Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page 25
THE COAST OF NATAL.
squall, which required us to lower sail, and one of our mariners, a man of St. Malo, fell into the sea. It was impossible to save him: his messmate,1 however, would have flung himself after him had he not been restrained; but I think this was more because he had taken too much wine than out of affection, for these sailors have not much friendship. All along this coast we saw all night many fires on the tops of the mountains. Thus continuing our voyage, we passed without any storm the land of Natal, which is on the Ethiopian coast,aan unwonted occurrence, because violent storms are usually met with between the 33rd and 28th degrees.
On the 30th January, in the altitude of 26 degrees, our General asked his pilot2 on which side of the island of St. Laurence we were ; he replied, on the outside ; nevertheless, this was not so, for we were between the coast of Africa and the island, contrary to our intention. This was due to the ignorance of the pilot, as well as to our amusing ourselves too long with the Hollanders* ships. Having the weather calm, we let our ships go at their will, carrying generally only lower sails ; while the Hollandersa vessels, being better sailers than ours, duly kept their course along the coast of Africa, and we followed them unconsciously. Our General, doubting the fact, demanded to sight the island for his assurance ; but after sailing for two days and two nights without sighting it, he gave orders to put about on the opposite
part, had by this time degenerated into a mere jollification; nowadays, in England at least, the sole remaining relic is a cake. The whole history of Twelfth Night will be found well described in Chambersas Book of Days (January 6th), where also may be seen a copy of an old French print, exhibiting a party of revellers crying u Le roi boit!a as described by Pyrard.
1 As the author explains in his Advice at the end of vol. ii, each of the sailors had his messmate : an arrangement made with a view to friendship and mutual assistance.
2 Probably the Fleming named Mayor Wouter Willekens mentioned by Spilberg (v. s., p. 23, note 3).2 Probably the Fleming named Mayor Wouter Willekens mentioned by Spilberg (v. s., p. 23, note 3).