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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 by Robert Kerr

Part 10 out of 11

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suddenly filling with water, which obliged them to throw several things
overboard, before they could free her, and stop the leak she had sprung.
From a fishing canoe, which they met coming in from the reefs, they got as
much fish as they could eat; and they were received by Teabi, the chief of
the isle of Balabea, and the people, who came in numbers to see them, with
great courtesy. In order not to be too much crowded, our people drew a line
on the ground, and gave the others to understand they were not to come
within it. This restriction they observed, and one of them, soon after,
turned to his own advantage. For happening to have a few cocoa-nuts, which
one of our people wanted to buy, and he was unwilling to part with, he
walked off, and was followed by the man who wanted them. On seeing this, he
sat down on the sand, made a circle round him, as he had seen our people
do, and signified that the other was not to come within it; which was
accordingly observed. As this story was well attested, I thought it not
unworthy of a place in this journal.[7]

Early in the morning of the 12th, I ordered the carpenter to work, to
repair the cutter, and the water to be re-placed, which we had expended the
three preceding days. As Tea Booma the chief had not been seen since he got
the dogs, and I wanted to lay a foundation for stocking the country with
hogs also, I took a young boar and a sow with me in the boat, and went up
to the mangrove creek to look for my friend, in order to give them to him.

But when we arrived there, we were told that he lived at some distance, and
that they would send for him. Whether they did or no I cannot say; but he
not coming, I resolved to give them to the first man of note I met with.
The guide we had to the hills happening to be there, I made him understand
that I intended to leave the two pigs on shore, and ordered them out of the
boat for that purpose. I offered them to a grave old man, thinking he was a
proper person to entrust them with; but he shook his head, and he and all
present, made signs to take them into the boat again. When they saw I did
not comply, they seemed to consult with one another what was to be done;
and then our guide told me to carry them to the Alekee (chief). Accordingly
I ordered them to be taken up, and we were conducted by him to a house,
wherein were seated, in a circle, eight or ten middle-aged persons. To them
I and my pigs being introduced, with great courtesy they desired me to sit
down; and then I began to expatiate on the merits of the two pigs,
explaining to them how many young ones the female would have at one time,
and how soon these would multiply to some hundreds. My only motive was to
enhance their value, that they might take the more care of them; and I had
reason to think I in some measure succeeded. In the mean time, two men
having left the company, soon returned with six yams, which were presented
to me; and then I took my leave and went on board.

I have already observed, that here was a little village; I now found it
much larger than I expected; and about it, a good deal of cultivated land,
regularly laid out, planted and planting with taro or eddy root, yams,
sugar-canes, and plantains. The taro plantations were prettily watered by
little rills, continually supplied from the main channel at the foot of the
mountains, from whence these streams were conducted in artful meanders.
They have two methods of planting these roots, some are in square or oblong
patches, which lie perfectly horizontal, and sink below the common level of
the adjacent land, so that they can let in on them as much water as they
think necessary. I have generally seen them covered two or three inches
deep; but I do not know that this is always necessary. Others are planted
in ridges about three or four feet broad, and two, or two and a half high.
On the middle or top of the ridge, is a narrow gutter, in and along which
is conveyed, as above described, a little rill that waters the roots,
planted in the ridge on each side of it; and these plantations are so
judiciously laid out, that the same stream waters several ridges. These
ridges are sometimes the divisions to the horizontal plantations; and when
this method is used, which is for the most part observed where a pathway,
or something of that sort, is requisite, not an inch of ground is lost.
Perhaps there may be some difference in the roots, which may make these two
methods of raising them necessary. Some are better tasted than others, and
they are not all of a colour; but be this as it may, they are very
wholesome food, and the tops make good greens, and are eaten as such by the
natives. On these plantations men, women, and children were employed.

In the afternoon I went on shore, and, on a large tree, which stood close
to the shore, near the watering-place, had an inscription cut, setting
forth the ship's name, date, &c. as a testimony of our being the first
discoverers of this country, as I had done at all others, at which we had
touched, where this ceremony was necessary. This being done, we took leave
of our friends, and returned on board; when I ordered all the boats to be
hoisted in, in order to be ready to put to sea in the morning.

[1] "The land, when discovered, appeared to be very high, and its
distance from us was about eight leagues, being seen through a haze,
which made it appear farther off than it really was. M. de
Bougainville takes notice of meeting with a part of the sea which was
entirely smooth, and where several pieces of wood and fruits floated
past his ship. This was nearly to the N.W. of the land which we now
discovered, and which, as an able and intelligent navigator, he had
conjectured to be in that direction."--G.F.

[2] A very striking proof of this is mentioned by Mr G.F. These
people, he says, laid some of their canoes on both sides of the
channel, in a place where it was narrow, and then beckoned to the
boats to keep in the middle between them. According to this gentleman,
the face of the country had a barren appearance, and was covered with
a sort of whitish grass, and trees somewhat resembling willows were
thinly spread on the mountains.--E.

[3] Mr. G.F. who shot the duck, tells us, that the natives expressed
some admiration, but not the smallest fear, at the report and effects
of the firearms.--E.

[4] "The whole plantation we saw, had a very scanty appearance, and
seemed to be insufficient to afford nourishment to the inhabitants
throughout the year. We entirely missed that variety of fruits, which
we had hitherto met with in the tropical islands, and naturally
recollected the poverty of the inhabitants of Easter Island, above
whom it appeared, that the people before us enjoyed but few
advantages. Towards the hills, of which the first risings were at the
distance of about two miles, the country looked extremely dreary; here
and there, indeed, we saw a few trees, and small uncultivated spots,
but they appeared to be lost on the great extent of barren and
unprofitable country, which resembled our moors more than any thing
else."--G.F.

[5] Mr G.F., who seems to have accompanied the watering-party, gives
the following account of the appearance of the country.--"We walked
along the beach which was sandy, and bounded by a fine wild shrubbery;
we soon came to a hut, from whence a number of plantations extended to
the back of the bank and wild wood. We rambled into the country, and
came to a canal that watered this plantation, but of which the water
was very brackish. From hence, however, we ran immediately to an
eminence near us, where the nature of the country appeared evidently
changed. The plain was covered with a thin stratum of vegetable soil,
which being very poor, was manured in the plantations with broken
shells and corals. The eminence, on the contrary, was a rocky ground,
consisting of large pieces of quartz and glimmer (_mica_). Here grew a
quantity of dry grasses, about two or three feet high, very thin in
most places; and at the distance of fifteen or twenty yards asunder,
we saw large trees black at the root, but with a bark perfectly whole
and loose, and having narrow long leaves like our willows. They were
of the sort which Linne calls _melaleuca leucadendra_, and Rumphius
_arbor alba_, who says that the natives of the Moluccas make the oil
of _cayputi_, from the leaves, which are indeed extremely fragrant and
aromatic. Not the least shrub was to be seen on this eminence, and the
trees did not intercept the distant prospect. We discerned from hence
a line of tufted trees and shrubberies, which extended from the sea-
side towards the mountains, and immediately concluded that they stood
on the banks of a rivulet. The banks of this were lined with
mangroves, beyond which a few other sorts of plants and trees occupied
a space of fifteen or twenty feet, which had a layer of vegetable
mould, charged with nutritive moisture, and covered with a green bed
of grasses, where the eye gladly reposed itself after viewing a
painted prospect. The border of shrubberies and wild-trees which lined
the sea-shore, was the most advantageous to us as naturalists; here we
met with some unknown plants, and saw a great variety of birds of
different classes, which were for the greatest part entirely new. But
the character of the inhabitants, and their friendly inoffensive
behaviour towards us, gave us greater pleasure than all the rest. We
found their number very inconsiderable, and their habitations very
thinly scattered. They commonly had built two or three houses near
each other, under a group of very lofty fig-trees, of which the
branches were so closely entwined, that the sky was scarcely visible
through the foliage, and the huts were involved in a perpetual cool
shade. They had another advantage besides, from this pleasant
situation; for numbers of birds continually twittered in the tufted
tops of the tree, and hid themselves from the scorching beams of the
sun. The wild circle of some species of creepers was very agreeable;
and conveyed a sensible pleasure to every one who delighted in this
kind of artless harmony. The inhabitants themselves were commonly
seated at the foot of these trees, which had this remarkable quality,
that they shot long roots from the upper part of the stem, perfectly
round, as if they had been made by a turner, into the ground, ten,
fifteen, and twenty feet from the tree, and formed a most exact strait
line, being extremely elastic, and as tense as a bow-string prepared
for action. The bark of these trees seems to be the substance of which
they make those little bits of cloth, so remarkable in their dress."--
G.F.

[6] Wafers met with Indians in the Isthmus of Darien of the colour of
a white horse. See his Description of the Isthmus, page 134. See also
Mr de Paw's Philosophical Enquiries concerning Americans, where
several other instances of this remarkable whiteness are mentioned,
and the causes of it attempted to be explained.--This note is by
Captain Cook. The reader may not have forgotten some remarks on the
subject, in a former volume.--E.

[7] It is also worth while noticing the following circumstance, which
occurred during this excursion. "The appearance of a large beef-bone,
which some of our people began to pick towards the conclusion of their
supper, interrupted a conversation that was carried on with the
natives. They talked very loud and earnestly to each other, looked
with great surprise, and some marks of disgust, at our people, and at
last went away altogether, expressing by signs that they suspected the
strangers of eating human flesh. Our officer endeavoured to free
himself and his shipmates from this suspicion; but the want of
language was an insurmountable obstacle to his undertaking, even
supposing it possible to persuade a set of people, who had never seen
a quadruped in their lives."--G.F.

Notwithstanding this appearance of dislike to so horrid a practice, it
must not be hastily inferred, that these people are themselves free
from the vice which they condemned. On the contrary, one might rather
imagine that their so readily conjecturing the circumstance, from what
they saw, proceeded from a conviction of their own occasional
acquiescence in it; and that their present umbrage arose from
apprehension of their own danger in the hands of persons so much more
powerful than themselves. But we reserve the subject of cannibalism
for another place, where perhaps it will be shewn that those very
people are not free from this opprobrium of the savage state. The
reader is already aware, that the younger Forster is not to be too
strictly relied on as to his accounts of our species in its rude
condition, more particularly where it is possible, with some stretch
of liberality, to substitute the pleasing dreams of fancy for the
disagreeable realities of truth.--E.

SECTION IX.

_A Description of the Country and its Inhabitants; their Manners,
Customs, and Arts._

I shall conclude our transactions at this place with some account of the
country and its inhabitants. They are a strong, robust, active, well-made
people, courteous and friendly, and not in the least addicted to pilfering,
which is more than can be said of any other nation in this sea. They are
nearly of the same colour as the natives of Tanna, but have better
features, more agreeable countenances, and are a much stouter race; a few
being seen who measured six feet four inches. I observed some who had thick
lips, flat noses, and full cheeks, and, in some degree, the features and
look of a negro. Two things contributed to the forming of such an idea;
first, their rough mop heads, and, secondly, their besmearing their faces
with black pigment. Their hair and beards are, in general, black. The
former is very much frizzled, so that, at first sight, it appears like that
of a negro. It is, nevertheless, very different, though both coarser and
stronger than ours. Some, who wear it long, tie it up on the crown of the
head; others suffer only a large lock to grow on each side, which they tie
up in clubs; many others, as well as all the women, wear it cropped short.
These rough heads, most probably, want frequent scratching; for which
purpose they have a most excellent instrument. This is a kind of comb made
of sticks of hard wood, from seven to nine or ten inches long, and about
the thickness of knitting-needles. A number of these, seldom exceeding
twenty, but generally fewer, is fastened together at one end, parallel to,
and near one-tenth of an inch from each other. The other ends, which are a
little pointed, will spread out or open like the sticks of a fan, by which
means they can beat up the quarters of an hundred lice at a time. These
combs or scratchers, for I believe they serve both purposes, they always
wear in their hair, on one side their head. The people of Tanna have an
instrument of this kind for the same use; but theirs is forked, I think,
never exceeding three or four prongs; and sometimes only a small pointed
stick. Their beards, which are of the same crisp nature as their hair, are,
for the most part, worn short. Swelled and ulcerated legs and feet are
common among the men; as also a swelling of the scrotum. I know not whether
this is occasioned by disease, or by the mode of applying the wrapper
before-mentioned, and which they use as at Tanna and Mallicollo. This is
their only covering, and is made generally of the bark of a tree, but
sometimes of leaves. The small pieces of cloth, paper, &c. which they got
from us, were commonly applied to this use. We saw coarse garments amongst
them, made of a sort of matting, but they seemed never to wear them, except
when out in their canoes and unemployed. Some had a kind of concave,
cylindrical, stiff black cap, which appeared to be a great ornament among
them, and, we thought, was only worn by men of note or warriors. A large
sheet of strong paper, when they got one from us, was generally applied to
this use.

The women's dress is a short petticoat, made of the filaments of the
plantain-tree, laid over a cord, to which they are fastened, and tied round
the waist. The petticoat is made at least six or eight inches thick, but
not one inch longer than necessary for the use designed. The outer
filaments are dyed black; and, as an additional ornament, the most of them
have a few pearl oyster-shells fixed on the right side. The general
ornaments of both sexes are ear-rings of tortoise-shell, necklaces or
amulets, made both of shells and stones, and bracelets, made of large
shells, which they wear above the elbow. They have punctures, or marks on
the skin, on several parts of the body; but none, I think, are black, as at
the Eastern Islands. I know not if they have any other design than
ornament; and the people of Tanna are marked much in the same manner.[1]

Were I to judge of the origin of this nation, I should take them to be a
race between the people of Tanna and of the Friendly Isles, or between
those of Tanna and the New Zealanders, or all three; their language, in
some respects, being a mixture of them all. In their disposition they are
like the natives of the Friendly Isles; but in affability and honesty they
excel them.

Notwithstanding their pacific inclination they must sometimes have wars, as
they are well provided with offensive weapons, such as clubs, spears,
darts, and slings for throwing stones. The clubs are about two feet and a
half long, and variously formed; some like a scythe, others like a pick-
axe; some have a head like an hawk, and others have round heads, but all
are neatly made. Many of their darts and spears are no less neat, and
ornamented with carvings. The slings are as simple as possible; but they
take some pains to form the stones that they use into a proper shape, which
is something like an egg, supposing both ends to be like the small one.[2]
They use a becket, in the same manner as at Tanna, in throwing the dart,
which, I believe, is much used in striking fish, &c. In this they seem very
dexterous; nor, indeed, do I know that they have any other method of
catching large fish, for I neither saw hooks nor lines among them.

It is needless to mention their working-tools, as they are made of the same
materials, and nearly in the same manner, as at the other islands. Their
axes, indeed, are a little different; some, at least, which may be owing to
fancy as much as custom.

Their houses, or at least most of them, are circular, something like a bee-
hive, and full as close and warm. The entrance is by a small door, or long
square hole, just big enough to admit a man bent double. The side-walls are
about four feet and a half high, but the roof is lofty, and peaked to a
point at the top; above which is a post, or stick of wood, which is
generally ornamented either with carving or shells, or both. The framing is
of small spars, reeds, &c. and both sides and roof are thick and close
covered with thatch, made of coarse long grass. In the inside of the house
are set up posts, to which cross spars are fastened, and platforms made,
for the conveniency of laying any thing on. Some houses have two floors,
one above the other. The floor is laid with dry grass, and here and there
mats are spread, for the principal people to sleep or sit on. In most of
them we found two fire-places, and commonly a fire burning; and, as there
was no vent for the smoke but by the door, the whole house was both smoky
and hot, insomuch that we, who were not used to such an atmosphere, could
hardly endure it a moment. This may be the reason why we found these people
so chilly when in the open air, and without exercise. We frequently saw
them make little fires any where, and hustle round them, with no other view
than to warm themselves. Smoke within doors may be a necessary evil, as it
prevents the musquitoes from coming in, which are pretty numerous here. In
some respects their habitations are neat; for, besides the ornaments at
top, I saw some with carved door-posts. Upon the whole, their houses are
better calculated for a cold than a hot climate; and as there are no
partitions in them, they can have little privacy.

They have no great variety of household utensils; the earthen jars before
mentioned being the only article worth notice. Each family has at least one
of them, in which they bake their roots, and perhaps their fish, &c. The
fire, by which they cook their victuals, is on the outside of each house,
in the open air. There are three or five pointed stones fixed in the
ground, their pointed ends being about six inches above the surface. Those
of three stones are only for one jar, those of five stones for two. The
jars do not stand on their bottoms, but lie inclined on their sides. The
use of these stones is obviously to keep the jars from resting on the fire,
in order that it may burn the better.

They subsist chiefly on roots and fish, and the bark of a tree, which I am
told grows also in the West Indies. This they roast, and are almost
continually chewing. It has a sweetish, insipid taste, and was liked by
some of our people. Water is their only liquor, at least I never saw any
other made use of.

Plantains and sugar-canes are by no means in plenty. Bread-fruit is very
scarce, and the cocoa-nut trees are small and but thinly planted; and
neither one nor the other seems to yield much fruit.

To judge merely by the numbers of the natives we saw every day, one might
think the island very populous; but I believe that, at this time, the
inhabitants were collected from all parts on our account. Mr Pickersgill
observed, that down the coast, to the west, there were but few people; and
we knew they came daily from the other side of the land, over the
mountains, to visit us. But although the inhabitants, upon the whole, may
not be numerous, the island is not thinly peopled on the sea-coast, and in
the plains and valleys that are capable of cultivation. It seems to be a
country unable to support many inhabitants. Nature has been less bountiful
to it than to any other tropical island we know in this sea. The greatest
part of its surface, or at least what we saw of it, consists of barren
rocky mountains; and the grass, &c. growing on them, is useless to people
who have no cattle.

The sterility of the country will apologise for the natives not
contributing to the wants of the navigator. The sea may, perhaps, in some
measure, compensate for the deficiency of the land; for a coast surrounded
by reefs and shoals, as this is, cannot fail of being stored with fish.

I have before observed, that the country bears great resemblance to New
South Wales, or New Holland, and that some of its natural productions are
the same. In particular, we found here, the tree which is covered with a
soft white ragged bark, easily peeled off, and is, as I have been told, the
same that, in the East Indies, is used for caulking of ships. The wood is
very hard, the leaves are long and narrow, of a pale dead green, and a fine
aromatic; so that it may properly be said to belong to that continent.
Nevertheless, here are several plants, &c. common to the eastern and
northern islands, and even a species of the passionflower, which, I am
told, has never before been known to grow wild any where but in America.
Our botanists did not complain for want of employment at this place; every
day bringing something new in botany or other branches of natural history.
Land-birds, indeed, are not numerous, but several are new. One of these is
a kind of crow, at least so we called it, though it is not half so big, and
its feathers are tinged with blue. They also have some very beautiful
turtle-doves, and other small birds, such as I never saw before.[3]

All our endeavours to get the name of the whole island proved ineffectual.
Probably it is too large for them to know by one name. Whenever we made
this enquiry, they always gave us the name of some district or place, which
we pointed to; and, as before observed, I got the names of several, with
the name of the king or chief of each. Hence I conclude, that the country
is divided into several districts, each governed by a chief; but we know
nothing of the extent of his power. Balade was the name of the district we
were at, and Tea Booma the chief. He lived on the other side of the ridge
of hills, so that we had but little of his company, and therefore could not
see much of his power. _Tea_ seems a title prefixed to the names of
all, or most, of their chiefs or great men. My friend honoured me by
calling me _Tea_ Cook.

They deposit their dead in the ground. I saw none of their burying-places,
but several of the gentlemen did. In one, they were informed, lay the
remains of a chief who was slain in battle; and his grave, which bore some
resemblance to a large mole-hill, was decorated with spears, darts,
paddles, &c. all stuck upright in the ground round about it. The canoes,
which these people use, are somewhat like those of the Friendly Isles; but
the most heavy clumsy vessels I ever saw. They are what I call double
canoes, made out of two large trees, hollowed out, having a raised gunnel,
about two inches high, and closed at each end with a kind of bulk-head of
the same height; so that the whole is like a long square trough, about
three feet shorter than the body of the canoe; that is, a foot and a half
at each end. Two canoes, thus fitted, are secured to each other, about
three feet asunder, by means of cross spars, which project about a foot
over each side. Over these spars is laid a deck, or very heavy platform,
made of plank, and small round spars, on which they have a fire-hearth, and
generally a fire burning; and they carry a pot or jar to dress their
victuals in. The space between the two canoes is laid with plank, and the
rest with spars. On one side of the deck, and close to the edge, is fixed a
row of knees, pretty near to each other, the use of which is to keep the
masts, yards, &c. from, rolling over-board. They are navigated by one or
two lateen-sails, extended to a small lateen-yard, the end of which fixes
in a notch or hole in the deck. The foot of the sail is extended to a small
boom. The sail is composed of pieces of matting, the ropes are made of the
coarse filaments of the plantain-tree, twisted into cords of the thickness
of a finger; and three or four more such cords, marled together, serve them
for shrouds, &c. I thought they sailed very well; but they are not at all
calculated for rowing or paddling. Their method of proceeding, when they
cannot sail, is by sculling, and for this purpose there are holes in the
boarded deck or platform. Through these they put the sculls, which are of
such a length, that, when the blade is in the water, the loom or handle is
four or five feet above the deck. The man who works it stands behind, and
with both his hands sculls the vessel forward. This method of proceeding is
very slow; and for this reason, the canoes are but ill calculated for
fishing, especially for striking of turtle, which, I think, can hardly ever
be done in them. Their fishing implements, such as I have seen, are turtle-
nets, made, I believe, of the filaments of the plantain-tree twisted; and
small hand-nets, with very minute meshes made of fine twine and fish-gigs.
Their general method of fishing, I guess, is to lie on the reefs in shoal
water, and to strike the fish that may come in their way. They may,
however, have other methods, which we had no opportunity to see, as no boat
went out while we were here; all their time and attention being taken up
with us. Their canoes are about thirty feet long, and the deck or platform
about twenty-four in length, and ten in breadth. We had not, at this time,
seen any timber in the country so large as that of which their canoes were
made. It was observed that the holes, made in the several parts, in order
to sew them together, were burnt through, but with what instrument we never
learnt. Most probably it was of stone, which may be the reason why they
were so fond of large spikes, seeing at once they would answer this
purpose. I was convinced they were not wholly designed for edge-tools,
because every one shewed a desire for the iron belaying-pins which were
fixed in the quarter-deck rail, and seemed to value them far more than a
spike-nail, although it might be twice as big. These pins, which are round,
perhaps have the very shape of the tool they wanted to make of the nails. I
did not find that a hatchet was quite so valuable as a large spike. Small
nails were of little or no value; and beads, looking-glasses, &c. they did
not admire.

The women of this country, and likewise those of Tanna, are, so far as I
could judge, far more chaste than those of the more eastern islands. I
never heard that one of our people obtained the least favour from any one
of them. I have been told that the ladies here would frequently divert
themselves by going a little aside with our gentlemen, as if they meant to
be kind to them, and then would run away laughing at them. Whether this was
chastity or coquetry, I shall not pretend to determine; nor is it material,
since the consequences were the same.[4]

[1] Mr G.F. says their dress was very disfiguring, and gave them a
thick squat shape. He describes it much like Captain Cook. According
to him, these women's features, though coarse, expressed great good-
nature; they had high foreheads, broad flat noses, rather small eyes,
and very prominent cheek-bones. His reflections on the degraded state
in which these women live, as subservient entirely to the arbitrary
will and necessary purposes of their husbands, have not so much
originality as force, but possess, however, enough of both to deserve
a place here. "They commonly kept at a distance from the men, and
seemed fearful of offending them by a look or gesture; they were the
only persons in the family who had any employment, and several of them
brought bundles of sticks and fuel on their backs. Their insensible
husbands seldom deigned to look upon them, and continued in a kind of
phlegmatic indolence, whilst the women sometimes indulged that social
cheerfulness, which is the distinguishing ornament of the sex. Thus,
in every country, mankind are fond of being tyrants, and the poorest
Indian, who knows no wants but those which his existence requires, has
already learnt to enslave his weaker help-mate, in order to save
himself the trouble of supplying their wants, and cruelly exacts an
obedience from her, which has been continued among savages as a curse
upon the sex. Considering these humiliations and cruel oppressions of
the sex, we have sometimes the greatest reason to admire, that the
human race has perpetuated itself, and that the Creator has wisely
planted a motive in the female breast, which stands the test of every
outrage, which makes them patient to suffer, and prevents their
withdrawing from the power of their tyrants." This indeed is one of
the most striking and important instances that can be adduced, of what
has been called final causes, the determinate choice of an end, and
the skilful adaptation of means to the accomplishment of it. A nation
of women, we may confidently say, is as much a chimera, as a nation of
two-headed men; and that individual has little acquaintance with
herself that knows not, there is an insuperable objection to so
anomalous an occurrence. With whatever abuses of authority, therefore,
the other sex may be chargeable, it is not to be denied, that they
assert their superiority on the ground of natural constitution, and
that they cannot be considered as usurpers. Admitting this, it is
important to enquire, what is the principle common to both, on which
their mutual welfare depends, and which is as certainly violated by
unfeeling rigour on one side, as by peevish rebellion on the other.
Several principles might be mentioned, claiming in part this
distinction, but none will answer all the conditions, except a right
sense of their entire and common dependence on the source of their
being and judge of their conduct, which is indeed the essence of
religion and morality. It is vain, in fact, to determine almost any
thing respecting such a creature as man, but by reasons of an eternal
nature, and referring to the laws of an invisible world. Every system
of an inferior kind, will be found inadequate in its application, and
unsatisfactory in its sanctions--calculated, it may be, to amuse the
philosopher in his closet, and attract the admiration of young and
inexperienced minds, but too weak to sustain the shock of human
passions, and too circumscribed to reach the heights of human hopes
and fears. The condition of women improves, undoubtedly, as a people
advances towards civilization; but there is a period in the process,
at which voluptuousness, more cruel than indifference, and often
maddened by jealousy, subjects her to greater degradation than her
original insignificance, and destroys all hope of her amelioration in
the tyranny of her own licentiousness. It is only where the principle
alluded to, is publicly recognised in the civil institutions of a
country, and conscientiously reverenced by the piety of its citizens,
that she attains the true dignity of her destiny in an equal
subordination, and vindicates the benevolence of the Deity in her
creation, by the increase of happiness she confers on her consort.
This cannot be looked for in a state of nature.--E.

[2] "These slings consisted of a slender round cord, no thicker than a
packthread, which had a tassel at one end, and a loop at the other end
and in the middle. The stones which they used were oblong, and pointed
at each end, being made of a soft and unctuous soap-rock
(_smectitis_), which could easily be rubbed into that shape. These
exactly fitted the loop in the middle of the sling, and were kept in a
wallet or pocket of coarse cloth, strongly woven, of a kind of grass,
which was tied on about the middle. Their shape gives them a striking
resemblance to the _glandes plumbeae_ of the Romans."--G.F.

[3] Unfortunately the severe effects of the noxious fish, so sparingly
partaken of, disabled the two Forsters from their favourite pursuits,
during the greater part of their residence at New Caledonia. The
result of their labours was, in consequence, very scanty, and,
according to the younger F.'s assertions, received little or no
encouragement from the friendly services of many of their fellow
voyagers. He has inveighed with no small asperity against the ignorant
selfishness and unprincipled hostility with which they had to contend.
These seem to have been of a flagrant appearance, and almost
systematic consistency. "If there had not been a few individuals,"
says he, "of a more liberal way of thinking, whose disinterested love
for the sciences comforted us from time to time, we should in all
probability have fallen victims to that malevolence, which even the
positive commands of Captain Cook were sometimes insufficient to keep
within bounds." However the reader may conjecture the existence of
certain personal causes which are here complained of, he cannot but
regret, that the interests of the expedition should in any manner have
suffered loss by the contention. But such things, he will say, are
incident to human nature, and have frequently taken place on even more
important occasions. This is very true, but gives no comfort.--E.

[4] Mr G.F. calls this deceptive amusement, "an innocent recreation,
which shewed them good-humoured, and not destitute of ingenuity!" He
agrees with Cook respecting the universal decency of these people,
which forms so striking a dissimilarity to the immodest conduct of the
other islanders met with in this voyage. The following remarks specify
other differences, and are worthy of being transcribed:--"It is easy
to be conceived, that the contrast between New Caledonia and the New
Hebrides, was very striking to us, who had so lately visited those
rich and fertile islands, where the vegetable kingdom glories in its
greatest perfection. The difference in the character of the people was
no less surprising. All the natives of the South-Sea islands,
excepting those only which Tasman found on Tonga-Tabboo and Annamocka,
(and those perhaps had been informed of what had passed between Le
Maire, and the natives of Horne, Cocos, and Traitor's island, some
years before,) made some attempt to drive away the strangers who came
to visit them. But the people of New Caledonia, at the first sight of
us, received us as friends; they ventured to come on board our ship,
without the least marks of fear or distrust, and suffered us to ramble
freely throughout their country as far as we pleased. As nature has
been so sparing here of her gifts, it is the more surprising that
instead of seeing the inhabitants savage, distrustful, and warlike, as
at Tanna, we should find them peaceable, well-disposed, and
unsuspicious. It is not less remarkable, that, in spite of the drought
which prevails in their country, and the scanty supply of vegetable
food, they should have attained to a greater size, and a more muscular
body. Perhaps, instead of placing the causes which effect disparity of
stature among various nations in the difference of food, this instance
ought to teach us to have retrospect likewise to the original races
from which those tribes are descended, that fell under our
examination. Let us, for instance, suppose, that the people of New
Caledonia are the offspring of a nation, who, by living in affluence
and in a genial climate, have not been stinted in their growth; the
colony which removed into the barren soil of New Caledonia, will
probably preserve the habit of body of their ancestors for many
generations. The people of Tanna may have undergone a contrary
revolution, and being descended of a slender and short race, like the
Mallicollese, the richness of their present country may not yet have
entirely taken effect. The inoffensive character of the people of New
Caledonia appears to great advantage in their conduct towards us. They
are the only people in the South Seas who have not had reason to
complain of our arrival among them. When we consider how easy it is to
provoke the mariner to sport with the lives of Indians, from the
numerous examples throughout this narrative, we must acknowledge that
it required an uncommon degree of good temper, not to draw upon
themselves a single act of brutality. Those philosophers who are of
opinion that the temper, the manners, and genius of a people, depend
entirely upon the climate, will be at a loss to account for the
peaceful character of the inhabitants of New Caledonia. If we admit
that they are only strangers to distrust, because they have little to
lose, we shall not solve the difficulty; since the people of New
Holland, under the influence of a similar climate and soil, and in a
more wretched situation than the inhabitants of New Caledonia, are
savage and unsociable. The different characters of nations seem
therefore to depend upon a multitude of different causes, which have
acted together during a series of many ages. The inhabitants of New
Caledonia do not owe their kind disposition to a total ignorance of
wars and disputes; the variety of their offensive weapons being alone
sufficient to put this matter out of doubt. By conversing with them we
learnt that they have enemies, and that the people of an island called
Mingha had a very different character from their own. Civilization is
much farther advanced in some respects among them, than with their
more opulent neighbours. That higher degree of culture, however, where
the understanding is sufficiently enlightened to remove the unjust
contempt shown to the fair sex, is unknown to them; their temper is
too grave to be captivated by female blandishments, or to set a proper
value upon the refined enjoyments of life. They are obliged to work
hard, at times, for the means of subsistence; but their leisure hours
are spent in indolence, without those little recreations which
contribute so much to the happiness of mankind, and diffuse a spirit
of chearfulness and vivacity throughout the Society and Friendly
Islands. Besides a sort of whistle, made of wood, about two inches
long, and shaped like a bell, having two holes at its base and one at
the upper end, we never saw a musical instrument among the people of
New Caledonia. Their dances and songs are equally unknown to us; and
what we observed during our short stay, gave us reason to suppose,
that even laughter is an uncommon guest among them."--G.F.

SECTION X.

_Proceedings on the Coast of New Caledonia, with Geographical and
Nautical Observations._

Everything being in readiness to put to sea, at sun-rise, on the 13th of
September, we weighed, and with a fine gale at E. by S., stood out for the
same channel we came in by. At half past seven we were in the middle of it.
Observatory Isle bore S. 5 deg. E., distant four miles, and the isle of Balabea
W.N.W. As soon as we were clear of the reef, we hauled the wind to the
starboard tack, with a view of plying in to the S.E.; but as Mr Gilbert was
of opinion that he had seen the end, or N.W. extremity of the land, and
that it would be easier to get round by the N.W., I gave over plying, and
bore up along the outside of the reef, steering N.N.W., N.W., and N.W. by
W., as it trended. At noon the island of Balabea bore S. by W., distant
thirteen miles; and what we judged to be the west end of the great land,
bore S.W. 1/2 S., and the direction of the reef was N.W. by W., latitude
observed 19 deg. 53' 20". Longitude from Observatory Isle 14' W. We continued
to steer N.W. by W. along the outside of the reef till three o'clock, at
which time the isle of Balabea bore S. by E. 1/2 E. In this direction we
observed a partition in the reef, which we judged to be a channel, by the
strong tide which set out of it. From this place the reef inclined to the
north for three or four leagues, and then to the N.W. We followed its
direction, and as we advanced to N.W., raised more land, which seemed to be
connected with what we had seen before; so that Mr Gilbert was mistaken,
and did not see the extremity of the coast. At five o'clock this land bore
W. by N. 1/2 N., distant twenty miles; but what we could see of the reef
trended in the direction of N.W. by N.

Having hauled the wind to the starboard tack, and spent the night plying,
on the 14th, at sun-rise, the island of Balabea bore S. 6 E., and the land
seen the preceding night W., but the reef still trended N.W., along which
we steered with a light breeze at E.S.E. At noon we observed in latitude
19 deg. 28', longitude from Observatory Isle 27' W. We had now no sight of
Balabea; and the other land, that is, the N.W. part of it, bore W. by S.
1/2 S., but we were not sure if this was one continued coast, or separate
islands. For though some partitions were seen, from space to space, which
made it look like the latter, a multitude of shoals rendered a nearer
approach to it exceedingly dangerous, if not impracticable. In the
afternoon, with a fine breeze at E.S.E., we ranged the outside of these
shoals, which we found to trend in the direction of N.W. by W., N.W. by N.,
and N.N.E. At three o'clock we passed a low sandy isle, lying on the outer
edge of the reef, in latitude 19 deg. 25', and in the direction of N.E. from
the north-westernmost land, six or seven leagues distant. So much as we
could see of this space was strewed with shoals, seemingly detached from
each other; and the channel leading in amongst them appeared to be on the
S.E. side of the sandy isle; at least, there was a space where the sea did
not break. At sun-set we could but just see the land, which bore S.W. by
S., about ten leagues distant. A clear horizon produced the discovery of no
land to the westward of this direction; the reef too trended away W. by N.
1/2 N., and seemed to terminate in a point which was seen from the mast-
head. Thus every thing conspired to make us believe that we should soon get
round these shoals; and with these flattering expectations we hauled the
wind, which was at E.N.E., and spent the night making short boards.

Next morning at sun-rise, seeing neither land nor breakers, we bore away
N.W. by W., and two hours after saw the reef extending N.W. farther than
the eye could reach; no land was to be seen. It was therefore probable that
we had passed its N.W. extremity; and, as we had seen from the hills of
Balade its extent to the S.W., it was necessary to know how far it extended
to the east or southeast, while it was in our power to recover the coast;
for, by following the direction of the shoals, we might have been carried
so far to leeward as not to be able to beat back without considerable loss
of time. We were already far out of sight of land; and there was no knowing
how much farther we might be carried, before we found an end to them. These
considerations, together with the risk we must run in exploring a sea
strewed with shoals, and where no anchorage, without them, is to be found,
induced me to abandon the design of proceeding round by the N.W., and to
ply up to the S.E, in which direction I knew there was a clear sea. With
this view we tacked and stood to the S.E., with the wind at N.E. by E., a
gentle breeze. At this time we were in the latitude of 19 deg. 7' S., longitude
163 deg. 57' E.

In standing to the S.E. we did but just weather the point of the reef we
had passed the preceding evening. To make our situation the more dangerous
the wind began to fail us; and at three in the afternoon it fell calm, and
left us to the mercy of a great swell, setting directly on the reef, which
was hardly a league from us. We sounded, but found no bottom with a line of
two hundred fathoms. I ordered the pinnace and cutter to be hoisted out to
tow the ship, but they were of little use against so great a swell. We,
however, found that the ship did not draw near the reef so fast as might be
expected; and at seven o'clock a light air at N.N.E. kept her head to the
sea, but it lasted no longer than midnight, when it was succeeded by a dead
calm.

At day-break on the 16th we had no sight of the reef; and at eleven, a
breeze springing up at S.S.W., we hoisted in the boats, and made sail to
S.E. At noon we observed in 19 deg. 35' S., which was considerably more to the
south than we expected, and shewed that a current or tide had been in our
favour all night, and accounted for our getting so unexpectedly clear of
the shoals. At two o'clock p.m. we had again a calm which lasted till nine,
when it was succeeded by a light air from E.N.E. and E., with which we
advanced but slowly.

On the 17th at noon, we observed in latitude 19 deg. 54', when the isle of
Balabea bore S. 68 deg. W., ten and a half leagues distant. We continued to
ply, with variable light winds, between N.E. and S.E., without meeting with
any thing remarkable till the 20th at noon, when Cape Colnett bore
N. 78 deg. W., distant six leagues. From this cape the land extended round by
the south to E.S.E. till it was lost in the horizon, and the country
appeared with many hills and vallies. Latitude observed 20 deg. 41', longitude
made from Observatory Isle 1 deg. 8' E. We stood in shore with a light breeze
at east till sun-set, when we were between two and three leagues off. The
coast extended from S. 42 deg. 1/2 E. to N. 59 deg. W. Two small islets lay without
this last direction, distant from us four or five miles; some others lay
between us and the shore, and to the east, where they seemed to be
connected by reefs, in which appeared some openings from space to space.
The country was mountainous, and had much the same aspect as about Balade.
On one of the western small isles was an elevation like a tower; and over a
low neck of land within the isle were seen many other elevations,
resembling the masts of a fleet of ships.

Next day at sun-rise, after having stood off all night with a light breeze
at S.E., we found ourselves about six leagues from the coast; and in this
situation we were kept by a calm till ten in the evening, when we got a
faint land-breeze at S.W., with which we steered S.E. all night.,

On the 22d at sun-rise the land was clouded, but it was not long before the
clouds went off, and we found, by our land-marks, that we had made a good
advance. At ten o'clock, the land-breeze being succeeded by a sea-breeze at
E. by S., this enabled us to stand in for the land, which at noon extended
from N. 78 deg. W. to S. 31 deg. 1/2 E., round by the S. In this last direction the
coast seemed to trend more to the south in a lofty promontory, which, on
account of the day, received the name of Cape Coronation. Latitude 22 deg. 2',
longitude 167 deg. 7' 1/2 E. Some breakers lay between us and the shore, and
probably they were connected with those we had seen before.

During the night, we had advanced about two leagues to the S.E.; and at
day-break on the 23d an elevated point appeared in sight beyond Cape
Coronation, bearing S. 23 deg. E. It proved to be the south-east extremity of
the coast, and obtained the name of Queen Charlotte's Foreland. Latitude
22 deg. 16' S., longitude 167 deg. 14' E. About noon, having got a breeze from the
N.E., we stood to S.S.E., and as we drew towards Cape Coronation, saw in a
valley to the south of it, a vast number of those elevated objects before-
mentioned; and some low land under the foreland was wholly covered with
them. We could not agree in our opinions of what they were. I supposed them
to be a singular sort of trees, being too numerous to resemble any thing
else; and a great deal of smoke kept rising all the day from amongst those
near the cape. Our philosophers were of opinion that this was the smoke of
some internal and perpetual fire. My representing to them that there was no
smoke here in the morning would have been of no avail, had not this eternal
fire gone out before night, and no more smoke been seen after. They were
still more positive that the elevations were pillars of basaltes, like
those which compose the Giant's Causeway in Ireland. At sun-set, the wind
veering round to the south, we tacked and stood off, it not being safe to
approach the shore in the dark. At day-break we stood in again, with a
faint land-breeze between E.S.E. and S.S.E. At noon observed, in latitude
21 deg. 59' 30", Cape Coronation being west southerly, distant seven leagues,
and the foreland S. 38 deg. W. As we advanced S.S.W. the coast beyond the
foreland began to appear in sight; and at sun-set we discovered a low
island lying S.S.E, about seven miles from the foreland. It was one of
those which are generally surrounded with shoals and breakers. At the same
time a round hill was seen bearing S. 24 deg. E, twelve leagues distant. During
night, having had variable light winds, we advanced but little either way.

On the 25th, about ten o'clock a.m., having got a fair breeze at E.S.E., we
stood to the S.S.W., in hopes of getting round the foreland; but, as we
drew near, we perceived more low isles, beyond the one already mentioned,
which at last appeared to be connected by breakers, extending towards the
foreland, and seeming to join the shore. We stood on till half past three
o'clock, when we saw, from the deck, rocks, just peeping above the surface
of the sea, on the shoal above-mentioned. It was now time to alter the
course, as the day was too far spent to look for a passage near the shore,
and we could find no bottom to anchor in during the night. We therefore
stood to the south to look for a passage without the small isles. We had a
fine breeze at E.S.E., but it lasted no longer than five o'clock, when it
fell to a dead calm. Having sounded, a line of 170 fathoms did not reach
the bottom, though we were but a little way from the shoals, which, instead
of following the coast to S.W., took a S.E. direction towards the hill we
had seen the preceding evening, and seemed to point out to us that it was
necessary to go round that land. At this time the most advanced point on
the main bore S. 68 deg. W., distant nine or ten leagues. About seven o'clock
we got a light breeze at north, which enabled us to steer out E.S.E., and
to spend the night with less anxiety. On some of the low isles were many of
those elevations already mentioned. Every one was now satisfied they were
trees, except our philosophers, who still maintained that they were
basaltes.[1]

About day-break on the 26th, the wind having shifted to S.S.W., we
stretched to S.E. for the hill before mentioned. It belonged to an island
which at noon extended from S. 16 deg. E. to S. 7 deg. W., distant six leagues.
Latitude observed 22 deg. 16' S. In the p.m. the wind freshened, and veering to
S.S.E., we stretched to the east, till two a.m., on the 27th, when we
tacked and stood to S.W., with hopes of weathering the island; but we fell
about two miles short of our expectations, and had to tack about a mile
from the east side of the island, the extremes bearing from N.W. by N. to
S.W., the hill W., and some low isles, lying off the S.E. point, S. by W.
These seemed to be connected with the large island by breakers. We sounded
when in stays, but had no ground with a line of eighty fathoms. The skirts
of this island were covered with the elevations more than once mentioned.
They had much the appearance of tall pines, which occasioned my giving that
name to the island. The round hill, which is on the S.W. side, is of such a
height as to be seen fourteen or sixteen leagues. The island is about a
mile in circuit, and situated in latitude 22 deg. 38' S., longitude 167 deg. 40' E.
Having made two attempts to weather the Isle of Pines before sun-set, with
no better success, than before, this determined me to stretch off till
midnight. This day at noon the thermometer was at 68 deg. 3/4 which is lower
than it had been since the 27th of February.

Having tacked at midnight, assisted by the currents and a fresh gale at E.
S.E. and S.E., next morning at day-break we found ourselves several leagues
to windward of the Isle of Pines, and bore away large, round the S.E. and
S. sides. The coast from the S.E., round by the S. to the W., was strewed
with sand-banks, breakers, and small low isles, most of which were covered
with the same lofty trees that ornamented the borders of the greater one.
We continued to range the outside of these small isles and breakers, at
three-fourths of a league distance, and as we passed one, raised another,
so that they seemed to form a chain extending to the isles which lie off
the foreland. At noon we observed, in latitude 22 deg. 44' 36" S. the Isle of
Pines extending from N by E 1/2 E. to E. by N.; and Cape Coronation N. 32 deg.
30' W distant seventeen leagues. In the afternoon, with a fine gale at
east, we steered N.W. by W., along the outside of the shoals, with a view
of falling in with the land a little to S.W. of the foreland. At two
o'clock p.m. two low islets were seen bearing W. by S., and as they were
connected by breakers, which seemed to join those on our starboard, this
discovery made it necessary to haul off S.W., in order to get clear of them
all. At three, more breakers appeared, extending from the low isles towards
the S.E. We now hauled out close to the wind, and, in an hour and a half,
were almost on board the breakers, and obliged to tack. From the mast-head
they were seen to extend as far as E.S.E., and the smoothness of the sea
made it probable that they extended to the north of east, and that we were
in a manner surrounded by them. At this time the hill on the Isle of Pines
bore N. 71 1/2 E., the foreland N. 1/4 W., and the most advanced point of
land on the S.W. coast bore N.W., distant fifteen or sixteen leagues. This
direction of the S.W. coast, which was rather within the parallel of the
N.E., assured us that this land extended no farther to the S.W. After
making a short trip to N.N.E., we stood again to the south, in expectation
of having a better view of the shoals before sun-set. We gained nothing by
this but the prospect of a sea strewed with shoals, which we could not
clear but by returning in the track by which we came. We tacked nearly in
the same place where we had tacked before, and on sounding found a bottom
of fine sand. But anchoring in a strong gale, with a chain of breakers to
leeward, being the last resource, I rather chose to spend the night in
making short boards over that space we had, in some measure, made ourselves
acquainted with in the day: And thus it was spent, but under the terrible
apprehension, every moment, of falling on some of the many dangers which
surrounded us.

Day-light shewed that our fears were not ill-founded, and that we had been
in the most imminent danger; having had breakers continually under our lee,
and at a very little distance from us. We owed our safety to the
interposition of Providence, a good look-out, and the very brisk manner in
which the ship was managed; for, as we were standing to the north, the
people on the lee-gangway and forecastle saw breakers under the lee-bow,
which we escaped by quickly tacking the ship.

I was now almost tired of a coast which I could no longer explore, but at
the risk of losing the ship, and ruining the whole voyage. I was, however,
determined not to leave it, till I knew what trees those were which had
been the subject of our speculation; especially as they appeared to be of a
sort useful to shipping, and had not been seen any where but in the
southern part of this land. With this view, after making a trip to the
south, to weather the shoals under our lee, we stood to the north, in hopes
of finding anchorage under some of the islets on which these trees grow. We
were stopped by eight o'clock by the shoals which lie extended between the
Isle of Pines and Queen Charlotte's Foreland; and found soundings off them
in fifty-five, forty, and thirty-six fathoms, a fine sandy bottom. The
nearer we came to these shoals, the more we saw of them, and we were not
able to say if there was any passage between the two lands.

Being now but a few miles to windward of the low isles lying off the
Foreland, mentioned on the 25th and 26th, I bore down to the one next to
us. As we drew near it, I perceived that it was unconnected with the
neighbouring shoals, and that it is probable we might get to an anchor
under its lee or west side. We therefore stood on, being conducted by an
officer at the mast-head; and after hauling round the point of the reef
which surrounds the isle, we attempted to ply to windward, in order to get
nearer the shore. Another reef to the north confined us to a narrow
channel, through which ran a current against us, that rendered this attempt
fruitless; so that we were obliged to anchor in thirty-nine fathoms water,
the bottom fine coral sand; the isle bearing W. by N. one mile distant. As
soon as this was done, we hoisted out a boat, in which I went on ashore,
accompanied by the botanists. We found the tall trees to be a kind of
spruce pine, very proper for spars, of which we were in want. After making
this discovery, I hastened on board in order to have more time after
dinner, when I landed again with two boats, accompanied by several of the
officers and gentlemen, having with us the carpenter and some of his crew,
to cut down such trees as were wanting. While this was doing I took the
bearings of several lands round. The hill on the Isle of Pines bore
S. 59 30' E; the low point of Queen Charlotte's Foreland N. 14 deg. 30' W.; the
high land over it, seen over two low isles, N. 20 deg. W.; and the most
advanced point of land to the west, bore west, half a point south, distant
six or seven leagues. We had, from several bearings, ascertained the true
direction of the coast from the foreland to this point, which I shall
distinguish by the name of Prince of Wales's Foreland. It is situated in
the latitude of 22 deg. 29' S., longitude 166 deg. 57' E., is of considerable
height, and, when it first appears above the horizon, looks like an island.
From this cape, the coast trended nearly N.W. This was rather too northerly
a direction to join that part which we saw from the hills of Balade. But as
it was very high land which opened off the cape in that direction, it is
very probable that lower land, which we could not see, opened sooner; or
else the coast more to the N.W. takes a more westerly direction, in the
same manner as the N.E. coast. Be this as it may, we pretty well know the
extent of the land, by having it confined within certain limits. However, I
still entertained hopes of seeing more of it, but was disappointed.

The little isle upon which we landed, is a mere sandbank, not exceeding
three-fourths of a mile in circuit, and on it, besides these pines, grew
the Etoa-tree of Otaheite, and a variety of other trees, shrubs, and
plants. These gave sufficient employment to our botanists, all the time we
stayed upon it, and occasioned my calling it Botany Isle. On it were
several water-snakes, some pigeons, and doves, seemingly different from any
we had seen. One of the officers shot a hawk, which proved to be of the
very same sort as our English fishing-hawks. Several fire-places, branches,
and leaves very little decayed, remains of turtle, &c. shewed that people
had lately been on the isle. The hull of a canoe, precisely of the same
shape as those we had seen at Balade, lay wrecked in the sand. We were now
no longer at a loss to know of what trees they make their canoes, as they
can be no other than these pines. On this little isle were some which
measured twenty inches diameter, and between sixty and seventy feet in
length, and would have done very well for a foremast to the Resolution, had
one been wanting. Since trees of this size are to be found on so small a
spot, it is reasonable to expect to find some much larger on the main, and
larger isles; and, if appearances did not deceive us, we can assert it.

If I except New Zealand, I, at this time, knew of no island in the South
Pacific Ocean, where a ship could supply herself with a mast or yard, were
she ever so much distressed for want of one. Thus far the discovery is or
may be valuable. My carpenter, who was a mast-maker as well as a ship-
wright, two trades he learnt in Deptford-yard, was of opinion that these
trees would make exceedingly good masts. The wood is white, close-grained,
tough, and light. Turpentine had exuded out of most of the trees, and the
sun had inspissated it into a rosin, which was found sticking to the
trunks, and lying about the roots. These trees shoot out their branches
like all other pines; with this difference, that the branches of these are
much smaller and shorter; so that the knots become nothing when the tree is
wrought for use. I took notice, that the largest of them had the smallest
and shortest branches, and were crowned, as it were, at the top, by a
spreading branch like a bush. This was what led some on board into the
extravagant notion of their being basaltes: Indeed no one could think of
finding such trees here. The seeds are produced in cones; but we could find
none that had any in them, or that were in a proper state for vegetation or
botanical examination. Besides these, there was another tree or shrub of
the spruce-fir kind, but it was very small. We also found on the isle a
sort of scurvy-grass, and a plant, called by us Lamb's Quarters, which,
when boiled, eat like spinnage.

Having got ten or twelve small spars to make studding-sail booms, boat-
masts, &c., and night approaching, we returned with them on board.

The purpose for which I anchored under this isle being answered, I was now
to consider what was next to be done. We had from the top-mast-head taken a
view of the sea around us, and observed the whole, to the west, to be
strewed with small islets, sand-banks, and breakers, to the utmost extent
of our horizon. They seemed indeed not to be all connected, and to be
divided by winding channels. But when I considered that the extent of this
S.W. coast was already pretty well determined, the great risk attending a
more accurate survey, and the time it would require to accomplish it, on
account of the many dangers we should have to encounter, I determined not
to hazard the ship down to leeward, where we might be so hemmed in as to
find it difficult to return, and by that means lose the proper season for
getting to the south. I now wished to have had the little vessel set up,
the frame of which we had on board. I had some thoughts of doing this, when
we were last at Otaheite, but found it could not be executed, without
neglecting the caulking and other necessary repairs of the ship, or staying
longer there than the route I had in view would admit. It was now too late
to begin setting her up, and then to use her in exploring this coast; and
in our voyage to the south, she could be of no service. These reasons
induced me to try to get without the shoals; that is, to the southward of
them.[2]

Next morning at day-break, we got under sail with a light breeze at E. by
N. We had to make some trips to weather the shoals to leeward of Botany
Isle; but when this was done the breeze began to fail; and at three p.m. it
fell calm. The swell, assisted by the current, set us fast to S.W. towards
the breakers, which were yet in sight in that direction. Thus we continued
till ten o'clock, at which time a breeze springing up at N.N.W. we steered
E.S.E.; the contrary course we had come in; not daring to steer farther
south till daylight.

At three o'clock next morning, the wind veered to S.W., blew hard, and in
squalls, attended with rain, which made it necessary to proceed with our
courses up and top-sails on the cap, till day-break, when the hill on the
Isle of Pines bore north; and our distance from the shore in that direction
was about four leagues. We had now a very strong wind at S.S.W. attended by
a great sea; so that we had reason to rejoice at having got clear of the
shoals before this gale overtook us. Though every thing conspired to make
me think this was the westerly monsoon, it can hardly be comprehended under
that name, for several reasons; first, because it was near a month too soon
for these winds; secondly, because we know not if they reach this place at
all; and lastly, because it is very common for westerly winds to blow
within the tropics. However, I never found them to blow so hard before, or
so far southerly. Be these things as they may, we had now no other choice
but to stretch to S.E., which we accordingly did with our starboard tacks
aboard; and at noon we were out of sight of land.

The gale continued with very little alteration till noon next day; at which
time we observed in latitude 23 deg. 18', longitude made from the Isle of Pines
1 deg. 54' E. In the afternoon we had little wind from the south, and a great
swell from the same direction: And many boobies, tropic, and men-of-war
birds were seen. At eleven o'clock a fresh breeze sprung up at W. by S.,
with which we stood to the south. At this time we were in the latitude of
23 deg. 18', longitude 169 deg. 49' E., and about forty-two leagues south of the
Hebrides.

At eight o'clock in the morning, on the third, the wind veered to S.W. and
blew a strong gale by squalls, attended with rain. I now gave over all
thought of returning to the land we had left. Indeed, when I considered the
vast ocean we had to explore to the south; the state and condition of the
ship, already in want of some necessary stores; that summer was approaching
fast, and that any considerable accident might detain us in this sea
another year; I did not think it advisable to attempt to regain the land.

Thus I was obliged, as it were by necessity, for the first time, to leave a
coast I had discovered, before it was fully explored.--I called it New
Caledonia; and, if we except New Zealand, it is perhaps the largest island
in the South Pacific Ocean. For it extends from the latitude of 19 deg. 37', to
22 deg. 30', S., and from the longitude of 163 deg. 37' to 167 deg. 14' E. It lies
nearly N.W. 1/2 W., and S.E. 1 E., and is about eighty-seven leagues long
in that direction; but its breadth is not considerable, not any where
exceeding ten leagues. It is a country full of hills and valleys; of
various extent both for height and depth. To judge of the whole by the
parts we were on, from these hills spring vast numbers of little rivulets,
which greatly contribute to fertilize the plains, and to supply all the
wants of the inhabitants. The summits of most of the hills seem to be
barren; though some few are cloathed with wood; as are all the plains and
valleys. By reason of these hills, many parts of the coast, when at a
distance from it, appeared indented, or to have great inlets between the
hills; but, when we came near the shore, we always found such places shut
up with low land, and also observed low land to lie along the coast between
the seashore and the foot of the hills. As this was the case in all such
parts as we came near enough to see, it is reasonable to suppose that the
whole coast is so. I am likewise of opinion, that the whole, or greatest
part, is surrounded by reefs or shoals, which render the access to it very
dangerous, but at the same time guard the coast from the violence of the
wind and sea; make it abound with fish, secure an easy and safe navigation
along it, for canoes, &c.; and, most likely, form some good harbours for
shipping. Most, if not every part of the coast, is inhabited, the Isle of
Pines not excepted; for we saw either smoke by day, or fires by night,
wherever we came. In the extent which I have given to this island, is
included the broken or unconnected lands to the N.W. That they may be
connected; I shall not pretend to deny; we were, however, of opinion that
they were isles, and that New Caledonia terminated more to S.E.; though
this at most is but a well-founded conjecture.

But whether these lands be separate isles, or connected with New Caledonia,
it is by no means certain that we saw their termination to the west. I
think we did not; as the shoals did not end with the land we saw, but kept
their N.W. direction farther than Bougainville's track in the latitude of
15 deg. or 15 deg. 1/2. Nay, it seems not improbable, that a chain of isles, sand-
banks, and reefs, may extend to the west, as far as the coast of New South
Wales. The eastern extent of the isles and shoals off that coast, between
the latitude of 15 deg. and 23', were not known. The resemblance of the two
countries; Bougainville's meeting with the shoal of Diana above sixty
leagues from the coast; and the signs he had of land to the S.E.; all tend
to increase the probability. I must confess that it is carrying probability
and conjecture a little too far, to say what may lie in a space of two
hundred leagues; but it is in some measure necessary, were it only to put
some future navigator on his guard.

Mr Wales determined the longitude of that part of New Caledonia we
explored, by ninety-six sets of observations, which were reduced to one
another by our trusty guide the watch. I found the variation of the compass
to be 10 deg. 24' E. This is the mean variation given by the three azimuth
compasses we had on board, which would differ from each other a degree and
a half, and sometimes more. I did not observe any difference in the
variation between the N.W. and S.E. parts of this land, except when we were
at anchor before Balade, where it was less than 10 deg.; but this I did not
regard, as I found such an uniformity out at sea; and it is there where
navigators want to know the variation. While we were on the N.E. coast, I
thought the currents set to S.E. and W. or N.W. on the other side; but they
are by no means considerable, and may, as probably, be channels of tides,
as regular currents. In the narrow channels which divide the shoals, and
those which communicate with the sea, the tides run strong; but their rise
and fall are inconsiderable, not exceeding three feet and a half. The time
of high-water, at the full and change, at Balade, is about six o'clock; but
at Botany Isle we judged it would happen about ten or eleven o'clock.

[1] Mr G.F. very plainly avows his conviction that they were trees,
which on a prodigious tall stem had short and slender branches, not
discernible at a distance. Captain Cook, it is very evident, uses the
language of banter, not quite consistent with either the dignity of
his own character, or the respect due to even the mistaken opinion of
men of science.--E.

[2] "We were becalmed in the evening among the reefs, which surrounded
us on all sides, and made our situation dangerous, on account of the
tides and currents, as well as for want of anchoring-ground, having
sounded in vain with a line of 150 fathoms. At half past seven o'clock
we saw a ball of fire to the northward, in size and splendour
resembling the sun, though somewhat paler. It burst a few moments
after, and left behind it several bright sparks, of which the largest,
of an oblong shape, moved quickly out of our horizon, whilst a kind of
bluish flame followed, and marked its course. Some heard a hissing
noise, which accompanied the swift descent of this meteor. Our
shipmates expected a fresh gale after its appearance; having
frequently observed the same to ensue upon similar occasions. And in
fact, whatever may be the relation between this phenomenon, and the
motion of the atmosphere, or whether it was accident, their
predictions were verified the same night, when a brisk gale sprung up,
which settled at south."--G.F.

If the opinion of some philosophers as to the origin of these fire-
balls, be correct, viz. that they are produced by the combination of
animal or vegetable products suspended in the atmosphere, it is easy
to understand, how, the equilibrium of the atmosphere being destroyed
by the condensation, if one may so call it, of a large part of its
constituent principles, those meteors should be followed by
considerable gales or storms. Perhaps, indeed, this opinion best
explains all the circumstances of this phenomenon, and especially the
occurrence so constantly observed of such agitation. The subject,
however, is still involved in a good deal of difficulty, from which a
long and very accurate course of examination is requisite to deliver
it. Much has been effected in this respect, since the publication of
Forster's work; and there is no reason to doubt, that the application
of an improved chemistry to a careful comparison of all the authentic
relations of such phenomena, will issue in a satisfactory
solution.--E.

SECTION XI.

_Sequel of the Passage from New Caledonia to New Zealand, with an Account
of the Discovery of Norfolk Island; and the Incidents that happened while
the Ship lay in Queen Charlotte's Sound._

The wind continuing at S.W., W.S.W., and W., blowing a fresh gale, and now
and then squalls, with showers of rain, we steered to S.S.E, without
meeting with any remarkable occurrence till near noon on the 6th, when it
fell calm. At this time we were in the latitude of 27 deg. 50' S., longitude
171 deg. 43' E. The calm continued till noon the next day, during which time we
observed the variation to be 10 deg. 33' E. I now ordered the carpenters to
work to caulk the decks. As we had neither pitch, tar, nor rosin, left to
pay the seams, this was done with varnish of pine, and afterwards covered
with coral sand, which made a cement far exceeding my expectation. In the
afternoon, we had a boat in the water, and shot two albatrosses, which were
geese to us. We had seen one of this kind of birds the day before, which
was the first we observed since we had been within the tropic. On the 7th,
at one p.m. a breeze sprung up at south; soon after it veered to, and fixed
at S.E. by S., and blew a gentle gale, attended with pleasant weather.

We stretched to W.S.W., and next day at noon were in the latitude of 28 deg.
25', longitude 170 deg. 26' E. In the evening, Mr Cooper haying struck a
porpoise with a harpoon, it was necessary to bring-to, and have two boats
out, before we could kill it, and get it on board. It was six feet long; a
female of that kind, which naturalists call dolphin of the ancients, and
which differs from the other kind of porpoise in the head and jaw, having
them long and pointed. This had eighty-eight teeth in each jaw. The haslet
and lean flesh were to us a feast. The latter was a little liverish, but
had not the least fishy taste. It was eaten roasted, broiled, and fried,
first soaking it in warm water. Indeed, little art was wanting to make any
thing fresh, palatable to those who had been living so long on salt
meat.[1]

We continued to stretch to W.S.W. till the 10th, when at day-break we
discovered land, bearing S.W., which on a nearer approach we found to be an
island of good height, and five leagues in circuit. I named it Norfolk
Isle, in honour of the noble family of Howard. It is situated in the
latitude of 29 deg. 2' 30" S. and longitude 168 deg. 16' E. The latter was
determined by lunar observations made on this, the preceding, and following
days; and the former by a good observation at noon, when we were about
three miles from the isle. Soon after we discovered the isle, we sounded in
twenty-two fathoms on a bank of coral sand; after this we continued to
sound, and found not less than twenty-two; or more than twenty-four fathoms
(except near the shore), and the same bottom mixed with broken shells.
After dinner a party of us embarked in two boats, and landed on the island,
without any difficulty, behind some large rocks, which lined part of the
coast on the N.E. side.

We found it uninhabited, and were undoubtedly the first that ever set foot
on it. We observed many trees and plants common at New Zealand; and, in
particular, the flax-plant, which is rather more luxuriant here than in any
part of that country; but the chief produce is a sort of spruce-pine, which
grows in great abundance, and to a large size, many of the trees being as
thick, breast high, as two men could fathom, and exceedingly straight and
tall. This pine is a sort between that which grows in New Zealand, and that
in New Caledonia; the foliage differing something from both, and the wood
not so heavy as the former, nor so light and close-grained as the latter.
It is a good deal like the Quebec pine. For about two hundred yards from
the shore, the ground is covered so thick with shrubs and plants, as hardly
to be penetrated farther inland. The woods were perfectly clear and free
from underwood, and the soil seemed rich and deep.

We found the same kind of pigeons, parrots, and parroquets as in New
Zealand, rails, and some small birds. The sea-fowl are, white boobies,
gulls, tern, &c. which breed undisturbed on the shores, and in the cliffs
of the rocks.

On the isle is fresh water; and cabbage-palm, wood-sorrel, sow-thistle, and
samphire, abounding in some places on the shore, we brought on board as
much of each sort as the time we had to gather them would admit. These
cabbage-trees or palms were not thicker than a man's leg, and from ten to
twenty feet high. They are of the same genus with the cocoa-nut tree; like
it they have large pinnated leaves, and are the same as the second sort
found in the northern parts of New South Wales. The cabbage is, properly
speaking, the bud of the tree; each tree producing but one cabbage, which
is at the crown, where the leaves spring out, and is inclosed in the stem.
The cutting off the cabbage effectually destroys the tree; so that no more
than one can be had from the same stem. The cocoa-nut tree, and some others
of the palm kind, produce cabbage as well as these. This vegetable is not
only wholesome, but exceedingly palatable, and proved the most agreeable
repast we had for some time.

The coast does not want fish. While we were on shore, the people in the
boats caught some which were excellent. I judged that it was high water at
the full and change, about one o'clock; and that the tide rises and falls
upon a perpendicular about four or five feet.

The approach of night brought us all on board, when we hoisted in the
boats, and stretched to E.N.E. (with the wind at S.E.) till midnight, when
we tacked, and spent the remainder of the night making short boards.

Next morning at sun-rise, we made sail, stretching to S.S.W., and weathered
the island; on the south side of which lie two isles, that serve as
roosting and breeding-places for birds. On this, as also on the S.E. side,
is a sandy beach; whereas most of the other shores are bounded by rocky
cliffs, which have twenty and eighteen fathoms water close to them: At
least so we found it on the N.E. side, and with good anchorage. A bank of
coral sand, mixed with shells, on which we found from nineteen to thirty-
five or forty fathoms water, surrounds the isle, and extends, especially to
the south, seven leagues off. The morning we discovered the island, the
variation was found to be 13 deg. 9' E.; but I think this observation gave too
much, as others which we had, both before and after, gave 2 deg. less.[2]

After leaving Norfolk Isle, I steered for New Zealand, my intention being
to touch at Queen Charlotte's Sound, to refresh my crew, and put the ship
in a condition to encounter the southern latitudes.

On the 17th, at day-break, we saw Mount Egmont, which was covered with
everlasting snow, bearing S.E. 1/2 E. Our distance from the shore was about
eight leagues, and, on sounding, we found seventy fathoms water, a muddy
bottom. The wind soon fixed in the western board, and blew a fresh gale,
with which we steered S.S.E. for Queen Charlotte's Sound, with a view of
falling in with Cape Stephens. At noon Cape Egmont bore E.N.E. distant
three or four leagues; and though the mount was hid in the clouds, we
judged it to be in the same direction as the Cape; latitude observed 39 deg.
24'. The wind increased in such a manner as to oblige us to close-reef our
top-sails, and strike top-gallant yards. At last we could bear no more sail
than the two courses, and two close-reefed top-sails; and under them we
stretched for Cape Stephens, which we made at eleven o'clock at night.

At midnight we tacked and made a trip to the north till three o'clock next
morning, when we bore away for the sound. At nine we hauled round Point
Jackson through a sea which looked terrible, occasioned by a rapid tide,
and a high wind; but as we knew the coast, it did not alarm us. At eleven
o'clock we anchored before Ship Cove; the strong flurries from off the land
not permitting us to get in.

In the afternoon, as we could not move the ship, I went into the Cove, with
the seine, to try to catch some fish. The first thing I did after landing,
was to look for the bottle I left hid when last there, in which was the
memorandum. It was taken away, but by whom it did not appear. Two hauls
with the seine producing only four small fish, we, in some measure, made up
for this deficiency, by shooting several birds, which the flowers in the
garden had drawn thither, as also some old shags, and by robbing the nests
of some young ones.

Being little wind next morning, we weighed and warped the ship into the
Cove, and there moored with the two bowers. We unbent the sails to repair
them; several having been split, and otherwise damaged in the late gale.
The main and fore courses, already worn to the very utmost, were condemned
as useless. I ordered the top-masts to be struck and unrigged, in order to
fix to them moveable chocks or knees, for want of which the trestle-trees
were continually breaking; the forge to be set up, to make bolts and repair
our iron-work; and tents to be erected on shore for the reception of a
guard, coopers, sail-makers, &c. I likewise gave orders that vegetables (of
which there were plenty) should be boiled every morning with oatmeal and
portable broth for breakfast, and with pease and broth every day for dinner
for the whole crew, over and above their usual allowance of salt meat.

In the afternoon, as Mr Wales was setting up his observatory, he discovered
that several trees, which were standing when we last sailed from this
place, had been cut down with saws and axes; and a few days after, the
place where an observatory, clock, &c. had been set up, was also found, in
a spot different from that where Mr Wales had placed his. It was,
therefore, now no longer to be doubted, that the Adventure had been in this
cove after we had left it.

Next day, wind southerly; hazy clouded weather. Every body went to work at
their respective employments, one of which was to caulk the ship's sides, a
thing much wanted. The seams were paid with putty, made with cook's fat and
chalk; the gunner happening to have a quantity of the latter on board.

The 21st, wind southerly, with continual rains.

The weather being fair in the afternoon of the 22d, accompanied by the
botanists, I visited our gardens on Motuara, which we found almost in a
state of nature, having been wholly neglected by the inhabitants.
Nevertheless, many articles were in a flourishing condition, and shewed how
well they liked the soil in which they were planted. None of the natives
having yet made their appearance, we made a fire on the point of the
island, in hopes, if they saw the smoke, they might be induced to come to
us.

Nothing remarkable happened till the 24th, when, in the morning, two canoes
were seen coming down the sound; but as soon as they perceived the ship,
they retired behind a point on the west side. After breakfast I went in a
boat to look for them; and as we proceeded along the shore, we shot several
birds. The report of the muskets gave notice of our approach, and the
natives discovered themselves in Shag Cove by hallooing to us; but as we
drew near to their habitations, they all fled to the woods, except two or
three men, who stood on a rising ground near the shore, with their arms in
their hands. The moment we landed, they knew us. Joy then took place of
fear; and the rest of the natives hurried out of the woods, and embraced us
over and over again; leaping and skipping about like madmen, but I observed
that they would not suffer some women, whom we saw at a distance, to come
near us. After we had made them presents of hatchets, knives, and what else
we had with us, they gave us in return a large quantity of fish, which they
had just caught. There were only a few amongst them whose faces we could
recognise, and on our asking why they were afraid of us, and enquiring for
some of our old acquaintances by name, they talked much about killing,
which was so variously understood by us, that we could gather nothing from
it, so that, after a short stay, we took leave, and went on board.[3]

Next morning early, our friends, according to a promise they had made us
the preceding evening, paying us a visit, brought with them a quantity of
fine fish, which they exchanged for Otaheitean cloth, &c. and then returned
to their habitations.

On the 26th, we got into the after-hold four boat-load of shingle ballast,
and struck down six guns, keeping only six on deck. Our good friends the
natives, having brought us a plentiful supply of fish, afterwards went on
shore to the tents, and informed our people there, that a ship like ours
had been lately lost in the strait; that some of the people got on shore;
and that the natives stole their clothes, &c. for which several were shot;
and afterwards, when they could fire no longer, the natives having got the
better, killed them with their patapatoos, and eat them, but that they
themselves had no hand in the affair, which, they said, happened at Vanna
Aroa, near Terrawhitte, on the other side of the strait. One man said it
was two moons ago: But another contradicted him, and counted on his fingers
about twenty or thirty days. They described by actions how the ship was
beat to pieces by going up and down against the rocks, till at last it was
all scattered abroad.

The next day some others told the same story, or nearly to the same
purport, and pointed over the east bay, which is on the east side of the
sound, as to the place where it happened. These stories making me very
uneasy about the Adventure, I desired Mr Wales, and those on shore, to let
me know if any of the natives should mention it again, or to send them to
me; for I had not heard any thing from them myself. When Mr Wales came on
board to dinner he found the very people who had told him the story on
shore, and pointed them out to me. I enquired about the affair, and
endeavoured to come at the truth by every method I could think of. All I
could get from them was, "Caurey," (no); and they not only denied every
syllable of what they had said on shore, but seemed wholly ignorant of the
matter; so that I began to think our people had misunderstood them, and
that the story referred to some of their own people and boats.[4]

On the 28th, fresh gales westerly, and fair weather. We rigged and fitted
the top-masts. Having gone on a shooting-party to West Bay, we went to the
place where I left the hogs and fowls; but saw no vestiges of them, nor of
any body having been there since. In our return, having visited the
natives, we got some fish in exchange for trifles which we gave them. As we
were coming away, Mr Forster thought be heard the squeaking of a pig in the
woods, close by their habitations; probably they may have those I left with
them when last here. In the evening we got on board, with about a dozen and
a half of wild fowl, shags, and sea-pies. The sportsmen who had been out in
the woods near the ship were more successful among the small birds.

On the 29th and 30th nothing remarkable happened, except that in the
evening of the latter all the natives left us.

The 31st being a fine pleasant day, our botanists went over to Long Island,
where one of the party saw a large black boar. As it was described to me, I
thought it might be one of those which Captain Furneaux left behind, and
had been brought over to this isle by those who had it in keeping. Since
they did not destroy those hogs when first in their possession, we cannot
suppose they will do it now; so that there is little fear but that this
country will in time be stocked with these animals, both in a wild and
domestic state.

Next day we were visited by a number of strangers who came up from the
sound, and brought with them but little fish. Their chief commodity was
green stone or talc, an article which never came to a bad market; and some
of the largest pieces of it I had ever seen were got this day.

On the 2d I went over to the east side of the sound, and, without meeting
any thing remarkable, returned on board in the evening, when I learnt that
the same people who visited us the preceding day, had been on board most of
this, with their usual article of trade.

On the 3d, Mr Pickersgill met with some of the natives, who related to him
the story of a ship being lost, and the people being killed; but added,
with great earnestness, it was not done by them.

On the 4th, fine pleasant weather. Most of the natives now retired up the
sound. Indeed, I had taken every gentle method, to oblige them to be gone,
for since these newcomers had been with us, our old friends had
disappeared, and we had been without fish. Having gone over to Long Island,
to look for the hog which had been seen there, I found it to be one of the
sows left by Captain Furneaux; the same that was in the possession of the
natives when we were last here. From the supposition of its being a boar, I
had carried over a sow to leave with him; but on seeing my mistake, brought
her back, as the leaving her there would answer no end.

Early in the morning of the 5th, our old friends made us a visit, and
brought a seasonable supply of fish. At the same time I embarked in the
pinnace, with Messrs Forsters and Sparrman, in order to proceed up the
sound. I was desirous of finding the termination of it; or rather of seeing
if I could find any passage out to sea by the S.E., as I suspected from
some discoveries I had made when first here. In our way up, we met with
some fishers, of whom we made the necessary enquiry; and they all agreed
that there was no passage to the sea by the head of the sound. As we
proceeded, we, some time after, met a canoe conducted by four men coming
down the sound. These confirmed what the others had said, in regard to
there being no passage to the sea the way we were going; but gave us to
understand that there was one to the east, in the very place where I
expected to find it. I now laid aside the scheme of going to the head of
the sound, and proceeded to this arm, which is on the S.E. side, about four
or five leagues above the isle of Motuara.

A little within the entrance on the S.E. side, at a place called
Kotieghenooee, we found a large settlement of the natives., The chief,
whose name was Tringo-boohee, and his people, whom we found to be some of
those who had lately been on board the ship, received us with great
courtesy. They seemed to be pretty numerous both here and in the
neighbourhood. Our stay with them was short, as the information they gave
us encouraged us to pursue the object we had in view.[5] Accordingly, we
proceeded down the arm E.N.E. and E. by N., leaving several fine coves on
both sides, and at last found it to open into the strait by a channel about
a mile wide, in which ran out a strong tide; having also observed one
setting down the arm, all the time we had been in it. It was now about four
o'clock in the afternoon, and in less than an hour after, this tide ceased,
and was succeeded by the flood, which came in with equal strength.

The outlet lies S.E. by E. and N.W. by W. and nearly in the direction of
E.S.E. and W.N.W. from Cape Terrawhitte. We found thirteen fathoms water a
little within the entrance, clear ground. It seemed to me that a leading
wind was necessary to go in and out of this passage, on account of the
rapidity of the tides. I, however, had but little time to make observations
of this nature, as night was at hand, and I had resolved to return on
board. On that account I omitted visiting a large _hippa_, or strong-
hold, built on an elevation on the north side, and about a mile or two
within the entrance, The inhabitants of it, by signs, invited us to go to
them; but, without paying any regard to them, we proceeded directly for the
ship, which we reached by ten o'clock, bringing with us some fish we had
got from the natives, and a few birds we had shot. Amongst the latter were
some of the same kinds of ducks we found in Dusky Bay, and we have reason
to believe that they are all to be met with here. For the natives knew them
all by the drawings, and had a particular name for each.

On the 6th, wind at N.E., gloomy weather with rain. Our old friends having
taken up their abode near us, one of them, whose name was Pedero, (a man of
some note,) made me a present of a staff of honour, such as the chiefs
generally carry. In return, I dressed him in a suit of old clothes, of
which he was not a little proud. He had a fine person, and a good presence,
and nothing but his colour distinguished him from an European. Having got
him, and another, into a communicative mood, we began to enquire of them if
the Adventure had been there during my absence; and they gave us to
understand, in a manner which admitted of no doubt, that, soon after we
were gone, she arrived; that she staid between ten and twenty days, and had
been gone ten months. They likewise asserted that neither she, nor any
other ship, had been stranded on the coast, as had been reported. This
assertion, and the manner in which they related the coming and going of the
Adventure, made me easy about her; but did not wholly set aside our
suspicions of a disaster having happened to some other strangers. Besides
what has been already related, we had been told that a ship had lately been
here, and was gone to a place called Terato, which is on the north side of
the strait. Whether this story related to the former or no, I cannot say.
Whenever I questioned the natives about it, they always denied all
knowledge of it, and for some time past, had avoided mentioning it. It was
but a few days before, that one man received a box on the ear for naming it
to some of our people.

After breakfast I took a number of hands over to Long Island, in order to
catch the sow, to put her to the boar and remove her to some other place;
but we returned without seeing her. Some of the natives had been there not
long before us, as their fires were yet burning; and they had undoubtedly
taken her away. Pedero dined with us, eat of every thing at table, and
drank more wine than any one of us, without being in the least affected by
it.

The 7th, fresh gales at N.E. with continual rain.

The 8th, fore-part rain, remainder fair weather. We put two pigs, a boar,
and a sow, on shore, in the cove next without Cannibal Cove; so that it is
hardly possible all the methods I have taken to stock this country with
these animals should fail. We had also reason to believe that some of the
cocks and hens which I left here still existed, although we had not seen
any of them; for an hen's egg was, some days before, found in the woods
almost new laid.

On the 9th, wind westerly or N.W., squally with rain. In the morning we
unmoored, and shifted our birth farther out of the cove, for the more ready
getting to sea the next morning; for at present the caulkers had not
finished the sides, and till this work was done we could not sail. Our
friends having brought us a very large and seasonable supply of fish, I
bestowed on Pedero a present of an empty oil-jar, which made him as happy
as a prince. Soon after, he and his party left the cove, and retired to
their proper place of abode, with all the treasure they had received from
us. I believe that they gave away many of the things they, at different
times, got from us, to their friends and neighbours, or else parted with
them to purchase peace of their more powerful enemies; for we never saw any
of our presents after they were once in their possession: And every time we
visited them they were as much in want of hatchets, nails, &c. to all
appearance, as if they never had had any among them.

I am satisfied that the people in this sound, who are, upon the whole,
pretty numerous, are under no regular form of government, or so united as
to form one body politic. The head of each tribe, or family, seems to be
respected; and that respect may, on some occasions, command obedience; but
I doubt if any amongst them have either a right or power to enforce it. The
day we were with Tringo-boohee, the people came from all parts to see us,
which he endeavoured to prevent. But though he went so far as to throw
stones at some, I observed that very few paid any regard either to his
words or actions; and yet this man was spoken of as a chief of some note. I
have, before, made some remarks on the evils attending these people for
want of union among themselves; and the more I was acquainted with them,
the more I found it to be so. Notwithstanding they are cannibals, they are
naturally of a good disposition, and have not a little humanity.

In the afternoon a party of us went ashore into one of the coves, where
were two families of the natives variously employed; some sleeping, some
making mats, others roasting fish and fir roots, and one girl, I observed,
was heating of stones. Curious to know what they were for, I remained near
her. As soon as the stones were made hot, she took them out of the fire,
and gave them to an old woman, who was sitting in the hut. She placed them
in a heap, laid over them a handful of green celery, and over that a coarse
mat, and then squatted herself down, on her heels, on the top of all; thus
making a kind of Dutch warming-pan, on which she sat as close as a hare on
her seat. I should hardly have mentioned this operation, if I had thought
it had no other view than to warm the old woman's backside. I rather
suppose it was intended to cure some disorder she might have on her, which
the steams arising from the green celery might be a specific for. I was led
to think so by there being hardly any celery in the place, we having
gathered it long before; and grass, of which there was great plenty, would
have kept the stones from burning the mat full as well, if that had been
all that was meant. Besides, the woman looked to me sickly, and not in a
good state of health.

Mr Wales, from time to time, communicated to me the observations he had
made in this Sound for determining the longitude, the mean results of which
give 174 deg. 25' 7" 1/2 east, for the bottom of Ship Cove, where the
observations were made; and the latitude of it is 41 deg. 5' 50" 1/2 south. In
my chart, constituted in my former voyage, this place is laid down in 184 deg.
54' 30" west, equal to 175 deg. 5' 30" east. The error of the chart is
therefore 0 deg. 40' 0", and nearly equal to what was found at Dusky Bay; by
which it appears that the whole of Tavai-poenamoo is laid down 40' too far
east in the said chart, as well as in the journal of the voyage. But the
error in Eaheino-mauwe, is not more than half a degree, or thirty minutes;
because the distance between. Queen Charlotte's Sound and Cape Palliser has
been found to be greater by 10' of longitude than it is laid down in the
chart. I mention these errors, not from a fear that they will affect either
navigation or geography, but because I have no doubt of their existence;
for, from the multitude of observations which Mr Wales took, the situation
of few parts of the world is better ascertained than Queen Charlotte's
Sound. Indeed, I might, with equal truth, say the same of all the other
places where we made any stay; for Mr Wales, whose abilities are equal to
his assiduity, lost no one observation that could possibly be obtained.
Even the situation of those islands, which we passed without touching at
them, is, by means of Kendal's watch, determined with almost equal
accuracy. The error of the watch from Otaheite to this place was only 43'
39" 1/2 in longitude, reckoning at the rate it was found to go at, at that
island and at Tanna; but by reckoning at the rate it was going when last at
Queen Charlotte's Sound, and from the time of our leaving it, to our return
to it again, which was near a year, the error was 19' 31", 25 in time, or
4 deg. 52' 48" 1/4 in longitude. This error cannot be thought great, if we
consider the length of time, and that we had gone over a space equal to
upwards of three-fourths of the equatorial circumference of the earth, and
through all the climates and latitudes from 9 deg. to 71 deg.. Mr Wales found its
rate of going here to be that of gaining 12",576, on mean time, per day.

The mean result of all the observations he made for ascertaining the
variation of the compass and the dip of the south end of the needle, the
three several times we had been here, gave 14 deg. 9' 1/5 east for the former;
and 64 deg. 36" 2/3 for the latter. He also found, from very accurate
observations, that the time of high-water preceded the moon's southing, on
the full and change days, by three hours; and that the greatest rise and
fall of the water was five feet ten inches, and a half; but there were
evident tokens on the beach, of its having risen two feet higher than ever
it did in the course of his experiments.

[1] According to Mr G.F. the sufferings of the crew, for want of
proper nourishment, were exceedingly distressing, and some of the
officers who had made several voyages round the world acknowledged,
that they had never before so thoroughly loathed a salt diet. It was
owing, he says, to their having such an excellent preservative as
sour-krout on board, that the scurvy did not at this time make any
considerable progress among them; but their situation was indeed
wretched enough, without the horrors of that disease.--E.

[2] "Several large broken rocks project into the sea from the island,
on all sides. A heap of large stones formed a kind of beach, beyond
which the shore rose very steep, and in some parts perpendicular. The
rocks of this island consisted of the common yellowish clayey stone,
which we found at New Zealand; and in some places we met with small
bits of porous reddish lava, which seemed to be decaying, but made us
suspect this island to have had a volcano. The vegetables which we
found upon it, throve with great luxuriance in a rich stratum of black
mould, accumulated during ages past, from decaying trees and plants.
The greatest number of species we met with were well known to us, as
belonging to the flora of New Zealand, but this appeared with all the
advantages which a milder climate, and an exuberant soil could give
them, and they were united with the productions of New Caledonia, and
the New Hebrides. Altogether this little deserted spot was very
pleasing, and were it larger would be unexceptionable for an European
settlement."--G.F.

Notwithstanding the diminutive size of this island, the advantages it
presented, especially as to the cultivation of the flax-plant, were
sufficient to induce the British government to erect a settlement on
it, which was effected by a detachment from Port Jackson under the
command of Lieutenant King in 1788. The reader who desires particular
information respecting its progress, will be amply supplied with it in
Collins's account of New South Wales. It may perhaps be sufficient to
inform him, that though in 1790 the colony consisted of 498 persons,
and in 1796, of 889, and though very great expence and pains were
employed to ensure its prosperity, yet every year's experience proved
that the expectations entertained of its importance and benefits were
vastly over-rated, and in consequence it was at last abandoned. In the
opinion of Collins, Van Diemen's island presents in every respect a
more advantageous spot for a settlement.--E.

[3] "They continued from time to time to ask if we were displeased
with them, and seemed to be very apprehensive that our present
protestations of friendship were not quite sincere. We suspected from
this circumstance, that a fatal misunderstanding had happened between
the natives and the crew of some European ship, and we naturally
thought of our consort the Adventure."--G.F.

[4] The natives were repeatedly questioned, and in every conversation
we discovered some additional circumstances, by which the fact was
more clearly established. At last, however, observing that our
enquiries on this subject were frequently repeated, they resolved to
give us no further trouble, and by threats stopped short one of their
own brethren, who had been prevailed upon to speak once more on the
subject. Captain Cook being very desirous of obtaining some certainty
concerning the fate of the Adventure, called Peeterre and another
native into the cabin, both of whom denied that any harm had been done
to the Europeans. We made two pieces of paper, to represent the two
ships, and drew the figure of the sound on a larger piece; then
drawing the two ships into the sound, and out of it again, as often as
they had touched at and left it, including our last departure, we
stopped a while, and at last proceeded to bring our ship in again: But
the natives interrupted us, and taking up the paper which represented
the Adventure, they brought it into the harbour, and drew it out
again, counting on their fingers how many moons she had been gone.
This circumstance gave us two-fold pleasure, since, at the same time
that we were persuaded our consort had safely sailed from hence, we
had to admire the sagacity of the natives. Still, however, there was
something mysterious in the former accounts, which intimated that some
Europeans were killed; and we continued to doubt whether we had
rightly understood this part of their conversation, till we received
more certain intelligence at our return to the Cape of Good Hope."--
G.F.

[5] The reader will think the following incident and remark worthy of
being preserved; "After staying here about a quarter of an hour,
Captain Cook re-embarked with us, which was the more advisable, as
many of the natives, who arrived last, brought their arms, and the
whole crowd now amounted to two hundred and upwards, a much greater
number than we had suspected the sound to contain, or had ever seen
together. We had already put off, when a sailor acquainted the
captain, that he had bought a bundle of fish from one of the natives,
for which he had not paid him. Captain Cook took the last nail which
was left, and calling to the native, threw it on the beach at his
feet. The savage being offended, or thinking himself attacked, picked
up a stone, and threw it into the boat with great force, but luckily
without hitting any one of us. We now called to him again, and pointed
to the nail which we had thrown towards him. As soon as he had seen
it, and picked it up, he laughed at his own petulance, and seemed
highly pleased with our conduct towards him. This circumstance, with a
little rashness on our part, might have become very fatal to us, or
might at least have involved us in a dangerous quarrel. If we had
resented the affront of being pelted with a stone, the whole body
would have joined in the cause of their countryman, and we must have
fallen an easy prey to their numbers, being at the distance of five or
six leagues from the ship, without any hopes of assistance."--G.F.

CHAPTER IV.

FROM LEAVING NEW ZEALAND TO OUR RETURN TO ENGLAND.

SECTION I.

_The Run from New Zealand to Terra del Fuego, with the Range from Cape
Deseada to Christmas Sound, and Description of that Part of the Coast._

At day-break on the 10th, with a fine breeze at W.N.W., we weighed and
stood out of the Sound; and, after getting round the Two Brothers, steered
for Cape Campbell, which is at the S.W. entrance of the Strait, all sails
set, with a fine breeze at north. At four in the afternoon, we passed the
Cape, at the distance of four or five leagues, and then steered S.S.E. 1/2
E. with the wind at N.W., a gentle gale, and cloudy weather.

Next morning the wind veered round by the west to south, and forced us more
to the east than I intended. At seven o'clock in the evening, the snowy
mountains bore W. by S., and Cape Palliser N. 1/2 W., distant sixteen or
seventeen leagues; from which cape I, for the third time, took my
departure. After a few hours calm, a breeze springing up at north, we
steered S. by E. all sails set, with a view of getting into the latitude of
54 deg. or 55 deg.; my intention being to cross this vast ocean nearly in these
parallels, and so as to pass over those parts which were left unexplored
the preceding summer.

In the morning of the 12th, the wind increased to a fine gale: At noon we
observed in latitude 43 deg. 13' 30" S., longitude 176 deg. 41' E.; an
extraordinary fish of the whale kind was seen, which some called a sea
monster. I did not see it myself. In the afternoon, our old companions the
pintado peterels began to appear.[1]

On the 13th, in the morning, the wind veered to W.S.W. At seven, seeing the
appearance of land to S.W., we hauled up towards it, and soon found it to
be a fog-bank. Afterwards we steered S.E. by S., and soon after saw a seal.
At noon, latitude, by account, 44 deg. 25', longitude 177 deg. 31' E. Foggy
weather, which continued all the afternoon. At six in the evening, the wind
veered to N.E. by N., and increased to a fresh gale, attended with thick
hazy weather; course steered S.E. 1/4 S.

On the 14th, a.m. saw another seal. At noon, latitude 45 deg. 54', longitude
179 deg. 29' E.

On the 15th, a.m. the wind veered to the westward; the fog cleared away,
but the weather continued cloudy. At noon, latitude 47 deg. 30', longitude 178 deg.
19' W.; for, having passed the meridian of 180 deg. E., I now reckon my
longitude west of the first meridian, viz. Greenwich. In the evening heard
penguins, and the next morning saw some sea or rock weed. At noon a fresh
gale from the west and fine weather. Latitude observed 49 deg. 33', longitude
175 deg. 31' W.

Next morning fresh gales and hazy weather; saw a seal and several pieces of
weed. At noon, latitude 51 deg. 12', longitude 173 deg. 17' W. The wind veered to
the N. and N.E. by N., blew a strong gale by squalls, which split an old
topgallant sail, and obliged us to double-reef the top-sails; but in the
evening the wind moderated, and veered to W.N.W., when we loosed a reef out
of each top-sail; and found the variation of the compass to be 9 deg. 52' E.,
being then in the latitude 51 deg. 47', longitude 172 deg. 21' W., and the next
morning, the 18th, in the latitude of 52 deg. 25', longitude 170 deg. 45' W., it
was 10 deg. 26' E. Towards noon, had moderate but cloudy weather, and a great
swell from the west: Some penguins and pieces of sea-weed seen.

On the 19th, steered E.S.E, with a very fresh gale at north, hazy dirty
weather. At noon, latitude 53 deg. 43', longitude 166 deg. 15' W.

On the 20th, steered E. by S., with a moderate breeze at north, attended
with thick hazy weather. At noon, latitude 54 deg. 8', longitude 162 deg. 18' W.

On the 21st, winds mostly from the N.E., a fresh gale attended with thick,
hazy, dirty weather. Course S.E. by S.; latitude, at noon, 55 deg. 31',
longitude 160 deg. 29'; abundance of blue peterels and some penguins seen.

Fresh gales at N.W. by N. and N. by W., and hazy till towards noon of the
22d, when the weather cleared up, and we observed in latitude 55 deg. 48' S.,
longitude 156 deg. 56' W. In the afternoon had a few hours calm; after that,
the wind came at S.S.E. and S.E. by S. a light breeze, with which we
steered east northerly. In the night the aurora australis was visible, but
very faint, and no ways remarkable.

On the 23d, in the latitude of 55 deg. 46' S., longitude 156 deg. 13' W., the
variation was 9 deg. 42' E. We had a calm from ten in the morning till six in
the evening, when a breeze sprung up at west; at first it blew a gentle
gale, but afterwards freshened. Our course was now E. 1/2 N.

On the 24th, a fresh breeze at N.W. by W. and N. by W. At noon, in latitude
55 deg. 38' S., longitude 153 deg. 37' W., foggy in the night, but next day had a
fine gale at N.W., attended with clear pleasant weather; course steered E.
by N. In the evening, being in the latitude of 55 deg. 8' S., longitude 148 deg.
10' W., the variation, by the mean of two compasses, was 6 deg. 35' E.

Having a steady fresh gale at N.N.W. on the 26th and 27th, we steered east;
and at noon on the latter were in latitude 55 deg. 6' S., longitude 138 deg. 56' W.

I now gave up all hopes of finding any more land in this ocean, and came to
a resolution to steer directly for the west entrance of the Straits of
Magalhaeus, with a view of coasting the out, or south side of Terra del
Fuego round Cape Horn to the strait Le Maire. As the world has but a very
imperfect knowledge of this shore, I thought the coasting of it would be of
more advantage, both to navigation and to geography, than any thing I could
expect to find in a higher latitude. In the afternoon of this day, the wind
blew in squalls, and carried away the main top-gallant mast.

A very strong gale northerly, with hazy rainy weather, on the 28th, obliged
us to double-reef the fore and main top-sail to hand the mizen top-sail,
and get down the fore top-gallant yard. In the morning, the bolt rope of
the main top-sail broke, and occasioned the sail to be split. I have
observed that the ropes to all our sails, the square sails especially, are
not of a size and strength sufficient to wear out the canvass. At noon,
latitude 55 deg. 20' S., longitude 134 deg. 16' W., a great swell from N.W.:
Albatrosses and blue peterels seen.

Next day towards noon, the wind abating, we loosed all the reefs out of the
top-sails, rigged another top-gallant mast, and got the yards across. P.M.
little wind, and hazy weather; at midnight calm, that continued till noon
the next day, when a breeze sprung up at east, with which we stretched to
the northward. At this time we were in the latitude 55 deg. 32' S., longitude
128 deg. 45' W.; some albatrosses and peterels seen. At eight, p.m., the wind
veering to N.E., we tacked and stood to E.S.E.

On the 1st of December, thick hazy weather, with drizzling rain, and a
moderate breeze of wind, which, at three o'clock p.m. fell to a calm; at
this time in latitude 55 deg. 41' S., longitude 127 deg. 5' W. After four hours
calm, the fog cleared away, and we got a wind at S.E. with which we stood
N.E.

Next day, a fresh breeze at S.E. and hazy foggy weather, except a few hours
in the morning, when we found the variation to be 1 deg. 28' E. Latitude 55 deg.
17', longitude 125 deg. 41' W. The variation after this was supposed to
increase; for on the 4th, in the morning, being in latitude 53 deg. 31',
longitude 121 deg. 31' W., it was 3 deg. 16' E.; in the evening, in latitude 53 deg.
13', longitude 119 deg. 46' W., it was 3 deg. 28' E.; and on the 5th, at six
o'clock in the evening, in latitude 53 deg. 8', longitude 115 deg. 58' W., it was
4 deg. 1' E.

For more than twenty-four hours, having had a fine gale at south, this
enabled us to steer east, with very little deviation to the north; and the
wind now altering to S.W. and blowing a steady fresh breeze, we continued
to steer east, inclining a little to south.

On the 6th, had some snow-showers. In the evening, being in latitude 53 deg.
13', longitude 111 deg. 12', the variation was 4 deg. 58' E.; and the next morning,
being in latitude 58 deg. 16', longitude 109 deg. 33', it was 5 deg. 1' E.

The wind was now at west, a fine pleasant gale, sometimes with showers of
rain. Nothing remarkable happened, till the 9th, at noon, when being in the
latitude of 53 deg. 37', longitude 103 deg. 44' W., the wind veered to N.E., and
afterwards came insensibly round to the south, by the E. and S.E., attended
with cloudy hazy weather, and some showers of rain.

On the 10th, a little before noon, latitude 54 deg., longitude 102 deg. 7' west,
passed a small bed of sea-weed. In the afternoon the wind veered to S.W.,
blew a fresh gale, attended with dark cloudy weather. We steered east half
a point north; and the next day, at six in the evening, being in latitude
53 deg. 35', longitude 95 deg. 52' west, the variation was 9 deg. 58' east. Many and
various sorts of albatrosses about the ship.

On the 12th, the wind veered to the west, N.W.; and in the evening to
north; and, at last, left us to a calm; that continued till midnight, when
we got a breeze at south; which, soon after, veering to, and fixing at,
west, we steered east; and on the 14th, in the morning, found the variation
to be 13 deg. 25' east, latitude 53 deg. 25', longitude 87 deg. 53' west; and in the
afternoon, being in the same latitude, and the longitude of 86 deg. 2' west, it
was 15 deg. 3' east, and increased in such a manner, that on the 15th, in the
latitude of 53 deg. 30', longitude 82 deg. 23' west, it was 17 deg. east; and the next
evening, in the latitude of 53 deg. 25', longitude 78 deg. 40', it was 17 deg. 38'
east. About this time, we saw a penguin and a piece of weed; and the next
morning, a seal and some diving peterels. For the three last days, the wind
had been at west, a steady fresh gale, attended, now and then, with showers
of rain or hail.

At six in the morning of the 17th, being nearly in the same latitude as
above, and in the longitude of 77 deg. 10' west, the variation was 18 deg. 33'
east; and in the afternoon it was 21 deg. 38, being at that time in latitude
53 deg. 16' S., longitude 75 deg. 9' west. In the morning, as well as in the
afternoon, I took some observations to determine the longitude by the
watch; and the results, reduced to noon, gave 76 deg. 18' 30" west. At the same
time, the longitude, by my reckoning, was 76 deg. 17' west. But I have reason
to think, that we were about half a degree more to the west than either the
one or the other; our latitude, at the same time, was 53 deg. 21' S.

We steered E. by N. and E. 1/2 N. all this day, under all the sail we could
carry, with a fine fresh gale at N.W. by W. in expectation of seeing the
land before night; but not making it till ten o'clock, we took in the
studding-sails, top-gallant sails, and a reef in each top-sail, and steered
E.N.E., in order to make sure of falling in with Cape Deseada.

Two hours after, we made the land, extending from N.E. by N. to E. by S.
about six leagues distant. On this discovery, we wore and brought-to, with
the ship's head to the south; and having sounded, found seventy-five
fathoms water, the bottom stone and shells. The land now before us could be
no other than the west coast of Terra del Fuego, and near the west entrance
to the Straits of Magalhaens.

As this was the first run that had been made directly across this ocean, in
a high southern latitude,[2] I have been a little particular in noting
every circumstance that appeared in the least material: and, after all, I
must observe, that I never made a passage any where of such length, or even
much shorter, where so few interesting circumstances occurred. For, if I
except the variation of the compass, I know of nothing else worth notice.
The weather had been neither unusually stormy nor cold. Before we arrived
in the latitude of 50 deg., the mercury in the thermometer fell gradually from
sixty to fifty; and after we arrived in the latitude of 55 deg., it was
generally between forty-seven and forty-five; once or twice it fell to
forty-three. These observations were made at noon.

I have now done with the southern Pacific Ocean; and flatter myself that no
one will think that I have left it unexplored; or that more could have been
done, in one voyage, towards obtaining that end, than has been done in
this.

Soon after we left New Zealand, Mr Wales contrived, and fixed up, an
instrument, which very accurately measured the angle the ship rolled, when
sailing large and in a great sea; and that in which she lay down, when
sailing upon a wind. The greatest angle he observed her to roll was 38 deg..
This was on the 6th of this month, when the sea was not unusually high; so
that it cannot be reckoned the greatest roll she had made. The most he
observed her to heel or lie down, when sailing upon a wind, was 18 deg.; and
this was under double-reefed top-sails and courses.

On the 18th, at three in the morning, we sounded again, and found one
hundred and ten fathoms, the same bottom as before. We now made sail with a
fresh gale at N.W., and steered S.E. by E. along the coast. It extended
from Cape Deseada, which bore north 7 deg. east, to E S.E.; a pretty high
ragged isle, which lies near a league from the main, and S., 18 deg. E. six
leagues E. from Cape Deseada, bore N. 49 deg. E. distant four leagues; and it
obtained the name of Landfall. At four o'clock, we were north and south of
the high land of Cape Deseada, distant about nine leagues; so that we saw
none of the low rocks said to lie off it. The latitude of this Cape is
about 53 deg. S., longitude 74 deg. 40' west.

Continuing to range the coast, at about two leagues distance, at eleven
o'clock we passed a projecting point, which I called Cape Gloucester. It
shews a round surface of considerable height, and has much the appearance
of being an island. It lies S.S.E. 1/2 E. distant seventeen leagues from
the isle of Landfall. The coast between them forms two bays, strewed with
rocky islets, rocks, and breakers. The coast appeared very broken with many
inlets; or rather it seemed to be composed of a number of islands. The land
is very mountainous, rocky, and barren, spotted here and there with tufts
of wood, and patches of snow. At noon Cape Gloucester bore north, distant
eight miles, and the most advanced point of land to the S.E., which we
judged to be Cape Noir, bore S.E. by S., distant seven or eight leagues.
Latitude observed 54 deg. 13' S. Longitude, made from Cape Deseada, 54' E. From
Cape Gloucester, off which lies a small rocky island, the direction of the
coast is nearly S.E.; but to Cape Noir, for which we steered, the course is
S.S.E., distant about ten leagues.

At three o'clock we passed Cape Noir, which is a steep rock of considerable
height, and the S.W. point of a large island that seemed to lie detached, a
league, or a league and a half, from the main land. The land of the cape,
when at a distance from it, appeared to be an island disjoined from the
other; but, on a nearer approach, we found it connected by a low neck of
land. At the point of the cape are two rocks; the one peaked like a sugar-
loaf, the other not so high, and shewing a rounder surface; and S. by E.,
two leagues from the cape, are two other rocky islets. This cape is
situated in the latitude of 54 deg. 30' S., longitude 73 deg. 33' W.

After passing the two islets, we steered E.S.E., crossing the great bay of
St Barbara. We but just saw the land in the bottom of it, which could not
be less than seven or eight leagues from us. There was a space, lying in
the direction of E.N.E. from Cape Noir, where no land was to be seen: this
may be the channel of St Barbara, which opens into the straits of
Magalhaens, as mentioned by Frezier. We found the cape to agree very well
with his description, which shews that he laid down the channel from good
memoirs. At ten o'clock, drawing near the S.E. point of the bay, which,
lies nearly in the direction of S. 60 deg. E. from Cape Noir, eighteen leagues
distant, we shortened sail, and spent the night standing off and on.

At two o'clock in the morning of the 19th, having made sail, we steered
S.E. by E. along the coast, and soon passed the S.E. point of the bay of St
Barbara, which I called Cape Desolation, because near it commenced the most
desolate and barren country I ever saw. It is situated in the latitude of
54 deg. 55' S., longitude 72 deg. 12' W. About four leagues to the east of this
cape is a deep inlet, at the entrance of which lies a pretty large island,
and some others of less note. Nearly in this situation some charts place a
channel leading into the straits of Magalhaens, under the name of straits
of Jelouzel. At ten o'clock, being about a league and a half from the land,
we sounded, and found sixty fathoms water, a bottom of small stones and
shells.

The wind, which had been fresh at N. by W., began to abate, and at noon it
fell calm, when we observed in latitude 55 deg. 20' S., longitude made from
Cape Deseada 3 deg. 24' E. In this situation we were about three leagues from
the nearest shore, which was that of an island. This I named Gilbert Isle,
after my master. It is nearly of the same height with the rest of the
coast, and shews a surface composed of several peaked rocks unequally high.
A little to the S.E. of it are some smaller islands, and, without them,
breakers.

I have before observed that this is the most desolate coast I ever saw. It
seems entirely composed of rocky mountains without the least appearance of
vegetation. These mountains terminate in horrible precipices, whose craggy
summits spire up to a vast height, so that hardly any thing in nature can
appear with a more barren and savage aspect than the whole of this country.
The inland mountains were covered with snow, but those on the sea-coast
were not. We judged the former to belong to the main of Terra del Fuego,
and the latter to be islands, so ranged as apparently to form a coast.

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