, cotton, and clothes, wee would deale for them: so against the next morning, being Satterday, we had a house built by the water side, open round about, and covered with reeds on the toppe, to shadow us from the Sunne: and this was our market house; when we came to trade, we asked which should be the Staple commoditie, to pitch the price upon, to value other things by, they shewed us one of their clothes, and for that they onely desired our salt, wee fell to loveing3 and bidding upon the proportion, wherein we had such difference, and held so long, that many of them seemed to dislike, and made shew, that they would goe away, but after we concluded, there was no more difference, every man bringing his commodities, our salt went away, and as they dispatcht, they likewise returned in companies together, and still others came, that we had the place continually furnished: We never talked unto them of golde, the principall we came for, but wayted opportunitie, and notwithstanding we saw it worne in their womens eares, warning was given, none of our people, should take any great notice of it, as a thing we should greatly desire, untill occasion was given, by Buckor Sano himselfe, who taking note of our guilt swords, and some other things wee had, although but poorely set out, with some shew of gold trimming, did aske if that were gold: hee was answered, Yes: it should seeme sayth he, you have much of this in your Countrey: Wee affirmed the same, and that it was a thing our men did all use to weare, and therefore if they had any, wee would buy it of them, because wee had more use then they for it, you shall have sayd he, what is amongst our women here; but if I did know you would esteeme of that, I would be provided, to bring you such quantitie, as should buy all things you brought: and if you would be sure to come still unto us, I would not faile to meete you. And proceeding further hee sayd: This Countrey above doth abound therewith, insomuch as these eyes of mine (poynting two of his fingers to his eyes, as the Countrey manner in speaking is,) hath beene foure severall times, at a great Towne above, the houses whereof are covered onely with gold: wee demaunded of him, how long he was going, and comming thither: he answered foure Moones; we asked him, if hee would carry some of us thither, hee answered: Yes, but they had enemies by the way, sometimes to fight with them, wee shewed him presently our gunnes, and tolde him wee would carry them with us, and kill them all, at which he seemed to take a great deale of content.
Before I goe further, I will take occasion heere to set downe their manner of travell. They goe in companies together, and drive before them their Asses, whose ordinary pace they follow, beginning their dayes iourney, when the day appeares, which is even at the Sunne rising, (for so neare the Equinoctiall, there is a short dawning, eyther before the Sunne riseth, or after shee sets) and continue travelling some three houres, then are they enforced to rest all the heate of the day, some two houres before the Sunne setteth, going forward againe, and so continue untill night comes, whenas they are sure to harbour themselves, for feare of wilde beasts, except in some Moone light nights, and then they will travell the better, likewise when they come to some speciall Townes, they will rest themselves and their Asses, 2. or 3. daies together, laying all their burdens under some shadie trees, close to the town, set forth such things as they have to sale, maintaining in the time they are ther a kind of market, & their asses being spãseld,4 which is their 2. forelegs tied together, feed by them, the people themselves, lodging among their burdens, upon such mats as they ever carry with them; of which kind of Innes or lodging places, they can seldome misse, the Country being well replenished: So as if you please to observe, although the time seeme much which is spentin this iourning, yet the way cannot be much, if you consider the manerr of iourning, wherein leaving to speake farhter, untill I come to a more ample application, I returne againe to Buckor Sano my blacke Merchant.
In our time of trading together, if it wre his owne goods he bartered for, he would tell us, this is for my selfe, and you must deale better with me, then either with the Kings of the Country or any others, because I am as you are, a Iulietto, which signies a Merchant, that goes from place to place, neither do I, as the King of our Country do which is to eate, and drinke, and lye still at home amongst their women, but I seeke abroad as you doe; and therefore am nearer unto you, neither was I unwilling to answere somewayes his expectation, in hope I should better forward our owne endes. In our course of familiarity, after time I tooke some speciall note of the blade of his sword, and paire of brasse bracelts one of his wives had upon her armes, both which things did appeare to me, to be such as might bery well be brought in their beginnings, either from London, or some other part of this our native Country, I demanded of him where he had them, he made answere there was a people used to come amongst them, whom they called Arabecks, who brought them these, and diverse other commodities; we askt what manner of people, he described the Tawny Moore unto us, and sayde they came in great companies together, and with many Cammels: How acceptable this report was unto me, may be conjectured by any such, who are seriously enclined, to give a faire and iust accompt of any such imployments they are interest in, and whose desires, with affection, labours the full satisfaction of the trust imposed upon them;
This his relation made certaine, that these were the Moores of Barbary, the discovery of whose trade and trafficke, was the ground of this our being so high in the river: we grew to question him, how neare those people came to the place we were now at, he answered, within 6 dayes iourney there is a towne called Mumbarre, unto which towne, the next Moone, these Arabecks will come: we askt againe, what commodities they brought with them, hee answered much salt and divers other things, wee desired then to know what they exchange for, and carryed backe: he answered nothing but gold, and that they onely desire to have, and returned nothing else; wee questioned him farther, whether hee would undertake to carry any of us safe to see those Arabeckes, and that wee might returne without danger; hee stopt his nose betweene his finger and his thumbe: and cryed Hore, Hore, which is the greatest oath they use amongst them that he would performe it: some other conference past betwixt us at this time, howbeit by reason of a disaster that fell in the way betwixt mee and my chiefe interpreter, I was hindred from understanding divers particulars, wherein Buckor Sano, seemed very desirous to give me full satisfaction, so as from him these were the principals I gathered, howbeit, another occasion fell, whereby I had some farther relation, as in his due place shall follow; for the conveniency whereof, I must againe with your favour returne to a great company on shore, who expect their trade, for this our conference with Buckor Sano, was aboard our boate at dinner.
The people who came unto us for the first foure dayes were staide here, came onely upon that side our Marchant came; but one of our hyred black men, spake unto mee, to give him some paper, and beades to buy him, and two other provision as they went, and they would goe seeke other inhabitants likewise who dwell on the other part of the River, wherewith furnished they went away, and two dayes after returned, and brought with them divers people, who in the like manner, made them houses of Reedes, to harbour themselves under: These people had never seene white men before; and the woemen that came with them were very shye, and fearefull of us, insomuch as they would runne behind the men, and into the houses to hide from us; when we offered to come neare them: I sent therefore the boate for some beades and such things, and went unto some of the boldest, giving them thereof into their hands, which they were willing to receive, and with these curtesies imboldned them, that they soone became familiar, and in requitall gvae me againe, Tobacco, and fine neate Canes they had to take Tobacco with: these woemen were the deepest, and largest printed upon the backe that ever wee saw.5 The men likewise shewed a more savage kinde of people then we had seene; many having breeches made of rawe hydes, either of Deare, or other cattle, the grace whereof was the taile of the beast which remaineth on the skinne, did sticke right forth upon the hinder part of the mans buttocks, resembling the manner as the beast wore it, whereat those blacke men, who were our hyrelings, would in scorne iest and deride.
The principall man of these parts, called Baiage Dinggo I had into my boate, and curteously used, demaunding if hee did not knowe of our being there, in reguard we thought he might heare our gunnes, he answered they had hard the noyse, and were much amazed, supposing it to bee thunder, being the more feareful unto them, because the sound came that waies, it was not accustomed to doe: they were very desirous also to buy of our salt, and some of that little store we brought they had; which the people on the other side did unwillingly spare; we bought of them such commodities as the rest had, and wonderfull desirous they were wee should come againe unto them; the best of these women likewise did weare in their eares gold, and many commodities the women askt for, which we had not, but the men especially for salt: there was not so little, as 500. men and woemen, who came downe on this side the river, and it did plainely appeare, both the one and the other side were of familiar acquaintance, in regard they did passe in our Canoe, the one to the other, and had neighbourly salutations together: and further wee noted, that the naturall tongue there spoken, was another different language: yet all the better sort did talke together in the same speech we broght with us, & is from the mouth of the River; their familiaritie did assure us that they had commerce together, which was an encourager to the confidence I have of the rivers continuance, and that they have the use of canoes above to ferry over, in regard in this place where we were, although it was so shallow they might wade over, they were afeard to attempt it, dreading their neighbour Bombo6 would bee in the way and hinder their passage: leaving them therefore safe on their one side, with a faithful expectation of our second returne, which we promised, and they earnestly desired, I crost the river to our first acquaintance; to whom was come downe the King of the countrey, called by the name of the King of Ielicot; who was the immediate King of that land whereon wee kept our trade: I went on shore, intreating him to come into our boate, and there we dranke: I gave him a present which he accepted, and brought him likewise a shore, where he had houses built for himselfe and his wives, on whom also some thing must bee bestowed; they brought with them commodities to barter, in doing of which, and looking upon us, they continued foure dayes.
Each night after wee had supt aboard our boate, where Buckor Sano did ever eate with me, nor during the wole time of my stay there, did hee faile mee one meale: notwithstanding I did divers times send both fish and fowle unto his wives, so did I likewise unto the King while hee remained by us, which wee tooke with our hookes, and kild with our gunne. Our manner was to go on shoare, and either at the Kings house, or Buckor Sanos, before the doore fires being made, and mats spread to sit downe upon; the Fidlers plaide on their Musicke, and in dawncing and singing, and sometimes the men marching with their bowes and arrowes to shew their warlike exercises we spent great part of the evening, wherein with the small shew we could make, wee were not behind hand to let them heare our powder, and see our manner of marching; wherein they tooke much pleasure, and commonly these evening spors, cost us a quart bottle of Aqua-vita: which made their tongues freer, and their bodies fuller of agility; wherein alwayes they did strive to shew a desire they had to give content unto us: I may not omit one principall manifestation: some three nights before we had finished all our occasions in this place, Buckor Sano being aboard at supper, by way of desire, spake that hee might bee called by the name of the white mens Alchade, in regard hee did performe the same manner of office for us; that is, to make bargaines, to deliver and receive, according to the trust reposed upon him: I tooke it very kindly hee would accept the name, and to invest him therein I tooke a string of Currall, and another of Christall, and put about his necke: he had likewise a small chaine of silver put upon him; then causing three gunnes to bee shot off, with a cup of Rosasolis drunke unto him, with a great shot we cryed out, Alchade Buckor Sano, Alchade Buckor Sano, that all the shore did ring of us: hee presently calling to the shore, commaunded the Fidlers to meete with him at the water side, and that his wives should bring him thither, all the nuts he had, (which be of great esteeme amongst them.) I brought him on shore with as much grace as wee could, as soone as he landed, the people being all come forth to meete him, he gave his nuts frankely, Distributing them about, in teste of his new honour, his musicke playing before him, he went up to the kings house, whom wee found sitting upon a matt without doores, with a fire of reeds before him, which is still maintained, by the light whereof they performe their ceremonies, and have use of no other candles: he placed me upon the matt by the King, and going himselfe a certaine distance off, made a speech unto him, the effect whereof was, that in regard we were staide, through want of water, from passing higher, and had setled our trade upon his land, the King would deale lovingly with us, which he would not onely acknowledge with much curtesie himselfe, but speake unto his King, whether we would have gone to give thankes to him, all which speech he performed standing: The King as hee sat made answre unto him, that hee did very well like of us, and did desire much we should come againe, and that we should have free liberty to kill any beastes, as also to trade or travaile in any part of his countrey: upon his curteous answer, Buckor Sano kneeled downe upon both his knees, giving him thankes, and taking from about his necke, the string of Currall, and the string of Chrystall, which I had given unto him, sent them unto the King as a courteous gratification in our behalfe, which hee received and put about his necke: Buckor Sano still remayning on his knees; to whome the King spake, that for his sake, and to shew his love to us, he would freely give us all that countrey we were in, and would deliver it unto him for us, as the great King had given it unto him: upon these words, Buckor Sano puld his shirt over his head, which he gave to one of his woemen that stood by, kneeling naked from the wast upward untill the Mary-bucks I had with me, and another that was with the King, had scrapt together a great quantity of dust, sand, and small gravell, such as the ground in that very place afforded; whereupon Buckor Sano lying with his face downe flat along, they lightly covered him, from the head to the heele, when presently hee taking his hands full of the earth, throwes it this way, and that way, after a carelesse manner, every where round about him.
Which done, and kneeling up againe, with his face towards us as we sat in the mid way betweene us, the Marybucks gathered together a round heape of the same dust, and with their hands made likewise of dust, a Circle, a small distance of, round about the heape, in which Circle one of them did write with his finger, in the Character they use, so much as the Circle would containe: this performed, Buckor Sano came upon his knees, and hands to the heape, and stooping with his mouth, tooke a full mouthfull, which presently he spet, and spattered foorth againe, then taking both his hands full of the loose earth, hee came forward on his knees, and both our Marybuckes, with their handsfull in the like manner, and threw the earth into my lappe: which done, they presently rose, and two women came with loose cloathes, therewith fanning, cooling, and wiping the body of Buckor Sano, who retiring himselfe into his house, put on his best cloathes, arming himselfe with his bowe and arrowes, and some forty more in the same manner following him, came againe before us, every man an arrowe or two, ready in his bowe, marcht round about us, twice or thrice: which done, Buckor Sano came to mee, and turning his face from me, kneeled downe upon his right knee, putting his legge betweene mine as I sat, which his body seemed to shadow mine, presenting his bowe, and drawing his arrowe up, signifying, that so he would fight, and oppose his body, in defence of mine: then rising up, he gave away his bowe, and arrowes to another, and sat downe by me, so all the rest as their turnes came, kneeling either before mee, or him, performed the like action, and this was the manner of giving us the Countrey, and delivering a full possession; which bounteous gift, and great solemnitie, could not require lesse, then two or three bottles of our best liquor, which was accordingly performed, & set them into their ceremonious discourses, wherein because the night was farre spent, wee were willing to leave them, and betoke our selves to our owne Castle, beeing little the richer, for all that great gift, and spatious scope of land, we were in that ample manner indowed withall.
The next day amongst many that came unto the place, we did observe some, who were markt under both their eyes, with three blewe stroakes, resembling stripes, all after one manner, demaunding therefore what they were, it was answered a people who belonged to a King further up in the Countrey, and by those markes they were distinguished and knowne from other people: This day likewise came unto us, an ancient Marybucke, taking acquaintance of our people, to whom he was very well knowne, I enquired what hee was, and they told me, it was a Mary-bucke, who did use to Ferambra, and was acquainted with George Thompson, and that he had a wife in Ferambras towne:7 which was within three miles of Tobabo Conda, the place where our habitation upon the land was: and George Thompson did use to lye at this Ferambras house, who had shewed himselfe a faithfull friend, in time of neede unto him, and his company, and likewise confirmed the same unto me, by divers Curtesies, which past betwixt us, during my time of trade in the river: I askt the Mary-bucke from whence he came, and he answered from Iaye, a towne nine dayes travell higher in the countrey, whether he was sent by George Thompson, and seemed to lament much for his death, hee told us that there was great store of gold, at that place, and that the Arabecks, which are the Moores of Barbary, came thither: we askt him, if he would undertake to carry some of us thither, he answered, yes, if wee were but past these bad people, pointing to our consorts ashore, we told him they were a good people, and very loving to us, shaking his head, he said immane, immane, which signifies naught, or the thing they like not: hee had two or three other consorts with him, and made hast to be gone, keeping themselves severed, from the other people: during their time, of staye, he told us, he was going downe to Ferambras, and by him I sent letters to our Marchants below, which were very orderly delivered, by reason he was in some feare, and came in the night aboard of us, making such hast away, we had little conference; but meeting of him afterwards in my trade at Setico, I had a full and large discourse, and received the intelligence which I will now recite: Hee told me that not farre from Iaye, there were a people who would not bee seene, and that the salt was carryed unto them, and how the Arabecks, had all their gold from them, although they did never see them: demanding the cause, hee made a signe unto his lippe, and could receive no farther answer, he saide likewise, if we could have gone further up the River with our boate, many people would have come unto us, and brought great store of gold; and to the place where we did staye, hee saide, many people were comming downe, both from Iaye, and many other townes, but that they were sent backe againe, by such as had gone from us, and toldour salt was ended, we askt him, as we had done Buckor Sano and others, if they had a towne called Tombutto, that name they knew not, but a towne called Tomboconda, they saide was neerer where we were then Fay: the pronunciation of which two places, Tomboconda for Tombutto, and Fay for Gago, may if there be such two places, carry some resemblance, where I stand to put forth this question, who should hee be that directs these names, being it is apparent never white men either by land or water weere up this countrey so farre but we: this man likewise tolde us of the houses covered with gold, and many strong incouragements to invite us on, especially to goe futher up the River.
To this let me now set downe, although not able to name particular authours, what is the generall report for the Moore of Barbary his trade. That it is certaine when they come up into the country where they have their chiefest trade; they doe observe one set time and day, to be at a certaine place, whereas houses are appointed for them, wherein nthey finde no body, nor have sight of any persons. At this place they doe unlade their commodities; and laying their salt in severall heapes, and likewise setting their beades, bracelets, and any other commodities in parcells together, they depart, and remaine away a whole day, in which day comes the people they trade withall, and to each severall layes downe a proportion of gold, as he valews it, and leaving both the commodity and the gold goes his wayes: the Merchant returning againe, as hee accepts of the bargaine, takes away the gold and lets the commodity remaine or if he finde there is to little left, divides his commodity into another part; for which he will have more, at the unknowne peoples returne, they take to themselves, where they see the gold is gone, and either lay mor egold or take away what was laid before, and remaines in suspence: so that at the Marchants third time, his bargaine is finished, for either he findes more gold, or the first taken away, and his commodity left, and this it is saide, they have a iust manner of trading and never see one another: to which it is added, that the reason why these people will not be seene, is for that they are naturally borne, with their lower lippe of that greatnesse, it turnes againe, and covers the greater part of their bosome, and remaines with that rawnesse on the side that hangs downe, that through occasion of the Sunnes extreame heate, it is still subject to putrifaction, so as they have no meanes to preserve themselves, but by continuall casting salt upon it, and this is the reason, salt is so pretious amongst them: their countrey being so farre up in the land, naturally yeeldes none. And this carryes some appearance by what wee are able to say; for first out of our owne experience wee find that these people, who trade with us for our salt, have for their owne occasions little or no use thereof, and being demanded what they doe with it, they doe not deny to tell us they carry it up further into the countrey, unto another people, to whome they do sell and vent the same: which still are good inducements to follow a further search, and therein to neglect no time, but diligently to follow the occasions already obtained, which is the love of these people, who were held so dangerous, who were so earnest for our comming againe, and to holde a certaine course of trade with them, which by us was faithfully promised, wherein the Adventurers have this strong encouragement, that if we should attaine no further then amongst these people the gaine is knowne to be great upon our exchanges, and fitted accordingly to carry a good proportion will yeeld a valuable returne to the full satisfaction a reasonable desire may aime at: but if it please God to prosper the discovery, and that we meete with any place of habitation againe by the river side, which may bee a convenient seate of residence to maintaine a setled trade in, there can be no opposition to gainesay it must be the greatest and gainfullest trade, considering the short returne that ever felle into our little Iland: which commending to your worthy consideration I will conclude my discourse of trading, with the curteous farewell that past betwixt our blacke Marchant Buckor Sano and us. They were earnest we would give a name unto the place wee traded in, that might remaine as a memoriall of our being there, I called it by the name of Saint Iohns Mart, which they repeated diverse times over to be perfect in: and when our salt was gone, seeing us hast away, which wee were carefull to doe, fearing lesse water in the river, hee in his affection would needes desire to goe some little way along in our great boate, passing about a mile with us, with curteous embracings we parted, shooting off three gunnes for his farewell, not forgetting the drinking of three or foure cuppes, and so put him on the shore: from whence by holding up his armes, he againe saluted us, and with his hopefull expectation to see us there againe, I will let him rest, and according to my course propounded fall upon a merrier company, which is their Iuddies, or as wee may terme them, Fidlers of the Countrey, neither the musike they make or instruments they play upon, deserving to have a better title: and may sort also reasonable well to the company, because at all especiall meetings their divell Ho-re makes on the relation whereof I proceed unto.
1. Margin: "As bigge in body as a great Stagge, and had wreathed hornes."
2. On the stalker, who is not, as first appears, an ostrich, see Part IX.
3. That is, to appraise and set value; the use was old-fashioned in Jobson's day, and is now obsolete.
4. That is, spancelled.
5. Jobson is speaking of scarification, which he has mentioned before, on page 55, where he compares those thus decorated to baked meats, or, as we might say, to a fancy dish en croûte.
6. Or as Jobson calls him earlier, bumbo; the crocodile.
7. Margin: "Ferambra was Lord of his Country, and when the Portingals had got the King of Nany to send horsmen to kill Thompson and his small company, hee did preserve them, and put himselfe & Country in armes for their defence."
James Eason welcomes comments and corrections on this page.