The pleasures I took after my third voyage had not charms enough to divert me from another. I was again prevailed upon by my passion for traffic and curiosity to see new things. I therefore settled my affairs, and having provided a stock of goods fit for the places where I designed to trade, I set out on my journey. I took the way of Persia, of which I travelled over several provinces, and then arrived at a port, where I embarked. We set sail, and having touched at several ports of the mainland and some of the eastern islands, we put out to sea, and were overtaken by a sudden gust of wind that obliged the captain to furl his sails, and to take all other necessary precautions to prevent the danger that threatened us. But all was in vain; our endeavours had no effect, the sails were torn into a thousand pieces, and the ship was stranded; so that a great many of the merchants and seamen were drowned, and the cargo lost.
I had the good fortune, with several of the merchants and mariners, to get a plank, and we were carried by the current to an island which lay before us: there we found fruit and spring water, which preserved our lives. We stayed all night near the place where the sea cast us ashore, without consulting what we should do, our misfortune had dispirited us so much.
Next morning, as soon as the sun was up, we walked from the shore, and advancing into the island, saw some houses, to which we went; and as soon as we came thither we were encompassed by a great number of black men, who seized us, shared us among them, and carried us to their respective habitations. I and five of my comrades were carried to one place; they made us sit down immediately, and gave us a certain herb, which they made signs to us to eat. My comrades, not taking notice that the black men ate none of it themselves, consulted only the satisfying of their own hunger, and fell to eating with greediness: but I, suspecting some trick, would not so much as taste it, which happened well for me; for in a little time I perceived my companions had lost their senses, and that when they spoke to me they knew not what they said.
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