The humane governor, musing upon the sentence, considered a littleupon it; and turning to the two honest Englishmen, said, "Hold; youmust reflect that it will be long ere they can raise corn andcattle of their own, and they must not starve; we must thereforeallow them provisions." So he caused to be added, that they shouldhave a proportion of corn given them to last them eight months, andfor seed to sow, by which time they might be supposed to raise someof their own; that they should have six milch-goats, four he-goats,and six kids given them, as well for present subsistence as for astore; and that they should have tools given them for their work inthe fields, but they should have none of these tools or provisionsunless they would swear solemnly that they would not hurt or injureany of the Spaniards with them, or of their fellow-Englishmen.
pc28APP下载They were terribly surprised with our fire, and retreatedimmediately about one hundred rods from us; in which time we loadedour pieces again, and seeing them keep that distance, we salliedout, and caught four or five of their horses, whose riders wesupposed were killed; and coming up to the dead, we judged theywere Tartars, but knew not how they came to make an excursion suchan unusual length.
About an hour after they again made a motion to attack us, and roderound our little wood to see where they might break in; but findingus always ready to face them, they went off again; and we resolvednot to stir for that night.pc28APP下载We slept little, but spent the most part of the night instrengthening our situation, and barricading the entrances into thewood, and keeping a strict watch. We waited for daylight, and whenit came, it gave us a very unwelcome discovery indeed; for theenemy, who we thought were discouraged with the reception they metwith, were now greatly increased, and had set up eleven or twelvehuts or tents, as if they were resolved to besiege us; and thislittle camp they had pitched upon the open plain, about three-quarters of a mile from us. I confess I now gave myself over forlost, and all that I had; the loss of my effects did not lie sonear me, though very considerable, as the thoughts of falling intothe hands of such barbarians at the latter end of my journey, afterso many difficulties and hazards as I had gone through, and even insight of our port, where we expected safety and deliverance. As tomy partner, he was raging, and declared that to lose his goodswould be his ruin, and that he would rather die than be starved,and he was for fighting to the last drop.
The young lord, a most gallant youth, was for fighting to the lastalso; and my old pilot was of opinion that we were able to resistthem all in the situation we were then in. Thus we spent the dayin debates of what we should do; but towards evening we found thatthe number of our enemies still increased, and we did not know butby the morning they might still be a greater number: so I began toinquire of those people we had brought from Tobolski if there wereno private ways by which we might avoid them in the night, andperhaps retreat to some town, or get help to guard us over thedesert. The young lord's Siberian servant told us, if we designedto avoid them, and not fight, he would engage to carry us off inthe night, to a way that went north, towards the river Petruz, bywhich he made no question but we might get away, and the Tartarsnever discover it; but, he said, his lord had told him he would notretreat, but would rather choose to fight. I told him he mistookhis lord: for that he was too wise a man to love fighting for thesake of it; that I knew he was brave enough by what he had showedalready; but that he knew better than to desire seventeen oreighteen men to fight five hundred, unless an unavoidable necessityforced them to it; and that if he thought it possible for us toescape in the night, we had nothing else to do but to attempt it.He answered, if his lordship gave him such orders, he would losehis life if he did not perform it; we soon brought his lord to givethat order, though privately, and we immediately prepared forputting it in practice.I cannot refrain taking notice here what reflections I now had uponthe vast variety of my particular circumstances; how hard I thoughtit that I, who had spent forty years in a life of continualdifficulties, and was at last come, as it were, to the port orhaven which all men drive at, viz. to have rest and plenty, shouldbe a volunteer in new sorrows by my own unhappy choice, and that I,who had escaped so many dangers in my youth, should now come to behanged in my old age, and in so remote a place, for a crime which Iwas not in the least inclined to, much less guilty of. After thesethoughts something of religion would come in; and I would beconsidering that this seemed to me to be a disposition of immediateProvidence, and I ought to look upon it and submit to it as such.For, although I was innocent as to men, I was far from beinginnocent as to my Maker; and I ought to look in and examine whatother crimes in my life were most obvious to me, and for whichProvidence might justly inflict this punishment as a retribution;and thus I ought to submit to this, just as I would to a shipwreck,if it had pleased God to have brought such a disaster upon me.详情