The Merchant Of Hens Continued To
Come Daily To Our House With His Goods; And The General Suspected, Not
Without His Master's Knowledge, As Indeed He Afterwards Confessed, To
Carry News From Us As Well As Bringing Us Intelligence.
It was now September, and summer being past, and the general intending
to go to sea to seek for means to supply his necessities, was like to
have been crossed worse than ever.
The Portuguese ambassador had got his
dispatches of leave from the king, and was about to go from Acheen;
which coming to the knowledge of our general, he went immediately to
court, where the king sat looking at certain sports which were made for
his amusement. The general sent his interpreter to request permission to
speak with the king, who immediately called him, desiring to know what
he wished. "It has pleased your majesty," said the general, "to shew me
many courtesies, by which I am emboldened to entreat one more favour."
"What is that?" said the king, smiling: "Are there any more Portuguese
going to Malacca to hinder your proceedings?" "The ambassador himself,"
said the general, "as I am given to understand, has received your
majesty's dispatches, with licence to go when he pleases, and is
determined to go in five days." Then, said the king, "What would you
have me do?" To this the general replied, "Only stay him for ten days
after I have sailed." "Well," said the king, laughing, "you must bring
me a fair Portuguese maiden at your return."
With this answer the general took his leave, and made all the haste he
could to be gone, having recommended the factors during his absence to
the protection and favour of the king, and to purchase pepper, to help
out the loading of the Ascension, which was now more than three parts
laden; yet he did not chuse to leave her behind, as the road was open.
When all the three ships were nearly ready, the captain of a Holland
ship, called the Sheilberge, then in the roads, requested permission of
the general to join company with him, and take part in the adventure
upon which he was going.
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