They added, that they were to return home on the morrow, and had I been one day later, I must have perished, because the inhabited part of the island was at a great distance, and it would have been impossible for me to have got thither without a guide. "Next morning they returned to the capital of the island, took me with them, and presented me to the Maha-raja.
Then I told him how I had escaped, and by what adventure I met with the grooms of Maha-raja, who had brought me to his court. His confidence began to abate upon this declaration, and he was at length persuaded that I was no cheat: for there came people from his ship who knew me, paid me great compliments, and expressed much joy at seeing me alive.
I then asked them what they did in such a desert place? to which they answered, that they were grooms belonging to Maha-raja, sovereign of the island; that every year, at the same season, they brought thither the king's mares, and fastened them as I had seen, until they were covered by a sea-horse, who afterwards endeavoured to destroy the mares; but was prevented by their noise, and obliged to return to the sea.
I frequented also the society of the learned Indians, and took delight to hear them converse; but withal, I took care to make my court regularly to the Maha-raja, and conversed with the governors and petty kings, his tributaries, that were about him.
I then asked them what they did in such a desert place, to which they answered, that they were grooms belonging to the Maha-raja, sovereign of the island, and that every year, at the same season they brought thither the king's horses for pasturage.
The prince is styled raja, maha-raja, iang de pertuan, or sultan; the nobles have the appellation of orang kaya or datu, which properly belongs to the chiefs of tribes, and implies their being at the head of a numerous train of immediate dependants or vassals, whose service they command. The heir-apparent has the title of raja muda.
Behold the monarch greater than Solomon, and the powerful Maha-raja. After he has pronounced those words, the officer behind the throne cries in his turn, 'This monarch, so great and so powerful, must die, must die, must die. And the officer before replies, 'Praise be to him who lives for ever. "Farther, the king of Serendib is so just, that there are no judges in his dominions.
You tell a horrible falsehood, in order to possess yourself of what does not belong to you. 'Have patience, replied I; 'do me the favour to hear what I have to say. Then I told him how I had escaped, and by what adventure I met with the grooms of the Maha-raja, who had brought me to his court.
While they entertained me thus, the horse came out of the sea, as they had told me, covered the mare, and afterwards would have devoured her; but upon a great noise made by the grooms, he left her, and plunged into the sea. Next morning they returned with their mares to the capital of the island, took me with them, and presented me to the Maha-raja.
I took out what was most valuable in my bales, and presented them to the Maha-raja, who, knowing my misfortune, asked me how I came by such rarities. I acquainted him with the circumstance of their recovery. He was pleased at my good luck, accepted my present, and in return gave me one much more considerable.