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Captain Morgan goes to the Isle of Hispaniola to equip a new fleet, with intent to pillage again upon the coasts of the West Indies.
CAPTAIN MORGAN perceived now that fortune favoured his arms, by giving good success to all his enterprizes, which occasioned him, as it is usual in human affairs, to aspire to greater things, trusting she would always be constant to him. Such was the burning off Panama; wherein fortune failed not to assist him, in like manner as she had done before, crowning the event of his actions with victory, howbeit she had led him thereto through thousands of difficulties. The history hereof I shall now begin to relate, as being so very remarkable in all its circumstances that peradventure nothing more deserving memory may occur to be read by future ages.
Not long after Captain Morgan arrived at Jamaica, he found many of his chief officers and soldiers reduced to their former state of indigence through their immoderate vices and debauchery. Hence they ceased not to importune him for new invasions and exploits, thereby to get something to expend anew in wine, as they had already wasted what was secured so little before. Captain Morgan being willing to follow fortune while she called him, hereupon stopped the mouths of many of the inhabitants of Jamaica, who were creditors to his men for large sums of money, with the hopes and promises he gave them, of greater achievements than ever, by a new expedition he was going about. This being done, he needed riot give himself much trouble to levy men for this or any other enterprize, his name being now so famous through all those islands, that that alone would readily bring him in more men than he could well employ. He undertook therefore to equip a new fleet of ships; for which purpose he assigned the south side of the Isle of Tortuga, as a place of rendezvous. With this resolution, he wrote divers letters to all the ancient and expert Pirates there inhabiting, as also to the Governor of the said isle, and to the planters and hunters of Hispaniola, giving them to understand his intentions, and desiring their appearance at the said place, in case they intended to go with him. All these people had no sooner understood his designs than they flocked to the place assigned in huge numbers, with ships, canoes and boats, being desirous to obey his commands. Many, who had not the convenience of coming to him by sea, traversed the woods of Hispaniola, and with no small difficulties arrived there by land. Thus all were present at the place assigned, and in readiness, against the 24th day of October, 1670.
Captain Morgan was not wanting to be there according to his punctual custom, who came in his ship to the same side of the island, to a port called by the French Port Couillon, over against the island De la Vaca, this being a place which he had assigned to others. Having now gathered the greatest part of his fleet, he called a council, to deliberate about the means of finding provisions sufficient for so many people. Here they concluded to send four ships and one boat, manned with four hundred men, over to the continent, to the intent they should rifle some country towns and villages, and in these get all the corn or maize they could gather. They set sail for the continent, toward the river De la Hacha, with design to assault a small village, called La Rancheria, where is usually to be fixed the greatest quantity of maize of all those parts thereabouts. In the meanwhile Captain Morgan sent another party of his men to hunt in the woods, who killed there a huge number of beasts, and salted them. The rest of his companions remained in the ships, to clean, fit and rig them out to sea, so that at the return of those who were sent abroad, all things might be in readiness to weigh anchor, and follow the course of their designs.