250 TAVERNIER LEAVES CEYLON book iii
it in that time lie would have them all executed. The physicians
replied that they would answer to him for the cure of the ambassador,
provided he consented to take the remedies which they would give him,
and M. Croc resolved to consent. They gave him in the morning a
decoction, and in the evening a small pill, and at the end of nine days
a great fit of vomiting seized him. It was thought he would die of the
strange efforts which he made ; and at length he vomited a bundle of
hair as large as a small nut, after which he was at once cured. The
King afterwards took him to a rhinoceros hunt, and invited him to give
the mortal shot to the animal. As soon as it was killed they cut off
the horn, which the King also presented to the ambassador ; * and at
the conclusion of the hunt there was a great feast. At the end of it
the King drank to the health of the General of Batavia and his wife,
and ordered one of his own wives to kiss the ambassador. On his
departure he presented him with a pebble of the size of a goose's egg,
in which large veins of gold were to' be seen like the tendons in a
man's hand, and it is thus that gold is found in this country.
Croc, when at Surat as chief of the factory, broke the pebble in two,
and gave half to M. Constant, who, under him, held the highest
authority there. When he was returning to Holland, I offered him 150
pistoles for it in order to present it to the late Monseigneur le Duc
d'Orléans, but he would not consent to part with it.
Departure of the Author from the Island of Ceylon, and his arrival at Batavia.
On the 25th of July 2
 we left Pointe de Galle on a different vessel from that by which
we had arrived, because when it was examined, it was found that it
could not make
The horn of the rhinoceros was, and is still in South Africa and
Hindustan, valued as an antidote to poison. See the authorities quoted
in Fryer, ii. 298. 1 The July of the original and the June of the edition of 1713 appear ■ to be both wrong, as the month must have been May.