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Title: Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part 2. The Great Navigators of the Eighteenth Century
Author: Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Frontispiece: Hoisting the signals for triangulation.]






[_All rights reserved_.]


This volume forms the second of three volumes under the _general
title_ of CELEBRATED TRAVELS AND TRAVELLERS. The first volume, already
published, is entitled THE EXPLORATION OF THE WORLD, and covers a
period in the World's History extending from B.C. 505, to the close of
the xviith century. The present volume extends over the xviiith
century, and the third volume will give an account of the GREAT


ANSON (Geo., Lord). "Voyage round the World in 1740-44."

BARROW (Sir John). "Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa."
London, 1806.

BOUGAINVILLE (Com. de). "Voyage round the World, 1766-69." Paris, 1771.

BRUCE (James). "Travels in Abyssinia between 1768-73." Edin., 1813.

COOK (Captain James). "Second Voyage to the South Pole and Round the
World, 1772-75." London, 1777.

COOK and KING (Captain James). "Third Voyage to the Pacific Ocean,
1776-80." London, 1784.

GROSIER (L'Abbé). "China, General Description of the Empire." Paris,

HAWKESWORTH (Dr. J.). "Account of the Voyages of Discovery in the
Southern Hemisphere by Commodore Byron, and Captains Wallis, Carteret,
and Cook." London, 1773.

KENNEDY. "New Zealand." London, 1873.

LABILLARDIÈRE (T.). "Voyage in Search of La Pérouse, 1791-93." Paris,

MASON. "Costumes of China." London, 1800.

PARK (Mungo). "Travels in Africa." London, 1815-16.

PARKINSON (S.). "Voyage to the South Seas." London, 1784.

PÉRON (F.) and FREYCINET (Louis d'). "Voyage to Australasia, 1800-4."
Paris, 1808.

PÉROUSE (J. Fr. G. de la). "Voyage round the World, 1785-88." Paris,

"TRANSACTIONS of the French Academy of Sciences," Vol. 7. Paris.

VAILLANT (Fr. le). "Travels in the Interior of Africa." Paris, 1790.

VANCOUVER (Capt. G.). "Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean,
and round the World, from 1790-95." London, 1798.




Hoisting the signals for triangulation . . . . . . . .  _Frontispiece_

Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

Selkirk falling over the precipice with his prey . . . . . . . . .  15

"I plunged my pike into his breast"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16

Fight between the _Centurion_ and a Spanish galleon  . . . . . . .  22

"The council chose the latter alternative" . . . . . . . . . . . .  28

"Most of them on horseback"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34

"One of them tore the carrion with his teeth"  . . . . . . . . . .  37

"They made a thousand grimaces"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  46

The natives waving palm-leaves as a sign of welcome  . . . . . . .  52

Head-dresses of natives of Otahiti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  56

"Pursued by the arrows of the natives" . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64

A struggle between the _Swallow_ and a Malay prah  . . . . . . . .  68

Portrait of Bougainville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  72

"We made them sing"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  80

Lancers' Island  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  83

Pirogue of the Marquesas Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  88

Mdlle. Barré's adventure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  91

Captain James Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

"They were pursued so closely" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

Otahitian flute-player . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

A Fa-toka, New Zealand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

Interior of a morai in Hawaii  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

Tatooed head of a New Zealander  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

An I-pah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

A New Zealand family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

"They were kangaroos"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

Otahitian fleet off Oparee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130

"Three Indians emerged from the wood"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

Among the icebergs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

New Zealand war canoe  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

New Zealand utensils and weapons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

"Who passed his days in being fed by his wives"  . . . . . . . . . 148

O-Too, King of Otaheite  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Monuments in Easter Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

Natives of Easter Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

Natives of the Marquesas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162

Typical natives of the Sandwich Islands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

"The natives had sufficient confidence"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

"With the roof of considerable height" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172

View of Christmas Sound  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174

Kerguelen Islands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

Fête in Cook's honour at Tonga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187

Human sacrifice at Otahiti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188

Tree, from beneath which Cook observed the transit of Venus  . . . 190

Cook's reception by the natives  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193

Prince William's Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196

"They gave him a little pig" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198


Pirogues of the Admiralty Islands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214

"Picking up the enemies' weapons"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215

"A lighted brand was also presented to them" . . . . . . . . . . . 225

"The only one who had escaped" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227

"A man's skull was found"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229

Portrait of La Pérouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242

Costumes of the inhabitants of Conception  . . . . . . . . . . . . 244

Inhabitants of Easter Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246

Typical natives of the Port des Français . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249

Shipwreck of French boats outside the Port des Français  . . . . . 251

"An Indian with a stag's head over his own"  . . . . . . . . . . . 253

He traced the coast of Tartary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261

Typical Orotchys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263

Portrait of D'Entrecasteaux  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274

"They came upon four natives"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275

Fête in honour of D'Entrecasteaux at the Friendly Islands  . . . . 285

Typical native of New Holland  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287

Natives of New Caledonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289

View of the Island of Bouron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292

Native hut in Endracht Land  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305

King of the Island of Timor  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306

The Swan River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307

"A sail was seen on the horizon" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310

"The sick were carried on shore" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311

View of Sydney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311

Water-carrier at Timor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318

"He received a cordial welcome"  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321

The Baobab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325

Portrait of Mungo Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329

Natives of Senegal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330

A Hottentot  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343

A Bosjeman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344

"Till Master Rees had given his verdict" . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347

A Kaffir woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349

Portrait of James Bruce  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352

"I found the monarch seated on his throne" . . . . . . . . . . . . 357

Chinese magic-lantern  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 365

The Emperor of China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 368

The great wall of China  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 369

Chinese Prime Minister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 370

"The famous bird Leutzé" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372

Port Monterey  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381

Mackenzie's first view of the North Pacific Ocean  . . . . . . . . 389

Portrait of Condamine  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390

Celebrated Narrows of Manseriche . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391

Omagua Indians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393

Portrait of Alex. de Humboldt  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395

Gigantic vegetation on the banks of the Temi . . . . . . . . . . . 400


Map of France, corrected by order of the King, in accordance with
  the instructions of the Members of the Academy of Sciences . . .  10

Map of the Eastern Hemisphere  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  36

Straits of Magellan, after Bougainville  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  36

Polynesia  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54

Map of Queen Charlotte Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64

New Zealand  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  79

Louisiade Archipelago  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

Map of Australia, after Perron's atlas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

Map of the east coast of New Holland, after Cook . . . . . . . . . 126

Captain Cook's chart of Otaheite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197

Itinerary of the principal voyagers during the 18th century, after
  Cook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202

Map of Surville's discoveries, after Fleurieu  . . . . . . . . . . 212

Island discovered by M. Marion du Fresnes in 1772, called Prince
  Edward's Island by Cook in 1776  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235

Map of the journey of La Pérouse, after the atlas published by
  General Millet-Mureau  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241

Map of the coast of Asia, after the map of La Pérouse's voyage . . 258

Map of part of North Africa  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320

Map of part of Western Africa  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332

Map of the Empire of China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362

Map of North-West America  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 380

Map of the two Americas  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385

Itinerary of Humboldt's route in equinoctial America . . . . . . . 399




Cassini, Picard, and La Hire--The Meridian line and the map of
  France--G. Delisle and D'Anville--The shape of the earth--
  Maupertuis in Lapland--Condamine at the Equator  . . . . . . . .   3


Expedition of Wood Rogers--Adventures of Alexander Selkirk--
  Galapagos Island--Puerto Seguro--Return to England--Expedition
  of George Anson--Staten Island--Juan Fernandez--Tinian--Macao--
  Taking of the vessel--Canton river--Results of the Cruise  . . .  13



Roggewein--Scanty information respecting him--The uncertainty of
  his discoveries--Easter Island--The Pernicious Islands--Bauman
  Islands--New Britain--Arrival at Batavia--Byron--Stay at Rio
  Janeiro and Port Desire--Entrance into Magellan's Strait--
  Falkland Islands and Port Egmont--The Fuegians--Mas-a-fuero--
  Disappointment Islands--Danger Islands--Tinian--Return to
  Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24


Wallis and Carteret--Preparations for the Expedition--Difficult
  Navigation of the Strait of Magellan--Separation of the
  _Dauphin_ and _Swallow_--Whitsunday Island--Queen Charlotte's
  Island--Cumberland and Henry Islands--Otaheite--Howe, Boscawen,
  and Keppel Islands--Wallis Islands--Batavia--The Cape--The
  Downs--Discovery of Pitcairn, Osnaburgh, and Gloucester Islands
  by Carteret--Santa Cruz Archipelago--Solomon Islands--St.
  George's Strait and New Ireland--Portland Island and the
  Admiralty Islands--Macassar and Batavia--Meeting with
  Bougainville in the Atlantic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44


Bougainville--Changes in the life of a Notary's son--Colonization
  of the Falkland Islands--Buenos Ayres and Rio Janiero--Cession
  of the Falkland Islands to Spain--Hydrographical Survey of the
  Straits of Magellan--The Pecherais--The Four Facardins--
  Otaheite--Incidents of stay there--Productions of the country
  and manners of the people--Samoan Islands--Tierra del Santo
  Espirito or the New Hebrides--The Louisiade--Anchorite
  Islands--New Guinea--Buotan--From Batavia to St. Malo  . . . . .  71



The beginning of his maritime career--The command of the
  _Adventure_ entrusted to him--Tierra del Fuego--Discovery of
  some islands in the Pomotou Archipelago--Arrival at Otaheite--
  Manners and Customs of the inhabitants--Discovery of other
  islands in the Society group--Arrival off New Zealand--
  Interview with the natives--Discovery of Cook's Strait--
  Circumnavigation of two large islands--Manners of the people
  and productions of the country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100


Survey of the Eastern Coast of Australia--Botany Bay--Wreck of
  the _Endeavour_--Crossing Torres Straits--Return to England  . . 125



Search for the Unknown--Second stay in New Zealand--Pomotou
  Archipelago--Second Stay at Otaheite--Survey of Tonga Islands--
  Third stay in New Zealand--Second crossing of the Pacific--
  Survey of Easter Island--Visit to the Marquesas  . . . . . . . . 135


Fresh visit to Otaheite and the Friendly Archipelago--Exploration
  of the New Hebrides--Discovery of New Caledonia and the Island
  of Pines--Stay in Queen Charlotte's Strait--South Georgia--
  Accident to the _Adventure_  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160



Search for lands discovered by the French--Stay in Van Diemen's
  land--Queen Charlotte's Strait--Palmerston Island--Grand fêtes
  at the Tonga Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179


Discovery of the Sandwich Islands--Exploration of the Western
  Coast of America--From thence to Behring Straits--Return to the
  Hawaian Archipelago--History of Rono--Cook's death--Return of
  the Expedition to England  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192




Discoveries by Bouvet de Lozier in the Southern Seas--Surville--
  Land of the Arsacides--Incident during the stay at Port
  Praslin--Arrival off the Coast of New Ireland--Surville's
  death--Marion's discoveries in the Antarctic Ocean--His massacre
  in New Zealand--Kerguelen in Iceland and the Arctic Regions--The
  Contest of the Watches--Fleurien and Verdun de la Crenne . . . . 209


Expedition under command of La Perouse--St. Catherine's Island--
  Conception Island--Sandwich Islands--Survey of the American
  Coast--Fort des Français--Loss of two boats--Monterey and the
  Indians of California--Stay at Macao--Cavite and Manilla--En
  route for China and Japan--Formosa--Quelpaert Island--The Coast
  of Tartary--Ternay Bay--The Tartars of Saghalien--The
  Orotchys--Straits of La Perouse--Ball at Kamtchatka--Navigator
  Archipelago--Massacre of M. de Langle and several of his
  companions--Botany Bay--Cessation of news of the expedition--
  D'Entrecasteaux sent in search of La Perouse--False News--Strait
  of D'Entrecasteaux--The Coast of New Caledonia--Land of the
  Arsacides--Natives of Bouka--Stay at Port Carteret--Admiralty
  Islands--Stay at Amboine--Lewin Land--Nuyts Land--Stay in
  Tasmania--Fête in the Friendly Islands--Details of La Perouse's
  visit to Tonga Tabou--Stay at Balado--Traces of La Perouse's
  Voyage to New Caledonia--Vanikoro--Sad end of the Expedition . . 241


Voyage by Captain Marchand--The Marquesas--Discovery of
  Nouka-Hiva--Manners and Customs of the people--Revolution
  Islands--The American Coast and Tchinkitané Port--Cox's
  Straits--Stay in the Sandwich Islands--Macao--Deception--Return
  to France--Discoveries by Bass and Flinders upon the Australian
  coast--Expedition under Captain Baudin--Endracht and De Witt
  Lands--Stay at Timor--Survey of Van Diemen's land--Separation of
  the _Géographe_ and _Naturaliste_--Stay at Port Jackson--The
  Convicts--Pastoral riches of New South Wales--Return of the
  _Naturaliste_ to France--Cruises by the _Géographe_ and
  _Casuarina_ to Nuyts, Edels, Endracht and De Witt Lands--Second
  Stay at Timor--Return to France  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294


Shaw in Algeria and Tunis--Hornemann in the Fezzan--Adanson in
  Senegal--Houghton in Senegambia--Mungo Park and his two journeys
  to the Djoliba or Niger--Sego and Timbuctoo--Sparmann and Le
  Vaillant at the Cape, at Natal, and in the interior--Lacerda at
  Mozambique and Cazembé--Bruce in Abyssinia--The Sources of the
  Blue Nile--Tzana Lake--Browne's Voyage in Darfur . . . . . . . . 320


Tartary according to Witzen--China according to the Jesuits and Du
  Halde--Macartney in China--Stay at Chu-Sang--Arrival in Nankin--
  Negotiations--Reception of the Embassy by the Emperor--Fêtes and
  ceremonies at Zhé Hol--Return to Pekin, and Europe--Volney--
  Choiseul Gouffier--Le Chevalier in the Troade--Olivier in
  Persia--A semi-Asiatic country--Russia according to Pallas . . . 361


The Western Coast of America--Juan de Fuca and De Fonte--The three
  voyages of Behring and Vancouver--The exploration of the Straits
  of De Fuca--Survey of the Archipelago of New Georgia and a
  portion of the American Coast--Exploration of the interior of
  America--Samuel Hearn--Discovery of the Coppermine River--
  Mackenzie, and the river named after him--Fraser River--Journey
  of Humboldt and De Bonpland--Teneriffe--Guachero cavern--The
  "Llaños"--The electric eels--The Amazon, Negro, and Orinoco
  rivers--The earth-eaters--Results of the journey--Humboldt's
  second journey--The Volcanitos, or Little Volcanoes--The cascade
  at Tequendama--The bridges of Icononzo--Crossing the Quindiu on
  men's backs--Quito and the Pinchincha--Ascent of Chimborazo--The
  Andes--Lima--The transit of Mercury--Exploration of Mexico--
  Mexico--Puebla and Cofre de Perote--Return to Europe . . . . . . 380




Cassini--Picard and La Hire--The arc of the Meridian and the Map of
France--G. Delisle and D'Anville--The Shape of the Earth--Maupertuis
in Lapland--Condamine at the Equator.

Before we enter upon a recital of the great expeditions of the
eighteenth century, we shall do well to chronicle the immense progress
made during that period by the sciences. They rectified a crowd of
prejudices and established a solid basis for the labours of
astronomers and geographers. If we refer them solely to the matter
before us, they radically modified cartography, and ensured for
navigation a security hitherto unknown.

Although Galileo had observed the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites as
early as 1610, his important discovery had been rendered useless by
the indifference of Governments, the inadequacy of instruments, and
the mistakes committed by his followers.

In 1660 Jean Dominique Cassini published his "Tables of the Satellites
of Jupiter," which induced Colbert to send for him the following year,
and which obtained for him the superintendence of the Paris

In the month of July, 1671, Philippe de la Hire went to Uraniborg in
the Island of Huen, to take observations for the situation of Tycho
Brahe's Observatory. In that spot he calculated with the assistance of
Cassini's Tables, and with an exactitude never before obtained, the
difference between the longitudes of Paris and Uraniborg.

The Academy of Sciences sent the astronomer Jean Richter the same year
to Cayenne, to study the parallaxes of the sun and moon, and to
determine the distance of Mars and Venus from the earth. This voyage,
which was entirely successful, was attended with unforeseen
consequences, and resulted in inquiries shortly after entered into as
to the shape of the earth.

Richter noticed that the pendulum lost two minutes, twenty-eight
seconds at Cayenne, which proved that the momentum was less at this
place than at Paris. From this fact, Newton and Huyghens deduced the
flatness of the Globe at the Poles. Shortly afterwards, however, the
computation of a terrestrial degree given by Abbé Picard, and the
determination of the Meridional arc, arrived at by the Cassinis,
father and son, led scientific men to an entirety different result,
and induced them to consider the earth an elliptical figure, elongated
towards the polar regions. Passionate discussions arose from this
decision, and in them originated immense undertakings, from which
astronomical and mathematical geography profited.

Picard undertook to estimate the space contained between the parallels
of Amiens and Malvoisine, which comprises a degree and a third. The
Academy, however, decided that a more exact result could be obtained
by the calculation of a greater distance, and determined to portion
out the entire length of France, from north to south, in degrees. For
this purpose, they selected the meridian line which passes the Paris
Observatory. This gigantic trigonometrical undertaking was commenced
twenty years before the end of the seventeenth century, was
interrupted, and recommenced, and finally finished towards 1720.

At the same time Louis XIV., urged by Colbert, gave orders for the
preparation of a map of France. Men of science undertook voyages from
1679 to 1682, and by astronomical observations found the position of
the coasts on the Ocean and Mediterranean. But even these undertakings,
Picard's computation of the Meridional arc, the calculations which
determined the latitude and longitude of certain large cities in
France, and a map which gave the environs of Paris in detail with
geometrical exactitude, were still insufficient data for a map of

As in the measurement of the Meridional arc, the only course to adopt
was to cover the whole extent of the country with a network of
triangles. Such was the basis of the large map of France which justly
bears the name of Cassini.

The result of the earlier observations of Cassini and La Hire was to
restrict France within much narrower limits than had hitherto been
assigned to her.

Desborough Cooley in his "History of Voyages," says, "They deprived
her (France) of several degrees of longitude in the length of her
western coast, from Brittany to the Bay of Biscay. And in the same way
retrenched about half a degree from Languedoc and La Provence." These
alterations gave rise to a "bon-mot." Louis the XIV., in complimenting
the Academicians upon their return, remarked, "I am sorry to see,
gentlemen, that your journey has cost me a good part of my kingdom!"

So far, however, cartographers had ignored the corrections made by
astronomers. In the middle of the seventeenth century, Peiresc and
Gassendi had corrected upon the maps of the Mediterranean a difference
of "five hundred" miles of distance between Marseilles and Alexandria.
This important rectification was set aside as non-existent until the
hydrographer, Jean Matthieu de Chazelles, who had assisted Cassini in
his labours, was sent to the Levant to draw up a coast-chart for the

"It was sufficiently clear," say the Memoirs of the Academy of
Sciences, that the maps unduly extended the Continents of Europe,
Africa, and America, and narrowed the Pacific Ocean between Asia and
Europe. These errors had caused singular mistakes. During M. de
Chaumont's voyage, when he went as Louis XIV.'s ambassador to Siam,
the pilots, trusting to their charts, were mistaken in their
calculations, and both in going and in returning went a good deal
further than they imagined. In proceeding from the Cape of Good Hope
to the island of Java they imagined themselves a long way from the
Strait of Sunda, when in reality they were more than sixty leagues
beyond it. And they were forced to put back for two days with a
favourable wind to enter it. In the same way upon their return voyage
from the Cape of Good Hope to France, they found themselves at the
island of Flores, the most western of the Azores, when they conceived
themselves to be at least a hundred and fifty leagues eastward of it.
They were obliged to navigate for twelve days in an easterly direction
in order to reach the French coast. As we have already said, the
corrections made in the map of France were considerable. It was
recognized that Perpignan and Collioures more especially were far more
to the east than had been supposed. To gain a fair idea of the
alteration, one has only to glance at the map of France published in
the first part of the seventh volume of the memoirs of the Academy of
Sciences. All the astronomical observations to which we have called
attention are noted in it, and the original outline of the map,
published by Sanson in 1679, makes the modification apparent.

[Illustration: Map of France, corrected by order of the king, in
accordance with the instructions of the Members of the Academy of
Sciences. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

Cassini was right in saying that cartography was no longer at its
height as a science. In reality, Sanson had blindly followed the
longitudes of Ptolemy, without taking any note of astronomical
observations. His sons and grandsons had simply re-edited his maps as
they were completed, and other geographers followed the same course.

William Delisle was the first to construct new maps, and to make use
of modern discoveries. He arbitrarily rejected all that had been done
before his time. His enthusiasm was so great that he had entirely
carried out his project at the age of twenty-five. His brother, Joseph
Nicolas, who taught astronomy in Russia, sent William materials for
his maps. At the same time his younger brother, Delisle de la Ceyére,
visited the coast of the Arctic Ocean, and astronomically fixed the
position of the most important points. He embarked on board De
Behring's vessel and died at Kamtchatka. That was the work of the
three Delisles, but to William belongs the glory of having
revolutionized geography.

"He succeeded," says Cooley, "in reconciling ancient and modern
computations, and in collecting an immense mass of documents. Instead
of limiting his corrections to any one quarter of the earth, he
directed them to the entire globe. By this means he earned the right
to be considered the founder of modern geography."

Peter the Great, on his way to Paris, paid a tribute to his merit by
visiting him, and placing at his disposal all the information he
himself possessed of the geography of Russia.

Could there be a more conclusive testimony to his worth than this from
a stranger? and if French geographers are excelled in these days by
those of Germany and England, is it not consolatory and encouraging to
them to know, that they have excelled in a science, in which they are
now struggling to regain their former superiority?

Delisle lived to witness the success of his pupil, J. B. d'Anville. If
the latter is inferior to Adrian Valois in the matter of historical
science, he deserved his high fame for the relative improvement of his
outlines, and for the clear and artistic appearance of his maps.

"It is difficult," says M. E. Desjardins, in his "Geographie de la
Gaule Romaine," "to understand the slight importance which has been
attributed to his works as a geographer, mathematician, and
draughtsman." The latter more especially do justice to his great merit.
D'Anville was the first to construct a map by scientific methods, and
that of itself is sufficient glory. In the department of historical
geography, D'Anville exhibited unusual good sense in discussion, and a
marvellous topographical instinct for identifications, but it is well
to remember that he was neither a man of science, nor even well versed
in classic authorities. His most beautiful work is his map of Italy,
the dimensions of which, hitherto exaggerated, extended from the east
to the west in accordance with the ideas of the ancients.

In 1735, Philip Buache, whose name as a geographer is justly
celebrated, inaugurated a new method in his chart of the depths of the
English Channel, by using contour levels to represent the variations
of the soil.

Ten years later d'Après De Mannevillette published his "_Neptune
Oriental_," in which he rectified the charts of the African, Chinese,
and Indian coasts. He added to it a nautical guide, which was the more
precious at this period, as it was the first of the kind. Up to the
close of his life he amended his manual, which served as a guide for
all French naval officers during the latter part of the eighteenth

Of English astronomers and physicists, Hally was the chief. He
published a theory of "Magnetic Variations," and a "History of the
Monsoons," which gained for him the command of a vessel, that he might
put his theory into practice.

That which D'Après achieved for the French, Alexander Dalrymple
accomplished for the English. His views, however, bordered on the
hypothetical, and he believed in the existence of an Antarctic

He was succeeded by Horsburgh, whose name is justly dear to navigators.

We must now speak of two important expeditions, which ought to have
settled the animated discussion as to the shape of the earth. The
Academy of Sciences had despatched a mission to America, to compute
the arc of the meridian at the Equator. It was composed of Godin,
Bouguer, and La Condamine.

It was decided to entrust a similar expedition to the North to

[Illustration: Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis.]

"If," said this scientific man, "the flatness of the earth be not
greater then Huyghens supposed, the margin between the degrees of the
meridian measured in France, and the first degrees of the meridian
near the Equator, would not be too considerable to be attributed to
possible errors of the observers, or to the imperfection of
instruments. But, if the observation can be made at the Pole, the
difference between the first degree of the meridian nearest the
equatorial line, and, for example, the sixty-sixth degree, which
crosses the polar circle, will be great enough, even by Huyghens'
hypothesis, to show itself irresistibly, and beyond the possibility of
miscalculation, because the difference would be repeated just as many
times as there are intermediate degrees."

The problem thus neatly propounded ought to have obtained a ready
solution both at the Pole and the Equator--a solution which would have
settled the discussion, by proving Huyghens and Newton to be right.

The expedition embarked in a vessel equipped at Dunkerque. In addition
to Maupertuis, it comprised De Clairaut, Camus, and Lemonnier,
Academicians, Albey Outhier, canon of Bayeux, a secretary named
Sommereux, a draughtsman, Herbelot, and the scientific Swedish
astronomer, Celsius.

When the King of Sweden received the members of the mission at
Stockholm, he said to them, "I have been in many bloody battles, but I
should prefer finding myself in the midst of the most sanguinary,
rather than join your expedition."

Certainly, it was not likely to prove a party of pleasure. The learned
adventurers were to be tested by difficulties of every kind, by
continued privation, by excessive cold. But what comparison can be
made between their sufferings, and the agonies, the trials and the
dangers which were to be encountered by the Arctic explorers, Ross,
Parry, Hall, Payer, and many others.

Damiron in his "Eulogy of Maupertuis," says, "The houses at Tornea,
north of the Gulf of Bothnia, almost in the Arctic Circle, are hidden
under the snow. When one goes out, the air seems to pierce the lungs,
the increasing degrees of frost are proclaimed by the incessant
crackling of the wood, of which most of the houses are built. From the
solitude which reigns in the streets, one might fancy that the
inhabitants of the town were dead. At every step one meets mutilated
figures, people who have lost arms or legs from the terrible severity
of the temperature. And yet, the travellers did not intend pausing at

Now-a-days these portions of the globe are better known, and the
region of the Arctic climate thoroughly appreciated, which makes it
easier to estimate the difficulties the inquirers encountered.

They commenced their operations in July, 1736. Beyond Tornea they
found only uninhabited regions. They were obliged to rely upon their
own resources for scaling the mountains, where they placed the signals
intended to form the uninterrupted series of triangles.

Divided into two parties in order thus to obtain two measurements
instead of one, and thereby also to diminish the chance of mistakes,
the adventurous savants, after inconceivable hairbreadth escapes, of
which an account can be found in the Memoirs of the Academy of
Sciences for 1737, and after incredible efforts, decided that the
length of the meridian circle, comprised between the parallels of
Tornea and Kittis was 55,023 fathoms and a half. Thus below the Polar
circle, the meridian degree comprised a thousand fathoms more than
Cassini had imagined, and the terrestrial degree exceeded by 377
fathoms the length which Picard has reckoned it between Paris and

The result, therefore, of this discovery (a result long repudiated by
the Cassinis, both father and son), was that the earth was
considerably flattened at the poles.

Voltaire somewhat maliciously said of it,--

    Courrier de la physique, argonaute nouveau,
    Qui, franchissant les monts, qui, traversant les eaux,
    Ramenez des climats soumis aux trois couronnes,
    Vos perches, vos secteurs et surtout deux Laponnes.
    Vous avez confirmé dans ces lieux pleins d'ennui
    Ce que Newton connut sans sortir de lui.

In much the same vein he alludes to the two sisters who accompanied
Maupertuis upon his return, the attractions of one of whom proved

    Cette erreur est trop ordinaire
    Et c'est la seule que l'on fit
    En allant au cercle polaire.

M. A. Maury in his "History of the Academy of Sciences," remarks,--

"At the same time, the importance of the instruments and methods
employed by the astronomers sent to the North, afforded a support to
the defenders of the theory of the flattening of the globes, which was
hardly theirs by right, and in the following century the Swedish
astronomer, Svanburg, rectified their involuntary exaggerations, in a
fine work published by him in the French language."

Meantime the mission despatched by the Academy to Peru proceeded with
analogous operations. It consisted of La Condamine, Bouguer, and Godin,
three Academicians, Joseph de Jussieu, Governor of the Medical College,
who undertook the botanical branch, Seniergues, a surgeon, Godin des
Odonais, a clock-maker, and a draughtsman. They started from La
Rochelle, on the 16th of May, 1735.

Upon reaching St. Domingo, they took several astronomical observations,
and continued by way of Porto Bello, and Carthagena. Crossing the
Isthmus of Panama, they disembarked at Manta in Peru, upon the 9th of
March, 1736.

Arrived there, Bouguer and Condamine parted from their companions,
studied the rapidity of the pendulum, and finally reached Quito by
different routes. Condamine pursued his way along the coast, as far as
Rio de las Esmeraldas, and drew the map of the entire country, which
he traversed with such infinite toil. Bouguer went southwards towards
Guayaquil, passing through marshy forests, and reaching Caracol at the
foot of the Cordillera range of the Andes, which he was a week in
crossing. This route had been previously taken by Alvarado, when
seventy of his followers perished; amongst them, the three Spaniards
who had attempted to penetrate to the interior. Bouguer reached Quito
on the 10th of June. At that time this city contained between thirty
and forty thousand inhabitants, and boasted of an episcopal president
of the Assembly, and numbers of religious communities, besides two

Living there was cheap, with the exception of foreign merchandises,
which realized exorbitant prices, so much so indeed, that a glass
goblet fetched from eighteen to twenty francs.

The adventurers scaled the Pichincha, a mountain near Quito, the
eruptions from which had more than once been fatal to the inhabitants,
but they were not slow in discovering that they could not succeed in
carrying their implements to the summit of the mountains, and that
they must be satisfied with placing the signals upon the hills.

"An extraordinary phenomena may be witnessed almost every day upon the
summit of these mountains," said Bouguer in the account he read before
the Academy of Sciences, "which is probably as old as the world itself,
but what it appeared was never witnessed by any one before us. We
first remarked it when we were altogether upon a mountain called Pamba
Marca. A cloud in which we had been enveloped, and which dispersed,
allowed us a view of the rising sun, which was very brilliant. The
cloud passed on, it was scarcely removed thirty paces when each of us
distinguished his own shadow reflected above him, and saw only his own,
because the cloud presented a broken surface.

"The short distance allowed us fully to recognize each part of the
shadow; we distinguished the arms, the legs, the head, but we were
most amazed at finding that the latter was surrounded by a glory, or
aureole formed of two or three small concentric crowns of a very
bright colour, containing the same variety of hues as the rainbow, red
being the outer one. The spaces between the circles were equal, the
last circle the weakest, and in the far distance, we perceived one
large white one, which surrounded the whole. It produced the effect of
a transfiguration upon the spectator."

The instruments employed by these scholars were not as accurate as
more modern ones, and varied with changes of temperature, in
consequence of which, they were forced to proceed most carefully, and
with most minute accuracy, lest small errors accumulating should end
by leading to greater ones. Thus, in their trigonometrical surveys
Bouguer and his associates never calculated the third angle by the
observation of the two first, but always observed all three.

Having calculated the number of fathoms contained in the extent of
country surveyed, the next point was to discover what part this was of
the earth's circumference, which could only be ascertained by means of
astronomical observations.

After numerous obstacles, which it is impossible to give in detail,
after curious discoveries, as for example the attraction exercised on
the pendulum by mountains, the French inquirers arrived at conclusions
which fully confirmed the result of the expedition to Lapland. They
did not all return to France at the same time.

Jussieu continued his search after facts in natural history, and La
Condamine decided to return by way of the Amazon River, making an
important voyage, to which we shall have occasion to refer later.


Expedition of Wood Rogers--Adventures of Alexander Selkirk--Galapagos
Island--Puerto Seguro--Return to England--Expedition of George Anson--
Staten Island--Juan Fernandez--Tinian--Macao--Taking of the vessel--
Canton river--Results of the Cruise.

The war of the Spanish succession was at its height, when some
privateers of Bristol determined to fit out ships to attack the
Spanish vessels, in the Pacific Ocean, and to devastate the coasts of
South America. The two vessels chosen, the _Duke_ and _Duchess_, under
Captains Rogers and Courtenay, were carefully equipped, and stocked
with everything necessary for so long a voyage, the famous Dampier,
who had acquired a great reputation by his daring adventures and
piracies, did not disdain to accept the title of chief pilot, and
although this trip was richer in material results than in geographical
discoveries, the account of it contains a few curious particulars
worthy of preservation.

The _Duke_ and _Duchess_ set sail from the Royal Port of Bristol on
the 2nd April, 1708. To begin with, we may note one interesting fact.
Throughout the voyage a register was at the service of the crew, in
which all the incidents of the voyage were to be noted, so that the
slightest errors, and the most insignificant oversights could be
rectified before the facts of the case faded from memory.

Nothing of note occurred on this voyage till the 22nd December, when
the Falkland Islands, previously noticed by few navigators, were
discovered. Rogers did not land on them, but contented himself with
observing that the coast, although less precipitous, resembled that of

"All the hills," he added, "with their well-wooded and gradually
sloping sides, appeared fertile, and the shore is not wanting in good

Now these islands do not possess a single tree, and the good harbours,
as we shall presently see, are anything but numerous, so we can judge
of the exactitude of the observations made by Rogers. Navigators have
done well not to trust to them.

After passing this archipelago the two vessels steered due south, and
penetrated as far as south lat. 60 degrees 58 minutes. Here, there was
no night, the cold was intense, and the sea so rough that the
_Duchess_ sustained a few injuries. The chief officers of the two
vessels assembled in council, agreed that it would be better not to
attempt to go further south, and the course was changed for the west.
On the 15th January, 1709, Cape Horn is said to have been doubled, and
the southern ocean entered.

Up to this date the position of the island of Juan Fernandez, was
differently given on nearly all maps, and Wood Rogers, who intended to
harbour there, take in water, and get a little fresh meat, came upon
it almost unawares.

On the 1st February, he embarked in a little boat to try and find an
anchorage. Whilst his people were awaiting his return, a large fire
was noticed on shore. Had some Spanish or French vessels cast anchor
here? Would it be necessary to fight for the water and food required?
Every preparation was made during the night, but in the morning no
ship was in sight. Conjectures were already being hazarded as to
whether the enemy had retired, when the end was put to all surmises by
the return of the boat, bringing in it a man clad in goatskins, whose
personal appearance was yet more savage than his garments.

It was a Scotch mariner, Alexander Selkirk by name, who in consequence
of a quarrel with the captain of his ship, had been left on this
desert island four years and a half before. The fire which had
attracted notice had been lighted by him.

During his stay on the island of Juan Fernandez, Selkirk had seen many
vessels pass, but only two, both Spanish, had cast anchor. Discovered
by the sailors, Selkirk had been fired upon, and only escaped death by
the agility with which he managed to climb into a tree and hide.

He told how he had been put ashore with his clothes, his bed, a pound
of powder, some bullets, a little tobacco, a hatchet, a knife, a
kettle, a Bible, with a few other devotional books, his nautical
instruments and books.

Poor Selkirk provided for his wants as best he could, but during the
first few months he had great difficulty in conquering the sadness and
mastering the horror consequent upon his terrible loneliness. He built
two huts of willow, which he covered with a sort of rush, and lined
with the skins of the goats he killed to satisfy his hunger, so long
as his ammunition lasted. When it was likely to fail, he managed to
strike a light by rubbing two pieces of pimento wood together. When he
had quite exhausted his ammunition, he caught the goats as they ran,
his agility had become so great by dint of constant exercise, that he
scoured the woods, rocks, and hills, with a perfectly incredible speed.
We had sufficient proof of his skill, when he went hunting with us. He
outran and exhausted our best hunters, and an excellent dog which we
had on board; he easily caught the goats, and brought them to us on
his back. He himself related to us, that one day he chased his prey so
eagerly to the edge of a precipice, which was concealed by bushes,
that they rolled over and over together, until they reached the bottom.
He lost consciousness through that fall, and upon discovering that the
goat lay under him quite dead, after remaining where he was for
twenty-four hours, he with the utmost difficulty succeeded in crawling
to his cabin, which was about a mile distant; and he was unable to
walk again for six days.

[Illustration: Selkirk falling over the precipice with his prey.]

This deserted wretch managed to season his food with the turnips sown
by the crew of a ship, with cabbages, capsicums, and all-spice. When
his clothes and shoes were worn out, a process which occupied but a
short time, he ingeniously constructed new ones of goatskin, sewing
them together with a nail, which served him as a needle. When his
knife was useless, he constructed a new one from the cask-hoops he
found on the shore. He had so far lost the use of speech, that he
could only make himself understood by an effort. Rogers took him on
board, and appointed him boatswain's mate.

Selkirk was not the first sailor abandoned upon the island of Juan
Fernandez. It may be remembered that Dampier had already rescued an
unfortunate Mosquito man, who was abandoned from 1681 to 1684. Sharp
and other buccaneers have related that the sole survivor of a crew of
a vessel wrecked on this coast, lived there for five years, until he
was rescued by another ship. Saintine, in his recent novel, "Alone,"
has detailed Selkirk's adventures.

Upon the 14th of February, the _Duke_ and _Duchess_ left Juan
Fernandez, and commenced their operations against the Spaniards.
Rogers seized Guayaquil, for which he obtained a large ransom, and
captured several vessels, which, however, provided him with more
prisoners than money.

This part of his voyage concerns us but little, and a few particulars
only are interesting, as, for instance, his mention of a monkey in the
Gorgus Island, who was so lazy, that he was nicknamed the Sluggard,
and of the inhabitants of Tecamez, who repulsed the new-comers with
poisoned arrows, and guns. He also speaks of the Galapagos Island,
situated two degrees of northern latitude. According to Rogers, this
cluster of islands was numerous, but out of them all one only provided
fresh water. Turtle-doves existed there in great quantities, and
tortoises, and sea-turtles, of an extraordinary size abounded, thence
the name given by the Spaniards to this group.

Sea-dogs also were common, one of them had the temerity to attack
Rogers. "I was walking along the shore," he says, "when it left the
water, his jaws gaping, as quickly and ferociously as a dog escaping
from his chain. Three times he attacked me, I plunged my pike into his
breast, and each time I inflicted such a wound that he fled howling
horribly. Finally, turning towards me, he stopped to growl and show
his fangs. Scarcely twenty-four hours earlier, one of my crew had
narrowly escaped being devoured by a monster of the same family."

[Illustration: "I plunged my pike into his breast."]

In December, Rogers repaired to Puerto Seguro, upon the Californian
coast, with a Manilla galleon, which he had seized. Many of his men
penetrated to the interior; he found large forest trees, but not the
slightest appearance of culture, although smoke indicated the
existence of inhabitants.

The inhabitants, according to Albey Presort's "History of Voyages,"
were straight built and powerful, blacker than any Indian tribe
hitherto met with in the Pacific Ocean Seas. They had long black hair
plaited, which reached below the waist. All the men went about naked,
but the women wore a garment, either composed of leaves or of stuff
made from them, and sometimes the skins of beasts and birds.
Occasionally they wore necklaces and bracelets made of bits of wood or
shells. Others adorned their necks with small red berries and pearls.
Evidently they did not know how to pierce holes in them, for they
notched them and joined them by a thread. They valued these ornaments
so highly, that they refused to change them for English necklaces of
glass. Their chief anxiety was to obtain knives and useful implements.

The _Duke_ and _Duchess_ left Porto Segura on the 12th January, 1710,
and reached the island of Guaham, of the Mariannes, in the course of
two months. Here they revictualled, and passing by the Straits of
Boutan and Saleyer, reached Batavia. After a necessary delay at the
latter place, and at the Cape of Good Hope, Rogers cast anchor in the
Downs upon the 1st of October.

In spite of Rogers' reticence with regard to the immense riches he
brought with him, a good idea of their extent may be gathered from the
account of ingots, vessels of silver and gold, and pearls, with which
he delighted the shipowners.

We now come to our account of Admiral Anson's voyage, which almost
belongs to the category of naval warfare, but with it we may close the
list of piratical expeditions, which dishonoured the victors without
ruining the vanquished. And if he brought no new acquisition to
geography, his account teams with judicious observations, and
interesting remarks about a country then little known.

The merit of them, however, if we are to believe Nichols' Literary
anecdotes, rests rather with Benjamin Robins, than, as the title would
appear to indicate, with the chaplain of the expedition, Richard

George Anson was born in Staffordshire in 1697. A sailor from his
childhood, he early brought himself into notice.

He was already well known as a clever and fortunate captain, when in
1739 he was offered the command of a squadron. It consisted of the
_Centurion_, 60 guns, the _Gloucester_ and _Severe_, each 50 guns, the
_Pearl_, 40 guns, the _Wager_, 28 guns. To it were attached also the
sloop _Trial_, and two transports carrying food and ammunition. In
addition to the crew of 1460, a reinforcement of 470 marines was added
to the fleet.

Leaving England on the 18th September, 1740, the expedition proceeded
by way of Madeira, past the island of St. Catharine, along the
Brazilian coast, by St. Julian Harbour, and finally crossed the Strait
of Lemaire.

"Terrible," said the narrative, "as the aspect of Tierra del Fuego may
be, that of Staten Island is more horrible still. It consists of a
series of inaccessible rocks, crowned with sharp points. Prodigiously
high, they are covered with eternal snow, and edged with precipices.
In short, it is impossible to conceive anything more deserted, or more
wild than this region."

Scarcely had the last vessels of the squadron filed through the strait,
than a series of heavy gales, squalls, and storms, caused the oldest
sailors to vow that all they had hitherto known of tempests were
nothing in comparison.

This fearful experience lasted seven weeks without intermission. It is
needless to state that the vessels sustained great damage, that many
men were swept away by the waves, numbers destroyed by illnesses
occasioned by the exposure to constant damp, and want of sufficient

Two of the vessels, the _Severe_ and the _Pearl_, were engulfed, and
four others were lost sight of. Anson was unable to reach Valdivia,
the rendezvous he had selected in case of separation; carried far to
the north, he could only arrest his course at Juan Fernandez, which he
reached upon the 9th of June.

The _Centurion_ had the greatest need of rest. She had lost eighty of
her crew, her supply of water had failed, and the sailors were so
weakened by scurvy, that ten only of the remaining number were
available for the watch. The other vessels, in an equally bad plight,
were not long in regaining her.

The first care was to restore the exhausted crews, and to repair the
worst injuries sustained by the vessels. Anson sent the sick on shore
and installed them in a sheltered hospital in the open air, then
putting himself at the head of the most enterprising sailors, he
scoured the entire island, and thoroughly examined its roads and
shores. The best anchorage, according to his report, was in Cumberland
Bay. The south-eastern portion of Juan Fernandez, a little island
scarcely five leagues by two in extent, is dry, rocky, treeless; the
ground lies low, and is level in comparison with the northern portion.
It produces water-cresses, purslain, sorrels, turnips, and Sicilian
radishes in abundance, as well as oats and clover. Anson sowed carrots
and lettuces, and planted plums, apricots, and peaches. He soon
discovered that the number of goats, left by the buccaneers, and which
had multiplied marvellously, had since decreased.

The Spaniards, eager to deprive their enemies of this valuable
resource, had let loose a quantity of famished dogs upon the island,
who chased the goats, and devoured so many of them, that, at the time
of Anson's visit, scarcely two hundred remained. The Commodore, for so
Anson is always called in the narrative of this voyage, reconnoitered
the Island of Mas a Fuero, which is only twenty-five leagues west of
Juan Fernandez. Smaller than the latter, it is more wooded, better
watered, and possessed more goats.

At the beginning of December, the crews were sufficiently recovered
for Anson to put into execution his projected attack upon the
Spaniards. He commenced by seizing several ships laden with precious
merchandise and ingots, and then set fire to the city of Paita. Upon
this occasion the Spaniards estimated their loss at one and a half
million piastres.

Anson then proceeded to Quibo Bay, near Panama, to lie in wait for the
galleon which, every year, transported the treasures of the Philippine
Islands to Acapulco. There, although the English met with no
inhabitants in the miserable huts, they found heaps of shells and
beautiful mother of pearl left there during the summer months by the
fishermen of Panama. In mentioning the resources of this place, we
must not omit the immense turtles, which usually weighed two hundred
pounds, and which were caught in a singular manner. When a shoal of
them were seen floating asleep upon the surface of the ocean, a good
swimmer would plunge in a few fathoms deep, and rising, seize the
turtle towards the tail, and endeavour to force it down. Upon
awakening, the creature's struggles to free itself suffice to support
both the man and his prey, until the arrival of a boat to receive them

After a fruitless cruise, Anson determined to burn three of the
Spanish vessels which he had seized and equipped. Distributing the
crews and cargo upon the _Centurion_ and the _Gloucester_, the only
two vessels remaining to him, he decided upon the 6th of May, 1742, to
make for China, where he hoped to find reinforcements and supplies.

But this voyage, which he expected to accomplish in sixty days, took
him fully four months. After a violent gale, the _Gloucester_, having
all but foundered, and her crew being too reduced to work her, was
burnt. Her cargo of silver, and her supplies were trans-shipped to the
_Centurion_, which alone remained of all that magnificent fleet which
two years earlier had set sail from England!

Thrown out of his course, far to the north, Anson discovered on the
26th of August, the Isles of Atanacan and Serigan, and the following
day those of Saypan, Tinian, and Agnigan, which form a part of the
Marianne Archipelago.

A Spaniard, a sergeant, whom he captured in a small bark in these seas,
told him that the island of Tinian was inhabited, and abounded with
cattle, fowls, and excellent fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes,
bread fruit, &c. Nowhere could the _Centurion_ have found a more
welcome port for her exhausted crew, now numbering only seventy-one
men, worn out by privation and illness, the only survivors of the 2000
sailors who had manned the fleet at its departure.

"The soil of this island," says the narrative, "is dry and somewhat
sandy, which makes the verdure of the meadows and woods more delicate
and more uniform than is usually the case in tropical climates.

"The ground rises gently from the English encampment to the centre of
the isle, but before its greatest height is reached, one meets with
sloping glade, covered with fine clover, and many brilliant flowers,
and bordered by beautiful fruit-trees.

"The animals, who, for the greater part of the year, are the only
lords of this beautiful retreat, add to its romantic charm, and
contribute not a little to its marvellous appearance. Thousands of
cattle may be seen grazing together in a vast meadow, and the sight is
the more singular as the animals are all of a milk white colour, with
the exception of their ears, which are generally black. Although it is
a desert-island, the sight and sound of such a number of domestic
animals, rushing in crowds through the woods, suggest the idea of
farmhouses and villages."

Truly an enchanting description! But has not the author rather drawn
upon his imagination for the charming details of his description?

After so long a voyage, after so many storms, it is little to be
wondered at, if the verdant woods, the exuberant vegetation, and the
abundance of animal life, profoundly impressed the minds of Anson's
companions. Well! we shall soon learn whether his successors at Tinian
found it as wonderful as he did.

Meanwhile Anson was not altogether free from anxiety. It was true that
his ships were repaired, but many of his men remained on land to
recover their strength, and but a small number of able-bodied seamen
remained on board with him. The roadstead being lined with coral,
great precautions were necessary to save the cables from being cut,
but in spite of them, at new moon, a sudden tempest arose and broke
the ship loose. The anchors held well, but the hawsers gave way, and
the _Centurion_ was carried out to sea. The thunder growled
ceaselessly, and the rain fell with such violence, that the signals of
distress which were given by the crew were not even heard. Anson, most
of his officers, and a large part of the crew, numbering one hundred
and thirteen persons, remained on land and found themselves deprived
of the only means they possessed of leaving Tinian. Their despair was
great, their consternation inexpressible. But Anson, with his energy
and endless resources, soon roused his companions from their despair!
One vessel, that which they had captured from the Spaniards, still
remained to them, and it occurred to them to lengthen it, until it
could contain them all with the necessary provisions for a voyage to
China. However, after nineteen days, the _Centurion_ returned, and the
English, embarking in her upon the 21st of October, were not long in
reaching Macao, putting into a friendly and civilized port for the
first time since their departure from England, two years before.

"Macao," says Anson, "formerly rich, well populated, and capable of
self-defence against the Chinese Government, is greatly shorn of its
ancient splendour! Although still inhabited by the Portuguese and
ruled by a Governor, nominated by the King of Portugal, it is at the
mercy of the Chinese, who can starve the inhabitants, or take
possession of it, for which reasons the Portuguese Governor is very
careful not to offend them."

Anson was forced to write an imperious letter to the Chinese Governor,
before he could obtain permission to buy, even at high prices, the
provisions and stores he required. He then publicly announced his
intention of leaving for Batavia and set sail on the 19th of April,
1743. But, instead of steering for the Dutch possession, he directed
his course towards the Philippine Islands, where, for several days, he
awaited the arrival of the galleon returning from Acapulco, laden with
the proceeds of the sale of her rich cargo. These vessels usually
carried forty-four guns, and were manned by a crew of over 500 men.
Anson had only 200 sailors, of whom thirty were but lads, but this
disproportion did not deter him, for he had the expectation of rich
booty, and the cupidity of his men was sufficient guarantee of their

"Why," asked Anson one day of his steward, "why do you no longer give
us mutton for dinner? Have we eaten all the sheep we bought in China?"

"Pray excuse me, Commodore," replied the steward, "but I am reserving
the only two which remain for the Captain of the galleon."

No one, not even the steward, doubted of success! Anson well
understood how to secure it, and the efficiency of his men compensated
for their reduced numbers. The struggle was hot, the straw mats which
filled the rigging of the galleon took fire and the flames rose as
high as the mizen mast. The Spaniards found the double enemies too
much! After a sharp contest of two hours, during which sixty-seven of
their men were killed and eighty-four wounded, they surrendered.

[Illustration: Fight between the _Centurion_ and a Spanish galleon.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

It was a rich prize, 1,313,842 "pieces of eight,"[1] and 35,682 ounces
of ingot silver, with other merchandise of little value in comparison
with the money. This booty, added to others, amounted to nearly
400,000_l_, without taking into account the vessels, goods, &c., of
the Spaniards which the English squadron had burnt or destroyed, and
which could not be reckoned at less than 600,000_l_.

[Footnote 1: A Spanish coin, so called, because it represents the
eighth of a doubloon, it is worth about nine shillings English money.]

Anson convoyed his prize to the Canton River, where he sold it much
below its value, for 6000 piastres. He left on the 10th of December,
and reached Spithead on the 15th of June, 1744, after an absence of
three years and nine months. He made a triumphal entry into London.
The half-million of money, which was the result of his numerous prizes,
was conveyed through the city in thirty-two chariots, to the sound of
trumpets and beating of drums and amidst the shouts of the people.

The money was divided between himself, his officers, and men; the king
himself could not claim a share.

Anson was created rear-admiral shortly after his return, and received
important commands.

In 1747, he captured the Marquis of La Jonquière Taffanel, after an
heroic struggle. For this exploit, he was made First Lord of the
Admiralty and Admiral.

In 1758, he covered the attempted descent of the English near St. Malo,
and died in London a short time after his return.



Roggewein--The little that is known of him--The uncertainty of his
discoveries--Easter Island--The Pernicious Islands--The Baumans--New
Britain--Arrival in Batavia--Byron--Stay at Rio Janeiro and Port
Desire--Entrance into Straits of Magellan--Falkland Islands and Port
Egmont--The Fuegians--Mas a Fuero--Disappointment Islands--Danger
Islands--Tinian--Return to Europe.

As early as 1669, Roggewein the elder had petitioned the Dutch West
India Company for three armed vessels, in order to prosecute his
discoveries in the Pacific Ocean. His project was favourably received,
but a coolness in the relations between Spain and Holland forced the
Batavian government to relinquish the expedition for a time. Upon his
death-bed Roggewein forced from his son Jacob a promise to carry the
plan he had conceived into execution.

Circumstances, over which he had no control, for a long time hindered
the fulfilment of his promise. It was only after several voyages in
the Indian seas, after having even been judge in the Batavian Justice
Court, that at length Jacob Roggewein was in a position to take the
necessary steps with the West India Company. We have no means of
finding out Roggewein's age in 1721, or of ascertaining what were his
claims to the command of an expedition of discovery. Most biographical
dictionaries honour him with but a slight mention, perhaps of a couple
of lines, and Fleurieu, in his learned and exhaustive account of the
Dutch navigator, was unable to find out anything certain about him.

Moreover, the narrative of the voyage was written not by Roggewein,
but by a German named Behrens. We may, therefore, with some justice,
attribute the obscurities and contradictions of the particulars given,
and their general want of accuracy, rather to the narrator than to the
navigator. It even appears sometimes (and this is far from improbable),
that Roggewein was ignorant of the voyages and discoveries of his
predecessors and contemporaries.

Upon the 21st of August, 1721, three vessels set sail from Texel,
under his command. They were, the _Eagle_ of 36 guns, and with a crew
of 111 men, the _Tienhoven_ of 28 guns and 100 men, Captain James
Bauman, and the galley _African_ of 14 guns and a crew of 60 men,
Captain Henry Rosenthal. Their voyage across the Atlantic afforded no
particulars of interest. Touching at Rio, Roggewein went in search of
an island which he named Auke's Magdeland, and which would appear to
be the same as the Land of the Virgin, Hawkins' Virginia, and the
Archipelago of the Falkland, or Malouine Islands, unless indeed it was
Southern Georgia. Although these islands were then well known, it
would appear that the Dutch knew little of their whereabouts, as after
vainly seeking the Falkland Isles, they set to work to look for the
island St. Louis, belonging to the French, apparently quite unaware
that they belonged to the same group.

There are few lands indeed which have borne so many different names as
Pepys Isles, Conti Isles, and many which we need not mention. It would
be easy to count up a dozen.

After discovering, or rather noticing an island below the parallel of
the Straits of Magellan, about twenty-four leagues from the American
continent, of two hundred leagues in circumference, which he named
South Belgium, Roggewein passed through the Straits of Lemaire, or
possibly was carried by the current to 62-1/2 degrees of southern
latitude. Finally, he regained the coast of Chili; and cast anchor
opposite the island of Mocha, which he found deserted. He afterwards
reached Juan Fernandez, where he met with the _Tienhoven_, from which
he had been separated since the 21st of December.

The vessels left this harbour before the end of March, and steered to
the west-north-west, in search of the land discovered by Davis,
between 27 degrees and 28 degrees south.

After a search of several days, Roggewein sighted an island upon the
6th of April, 1722, which he named Easter Island.

We will not stop to enumerate the exaggerated dimensions claimed for
this island by the Dutch navigator, nor to notice his observations of
the manners and customs of the inhabitants. We shall have occasion to
refer to them in dealing with the more detailed and reliable accounts
of Cook and La Perouse. "But," said Fleurieu, "we shall vainly look in
this narrative for any sign of learning on the part of Roggewein's
sergeant-major." After describing the Banana, of which the leaves are
six or eight feet high, and two or three wide, he adds that this was
the leaf with which our first parents covered their nakedness after
the Fall; and to make it clearer, further remarks that those who
accept this view, do so on account of this leaf being the largest of
all the plants growing either in eastern or western countries, thereby
plainly indicating his notion of the proportions of Adam and Eve.

A native came on board the _Eagle_. He delighted every one by his good
humour, gaiety, and friendly demonstrations.

In the morning Roggewein distinguished an eager multitude upon the
shore, which was adorned with high statues, who awaited the arrival of
the strangers with impatient curiosity. For no discoverable purpose a
gun was fired, one of the natives was killed, and the multitude fled
in every direction,--soon, however, to return in greater haste.
Roggewein, at the head of 150 men, fired a volley, stretching a number
of victims on the ground. Overcome with terror, the natives hastened
to appease their terrible visitors by offering them all they possessed.

Fleurieu is of opinion that Easter Island and Davis Land are not
identical; but in spite of the reasons with which he supports his
opinions, and the differences which he points out in the situation and
description of the two islands, it is impossible to avoid the
conclusion that Roggewein and Davis's discoveries are one and the same.
No other island answering to the description is to be found in these
latitudes, which are now thoroughly well known.

A violent storm of wind drove Roggewein from his anchorage on the
eastern side of the island, and obliged him to make for the
west-north-west. He traversed the sea called Mauvaise by Schouten, and
having sailed eight hundred leagues from Easter Island, fell in with
what he took to be the Isle of Dogs, so called by Schouten. Roggewein
named it Carlshoff, a name which it still retains.

The squadron passed this island in the night, without touching at it,
and was forced in the following night, by the wind and adverse
currents, to the midst of a group of low islands, which were quite
unexpectedly encountered. The _African_ was dashed against a coral
rock, and the two consorts narrowly escaped the same fate. Only after
five days of unceasing effort, of danger and anxiety, the crew
succeeded in extricating the vessels and in regaining the open sea.

The natives of this group were tall, with long and flowing hair. They
painted their bodies in various colours. It is generally agreed now to
recognize in Roggewein's description of the Pernicious Islands, the
group to which Cook gave the name of Palliser Isles.

On the morning succeeding the day in which he had so narrowly escaped
the dangers of the Pernicious Islands, Roggewein discovered an island
to which he gave the name of Aurora. Lying low, it was scarcely
visible above the water, and had the sun not shone out, the
_Tienhoven_ would have been lost upon it.

As night approached, new land was perceived, to which the name of
Vesper was given, and it is difficult to decide whether or no it
belonged to the Palliser group.

Roggewein continued to sail between the 15th and 16th degrees, and was
not long in finding himself "all of a sudden" in the midst of islands
which were half submerged.

"As we approached them," says Behrens, "we saw an immense number of
canoes navigating the coasts, and we concluded that the islands were
well populated. Upon nearing the land we discovered that it consisted
of a mass of different islands, situated close the one to the other,
and we were insensibly drawn in amongst them. We began to fear that we
should be unable to extricate ourselves. The admiral sent one of the
pilots up to the look-out to ascertain how we could get free of them.

"We owed our safety to the calm that prevailed. The slightest movement
of the water would have run our ships upon the rocks, without the
possibility of assistance reaching us. As it was, we got away without
any accident worth mentioning. These islands are six in number, all
very pleasant, and taken together may extend some thirty leagues. They
are situated twenty-five leagues westward of the Pernicious Islands.
We named them the Labyrinth, because we could only leave them by a
circuitous route."

Many authors identify this group with Byron's Prince of Wales Islands.
Fleurieu holds a different opinion. Dumont d'Urville thinks them
identical with the group of Vliegen, already seen by Schouten and

After navigating for three days in a westerly direction, the Dutch
caught sight of a beautiful island. Cocoa-nuts, palm-trees, and
luxuriant verdure testified to its fertility. But finding it
impossible to anchor there, the officers and crews were obliged to
visit it in well-armed detachments.

Once more the Dutch needlessly shed the blood of an inoffensive
population which had awaited them upon the shore, and whose only fault
consisted in their numbers.

After this execution, worthy rather of barbarians than of civilized
men, they endeavoured to persuade the natives to return, by offering
presents to the chiefs, and by deceitful protestations of friendship.
But they were not to be deceived by the latter, and having enticed the
sailors into the interior, the inhabitants rushed upon them and
attacked them with stones. Although a volley of bullets stretched a
number upon the ground, they still bravely persisted in attacking the
strangers, and forced them to re-embark, carrying with them their dead
and wounded.

Of course the Dutch cried treason, not knowing how to find epithets
strong enough for the treachery and disloyalty of their adversaries.
But, who struck the first blow? Who was the aggressor? Even admitting
that a few thefts were committed, which is probable enough, was it
necessary to visit them with so severe a punishment, to revenge upon
an entire population the wrong-doing of a few individuals, who after
all can have had no very strict notions of honesty?

In spite of their losses, the Dutch called this island, in memory of
the refreshment they had enjoyed there, Recreation Island. Roggewein
gives its situation as below the sixth parallel, but his longitude is
so incorrect, that it is impossible to depend upon it.

The question now arises, whether the captain should prosecute his
search for the Island Espirito Santo de Quiros in the west, or whether,
on the contrary, he should sail northward and reach the East Indies
during the favourable season?

The counsel of war, which Roggewein called to the consideration of
this question, chose the latter alternative.

[Illustration: "The counsel chose the latter alternative."]

The third day after this decision, three islands were simultaneously
discovered. They received the name of Bauman, after the captain of the
_Tienhoven_, who was the first to catch sight of them. The natives
came round the vessels to traffic, whilst an immense crowd of the
inhabitants lined the shore, armed with bows and spears. They were
white skinned, and only differed from Europeans in appearance, when
very much tanned by the sun. Their bodies were not painted. A strip of
stuff, artistically arranged and fringed, covered them from the waist
to the heels. Hats of the same material protected their heads and
necklaces of sweet-smelling flowers, adorned their necks.

"It must be confessed," says Behrens, "that this is the most civilized
nation, as well as the most honest, which we have met with in the
southern seas. Charmed with our arrival, they received us like gods,
and when we showed our intention of leaving, they testified most
lively regrets."

From the description, these would appear to have been the inhabitants
of the Navigators Islands.

After having encountered the islands which Roggewein believed to be
Cocoa and Traitor Islands, already visited by Schouten and Lemaire,
and which Fleurieu, imagining them to be a Dutch discovery, named
Roggewein Islands; after having caught sight of Tienhoven and
Groningue Islands, which were believed by Pingré to be identical with
Santa Cruz of Mendana, the expedition finally reached the coast of New
Ireland. Here the discoverers perpetrated new massacres. From thence
they went to the shores of New Guinea, and after crossing the Moluccas,
cast anchor at Batavia.

There their fellow-countrymen, less humane than many of the tribes
they had visited, confiscated the two vessels, imprisoned the officers
and sailors indiscriminately, and sent them to Europe to take their
trial. They had committed the unpardonable crime of having entered
countries belonging to the East India Company, whilst they themselves
were in the employ of the West India Company.

The result was a trial, and the East India Company was compelled to
restore all that it had appropriated, and to pay heavy damages.

We lose all sight of Roggewein after his arrival at Texel upon the
11th July, 1723, and no details are to be obtained of the last years
of his life. Grateful thanks are due to Fleurieu for having unravelled
this "chaotic" narrative, and for having thrown some light upon an
expedition which deserves to be better known.

Upon the 17th of June, 1764, Commodore Byron received instructions
signed by the Lord of the Admiralty. They were to the following
effect,--"As nothing contributes more to the glory of this nation, in
its character of a maritime power, to the dignity of the British crown,
and to the progress of its national commerce and navigation, than the
discovery of new regions; and as there is every reason for believing
in the existence of lands and islands in great numbers, between the
Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan, which have been
hitherto unknown to the European powers, and which are situated in
latitudes suitable for navigation, and in climates productive of
different marketable commodities; and as moreover, his Majesty's
islands, called Pepys and Falkland Islands, situated as will be
described, have not been sufficiently examined for a just appreciation
of their shores and productions, although they were discovered by
English navigators; his Majesty, taking all these considerations into
account, and conceiving the existing state of profound peace now
enjoyed by his subjects especially suitable for such an undertaking,
has decided to put it into execution."

Upon what seaman would the choice of the English Government fall?

Commodore John Byron, born on the 8th of November, 1723, was the man
selected. From his earliest years, he had shown an enthusiastic love
of seafaring life, and at the age of seventeen had offered his
services upon one of the vessels that formed Admiral Anson's squadron,
when it was sent out for the destruction of Spanish settlements upon
the Pacific coast.

We have already given an account of the troubles which befell this
expedition before the incredible fortune which was to distinguish its
last voyage.

The vessel upon which Byron embarked was the _Wager_. It was wrecked
in passing through the Straits of Magellan, and the crew being taken
prisoners by the Spaniards, were sent to Chili. After a captivity
which lasted at least three years, Byron effected his escape, and was
rescued by a vessel from St. Malo, which took him to Europe. He
returned at once to service, and distinguished himself in various
encounters during the war with France. Doubtless it was the
recollection of his first voyage round the world, so disastrously
interrupted, which procured for him the distinction conferred upon him
by the Admiralty.

The vessels entrusted to him were carefully armed. The _Dauphin_ was a
sixth-rate man-of-war, and carried 24 guns, 150 sailors, 3 lieutenants,
and 37 petty officers. The _Tamar_ was a sloop of 16 guns, and 90
sailors, 3 lieutenants, 27 petty officers, commanded by Captain Mouat.

The start was not fortunate. The expedition left the Downs upon the
21st of June, but the _Dauphin_ grounded before leaving the Thames,
and was obliged to put into Plymouth for repairs.

Upon the 3rd of July, anchor was finally weighed, and ten days later,
Byron put in at Funchal in the Island of Madeira for refreshments. He
was forced to halt again at Cape Verd Islands, to take in water, that
with which he was supplied having become rapidly wasted.

Nothing further occurred to interrupt the voyage, until the two
English vessels sighted Cape Frio.

Byron remarked a singular fact, since fully verified, that the copper
sheathing of his vessels appeared to disperse the fish, which he
expected to meet with in large quantities.

The tropical heat, and constant rains, had struck down a large
proportion of the crew, hence the urgent need of rest and of fresh
victuals which they experienced.

These they hoped to find at Rio de Janeiro, where they arrived on the
12th December. Byron was warmly welcomed by the viceroy, and thus
describes his first interview.

"When I made my visit, I was received in the greatest state, about
sixty officers were drawn up by the palace. The guard was under arms.
They were fine, well-drilled men. His Excellency accompanied by the
nobility received me on the staircase. Fifteen salutes from the
neighbouring fort honoured my arrival. We then entered the
audience-chamber, and after a conversation of a quarter of an hour, I
took my leave, and was conducted back with the same ceremonies."

We shall see a little later how slightly the reception given to
Captain Cook some years afterwards resembled that just related.

The Commodore obtained ready permission to disembark his sick, and
found every facility for revictualling. His sole cause of complaint
was the repeated endeavour of the Portuguese to tempt his sailors to

The insupportable heat experienced by the crew shortened their stay at
Rio. Upon the 16th of October, anchor was weighed, but it was five
days before a land breeze allowed the vessels to gain the open sea.

Up to this moment, the destination of the expedition had been kept
secret. Byron now summoned the captain of the _Tamar_ on board, and in
the presence of the assembled sailors, read his instructions.

These enjoined him not to proceed to the East Indies, as had been
supposed, but to prosecute discoveries, which might prove of great
importance to England in the southern seas. With this object the Lords
of the Admiralty promised double pay to the crew, with future
advancement and enjoyments, if they were pleased with their services.
The second part of this short harangue was the most acceptable to the
sailors and was received by them with joyous demonstrations.

Until the 29th of October no incident occurred in their passage. Upon
that date sudden and violent squalls succeeded each other and
culminated in a fearful tempest, the violence of which was so great
that the Commodore ordered four guns to be thrown overboard, to avoid
foundering. In the morning the weather moderated somewhat, but it was
as cold as in England at the same time of year, although in this
quarter of the globe the month of November answers to the month of May.
As the wind continued to drive the vessel eastward, Byron began to
think that he should experience great difficulty in avoiding the east
of Patagonia.

Suddenly, upon the 12th of November, although no land was marked on
the chart in this position, a repeated cry of "Land! land ahead!"
arose. Clouds at this moment obscured almost the entire horizon, and
it thundered and lightened without intermission.

"It seemed to me," says Byron, "that what had at first appeared to be
an island, was really two steep mountains, but, upon looking windward,
it was apparent that the land which belonged to these mountains
stretched far to the south-east." Consequently, he steered south-west.
"I sent some officers to the masthead to watch the wind, and to verify
the discovery. They unanimously asserted that they saw a great extent
of country. We then went E.S.E. The land appeared to present entirely
the same appearance. The mountains looked blue, as is often the case
in dark and rainy weather, when one is near them. Shortly afterwards,
several of our number fancied they could distinguish waves breaking
upon a sandy shore, but after steering with the utmost caution for an
hour, that which we had taken for land disappeared suddenly, and we
were convinced to our amazement that it had been only a land of fog! I
have passed all my life at sea," continues Byron, "since I was
twenty-seven, but I never could have conceived so complete and
sustained an illusion.

"There is no doubt, that had the weather not cleared so suddenly as it
did, we should one and all on board have declared that we had
discovered land in this latitude. We were then in latitude 43 degrees
46 minutes S. and longitude 60 degrees 5 minutes W."

The next morning a terrible gale of wind arose, heralded by the
piercing cries of many hundred birds flying before it. It lasted only
twenty minutes--sufficiently long, however, to throw the vessel on its
beam end before it was possible to let go the halliards. At the same
moment a blow from the sheet of the mainsail overthrew the first
lieutenant, and sent him rolling to a distance, while the mizen-mast,
which was not entirely lowered, was torn to pieces.

The following days were not much more favourable. Moreover, the ship
had sunk so little, that she drifted away as the wind freshened. After
such a troublesome voyage, we may guess how gladly Byron reached
Penguin Island and Port Desire on the 24th of November. But the
delights of this station did not by any means equal the anticipations
of the crew.

The English sailors landed and upon advancing into the interior, met
only with a desert country, and sandy hills, without a single tree.
They found no game, but they saw a few guanacos too far off for a
shot; they were, however, able to catch some large hares, which were
not difficult to secure. The seals and sea birds, however, furnished
food for an entire fleet.

Badly situated and badly sheltered, Port Desire offered the further
inconvenience that only brackish water could be procured there. Not a
trace of inhabitants was to be found! A long stay in this place being
useless and dangerous, Byron started in search of Pepys Island on the

The position of this island was most uncertain. Halley placed it 80
degrees east of the continent. Cowley, the only person who asserted
that he had seen it, declared it was about 47 degrees latitude, S.,
but did not fix its longitude. Here then was an interesting problem to

After having explored to the N., to the S., and to the E., Byron,
satisfied that this island was imaginary, set sail for the Sebaldines,
in haste to reach the first possible port where he could obtain food
and water, of which he had pressing need. A storm overtook him, during
which the waves were so terrific, that Byron declared he had never
seen them equalled, even when he doubled Cape Horn with Admiral Anson.
This danger surmounted, he recognized Cape Virgin, which forms the
northern entrance to the Straits of Magellan.

As soon as the vessels neared the shore, the sailors distinguished a
crowd of men on horseback, who set up a white tent, and signed to them
to land. Curious to see these Patagonians, about whom preceding
navigators had so disagreed, Byron landed with a strong detachment of
armed soldiers.

He found nearly 500 men, most of them on horseback, of gigantic
stature, and looking like monsters in human shape. Their bodies were
painted in the most hideous manner, their faces traced with various
coloured lines, their eyes encircled with blue, black, or red, so that
they had the appearance of wearing enormous spectacles. Almost all
were naked, with the exception of a skin thrown over their
shoulders--the wool inside, and a few of them wore boots. Truly, a
singular costume! primitive and not expensive!

[Illustration: "Most of them on horseback."]

With them were numbers of dogs and of very small horses, excessively
ugly, but not the less extremely swift.

The women rode on horseback like the men without stirrups, and all
galloped on the shore, although it was covered with immense stones and
very slippery.

The interview was friendly. Byron distributed numbers of toys, ribbons,
glass trinkets, and tobacco, to the crowd of giants.

As soon as he had brought the _Dauphin_ to the wind, Byron entered the
Straits of Magellan with the tide. It was not his intention to cross
it, but merely to find a safe and commodious harbour, where he might
secure wood and water before starting in his search for the Falkland

On leaving the second outlet, he met with St. Elizabeth, St.
Bartholomew, and St. George Islands, and Sandy Point. Near the last he
found a delicious country, springs, woods, fields covered with flowers,
which shed an exquisite perfume in the air. The country was swarming
with hundreds of birds, of which one species received the name of the
"Painted Goose," from the exceeding brilliancy of its plumage. But
nowhere could a spot be found where the ship's boat could approach
without extreme danger. The water was shallow everywhere, and the
breakers were heavy. Fish of many kinds--more especially
mullets,--geese, snipe, teal, and other birds of excellent flavour,
were caught and killed by the crew.

Byron was obliged to continue his voyage to Port Famine, which he
reached on the 27th of December.

"We were sheltered from all winds," he says, "with the exception of
the south-east, which rarely blows, and no damage could accrue to
vessels which might be driven on shore in the bay, because of the
profound calm that prevails. Wood enough floated near the shore to
stock a thousand vessels, so we had no need to go and cut it in the

"The River Sedger ran at the bottom of the bay, the water of which is
excellent. Its banks are planted with large and beautiful trees,
excellent for masts; parrots, and birds of brilliant plumage thronged
the branches." Abundance reigned in Famine Port during Byron's stay.

As soon as his crew were completely recovered from their fatigue and
the ships well provisioned, the Commodore, on the 5th of January, 1765,
resumed his search for the Falkland Islands. Seven days later, he
discovered a land in which he fancied he recognized the Islands of
Sebald de Wert, but upon nearing them he found that what he had taken
for three islands, was, in reality, but one, which extended far south.
He had no remaining doubt that he had found the group marked upon the
charts of the time as New Ireland, 51 degrees south latitude, and 63
degrees, 32 minutes west longitude.

First of all, Byron steered clear of them, fearing to be thrown upon a
coast with which he was unacquainted, and after this summary bearing,
a detachment was selected to skirt the coast as closely as possible,
and look for a safe and commodious harbour--which was soon met with.
It received the name of Port Egmont, in honour of Earl Egmont, First
Lord of the Admiralty.

"I did not expect," says Byron, "that it would be possible to find so
good a harbour. The depth was excellent, the supply of water easy; all
the ships of England might be anchored there in shelter from winds.

"Geese, ducks, and teal abounded to such an extent, that the sailors
were tired of eating them. Want of wood was general, with the
exception of some trunks of trees which floated by the shore, and
which were apparently brought here from the Strait of Magellan.

"The wild sorel and celery, both excellent anti-scorbutics, were to be
found in abundance. Sea-calves and seals, as well as penguins, were so
numerous that it was impossible to walk upon the strand without seeing
them rush away in herds. Animals resembling wolves, but more like
foxes in shape, with the exception of their height and tails, several
times attacked the sailors, who had great difficulty in defending
themselves. It would be no easy task to guess how they came here,
distant as the country is from any other continent,--by at least a
hundred leagues; or to imagine where they found shelter, in a country
barren of vegetation, producing only rushes, sword-grass, and not a
single tree."

The account of this portion of Byron's voyage, in Didot's biography,
is a tissue of errors.

"The flotilla," says M. Alfred de Lacaze, "became entangled in the
Straits of Magellan, and was forced to put into a bay near Port Famine,
which was named Port Egmont." A singular mistake, which proves how
lightly the articles of this important collection were sometimes

Byron took possession of Port Egmont and the adjacent isles, called
Falkland, in the name of the King of England. Cowley had named them
Pepys Islands, but in all probability the first discoverer was Captain
Davis in 1592. Two years later Sir Richard Hawkins found land which
was thought to be the same, and named it Virginia, in honour of his
queen Elizabeth. Lastly, vessels from St. Malo visited this group, and
no doubt it was owing to this fact that Frezier called them the
Malouines Islands.

[Illustration: Map of the Eastern Hemisphere. _Engraved by E. Morieu
23, r. de Brea Paris._]

[Illustration: Straits of Magellan, after Bougainville. _Gravé par E.

After having named a number of rocks, islets, and capes, Byron left
Port Egmont on the 27th of January, and set sail for Port Desire,
which he reached nine days later. There he found the _Florida_--a
transport vessel, which had brought from England the provisions and
necessary appliances for his long voyage.

But this anchorage was too dangerous. The _Florida_ and the _Tamar_
were in too bad a condition to be equal to the long operation of
transhipment. Byron therefore sent one of his petty officers, who had
a thorough knowledge of the Strait of Magellan, on board the _Florida_,
and with his two consorts set sail for Port Famine. He met with a
French ship so many times in the straits, that it appeared as if she
were bent upon the same course as himself. Upon returning to England,
he ascertained that she was the _Aigle_, Captain M. de Bougainville,
who was coasting Patagonia in search of the wood needed by the French
colony in the Falkland Islands.

During the various excursions in the straits, the English expedition
received several visits from the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego.

"I have never seen such wretched beings," says Byron; "they were
entirely naked, with the exception of a skin thrown across the
shoulders. They offered me the bows and arrows with which they were
armed in exchange for beads, necklaces, and other trifles. Their
arrows, which were two feet long, were made of cane, and pointed with
greenish stone; the bows were three feet long and were furnished with
catgut for strings.

"Their nourishment consisted of certain fruits, mussels, and the
remains of putrid fish thrown upon the beach during the storms. Pigs
only could have relished their food. It consisted of large pieces of
whale, already putrified, the odour of which impregnated the air for
some distance. One of them tore the carrion in pieces with his teeth,
and handed the bits to his companions, who devoured them with the
voracity of wild beasts.

"Several of these miserable beings decided to come on board. Wishing
to give them a pleasant reception, one of my petty officers played the
violin and the sailors danced. This delighted them. Anxious to show
their appreciation, one of their number hastened to his pirogue (small
boat) and returned with a little bag of wolf-skin, containing a red
ointment, with which he rubbed the face of the violinist. He was
anxious to pay me the same attention, but I drew back. He then tried
every means of overcoming my delicacy, and I had great difficulty in
avoiding the mark of esteem he was so anxious to give me."

[Illustration: "One of them tore the carrion with his teeth."]

It will not be out of place here to record the opinion held by Byron,
an experienced seaman, upon the advantages and disadvantages offered
to the passage through the Straits of Magellan. He does not agree with
the majority of navigators who have visited these latitudes. He

"Our account of the difficulties and dangers we encountered may lead
to the idea that it is not prudent to attempt this passage, and that
ships leaving Europe for the southern seas, should prefer to double
Cape Horn. I am by no means of this opinion, although I have twice
doubled Cape Horn. There is one season in the year when not only one
ship, but an entire fleet, might safely cross the straits, and to
profit by this season one should enter them in the month of December.
One inestimable advantage which should weigh with all navigators is
that celery, scurvy-grass, fruits, and other anti-scorbutic vegetables
abound. Such obstacles as we encountered, and which delayed us from
the 17th of February till the 8th of April in the straits, were mainly
due to the equinoctial season, a season which is invariably stormy,
and which, more than once, tried our patience."

Until the 26th of April, the day upon which they found Mas-a-Fuero,
belonging to the Juan Fernandez group, Byron had sailed to the N.W. He
hastened to disembark several sailors, who after obtaining water and
wood, chased wild goats, which they found better flavoured than
venison in England.

During their stay in this port, a singular fact occurred. A violent
surf broke over the shore, and prevented the shore-boats from reaching
the strand. Although he was provided with a life-belt, one of the
sailors, who could not swim, refused to jump into the sea to reach the
boat. Threatened with being left alone on the island, he still
persistently refused to venture, when one of his companions cleverly
encircled his waist with a cord, in which he had made a running knot,
and one end of which was made fast to the boat. When he reached the
vessel, Hawksworth's narrative relates, that the unfortunate fellow
had swallowed so much water that he appeared lifeless. He was
accordingly hung up by the heels, whereupon he soon regained his
senses, and the next day was completely restored. But in spite of this
truly wonderful recovery, we can hardly venture to recommend this
course of treatment to humane rescue societies.

Leaving Mas-a-Fuero, Byron changed his route, with the intention of
seeking Davis Land, now known as Easter Island, which was placed by
geographers in 27 degrees 30 minutes, a hundred leagues westward of
the American coast. Eight days were devoted to this search.

Having found nothing after this cruise, which he was unable to prolong,
Byron, following his intention of visiting the Solomon group, steered
for the north-west. Upon the 22nd of May scurvy broke out on board the
vessels, and quickly made alarming havoc.

Fortunately land was perceived from the look-out on the 7th of June in
140 degrees 58 minutes west longitude.

Next day, the fleet neared two islands, which presented an attractive

Large bushy trees, shrubs and groves were seen, and a number of
natives who hastened to the shore and lighted fires.

Byron sent a boat in search of anchorage. It returned without having
found the requisite depth at a cable's length from shore.

The unfortunate victims of scurvy who had crawled on to the forecastle,
cast looks of sorrowful longing at the fertile islands, which held the
remedy for their sufferings and which Nature placed beyond their

The narrative says,--

"They saw the cocoa-trees in abundance, laden with fruit, the milk of
which is probably the most powerful anti-scorbutic in the world. They
had reason for supposing that limes, bananas, and other tropical
fruits abounded, and to add to their torments they saw the shells of
tortoises floating on the shore."

All these delights, which would have restored them to vigour, were no
more attainable than if they had been separated by half the globe, but
the sight of them increased the misery of their privations.

Byron was anxious to curtail the tantalizing misery of his unfortunate
crew, and giving the name of Disappointment Islands to the group, he
set sail once more on the 8th of June.

The very next day he found a new land, long, flat, covered with
cocoa-nut trees. In its midst was a lake with a little islet. This
feature alone was indicative of the madreporic formation of the soil,
simple deposit, which was not yet, but which in time would become, an
island. The boat sent to sound met in every direction with a coast as
steep as a wall.

Meanwhile the natives made hostile demonstrations. Two men entered the
boat. One stole a sailor's waistcoat, another put out his hand for the
quarter-master's cocked hat, but not knowing how to deal with it,
pulled it towards him, instead of lifting it up, which gave the
quarter-master an opportunity of interfering with his intention. Two
large pirogues, each manned by thirty paddlers, showed an intention of
attacking the vessels, but the latter immediately chased them. Just as
they were running ashore a struggle ensued, and the English, all but
overwhelmed by numbers, were forced to use their arms. Three or four
natives were killed.

Next day, the sailors and such of the sick as could leave their
hammocks landed.

The natives, intimidated by the lesson they had received in the
evening, remained in concealment, whilst the English picked cocoa-nuts,
and gathered anti-scorbutic plants. These timely refreshments were so
useful that in a few days there was not a sick man on board.

Parrots, rarely beautiful, and tame doves, and several kinds of
unknown birds composed the fauna of the island, which received the
name of King George--that which was discovered afterwards was called
Prince of Wales' Island. All these lands belonged to the Pomotou group,
which is also known as the Low Islands, a very suitable name for this

On the 21st again a new chain of islands surrounded by breakers was
sighted. Byron did not attempt a thorough investigation of these, as
to do so he would have incurred risks out of proportion to the benefit
to be gained. He called them the Dangerous Islands.

Six days later, Duke of York Island was discovered. The English found
no inhabitants, but carried off two hundred cocoa-nuts, which appeared
to them of inestimable value.

A little farther, in latitude 1 degree 18 minutes south, longitude 173
degrees 46 minutes west, a desert island received the name of Byron;
it was situated eastward of the Gilbert group.

The heat was overwhelming, and the sailors, weakened, by their long
voyage and want of proper food, in addition to the putrid water they
had been forced to drink, were almost all attacked by dysentery.

At length, on the 28th of July, Byron joyfully recognized Saypan and
Tinian Islands, which form part of the Marianne or Ladrone Islands,
and he prepared to anchor in the very spot where Lord Anson had cast
anchor with the _Centurion_. Tents were immediately prepared for the
sufferers from scurvy. Almost all the sailors had been attacked by
this terrible disease, many even had been at the point of death. The
captain undertook to explore the dense wood which extended to the very
edge of the shore, in search of the lovely country so enthusiastically
described in the account written by Lord Anson's chaplain. How far
were these enchanting descriptions from the truth! Impenetrable
forests met him on every side, overgrown plants, briars, and tangled
shrubs, at every step caught and tore his clothes. At the same time
the explorers were attacked and stung by clouds of mosquitoes. Game
was scarce and wild, the water detestable, the roadstead was never
more dangerous than at this season.

The halt was made, therefore, under unfortunate auspices. Still, in
the end limes, bitter oranges, cocoa-nuts, bread-fruits, guavas, and
others were found. But although these productions were beneficial to
the invalids, who were shortly restored to vigour, the malarious
atmosphere caused such violent fever that two sailors succumbed to it.
In addition, the rain fell unceasingly and the heat was overpowering.
Byron says that he never experienced such terrific heat, even in his
visits to the coast of Guinea, the East Indies, or St. Thomas Island,
which is immediately below the equator.

Fowls and wild pigs which weighed about 2 cwt. each, were easily
procurable, but had to be eaten immediately, as in less than a hour
decomposition took place. Lastly, the fish caught upon this shore was
so unwholesome, that even those who ate it in moderation became
dangerously ill, and risked their lives.

After a stay of nine weeks, the two ships, amply provisioned, left the
port of Tinian. Byron continued his route to the north, after having
passed Anatacan Island, already discovered by Anson. He hoped to meet
the N.E. monsoon before reaching the Bashees, which form the extreme
north of the Philippines. Upon the 22nd he perceived Grafton Island,
the most northerly of this group, and upon the 3rd of November he
arrived at Timoan, which had been mentioned by Dampier as a favourable
place for procuring provisions. The natives, however, who are of Malay
descent, refused the offer of hatchets, knives, and iron instruments
in exchange for fowls--they demanded rupees. Finally they accepted
some handkerchiefs in payment of a dozen fowls, a goat and its kid.
Fortunately fish was abundant, as it would have been impossible to
procure fresh victuals.

Byron set sail once more on the 7th November, passed Poulo Condor at a
distance, stopped at Poulo Taya, where he encountered a vessel bearing
Dutch colours, but which was manned entirely by Malays. Reaching
Sumatra, he explored the coast and cast anchor at Batavia, the
principal seat of Dutch power in the East Indies, on the 20th November.

At this time there were more than one hundred ships, large and small,
in this roadstead, so flourishing was the trade of the East India
Company at this epoch. The town was at the height of its prosperity.
Its large and open thoroughfares, its admirable canals, bordered by
pine-trees, its regular buildings, singularly recalled the cities of
the Netherlands.

Portuguese, Chinese, English, Dutch, Persians, Moors, and Malays,
mixed in the streets, and transacted business. Fêtes, receptions,
gaieties of every kind impressed new comers with a high idea of the
prosperity of the town, and contributed to make their stay a pleasant
one. The sole drawback, and it was a serious one to crews after so
long a voyage, was the unhealthiness of the locality, where endemic
fevers abound. Byron being aware of this, hurried the embarkation of
his provisions, and set sail after an interval of twelve days.

Short as their stay had been, it had been too long. The fleet had
scarcely reached the strait of the sound, before a malignant fever
broke out among the crew, disabling half their number, and ending in
the death of three sailors.

After forty-eight days' navigation, Byron perceived the coast of
Africa, and cast anchor three days later in Table Bay.

Cape Town furnished all that he could require. Provisions, water,
medicines, were all shipped with a rapidity which sufficiently
indicated their anxiety to return, and once more the prow of the
vessel was directed homewards.

Two incidents occurred on the passage across the Atlantic, thus
described by Byron.

"Off St. Helena, in fine weather, and with a favourable wind, the
vessel, then at a considerable distance from land, received a shock
which was as severe as if she had struck on a rock. Its violence so
alarmed us that we all ran to the bridge. Our fears were dissipated
when we saw the sea tinged with blood to a great distance. We
concluded that we had come in contact with a whale or a grampus, and
that our ship had apparently received no damage, which was true."

A few days later, however, the _Tamar_ was found to be in such a
dilapidated state, such grave injuries were discovered in her rudder,
that it was necessary to invent something to replace it, and to enable
her to reach the Antilles, it being too great a risk to allow her to
continue her voyage.

Upon the 9th of May, 1766, the _Dauphin_ anchored in the Downs, after
a voyage round the world which had lasted for twenty-three months.

This was the most fortunate of all the circumnavigation voyages
undertaken by the English. Up to this date, no purely scientific
voyage had been attempted. If it was less fruitful of results than had
been anticipated, the fault lay not so much with the captain as with
the Lords of the Admiralty. They were not sufficiently accurate in
their instructions, and had not taken the trouble (as was done in
later voyages) of sending special professors of the various branches
of science with the expedition.

Full justice, however, was paid to Byron. The title of Admiral was
conferred on him, and an important command in the East Indies was
entrusted to him. But we have no interest in the latter part of his
life, which ended in 1786, and to that, therefore, we need not allude.


Wallis and Carteret--Preparations for the Expedition--Difficult
navigation of the Strait of Magellan--Separation of the _Dauphin_ and
the _Swallow_--Whitsunday Island--Queen Charlotte's Island--Cumberland,
Henry Islands, &c.--Tahiti--Howe, Boscawen, and Keppel Islands--Wallis
Island--Batavia--The Cape--The Downs--Discovery of Pitcairn, Osnaburgh,
and Gloucester Islands by Carteret--Santa Cruz Archipelago--Solomon
Islands--St. George's canal and New Ireland, Portland and Admiralty
Islands--Batavia and Macassar--Meeting with Bougainville in the

The impulse once given, England inaugurated the series of scientific
expeditions which were to prove so fruitful of results, and to raise
her naval reputation to such a height.

Admirable indeed is the training acquired in these voyages round the
world. In them the crew, the officers, and sailors, are constantly
brought face to face with unforeseen difficulties and dangers, which
call forth the best qualities of the sailor, the soldier, and the man!

If France succumbed to the naval superiority of Great Britain during
the revolutionary and imperial wars, was it not fully as much owing to
this stern training of the British seaman, as to the internal
dissensions which deprived France of the services of the greater part
of her naval staff?

Be this as it may, the English Admiralty, shortly after Byron's return,
organized a new expedition. Their preparations appear to have been far
too hasty. The _Dauphin_ only anchored in the Downs at the beginning
of May, and six weeks later, on the 19th of June, Captain Samuel
Wallis received the command.

This officer, after attaining the highest rank in the military marine
service, had been entrusted with an important command in Canada, and
had assisted in the capture of Louisburgh. We cannot tell what
qualities commended him to the Admiralty in preference to his
companions in arms, but in any case, the noble lords had no reason to
regret their decision. Wallis hastened the needful preparations on
board the _Dauphin_, and on the 21st of August (less than a month
after receiving his commission), he joined the sloop _Swallow_ and the
_Prince Frederick_ in Plymouth Harbour.

The latter was in charge of Lieutenant Brine, the former was commanded
by Philip Carteret. Both were most distinguished officers who had just
returned from a voyage round the world with Commodore Byron, and whose
reputation was destined to be increased by their second voyage.

The _Swallow_, unfortunately, appears to have been quite unfit for the
service demanded of her. Having already been thirty years in service,
the sheathing was very much worn, and her keel was not studded with
nails, which might have served instead of sheathing to protect her
from parasites. Again the provisions and marketable commodities were
so unequally divided, that the _Swallow_ received much less than the
_Dauphin_. Carteret begged in vain for a rope yarn, a forge, and
various things which his experience told him would be indispensable.

This rebuff confirmed Carteret in his notion that he should not get
further than the Falkland Isles, but none the less he took every
precaution which his experience dictated to him.

As soon as the equipment was complete, on the 22nd of April 1766, the
vessels set sail. It did not take Wallis long to find out that the
_Swallow_ was a bad sailer, and that he might anticipate much trouble
during his voyage. However, no accident happened during the voyage to
Madeira, where the vessels put in to revictual.

Upon leaving the port, the commander supplied Carteret with a copy of
his instructions, and selected Port Famine, in the Strait of Magellan,
as a rendezvous, in case of separation.

Their stay at Port Praya, in the Island of Santiago, was shortened on
account of the ravages committed there by the small-pox, and Wallis
would not even allow his crew to land. Shortly after leaving the
Equator, the _Prince Frederick_ gave signs of distress, and it was
necessary to send the carpenter on board to stop up a leak on the
larboard side. This vessel, which was provided with inferior
provisions, counted already a number of sick among her crew.

Towards eight o'clock in the evening of the 19th of November, the
crews perceived in the N.E. a meteor of extraordinary appearance,
moving in a straight line towards the S.W. with marvellous rapidity.
It was visible for almost a minute, and left behind a trail of light,
so bright that the deck was illuminated as if it were mid-day.

On the 8th of December, the coast of Patagonia was at last visible.
Wallis skirted it until he reached Cape Virgin, where he landed with
the armed detachments of the _Swallow_ and _Prince Frederick_. A crowd
of natives awaited them upon the shore, and received with apparent
satisfaction the knives, scissors, and other trifles which it was
usual to distribute upon such occasions, but they would not part with
guanacos, ostriches, or any other game which were seen in their
possession for any consideration. Wallis says,--

"We took the measure of the largest of them, one was six feet six
inches in height, several were five feet five inches, but the average
was five foot six, or six feet."

It must be remembered that these were English feet, which are only 305

If these natives were not quite so tall as the giants mentioned by
previous navigators, they were very little less striking.

"Each one," continues the narrative, "carried a strange kind of weapon,
it consisted of two round stones, covered with copper, each of which
weighed about a pound, and they were attached at both ends to a cord
about eight feet long. They used them like slings, holding one of the
stones in the hand, and whirling the other round the head until it
attained sufficient velocity, when they threw it towards the object
they wished to strike. They managed this weapon so adroitly that they
could strike a butt no larger than a shilling with both stones, at a
distance of fifteen roods. They did not, however, employ it in chasing
guanacos or ostriches."

Wallis conducted eight of these Patagonians on board. They did not
appear surprised, as one would have expected, at the number of new and
extraordinary things they met with. They advanced, retired, made a
thousand grimaces before the mirrors, shouted with laughter, and
conversed animatedly among themselves. Their attention was attracted
by the pigs for a moment, but they were immensely amused with the
guinea fowls and turkeys. It was difficulty to persuade them to leave
the vessel. At last they returned to the shore, singing and making
signs of delight to their countrymen who awaited them on the bank.

[Illustration: "They made a thousand grimaces."]

On the 17th of December, Wallis signalled the _Swallow_ to head the
squadron for the passage of the Straits of Magellan.

At Port Famine the commander had two tents erected on shore for the
sick, the wood-cutters, and the sailors. Fish in sufficient quantities
for each day's meal, abundance of celery, and acid fruits similar to
cranberries and barberries, were to be found in this harbour, and in
the course of about a fortnight these remedies completely restored the
numerous sufferers from scurvy. The vessels were repaired and
partially calked, the sails were mended, the rigging, which had been a
good deal strained, was overhauled and repaired, and all was soon
ready for sea again.

But Wallis first ordered a large quantity of wood to be cut and
conveyed on board the _Prince Frederick_, for transport to the
Falkland Isles, where it is not obtainable. At the same time he had
hundreds of young trees carefully dug up, and the roots covered in
their native soil to facilitate their transplantation in Port Egmont,
that in taking root--as there was reason to hope they would--they
might supply the barren archipelago with this precious commodity.

Lastly, the provisions were divided between the _Dauphin_ and the
_Swallow_. The former taking sufficient for a year, the latter for ten

We will not enlarge upon the different incidents which befell the two
ships in the Straits of Magellan, such as sudden gales, tempests and
snowstorms, irregular and rapid currents, heavy seas and fogs, which
more than once brought the vessels within an inch of destruction. The
_Swallow_ especially, was in such a dilapidated condition, that
Carteret besought Wallis to consider his vessel no longer of any use
in the expedition, and to tell him what course should best be pursued
for the public good.

Wallis replied, "The orders of the Admiralty are concise, and you must
conform to them, and accompany the _Dauphin_ as long as possible. I am
aware that the _Swallow_ is a bad sailer; I will accommodate myself to
her speed, and follow her movements, for it is most important that in
case of accident to one of the ships, the other should be within reach,
to give all the assistance in her power."

Carteret had nothing to urge in reply, but he augured badly for the
result of the expedition.

As the ships approached the opening of the straits on the Pacific side,
the weather became abominable. A thick fog, falls of snow and rain,
currents which sent the vessels on to the breakers, a chopping sea,
contributed to detain the navigators in the straits until the 10th of
April. On that day, the _Dauphin_ and _Swallow_ were separated off
Cape Pilar, and could not find each other, Wallis not having fixed a
rendezvous in case of separation.

Before we follow Wallis on his voyage across the Pacific, we will give
a short account of the wretched natives of Tierra del Fuego, and of
the general appearance of their country. These wretches, who were as
miserable and debased as possible, subsisted upon the raw flesh of
seals and penguins.

"One of our men," says Wallis, "who fished with a line, bestowed a
live fish, which he had just caught, and which was about the size of a
herring, upon one of these Americans. He took it with the eagerness of
a dog snatching a bone. He commenced operations by killing the fish
with a bite near the gills, and proceeded to devour it, beginning at
the head and finishing at the tail, without rejecting the bones, fins,
scales, or entrails. In fact, these people swallowed everything that
was offered to them, cooked or uncooked, fresh or salt, but they
refused all drink but water. Their sole covering was a miserable
seal-skin reaching to the knees. Their weapons were javelins tipped
with a fish-bone. They all suffered from bad eyes, which the English
attributed to their custom of living in smoke to protect themselves
from mosquitos. Lastly, they emitted a most offensive smell, only to
be likened to that of foxes, which doubtless arose from their
excessively filthy habits."

Although certainly not inviting, this picture is graphic, as all
navigators testify. It would appear that progress is not possible to
these savages, so nearly allied to brutes. Civilization is a dead
letter to them, and they still vegetate like their forefathers, with
no wish to improve, and with no ambition to attain a more comfortable
existence. Wallis continues,--

"Thus we quitted this savage and uninhabitable region, where for four
months we had been in constant danger of shipwreck, where in the
height of summer the weather is foggy, cold, and stormy, where almost
all the valleys are without verdure, and the mountains without woods,
in short where the land which one can see rather resembles the ruins
of a world, than the abode of living creatures."

Wallis was scarcely free of the strait, when he set sail westward in
spite of dense fogs, and with high wind and such a heavy sea, that for
weeks together there was not a dry corner in the ship.

The constant exposure to damp engendered cold and severe fevers, to
which scurvy shortly succeeded. Upon reaching 32 degrees south
latitude, and 100 degrees west longitude, the navigator steered due

Upon the 6th of June, two islands were discovered amidst general

The ships' boats, well armed and equipped, reached the shore under
command of Lieutenant Furneaux. A quantity of cocoa-nuts and
anti-scorbutic plants were obtained, but although the English found
huts and sheds, they did not meet with a single inhabitant. This
island was discovered on the eve of Whitsunday and hence received the
name Whitsunday.

It is situated in 19 degrees 26 minutes south latitude, and 137
degrees 56' minutes west longitude. Like the following islands, it
belongs to the Pomotou group.

Next day, the English endeavoured to make overtures to the inhabitants
of another island, but the natives appeared so ill-disposed and the
coast was so steep, that it was impossible to land. After tacking
about all night, Wallis despatched the boats, with orders not to use
violence to the inhabitants if they could avoid it, or unless
absolutely obliged.

As Lieutenant Furneaux approached the land, he was astonished by the
sight of two large pirogues with double masts, in which the natives
were on the eve of embarking.

As soon as they had done so, the English landed, and searched the
island thoroughly. They discovered several pits full of good water.
The soil was firm, sandy, covered with trees, more especially
cocoanut-trees, palm-trees, and sprinkled with anti-scorbutic plants.
The narrative says,--

"The natives of this island were of moderate stature. Their skin was
brown, and they had long black hair, straggling over the shoulders.
The men were finely formed, and the women were beautiful. Some coarse
material formed their garment, which was tied round the waist, and
appeared to be intended to be raised round the shoulders. In the
afternoon, Wallis sent the lieutenant to procure water and to take
possession of the island in the name of King George III. It was called
Queen Charlotte's Island, in honour of the English queen."

After reconnoitring personally, Wallis determined to remain in this
region for a week, in order to profit by the facilities it afforded
for provisioning.

In their walks the English met with working implements made of shells,
and sharpened stones shaped like axes, scissors, and awls. They also
noticed boats in course of construction, made of boards joined
together. But they were most of all astonished at meeting with tombs
upon which the dead bodies were exposed under a sort of awning, and
where they putrified in the open air.

When they quitted the island, they left hatchets, nails, bottles, and
other things as reparation for any damage they might have committed.

The 17th century teamed with philanthropic aspirations! And from the
accounts of all navigators one is led to believe that the theory so
much advocated was put into practice upon most occasions. Humanity had
made great strides. Difference of colour no longer presented an
insuperable barrier to a man's being treated as a brother, and the
convention which at the close of the century ordered the freedom of
the black, set a seal to the convictions of numbers.

The _Dauphin_ discovered new land, the same day that she left Queen
Charlotte's Island. It lay to the westward, but after cruising along
the coast, the vessel was unable to find anchorage. Lying low, it was
covered with trees, neither cocoa-nuts nor inhabitants were to be
found, and it evidently was merely a rendezvous for the hunters and
fishers of the neighbouring islands. Wallis therefore decided not to
stop. It received the name of Egmont, in honour of Earl Egmont, then
chief Lord of the Admiralty. The following days brought new
discoveries. Gloucester, Cumberland, William, Henry, and Osnaburgh
Islands, were sighted in succession. Lieutenant Furneaux was able to
procure provisions without landing at the last named.

Observing several large pirogues on the beach, he drew the conclusion
that other and perhaps larger islands would be found at no great
distance, where they would probably find abundant provisions, and to
which access might be less difficult. His pre-vision was right. As the
sun rose upon the 19th, the English sailors were astonished at finding
themselves surrounded by pirogues of all sizes, having on board no
less than eight hundred natives. After having consulted together at
some distance, a few of the natives approached, holding in their hands
banana branches. They were on the point of climbing up the vessels,
when an absurd accident interrupted these cordial relations.

[Illustration: The natives waving palm-leaves as a sign of welcome.]

One of them had climbed into the gangway when a goat ran at him.
Turning he perceived the strange animal upon its hind legs preparing
to attack him again. Overcome with terror, he jumped back into the sea,
an example quickly followed by the others. It recalled the incident of
the sheep of Panurge.

Recovering from this alarm, they again climbed into the ship, and
brought all their cunning to bear upon petty thefts. However, only one
officer had his hat stolen. The vessel all the time was following the
coast in search of a fitting harbour, whilst the boats coasted the
shore for soundings.

The English had never found a more picturesque and attractive country
in any of their voyages. On the shore, the huts of the natives were
sheltered by shady woods, in which flourished graceful clusters of
cocoanut-trees. Graduated chains of hills, with wooded summits, and
the silver sheen of rivers glistening amid the verdure as they found
their way to the sea, added to the beauty of the interior.

The boats sent to take soundings were suddenly surrounded at the
entrance of a large bay by a crowd of pirogues. Wallis, to avoid a
collision, gave the order for the discharge from the swivel gun above
the natives' heads, but although the noise terrified them, they still
continued their approach.

The captain accordingly ordered his boats to make for the shore, and
the natives finding themselves disregarded, threw some sharp stones
which wounded a few sailors. But the captains of the boats replied to
this attack by a volley of bullets, which injured one of them, and was
followed by the flight of the rest.

The _Dauphin_ anchored next day at the mouth of a large river in
twenty fathoms of water. The sailors rejoiced universally. The natives
immediately surrounded them with pirogues, bringing pigs, fowls, and
various fruits, which were quickly exchanged for hardware and nails.
One of the boats employed in taking soundings, however, was attacked
by blows from paddles and sticks, and the sailors were forced to use
their weapons. One native was killed, a second severely wounded, and
the rest jumped into the water. Seeing that they were not pursued, and
conscious that they themselves had been the aggressors, they returned
to traffic with the _Dauphin_ as if nothing had happened. Upon
returning on board, the officers reported that the natives had invited
them to land, more especially the women, with unequivocal gestures,
and that moreover, there was excellent anchorage near the shore within
reach of water.

The only inconvenience arose from a considerable swell. The _Dauphin_
accordingly weighed anchor and proceeded into the open sea to run with
the wind, when all at once Wallis perceived a bay seven or eight miles
distant, which he determined to reach. The captain was soon to
experience the truth of the proverb which asserts that one had better
leave well alone.

Although soundings were taken by the boats as they advanced, the
_Dauphin_ struck on a rock and damaged her forepart. The usual
measures in such a case were taken immediately, but outside the chain
of madreporic rocks no depth could be sounded. It was consequently
impossible to cast anchor, or to use the capstan. What course had best
be pursued in this critical situation? The vessel beat violently
against the rocks, and a host of pirogues waited in expectation of a
shipwreck, eager to clutch their prey. Fortunately at the end of an
hour a favourable breeze rising, disengaged the _Dauphin_, and wafted
her into good anchorage. The damage done was not serious, and was as
easily repaired as forgotten.

Wallis, rendered prudent by the constant efforts of the natives,
divided his men into four parties, one of which was always to be armed.
And he ordered guns to be fired. But after one or two rounds the
number of pirogues increased, and no longer laden with poultry, they
appeared to be filled with stones. The crews of the larger vessels
also were augmented.

All at once upon a given signal a storm of pebbles fell upon the ship.
Wallis ordered a general discharge, and had two guns loaded with fine
shot. The natives, after some slight hesitation and disorder, returned
to the attack with great bravery; and the captain, noticing the
constantly increasing numbers of the assailants, was not without
anxiety as to the result, when an unexpected event put an end to the

Among the pirogues which attacked the _Dauphin_ most energetically,
was one which appeared to contain a chief, as from it the signal of
attack was given. A well-directed shot cut this double pirogue in two.

This was enough to decide the natives upon retreat. They set about it
so precipitately that in less than half an hour not a single boat
remained in sight. The vessel was then towed into port, and so placed
as to protect the disembarkation. Lieutenant Furneaux landed at the
head of a strong detachment of sailors and marines, and planting the
English flag, took possession of the island in the name of the King of
England, in whose honour it was named George the Third. The natives
called it Tahiti.

After prostrating themselves, and offering various marks of repentance,
the natives appeared anxious to commence friendly and honest business
with the English, but fortunately Wallis, who was detained on board by
severe illness, perceived preparations for a simultaneous attack by
land and sea upon the men sent to find water. The shorter the struggle
the less the loss! Acting upon which principle, directly the natives
came within gunshot range, a few discharges dispersed their fleet.

To put a stop to these attempts, it was necessary to make an example.
Wallis decided with regret that it was so. He accordingly sent a
detachment on shore at once with his carpenters, ordering them to
destroy every pirogue which was hauled up on the beach. More than
fifty, many of them sixty feet long, were hacked to pieces. Upon this
the Tahitians decided to give in. They brought pigs, dogs, stuffs, and
fruits to the shore, placed them there, and then withdrew. The English
left in exchange hatchets and toys which were carried off to the
forest with many delighted gestures.

Peace was established, and from the morrow a regular and abundant
traffic commenced, which supplied the ships with the fresh provisions
needed by the crews. There was ground for hope that these amicable
relations would continue during their stay in the island, now that the
natives had once realized the power and effect of the strangers'
weapons. Wallis, therefore, ordered a tent to be prepared near the
water supply, and disembarked all the sufferers from scurvy, whilst
the healthy members of his company were engaged in repairing the
rigging, mending the sails, and calking and repainting the vessel,
putting her, in short, in a condition fitted for the long journey
which was to take her to England.

[Illustration: Polynesia. Gravé par E. Morieu.]

At this juncture Wallis's illness assumed an alarming character. The
first lieutenant was in hardly better health. All the responsibility
of the expedition fell upon Furneaux, who was quite equal to the task.
After a rest of fifteen days, during which the peace had not been
disturbed, Wallis found all his invalids restored to health.

Provisions, however, became less plentiful. The natives, spoilt by the
abundance of nails and hatchets, became more exacting.

Upon the 15th of July, a tall woman, apparently some forty-five years
of age, of majestic appearance, and who seemed to be much respected by
the natives, came on board the _Dauphin_. Wallis at once perceived by
the dignity of her deportment, and the freedom of her manner, peculiar
to persons habituated to command, that she was of high station. He
presented her with a blue mantle, a looking-glass, and other gewgaws,
which she received with an expression of profound contentment. Upon
leaving the vessel she invited the captain to land, and to pay her a
visit. Wallis, although still very weak, did not fail to comply with
this request next day. He was conducted to a large hut, which covered
about 327 feet in length, and 42 in width. The roof was constructed of
palm leaves and was supported by fifty-three pillars.

A considerable crowd, collected together by the event, lined the
approach, and received him respectfully. The visit was enlivened by a
comical incident. The surgeon of the vessel, who perspired greatly
from the effects of the walk, to relieve himself took off his wig. A
sudden exclamation from one of the Indians at this sight, drew general
attention to the prodigy, and all fixed their eyes upon it. The whole
assemblage remained perfectly still for some moments, in the silence
of astonishment, which could not have been greater if they had seen
one of our company decapitated.

Next day, a messenger, sent to convey a present to Queen Oberoa, in
acknowledgment of her gracious reception, found her giving a feast to
several hundred persons.

Her servants carried the dishes to her already prepared, the meat in
cocoa-nut shells, and the shell fish in a sort of wooden trough,
similar to those used by our butchers. She herself distributed them
with her own hands to each of her guests, who were sitting and
standing all round the house. When this was over, she seated herself
upon a sort of raised dais, and two women beside her gave her her food.
They offered the viands to her in their fingers; and she had only to
take the trouble to open her mouth.

The consequences of this exchange of civilities were speedily felt.
The market was once more fully supplied with provisions, although no
longer at the same low price as upon the first arrival of the English.

Lieutenant Furneaux reconnoitred the length of the coast westward, to
gain an idea of the island, and to see what it was possible to obtain
from it. The English were everywhere well received. They found a
pleasant country, densely populated, whose inhabitants appeared in no
hurry to sell their commodities. All their working implements were
either of stone or of bone, which led Lieutenant Furneaux to infer
that the Tahitians possess no metals.

As they had no earthenware vessels, they had no idea that water could
be heated. They discovered it one day when the queen dined on board.
One of the principal members of her suite, having seen the surgeon
pour water from the boiler into the teapot, turned the tap and
received the scalding liquor upon his hand. Finding himself burnt, he
uttered most frightful screams, and ran round the cabin making most
extravagant gestures. His companions, unable to imagine what had
happened to him, stared at him with mingled astonishment and fear. The
surgeon hastened to interfere, but for a long time the poor Tahitian
refused to be comforted.

Some days later, Wallis discovered that his sailors stole nails to
give them to the native women. They even went so far as to raise the
planks of the ship to obtain screws, nails, bolts, and all the bits of
iron which united them to the timbers. Wallis treated the offence
rigorously, but nothing availed, and in spite of the precaution he
took, of allowing no one to leave the vessel without being searched,
these robberies constantly occurred.

An expedition, undertaken into the interior, discovered a large valley
watered by a beautiful river. Everywhere the soil was carefully
cultivated, and arrangements had been made for watering the gardens
and the fruit plantations. Farther penetrations into the interior
proved the capacious windings of the river; the valley narrowed, the
hills were succeeded by mountains, at every step the way became more
difficult. A peak, distant about six miles from the place of landing,
was climbed, in the hope of thus discovering the entire island, even
to its smallest recesses. But the view was intercepted by yet higher
mountains. On the side towards the sea, however, nothing interfered
with the magnificent view which stretched before their gaze,
everywhere hills, covered with magnificent woods, upon whose verdant
slopes the huts of the natives stood out clearly, and in the valleys
with their numberless cabins, and gardens surrounded by hedges, the
scenes were still more enchanting. The sugar cane, ginger plant,
tamarind and tree ferns, with cocoanut-trees, furnished the principal
resources of this fertile country.

Wallis, wishing to enrich it still more with the productions of our
own climate, caused peach, cherry, and plum stones to be planted, as
well as lemon, orange and lime pips, and sowed quantities of vegetable
seeds. At the same time he gave the queen a present of a cat about to
kitten, of two cocks, fowls, geese, and other domestic animals, which
he hoped might breed well.

However, time pressed, and Wallis decided to leave. When he announced
his intention to the queen, she threw herself upon a seat and cried
for a long time, with so much grief that it was impossible to comfort
her. She remained upon the vessel up to the last moment, and as it set
sail "embraced us," says Wallis, "in the tenderest way, weeping
plenteously, and our friends the Tahitians bade us farewell, with so
much sorrow, and in so touching a manner, that I felt heavy-hearted,
and my eyes filled with tears." The uncourteous reception of the
English, and the repeated attempts made by the natives to seize the
vessel, would hardly have led to the idea of a painful separation!
However, as the proverb has it, All's well that ends well!

Of Wallis' observations of the manners and customs of the island, we
shall only enumerate the few following, as we shall have occasion to
return to them again in relating the voyages undertaken by
Bougainville and Cook.

Tall, well built, active, slightly dark in complexion, the natives
were clothed in a species of white stuff made from the bark of trees.
Two pieces of stuff completed their costume, one was square and looked
like a blanket. The head was thrust through a hole in the centre, and
it recalled the "zarapo" of the Mexicans, and the "poncho" of the
South American Indian. The second piece was rolled round the body,
without being tightened. Almost all, men and women, tattoo their
bodies with black lines close together, representing different figures.
The operation was thus performed: the pattern was pricked in the skin,
and the holes filled with a sort of paste composed of oil and grease,
which left an indelible mark.

[Illustration: Head-dresses of natives of Tahiti. (Fac-simile of early

Civilization has little advanced. We have already stated that the
Tahitians did not understand earthenware vessels. Wallis, therefore,
presented the queen with a saucepan, which everybody flocked to
inspect with extreme curiosity.

As to religion, the captain found no trace of that! He only noticed
that upon entering certain places, which he took to be cemeteries,
they maintained a respectful appearance, and wore mourning apparel.

One of the natives, more disposed than his companions to adopt English
manners, was presented with a complete suit of clothes, which became
him very well. Jonathan--so they had named him, was quite proud of his
new outfit. To put the finishing touch to his manners, he desired to
learn the use of a fork. But habit was too strong for him! his hands
always went to his mouth! and the bit of meat at the end of the fork,
found its way to his ear.

It was the 27th of July, when Wallis left the George III. Island.
After coasting Duke of York Island, he discovered several islands or
islets in succession, upon which he did not touch. For example,
Charles Saunders, Lord Howe, Scilly, Boscawen, and Keppel Islands,
where the hostile character of the natives, and the difficulty of
disembarkation prevented his landing.

Winter was now to begin in the southern region. The vessel leaked in
all directions, the stern especially was much strained by the rudder.
Was it wise, under such circumstances, to sail for Cape Horn or the
Straits of Magellan? Would it not be running the risk of certain
shipwreck? Would it not be better to reach Tinian or Batavia, where
repairs were possible, and to return to Europe by the Cape of Good

Wallis decided upon the latter course. He steered for the north-west,
and upon the 19th of September, after a voyage which was too fortunate
to supply any incidents, he cast anchor in the Tinian harbour.

The incidents which marked Byron's stay in this place were repeated,
with far too much regularity. Wallis could not rejoice over its
facilities for provisioning, or the temperature of the country, any
more than his predecessors. But the sufferers from scurvy recovered in
a short time, the sails were mended, and the vessel calked and
repaired, and the crew had the unexpected good fortune of catching no

On the 16th October, 1769, the _Dauphin_ returned to sea, but this
time, she encountered a succession of frightful storms, which tore the
sails, reopened the leakage, broke the rudder, and carried away the
poop with all that was to be found on the forecastle.

However, the Bashees were rounded, and Formosa Strait crossed, Sandy
Isle, Small Key, Long Island, and New Island were recognized, as also,
Condor, Timor, Aros, and Pisang, Pulo-Taya, Pulo-Toté, and Sumatra,
before the arrival at Batavia, which took place upon the 30th of

We have already had occasion to mention the localities which witnessed
the completion of the voyage. It is enough to state that from Batavia,
where the crews took the fever, Wallis proceeded by the Cape, thence
to St. Helena, and finally arrived in the Downs, on the 20th of May,
1768, after six hundred and thirty-seven days' voyage.

It is to be regretted that Hawkesworth has not reproduced the
instructions Wallis received from the Admiralty. Without knowing what
they were, we cannot decide whether this brave sailor carried out the
orders he had received _au pied de la lettre_. We have seen that he
followed with little variation the route traced by his predecessors,
in the Pacific Ocean. In fact, nearly all had approached by the
dangerous archipelago, leaving unexplored that portion of Oceania,
where islands are most numerous, and where Cook was later to make such
important discoveries.

Clever as a navigator, Wallis understood how to obtain from a hasty
and incomplete equipment unexpected resources, which enabled him to
bring an adventurous enterprise to a successful close. He is equally
to be honoured for his humanity and the efforts he made to collect
reliable information of the countries he visited. Had he only been
accompanied by special men of science, there is no doubt that their
scientific harvest would have been abundant.

The fault lay with the Admiralty.

We have related how, on the 10th of April, 1767, as the _Dauphin_ and
the _Swallow_ entered the Pacific, the former, carried away by a
strong breeze, had lost sight of the latter, and had been unable to
follow her. This separation was most unfortunate for Captain Carteret.
He knew better than any of his crew the dilapidated condition of his
vessel and the insufficiency of his provisions. In short, he was well
aware that he could only hope to meet the _Dauphin_ in England, as no
plan of operation had been arranged, and no rendezvous had been
named--a grave omission on Wallis' part, who was aware of the
condition of his consort.

Nevertheless, Carteret allowed none of his apprehensions to come to
the knowledge of the crew. At first the detestable weather experienced
by the _Swallow_ upon the Pacific Ocean (most misleading name),
allowed no time for reflection. The dangers of the passing moment, in
which there was every prospect of their being engulfed, hid from them
the perils of the future.

Carteret steered for the north, by the coast of Chili. Upon
investigating the quantity of soft water which he had on board, he
found it quite insufficient for the voyage he had undertaken. He
determined therefore, before setting sail for the west, to take in
water at Juan Fernandez, or at Mas-a-Fuero.

The weather continued wretched. Upon the evening of the 27th a sudden
squall was followed by a rising wind, which carried the vessel
straight to the Cape. The violence of the storm failed to carry away
the masts or to founder the ship. The tempest continued in all its
fury, and the sails being extremely wet, clung round the masts and
rigging so closely, that it was impossible to work them. Next day a
sudden wave broke the mizen-mast, just where there was a flaw in the
sail, and submerged the vessels for a few moments. The storm only
abated sufficiently to allow the crew of the _Swallow_ time to recover
a little, and to repair the worst damage; then recommenced, and
continued with violent squalls until the 7th of May. The wind then
became favourable, and three days later Juan Fernandez was reached.

Carteret was not aware that the Spaniards had fortified this island.
He was, therefore, extremely surprised at seeing a large number of men
upon the shore, and at perceiving a battery of four pieces on the
beach, and a fort, pierced with twenty embrasures and surmounted by
the Spanish flag, upon a hill.

The rising wind prevented an entrance into Cumberland Bay, and after
cruising about for an entire day, Carteret was obliged to content
himself with reaching Mas-a-Fuero. But he met the same obstacles, and
the surge which broke upon the shore interfered with his operations,
and it was only with the utmost difficulty that he succeeded in
shipping a few casks of water. Some of the crew, who had been forced
by the state of the sea to remain on land, killed guinea fowls enough
to feed the entire crew. These, with the exception of some seals and
plenty of fish, were the sole result of a stay, marked by a succession
of squalls and storms, which constantly placed the ship in danger.

Carteret, who, owing to unfavourable winds, had had several
opportunities of noticing Mas-a-Fuero, corrected many of the errors in
the account of Lord Anson's voyage, and furnished many details of
inestimable use to navigators.

On leaving Mas-a-Fuero, Carteret steered northward in the hope of
meeting the south-eastern trade wind. Carried farther than he had
counted upon, he determined to seek St. Ambrose, and St. Felix Island,
or the island of St. Paul. Now that the Spaniards had taken possession
of and fortified Juan Fernandez, those islands might be of great value
to the English in the event of war.

But Mr. Green's charts and the "Elements of Navigation" by Robertson
did not tally as to their situation. Carteret, having most confidence
in the latter work, sought for them in the north, and failed to find
them. In re-reading the description given by Waser, Davis' surgeon, he
thought these two islands were identical with the land met with by
that filibuster, in his route to the south of the Galapagos Islands,
and that Davis' Land did not exist. This caused a double error, that
of identifying St. Felix Island with Davis' Land, and of denying the
existence of the latter, which is in reality Easter Island.

"At this parallel," says Carteret, that is in 18 degrees west from his
point of departure, "we had fresh breezes, and a strong northerly
current, and other reasons for conjecturing that we were near Davis'
Land, which we were seeking so carefully. But a stiff breeze rising
again, we steered quarter S.W. and reached 28-1/2 degrees southern
latitude, from which it follows that if this land or anything
answering to it exists, I must infallibly have fallen in with it, or
at least have seen it. I afterwards remained in 28 degrees south
latitude, and 40 degrees west of my point of departure, and as far as
I can conjecture 121 degrees west London."

All the navigators combined in insisting upon the existence of a
southern continent. Carteret could not conceive that Davis' Land was
but a small island, a spot lost in the immensity of the ocean. As he
found no continent, he decided upon the non-existence of Davis' Land.
It was precisely in this way that he was misled.

Carteret continued his search until the 7th of June. He was in 28
degrees south latitude and 112 degrees west longitude, that is to say,
he was in the immediate neighbourhood of Easter Island. It was still
the depth of winter. The sea ran continually high, violent and
variable winds, dull, foggy, and cold weather was accompanied by
thunder, rain, and snow. No doubt it was owing to the great darkness,
and to the thick fog, which hid the sun for several days, that
Carteret failed to perceive Easter Island, for many signs, such as the
number of birds, floating seaweeds, &c., announced the neighbourhood
of land.

These atmospheric troubles again retarded the voyage, in addition to
which the _Swallow_ was as bad a sailer as possible, and one may guess
at the weariness, the preoccupation, even the mental suffering of the
captain, who saw his crew on the point of starvation. But in spite of
all, the voyage was continued by day and night in a westerly direction
until the 2nd of July. Upon this day land was discovered to the north,
and on the morrow, Carteret was sufficiently close to recognize it. It
was only a great rock five miles in circumference, covered with trees,
which appeared uninhabited, but the swell, so prevalent at this time
of year, prevented the vessel coming alongside. It was named Pitcairn,
after the first discoverer. In these latitudes, the sailors,
previously in good health, felt the first attacks of scurvy.

Upon the 11th, a new land was seen in 22 degrees southern latitude,
and 145 degrees 34 minutes longitude. It received the name of
Osnaburgh in honour of the king's second son.

Next day Carteret sent an expedition to two more islands, where
neither eatables nor water were found. The sailors caught many birds
in their hands, as they were so tame that they did not fly at the
approach of man.

All these islands belonged to the Dangerous group, a long chain of low
islands, clusters of which were the despair of all navigators, for the
few resources they offered. Carteret thought he recognized Quiros in
the land discovered, but this place, which is called by the natives
Tahiti, is situated more to the north.

Sickness, however, increased daily. The adverse winds, but especially
the damage the ship had sustained, made her progress very slow.
Carteret thought it necessary to follow the route upon which he was
most likely to obtain provisions and the needful repairs.

"My intention in the event of my ship being repaired," says Carteret,
"was to continue my voyage to the south upon the return of a
favourable season, with a view to new discoveries in that quarter of
the world. In fact, I had settled in my own mind, if I could find a
continent where sufficient provisions were procurable, to remain near
its coast until the sun had passed the Equator, then to gain a distant
southern latitude and to proceed westward towards the Cape of Good
Hope, and to return eastward after touching at the Falkland Islands,
should it be necessary, and thence to proceed quickly to Europe."

These laudable intentions show Carteret to have been a true explorer,
rather stimulated than intimidated by danger, but it proved impossible
to carry them into execution.

The trade wind was only met on the 16th, and the weather remained
detestable. Above all, although Carteret navigated in the
neighbourhood of Danger Island, discovered in 1765 by Byron, and by
others, he saw no land.

"We probably were close by land," he says, "which the fog prevented
our seeing, for in these waters numbers of birds constantly flew round
the ship. Commodore Byron in his last voyage had passed the northern
limits of this portion of the ocean, in which the Solomon Islands are
said to be situated, and as I have been myself beyond the southern
limit without seeing them, I have good reasons for thinking, that if
these islands exist they have been badly marked on all the charts."

This last supposition is correct, but the Solomon Islands do exist,
and Carteret stopped there a few days later without recognizing them.
The victuals were now all but consumed or tainted, the rigging and the
sails torn by the tempest, half the crew on the sick list, when a
fresh alarm for the captain arose. A leak was reported, just below the
load water-line; it was impossible to stop it, as long as they were in
the open sea. By unexpected good fortune land was seen on the morrow.
Needless to say what cries of delight, what acclamations followed this
discovery. To use Carteret's own comparison, the feelings of surprise
and comfort experienced by the crew can only be likened to those of a
criminal, who at the last moment on the scaffold receives a reprieve!
It was Nitendit Island, already discovered by Mendana.

No sooner was the anchor cast than landing was hurried, in search of
water supply. The natives were black, with woolly hair, and perfectly
naked. They appeared upon the shore, but fled again before the boat
could come up with them.

The leader of the landing-party described the country as wild,
bristling with mountains and impenetrable forests of trees and shrubs
reaching to the shore itself, through which ran a fine current of
fresh water.

The following day, the master was sent in search of an easier
landing-place, with orders to propitiate the natives, if possible, by
presents. He was expressly enjoined not to expose himself to danger,
to return if several pirogues advanced against him, not to leave the
boat himself, and not to allow more than two men to land at once,
whilst the remainder held themselves on the defensive.

Carteret, at the same time, sent his ship's boat on shore for water.
Some natives attacked it with arrows, which fortunately hit no one.

Meantime, the sloop regained the _Swallow_, the master had three
arrows in his body, and half his crew were so dangerously wounded that
three sailors and he himself died a few days later.

This is what had happened. Landing the fifth in succession, in a spot
where he had noticed huts, he entered into friendly traffic with the
natives. The latter soon increased in numbers, and several large
pirogues advanced towards his sloop, and he was unable to rejoin it
until the very moment when the attack commenced. Pursued by the arrows
of the natives, who waded up to their shoulders into the water, chased
by pirogues, he only succeeded in escaping after having killed several
natives and foundered one of their boats.

[Illustration: "Pursued by the arrows of the natives."]

This effort to find a more favourable spot where he might run the
_Swallow_ ashore, having ended so unfortunately, Carteret heaved his
ship down where he was, and efforts were made to stop the leak. If the
carpenter, the only healthy man on board, did not succeed in perfectly
stopping it, he at least considerably diminished it.

Whilst a fresh landing for water was sought, the fire of the guns was
directed upon the woods as well as volleys of musketry from the sloop.
Still the sailors worked for a quarter of an hour, when they were
attacked by a shower of arrows which grievously wounded one or two in
the breast. The same measures were necessary each time they fetched

At this juncture, thirty of the crew became incapable of performing
their duty. The master died of his wounds. Lieutenant Gower was very
ill. Carteret himself, attacked by a bilious and inflammatory illness,
was forced to keep his bed.

These three were the only officers capable of navigating the _Swallow_
to England, and they were on the point of succumbing.

To stay the ravages of disease, it was necessary to procure provisions
at all costs, and this was utterly impossible in this spot. Carteret
weighed anchor on the 17th of August, after calling the island Egmont,
in honour of the Lord of the Admiralty, and the bay where he had
anchored, Swallow. Although convinced that it was identical with the
land named Santa Cruz by the Spaniards, the navigator nevertheless
followed the prevailing mania of giving new appellations to all the
places he visited. He then coasted the shore for a short distance, and
ascertained that the population was large. He had many a crow to pick
with the natives. These obstacles, and moreover the impossibility of
procuring provisions, prevented Carteret's reconnoitring the other
islands of this group, upon which he bestowed the name of Queen

[Illustration: Map of Queen Charlotte Islands. (Fac-simile of early

"The inhabitants of Egmont Isle," he says, "are extremely agile,
active, and vigorous. They appear to live as well in water as on land,
for they are continually jumping from their pirogues into the sea. One
of the arrows which they sent passed through the planks of the boat,
and dangerously wounded the officer at the poop in the thigh.

"Their arrows are tipped with stone, and we saw no metal of any kind
in their possession. The country in general is covered with woods and
mountains and interspersed with a great number of valleys."

On the 18th of August, 1767, Carteret left this group with the
intention of regaining Great Britain. He fully expected to meet with
an island on his passage, where he might be more fortunate. And on the
20th, he actually did so, discovering a little low island, which he
named Gower, where cocoa-nuts were procurable. Next day he encountered
Simpson and Carteret Islands, and a group of new islands which he took
to be the Ohang Java, discovered by Tasman; then successively Sir
Charles Hardy and Winchelsea Islands, which he did not consider as
belonging to the Solomon Archipelago, the Island of St. John,
so-called by Schouten, and finally that of New Britain, which he
gained on the 28th of August.

Carteret coasted this island, in search of a safe and convenient port,
and stopped in various bays, where he obtained water, wood, cocoa,
nutmegs, aloes, sugar-canes, bamboos, and palm-cabbages.

"This cabbage," he says, "is white, crisp, of a substance filled with
sugar. Eaten raw, the flavour resembles that of a chestnut, and boiled
it is superior to the best parsnip. We cut it into small strips, and
boiled it in the broth made from our cakes, and this broth, afterwards
thickened with oatmeal furnished us with a good meal."

The wood was all alive with pigeons, turtle-doves, parroquets, and
other unknown birds. The English visited several deserted huts.

If an idea of the civilization of a people can be drawn from their
dwellings, these islanders were on the lowest rung of the social
ladder, for their huts were the most miserable Carteret had ever seen.

The commander profited by his stay in this place, by once more
overhauling the _Swallow_, and attending to the leak, which the
carpenters doctored as well as they could. The sheathing was greatly
worn, and the keel quite gnawed away by worms; they coated it with
pitch and warm tar mixed together.

On the 7th of September, Carteret accomplished the ridiculous ceremony
of taking possession of the country in the name of George III., he
then despatched one of his boats upon a reconnoitring expedition,
which returned with a quantity of cocoa and palm-cabbages, most
precious provision for the sick on board.

In spite of the fact that the monsoon would soon blow from the east
for a long time, Carteret, alive to the dilapidated condition of his
ship, determined to start for Batavia, where he hoped to make up his
crew, and to repair the _Swallow_.

Upon the 9th September, therefore, he left Carteret harbour, the best
which he had met with since leaving the Straits of Magellan.

He soon penetrated to a gulf to which Dampier had given the name of St.
George Bay, and was not long in reconnoitring for a strait which
separated New Britain and New Ireland. This passage he found and named
St. George. He describes it in his narrative with a care which should
certainly have earned for him the thanks of all his contemporary
navigators. He then followed the coast of New Ireland to its southern
extremity. Near a little island, which he named Sandwich, Carteret had
some dealings with the natives.

"These natives," he says "are black, and have woolly hair like negroes,
but they have not flat noses or large lips. We imagine them to be of
the same race as the inhabitants of Egmont Island. Like them they are
entirely naked, if we except some ornaments of shells which they
attach to their arms and legs. At the same time, they have adopted a
fashion, without which our fashionable men and women are not supposed
to be perfectly dressed. They powder their hair or rather the wool on
their heads white, from which it follows that the fashion of wearing
powder is probably of greater antiquity and of more extended fashion
than we would have generally supposed. They are armed with spears and
large sticks in the shape of clubs, but we perceived neither bows nor

At the south-western extremity of New Ireland Carteret found another
land, to which he gave the name of New Hanover, and shortly afterwards
the group of the Duke of Portland.

Although all this portion of the narrative of his voyage, in countries
unknown before his time, abounds in precious details, Carteret, a far
more able and zealous navigator than his predecessors Byron and Wallis,
makes excuses for not having collected more facts.

"The description of the country," he says, "and of its productions and
inhabitants, would have been far more complete and detailed had I not
been so weakened and overcome by the illness to which I had succumbed
through the duties which devolved upon me from want of officers. When
I could scarcely drag myself along, I was obliged to take watch after
watch and to share in other labours with my lieutenant, who was also
in a bad state of health."

After leaving St. George's Strait, the route was westward. Carteret
discovered several other islands, but illness for several days
prevented his coming on deck, and therefore he could not determine
their position. He named them Admiralty Islands, and after two attacks,
found himself forced to employ fire-arms to repulse the natives.

He afterwards reconnoitred Durour and Matty Islands and the Cuedes,
whose inhabitants were quite delighted at receiving bits of an iron
hoop. Carteret affirms, that he might have bought all the productions
of this country for a few iron instruments. Although they are the
neighbours of New Guinea, and of the groups they had just explored,
these natives were not black, but copper coloured. They had very long
black hair, regular features, and brilliantly white teeth. Of medium
height, strong and active, they were cheerful and friendly, and came
on board fearlessly. One of them even asked permission to accompany
Carteret upon his voyage, and in spite of all the representations of
his countrymen and even of the captain, he refused to leave the
_Swallow_. Carteret, meeting with so decided a will, consented, but
the poor Indian, who had received the name of Joseph Freewill, soon
faded away and died at Celebes.

On the 29th October, the English reached the north-eastern portion of
Mindanao. Always on the look-out for fresh water and provisions,
Carteret in vain looked for the bay which Dampier had spoken of as
abounding in game. A little farther off he found a watering-place, but
the hostile demonstrations of the inhabitants forced him to re-embark.

After leaving Mindanao, the captain sailed for the Straits of Macassar,
between the islands of Borneo and Celebes. They entered it on the 14th
of November. The vessel then proceeded with so much difficulty that
she only accomplished twenty-eight leagues in fifteen days.

"Ill," he says, "weakened, dying, tortured by the sight of lands which
we could not reach, exposed to tempests which we found it impossible
to overcome, we were attacked by a pirate!"

The latter, hoping to find the English crew asleep, attacked the
_Swallow_ in the middle of the night. But far from allowing themselves
to be cowed by this new danger, the sailors defended themselves with
so much courage and skill, that they succeeded in foundering the Malay

[Illustration: A struggle between the _Swallow_ and a Malay prah.]

On the 12th of December Carteret sorrowfully perceived that the
western monsoon had commenced. The _Swallow_ was in no condition to
struggle against this wind and current to reach Batavia by the west.
He must then content himself with gaining Macassar, then the principal
colony of the Dutch in the Celebes Islands.

When the English arrived, it was thirty-five weeks since they left the
Straits of Magellan.

Anchor was scarcely cast, when a Dutchman, sent by the governor, came
on board the _Swallow_. He appeared much alarmed on finding that the
vessel belonged to the English marine service. In the morning,
therefore, when Carteret sent his lieutenant, Mr. Gower, to ask for
access to the port in order to secure provisions for his dying crew,
and to repair his dilapidated ship, and await the return of the
monsoon, not only could he not obtain permission to land, but the
Dutch hastened to collect their forces and arm their vessels. Finally,
after five hours, the governor's reply was brought on board. It was a
refusal couched in terms as little polite as they were equivocal. The
English were simultaneously forbidden to land at any port under Dutch

All Carteret's representations, his remarks upon the inhumanity of the
refusal, even his hostile demonstrations, had no other result than the
sale of a few provisions, and permission to proceed to a small
neighbouring bay.

He would find there, he was told, certain shelter from the monsoon,
and might set up a hospital for his sick, that indeed he could procure
more plentiful provisions there than in Macassar, from whence they
would send him all that he could need. Fearing death by starvation and
foundering, it was necessary to overlook these exactions, and Carteret
proceeded to the roadstead of Bonthain.

There the sick, installed in a house, found themselves prohibited from
going more than thirty roods from their hospital.

They were kept under guard, and could not communicate with the natives.
Lastly they were forbidden to buy anything excepting through the
agency of the Dutch soldiers, who strangely abused their power, often
making more than a thousand per cent. profit. All the complaints of
the English were useless. They were forced to submit during their stay,
to a surveillance to the last degree humiliating. It was only on the
22nd of May, 1768, on the return of the monsoon, that Captain Carteret
was able to leave Bonthain, after a long series of annoyances,
vexations, and alarms, which it is impossible to give in detail and
which had sorely tried his patience.

"Celebes," he says, "is the key to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands,
which are necessarily under the power of the people who are masters of
this island. The town of Macassar is built upon a promontory, and is
watered by one or two rivers which cross it or flow in its vicinity.
The ground is even and beautiful in appearance. There are many
plantations and cocoa-nut woods, interspersed with houses, which
convey the idea that it is well populated.

"At Bonthain the beef is excellent, but it is difficult to procure
enough of it to feed a fleet. Fowls, and as much rice and fruits as
can be wished, are procurable. The woods abound with wild pigs, which
are to be had cheap, because the natives, being Mohamedans, do not eat

These details, however incomplete, had great interest at the time they
were collected, and we go so far as to believe, that even now, some
hundred years since they were first written, they yet contain a
certain amount of truth. No incident marked the voyage to Batavia.
After several delays, caused by the desire of the Dutch Company to
make Carteret give them a testimonial as to the treatment he had met
with from the government of Macassar, and which he steadily refused,
Carteret at last obtained permission to repair his vessel.

On the 15th of September, the _Swallow_, partially refitted, set sail.
She was reinforced with a supplementary number of English sailors,
without which it would have been impossible to regain Europe. Eighty
of her original crew were dead, and eighty more were so reduced that
seven of their number died before they reached the Cape.

After a stay in this port, a most salutary one for the crew, which
lasted until the 6th of January, 1769, Carteret set out once more, and
a little beyond Ascension Island, at which he had touched, he met a
French vessel. It was the frigate, _La Boudeuse_, with which
Bougainville had just been round the world.

On the 20th of March the _Swallow_ anchored in Spithead roadstead,
after thirty-one months of a voyage as painful as it had been

All Carteret's nautical ability, all his _sang-froid_, all his
enthusiasm were needed to save so inefficient a vessel from
destruction, and to make important discoveries, under such conditions.
If the perils of the voyage, add lustre to his renown, the shame of
such a miserable equipment falls upon the English Admiralty, who,
despising the representations of an able captain, risked his life and
the lives of his crew upon so long a voyage.


Bougainville--A notary's son metamorphosed--Colonization of the
Malouine Islands--Buenos Ayres and Rio Janeiro--The Malouines
relinquished to the Spaniards--Hydrography of the Strait of Magellan--
The Pecherais--The Quatre Facardius--Tahiti--Incidents of the stay
there--Productions of the country and manners of the inhabitants--
Samoa Islands--The Land of the Holy Spirit or the New Hebrides--The
Louisiade--The Anchorite Isles--New Guinea--Boutan--From Batavia to St.

Whilst Wallis completed his voyage round the world, and Carteret
continued his long and hazardous circumnavigation, a fresh expedition
was organized for the purpose of prosecuting new discoveries in the
Southern Seas.

Under the old régime, when all was arbitrary, titles, rank, and places
were obtained by interest. It was therefore not surprising that a
military officer, who left the army scarcely four years before with
the rank of colonel, to enter the navy as a captain, should obtain
this important command.

Strangely enough, this singular measure was amply justified, thanks to
the talents possessed by the favoured recipient.

Louis Antoine de Bougainville was born at Paris, on the 13th of
November, 1729. The son of a notary, he was destined for the bar, and
was already an advocate. But having no taste for his father's
profession, he devoted himself to the sciences, and published a
Treatise on the Integral Calculus, whilst he obtained a commission in
the Black Musqueteers.

Of the three careers he thus entered upon, he entirely abandoned the
two first, slightly neglected the third, for the sake of a
fourth--diplomacy, and finally left it entirely for a fifth--the naval
service. He was destined to die a member of the senate after a sixth

[Illustration: Portrait of Bougainville. (Fac-simile of early

First aide-de-camp to Chevret, then Secretary of the Embassy in London,
where he was made a member of the Royal Society, he left Brest in 1756,
with the rank of captain of Dragoons, to rejoin Montcalm in Canada.
Becoming aide-de-camp to this general, he distinguished himself on
various occasions, and obtained the confidence of his chief, who sent
him to France to ask for reinforcements.

That unhappy country was just then overwhelmed with reverses in Europe,
and had need of all her resources. Therefore, when young Bougainville
entered upon the object of his mission to M. de Choiseul, the minister
answered brusquely,--

"When the house is on fire, one does not worry oneself about the

"At least," replied Bougainville, "no one can say that you speak like
a horse!"

This sally was too witty and too stinging to conciliate the minister.
Ultimately Madame de Pompadour, who appreciated witty people,
introduced Bougainville to the king, and although he did not succeed
in obtaining much for his general, he gained a colonelcy, and the
order of St. Louis for himself, although he had only seen seven years'
service. Returning to Canada he was anxious to justify Louis XIV.'s
confidence, and distinguished himself in various matters. After the
loss of the colony he served in Germany under M. de

His military career was cut short by the peace of 1763. His active
spirit and love of movement rebelled against a garrison life. He
conceived the strange idea of colonizing the Falkland Islands in the
extreme south of South America, and of conveying there free of expense
the emigrants from Canada who had settled in France to escape the
tyrannous yoke of England. Carried away by this idea, he addressed
himself to certain privateers at St. Malo, who, from the commencement
of the century, had been in the habit of visiting the group, and who
had named them Malouine Islands.

Having gained their confidence, Bougainville brought the advantages
(however problematical) of this colony to the minister's notice,
maintaining that the fortunate situation of the island, would secure a
good resting-place for ships going to the Southern Seas. Having high
interest, he obtained the authority he desired, and received his
nomination as ship-captain.

It was the year 1763. There is little reason to suppose, that marine
officers, who had passed all the grades of the service, looked with
gratification upon an appointment which no past event justified. But
that mattered little to the Minister of Marine, M. de
Choiseul-Stainville. Bougainville had served under him, and was far
too grand a personage to trouble himself about the grumbling of the
ship's officers.

Bougainville having brought his uncle and cousin, MM. de Nerville and
d'Arboulin, to look favourably upon his venture, caused the _Eagle_ of
twenty guns, and the _Sphinx_ of twelve, to be built at St. Malo,
under the auspices of M. Guzot Duclos. Upon these he embarked several
Canadian families.

Leaving St. Malo on the 15th of September, 1763, he rested at St.
Catherine's Island, on the coast of Brazil, and at Montevideo, where
he took horses and cattle, and landed at the Malouines in a large bay,
which appeared to him wholly suited to his purpose, but he was not
long in discovering that what had been taken by preceding navigators
for woods of moderate height, were only reeds. Not a tree, not a shrub
grew in the islands. Fortunately an excellent turf did for fuel in
their stead, whilst fish and game offered good resources.

The colony consisted at first of only twenty-nine persons, for whom
huts were built and also a provision warehouse. At the same time a
fort, capable of holding fourteen guns, was planned and commenced. M.
de Nerville agreed to remain at the head of the establishment, whilst
Bougainville returned to France on the 5th of April. There he
recruited some more colonists, and took a considerable cargo of
provisions of every kind, which he disembarked on the 5th of January,
1765. He then went to the Strait of Magellan in search of a cargo of
wood, and having, as we have already narrated, met Commodore Byron's
squadron, followed it to Port Famine.

There he took in more than ten thousand saplings of different growths,
which he intended to transport to the Malouines. When he left the
group on the 27th of April following, the colony already numbered
eighty persons, comprising a staff paid by the king. Towards the end
of 1765, the same two vessels were sent back with provisions and new

The colony was beginning to make a show, when the English settled
themselves in Port Egmont, reconnoitred by Byron. At the same time
Captain Macbride attempted to obtain possession of the colony, on the
ground that the land belonged to the English king, although Byron had
not recognized the Malouines in 1765, and the French had then been
settled there two years.

In the meantime Spain laid claim to it in her turn, as a dependency of
Southern America. England and France were equally adverse to a breach
of the peace, for the sake of this archipelago, which was of so little
commercial value, and Bougainville was forced to relinquish his
undertaking on condition that the Spanish Government indemnified him
for his expenses. In addition, he was ordered by the French Government
to facilitate the restoration of the Malouines to the Spanish

This foolish attempt at colonization was the origin and groundwork of
Bougainville's good fortune, for in order to make use of the last
equipment, the minister ordered Bougainville to return by the South
Sea, and to make discoveries.

In the early days of November, 1766, Bougainville repaired to Nantes,
where his second in command, M. Duclos-Guiyot, captain of the
fire-ship, and an able and veteran sailor, who grew grey in the
inferior rank because he was not noble, superintended the equipment of
the frigate _La Boudeuse_, of twenty-six guns.

Bougainville left the roadstead of Minden at the mouth of the Loire,
on the 15th of November, for the La Plata river, where he hoped to
find two Spanish vessels, the _Esmeralda_ and the _Liebre_. But
scarcely had the _Boudeuse_ gained the open sea when a furious tempest
arose. The frigate, the rigging of which was new, sustained such
serious damages that it was necessary to put for repairs into Brest,
which she entered on the 21st November. This experience sufficed to
convince the captain that the _Boudeuse_ was but little fitted for the
voyage he had before him. He therefore had the masts shortened, and
changed his artillery for less heavy pieces, but in spite of these
modifications, the _Boudeuse_ was not fit for the heavy seas and
storms of Cape Horn. However, the rendezvous with the Spaniards was
arranged, and Bougainville was obliged to put to sea. The staff of the
frigate consisted of eleven officers and three volunteers, among whom
was the Prince of Nassau-Sieghen. The crew comprised 203 sailors, boys,
and servants.

As far as La Plata the sea was calm enough to allow of Bougainville's
making many observations on the currents, a frequent source of the
errors made by navigators in their reckonings.

On the 31st of January, _La Boudeuse_ anchored in Montevideo Bay,
where the two Spanish frigates had been awaiting her for a month,
under the command of Don Philippe Pelicis Puente.

The long stay Bougainville made in this part, and also at Buenos Ayres,
enabled him to collect facts about the city, and the manners of the
inhabitants, which are too curious to be passed over in silence.
Buenos Ayres appeared to them too large for its population, which
amounted only to 20,000, the reason being that the houses are of only
one story, and have large courts or gardens. Not only has this town no
fort, but it has not even a jetty. Thus ships are forced to discharge
their cargoes on to lighters, which convey them to the little river,
where carts come to take the bales and convey them to the town.

The number of religious communities, both male and female, in Buenos
Ayres, adds to the originality of its character.

Bougainville says, "The year is full of Saint days, which are
celebrated by processions and fireworks. Religious ceremonies supply
the place of theatres. The Jesuits incite the women to greater
austerity in their piety than any other order. Attached to their
convent they have an institution intitled, _Casa de los egericios de
las mugeres_, that is, 'house for the devotion of women.' Women and
girls, without the permission of husbands or fathers, enter the
retreat for twelve days, to increase their sanctity."

They were lodged and boarded at the expense of the company. No man
ever set foot in this sanctuary unless in the cowl of St. Ignatius.
Servants even of the female sex were not allowed to accompany their
mistresses. The devotional services consisted of meditation, prayer,
catechizings, confession, and flagellation. "We were shown the stains
on the walls of the chapel, made by the blood which flowed under the
hands of these Magdalens as they did penance."

The environs of the town were well cultivated and brightened by a
large number of country houses named "quentas," but scarcely two or at
most three leagues from Buenos Ayres were immense plains, with
scarcely a single undulation, given up to bulls and horses, which are
almost the only inhabitants. Bougainville says,--

"These animals were so abundant, that travellers, when they needed
food, would kill a bull, consume what they could eat, and leave the
rest to be devoured by wild dogs and tigers."

The Spaniards had not yet succeeded in subduing the Indian tribes on
the two shores of the La Plata River. They were called "Indios

"They are of medium height, very ugly, and almost all infected with
the itch. Their complexions are very dark, and the grease with which
they perpetually rub themselves, makes them even blacker. Their sole
garment is the skin of the roe-buck, which reaches to the heels, and
in which they wrap themselves.

"These Indians pass their lives on horseback, at least near the
Spanish settlement. They occasionally come there with their wives to
buy eau de cologne, and they never cease drinking until drunkenness
literally deprives them of the power to move. Sometimes they assemble
in droves of two or three hundred to carry off the cattle from the
Spanish lands, or to attack the caravans of travellers.

"They pillaged, massacred, and carried off slaves. It was an evil
without remedy. How was it possible to subdue a wandering nation in a
vast and uncultivated country where it was difficult even to meet with

"Commerce was far from flourishing, as no European merchandise was
allowed to pass by land to Peru or Chili."

Nevertheless Bougainville saw a vessel leaving Buenos Ayres carrying a
million piastres, "And if," adds he, "all the inhabitants of this
country had the traffic of their hides in Europe, that of itself would
be enough to enrich them."

The anchorage of Montevideo was safe, although several times they were
visited by "pamperos," a scourge of the South-West, accompanied by
violent tempests. The town offered nothing of interest. The environs
are so uncultivated that it is necessary to import flour, biscuits,
and everything necessary for the boats. But fruits, such as figs,
peaches, apples, lemons, &c., are plentiful, as well as the same
quantity of butcher's meat as in the rest of the country.

These documents, which are a hundred years old, are curious when
compared with those furnished by contemporary navigators, especially
by M. Emile Daireaux, in his work on La Plata. In many respects this
picture is still correct, but there are other details (such for
instance as regards instruction, of which Bougainville could not speak,
as it did not exist) in which it has made immense progress. When the
victuals, the provision of water, and the cattle were embarked, the
three vessels set sail on the 28th of February, 1767, for the
Malouines. The voyage was not fortunate. Variable winds, heavy weather,
and a running sea, caused much damage to the _Boudeuse_. On the 23rd
of March she cast anchor in French Bay, where she was joined on the
morrow by the two Spanish vessels, which had been much tried by the

Upon the 1st of April the restitution of the colony to the Spaniards
was solemnized. Very few French profited by their king's permission to
remain in the Malouines; almost all preferred to embark upon the
Spanish frigates upon their leaving Montevideo. As for Bougainville,
he was forced to await the provisions, which the fly-boat _Etoile_ was
to bring him, and which was to accompany him upon his voyage round the

However, the months of March, April, and May passed, and no _Etoile_
appeared. It was impossible to cross the Pacific with only six months'
provisions, which was all the _Boudeuse_ carried.

Bougainville decided at last, on the 2nd of June, to reach Rio Janeiro,
which he had mentioned to M. de la Gerandais, the commander of the
_Etoile_ as a rendezvous, should unforeseen circumstances prevent his
reaching the Malouines.

The crossing was made with such favourable weather, that only eighteen
days were needed to reach the Portuguese Colony. The _Etoile_, which
had been awaiting her for four days, had left France later than was
expected. She had been forced to seek shelter from the tempest at
Montevideo, from whence, following her instructions she gained Rio.

Well received by the Count of Acunha, Viceroy of Brazil, the French
had opportunities of seeing the comedies of Metastasio given at the
opera by a Mulatto troupe, and of hearing the works of the great
Italian masters executed by a bad orchestra, conducted by a deformed
abbé in ecclesiastical dress.

But the cordial relations with the viceroy were not lasting.
Bougainville, who with the viceroy's permission had made some purchase,
found the delivery of it refused for no reason. He was forbidden to
take wood he needed from the royal timber-yard, although he had
concluded a contract for it, and lastly, he was prevented from lodging
with his staff, during the repairs of the _Boudeuse_, in a house near
the town, placed at his disposal by a friend. To avoid altercation,
Bougainville hurried the preparations for departure.

Before leaving the capital of Brazil, the French commander entered
into various details of the beauty of the port, and the picturesque
nature of its surroundings, and finished by a very curious digression
upon the prodigious riches of the country, of which the port was the

"The mines called 'general,'" he says, "are the nearest to the town,
although they are seventy-five leagues away from it. They yield the
king a yearly revenue by his right to a fifth share of at least a
hundred and twelve arobas of gold. In 1762, they brought him in a
hundred and nineteen. Under the captaincy of the 'general' mines,
those of the 'Rio des Morts,' Sabara, and Sero Frio were included--the
last named, in addition to all the gold it produces, yields all the
diamonds which come from the Brazils. No precious stones, except
diamonds, are contraband. They belonged to the speculators, who were
obliged to keep an exact account of the diamonds they find and to
restore them to the possession of an intendant named by the king for
this purpose. He immediately places them in a casket bound with iron,
and fastened with three locks. He retains one key, the king has
another, and the 'Provedor de hacienda reale' the third. This casket
is enclosed in a second, stamped with the seals of the three persons
named, and containing the three keys of the smaller one."

But in spite of all these precautions, and the severe punishment
visited upon diamond robberies, an enormous contraband trade was
carried on. It was, however, not the only source of revenue; and
Bougainville calculated, that deducting the maintenance of troops, the
pay of the civil officers, and all the expenses of the administration,
the King of Portugal drew no less than ten million francs from the

From Rio to Montevideo no incident occurred, but upon the Plata,
during a storm, the _Etoile_ was run down by a Spanish vessel, which
broke her bowsprit, her beak head, and much of her rigging. The
damages and the shock increased the leak of the ship, and forced her
to return to Encenada de Baragan, where repairs were more easily
managed than at Montevideo. It was impossible therefore to leave the
river until the 14th of November.

[Illustration: New Zealand. Gravé par E. Morieu.]

Thirteen days later, both ships came in sight of Virgin Cape at the
entrance to the Strait of Magellan, which they hastened to enter.

Possession Bay, the first they met with, is a large space, open to all
winds and offering very bad anchorage. From Virgin Cape to Orange Cape
is about fifteen leagues, and the strait is throughout seven or eight
leagues wide. The first narrow entrance was easily passed, and anchor
cast in Boucault Bay, where half a score of officers and men landed.

They soon made acquaintance with the Patagonians, and exchanged a few
trifles, precious to the natives, for swansdown and gunaco skins.

The inhabitants were tall, but none of them reached six feet.

"What struck me as gigantic in their proportions," says Bougainville,
"was their enormous breadth of shoulder, the size of their heads, and
the thickness of their limbs. They are robust and well-nourished,
their muscles are sinewy, their flesh firm, and in fact they are men
who, having lived in the open air and drawn their nourishment from
juicy aliments, have reached their highest point of development."

The distance from the first to the second opening may have been six or
seven leagues, and was passed without accident. This opening is only
one and a half leagues in width, and four in length. In this part of
the strait the ships easily reconnoitred St. Bartholomew and St.
Elizabeth Islands.

At the latter the French landed. They found neither wood nor water. It
was an absolutely desert land.

Leaving this place, the American side of the strait is amply furnished
with wood. But although the first advances had been fortunate,
Bougainville was to find plenty to try his patience.

The distinctive character of the climate lies in the rapid atmospheric
changes, which succeeded each other so quickly that it is quite
impossible to forecast their sudden and dangerous variations. Hence
the damages which it is impossible to foresee, which retard the
passage of the ships, even if they do not force them to seek shelter
for repairs.

Guyot-Duclos Bay provides an excellent anchorage, with six or eight
fathoms of water and sound bottom. Bougainville remained there long
enough to fill several casks, and endeavoured to procure fresh meat,
but he only met with a few wild animals. St. Anne's point was reached.
At that place Sarmiento had founded the colony of Philippeville in

In a preceding volume we have narrated the fearful catastrophe which
procured the name of Port Famine for this spot.

The French reconnoitred several bays, capes, and harbours at which
they touched. They were Bougainville Bay, where the _Etoile_ was
repainted, Port Beau Bassin, Cormadière Bay, off the coast of Tierra
del Fuego, and Cape Forward, which forms the most southerly point of
the strait and of Patagonia, Cascade Bay in Tierra del Fuego, the
safety, easy anchorage, and facilities for procuring water and wood of
which, render it a most desirable haven for navigators.

The various ports which Bougainville discovered are particularly
valuable, as they offer favourable points for doubling Cape Forward,
one of the most difficult routes for sailors on account of the violent
and contrary winds which prevail there.

The year 1768 opened for the adventurers in Fortescue Bay, below which
is Port Galant, the plan of which had been taken with great exactitude
by M. de Gennes. Detestable weather, of which the worst winter in
Paris can give no idea, detained the French expedition for three weeks.
It was visited by a band of Pecheians, the inhabitants of Tierra del
Fuego, who boarded the ship.

"We made them sing," says the narrative, "dance, listen to instruments,
and above all eat. Everything was pleasant to them, bread, salt meat,
tallow, they devoured everything that was given them. They showed no
surprise either at the sight of the vessels or that of the various
objects which were shown to them, no doubt because to feel surprise at
works of art, one must have elementary ideas. These men, akin to
brutes, treated _chef-d'oeuvres_ of human industry as they treated the
laws and phenomena of nature.

"These savages are small, ugly, thin, and smell abominably. They are
all but naked, having only clothing of seal-skin too small to cover

"These women are hideous, and the men appear to care little for them.
They live all together, men and women and children, in one hut, in the
centre of which a fire is lighted.

"Their food is chiefly shell-fish. Still they have dogs and snares set
with whalebone. On the whole they appear to be a good sort of people,
but so weak that one overlooks their faults.

"Of all the savages I have met with, the Pecherais are the most

[Illustration: "We made them sing."]

A painful event occurred whilst the crew were in this port. A child of
about twelve years of age came on board, and glass beads and bits of
glass were given to it, with no suspicion of the use to which they
would be put. It would appear that these savages are in the habit of
stuffing pieces of talc down their throats as talismans. This boy no
doubt meant to do the same with the glass, for when they landed they
found him vomiting violently and spitting blood. His throat and gums
were lacerated and bleeding. In spite of the enchantments and violent
rubbings of a juggler, or perhaps on account of this not too effective
treatment, the poor child suffered dreadfully, and died shortly
afterwards. This was the signal for a precipitate flight of the
Pecherais. They no doubt entertained a fear that the French had cast a
spell upon them, and that they would all die in a similar manner.

On the 16th of January, in endeavouring to reach Rupert Isle, the
_Boudeuse_ was driven by the currents half a cable's length from the
shore. The anchor which was then heaved, gave way, and without the
least land-breeze the vessel stranded.

It was necessary to regain Galant Harbour. It was just time, for next
day a fearful storm was raging.

"After experiencing constantly adverse and variable winds for
twenty-six days in Port Galant, thirty-six hours favourable breeze,
for which we had not dared to hope, sufficed to take us into the
Pacific Ocean. This I believe to be a solitary instance of a voyage
without anchorage from Port Galant to the narrow channel. I estimate
the entire length of this strait, from Virgin Cape to Cape Peliers, at
about 114 leagues.

"We took fifty-two days to accomplish it. In spite of the difficulties
we met with in the passage of the Straits of Magellan" (and in this
Bougainville entirely agrees with Byron), "I should advise this route,
in preference to that by Cape Horn from September to the end of March.
During the remaining months of the year I should prefer the open sea.

"Contrary winds and heavy seas are not dangerous, whilst it is not
wise to grope one's way between two coasts. One is sure to be detained
for some time in the strait, but this delay is not time wholly lost.
One meets with water in abundance, wood and shell-fish, and
occasionally very good fish. And I am decidedly of opinion that a crew
reaching the Pacific by doubling Cape Horn suffers more from the
ravages of scurvy than that which proceeds by the Straits of

Bougainville's opinion has met with many opposers up to the present
time, and the route which he lauds so highly has been almost abandoned
by navigators. One strong reason for which is that steam has
completely transformed maritime experience, and entirely changed
nautical science.

Scarcely had he entered the Southern Sea, when Bougainville, to his
intense surprise, found the winds southerly. He was therefore obliged
to relinquish his intention of reaching Juan Fernandez.

Bougainville had agreed with M. de la Giraudais, captain of the
_Etoile_, that if a larger stretch of sea was discovered, the two
vessels should separate, but not lose sight of each other, and that
every evening the bugle should recall them within half a league of
each other, so that, in the event of the _Boudeuse_ encountering
danger, the _Etoile_ might avoid it.

Bougainville for some time sought Easter Island in vain. At last he
fell in during the month of March with the lands and islands
erroneously marked upon M. Bellin's chart as Quiros Islands. On the
22nd of the same month he met with four islets, to which he gave the
name of Quatre Facardins, which belonged to the Dangerous group, a set
of madreporic islets, low and damp, which all navigators who have
visited the Pacific Ocean by way of the Straits of Magellan appear to
have noticed.

A little further discovery was made, of a fertile island inhabited by
entirely naked savages, who were armed with long spears, which they
brandished with menacing gestures, and thus it obtained the name of
Lancers Island.

[Illustration: Lancer's Island.]

We need not refer to what we have already repeatedly said of the
nature of these islands, the difficulty of access to them, their wild
and inhospitable inhabitants. Cook calls this very Lancers Island,
Thrum Cape, and the island of La Harpe, which Bougainville found on
the 24th, is identical with Cook's Bow Island.

The captain, knowing that Roggewein had nearly perished in these
latitudes, and thinking the interest of their exploration not worth
the risk to be run, proceeded southward and soon lost sight of this
immense archipelago, which extends in length 500 leagues, and contains
at least sixty islands or groups.

Upon the 2nd of April Bougainville perceived a high and steep mountain,
to which he gave the name of La Boudeuse. It was Maïtea Island,
already called La Dezana by Quiros. On the 4th at sunrise the vessel
reached Tahiti, a long island consisting of two peninsulas, united by
a tongue of land no more than a mile in width.

More than 100 pirogues hastened to surround the two vessels. They were
laden with cocoa-nuts and many delicious fruits which were readily
exchanged for all sorts of trifles.

When night fell, the shore was illuminated by a thousand fires, to
which the crew responded by throwing rockets.

"The appearance of this shore," says Bougainville, "raised like an
amphitheatre, offered a most attractive picture. Although the
mountains are high, the land nowhere shows its nakedness, being
covered with wood. We could scarcely credit our sight, when we
perceived a peak, covered with trees, which rose above the level of
the mountains in the southern portion of the island. It appeared only
thirty fathoms in diameter, and decreased in size at its summit. At a
distance it might have been taken for an immense pyramid, adorned with
foliage by a clever decorator. The least elevated portions of the
country are intersected by fields and groves. And the entire length of
the coast, upon the shore below the higher level, is a stretch of low
land, unbroken and covered by plantations. There, amid the bananas,
cocoa-nut and other fruit-trees we saw the huts of the natives."

The whole of the morrow was spent in barter. The natives, in addition
to fruits, offered fowls, pigeons, fishing instruments, working
implements, stuffs, and shells, for which they asked nails and

Upon the morning of the 6th, after three days devoted to tacking about
and reconnoitring the coast in search of a roadstead, Bougainville
decided to cast anchor in the bay he had seen the first day of his

"The number of pirogues round our vessels," he says, "was so great,
that we had immense trouble in making way through the crowd and noise.
All approached crying, 'Tayo,' _friend_, and offering a thousand marks
of friendship. The pirogues were full of women, who might vie with
most Europeans in pleasant features, and who certainly excelled them
in beauty of form."

Bougainville's cook managed to escape, in spite of all prohibitions,
and gained the shore. But he had no sooner landed, than he was
surrounded by a vast crowd, who entirely undressed him to investigate
his body. Not knowing what they were going to do with him, he thought
himself lost, when the natives restored his clothes, and conducted him
to the vessel more dead than alive. Bougainville wished to reprimand
him, but the poor fellow assured him, that however he might threaten
him, he could never equal the terrors of his visit on shore.

As soon as the ship could heave to, Bougainville landed with some of
his officers to reconnoitre the watering-place. An enormous crowd
immediately surrounded him, and examined him with great curiosity, all
the time crying "Tayo! Tayo!" One of the natives received them in his
house, and served them with fruits, grilled fish, and water. As they
regained the shore, a native of fine appearance, lying under a tree,
offered them a share of the shade.

"We accepted it," says Bougainville, "and the man at once bent towards
us, and in a gentle way, sung, to the sound of a flute which another
Indian blew with his nose, a song which was no doubt anacreontic. It
was a charming scene, worthy of the pencil of Boucher. Four natives
came with great confidence to sup and sleep on board. We had the flute,
bassoon, and violin played for them, and treated them to fireworks
composed of rockets and serpents. This display excited both surprise
and fear."

Before giving further extracts from Bougainville's narrative, it
appears _apropos_ to warn the reader not to accept these descriptions
_au pied de la lettre_. The fertile imagination of the narrator
embellished everything. Not content with the ravishing scenes under
his eyes, the picturesque reality is not enough for him, and he adds
new delights to the picture, which only overload it. He does this
almost unconsciously. None the less, his descriptions should be
received with great caution. We find a strange example of this
tendency of the age, in the narrative of Cook's second voyage. Mr.
Hodges, the painter who was attached to the expedition, wishing to
reproduce the disembarkation of the English on the island of
Middleburgh, paints personages who have not the smallest resemblance
to the dwellers in the ocean regions, and whose togas give them the
appearance of being contemporaries of Cæsar or of Augustus. Yet he had
the originals before his eyes, and nothing could have been easier to
him than to depict the scene as it really was.

We know better how to respect truth in these days. No additions, no
embellishments are found in the narratives of _our_ navigators. And if
sometimes they prove but dry accounts, which give little pleasure to
the general public, they are sure to contain the elements of earnest
study for the scientific man, and the basis of works for the
advancement of science.

With this preamble, let us follow the narrator.

Bougainville established his sick and his water-casks upon the shore
of a small river which ran at the bottom of the bay, under a guard for
their security. These precautions were not taken without arousing the
susceptibility and distrust of the natives. They had no objection to
seeing the strangers walk about their island all day, but they
expected them to return on board at night. Bougainville persisted, and
at last he was obliged to fix the length of his stay.

At this juncture, harmony was restored. A large shed was prepared for
the sufferers from scurvy, in number thirty-four, and for their guard,
which consisted of thirty men. The shed was closed on all sides and
only one opening left, to which the natives crowded with the wares
they wished to exchange. The only trouble they had was in keeping an
eye upon everything that was brought on shore, for "there are no more
adroit sharpers in Europe than these folks." Following a laudable
custom, now becoming general, Bougainville presented the chief of this
settlement with a pair of turkeys, and ducks and drakes, and then
cleared a piece of land, where he sowed corn, wheat, rice, maize,
onions, &c.

On the 10th, a native was killed by a gunshot. All Bougainville's
inquiries failed to find out the perpetrator of this abominable
assassination. Apparently the natives thought the victim in the wrong,
for they continued to frequent the market with their former confidence.

The captain, however, knew that the harbour was not well-sheltered,
and the bottom was entirely coral.

On the 12th, during a storm of wind, the _Boudeuse_, whose anchor
cable had been cut by the coral, caused great injuries to the _Etoile_,
upon which she was driven. Whilst all on board were busily occupied in
repairing these injuries, and a boat had been despatched in search of
a second passage, by means of which the ships might have left with any
wind, Bougainville learned that three natives had been killed or
wounded in their cabins by bayonets, and that owing to the general
alarm all the inhabitants had hurried to the interior.

In spite of the risk run by his ships, the captain at once landed, and
put the supposed perpetrators of this outrage (which might have
brought the entire population upon the French) into irons. Thanks to
these rigorous measures the natives calmed down, and the night passed
without incident.

Still, Bougainville's worst apprehensions were not upon this score. He
returned on board as soon as possible. But for a breeze which
opportunely sprang up, both vessels would have been driven on shore by
a strong squall, accompanied by a swell and thunder. The anchor cables
broke, and the vessels had a narrow escape of striking on the breakers,
where they must speedily have been demolished. Fortunately the
_Etoile_ was able to gain the open, and was soon followed by the
_Boudeuse_, leaving in this foreign roadstead six anchors, which might
have been of great use during the rest of the voyage.

So soon as they perceived the approaching departure of the French, the
natives came in crowds with provisions of every variety. One of them,
named Aotourou, asked, and finally obtained, permission to accompany
Bougainville on his voyage. After his arrival in Europe, Aotourou
lived eleven months in Paris, where he was received with cordiality
and welcome in the highest society. In 1770, when he returned to his
native land, the government took an opportunity of conveying him to
the Isle of France. He was to return to Tahiti as soon as the weather
permitted, but he died in the island without having been able to
convey to his land the useful implements, grains, and cattle, which
had been given to him by the French Government.

Tahiti, which was named Nouvelle Cythère by Bougainville, on account
of the beauty of the women, is the largest of the Society's group.
Although it was visited, as we have already narrated, by Wallis, we
will give a little information which we owe to Bougainville.

The principal productions were cocoas, bananas, bread fruits, yams,
sugar cane, &c. M. de Commerson, naturalist, who was on board the
_Etoile_, recognized the Indian flora. The only quadrupeds were pigs,
dogs, and rats, who multiplied rapidly.

Bougainville says, "The climate is so healthy that in spite of our
fatigues, although our people were perpetually in the water, and under
a burning sun, sleeping on the naked soil under the stars, no one was
ill. The sufferers from scurvy whom we disembarked, and who had not
enjoyed a single night's sleep, regained their strength, and were so
soon restored, that some of them were completely cured on board."

In addition to this, the health and strength of the natives, who live
in cabins open to every wind, and who scarcely cover the ground, which
serves them as a bed, with a few leaves, the happy old age to which
they easily attain, the sharpness of all their senses, and the
singular beauty of their teeth, which they preserve to the greatest
age, all testify to the salubrity of the climate, and the efficiency
of the rules followed by the inhabitants.

In character the people seem gentle and good. It would not appear that
they have civil wars among themselves, although the country is divided
into little portions under independent chiefs. They are constantly at
war with the inhabitants of the neighbouring islands. Not satisfied
with massacring the men and male children taken in arms, they skin
their chins with the beard, and keep this hideous trophy. Bougainville
could only obtain very vague information of their ceremonies and
religion. But he could at least assert the reverence they pay their
dead. They preserve the corpses for a long time in the open air, on a
sort of scaffold sheltered by a shed. In spite of the odour of
decomposition, the women go every day to weep near the monuments, and
bedew the sad relics of their beloved ones with their tears and with
cocoa-nut oil.

The soil is so productive, and requires so little cultivation, that
men and women live in a state of almost entire idleness. Therefore it
is not astonishing that the sole care of the latter is to be pleasing.
Dancing, singing, long conversations, teeming with gaiety, have
developed a mobility of expression among the Tahitans, surprising even
to the French, a people who themselves have not the reputation of
being serious, possibly because they are more lively than those who
reproach them with levity.

It is impossible to fix a native's attention. A trifle strikes them,
but nothing occupies them. In spite of their want of reflection they
were clever and industrious. Their pirogues were constructed after a
fashion equally ingenious and solid. Their fish-hooks and all their
fishing implements were of delicate workmanship. Their nets were like
those of Europeans. Their stuffs manufactured of the bark of a tree,
were generally woven and dyed of various colours.

In fact Bougainville's impression of the Tahitan people was that they
were "lazzaroni."

At eight o'clock on the 16th of April, Bougainville was about ten
leagues north of Tahiti, when he perceived land to windward. Although
it had the appearance of three islands, it was in reality but one. It
was named Oumaita after Aotourou. The captain, not thinking it wise to
stop there, steered so as to avoid the Pernicious Islands, of which
Roggewein's disaster had made him afraid. During the remainder of the
month of April the weather was fine, with little wind.

On the 3rd of May, Bougainville bore down towards a new land, which he
had just discovered, and was not long in finding others on the same
day. The coasts of the largest one were steep; in point of fact, it
was simply a mountain covered with trees to its summit, with neither
valley nor sea coast. Some fires were seen there, cabins built under
the shade of the cocoanut-trees, and some thirty men running on the
shore. In the evening, several pirogues approached the vessels, and
after a little natural hesitation, exchanges commenced. The natives
demanded pieces of red cloth in exchange for cocoa-nuts, yams, and far
less beautiful stuffs than those of the Tahitans; they disdainfully
refused iron, nails, and earrings, which had been so appreciated
elsewhere in the Bourbon Archipelago, as Bougainville had named the
Tahitan group. The natives had their breasts and thighs painted dark
blue; they wore no beards; their hair was drawn into tufts on the top
of their heads.

[Illustration: Pirogue of the Marquesas islanders.]

Next day, fresh islands belonging to the archipelago were seen. The
natives, who appeared very savage, would not approach the vessels.

"The longitude of these islands," says the narrative, "is pretty
nearly similar to that which Abel Tasman reckoned it when he
discovered Amsterdam and Rotterdam Islands, the Pilstaars, Prince
William Island, and the low lands of Fleemskerk. It is also
approximate to that assigned for the Solomon Islands. Besides the
pirogues which we have seen rowing in the open sea, and to the south,
indicate other islands in this locality. Thus it appears likely that
these lands form an extended chain in the same parallel. The islands
comprising the Navigator Archipelago, lie below the fourteenth
southern parallel, between 170 degrees and 172 degrees west longitude
from Paris."

As fresh victuals diminished, scurvy again began to appear. It was
necessary to think of putting into a port again. On the 22nd and the
following days of the same month, Pentecost Island, Aurora and Leper
Islands, which belong to the archipelago of New Hebrides, were
reconnoitred. They had been discovered by Quiros in 1606. The landing
appearing easy, the captain determined to send an expedition on shore,
which would bring back cocoa-nuts and other antiscorbutic fruits.
Bougainville joined them during the day. The sailors cut wood, and the
natives aided in shipping it. But in spite of this apparent good
feeling, the natives were still distrustful, and carried their weapons
in their hands. Those who possessed none, held large stones, all ready
to throw.

As soon as the boats were laden with fruit and wood, Bougainville
re-embarked his men. The natives then approached in great numbers, and
discharged a shower of arrows, lances, and javelins, some even entered
the water, the better to aim at the French. Several gunshots, fired
into the air, having no effect, a well-directed general volley soon
put the natives to flight.

A few days later, a boat seeking anchorage upon the coast of the Leper
Islands, was in danger of attack. Two arrows aimed at them served as a
pretext for the first discharge, which was speedily followed by a fire
so well directed, that Bougainville believed his crew in danger. The
number of victims was very large, the natives uttered piercing cries
as they fled to the woods. It was a regular massacre. The captain,
uneasy at the prolonged firing, sent another boat to the help of the
first, when he saw it doubling a point, He therefore signalled for
their return. "I took measures," he said, "that we should never again
be dishonoured by such an abuse of our superior forces."

The easy abuse of their powers by captains is truly sad! The mania for
destroying life needlessly, even without any object, raises one's
indignation! To whatever nation explorers belong we find them guilty
of the same acts. The reproach, therefore, belongs not to a particular
nation, but to humanity at large.

Having obtained the commodities he needed, Bougainville regained the

It would appear that the navigator aimed at making many discoveries,
for he only reconnoitred the lands he found very superficially and
hastily, and of all the charts which accompany the narrative, and
there are many of them, not one gives an entire archipelago, or
settles the various questions to which a new discovery gives rise.
Captain Cook did not proceed in this way. His explorations, always
conducted with care, and with rare perseverance, are for that very
reason far superior in value to those of the French explorer.

The lands which the French now encountered, were no other than St.
Esprit, Mallicolo, and St. Bartholomew, and the islets belonging to
the latter. Although he was perfectly aware that these islands were
identical with the _Tierra del Espiritu Santo_ of Quiros, Bougainville
could not refrain from bestowing a new name upon them, and called them
the Archipelago des "Grandes Cyclades," to which however, the name of
New Hebrides has been given in preference. "I readily believed," he
says, "that it was its extreme southern point which Roggewein saw
under the eleventh parallel, and which he named _Tienhoven_ and
_Groningue_. But when we arrived there everything led us to believe
that we were in the southern land of Espiritu Santo. Every appearance
seemed to coincide with Quiros's narrative, and the discoveries we
made every day encouraged us in our search. It is singular that
precisely in the same latitude and longitude as that which Quiros
gives to his St. Philip and St. James' Bays, upon a shore which at
first sight appeared like a continent, we found a passage equal in
size to that which he gives to the opening of his bays. Did the
Spanish navigator see badly, or did he wish to hide his discoveries?

"Had geographers merely guessed in making the Tierra del Espiritu
Santo identical with New Guinea? To ascertain the truth, we must
follow the same parallel for over 350 leagues. I resolved upon doing
so, although the state and quantity of our provisions warned us to
seek a European settlement as soon as possible. It will be seen that
we narrowly escaped being the victims of our own persistance."

Whilst Bougainville was in these latitudes certain business matters
required his presence on board the _Etoile_, and he there found out a
singular fact, which had already been largely discussed by his crew. M.
de Commerson had a servant named Barré. Indefatigable, intelligent,
and already an experienced botanist, Barré had been seen taking an
active part in the herborising excursions, carrying boxes, provisions,
the weapons, and books of plants, with endurance which obtained from
the botanist, the nickname of his beast of burden. For some time past
Barré had been supposed to be a woman. His smooth face, the tone of
his voice, his reserve, and certain other signs, appeared to justify
the supposition, when on arriving at Tahiti suspicions were changed
into certainty. M. de Commerson landed to botanize, and according to
custom Barré followed him with the boxes, when he was surrounded by
natives, who, exclaiming that it was a woman, were disposed to verify
their opinion. A midshipman, M. Bommand, had the greatest trouble in
rescuing her from the natives, and escorting her back to the ship.
When Bougainville visited the _Etoile_, he received Barré's confession.
In tears, the assistant botanist confessed her sex, and excused
herself for having deceived her master, by presenting herself in man's
clothes, at the very moment of embarkation. Having no family, and
having been ruined by a law-suit, this girl had donned man's clothes
to insure respect. She was aware, before she embarked, that she was
going on a voyage round the world, and the prospect, far from
frightening her, only confirmed her in her resolution.

[Illustration: Mdlle. Barré's adventure.]

"She will be the first woman who has been round the world," says
Bougainville, "and I must do her the justice to admit that she has
conducted herself with the most scrupulous discretion. She is neither
ugly nor pretty, and at most is only twenty-six or twenty-seven years
old. It must be admitted that had the two vessels suffered shipwreck
upon a desert island, it would have been a singular experience for

The expedition lost sight of land on the 29th of May. The route was
directed westward. On the 4th of June, a very dangerous rock, so
slightly above water that at two leagues' distant it was not visible
from the look-out, was discovered in latitude 15 degrees 50 minutes,
and 148 degrees 10 minutes longitude. The constant recurrence of
breakers, trunks of trees in large quantities, fruits and sea wrack,
and the smoothness of the sea, all indicated the neighbourhood of
extensive land to the south-east. It was New Holland. Bougainville
determined to leave these dangerous latitudes, where he was likely to
meet with nothing but barren lands, and a sea strewn with rocks and
full of shallows. There were other urgent reasons for changing the
route, provisions were getting low, the salt meat was so tainted, that
the rats caught on board were eaten in preference. Bread enough for
two months, and vegetables for forty days alone remained. All
clamoured for a return to the north.

Unfortunately the south winds had ceased, and when they re-commenced,
they brought the expedition within an inch of destruction.

On the 10th of June land was seen to the north. It was the bottom of
the Gulf of the Louisiade, which had received the name of Cul-de-sac
de l'Orangerie. The country was magnificent. On the sea shore, a low
land covered with trees and shrubs, the balmy odours of which reached
the ships, rose like an amphitheatre towards the mountains, whose
summits were lost in the skies. However, it was impossible to visit
this rich and fertile country, but, on the other hand, desirable to
find to the east a passage to the south of New Guinea, which, by way
of the Gulf of Carpentaria, would have led direct to the Moluccas. Did
such a passage exist? Nothing was more problematic, for the notion was
that land had been seen extending far to the westward. It was needful
to hurry as fast as possible from the gulf where the ships had so
incautiously involved themselves.

[Illustration: Louisiade Archipelago. (Fac-simile of early

But there is a wide difference between a wish and its fulfilment! The
two vessels strove in vain up to the 21st of June to transport
themselves to the west, from this coast, which was so full of rocks
and breakers, and upon which the wind and currents bade fair to
swallow them up. The fog and rain continued so closely with them, that
the frigate could only proceed in company with the _Etoile_ by a
constant firing of guns. When the wind changed, they profited by it,
and immediately proceeded to the open sea--but it soon veered again,
and continued east-south-east, and thus they speedily lost the ground
they had gained.

During this terrible cruise, the rations of bread and vegetables were
obliged to be reduced, consumption of old leather was threatened with
severe punishment, and the last goat on board was sacrificed.

It is difficult for the reader, tranquilly sitting in his
chimney-corner, to imagine the anxiety of a voyage in these unknown
seas,--threatened with the unexpected appearance of rocks and breakers,
with contrary winds, unknown currents, and a fog which concealed all
dangers. Cape Deliverance was only rounded on the 26th. It was now
possible to start for the north-north-east.

Two days later, when they had made about sixty leagues northward, some
islands were perceived ahead. Bougainville imagined they were a part
of the Louisiade group, but they are more generally accepted as
belonging to the Solomon Archipelago, which Carteret, who saw them the
preceding year, as little imagined that he had reached, as the French

Several pirogues speedily surrounded the two ships. They were manned
by natives, blacker than Africans, with long curling red hair. Armed
with javelins, they uttered shrill cries, and showed dispositions far
from peaceful. It was useless to attempt to reach them. The surge
broke violently, and the coast was so narrow that it scarcely seemed
as if there were one at all.

Surrounded on all sides by islands, and in a thick fog, Bougainville
steered by instinct in a passage only four or five leagues in width,
and with a sea so rough that the _Etoile_ was forced to close her

Upon the eastern coast a pretty bay was perceived, which promised good
anchorage. Boats were told off to sound it. Whilst they were thus
engaged, ten or more pirogues, upon which some hundred and fifty men
armed with bucklers, lances, and bows, were embarked, advanced against
them. The pirogues divided into two parties to surround the French
boats. As soon as they were within sufficient reach, the natives
showered a storm of arrows and javelins upon the boats. The first
discharge failed to stop them. A second was necessary to disperse them.
Two pirogues, the crews of which had jumped into the sea, were
captured. Of great length and well made, these boats were decorated in
front with a man's head carved, the eyes of which were formed of
mother of pearl, the ears of tortoise-shell, and the lips painted red.

The water in which this combat took place was called the Warrior River,
and the island received the name of Choiseul, in honour of the French
Minister of Marine.

On leaving this strait a new land was discovered--Bougainville Island,
the southern extremity of which, called Laverdy Cape, appears to join
Bouka Island. The latter, which Carteret had seen the preceding year,
and which he named Winchelsea, appeared densely populated--if the
cabins which abounded were any criterion.

The inhabitants, whom Bougainville classifies as Negroes, probably to
distinguish them from the Polynesians and Malays, are Papuans, of the
same race as the inhabitants of New Guinea. Their short curly hair was
painted red, and the betel-nut, which they perpetually chewed, had
communicated the same colour to their teeth. The coast with its
cocoanut and other trees, promised plentiful refreshments, but
contrary winds and currents quickly drew the ships away.

On the 6th of July Bougainville cast anchor on the southern coast of
New Ireland, which had been discovered by Schouten, in Port Praslin,
at the very point where Carteret had stopped.

"We sent our casks on shore," says the narrative, "and began to
collect water and wood, and commence washing, all of which was most
necessary. The disembarkation was splendid--upon fine sand, with
neither rock nor wave.

"Four streams flowed into the harbour in a space measuring four
hundred paces. We selected three, according to custom; one to supply
water for _La Boudeuse_, one for the _Etoile_, and one for washing
purposes. Wood was plentiful on the shore, and there were various
kinds of it, all good for burning, and several first-rate for
carpentery, joinery, and even toy-making.

"The two vessels were in hearing of each other and close to the shore.
Again this part and its neighbourhood to a great distance were
uninhabited--a fact which secured us precious peace and liberty. We
could not have hoped for a surer anchorage, or a more convenient spot
for water, wood, or the various repairs needed by the vessels. We were
able to send the sufferers from scurvy to range the woods. But with
all these advantages, the port had a few inconveniences. In spite of
active search, neither cocoanut-trees nor bananas were to be found,
nor any of the resources which either by consent or by force, could
have been gained in an inhabited country. Fish was not abundant, and
we could expect only safety and strictly necessary things. There was
every fear that the sick would not re-establish their health. We had
indeed no serious cases, but several were infected, and no improvement
took place, and their malady could not have increased more rapidly."

They had been only a few days in port, when a sailor found a leaden
plate upon which was an inscription in English. It was easy to guess
that they had found the very spot where Carteret had made a stay the
preceding year.

The resources offered by this country to sportsmen were mediocre in
the extreme. They did indeed catch sight of a few boars or wild pigs,
but it was impossible to hit them. To make up for this they shot most
beautiful pigeons, the bodies and necks of grey-white, and of golden
green plumage, turtle-doves, parroquets, crested birds, and a species
of crow, whose cry was so like the baying of a dog, as to be mistaken
for it. The trees were large and magnificent, amongst them the betel,
the areca, and the pepper-tree. Malignant reptiles swarm in these
marshy lands, and in the ancient forests, serpents, scorpions, and
other venomous reptiles abounded. Unfortunately, they were not only to
be found on land. A sailor in search of _marteaux_, a very rare kind
of bivalve mussel, was stung by a serpent. The fearful suffering and
violent convulsions which followed only subsided at the expiration of
five or six hours, and at last, the theriac which was administered to
him after the bite, effected a cure. This accident was a sad damper to
conchological enthusiasm. Upon the 22nd, after a severe storm, the
ships were sensible of several slight earthquakes, the sea rose and
fell several times in succession, which greatly alarmed the sailors
who were occupied in fishing.

In spite of the rain and ceaseless storms which continued daily, a
detachment started to search the interior for Bourbon palms,
palm-trees, and turtle-doves. They expected to find wonders, but
returned oftenest empty-handed and with the one result of being wet to
the skin. A natural curiosity at some distance from the anchorage, a
thousand times more beautiful than the wonders invented for the
ornament of kingly palaces, attracted numberless visitors, who could
never tire of admiring it. It was a waterfall, too beautiful for
description! To form any idea of its beauty, it would be necessary to
reproduce by the brush the sparkling gleam of the spray lit up by the
rays of the sun, the vaporous shade of the tropical trees which dipped
their branches into the water, and the fantastic display of light over
a magnificent country, not yet spoiled by the hand of man!

As soon as the weather changed, the ships left Port Praslin, to follow
the coast of New Guinea, until the 3rd of August. The _Etoile_ was
attacked by hundreds of pirogues, and forced to return the stones and
arrows that assailed her by a few gunshots, which put the assailants
to flight. On the 4th the islands named Matthias and Stormy by Dampier
were sighted. Three days later Anchorite Island was recognized, so
called because a number of pirogues occupied in fishing, took no
notice of the _Etoile_ and _Boudeuse_, disdaining to enter into
relations with the strangers. After passing a series of islets half
under water, upon which the vessels nearly struck, and which were
named the Echiquiers by Bougainville, the coast of New Guinea appeared.
Steep and mountainous, it ran west-north-west. On the 12th a large bay
was discovered, but the currents, which so far had been unfavourable,
were equally so in carrying the boats far from it. It was visible at a
distance of twenty leagues from two gigantic mountains, Cyclops and

The Arimoa Islands, the largest of which is only four miles in length,
were next seen, but the bad weather and the currents forced the two
vessels to remain in the open sea and relinquish all exploration. It
was necessary, however, to maintain a close watch in order to avoid
missing the outlet into the Indian Ocean. Mispulu and Waigiou, the
last at the extreme north of New Guinea, were passed in succession.

The "Canal des Français," the outlet for ships from this mass of
little islands and rocks, was passed without mishap. From thence
Bougainville penetrated to the Molucca Archipelago, where he reckoned
upon finding the fresh provisions requisite for the forty-five
sufferers from scurvy on board.

In absolute ignorance of the events which had occurred in Europe since
he left it, Bougainville would not run the risk of visiting a colony
in which he was not the strongest power. The small Dutch establishment,
Boeton or Bourou Island, suited him perfectly, all the more that
provisions were easily obtained there. The crew received orders to
enter the Gulf of Cajeti with the greatest delight. No one on board
had escaped scurvy, and half the crew, Bougainville says, were quite
unfit for duty.

"The victuals remaining to us were so tainted and ill-smelling, that
the worst moments of our sad days were those when we were obliged to
partake of such disgusting and unwholesome viands.

"The charms of Boeton Island were enhanced by our wretched situation.

"About midnight a delicious odour, emanating from the aromatic plants
with which the Molucca Islands are covered, had been wafted several
leagues out to sea, and was hailed by us as a forerunner of the end of
our woes.

"The appearance of the moderately sized town, situated below the gulf,
with vessels at anchor, and cattle grazing in the pastures that
surrounded it, caused pleasure in which I participated, but which I
cannot describe."

Scarcely had the _Boudeuse_ and the _Etoile_ cast anchor, than the
resident governor sent two soldiers to inquire of the French captain
what reason he could assign for stopping at this place, when he must
be aware that entrance was permitted to the ships of the India Company
only. Bougainville immediately sent an officer to explain that hunger
and sickness forced him to enter the first port which presented itself
in his route. Also, that he would leave Boeton as soon as he had
received the aid of which he had urgent need. The resident at once
sent him the order of the Governor of Amboyna, which expressly forbade
his receiving any strange ship in his harbour, and begged Bougainville
to make a written declaration of the reason for his putting into port,
in order that he might prove to his superior that he had not infringed
his orders except under paramount necessity.

As soon as Bougainville had signed a certificate to this effect,
cordiality was established with the Dutch. The resident entertained
the officers at his own table, and a contract was concluded for
provisions and fresh meat. Bread gave place to rice, the usual food of
the Dutch, and fresh vegetables which are not usually cultivated in
the island, were provided for the crews by the resident, who obtained
them from the Company's gardens. It would have been desirable for the
re-establishment of the health of the crew, that the stay at this port
could have been prolonged, but the end of the monsoon warned
Bougainville to set out for Batavia.

The captain left Boeton on the 7th of September, convinced that
navigation in the Molucca Archipelago was not so difficult as it
suited the Dutch to affirm. As for trusting to French charts, they
were of no use, being more qualified to mislead vessels than to guide

Bougainville therefore directed his course through the Straits of
Button and Saleyer; a route which, though commonly used by the Dutch,
is but little known to other nations. The narrative therefore
carefully describes, with mention of every cape, the course he took.
We will not dwell upon this part of the voyage, although it is very
instructive, and on that account interesting to seafaring men.

On the 28th of September, ten months and a half after leaving
Montevideo, the _Etoile_ and the _Boudeuse_ arrived at Batavia, one of
the finest colonies in the world. After touching at the Isle of France,
the Cape of Good Hope, and Ascension Island, near which he met
Carteret, Bougainville entered St. Malo on the 16th of February, 1769,
having lost only seven men, in the two years and four months which had
elapsed since he left Nantes.

The remaining particulars of the career of this fortunate navigator do
not concern our purpose, and may be dismissed briefly.

He took part in the American war, and in 1781 participated in an
honourable combat before Port Royal off Martinique. Made Chief of the
fleet in 1780, he, ten years later, received a commission to
re-establish order in the mutinous fleet of M. d'Albert de Rions.
Created vice-admiral in 1792, he did not think it right to accept a
high rank, which was, to use his own words, "a title without duties."

Nominated first to the Bureau of Longitudes, and then to the Institute,
raised to the rank of senator, created a count by Napoleon I.,
Bougainville died full of years and honours, on the 31st of August,

Bougainville acquired popularity as the first Frenchman who
accomplished a voyage round the world. Though the merit of discovering
and reconnoitring, if not of exploring, many groups of islands little
known and quite neglected before his time, has been ascribed to him,
he owes his reputation rather to the charm and easy animation of his
narrative, than to his labours. If he is better known than many other
French naval officers, his competitors, it is not so much because he
accomplished more than they, as because his style of narrating his
adventures charmed his contemporaries.

As for Guyot Duclos, his secondary share in the enterprise, and his
plebeian rank, excluded him from reward. He was afterwards given the
cross of St. Louis, but he earned the title by his rescue of the
_Belle Poule_. Although he was born in 1722, and had been in the navy
since the year 1734, he was still only lieutenant in 1791. A
succession of ministers of new views was needed to obtain the rank of
ship-captain for him: a tardy recompense of long and signal services.
Guyot Duclos died at St. Servan on the 10th March, 1794.



The beginning of his maritime career--The command of the _Adventure_
entrusted to him--Tierra del Fuego--Discovery of some islands in the
Pomotou Archipelago--Arrival at Tahiti--Manners and customs of the
inhabitants--Discovery of other islands in the Society group--Arrival
at New Zealand--Interview with the natives--Discovery of Cook's
Strait--Circumnavigation of two large islands--Manners and productions
of the country.

In narrating the career of a distinguished man, it is well to neglect
none of those details which may appear of but slight importance. They
acquire significance as indications of a vocation unknown even to its
subject, and throw a light upon the character under consideration. For
these reasons we shall dwell a little upon the humble beginning of the
career of one of the most illustrious navigators whom England boasts.

James Cook was born at Marton, in Yorkshire, on the 27th of October,
1728. He was the ninth child of a farm servant, and a peasant woman
named Grace. When scarcely eight years of age little James assisted
his father in the rough toil of the farm of Airy Holme, near Ayton.
His amiability, and love of work, attracted the interest of the farmer,
who had him taught to read.

When he was thirteen years of age, he was apprenticed to William
Sanderson, a linendraper at Snaith, a fishing-hamlet of some
importance. But young Cook found little pleasure in an employment
which kept him behind a counter, and he spent every leisure moment in
chatting with the sailors who visited the port. Gaining his father's
consent, James soon left the linendraper's, to engage himself as
ship-boy, to Messrs. Walker, whose boats carried coal from England to

Successively ship-lad, sailor, and master, Cook rapidly learned all
the details of his profession.

In the spring of 1755, as the first hostilities between England and
France broke out, the boat upon which Cook served was anchored in the
Thames. The navy was recruited in those days by means of pressgangs.
At first Cook hid himself, but afterwards, urged no doubt by a
presentiment, he engaged himself on board the _Eagle_, a vessel of
sixty guns, to the command of which Sir Hugh Palliser was soon

Intelligent, active, thoroughly at home in all the details of the
service, Cook was noticed by the officers, and attracted the attention
of his captain, who in a short time received a letter of warm
recommendation from the member for Scarborough, sent in accordance
with the pressing solicitations of all the inhabitants of Ayton, for
young Cook, who shortly afterwards received a warrant as boatswain. He
embarked upon the _Mercury_, bound for Canada, upon the 15th of May,
1759, and joined the fleet of Sir Charles Saunders, who, in
conjunction with General Wolfe, conducted the siege of Quebec.

In that campaign Cook found the first opportunity of distinguishing
himself. Ordered off to sound the St. Lawrence between Orleans Island
and the northern shore of the river, he executed his task with much
skill, and drew up a chart of the channel in spite of the difficulties
and dangers of the enterprise. His hydrographical sketch was
acknowledged to be so exact and complete that he received orders to
examine the channels of the river below Quebec. This duty he performed
so well that his chart of the St. Lawrence was published by the
English Admiralty. After the capture of Quebec, Cook passed on to the
_Northumberland_, under command of Lord Colville, and profited by his
stay on the shores of Newfoundland to devote himself to astronomy.
Important operations were now entrusted to him. He drew up the plan of
Placentia, and took the bearings of St. Peter and Miquelon.

In 1764 he was made naval engineer for Newfoundland and Labrador, and
was employed for three consecutive years in hydrographical tasks,
which obtained for him the notice of the ministry, and helped to
correct innumerable errors in the maps of America.

At the same time he addressed a treatise to the Royal Society of
London, upon an eclipse of the sun, which he had observed in
Newfoundland in 1766.

This document appeared in the "Philosophical Transactions." Cook was
not long in receiving a due reward for so much, and such successful
labour, and for his patient studies, the more meritorious, as he had
had few opportunities, and was self-taught.

A scientific question of the highest importance, viz., the transit of
Venus across the sun's disc, which had been announced for 1769, was
eagerly discussed by all the scientists of the day. The English
Government, confident that this observation could only be effectually
made in the Pacific Sea, resolved to send a scientific expedition

The command was offered to the famous hydrographer A. Dalrymple,
equally celebrated for his astronomical investigations, and his
geographical discoveries in the southern seas. But he was so exacting
in his demands, and so persevering in his request for a commission as
ship's captain, which Sir Edward Hawker as obstinately refused, that
the Secretary of the Admiralty proposed another commander for the
projected enterprise.

His choice fell upon James Cook, who was cordially recommended by Sir
Hugh Palliser, and to him therefore the command of the _Endeavour_ was
given, whilst he was at the same time raised to the rank of ship's

Cook was now forty years of age. This was his first appointment in the
Royal Navy. The mission entrusted to him called for varied
qualifications, rarely to be met with in a sailor. For, although the
observation of the transit of Venus was the principal object of the
voyage, it was by no means the only one. Cook was also to make a
voyage of discovery in the Pacific Ocean. But the humbly born
Yorkshire lad was destined to prove himself equal to his task.

Whilst the _Endeavour_ was being equipped, her crew of eighty-four men
chosen, her store of eighteen months' provision embarked, her ten guns
and twelve swivel guns, with the needful ammunition, shipped, Captain
Wallis arrived in England. He had accomplished his voyage round the
world. He was consulted as to the best spot for the observation of the
transit of Venus, and he selected an island which he had discovered,
and which was named by him after George III. It was later known by its
native name of Tahiti. From this spot therefore Cook was to take

Charles Green, assistant to Dr. Bradley, of Greenwich Observatory,
embarked with him. To Green was entrusted the astronomical department,
Doctor Solander, a Swedish doctor of medicine, a disciple of Linnæus,
and professor at the British Museum, undertook the botanical part.
Finally, Sir Joseph Banks joined the expedition, out of simple
interest, anxious to employ his energy and fortune. After leaving
Oxford, Sir Joseph Banks had visited the Newfoundland coast and
Labrador, and had there acquired a taste for botany. Two painters
accompanied the expedition, one a landscape and portrait painter, the
other a scientific draughtsman. In addition to these persons, the
company comprised a secretary and four servants, two of whom were

The _Endeavour_ left Plymouth upon the 26th of August, 1768, and put
into port at Funchal, in the island of Madeira, on the 13th of
September, to obtain fresh fruit and make discoveries. The expedition
met with a cordial reception.

During their visit to a convent, the staff of the _Endeavour_ were
entreated by the poor immured recluses to let them know when it would
thunder, and to find a spring of fresh water for them, which they
sorely needed, in the interior of the convent. With all their learning,
Banks, Solander, and Cook found it impossible to satisfy these demands.

From Madeira to Rio de Janeiro, where the expedition arrived on the
13th of November, no incident interrupted the voyage, but Cook's
reception by the Portuguese was hardly what he expected. The whole
time of his stay in port was spent in disputes with the viceroy, a man
of little knowledge, and quite incapable of understanding the
scientific aspect of the expedition. However, he could not well refuse
to supply the English with fresh provisions, of which they had
absolutely none left. As, however, Cook was passing Fort Santa Cruz on
leaving the bay, two shots were fired after him, whereupon he
immediately cast anchor, and demanded the meaning of the insult. The
viceroy replied that the commandant of the Fort had orders to allow no
vessel to leave the bay without his having received notice, and
although Captain Cook had notified his intention to the viceroy, it
had, by pure neglect, not been communicated to the Commandant of the
Fort. Was this an intentional act of discourtesy on the part of the
viceroy? or was it simple heedlessness?

If the viceroy was equally negligent in all the details of his
administration, the Portuguese colony must have been well regulated!

Cook entered the Straits of Lemaire on the 14th of January, 1769.
Kippis, in his Life of Captain Cook, gives the following account:--

"The sea ran so high, that the water was above Cape San Diego, and the
vessel was so driven by the wind that her bowsprit was constantly
under water. Next day anchor was cast in a small harbour, which was
recognized as Port Maurice, and soon afterwards they anchored in the
Bay of Good Success. Whilst the _Endeavour_ remained off this spot a
strange and untoward adventure befell Banks, Solander, Dr. Green, and
Monkhouse, the surgeon of the vessel, and their attendants. They were
proceeding towards a mountain in search of plants, and as they climbed
it they were surprised by cold, so penetrating and sudden, that they
were all in danger of perishing. Dr. Solander was seized with vertigo,
two negro servants died on the spot, finally the gentlemen were only
able to regain the vessel after a lapse of two days. They rejoiced in
their deliverance, with a joy which can only be estimated by those who
have escaped similar dangers, whilst Cook showed a lively pleasure in
the cessation of the anxiety their absence had caused him. This event
gave them a proof of the severity of the climate."

It was the middle of summer in this part of the world, and the day,
when the cold surprised them, had begun as warmly as an ordinary May
morning in England.

James Cook was enabled to make some curious observations upon the
savage inhabitants of those desolate regions. Destitute of the
necessaries of life, without clothes, without efficient shelter from
the almost perpetual severity of this glacial latitude, unarmed, and
unlearned in any industrial art which would enable them to construct
the more necessary utensils, they passed a miserable life, and could
only exist with difficulty. In spite of these facts, of all the
articles offered in exchange they invariably chose the least useful.
They joyfully accepted bracelets and necklaces, and rejected hatchets,
knives, and fish-hooks. Careless of what we consider valuables, our
superfluities were their necessaries.

Cook had reason to congratulate himself upon the selection of this
route. He took thirty days to double Tierra del Fuego, from the date
of his entrance into the Straits of Lemaire to his arrival, three
degrees north of Magellan. No doubt a much longer time would have been
needed, if he had followed the winding course of the Strait of
Magellan. His very exact astronomical observations, in which Green
joined him, and the directions he gave for this dangerous navigation,
smoothed the difficulties of his successors, and rectified the charts
of L'Hermite, Lemaire, and Schouten.

[Illustration: Captain James Cook. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

Cook noticed no current of any importance from the 21st January, the
day upon which he doubled Cape Horn, to the 1st of March, in a
distance of one hundred and sixty leagues of sea. He discovered a good
many islands in the Dangerous Archipelago, which he respectively named,
Lagoon, Arch, Groups, Birds, and Chain Islands. The greater number
were inhabited and were covered with vegetation, which to sailors who
for three months had seen only sea and sky, and the frozen rocks of
Tierra del Fuego, appeared luxuriant. Soon they found Martea Island,
which Wallis had named Osnaburgh, and on the next day, 11th of June,
the island of Tahiti was reached.

Two days later, the _Endeavour_ cast anchor in Port Matavai, called
Port Royal by Wallis, and where that captain had had a struggle with
the natives, over whom, however, he had triumphed without much
difficulty. Cook, aware of the incidents of his predecessor's stay in
this port, wished above all to avoid similar scenes. Moreover, it was
essential to the success of his observations that no interruption or
distraction should occur. His first care was to read out standing
orders to his crew, which they were forbidden under heavy penalties to
infringe. He first declared that he intended in every possible way to
cultivate friendly relations with the natives, then he selected those
who were to buy the needed provisions, and forbade all others to
attempt any sort of traffic without special permission. Finally, the
men who landed were on no pretext to leave their posts, and if any
soldier or workman parted with his arms or implements, not only would
the price be deducted from his wages, but he would be punished in
proportion to the exigency of the case.

In addition to this, to guard the observers from attack, Cook decided
on constructing a sort of fort, in which they might be sheltered
within gun range of the _Endeavour_. He then landed with Messrs. Banks,
Solander, and Green, soon found a favourable spot, and in presence of
the natives immediately traced out the extent of land he intended to
occupy. One of them, named Owhaw, who had had friendly intercourse
with Wallis, was particularly profuse in his protestations of

As soon as the plan of the fort was fixed, Cook left thirteen men and
an officer in charge of the tents, and accompanied his associates into
the interior of the island. But he was speedily recalled by the sound
of firing.

A very painful incident, the consequences of which might have been
serious, had occasioned this.

One of the natives had surprised a sentinel near the tents, and had
possessed himself of his gun. A general discharge was immediately
directed upon the inoffensive crowd, but fortunately no one was
injured. The robber meantime was pursued and killed.

A great commotion ensued, and Cook was profuse in his protestations,
to pacify the natives. He promised payment for all that he required
for the construction of his fort, and would not allow a tree to be
felled without their sanction. Finally, he had the butcher of the
_Endeavour_ mast-headed and flogged, for threatening the wife of one
of the chiefs with death.

This proceeding effaced the recollection of the painful antecedents,
and with the exception of some thieving by the natives, the friendly
relations remained undisturbed.

And now the moment for the execution of the primary object of the
voyage approached. Cook accordingly took steps for putting the
instructions he had received into effect. With this view, he
despatched observers with Sir Joseph Banks to Eimeo, one of the
neighbouring isles.

Four others proceeded to a favourable distance from the fort, where
Cook himself proposed to await the transit of the planet. Hence the
point of observation was called Point Venus.

The night preceding the observation passed with many fears of
unfavourable weather, but on the 3rd of June, the sun rose in all its
glory, and not a cloud troubled the observers throughout the day.

The observations, according to W. de Tonnelle's article in "Nature,"
for the 28th of March, 1874, were most fatiguing for the astronomers,
for they began at twenty-one minutes after nine in the morning, and
only terminated at ten minutes after three in the afternoon, at which
moment the heat was stifling. The thermometer registered 120 degrees
Fahrenheit. Cook assures us, and we can readily believe it, that he
himself was not certain of the end of his observation. In such
thermetrical conditions, the human organism, admirable instrument as
it is, loses its powers.

On passing the sun, the rim of Venus was elongated as though attracted.
A black point or dark ligament, a little less dark than the body of
the star, was formed; the same phenomenon occurred upon the second
interior contact.

"The observation," says Cook, "was made with equal success at the fort,
and by those I had sent to the east of the island. From the rising to
the setting of the sun, not a single cloud obscured the sky, and Mr.
Green, Dr. Solander, and myself, observed the entire transit of Venus
with the greatest ease. Mr. Green's telescope and mine were of equal
power, and that of Dr. Solander still stronger. We noted a luminous
atmosphere or fog surrounding the planet, which rendered the actual
moment of contact and especially of interior contacts somewhat
indistinct. To this fact it is owing that our observations varied
somewhat one from the other."

Whilst the officers and _savants_ were engaged in this important
observation, some of the crew, forcing an entrance into the storeroom,
stole a hundredweight of nails. This was a grave offence, and one
which might have had disastrous results for the expedition. The market
was at once glutted with that one article of traffic, and as the
natives testified an immoderate desire to possess it, there was every
reason to anticipate an increase in their demands. One of the thieves
was detected, but only seventy nails were found in his possession, and
the application of eighty lashes failed to make him betray his

Other incidents of this kind constantly occurred, but friendly
relations were not seriously disturbed. The officers were free to make
incursions into the interior of the island to prosecute scientific
investigations, and to inquire into the manners of the inhabitants.

In one of these excursions, Sir Joseph Banks met a band of itinerant
musicians and _improvisatori_. They were somewhat surprised to find
that the arrival of the English, and the various incidents of their
stay formed the subjects of native songs. Banks followed the river
which flows into the sea at Matavai, some distance into the interior,
and found traces of a long extinct volcano. He planted, and also
distributed among the population a large number of kitchen-garden
seeds, such as water-melons, oranges, lemons, &c., and planned a
garden near the fort, where he sowed many of the seeds he had selected
at Rio Janeiro.

Cook, and his principal assistants, wished to accomplish the
circumnavigation of the island, which they estimated at thirty
nautical leagues. During this voyage they entered into amicable
relations with the chiefs of different districts, and collected a mass
of information as to the manners and customs of the natives.

A curious custom was that of allowing the dead to decompose in the
open air, and of burying the bones only. The corpse was placed in a
hut about fifteen feet in length, and eleven in height, and of
proportionate width. One end was closed up, and the three other sides
shut in by trellis-work of twigs. The board upon which the corpse
rested was five feet above the earth. There the dead body was laid,
covered in stuffs, with its club and stone hatchet. Cocoa-nuts,
wreathed together, were hung at the open end of the tent; half a
cocoa-nut, filled with soft water, was placed outside, and a bag
containing some bits of toasted bread, was attached to a post. This
species of monument is called Toupapow. Whence could that singular
method of raising the dead above the ground until the flesh was
decayed by putrefaction have been derived! It is quite impossible to
find out. Cook could only ascertain that the cemeteries called Morai,
are places where the natives observe certain religious customs, and
that they always betrayed some uneasiness when the English approached.

One of their most delicate dishes was dog. Those intended for the
table never ate meat, but were fed upon bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, yams,
and other vegetables. The flesh placed in a hole upon hot stones
covered with green leaves, was stewed down in four hours. Cook, who
partook of it, says it has a delicious flavour.

On the 7th of July, preparations for departure began. In a short time
the doors and palings were removed, and the walls demolished. At this
moment, one of the natives, who had received the English with
cordiality, came on board with a young lad of about thirteen years of
age, who acted as his servant. He was named Tupia. Formerly first
minister to Queen Oberea, he was afterwards one of the principal
priests of Tahiti. He asked to be allowed to go to England. Many
reasons combined to decide Cook upon permitting this. Thoroughly
acquainted (as a necessary consequence of his high functions) with all
the particulars concerning Tahiti, this native would be able to give
the most circumstantial details of his compatriots, and at the same
time to initiate them into the civilized customs of the Europeans.
Finally, he had visited the neighbouring islands and perfectly
understood the navigation of those latitudes.

On the 13th of July there was a crowd on board the _Endeavour_. The
natives came to bid farewell to their English friends, and to their
countryman Tupia. Some overcome with silent sorrow shed tears, others,
on the contrary, uttered piercing cries, with less of true grief than
of affectation in their demonstrations.

In the immediate neighbourhood of Tahiti were to be found, according
to Tupia, four islands, Huaheine, Ulieta, Otaha, and Bolabola. He
asserted that wild pigs, fowls, and other needful provisions could
easily be obtained there. These commodities had become scarce in the
latter part of the stay at Matavai. Cook, however, preferred visiting
a small island called Tethuroa, about eight miles north of Tahiti, but
the natives had no regular settlement, and he therefore considered it
useless to wait there.

When they came in sight of Huaheine, several pirogues approached the
_Endeavour_, and it was only after they had recognized Tupia that the
natives consented to come on board. King Oreá, who was among the
passengers, was greatly surprised at all the vessel contained. Soon
reassured by the welcome of the English, he became so familiar as to
wish to exchange names with Cook. During the entire stay in port, he
always called himself "Cookee," and gave his own name to the captain.
Anchor was cast in a convenient harbour, and the officers of this
vessel on landing found the manners, the language, and the productions
of this island identical with those of Tahiti.

Seven or eight leagues south-west lay Ulietea. Cook landed there also,
and solemnly took possession of this and the three neighbouring isles.
He also profited by his stay to make hydrographical surveys of the
shores, whilst a leak which had been found in the gun-room of the
_Endeavour_, was attended to. After reconnoitring various other small
islands, Cook gave the entire group the name of Society Isles.

Cook sailed on the 7th of August; six days later he reconnoitred the
island of Oteroah. The hostile demonstrations of the natives prevented
the _Endeavour_ from remaining. She set sail for the south.

On the 25th of August, the anniversary of their departure from England
was celebrated by the crew. On the 1st of September, in 40 degrees 22
minutes S. Lat., 174 degrees 29 minutes E. Long., the sea, agitated by
a west wind, became very rough. The _Endeavour_ was obliged to put her
head to the north, and to run before the storm. Up to the 3rd the
weather continued the same, then it abated and it was possible to
resume the westward route.

In a few days, sundry indications of an island or a continent appeared,
such as floating weeds, land-birds, &c.

On the 5th of October the colour of the sea changed, and on the
morning of the 6th, a coast running west by north-west was perceived.
Nearer approach showed it to be of great extent. Unanimous opinion
decided that the famous continent, so long looked for, so necessary
for the equipoise of the world, known to cosmographers, as the
"Unknown land of the South," was at last discovered!

This land was the eastern shore of the most northerly of the two
islands which have received the name of New Zealand.

Smoke was perceived at different points, and the details of the shore
were soon mastered. The hills were covered with verdure, and large
trees were distinguishable in the valleys. Then houses were perceived,
then pirogues, then the natives assembled on the strand. And lastly, a
pallisade, high and regularly built, surrounded the summit of the hill.
Opinions varied as to the nature of this object; some declaring it to
be a deer park, others a cattle enclosure, not to speak of many
equally ingenious surmises, which were all proved false, when later it
turned out to be a "pah."

Towards four o'clock on the afternoon of the 8th of October, anchor
was cast in a bay at the mouth of a little river. On either side were
white rocks; in the middle a brownish plain, rising by degrees, and
joining by successive levels a chain of mountains, which appeared far
in the interior. Such was the aspect of this portion of the shore.

Cook, Banks, and Solander entered two small boats, accompanied by a
part of the crew. As they approached the spot where the natives were
assembled, the latter fled; this, however, did not prevent the English
from landing, leaving four lads to guard one of the boats, whilst the
other remained at sea.

They had proceeded only a short distance from the boat, when four men,
armed with long spears, emerged from the wood, and threw themselves
upon it to take possession of it. They would have succeeded with ease,
had not the crew of the boat out at sea perceived them, and cried out
to the lads to let it drift with the current. They were pursued so
closely by the enemy, that the master of the pinnace discharged his
gun over the heads of the natives.

[Illustration: "They were pursued so closely."]

After a moment's hesitation, the natives continued their pursuit, when
a second discharge stretched one of them dead on the spot. His
companions made an effort to carry him away with them, but were
obliged to abandon the attempt, as it retarded their flight. Hearing
the firing, the officers who had landed went back to the vessel,
whence they soon heard the natives returning to the shore, eagerly
discussing the event.

Still Cook desired to have friendly intercourse with them. He ordered
three boats to be manned, and landed with Banks, Solander, and Tupia.
Fifty or more natives seated on the shore awaited them. They were
armed with long lances, and an instrument made of green talc, and
highly polished, a foot long, which perhaps weighed four or five
pounds. This was the "patou-patou," or toki, a kind of battle-axe, in
talc or bone, with a very sharp edge. All rose at once and signed to
the English to keep their distance.

As soon as the marines landed, Cook and his companions advanced to the
natives, whom Tupia told that the English had come with peaceful
intentions, that they only wished for water and provisions, that they
would pay for all that was brought them with iron, of which he
explained the use. They saw, with pleasure, that the people, whose
language was only a dialect of that spoken by the Tahitans, perfectly
understood them. After some parleying, about thirty of the natives
crossed the river. The strangers gave them iron and glass wares, on
which they set no store; but one of them, having succeeded in
possessing himself secretly of Mr. Green's cutlass, the others
recommenced their hostile demonstrations, and it was necessary to fire
at the robber, who was hit, when they all threw themselves into the
river to gain the opposite shore.

[Illustration: Tahitian flute-player. (Fac-simile of early

The various attempts at commercial intercourse with the people ended
too unfortunately for Cook to persevere in them any longer. He
therefore decided to find a watering-place elsewhere. Meanwhile, two
pirogues, which were trying to regain the shore, were perceived. Cook
took measures to intercept them; one escaped by rapid paddling, the
other was caught, and although Tupia assured the natives that the
English came as friends, they seized their weapons, and commenced
attacking them. A discharge killed four, and three others, who threw
themselves into the sea, were seized after a fierce resistance.

The reflections which this sad incident suggested to Captain Cook, are
much to his honour. They are in strong contradistinction to the
ordinary method of proceeding then in vogue, and deserve to be
repeated verbatim.

"I cannot disguise from myself," he says, "that all humane and
sensible people will blame me for having fired upon these unfortunate
Indians, and I should be forced to blame myself for such an act of
violence if I thought of it in cold blood. They certainly did not
deserve death for refusing to trust to my promises, and to come on
board, even if they suspected no danger; but my commission by its
nature obliged me to take observations of their country, and I could
only do so by penetrating into the interior, either by open force or
by gaining the confidence and good will of the natives. I had tried
unsuccessfully by means of presents and my anxiety to avoid new
hostilities led me to attempt having some of them on board, as the
sole method of persuading them that far from wishing to hurt them, we
were disposed to be of use to them. So far, my intentions were
certainly not criminal. It is true that during the struggle, which was
unexpected by me, our victory might have been equally complete without
taking the lives of four of these Indians, but it must also be
remembered that in such a situation, the command to fire having once
been given, one is no longer in a position to proscribe it, or to
lighten its effect."

The natives were welcomed on board, with every possible demonstration,
if not to make them forget, at least to make them less sensible of the
pain of remembering their capture, they were loaded with presents,
adorned with bracelets and necklaces, but when they were told to land,
they all declared, as the boats were directed to the mouth of the
river, that it was an enemy's country, and that they would be killed
and eaten. However, they were put on shore, and there is no reason to
suppose that anything painful came of their adventure.

Next day, the 11th of October, Cook left this miserable settlement. He
named it Poverty Bay, because of all that he needed he had been able
to procure but one thing--wood. Poverty Bay, in 38 degrees 42 minutes
S. Lat., and 181 degrees 36 minutes W. Long., is of horse-shoe shape,
and affords good anchorage, although it is open to the winds between
south and east.

Cook continued along the coast in a southerly direction, naming the
most remarkable points, and bestowing the name of Portland upon an
island which resembled that of the same name in the English Channel.
His relations with the natives were everywhere inimical; if they did
not break out into open outrage, it was owing to the English patience
under every provocation.

One day several pirogues surrounded the ship, and nails and glassware
were exchanged for fish; when the natives seized Tayeto, Tupia's
servant, and quickly paddled off.

As it was necessary to fire at the robbers, the little Tahitan
profited by the confusion, and jumping into the sea was soon picked up
by the pinnace of the _Endeavour_.

On the 17th of October, Cook, not having been able to find a suitable
harbour, and considering himself, as the sea became more and more
rough, to be losing time which might be better employed in
reconnoitring the northern coast, tacked round and returned the way he
had come.

On the 23rd of October, the _Endeavour_ reached a bay called Tedago,
where no swell was perceptible. The water was excellent, and it was
easy to procure provisions, the more so as the natives appeared

After having arranged everything for the safety of the workers, Messrs.
Banks and Solander landed and collected plants, and in their walk they
found many things worthy of note. Below the valley, surrounded by
steep mountains, arose a rock so perforated, that from one side the
sea could be seen through it, and from the other the long range of

Returning on board, the excursionists were stopped by an old man, who
insisted upon their taking part in the military exercises of the
country with the lance and the patou-patou.

In the course of another walk, Dr. Solander bought a top exactly
resembling European tops, and the natives made signs to show him that
he must whip it to make it go.

Upon an island to the left of the bay, the English saw the largest
pirogue they had yet met with. It was no less than sixty-eight feet
long, five wide, and three feet six inches high. It had in front a
sculpture in relief, of grotesque taste, in which the lines were
spiral and the figures strangely contorted.

On the 30th of October, as soon as he was supplied with wood and water,
Cook set sail and continued along the coast towards the north.

Near an island, to which Cook had given the name of Mayor, the natives
behaved most insolently, and were greater thieves than any previously
encountered. It was, however, necessary to make a stay of five or six
days in this district, to observe the transit of Mercury. With a view
to impressing upon the natives that the English were not to be illused
with impunity, a robber who had taken a piece of cloth was fired upon
with grape shot, but although he received the discharge in the back,
it had no more effect upon him than a violent blow with a rattan. But
a bullet which struck the water and returning to the surface passed
several times over the pirogues, struck such terror into the hearts of
the natives, that they hastily paddled to the shore.

On the 9th of November, Cook and Green landed to observe the transit
of Mercury. Green only observed the passing, while Cook took the
altitude of the sun.

It is not our intention to follow the navigators in their thorough
exploration of New Zealand.

The same incidents were endlessly repeated, and the recital of the
similar struggles with the natives, with descriptions of natural
beauty, however attractive in themselves, could not but pall upon the
reader. It is better, therefore, to pass rapidly over the hydrographic
portion of the voyage, in order to devote ourselves to our picture of
the manners of the natives, now so widely modified.

Mercury Bay is situated at the foot of the long divided peninsula
which, running from the east to the north-east, forms the northern
extremity of New Zealand. On the 15th of November, as the _Endeavour_
left the bay, several boats advanced towards her.

"Two of their number," says the narrative, "which carried about sixty
armed men, approached within hearing, and the natives began their
war-song, but seeing that this attracted little attention, they began
throwing stones at the English, and paddled along the shore. Soon they
returned to the charge, evidently determined to fight the navigators,
and encouraging themselves with their war cry."

Without being incited to it, Tupia addressed them reproachfully, and
told them that the English had arms, and were in a position to
overpower them instantly. But they valiantly replied,--

"Come to land, and we will kill you all!"

"Directly," replied Tupia, "but why insult us as long as we are at
sea? We have no wish to fight, and we will not accept your challenge,
because there is no quarrel between us. The sea does not belong to you
any more than to our ship."

Tupia had not been credited with so much simple and true eloquence,
and it surprised Cook and the other English.

Whilst he was in the bay of the islands, the captain reconnoitred a
considerable river, which he named after the Thames. It was shaded
with trees, of the same species as those on Poverty Island. One of
them measured nineteen feet in circumference at the height of six feet
above the ground, another was not less than ninety feet long from the
root to the lowest branches.

Although quarrels with the natives were frequent, the latter were not
invariably in the wrong.

Kippis relates as follows:--

"Some of the men on board, who, after the Indians had once been found
in fault, did not fail to exhibit a severity worthy of Lycurgus,
thought fit to enter a New Zealand plantation, and to carry off a
quantity of potatoes. Captain Cook condemned them to a dozen stripes
each. Two of them received them peaceably, but the third persisted
that it was no crime for an Englishman to pillage Indian plantations.
Cook's method of dealing with this casuist was to send him to the
bottom of the hold until he agreed to receive six additional stripes."

On the 30th of December the English doubled a cape which they took to
be that of Maria Van Diemen, discovered by Tasman, but they were so
assailed by threatening winds, that Cook only accomplished ten leagues
in three weeks. Fortunately they kept at a uniform distance from shore
all the time, otherwise we should probably have been spared the
recital of their further adventures.

On the 16th of January, 1770, after naming various portions of the
eastern shore, Cook arrived in sight of an imposing peak, which was
covered with snow, and which he named Mount Egmont in honour of the
earl of that name.

Scarcely had he doubled the peak, when he found that the coast
described the arc of a circle. It was split up into numberless
roadsteads, which Cook determined to enter, in order to allow of his
ship being repaired and keeled.

He landed at the bottom of a creek where he found a fine river and
plenty of trees, for the forest only ceased at the sea for want of

The amicable relations with the natives at this point enabled him to
inquire if they had ever seen a vessel like the _Endeavour_. But he
found that even the traditions of Tasman's visit were forgotten,
although he was only fifteen miles south of Assassin Bay.

In one of the provision baskets of the Zealanders ten half gnawed
bones were found. They did not look like a dog's bones, and on nearer
inspection they turned out to be human remains. The natives in reply
to the questions put to them, asserted that they were in the habit of
eating their enemies. A few days later, they brought on board the
_Endeavour_ seven human heads, to which hair and flesh still adhered,
but the brains as being delicate morsels, were already picked. The
flesh was soft, and no doubt was preserved from decay by some
ingredient, for it had no unpleasant odour. Banks bought one of these
heads after some difficulty, but he could not induce the old man who
brought it to part with a second, probably because the New Zealanders
considered them as trophies, and testimonies to their bravery.

The succeeding days were devoted to a visit to the environs, and to
some walks in the neighbourhood. During one of these excursions Cook,
having climbed a high hill, distinctly perceived the whole of the
strait to which he had given the name of Queen Charlotte, and the
opposite shore, which appeared to him about four leagues distant.

A fog made it impossible for him to see further to the south-east, but
he had discerned enough to assure him that it was the final extent of
the large island of which he had followed all the windings. He had now
only to finish his discoveries in the south, which he proposed to do
as soon as he had satisfied himself that Queen Charlotte's Sound was
really a strait.

Cook visited a pah in the neighbourhood. Built upon a little island or
inaccessible rock, the pah was merely a fortified village. The natives
most frequently add to the natural defences by fortifications, which
render the approach still more perilous. Many were defended by a
double ditch, the inner one having a parapet and double palisade. The
second ditch was at least eighty feet in depth. On the inside of the
palisade, at the height of twenty feet, was a raised platform forty
feet long by six wide. Supported on two large poles, it was intended
to hold the defenders of the place, who from thence could easily
overwhelm the attacking party with darts and stones, of which an
enormous supply was always ready in case of need.

These strongholds cannot be forced, unless by means of a long blockade
the inmates should be compelled to surrender.

"It is surprising," as Cook remarks, "that the industry and care
employed by them in building places so well adapted for defence,
almost without the use of instruments, should not by the same means,
have led them to invent a single weapon of any importance, with the
sole exception of the spear they throw with the hand. They do not
understand the use of a bow to throw a dart, or of a sling to fling a
stone, which is the more astonishing, as the invention of slings, and
bows and arrows is far more simple than the construction of these
works by the people, and moreover these two weapons are met with in
almost all parts of the world, in the most savage countries."

On the 6th of February, Cook left the bay, and set sail for the east,
in the hope of discovering the entrance to the strait before the ebb
of the tide. At seven in the evening, the vessel was driven by the
violence of the current to the close neighbourhood of a small island,
outside Cape Koamaroo. Sharply pointed rocks rose from the sea. The
danger increased momentarily, one only hope of saving the ship
remained. It was attempted and succeeded. A cable's length was the
distance between the _Endeavour_ and the rock when anchor was cast, in
seventy-five fathoms of water. Fortunately the anchor found a hold,
and the current changing its direction after touching the island,
carried the vessel past the rock. But she was not yet in safety, for
she was still in the midst of rocks, and the current made five miles
an hour.

However, the current decreased, the vessel righted herself, and the
wind becoming favourable, she was speedily carried to the narrowest
part of the strait, which she crossed without difficulty.

The most northerly island of New Zealand, which is named Eaheinomauwe,
was, however, as yet only partially known, there still remained some
fifteen leagues unexplored.

A few officers affirmed from this that it was a continent, and not an
island, which was contrary to Cook's view. But although his own mind
was made up, the captain directed his navigation with a view to clear
up any doubt which might remain in the minds of his officers. After
two days' voyage, in which Cape Palliser was passed, he called them up
on the quarter deck and asked if they were satisfied. As they replied
in the affirmative, Cook gave up his idea of returning to the most
southerly point he had reached on the eastern coast of Eaheinomauwe,
and determined to prolong his cruise the entire length of the land
which he had found, and which was named Tawai-Pounamow.

The coast was more sterile, and appeared uninhabited. It was necessary
to keep four or five leagues from the shore.

On the night of the 9th of March the _Endeavour_ passed over several
rocks, and in the morning the crew discovered what dangers they had
escaped. They named these reefs the Snares, as they appeared placed
there to surprise unsuspecting navigators.

[Illustration: A Fa-toka, New Zealand.]

Next day, Cook reconnoitred what appeared to him to be the extreme
south of New Zealand, and called it South Cape. It was the point of
Steward Island. Great waves from the south-west burst over the vessel
as it doubled this cape, which convinced Captain Cook that there was
no land in that quarter. He therefore returned to the northern route,
to complete the circumnavigation of New Zealand by the eastern coast.

Almost at the southern extremity of this coast, a bay was discovered,
which received the name of Dusky. This region was sterile, steep,
covered with snow. Dusky Bay was three or four miles in width at its
entrance, and appeared as deep as it was wide. Several islands were
contained in it, behind which a vessel would have excellent shelter;
but Cook thought it prudent not to remain there, as he knew that the
wind, which would enable him to leave the bay, blew only once a month
in these latitudes. He differed upon this point with several of his
officers, who thinking only of the present advantage, did not reflect
upon the inconveniences of a stay in port, the duration of which would
be uncertain.

No incident occurred during the navigation of the eastern coast of

From Dusky Bay, according to Cook, to 44 degrees 20 minutes latitude,
there is a straight chain of hills which rise directly from the sea,
and are covered with forests. Behind and close to these hills, are
mountains which form another chain of prodigious height, composed of
barren and jagged rocks, excepting in the parts where they are covered
with snow, mostly in large masses. It is impossible to conceive a
wilder prospect, or a more savage and frightful one than this country
from the sea, because from every point of view nothing is visible but
the summits of rocks; so close to each other that in lieu of valleys
there are only fissures between them. From 44 degrees 20 minutes to 42
degrees 8 minutes the aspect varies, the mountains are in the interior,
hills and fruitful valleys border the coast.

From 42 degrees 8 minutes to the 41 degrees 30 minutes the coast
inclines vertically to the sea, and is covered with dark forests. The
_Endeavour_, moreover, was too far from the shore, and the weather was
too dark for it to be possible to distinguish minor details. After
achieving the circumnavigation of the country, the vessel regained the
entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound.

Cook took in water and wood; then he decided on returning to England,
following the route which permitted him best to fulfil the object of
his voyage. To his keen regret, for he had greatly wished to decide
whether or no the southern continent existed, it was as impossible for
him to return to Europe by Cape Horn as by the Cape of Good Hope.

In the middle of winter, in an extreme southerly latitude his vessel
was in no condition to bring the enterprise to a successful issue. He
had no choice, therefore, but to take the route for the East Indies,
and to this end to steer westward to the eastern shores of New Holland.

[Illustration: Interior of a morai in Hawai.]

But before proceeding to the narration of the incidents of the second
part of the campaign, it will be better to glance backward and to
summarize the information upon the situation, productions, and
inhabitants of New Zealand which the navigators had accumulated.

We have already seen that this land had been discovered by Abel Tasman,
and we have noted those incidents which were marked with traces of
bloodshed when it was reconnoitred by the Dutch captain. With the
exception of Tasman, in 1642, no European captain had ever visited its
shores. It was so far unknown, that it was not even decided whether it
formed a part of the southern continent, as Tasman supposed, when he
named it Staten Island. To Cook belongs the credit of determining its
position and of tracing the coasts of these two large islands,
situated between 34 degrees and 48 degrees S. Lat. 180 degrees and 194
degrees W. Long.

Tawai-Pounamow was mountainous, sterile, and apparently very sparsely
populated. Eaheinomauwe presented an attractive appearance, in its
hills, mountains, and valleys covered with wood, and watered by bright
flowing streams. Cook formed an opinion of the climate upon the
remarks made by Banks and Solander, that,--

"If the English settled in this country, it would cost them but little
care and work to cultivate all that they needed in great abundance."

[Illustration: Tatooed head of a New Zealander. (Fac-simile of early

As for quadrupeds, New Zealand afforded an asylum for dogs and rats
only, the former reserved for food. But if the fauna was poor, the
flora was rich. Among the vegetable products which attracted the
English most, was one of which the narrative says,--

"The natives used as hemp and flax, a plant which surpasses all those
used for the same purposes in other countries. The ordinary dress of
the New Zealanders is composed of leaves of this plant, with very
little preparation. They fabricate their cords, lines, and ropes from
it, and they are much stronger than those made with hemp, and to which
they can be compared. From the same plant, prepared in another way,
they draw long thin fibres, lustrous as silk and white as snow. Their
best stuffs are manufactured from these fibres, and are of
extraordinary strength. Their nets, of an enormous size, are composed
of these leaves, the work simply consists in cutting them into
suitable lengths and fastening them together." This wonderful plant,
which was so enthusiastically described, in the lyrical account just
quoted, and in the hardly less exuberant one which La Billadière
afterwards gave of it, is known in our day as _phornium tenax_.

[Illustration: An i-pah. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

It was really necessary to subdue the expectations that these
narratives excited! According to the eminent chemist Ducharte, the
prolonged action of the damp heat, and above all bleaching,
disintegrates the cellular particles of this plant, and after one or
two washings, the tissues which are fabricated from it, are reduced to
tow. Still it forms a considerable article of commerce. Mr. Alfred
Kennedy, in his very curious work on New Zealand, tells us that in
1865, only fifteen bales of _phornium_ were exported, that four years
later the export amounted to the almost incredible number of 12,162
bales, and in 1870 to 32,820 bales, valued at 132,578_l_.

The inhabitants were tall and well proportioned, alert, vigorous, and
intelligent. The women had not the delicate organization, and grace of
form, which distinguish them in other countries; dressed like the men,
they were recognizable only by their sweetness of voice and liveliness
of expression. Although the natives of the same tribe were
affectionate in their relations to each other, they were implacable to
their enemies, and they gave no quarter; the dead bodies of their
enemies afforded horrible festivities, which the want of other animal
food explains, but can hardly excuse.

[Illustration: A New Zealand family.]

"Perhaps," says Cook, "it appears strange that there were frequent
wars in a country where so few advantages follow victory." But besides
the need of procuring meat, which led to the frequency of these wars,
another cause for them, unknown to Cook, existed in the fact that the
population consisted of two distinct races, naturally enemies of each

Ancient tradition has it that the Maories came in the first instance,
some thirteen hundred years ago, from the Sandwich Islands. There is
reason for believing this to be correct, when one reflects that the
beautiful Polynesian race peopled all the archipelago sprinkled
throughout the Pacific Ocean.

Leaving Haouaikai, which must be identical with Hawai, of the Sandwich
Islands, or Sanaï of the Navigator Archipelago, the Maories had
repelled or possibly driven back the aboriginal population. In truth,
the earliest colonists noticed two distinctly separate types in the
New Zealanders. The one, and most important, unmistakably recalled the
natives of Hawaii, the Marquisas, and Tonga Islands, whilst the other
offered many resemblances to the Melanesian races.

These particulars, collected by Freycinet, and recently confirmed by
Hochsetten, are in perfect accord with the singular fact, recorded by
Cook, that Tupia, a native of Tahiti, made himself readily understood
by the New Zealanders.

The migrations of the Polynesian tribes are thoroughly understood in
these days, thanks to the wider knowledge of languages and
anthropology, but they were scarcely suspected in the time of Cook,
who, indeed, was one of the first to collect legends on the subject.

"Every one of these tribes," he says, "traditionally believes that his
forefathers came years ago from another country, and they all assert
from the same tradition, that the country was called Heawise." The
country at this time produced only one quadruped, the dog, and that
was an alien. Thus the New Zealanders had no means of subsistence, but
vegetables and a few fowls unknown to the English. Fortunately the
inhabitants were saved from death by starvation by the abundance of
fish. Accustomed to war, and looking upon all strangers as enemies,
possibly seeing in them merely an edible commodity, the natives
naturally attacked the English.

Once convinced, however, of the utter inadequacy of their weapons, and
of the powers of their adversaries, once convinced that the new comers
avoided using those instruments which produced such terrific effects,
they treated the navigators as friends, and conducted themselves
towards them with surprising loyalty.

If the natives usually met with by the navigators had little idea of
decency or modesty, the same was not true of the New Zealanders, and
Cook gives a curious example of this fact. Although not so clean as
the natives of Tahiti, whose climate is much warmer, and although they
bathed less often, they took a pride in their persons, and showed a
certain coquetry. For instance, they greased their hair with an oil or
fat obtained from fishes or birds, which becoming rank after awhile,
made them as disagreeable to a refined sense of smell as the

They were in the habit of tatooing themselves, and some of their tatoo
designs demonstrated wonderful skill, and taste certainly not to be
expected among this primitive race.

The English were greatly surprised to find that the women devoted less
attention to their attire than the men. Their hair was cut short and
without ornament, and they wore clothes similar to those of their
husbands. Their sole attempt at coquetry consisted in fastening the
most extraordinary things to their ears, stuffs, feathers, fish-bones,
bits of wood, not to mention green talc needles, the nails and teeth
of their deceased parents, and generally everything they could lay
hands on, which they suspended by means of thread.

This recalls an adventure related by Cook, which happened to a Tahitan
woman. This woman, envious of all she saw, wanted to have a padlock
attached to her ear. She was allowed to take it, and then the key was
thrown into the sea before her. After a certain time, either because
the weight of this singular ornament worried her, or because she
wished to replace it by another, she begged to have it removed. The
request was refused, upon the ground that her demand was foolish, and
that as she had wished for this singular ear-ring, it was fair that
she should put up with its inconveniences.

The clothing of the New Zealanders consisted of one piece of stuff,
something between reed or cloth, attached to the shoulders and falling
to the knees, and of a second rolled round the waist, which reached to
the ground. But the latter was not an invariable part of their dress.
Thus, when they had on only the upper part of their costume, and they
squatted, they presented the appearance of thatched roofs.

Their coverings were sometimes trimmed in a most elegant manner, by
means of various coloured fringes, and more rarely with dogskin cut
into strips. But the industry of these people was especially shown in
the construction of their pirogues.

Their war-vessels contained from forty to fifty armed men, and one of
them, measured at Ulaga, was no less than sixty-eight feet long. It
was beautifully ornamented with open work and decorated with fringes
of black feathers. The smaller ones generally had poles. Occasionally
two pirogues were joined together. The fishing-boats were ornamented
at the prow and the poop by the face of a grinning man with hideous
features, lolling tongue and eyes made of white shells. Two pirogues
were often coupled, and the very smallest carried only the poles
needed to preserve their equilibrium.

"The usual cause of illnesses," remarks Cook, "being intemperance and
want of exercise, it is not surprising that these people rejoice in
perfect health. Each time that we went to their settlements, men,
women, and children surrounded us, excited by the same curiosity which
caused us to look at them. We never saw one who appeared affected by
illness, and amongst all that we saw naked we never remarked the
smallest eruption on the skin, nor any trace of spots or sores."


Reconnoitring the Eastern Coast of Australia--Remarks on the natives
and productions of the country--The _Endeavour_ stranded--Perpetual
dangers of navigation--Crossing Torres Straits--The natives of New
Guinea--Return to England.

On the 31st of March, Cook left Cape Farewell and New Zealand,
steering westward. On the 19th of April, he perceived land which
extended from north-east to west, in 37 degrees 58 minutes S. Lat. and
210 degrees 39 minutes W. Long.

In his opinion, judging by Tasman's chart, this was the country called
Van Diemen's Land. In any case, he was unable to ascertain whether the
portion of the coast before him belonged to Tasmania. He named all the
points on his northern voyage, Hick's Point, Ram Head, Cape Howe,
Dromedary Mount, Upright Point, Pigeon House, &c.

This part of Australia is mountainous, and covered with various kinds
of trees.

[Illustration: Map of Australia, after Perron's atlas.]

Smoke announced it to be inhabited, but the sparse population ran away
as soon as the English prepared to land.

The first natives seen were armed with long lances and a piece of wood
shaped like a scimitar. This was the famous "boomerang," so effective
a weapon in the hands of the natives, so useless in that of Europeans.

The faces of the natives were covered with white powder, their bodies
were striped with lines of the same colour, which, passing obliquely
across the chest, resembled the shoulder-belts of soldiers. On their
thighs and legs they had circles of the same kind, which would have
appeared like gaiters had not the natives been entirely naked.

A little further on the English once more attempted to land. But two
natives whom they had previously endeavoured to propitiate by throwing
them nails, glassware, and other trifles, made such menacing
demonstrations, that they were obliged to fire over their heads. At
first they seemed stunned by the detonation, but as they found that
they were not wounded, they commenced hostilities by throwing stones
and javelins. A volley of bullets struck the oldest in his legs. The
unfortunate native rushed at once to one of the cabins, but returned
with a shield to continue the fight, which was shortly ended, when he
was convinced of his powerlessness.

The English seized the opportunity to land, and reach the houses,
where they found several spears. In the same bay, they landed some
casks for water, but communication with the natives was hopeless; they
fled immediately on the advance of the English.

During an excursion on land, Cook, Banks, and Solander found traces of
various animals. The birds were plentiful, and remarkably beautiful.
The great number of plants discovered by the naturalists in this part,
induced Cook to give it the name of Botany Bay. "This bay is," he says,
"large, safe, and convenient; it is situated in 34 degrees S. Lat.,
and 208 degrees 37 minutes W. Long." Wood and water were easily
procurable there.

"The trees," according to Cook, "were at least as large as the oaks of
England, and I saw one which somewhat resembled them. It is that one
which distils a red gum like 'Dragon's blood.'"

No doubt this was a species of Eucalyptus. Among the various kinds of
fishes which abound in these latitudes is the thorn-back skate, one of
which, even after cleaning, weighed three hundred and thirty-six

On the 6th of May, Cook left Botany Bay, and continued to coast to the
north at two or three miles distance from the shore. The navigation
along this coast was sufficiently monotonous. The only incidents which
imparted a slight animation, were the sudden and unexpected
differences in the depth of the sea, caused by the line of breakers
which it was necessary to avoid.

[Illustration: Map of the east coast of New Holland, after Cook. Gravé
par E. Morieu.]

Landing a little further on, the navigators ascertained that the
country was inferior to that surrounding Botany Bay.

The soil was dry and sandy, the sides of the hills were sparsely
covered with isolated trees and free from brush-wood. The sailors
killed a bustard, which was pronounced to be the best game eaten since
leaving England. Hence, this point was named Bustard Bay. Numbers of
bivalves were found there, especially small pearl oysters.

On the 25th of May, the _Endeavour_ being a mile from land, was
opposite a point which exactly crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. The
following day, it was ascertained that the sea rose and fell seven
feet. The flow was westward, and the ebb eastward, just the reverse of
the case in Botany Bay. In this spot islands were numerous, the
channel narrow and very shallow.

On the 29th, Cook landed with Banks and Solander in a large bay, in
search of a spot where he could have the keel and bottom of his vessel
repaired, but they were scarcely on terra firma, when they found their
progress impeded by a thick shrub, prickly and studded with sharp
seeds, no doubt a species of "_spinifex_," which clung to the clothes,
pierced them, and penetrated the flesh. At the same time, myriads of
gnats and mosquitoes attacked them, and covered them with painful

A suitable spot for repairs was found, but a watering-place was sought
in vain. Gum-trees growing here and there were covered with enormous
ants' nests, and soon deprived of gum by those insects. Numerous
brilliantly-coloured butterflies hovered over the explorers.

These were curious facts, interesting from more than one point of view,
but they failed to satisfy the captain, who was eager to replenish his
water supply.

From the first, the great defect of this country was apparent. It
consists in the absence of streams, springs, and rivers!

A second excursion made during the evening of the same day was equally
barren of good results. Cook ascertained that the bay was very deep,
and decided on making the circuit of it in the morning.

He soon discovered that the width of the channel by which he entered
increased rapidly, and that it ultimately formed a vast lake
communicating with the sea to the north-west. Another arm stretched
eastwards, and it was conceivable that the lake had a second outlet
into the sea at the bottom of the bay.

Cook named this part of Australia New South Wales. Sterile, sandy, dry,
it lacked all that was most necessary for the establishment of a
colony. And the English could not ascertain from their cursory
inspection or hydrographical examination that, mineralogically
speaking, it was one of the richest countries of the New World.

The navigation was monotonously continued from the 31st of May to the
10th of June. On this latter date the _Endeavour_, after passing
safely along an unknown coast, in the midst of shallows and breakers,
for a space of 22 degrees or 1300 miles, was all at once exposed to a
greater danger than any which had been apprehended.

They were in 16 degrees S. Lat. and 214 degrees 39 minutes W. Long.
when Cook, seeing two islets lying low and covered with trees, gave
orders to keep well out to sea during the night, so as to look for the
islands discovered by Quiros in these latitudes, an archipelago which
some geographers had maintained was united to the mainland.

Shortly after nine in the evening the soundings taken every quarter of
an hour showed constantly decreasing depth. All crowded to the deck.
The water became deeper. It was concluded that the vessel had passed
over the extremity of the sand-banks seen at sunset, and all rejoiced
at escape from danger. When the depth increased, Cook and all but the
officers of the watch retired to their berths, but at eleven o'clock
the sounding-line, after indicating twenty fathoms, suddenly recorded
seventeen, and before it was possible to cast anchor, the _Endeavour_
had touched, and beaten by the waves, struck upon a rock.

The situation was a serious one. The _Endeavour_, raised by a wave
over the ridge of a reef, had fallen again into a hollow in the rock,
and by the moonlight, portions of the false keel and the sheathing
could be seen floating.

Unfortunately the accident happened at high water. It was useless
therefore to count upon the assistance of the tide to release the ship.
Without loss of time the guns, barrels, casks, ballast, and all that
could lighten the vessel, were thrown overboard. The vessel still
struck against the rock. The sloop was put to sea, the sails and
topsails were lowered, the tow-lines were thrown to the starboard, and
the captain was about to order the anchor to be cast on the same side,
when it was discovered that the water was deeper at the stern. But
although the capstan was vigorously worked, it was impossible to move
the vessel.

Daybreak disclosed the position in all its horrors. Land was eight
leagues distant, not a single isle was visible between the ship and
land where refuge might be found if, as was to be feared, the vessel
broke up. Although she had been lightened of fifty tons weight, the
sea only gained a foot and a half.

Fortunately the wind fell, otherwise the _Endeavour_ must soon have
been a wreck. However, the leak increased rapidly, although the pumps
were worked incessantly. A third was put into action. The alternative
was dreadful! If the vessel were freed, it must sink when no longer
sustained by the rock, while if it remained fixed, it must be
demolished by the waves which rent its planks asunder. The boats were
too small to carry all the crew to land at one time.

Under such circumstances was there not danger that discipline would be
thrown to the winds? Who could tell whether a fratricidal struggle
might not ensue? And even should some of the sailors reach land, what
fate could be in store for them upon an inhospitable shore, where nets
and fire-arms would scarcely procure them nourishment?

What would become of those who were obliged to remain on board? Every
one shared these fears, but so strong a sense of duty prevailed, so
much was the captain beloved by his crew, that the terrors of the
situation evoked no single cry, no disorder of any kind. The strength
of the men not employed at the pumps was wisely harboured for the
moment when their fate should be decided.

Measures were so skilfully taken, that when the sea rose to its height,
all the officers and crew worked the capstan, and as the vessel was
disengaged from the rock, it was ascertained that she drew no more
water than when on the reef. But the sailors were exhausted after
twenty-four hours of such terrible anxiety. It was necessary to change
the hands at the pumps every five minutes.

A new disaster was now added. The man whose duty it was to measure the
water in the hold, announced that it had increased to eighteen inches
in a few moments. Fortunately the mistake of the measure taken was
immediately ascertained, and the crew were so overjoyed that they
fancied all danger over.

An officer named Monkhouse conceived an excellent idea. He applied a
sort of cap to the stern, which he filled in with wool, rope-yarn, and
the intestines of the animals slaughtered on board, and so effected a
stoppage of the leak. From this time the men, who spoke of driving the
vessel on a coast to reconstruct another from its ruins, which might
take them to the East Indies, thought only of finding a suitable
harbour for the purpose.

The desirable harbour was reached on the 17th of June, at the mouth of
a current which Cook called Endeavour River.

The necessary labours for the careening of the vessel were at once
begun and carried on with the utmost rapidity.

The sick were landed, and the staff visited the land several times, in
the hope of killing some game, and procuring fresh meat for the
sufferers from scurvy. Tupia saw an animal which Banks, from his
description, imagined to have been a wolf. But a few days later
several others were seen, who jumped upon their fore feet, and took
enormous leaps. They were kangaroos, marsupial animals, only met with
in Australia, and which had never before seen a European. The natives
in this spot appeared far less savage than on other parts of the coast.
They not only allowed the English to approach, but treated them
cordially, and remained several days with them.

[Illustration: "They were kangaroos."]

The narrative says,--

"They were usually of medium height, but their limbs were remarkably
small. Their skin was the colour of soot, or rather, it might be
described as of deep chocolate colour. Their hair was black and not
woolly, and was cut short; some wore it plaited, some curled. Various
portions of their bodies were painted red, and one of them had white
stripes on his lips and breast which he called 'carbanda.' Their
features were far from disagreeable; they had very bright eyes, white
and even teeth, and their voices were sweet and musical. Some among
them wore a nose-ornament which Cook had not met with in New Zealand.
It was a bone, as large as a finger, passed through the cartilage.

"A little later a quarrel arose. The crew had taken possession of some
tortoises which the natives claimed, without having in the least
assisted in capturing them. When they found that their demand was not
acceded to, they retired in fury, and set fire to the shrubs in the
midst of which the English encampment was situated. The latter lost
all their combustible commodities in the conflagration, and the fire,
leaping from hill to hill, afforded a magnificent spectacle during the

Meantime Messrs. Banks, Solander, and others, enjoyed many successful
hunts. They killed kangaroos, opossums, a species of pole-cat, wolves,
and various kinds of serpents, some of which were venomous. They also
saw numbers of birds, kites, hawks, cockatoos, orioles, paroquets,
pigeons, and other unknown birds.

[Illustration: Tahitian fleet off Oparee. (Fac-simile of early

After leaving Endeavour River, Cook had good opportunities of testing
the difficulties of navigation in these latitudes. Rocks and shallows
abounded. It was necessary to cast anchor in the evening, for it was
impossible to proceed at night through this labyrinth of rocks without
striking. The sea, as far as the eye could reach, appeared to dash
upon one line of rocks more violently than upon the others; this
appeared to be the last.

Upon arriving there, after five days' struggle with a contrary wind,
Cook discovered three islands stretching four or five leagues to the
north. But his difficulties were not over. The vessel was once more
surrounded by reefs and chains of low islets, amongst which it was
impossible to venture.

Cook was inclined to think it would be more prudent to return and seek
another passage. But such a détour would have consumed too much time,
and have retarded his arrival in the East Indies. Moreover there was
an insurmountable obstacle to this course. Three months' provisions
were all that remained.

The situation appeared desperate, and Cook decided to steer as far as
possible from the coast, and to try and pass the exterior line of
rocks. He soon found a channel, which shortly brought them to the open

"So happy a change in the situation," says Kippis, "was received with
delight. The English were full of it, and openly expressed their joy.
For nearly three months they had been in perpetual danger. When at
night they rested at anchor, the sound of an angry sea forced them to
remember that they were surrounded by rocks, and that, should the
cable break, shipwreck was inevitable. They had travelled over 360
miles, and were forced to keep a man incessantly throwing the line and
sounding the rocks through which they navigated. Possibly no other
vessel could furnish an example of such continued effort."

Had they not just escaped so terrible a danger, the English would have
had cause for uneasiness in reflecting upon the length of way that
remained to them across a sea but little known, upon a vessel which
let in nine inches of water in an hour. With pumps out of repair and
provisions almost consumed, the navigators only escaped these terrible
dangers to be exposed on the 16th of April to a peril of equal

Carried by the waves to a line of rocks above which the sea spray
washed to a prodigious height, making it impossible to cast anchor;
without a breath of wind, they had but one resource, to lower boats to
tow the vessel off. In spite of the sailors' efforts the _Endeavour_
was still only 100 paces from the reef, when a light breeze, so slight
that under better circumstances no one would have noticed it, arose
and disengaged the vessel. But ten minutes later it fell, the currents
strongly returned, and the _Endeavour_ was once more carried within
200 feet of the breakers.

After many unsuccessful attempts, a narrow opening was perceived.

"The danger it offered was less imminent than that of remaining in so
terrible a situation," says the narrative. "A light breeze which
fortunately sprang up, the efforts of the boats, and the tide,
conveyed the ship to the opening, across which she passed with
frightful rapidity. The strength of the current prevented the
_Endeavour_ from touching either shore of the channel, which, however,
was but a mile in width, and extremely unequal in depth, giving now
thirty fathoms, now only seven of foul bottom."

If we have lingered somewhat over the incidents of this voyage, it is
because it was accomplished in unknown seas, in the midst of breakers
and currents, which, sufficiently dangerous for a sailor when they are
marked on a map, become much more so when, as was the case with Cook,
since leaving the coast of New Holland, the voyage is made in the face
of unknown obstacles, which all the instinct and keen vision of the
sailor cannot always successfully surmount.

One last question remained to be solved,--

Were New Holland and New Guinea portions of one country? Were they
divided by an arm of the sea, or by a strait?

In spite of the dangers of such a course, Cook approached the shore,
and followed the coast of Australia towards the north.

On the 21st he doubled the most northerly cape of New Holland, to
which he gave the name of Cape York, and entered a channel sprinkled
with islands near the mainland, which inspired him with the hope of
finding a passage to the Indian Ocean.

Once more he landed, and planting the English flag, solemnly took
possession in the name of King George, of the entire Eastern Coast
from the eighteenth degree of latitude to this spot, situated in 107
degrees south. He gave the name of New South Wales to this territory,
and to fitly conclude the ceremony, he caused three salutes to be

Cook next penetrated Torres Strait, which he called Endeavour Strait,
discovered and named the Wallis Islands, situated in the middle of the
south-west entrance to Booby Island, and Prince of Wales Island, and
steered for the southern coast of New Guinea, which he followed until
the 3rd of September without being able to land.

Upon that day Cook landed with about eleven well-armed men, amongst
them Solander, Banks, and his servants. They were scarcely a quarter
of a mile from their ship, when three Indians emerged from the wood,
uttering piercing cries, and rushed at the English.

"The one who came nearest," says the narrative, "threw something which
he carried at his side, with his hand, and it burned like gunpowder,
but we heard no report."

[Illustration: Three Indians emerged from the wood.]

Cook and his companions were obliged to fire upon the natives in order
to regain their ship, from whence they could examine them at their
leisure. They resembled the Australians entirely, and like them, wore
their hair short, and were perfectly naked--only their skin was less
dark; no doubt because they were less dirty.

"Meantime the natives struck their fire at intervals, four or five at
a time. We could not imagine what this fire could be, nor their object
in throwing it.

"They held in the hand a short stick, perhaps a hollow cane, which
they flourished from side to side, and at the same instant we saw the
fire and smoke exactly as it flashes from a gun, and it lasted no
longer. We observed this astonishing phenomenon from the vessel, and
the illusion was so great that those on board believed the Indians had
fire-arms, and we ourselves should have imagined they fired guns, but
that our ship was so close that in such a case we must have heard the

This fact remains unexplained, in spite of the many commentaries it
has occasioned, and which bear out the testimony of the great

Many of the English officers demanded immediate permission to land in
search of cocoa-nuts arid other fruits, but the captain was unwilling
to risk his sailors' lives in so futile an attempt; he was, besides,
anxious to reach Batavia, to obtain repairs for his vessel. He thought
it useless, moreover, to remain a longer time in these latitudes. They
had been so often visited by the Spanish and Dutch, that there were no
further discoveries to make.

In passing Arrow and Wesel Islands he rectified their positions, and
reaching Timor, put into port in Savu Island, where the Dutch had been
settled for some time. There Cook revictualled, and by accurate
observations settled its position at 10 degrees 35 minutes southern
latitude, and 237 degrees 30 minutes west longitude.

After a short interval the _Endeavour_ arrived at Batavia, where she
was repaired.

But the stay in that unhealthy country was fatal after such severe
fatigue. Endemic fevers raged there; and Banks, Solander, and Cook, as
well as the greater part of the crew, fell ill. Many died, amongst
them Monkhouse, the surgeon, Tupia, and little Tayeto. Ten men only
escaped the fever.

The _Endeavour_ set sail on the 27th of December, and on the 15th of
January, 1771, put into Prince of Wales Island for victuals.

From that moment, sickness increased among the crew. Twenty-three men
died, amongst them Green, the astronomer, who was much regretted.

After a stay at the Cape of Good Hope, where he met with the welcome
he so sorely needed, Cook re-embarked, touched at St. Helena, and
anchored in the Downs on the 11th of June, 1772, after an absence of
nearly four years.

"Thus," says Kippis, "ended Cook's first voyage, a voyage in which he
had experienced such dangers, discovered so many countries, and so
often evinced his superiority of character. He was well worthy of the
dangerous enterprise and of the courageous efforts to which he had
been called."



Search for the Southern Continent--Second stay at New Zealand--
Pomontou Archipelago--Second stay at Tahiti--Reconnoitring Tonga
Isles--Third stay at New Zealand--Second crossing of the Southern
Ocean--Easter Island reconnoitred--Visit to the Marquesas Islands.

Had the government not been desirous of rewarding James Cook for the
way in which he had fulfilled the mission entrusted to him, the
unanimous voice of the public would have constrained them. On the 29th
of August he received the rank of commander in the Royal Navy. But the
great navigator, proud of the services he had rendered to England and
to science, thought the reward less than his achievements merited. He
would have delighted in an appointment as ship's captain, but Lord
Sandwich, who was then at the head of the Admiralty, pointed out to
him, that it was not possible to gratify him without upsetting all
established customs, and injuring the discipline of the Royal Navy.

However, Cook busied himself in putting together the necessary
materials for the narration of his experiences; but, being soon
occupied with still more important matters, he placed them in the
hands of Dr. Hawkesworth, who was to superintend their publication.

At the same time, the observations he had taken on the transit of
Mercury in concert with Mr. Green, his calculations and astronomical
solutions, were submitted to the consideration of the Royal Society,
and that learned body at once recognized his merit.

In one respect, however, the important results obtained by Cook were
incomplete. He had not perfectly proved the impossibility of an
antarctic continent. This chimera was still dear to the hearts of
scientific men. Although obliged to admit that neither New Zealand nor
Australia made part of such a continent, and that the _Endeavour_ had
navigated in latitudes in which it might have been found, they still
affirmed that it would be found still more south, and reiterated all
those advantages which its discovery would entail.

The government determined to settle a question which had been
discussed for so many years, and to despatch an expedition for the
purpose. Its commander was easily selected. The nature of the voyage
demanded vessels of peculiar construction. As the _Endeavour_ had been
sent to the Falkland Islands, the Admiralty gave orders for the
purchase of the two suitable vessels for the purpose.

Cook was consulted, and insisted that the ships should be solidly
built, draw little water, and possess capacity for carrying provisions
and ammunition in proportion to the number of the crew and the length
of the voyage.

The Admiralty accordingly bought two vessels, constructed at Whitby,
by the same ship-builder as the _Endeavour_. The larger was of 462
tons burden, and was named the _Resolution_, the second was only of
336 tons, and was called the _Adventure_.

Cook received command of the _Resolution_, and Captain Tobias Furneaux,
second lieutenant of the _Wallis_, was raised to the command of the
_Adventure_. The second and third officers, and several of the crew
had already served in the _Endeavour_.

It may readily be imagined that every possible care was taken in the
equipment of these ships. Lord Sandwich and Captain Palliser
themselves superintended every detail.

Each of the ships was stocked with provisions of every kind for two
years and a half.

Very extraordinary articles were provided at the instance of Captain
Cook, who claimed them as anti-scorbutics, for instance, malt, sour
krout, salted cabbages, soup-slabs, mustard and saloop, as well as
carrot marmalade, and thickened and unfermented beer, which was tried
at the suggestion of Baron Storch of Berlin, and Mr. Pelham, secretary
to the Commissariat department.

Equal care was taken to ship two small boats, each of twenty tons,
intended to carry the crew in case of shipwreck.

William Hodges, a landscape painter, two naturalists, John Reinhold
Forster and his son George; two astronomers, W. Wales and W. Bayley,
accompanied the expedition, provided with the best instruments for

Nothing that could conduce to the success of the adventure was
neglected. It was to return with an immense amount of collected
information, which was to contribute to the progress of the natural
and physical sciences, and to the ethnology of navigation and

Cook says, "I received my instructions at Plymouth dated 25th June.
They enjoined my immediate departure for the island of Madeira. To
ship wine there, and thence to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope, where
I was to let the crew have a spree on shore, and obtain the provisions
and other stores I needed. To advance southwards and endeavour to find
Circumcision Cape, which was said to have been discovered by M. Bouvet,
in the 54 degrees southern parallel, and about 11 degrees 20 minutes
east longitude, reckoning from Greenwich. If I found this cape, to
ascertain whether it was part of the continent or an island. Should it
prove the former, to neglect no opportunity of investigating its
possible extent. To collect facts of every kind which might be useful
to navigation and commerce, or would tend to the progress of the
natural sciences. I was desired to observe the spirit, temperament,
character, and means of the inhabitants, should there be any, and to
use every fair means of forming friendly alliances with them.

"My instructions proceeded to enjoin me to seek discoveries in the
east or west, according to the position in which I might find myself,
and advised my nearing the south pole as much as possible, and as long
as the condition of the ships, the health of the crew, and the
provisions allowed of my doing so. To be careful in any case to
reserve sufficient provisions to reach some known port, where I might
refit for my return to England.

"In addition, I was ordered, if I found Circumcision Cape to be an
island, or if I did not succeed in finding it, in the first case to
take the necessary bearings, and in both to sail southward as long as
I still hoped to find the continent. Then to proceed eastward, to look
for this continent, and to discover the islands which might be
situated in this part of the southern hemisphere. To remain in high
latitudes and to prosecute my discoveries, as had been already said,
as near the pole as possible, until I had completed the navigation of
the world, and finally to repair to the Cape of Good Hope, and from
thence to Spithead."

Cook left Plymouth harbour on the 13th of July, and on the 29th of the
same month he arrived at Funchal, in Madeira. Here he took in
provisions, and continued his route southwards. But being shortly
convinced that his supply of water would not hold out until he reached
the Cape of Good Hope, he determined to break the voyage by putting in
at Cape Verd Islands, and on the 10th of August he anchored in Praya
Port, which he left four days later.

Cook availed himself of his stay in this port, as he usually did, to
collect every fact which might be useful to navigators. His
description is the more valuable now, as these parts have completely
changed in character, and the conditions of a stay in port have been
greatly modified by the improvements accomplished there.

On the 23rd of the same month, after violent squalls which had driven
every one on deck, Cook, aware of the pernicious effect of the damp of
warm climates, and always on the alert to keep his crew in good health,
gave orders to aerate (renew the air) in the between decks. He even
had a fire lighted in order to smoke it, and dry it quickly, and not
only took the precautions advocated by Lord Sandwich, and Sir Hugh
Palliser, but also those which the experience of his last voyage
suggested to him.

Thanks to all these efforts at prevention there was not a single sick
case on board the _Resolution_ when she arrived at the Cape of Good
Hope on the 30th of October. Cook, in company with Captain Furneaux,
and Messrs. Foster, went to pay a visit to the Dutch governor, Baron
de Plettemberg, who placed all the resources of the colony at his
disposal. There he found that two French ships, which had left the
island of Mauritius in March, had touched at the Cape before
proceeding to the southern seas where they were to prosecute
discoveries, under command of Captain Marion.

During this stay in port, which was longer than they expected, Forster
met the Swedish botanist Sparman, a pupil of Linnæus, and engaged him
to accompany him, by promising him large pay. It is difficult to
praise Forster's disinterestedness under these circumstances too
highly. He had no hesitation in admitting a rival, and even paid his
expenses, in order to add completeness to the studies in natural
history which he wished to make in the countries he was about to visit.

Anchor was weighed on the 22nd of November, and the two ships resumed
their course southwards, in search of Cape Circumcision, discovered by
Captain Bouvet, on the 1st of January, 1739. As the temperature would
rapidly become colder, Cook distributed the warm clothes, furnished by
the Admiralty, to his sailors. From the 29th of November till the 6th
of December a frightful tempest prevailed. The ships, driven out of
their course, were carried to the east, to such a degree that they
were forced to resume the search for Circumcision Cape. Another
consequence of the bad weather, and of the sudden change from heat to
extreme cold was the death of all the animals embarked at the Cape.
And lastly, the sailors suffered so much from the damp, that it was
necessary to increase the rations of brandy to stimulate them to work.

On the 10th of December, in 50 degrees 40 minutes southern latitude
the first ice was met with. Rain and snow succeeded each other
uninterruptedly. The fog soon became so dense, that the crews did not
perceive a floating iceberg, until they were a mile past it. "One of
these," says the narrative, "was not less than 200 feet high, 400 wide,
and 2000 long.

"Taking it as probable, that this piece was of absolutely equal size,
its depth beneath the water, would have been 1800 feet, and its height
about 2000 feet, and from the dimensions just given its entire bulk
must have contained 1600 million cubic feet of ice."

[Illustration: Among the icebergs.]

As they proceeded further south the icebergs increased. The sea was so
rough, that the waves climbed these glacial blocks, and fell on the
other side in fine impalpable dust. The scene filled the observers
with admiration. But this was soon succeeded by terror, upon the
reflection that if the vessel struck one of these enormous masses, she
must be dashed to pieces. The presence of danger soon, however,
produced indifference, and more thought was bestowed upon the sublime
beauty, than upon the strife with this terrible element.

Upon the 14th of December, an enormous iceberg, which closed in the
horizon, prevented the two vessels from proceeding southwards, and it
became absolutely necessary to skirt it.

It did not present an unbroken surface, for hillocks were visible on
it, similar to those met on the previous days. Some thought they
distinguished land under the ice, even Cook for the moment was
deceived, but as the fog lifted the mistake was easily rectified.

Next day the vessels were driven before a strong current. The elder
Forster and Wales, the astronomer, embarked in a small boat to
ascertain its swiftness. Whilst thus engaged, the fog became so dense,
that they completely lost sight of the ship. In this miserable boat,
without instruments or provisions, in the midst of the wide ocean, far
from any coast, surrounded by ice, their situation was dreadful. They
left off rowing, lest they should get farther from the ship. They were
losing all hope when the sound of a distant bell fell upon their ears.
They rowed swiftly in the direction of the sound. The _Adventure_
replied to their shouts and picked them up after several hours of
terrible suspense.

The generally received opinion was, that the ice floats collected in
the bays or mouths of rivers. The explorers, therefore, imagined
themselves near land, which would prove to be situated in the south
behind the vast iceberg.

They were thirty leagues to the west of it, before they found an
opening in the ice which might lead to the south. The captain then
determined to steer an equal distance to the east. Should he not find
land, he at least hoped to double the iceberg, and penetrate in
advance of it to the pole, and thereby settle the doubts of all the

But although it was the middle of summer in this part of the world,
the cold became daily more intense. The sailors complained of it, and
symptoms of scurvy appeared on board.

Warmer clothes were distributed, and recourse was had to the remedies
usual in such cases, malt and lemon-juice, which soon overcame the
malady, and enabled the crews to bear the severity of the temperature.

On the 29th of December, Cook ascertained positively that the iceberg
was joined to no land. He therefore decided to proceed eastward as far
as the parallel of Cape Circumcision, that is, if no obstacle
prevented him.

He had scarcely put this resolve into execution when the wind became
so violent, and the sea so rough, that navigation, in the midst of
floating ice, which crashed with a fearful noise, became most perilous.

The danger increased, when a field of ice extending beyond the range
of vision was seen to the north. There seemed every prospect of the
ships being imprisoned for many weeks, "hemmed in," to use the
expression of whalers, if indeed they did not run the risk of being
crushed at once.

Cook neither tried to run to the west or east, he steered straight for
the south. He was now in the latitude attributed to Cape Circumcision,
and seventy leagues south of the position assigned to it. Hence he
concluded that if land existed as stated by Bouvet (which is now known
to be a fact) it could only be an inconsiderable island, and not a
large continent.

The captain had no further reason for remaining in these latitudes. In
67 degrees 15 minutes southern latitude a new ice barrier, running
from east to west closed the passage for him, and he could find no
opening in it. Prudence enjoined his remaining no longer in this
region, for two-thirds of the summer were already passed. He therefore
determined to seek, with no further delay, the land recently
discovered by the French.

On the 1st of February, 1773, the vessels were in 48 degrees 30
minutes south latitude, and 38 degrees 7 minutes west longitude, very
nearly the parallel attributed to St. Maurice Island.

After a fruitless cruise, productive of no results, they were forced
to conclude, that if there really were land in these latitudes it
could only be a small island, otherwise it could not have escaped
their search.

[Illustration: New Zealand war canoe. (Fac-simile of early

On the 8th of February, the captain found to his dismay that the
_Adventure_ was no longer sailing with him. He waited in vain for two
days, firing at close intervals and keeping great fires upon the deck
all night. The _Resolution_ had to continue her voyage alone.

On the morning of the 17th of February, between twelve and three
o'clock, the crew witnessed a magnificent spectacle, then first seen
by European eyes. It was an aurora borealis. "The officer of the
watch," says the narrative, "noticed that from time to time rays left
it in spiral and circular forms, and that then its brilliancy
increased, which gave it an extremely beautiful appearance. It
appeared to have no particular bearing, but remained motionless in the
heavens, which it filled entirely from time to time, by throwing its
light to all parts."

After another attempt to pass the arctic circle, an attempt, which the
fogs, the rain, the snow, and the ice-blocks forced him to relinquish,
Cook resumed his course to the north, convinced that he left no large
land behind him, and regained New Zealand, which he had agreed upon
with the _Adventure_ as a rendezvous in the event of separation.

On the 25th of March he cast anchor in Dusky Bay, after one hundred
and seventy consecutive days of sea, in which he had not made less
than three thousand six hundred and sixty leagues, without one sight
of land.

As soon as he could find suitable anchorage, the captain hastened to
avail himself of the resources for feeding his crew, which the country
furnished in fowls, fish, and vegetables, whilst he himself, generally
with the plumb-line in his hand, traversed the environs of the bay. He
met only a few natives, with whom he had little intercourse. But one
family becoming somewhat familiarized, established itself a hundred
yards from the landing-place. Cook gave a concert for them, in which
the fife and cornet were lavished on them in vain, the New Zealanders
awarded the palm to the drum!

On the 18th of April, a chief came on board with his daughter. But
before entering the ship he rapped her sides with a green wand he held
in his hand, and addressed an harangue or invocation in modulated
accents, to the strangers, a very general custom with the islanders of
the southern sea. Scarcely was his foot on deck, when he offered the
captain a bit of cloth, and a green talc hatchet, an unprecedented act
of generosity for a New Zealander.

The chief visited every part of the ship. In order to testify his
gratitude to the captain he plunged his fingers into a bag at his
waist, and offered to anoint his hair with the tainted oil it
contained. Cook had much difficulty in escaping from this proof of
affection, which had not been very pleasing to Byron in the Strait of
Magellan, but the painter Hodges was forced to submit to the operation,
to the amusement of the entire crew. The chief then departed, to
return no more, taking with him nine hatchets, and thirty pairs of
carpenter's scissors, which the officers had given him. Richer than
all the New Zealanders put together, he no doubt hastened to stow away
his treasures, in the fear that some one would deprive him of them.

Before leaving Cook landed five geese, the last of those he had
brought from the Cape, thinking that they would multiply in this
little inhabited spot, and he had a plot of land cleared in which he
planted kitchen garden seeds. Thus he worked at the same time for the
natives and for the future navigators who should find precious
resources here.

When Cook had completed the hydrographical survey of Dusky Bay, he
started for Queen Charlotte's Sound, the rendezvous assigned to
Captain Furneaux.

On the 17th of May the crew witnessed a magnificent spectacle. Six
water-spouts, one of them sixty feet wide at its base, were visible a
hundred feet from the ship in succession, drawing the clouds and sea
into communication by their powerful suction. This phenomenon lasted
three quarters of an hour, and the first feeling of fear which it
awakened in the breasts of the crew was soon merged in one of
admiration, the greater as at this time such marvels were little known.

Next day, just as the _Resolution_ entered Queen Charlotte's Sound,
the _Adventure_ was seen, and proved to have been waiting for six
weeks. Furneaux, after reaching Van Diemen's Land on the 1st of March,
had coasted it for seventeen days, but he was forced to desist before
ascertaining whether it was, as he supposed, a part of New Holland.
The refutation of this error was reserved for the surgeon, Bass. On
the 9th of April after reaching Queen's Charlotte's Sound, the captain
of the _Adventure_ had profited by his leisure to lay out a garden and
to open relations with the natives, who had furnished him with
irresistible proofs of their cannibalism.

Before he continued his voyage of discovery, Cook followed the same
line of conduct as at Dusky Bay. He landed a ram and a sheep, a goat
and a she-goat, a pig and a sow. He also planted potatoes, which only
existed upon the more southerly of the two islands which form New

The natives resembled those of Dusky Bay, but they appeared more
thoughtless, ran from room to room during supper, and devoured
everything that was offered to them. It was impossible to induce them
to taste wine or brandy, but they were very partial to sugar and water.
Cook says,--

"They laid hands on all they saw, but they gave up anything so soon as
we made them understand by signs that we could not, or would not give
it to them. They particularly admired glass bottles, which they called
Tawhaw, but when the durability and use of iron was explained to them
they preferred it to glass-ware, ribbons, or white paper. Amongst them
were several women, whose lips were covered with little holes, painted
a blueish black, whilst vivid red formed of chalk and oil, covered
their cheeks. Like the natives of Dusky Bay, they had small legs and
bodies, but thick knees, which proves that they take little exercise
and sit cross-legged. The almost perpetual squatting in their pirogues
no doubt also adds to these peculiarities.

"The colour of their skin is clear brown, their hair is very black,
their faces are round, their nose and lips are somewhat thick but not
flat, their eyes are black and bright enough, and tolerably expressive.

"Placed in a row, the natives took off their outer garments, and one
of them sang a rough sort of song, the others accompanying him with
gestures. They stretched out their hands, and alternately struck their
feet against the ground with frantic contortions. The last words they
repeated in chorus, and we easily distinguished a sort of metre, but I
am not sure that there was any rhyme; the music was wild and

Some of the New Zealanders begged for news of Tupia, and when they
heard of his death, they expressed their grief by a kind of
lamentation plainly artificial.

Cook did not recognize a single native whom he had met on his first
voyage. He naturally concluded that the natives who in 1770 inhabited
the Sound had been chased out, or had gone elsewhere of their free
will. The number of inhabitants, too, was reduced by a third, the
"pah" was deserted, as well as a number of cabins along the coast.

[Illustration: New Zealand utensils and weapons.]

The two ships being ready to return to sea, Cook gave instructions to
Captain Furneaux. He wished to advance southward between 41 degrees to
46 degrees S. lat. up to 140 degrees west longitude, and if he found
no land, to steer towards Tahiti, which was appointed as the place of
rendezvous. He then proposed to return to New Zealand and survey all
the unknown parts of the sea between that island and Cape Horn.

Towards the end of July, after a few days' hot weather, scurvy again
broke out on board the _Adventure_. The _Resolution_ escaped the
scourge, owing to the precautions from which Cook never departed for a
single day, and the example which he himself set of constantly eating
celery and scurvy grass.

On the 1st of July, the two vessels were in S. lat. 25 degrees 1
minute, and 134 degrees 6 minutes W. long., the situation which
Carteret attributed to Pitcairn Island. Cook endeavoured to find it,
but, to his great regret, the illness on board the _Adventure_
shortened his cruise.

He was anxious to verify or rectify the longitude of this island, and
by so doing, that of all the surrounding lands discovered by Carteret,
which had not been confirmed by astronomical observations. But having
no longer any hope of finding an Antarctic continent, he set sail for
the north-west, and soon reconnoitred several of the islands seen by

"The outlying islands with which the Pacific Ocean abounds between the
tropics," he says, "are on a level with the waves in the low parts,
and raised only a rood or two above them in the others. Their shape is
often circular. In the centre they contain a basin of sea water, and
the depth of water all round is not to be sounded. They produce
little; cocoa-nuts appear to be the best of their productions; yet in
spite of this sterility, and of their small extent, most of them are
inhabited. It is not easy to conceive how these little settlements
were peopled, and it is not less difficult to determine from whence
the highest islands of the Southern Sea drew their inhabitants."

On the 15th of April, Cook reconnoitred Osnaburgh or Mairea Islands,
discovered by Wallis, and set off for Otaiti-Piha, where he intended
to embark as many provisions as possible before reaching Matavai.

"At daybreak," says Forster, "we rejoiced in one of those beautiful
mornings which poets of every country have tried to paint. A light
breeze brought a delicious perfume from the land, and ruffled the
surface of the water. The forest-capped mountains elevated their
majestic heads, over which the rising sun shed his beams. Close to us
we saw a ridge of hills, of gentler ascent, but wooded like the first,
and pleasantly intermixed with green and brown tints; below, a plain
adorned with breadfruit-trees, and a quantity of palms in the
background, overshadowing the delightful groves. All seemed still
asleep. Dawn was but just breaking, and the country was wrapped in
peaceful darkness. Yet we could perceive the houses amid the trees,
and the pirogues on the shore. Half a mile from the beach, the waves
broke over a reach of rocks level with the sea, and nothing could
equal the tranquillity of the interior flow of the harbour. The
day-star shed its lustre on the plain; the natives rose, and by
degrees added life to this charming scene. At the sight of our vessels,
several launched their pirogues in haste, and paddled towards us, as
we were happily watching them. We little thought that we were going to
run into great danger, and that destruction would soon threaten the
vessels and their crews on this fortunate coast."

Skilful the writer, happy the painter, who knew how to find such fresh
and varied colours! This enchanting picture is conveyed in a few words.
One regrets not having accompanied this bold sailor, this scientist
who so well understood Dame Nature! Unfortunately we could not visit
these innocent and peaceable inhabitants in that age of gold to which
our own century offers a painful comparison.

The vessels were half a league from a reef, when the wind fell. In
spite of every effort, the ships were driven upon the rocks, in the
very sight of the much-coveted land, when a clever manoeuvre of the
captain's, ably seconded by the tide and the land breeze, came to
their rescue. They had, however, received some injuries, and the
_Adventure_ lost three anchors.

The ships were surrounded by a crowd of pirogues, and every variety of
fruit was exchanged for glass beads. Still the natives offered neither
fowls nor pigs. Those that were seen near the cabins belonged to the
king, and they had no right to sell them. Several of the Tahitans
begged for news of Banks and the companions of Cook's earlier voyage.
Some also inquired for news of Tupia, but they spoke no more of him
when they had learned the circumstances of his death.

Next day, the two vessels anchored in the roadstead of Otaiti-Piha,
two cable-lengths from the shore, and were besieged by visitors and

Some profited by the crush to throw the merchandize they had already
sold into their canoes, that they might sell it over again. To put a
stop to this trick, Cook drove the perpetrators away, after having
flogged them, a punishment which they accepted without complaining.

In the afternoon the two captains landed, to examine the watering
place, which they found very convenient. During their absence a crowd
of natives came on board, and amply confirmed the unenviable
reputation they had acquired in the earlier records of Bougainville
and Cook.

"One of the officers, standing on the quarter-deck," says the
narrative, "desiring to give a child six years old, in one of the
pirogues, some glass beads, let them fall into the sea. The child at
once jumped into the water and dived until he recovered them. To
reward his skill, he threw other trifles to him, a generosity which
tempted a crowd of men and women, who amused us by their surprising
agility in the waves. Their easy attitudes in the water, and the
suppleness of their limbs, made them like amphibious animals."

But the Tahitans who came on board were detected in several acts of
theft. One of them, who remained for the greater part of the day in
Cook's bedroom, hastened to jump into the sea, and the captain,
enraged by his conduct, had shots fired over his head. A boat, sent to
take the pirogues of the robbers, was assailed with stones until it
reached the shore, and it was only after a discharge of shot that the
assailants determined to retreat. These hostilities led to no result,
the natives came on board as if nothing had occurred.

Cook learned from them that the greater part of his old friends from
the neighbourhood of Matavai had fallen in a battle between the
inhabitants of the two peninsulas.

The officers made many excursions on land. Forster, animated by an
ardour for botanical research, missed none of them. In one of these he
witnessed the method employed by the Tahitans in preparing their

"We had gone but a few paces," he says, "when a noise from the forest
struck upon our ears. Following the sounds, we reached a little tent,
where five or six women sitting upon either side of a large square
piece of wood, were thrashing the fibrous bark of mulberry-trees to
fabricate their stuffs. For this purpose they used a bit of square
wood, with long parallel grooves more or less hollowed, according to
the different sides. They paused a moment to enable us to examine the
bark, the hammer, and the beam which served them for a table.

"They also showed us a kind of gum-water in a large cocoa-nut which
they used from time to time to join the various bits of bark together.

"This glue, which appears to us to be obtained from the 'Hibiscus
Esculentus,' is absolutely needful in the fabrication of the stuff,
which being occasionally two or three yards wide and fifty long, are
composed of small pieces of the bark. The women employed at this work
wore very old and ragged clothes and their hands were hard and

The same day Forster saw a man with very long nails, of which he was
immensely proud, as proving that he was not obliged to work for his
bread. In Annam, in China and other countries, this singular and
ridiculous fashion is common. A single finger is kept with a shorter
nail, being the one used to scratch with, a very frequent occupation
in the extreme East.

In another of his walks Forster saw a native, who passed his days in
being fed by his wives, quietly lying upon a carpet of thick shrubs.
This melancholy person, who fattened without rendering any service to
society, recalled Sir John Mandeville's anger at seeing "such a
glutton who passed his days without distinguishing himself by any
feats of arms, and who lived in pleasure, as a pig which one fattens
in a sty."

[Illustration: "Who passed his days in being fed by his wives."]

On the 22nd of August, Cook having learned that King Waheatua was in
the neighbourhood, and being desirous of seeing him, landed with
Captain Furneaux, the Forsters, and several natives. He met him
advancing towards him with a numerous suite, and recognized him at
once as he had seen him several times in 1769.

This king was then a child, and was called Te Arée, but he had changed
his name at the death of his father Waheatua. He made the captain sit
down on his stool, and inquired solicitously for the various
Englishmen he had known on the former voyage. Cook, after the usual
compliments, presented him with a shirt, a hatchet, some nails, and
other trifles. But of all his presents, that which appeared most
precious to him, and which excited most cries of admiration from his
followers, was a tuft of red feathers mounted upon iron wire.

Waheatua, king of Little Tahiti, was about seventeen or eighteen years
of age. Tall and well made, his appearance would have been majestic,
but for a look of fear and distrust.

He was surrounded by several chiefs and noble personages, remarkable
for their height, and one of whom, tattooed in a peculiar manner, was
enormously stout. The king, who showed him great deference, consulted
him every moment. Cook then learned that a Spanish vessel had put into
Tahiti a few months previously, and he afterwards ascertained that it
was that of Domingo Buenechea, which came from Callao.

Whilst Eteé, the king's confidant, conversed with some officers upon
religious subjects, and asked the English if they had a god, Waheatua
amused himself with the captain's watch. Astonished at the noise it
made, and venting his surprise in the words, "It speaks!" he inquired
of what use it was.

It was explained to him that it told the time, and in that respect
resembled the sun. Waheatua gave it the name of the "little sun," to
show that he understood the explanation.

The vessels sailed on the morning of the 24th, and were followed for a
long time by numbers of pirogues bearing cocoa-nuts and fruit. Rather
than lose this opportunity of obtaining European commodities, the
natives parted with their wares very cheaply; a dozen cocoa-nuts could
be obtained for one glass bead.

The abundant fresh provisions soon restored the health of all on board
the vessels, and most of the sailors, who on reaching Osnaburgh could
scarcely walk, could get about well when they left.

The _Resolution_ and _Adventure_ reached Matavai Bay on the 26th. A
crowd of Tahitians soon invaded the deck. Most of them were known to
the captain, and Lieutenant Pickersgill, who had accompanied Wallis in
1767, and Cook two years later, received a warm welcome from them.

Cook had tents erected for the sick, the sail-menders, and the coopers,
and then left with Captain Furneaux and the two Forsters for Oparreé.
The boat which took them soon passed a "moraï" of stones, and a
cemetery known as the "morai of Tootahah." When Cook called it by this
name, one of the natives who accompanied him interrupted him by saying
that since Tootahah's death it was called O Too.

"A fine lesson for princes, who thus in their lives are reminded that
they are mortal, and that after their death the earth which contains
their corpse will not be their own. The chief and his wife removed the
upper garments from their shoulders as they passed, a mark of respect
which natives of all ranks exhibit before a 'morai,' as they appear to
attach a particular idea of sanctity to these places."

Cook soon gained admittance to the presence of King O-Too. After many
compliments he offered him all that he thought he had which would
please him, because he appreciated the advantage this man's friendship
would be to him, for his every word showed timidity of disposition.

Tall and well made, the king was about thirty years old. He inquired
after Tupia and Cook's companions, although he had seen none of them.
Many presents were distributed to those of his cortége who appeared
the most influential.

[Illustration: O-Too, King of Otaheite. (Fac-simile of early

"The women sent their servants to find large pieces of their finest
stuffs, tinted scarlet, rose, and straw colour, and perfumed with the
most odoriferous oil. They placed them over our outer clothing, and so
loaded us that we could scarcely move."

O-Too paid the captain a visit on the morrow. He only came on board
after Cook had been enveloped in a considerable quantity of the most
costly native stuff, and he dared not go below until his brother had
first done so. The king and his suite were seated for breakfast, at
which the natives went into ecstasies over the usefulness of chairs.
O-Too would not taste anything, but his companions were far from
following his example. He greatly admired a beautiful spaniel
belonging to Forster and expressed a wish to possess it. It was at
once given to him, and he had it carried behind him by one of his
lords-in-waiting. After breakfast the captain himself conducted O-Too
to his sloop, and Captain Furneaux gave him a pair of goats. Upon an
excursion to the interior, Mr. Pickersgill met the aged Oberea, who
appeared to have lost all her honours, and she was so poor that it was
impossible for her to give a present to her friends.

When Cook left on the 1st of September, a young Tahitian, named Poreo,
begged to accompany him. The captain consented, hoping that he might
prove useful. The moment he lost sight of land poor Poreo could not
restrain his tears. The officers comforted him by promising to be like
fathers to him.

Cook directed his course to Huaheine Island, which was only
twenty-five leagues distant, and anchored there at three in the
morning. The natives brought quantities of large fowls, which were the
more acceptable as it had been impossible to obtain any at Tahiti.
Pigs, dogs, and fruit were in the market, and were exchanged for
hatchets, nails, and glass-ware.

This island, like Tahiti, showed traces of earlier volcanic eruptions,
and the summit of one of its hills resembled a crater.

The appearance of the country is similar to that of Tahiti, but is on
a smaller scale, for Huaheine is only seven or eight leagues in

Cook went to see his old friend Orea. The king, dispensing with all
ceremony, threw himself on the captain's neck, and shed tears of joy;
then he presented him to his friends, to whom the captain gave

The king offered Cook all his most precious possessions, for he looked
upon this man as a father. Orea promised to supply the English with
all they needed and most loyally kept his word. However, on the
morning of the 6th the sailors who presided over the traffic were
insulted by a native covered with red, in war dress, and holding a
club, who threatened every one. Cook, landing at this moment, threw
himself on the native, struggled with him and finally possessed
himself of his weapon, which he broke.

The same day another incident occurred. Sparrman had imprudently
penetrated to the interior of the island to make botanical researches.
Some natives, taking advantage of the moment when he was examining a
plant, snatched a dagger, which was the only weapon he carried, from
his belt, gave him a blow on the head, and rushing upon him, tore some
of his clothes. Sparrman, however, managed to rise and run towards the
shore, but, hampered by the bushes and briars, he was captured by the
natives, who cut his hands to possess themselves of his shirt, the
sleeves of which were buttoned, until he tore the wristbands with his
teeth. Others of the natives, seeing him naked and half dead, gave him
their clothes, and conducted him to the market-place, where there was
a crowd assembled. When Sparrman appeared in this plight, they all
took flight, without waiting to be told. Cook at first thought they
intended to commit a theft. Undeceived by the appearance of the
naturalist, he recalled the other natives, assured them that he would
not revenge it upon the innocent, and carried his complaint straight
to Orea. The latter, miserable and furious at what had occurred,
loaded his people with vehement reproaches, and promised to do all in
his power to find out the robbers and the stolen things.

In spite of the prayers of the natives, the king embarked in the
captain's vessel, and entered upon a search for the culprits with him.
The latter had removed their clothes, and for a while it was
impossible to recognize them. Orea therefore accompanied Cook on board,
dined with him, and on his return to land was received by his people,
who had not expected his return, with lively expressions of joy.

"One of the most agreeable reflections suggested by this voyage," says
Forster, "is that instead of finding the inhabitants of this island
plunged in voluptuousness, as had been falsely affirmed by earlier
navigators, we remarked the most humane and delicate sentiments among
them. There are vicious characters in every society, but we could
count fifty more sinners in England or any other civilized country
than in these islands."

As the vessels were putting off, Orea came to announce that the
robbers were taken, and to invite Cook to land and assist in their
punishment. It was impossible. The king accompanied Cook half a league
on his way, and left him with friendly farewells.

This stay in port had been very productive. The two vessels brought
away more than three hundred pigs, and quantities of fowls and fruits.
Probably they would not have procured much more, even had their stay
been prolonged.

Captain Furneaux had agreed to take a young man named Omai on board.
His conduct and intelligence gave a favourable idea of the inhabitants
of the Society Islands. Upon his arrival in England this Tahitian was
presented to the king by Earl Sandwich, first lord of the Admiralty.
At the same time he found protectors and friends in Banks and Solander.
They arranged a friendly reception for him among the first families of
Great Britain. He lived two years in this country, and upon Cook's
third voyage he accompanied him, and returned to his native land.

The captain afterwards visited Ulietea, where the natives gave him the
most appreciative welcome. They inquired with interest about Tupia and
the English they had seen in the _Endeavour_. King Oreo hastened to
renew his acquaintance with the captain, and gave him all the
provisions his island produced. During their stay, Poreo, who had
embarked in the _Resolution_, landed with a young Tahitan girl, who
had enchanted him, and would not return on board. He was replaced by a
young man of seventeen or eighteen years of age, a native of Bolabola,
named OEdidi, who announced his wish to go to England. The grief
evinced by this native on leaving his native land spoke well for his
good heart.

The vessels, laden with more than four hundred pigs, and also with
fowls, and fruit, left the Society Islands on the 17th of September,
and steered for the west. Six days later, one of the Harvey Islands
was sighted, and on the 1st of October anchor was cast off Eoa, called
Middelbourg Island by Tasman and Cook.

The welcome by the natives was cordial. A chief named Tai-One came on
board, touched the captain's nose with a pinch of pepper, and sat down
without speaking. The alliance was concluded and ratified by the gift
of a few trifles.

Tai-One guided the English into the interior. The new comers were
surrounded by a dense crowd of natives, offering stuffs and mats in
exchange for nails as long as the walk lasted. The natives often even
carried their liberality so far as to decline any return for these
presents. Tai-One conducted his new friends to his dwelling, agreeably
situated in a beautiful valley, in the shade of some "_sadhecks_." He
served them with a liquor extracted from the juice of the "_eava_,"
the use of which is common to the Polynesian islanders. It was
prepared in the following manner:--Pieces of a root, a species of
pepper, were first chewed, and then placed in a large wooden vase,
over which water was poured. As soon as this liquor was drinkable, the
natives poured it out into cups made of green leaves, shaped into form,
and holding about half a pint. Cook was the only one who tasted it.
The method of preparing the liquor had quenched the thirst of his
companions, but the natives were not fastidious, and the vase was soon

The English afterwards visited several plantations or gardens,
separated by intertwined hedges, which were connected by doors formed
of planks and hung upon hinges. The perfection of culture, and the
fully developed instinct of property, showed a degree of civilization
superior to that of Tahiti.

In spite of the reception he met with, Cook, who could procure neither
pigs nor fowls, left this island to reach that of Amsterdam, called
Tonga Tabou by the natives. Here he hoped to find the provisions he
needed. The vessels soon anchored in the roadstead of Van Dieman, in
eighteen fathoms of water, a cable's length from the breakers which
border the shore. The natives were friendly, and brought stuffs, mats,
implements, arms, ornaments, and soon afterwards pigs and fowls.
OEdidi bought some red feathers of them with much delight, declaring
they would have a high value at Tahiti. Cook landed with a native
named Attago, who had attached himself to him at once. During his
excursion, he remarked a temple similar to a "morai," and which was
called by the generic name of Faitoka. Raised upon an artificial butt,
sixteen or eighteen feet from the ground, the temple was in an oblong
form, and was reached by two stone staircases. Built like the homes of
the natives, with posts and joists, it was covered with palm leaves.
Two wooden images coarsely carved, two feet in length, occupied the

"As I did not wish to offend either them or their gods," says the
captain, "I dared not touch them, but I inquired of Attago if these
were 'Eatuas,' or gods. I do not know if he understood me, but he
instantly handled them, and turned them over as roughly as if he had
merely touched a bit of wood, which convinced me that they did not
represent a divine being."

A few thefts were perpetrated, but they did not interrupt cordiality,
and a quantity of provisions were procured. Before leaving, the
captain had an interview with a person who was treated with
extraordinary respect, to whom all the natives accorded the rank of
king. Cook says,--

"I found him seated, with a gravity of deportment so stupid and so
dull, that in spite of all they had told me, I took him for an idiot,
whom the people adored from superstitious motives. I saluted him, and
talked to him, but he made no reply, and paid no attention to me. I
was about to leave him, when a native made me understand that it was
without doubt the king. I offered him a shirt, a hatchet, a piece of
red stuff, a looking-glass, some nails, medals, and glass-ware. He
received them, or rather allowed them to be placed upon his person or
beside him, losing nothing of his gravity, and speaking no word, not
even moving his head to the right or left."

However, next day, this chief sent baskets of bananas and a roast pig,
saying that it was a present from the "ariki" of the island to the
"ariki" of the ship.

Cook called this archipelago the Friendly Islands. They had formerly
received various names from Schouten and Tasman, as, Cocoa-nut Islands,
Traitor Islands, Hope Islands, and Horn Islands.

Cook not having been able to obtain fresh water, was obliged to leave
Tonga sooner than he wished. He found time, however, to make a few
observations as to the productions of the country, and the manners of
the natives. We will mention the most striking.

Nature had showered its treasures with a liberal hand upon Tonga and
Eoa Islands. Cocoa-nuts, palm-trees, breadfruit-trees, yams, and
sugar-canes are most plentiful there. As for edible animals, pigs and
fowls alone were met with, but dogs if not existing there, are known
by name. The most delicate fish abounds on the coast. Of much the same
form as Europeans, and equally white, the inhabitants of these islands
are well-proportioned and of pleasant features. Their hair is
originally black, but they are in the habit of tinting it with powder,
so that white, red, and blue hair abounds, which produces a singular
effect. Tattooing is a universal practice. Their clothes are very
simple, consisting of one piece of stuff, rolled round the waist, and
falling to the knees. The women, who at Tonga, as everywhere else, are
more coquettish than men, make aprons of cocoa-nut fibres, which they
ornament with shells, and bits of coloured stuffs and feathers.

The natives have some singular customs, which the English had not
noticed before. Thus they put everything that is given them on their
heads, and conclude a bargain with this practice. When a friend or
relation dies, they slash their limbs, and even some of their fingers.
Their dwellings are not collected in villages, but are separate and
dispersed among the plantations. Built in the same style as those of
the Society Isles, they differ from them only in being raised higher
above the ground.

The _Adventure_ and _Resolution_ sailed on the 7th of October, and the
following day reconnoitred Pylstart Island, discovered by Tasman. On
the 21st, anchor was cast in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Cook landed a
certain number of animals, which he wished to acclimatize, and set
sail again to enter Queen Charlotte's Sound, but being caught in a
great gale, he was separated from the _Adventure_, and did not meet
her again until he reached England.

On the 5th of November the captain repaired the damages of his vessel,
and before undertaking a new voyage in the southern seas, he wished to
ascertain the extent and quality of his provisions. He reckoned that
four thousand five hundred pounds of biscuits had been entirely
spoiled, and that more than three thousand pounds were in scarcely
better condition. During his stay here he obtained a new and still
more convincing proof of the cannibalism of the natives of New Zealand.
An officer had bought the head of a young man, who had been killed and
eaten, and some natives seeing it, wished very much for a piece, Cook
gave it up to them, and the avidity with which they threw themselves
upon this revolting food, proved the pleasure that these cannibals
took in eating food which they have difficulty in procuring.

The _Resolution_ left New Zealand on the 26th of November, and entered
the glacial regions which she had already traversed; but the
circumstances attending her second voyage were distressing. The crew,
though in good health, were overcome by fatigue, and less capable of
resisting illness, the more so that they had no fresh food on board.

The _Resolution_ had lost her consort, and the world was convinced
that no Antarctic continent existed. It was, so to say, a "platonic"
voyage. It was necessary to prove beyond the possibility of doubt that
no new land of any importance was to be discovered in these latitudes.

The first ice was encountered on the 12th of December, and farther to
the south than in the preceding year. From this date, the usual
incidents of navigation in these latitudes were repeated day by day.
OEdidi was quite astonished by the "white rain," as he called the snow
which fell on his hand, but the sight of the first ice was a still
greater marvel to him; he called it "white earth."

"His mind had been struck by a phenomenon in the torrid zone," says
the narrative. "As long as the ships remained in these latitudes, we
had had scarcely any night, and he had seen that we could write at
midnight by the light of the sun. OEdidi could scarcely believe his
eyes, and he assured us that his fellow countrymen would put him down
as a liar, if he talked to them of petrified rain, and of perpetual

The young Tahitan had time to become accustomed to this phenomenon,
for the ship advanced as far as 76 degrees south, amidst floating ice.
Then, convinced that if a continent existed the ice made access to it
impossible, Cook determined to proceed to the North.

General dissatisfaction prevailed; no one on board was free from
severe colds, or from an attack of scurvy. The captain himself was
seriously affected by bilious sickness, which kept him in bed. For
eight days his life was in danger, and his recovery was likely to be
equally painful and slow. The same route was followed until the 11th
of March, when with the rising of the sun the joyful cry of "Land!
land!" arose.

It was the Easter Island, of Roggewein's Davis' Land. Upon nearing it,
the navigators were struck with astonishment, as the Dutch had been,
by the enormous statues erected on the shore. Cook says that the
latitude of Easter Island answers very closely to that marked in
Roggewein's MS. journal, and its longitude is only one degree wrong.

The shore, composed of black broken rock of ferruginous appearance,
shows traces of violent subterranean eruption. A few scattered
plantations were perceived in the centre of the island.

Singular coincidence! The first word spoken by the natives as the
strangers approached the shore, was to ask in the Tahitan tongue for a
rope. This again suggested that the origin of both races was the same.
Like the Tahitans they were tattooed, and clothed in stuffs similar to
those of the Society Islands.

"The action of the sun on their heads," says the narrative, "has
forced them to find different means for protecting themselves. The
greater number of the men wear a circular head-covering about two
inches thick, twisted with grass from one side to the other, and
covered with a great quantity of those long, black feathers which
adorn the frigate bird. Others have enormous hats of brown gulls'
feathers, almost as large as the wigs of European lawyers, and many
have a simple wooden hoop, surrounded with white gulls' feathers,
which wave in the air. The women wear large and wide hats of neat
plaits, which come to a point in front, with a ridge along the top,
and two great lobes on either side.

"The country was a picture of desolation. It was surveyed by two
detachments, and was found to be covered with black and porous stones.
The entire vegetation which could thrive on this mass of lava
consisted of two or three kinds of rugose grass, which grew on the
rocks, scanty bushes, especially the paper-mulberry, the 'hibiscus,'
and the mimosa, and some plantains. Close to the landing-place is a
perpendicular wall, constructed of square stones, compactly and
durably joined in accordance with art rules, and fitting in a style of
durability. Further on, in the centre of a well-paved area, a monolith
is erected, representing a half-naked human figure, some twenty[1]
feet high, and more than five wide, very roughly hewn. The head is
badly designed, the eyes, nose, and mouth scarcely indicated, but the
ears are very long, as is the fashion in this country, and are better
finished than the rest."

[Footnote 1: In the earlier editions of the French translation of
Cook's Voyages (Paris, 1878, seven 4to vols.), the height of this
statue is given as two feet, evidently by a typographical error. We
now correct this mistake, which has been repeated in all subsequent

These monuments, which are numerous, do not appear to have been
erected or hewn by the race the English found, or this race had
degenerated; for these natives paid no respect to the statues,
although they treated them with a certain veneration, and objected to
any one's walking on the pavement near them.

It was not only on the sea-shore that these enormous sentinels were
seen. Between the mountains, in the fissures of rocks, others existed,
some erect or fallen to earth through some convulsion, others still
imperfectly separated from the block from which they were being cut.
What sudden catastrophe stopped the works? What do these monoliths
represent? To what distant period do these testimonies of the industry
of a race long disappeared, or the recollection of whom has perished,
seem to point? This problem must remain for ever insoluble.

[Illustration: Monuments in Easter Island. (Fac-simile of early

Traffic proceeded easily. It was only necessary to repress the
marvellous dexterity of the natives in emptying pockets. The few
possessions which had been obtained had been very useful, though the
want of drinkable water prevented Cook remaining long in Easter Island.
He directed his course to the archipelago of the Marquesas of Mendana,
which had not been visited since 1595. But his vessel had no sooner
been put to sea than he was again attacked by the bilious fever, from
which he had suffered so severely. The sufferers from scurvy relapsed,
and all who had undertaken long walks across Easter Island had their
faces burnt by the sun.

[Illustration: Natives of Easter Island. (Fac-simile of early

On the 7th of April, 1774, Cook sighted the Marquesas group, after
seeking them in vain for five consecutive days in the different
positions assigned to them by geographers. Anchor was cast at Tao Wati,
the Santa Cristina of Mendana.

The _Resolution_ was soon surrounded by pirogues, the foremost of
which was full of stones, every man on board having a sling round his
hand. However, friendly relations were formed, followed by barter.

"These natives," says Forster, "are well made, with handsome faces,
yellowish or tanned complexions, and marks all over their bodies,
which gives them an almost black appearance. The valleys of our
harbour were filled with trees, and tallied in every particular with
the description given by the Spaniards. We saw fire across the forests
several times, very far from the shore, and concluded that the country
was well populated."

[Illustration: Natives of the Marquesas.]

The difficulty of procuring food decided Cook upon a hasty departure.
But he had time to collect some interesting facts about the people,
whom he considered the handsomest in Oceania. These natives appear to
surpass all others in the regularity of their features. The
resemblance in their speech, however, to that of the Tahitans, appears
to point to a common origin.

The Marquesas are five in number, Magdalena, San Pedro, Dominica,
Santa Cristina, and Hood Island, the latter so called after the
volunteer who first discovered it. Santa Cristina is divided by a
chain of mountains of considerable elevation, to which the hills that
rise from the sea lead. Deep, narrow, and fertile valleys, filled with
fruit-trees, and watered by streams of excellent water, intersect this
mountain isle. Port Madre de Dios, called by Cook Resolution Harbour,
is about the centre of the eastern coast of Santa Cristina. It
contains two sandy creeks, into which two streams flow.


A fresh visit to Tahiti and the Friendly Islands--Exploration of New
Hebrides--Discovery of New Caledonia and Pine Island--Stay in Queen
Charlotte's Sound--South Georgia--Accident to the _Adventure_.

After leaving these islands, on the 12th of April, and sailing for
Tahiti, Cook fell in, five days later, with the Pomotou archipelago.
He landed on the Tioukea Island of Byron. The inhabitants, who had
cause to complain of earlier navigators, received the advances of the
English coldly. The latter could only obtain about two dozen
cocoa-nuts and five pigs, which appeared plentiful in this island. In
another settlement a more friendly reception was met with. The natives
embraced the new-comers, and rubbed their noses in the same fashion as
the New Zealanders. OEdidi bought several dogs, the long and white
hair of whose skins serves as an ornament for cuirasses in his native

Forster relates:--

"The natives told us that they broke up scurvy grass, mixed it with
shell-fish, and threw it into the sea on the approach of a shoal of
fish. This bait intoxicated the fish for a time, and when they came to
the surface it was easy to take them. The captain afterwards saw
several other islands of this immense archipelago, which were similar
to those he had left, especially the Pernicious Islands, where
Roggewein had lost his sloop, the _African_, and to which Cook gave
the name of Palliser Islands."

He then steered for Tahiti, which the sailors, certain of the
good-will of the natives, regarded as a home. The _Resolution_ cast
anchor in Matavai Bay on the 22nd of April, and their reception was as
friendly as had been anticipated. A few days later, King O-Too and
several other chiefs visited the English, and brought them a present
of ten or a dozen large pigs and some fruit.

Cook's first idea was to remain in this spot only just long enough for
Mr. Wales, the astronomer, to take observations, but the abundance of
provisions induced him to prolong his stay.

On the morning of the 26th, the captain, who had been to Oparrée with
some of his officers, to make a formal visit to the king, observed a
fleet of more than 300 pirogues, drawn up in order on the shore. They
were all completely equipped. At the same time a number of warriors
assembled on the beach.

The officers' suspicions were excited by this formidable armament,
collected in one night, but they were reassured by the welcome they

This fleet consisted of no less than sixty large double pirogues,
decorated with flags and streamers, and 170 smaller ones, intended for
the transport of provisions, and the flotilla was manned with no fewer
than 7760 men, warriors or paddlers.

"The sight of this fleet," says Forster, "increased our ideas of the
power and wealth of this island. The entire crew was astonished. When
we reflect upon the implements possessed by this people, we can but
admire the patience and toil necessary to cut down these enormous
trees, separate and polish the branches, and then to carry the heavy
constructions to such perfection. These works are produced by them by
means of a stone hatchet and saw, a piece of coral, and the hide of
whales. The chiefs, and all who occupied a prominent fighting rank,
were dressed in military style--that is to say, in a quantity of
stuffs, turbans, helmets, and breastplates. The height of some of the
helmets was most embarrassing to the wearers. The entire equipment
appeared more appropriate for scenic effect than suitable for a
battlefield. But, in any case, it added to the grandeur of the display,
and the warriors did not fail to show themselves with a view to the
most striking effect.

"Upon reaching Matavai, Cook learned that this formidable armament was
destined for an attack upon Eimio, whose chief had revolted against
the Tahitan yoke, and become independent.

"During the following days the captain was visited by some of his old
friends. All showed a desire to possess red feathers, which were of
considerable value. One only attached more importance to a glass bead
or a nail. The Tahitans were so impressed that they offered in
exchange the strange mourning garments, which they had refused to sell
during Cook's first voyage.

"These garments are made of the rarest productions of the islands and
the surrounding sea, and are worked with care and great skill, and no
doubt are of great value to themselves. We bought no less than ten,
which we brought to England."

OEdidi, who had taken good care to procure some feathers for himself,
could indulge in any caprice he liked. The natives looked upon him as
a prodigy, and listened eagerly to his tales. The principal personages
of the island, and even the king sought his society. He married a
daughter of the chief of Matavai, and brought his wife on board. Every
one was delighted to make him a present. Finally he decided to remain
at Tahiti, where he had found his sister married to a powerful chief.

In spite of the thefts, which more than once caused unpleasantness,
the English procured more provisions on their stay in this port than
ever before. The aged Oberea, who was like a queen in the island
during the stay made by the _Dauphin_ in 1767, herself brought pigs
and fruits, in the secret hope of obtaining red feathers, which had so
great a success. Presents were liberally given, and the Indians were
amused with fireworks and military manoeuvres.

Just before he left, the captain witnessed a curious naval review.
O-Too ordered a sham fight, but it lasted so short a time that it was
impossible to observe the movements. The fleet was to commence
hostilities five days after Cook's departure, and he would much have
liked to have waited for it; but, fearing the natives might suspect
him of an attempt to overcome both conquered and victors, he
determined to leave.

The _Resolution_ had scarcely left the bay, when one of the gunners,
seduced by the delights of Tahiti, and possibly by the promises of
King O-Too, who, no doubt, thought a European might be of use to him,
threw himself into the sea, but he was soon retaken by a boat launched
by Cook in his pursuit.

Cook very much regretted the fact that discipline obliged him to act
in this way. The man had no relations or friends in England, and, had
he requested permission to remain in Tahiti, it would not have been

On the 15th, the _Resolution_ anchored in O Wharre harbour, in
Huaheine Island. The old chief Orea was one of the first to
congratulate the English upon their return, and to bring them presents.
The captain presented him with red feathers, but the old chief
appeared to prefer iron, hatchets, and nails. He seemed more indolent
than upon the previous visit. His head was weaker, no doubt owing to
his immoderate love for an intoxicating drink extracted from pepper by
the natives. His authority was evidently despised, and Cook sent in
pursuit of a band of robbers, who had not refrained from pillaging the
old king himself, and who had taken refuge in the centre of the island.

Orea showed himself grateful for the consideration the English had
always shown him. He was the last to leave the vessel before she
sailed, on the 24th of April, and when Cook said that they should
never meet again, he shed tears and replied,--

"Send your children here, we will treat them well."

On another occasion, Orea asked the captain where he should be buried.
"At Stepney," said Cook. Orea begged him to repeat the word until he
could pronounce it. Then a hundred voices cried at once, "Stepney
morai no Toote," "Stepney the grave of Cook." In giving this reply the
great navigator had no prevision of his fate, or of the difficulty his
fellow-countrymen would have in finding his remains.

OEdidi, who at the last moment had accompanied the English to Huaheine,
had not met with so cordial a welcome as at Tahiti. His riches had
strangely diminished and his credit suffered in consequence. The
narrative says,--

"He soon proved the truth of the proverb, that a man is never a
prophet in his own country. He left us with regrets, which proved his
esteem for us, and when the moment of separation arrived, he ran from
cabin to cabin embracing every one. It is impossible to describe the
mental anguish of the young man when he left. He gazed at the vessel,
burst into tears, and crouched in despair in the bottom of his pirogue.
We saw him again, stretching out his arms to us, as we left the

Cook reconnoitred Hove Island (so called by Wallis) on the 6th of June.
It is named Mohipa by the natives. A few days later he found several
uninhabited islets, surrounded by a chain of breakers, to which he
gave the name of Palmerston, in honour of one of the Lords of the

Upon the 20th a steep and rocky island was discovered, crowned with
large woods, and bushes; the beach was narrow and sandy, and several
natives of very dark complexion were seen upon it.

They made menacing demonstrations, and were armed with lances and
clubs. As soon as the English landed they retired. Champions, however,
advanced, and endeavoured to provoke the strangers, assailing them
with a storm of arrows and stones. Sparrman was wounded in the arm,
and Cook just escaped being struck by a javelin. A general volley soon
dispersed these inhospitable islanders, and the uncivil reception
which was thus accorded well deserved the name bestowed upon their
land of Savage Island.

Four days later Cook reached the Tonga archipelago once more. He
stopped this time at Nomouka, called Rotterdam by Tasman.

He had scarcely cast anchor before the ship was surrounded by a crowd
of pirogues, filled with bananas and every kind of fruit, which were
exchanged for nails and old pieces of stuff. This friendly reception
encouraged the naturalists to land and penetrate to the interior, in
search of new plants and unknown productions. Upon their return they
enlarged upon the beauty of this picturesque and romantic country, and
upon the affability and cordiality of the natives.

In spite of it, however, various thefts continued to take place, until
a more important larceny than usual obliged the captain to resort to

A native, who opposed the seizure of two pirogues by the English, as
hostages until the stolen arms were restored, was wounded severely by
a gunshot. During this second visit Cook bestowed the name of Friendly
Islands upon this group, no doubt with a sarcastic meaning. Now-a-days
they are better known by the native name of Tonga.

The indefatigable navigator continued his route in a westward
direction, passed in succession Lepreux, Aurora, Whitsunday and
Mallicolo Islands, to which archipelago Bougainville had given the
name of the Grandes Cyclades.

Cook gave his usual order, to enter into friendly and commercial
relations with the inhabitants.

The first day passed quietly, and the natives celebrated the visit of
the English by games and dancing, but on the morrow an incident
occurred which led to a general collision.

A native, who was refused access to the ship, prepared to launch an
arrow at one of the sailors. His fellow-countrymen at first prevented
him. At the same moment Cook appeared on deck, his gun in his hand.
His first step was to shout to the native, who again aimed at the
sailor. Without replying, the native was about to let his arrow fly at
him, when a shot anticipated and wounded him. This was the signal for
a general discharge of arrows, which struck on the vessel and did but
little damage. Cook then ordered a gun to be fired over the natives'
heads with a view to dispersing them. A few hours later the natives
again surrounded the ship, and returned to their barter as if nothing
had happened.

Cook took advantage of these friendly indications to land an armed
detachment for wood and water. Four or five natives were collected on
the beach. A chief, leaving the group, advanced to the captain,
holding in his hand, as Cook also did, a green bough. The two branches
were exchanged, and peace thus concluded, a few slight presents helped
to cement it. Cook then obtained permission to take wood, but not to
go far from the shore, and the naturalists, who were anxious to
prosecute their investigations in the interior, were brought back to
the beach, in spite of their protestations.

Iron implements had no value for these people. This made it extremely
difficult to obtain provisions. Only a few agreed to exchange arms for
stuffs, and exhibited an honesty in their transactions to which the
English were unaccustomed.

The exchanges continued after the _Resolution_ had set sail, and the
natives hurried in their pirogues to deliver the articles for which
they had received the price. One of them, after vigorous efforts,
succeeded in gaining the vessels, carrying his weapons to a sailor who
had paid for them and forgotten it, it was so long ago. The native
refused the recompense the sailor would have given, making him
understand that he had been paid already. Cook gave the name of Port
Sandwich to this harbour of refuge, which he left on the morning of
the 23rd of July.

He was most favourably impressed by the moral qualities of the natives
of Mallicolo, but by no means so in regard to their physical powers.

Small and badly proportioned, bronze in colour, with flat faces, they
were hideous. Had Darwinian theories been in vogue in those days, no
doubt Cook would have recognized in them that missing link between man
and monkey, which is the despair of Darwin's followers.

Their coarse, crinkly black hair was short, and their bushy beards did
not add to their beauty. But the one thing which made them most
grotesque was their habit of tying a cord tightly across the stomach,
which made them appear like great emmets. Tortoise-shell ear-rings,
bracelets made of hogs'-teeth, large tortoise-shell rings, and a white
flat stone which they passed through the cartilage of the nose,
constituted their ornaments. Their weapons were bows and arrows,
spears and clubs. The points of their arrows, which were occasionally
two or three in number, were coated with a substance which the English
thought was poisonous, from observing the care with which the natives
drew them out of a kind of quiver.

The _Resolution_ had only just left Port Sandwich when all the crew
were seized with colic, vomiting, and violent pains in the head and
back. Two large fish had been caught and eaten by them, possibly
whilst they were under the influence of the narcotic mentioned above.
In every case, ten days elapsed before entire recovery. A parrot and
dog which had also eaten of the fish died next day. Quiros' companions
had suffered in the same way, and since Cook's voyage similar symptoms
of poisoning have been noticed in these latitudes.

After leaving Mallicolo, Cook steered for Ambrym Island, which
appeared to contain a volcano, and shortly afterwards discovered a
group of small islands, which he named Shepherd Islands, in honour of
the Cambridge Professor of Astronomy.

He then visited the Islands of Two Hills, Montagu and Hinchinbrook
Islands, and the largest of all, Sandwich Island, which must not be
mistaken for the group of the same name. All the islands, lying among
and protected by breakers, were covered with rich vegetation and were
largely populated.

[Illustration: Typical natives of the Sandwich Islands. (Fac-simile of
early engraving.)]

Two slight accidents interrupted the calm on board. A fire broke out,
which was soon extinguished, and one of the sailors falling overboard,
was at once rescued.

Koro Mango was discovered on the 3rd of August. Next day Cook reached
its shore, hoping to find a watering-place, and facility for landing.
The greater part of the sufferers from the poisonous fish had not yet
recovered their health, and they looked forward to its speedy
re-establishment on shore. But the reception accorded to them by the
natives, who were armed with clubs, lances, and arrows, seemed wanting
in sincerity.

Cook was on his guard. Finding that they could not lure the English
into landing, the natives endeavoured to force them. A chief and
several men tried to snatch the oars from the sailors. Cook wished to
fire his musket, but the priming would not go off. The English were
immediately overwhelmed with stones and arrows. The captain at once
ordered a general volley; fortunately half of the shots missed, or the
slaughter would have been terrific.

Forster says, "These natives appear to be of different race to those
living in Mallicolo. They speak a different language. They are of
medium height, but well-shaped, and their features are not
disagreeable. They were bronze in complexion, and they paint their
faces black or red; their hair is somewhat woolly and curly. The few
women I saw appeared very ugly. I have seen no pirogues on any part of
the coast. They live in houses covered with palm-leaves, and their
plantations are in straight lines and are surrounded by a hedge of

It was useless to make a second attempt to land. Cook having bestowed
the name of Cape Traitor upon the scene of the collision, reached an
island, which he had seen the previous evening, and which the natives
called Tanna.

"The highest hill of the same range is of conical shape," says Forster,
"with a crater in the centre. It is reddish brown, and composed of a
mass of burnt stones, perfectly sterile. From time to time it emitted
a thick column of smoke like a great tree, increasing in width as it

The _Resolution_ was at once surrounded by a score of pirogues, the
largest of which contained twenty-five men. The latter sought to
appropriate everything within their reach, buoys, flags, the hinges of
the rudder, which they tried to knock off. They only returned to the
shore after a four-pounder had been fired over their heads.

The vessel made for the shore, but all the trifles that were
distributed could not induce the natives to relinquish their attitude
of defiance and bravado. It was clear that the smallest
misunderstanding would lead to bloodshed.

Cook imagined these people to be cannibals, although pigs, fowls,
roots, and fruits abounded.

During the stay prudence prevented any one leaving the shore. Forster,
however, ventured a little way and discovered a spring of water, so
hot that he could not hold his finger in it longer than a second. In
spite of all their wishes, the English found it impossible to reach
the central volcano, which emitted torrents of fire and smoke as high
as the clouds, and projected enormously large stones into the air. The
number of extinct volcanoes in every direction was considerable, and
the soil was decidedly subject to volcanic eruptions. By degrees,
though without losing their reserve, the Tannians became more at home
with the strangers, and intercourse was less difficult.

"These people," says Cook, "showed themselves hospitable, civil, and
good-hearted, when we did not excite their jealousy. We cannot blame
their conduct greatly, for after all, from what point of view can they
have judged us? They could not possibly know our real intentions. We
entered their country, as they dared not oppose us; we endeavoured to
disembark as friends, but we landed and maintained our superiority by
force of arms. Under such circumstances what opinion could the natives
form of us? It doubtless appeared far more plausible that we came to
invade their country, than that we visited them as friends. Time only,
and intimate relations, could teach them our good intentions."

However that might be, the English were at a loss to guess why the
natives prevented their penetrating to the interior of the country.
Was it owing to a naturally shy nature? or possibly because they were
threatened with constant inroads from their neighbours. Their address
in the use of arms and their bearing supported this idea, but it was
impossible to know with any certainty.

As the natives did not value anything the English offered, they did
not bring any great quantity of the fruits and roots the latter longed
for. They would not consent to part with their pigs even for hatchets,
the utility of which they had proved.

The productions of the island included bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, a
fruit like a peach, called "parre," yams, potatoes, wild pigs, nutmegs,
and many others of which Forster did not know the names.

On the 21st Cook left Tanna, discovered successively, Erromam and
Annatom Islands, and coasted Sandwich Island. He passed Mallicolo and
Quiros' Land of the Holy Spirit, where he easily recognized St. James
and St. Philip Bays, and left this archipelago after having named it
New Hebrides, by which appellation it is now known.

A new discovery was made on the 5th of September. No European foot had
ever trodden the soil he now sighted. It was the northern extremity of
New Caledonia. The first point recognized was called Cape Colnett,
after one of the volunteers who saw it first. The coast was bordered
by a chain of breakers, behind which two or three pirogues appeared to
be paddling, so as to reconnoitre the new-comers. But at sunrise they
brailed their sails and were seen no more.

Having cruised for two hours along the outer reefs, Cook perceived an
opening which he thought would enable him to draw near. He steered for
it and landed at Balade.

The country appeared sterile, and uniformly covered with a whitish
grass. Some trees with white trunks, like the willow in shape, were
seen here and there. They were "niaoulis." At the same time several
houses like bee-hives were perceived.

No sooner was anchor cast than fifteen or more pirogues surrounded the
vessel. The natives had sufficient confidence to approach and begin
traffic. Some of them even entered the ship, and inspected all the
various parts of it with extreme curiosity. They refused to touch the
dishes offered them, stewed peas, beef, and salt pork, but they
voluntarily tasted the yams. They were most surprised at the goats,
pigs, dogs, and cats, which were so strange to them that they had no
words to designate them. Nails, all iron implements, and red stuffs,
appeared precious to them. Tall, strong, and well-proportioned, with
curly hair and beard, and of dark chocolate colour, they spoke a
language which bore no resemblance to any which the English had
hitherto heard.

[Illustration: "The natives had sufficient confidence."]

When the captain landed he was received with joyful demonstrations,
and with the surprise natural to people who are brought face to face
with objects of which they have had no previous idea. Some of the
chiefs, enjoining silence, made short harangues, and Cook began the
usual distribution of ironmongery and hardware. His officers mixed
with the crowd to make observations.

Many of the natives appeared afflicted with a kind of leprosy, and
their arms and legs were greatly swollen. They were all but naked,
wearing merely a cord tightened to the figure, from which hung scraps
of stuff made from the fig-tree. A few wore enormous cylindrical hats,
open on two sides, like the hats of the Hungarian hussars. They hung
tortoiseshell earrings or rolls of the leaves of the sugar-cane in
their ears, which were pulled out and split.

The English soon perceived a little village above the mangroves which
bordered the shore. It was surrounded by sugar-cane plantations, yams,
and banana-trees, and watered by little canals, cleverly diverted from
the large river.

Cook soon discovered that he need expect nothing of this race but
permission to survey the country.

"These natives," he says, "taught us a few words of their language,
which bore no resemblance to that of any other tribe. They were mild
and peaceable in character, but extremely lazy. If we addressed them
they replied, but if we continued our way seldom joined us in our
excursions. If we passed their cabins without remark, they took no
notice of us. The women were slightly more curious, and hid themselves
in the bushes to look after us, but they would only approach in the
company of the men. They appeared neither vexed nor alarmed when we
shot birds. Indeed, if we were near their huts, the young people would
point them out to us, for the pleasure of seeing us fire. They
appeared to have very little to do at this time of year. Having tilled
the ground, and sown roots and bananas, they awaited their crops next

"Perhaps in this fact lay the explanation of their having no
provisions to offer in traffic, for in other respects we found them
fully alive to the hospitable instinct which more particularly
commends the islanders of the southern seas to navigators."

Cook's assertion of the indolence of the New Caledonians is perfectly
true. But his stay amongst them was too short to enable him to
appreciate their character thoroughly; and he certainly never
suspected that they indulged in the horrible practice of cannibalism.
He noticed no birds living in a wild state there excepting quails,
turtle-doves, pigeons, turkeys, ducks, teal, and a few smaller ones.
He could not ascertain the presence of any quadrupeds, and he entirely
failed in his endeavours to procure provisions.

At Balade the captain made several excursions into the interior, and
climbed the mountains to gain a general view over the country. From
the summit of a rock he clearly saw the two coasts and ascertained
that New Caledonia in this part was only ten leagues in width.

In its general features the country resembled various portions of New
Holland, which is in the same latitude. The productions of both appear
to be the same, and there is an absence of brushwood in the forests of

Cook also observed the presence of minerals on the hills, and his
discovery has been verified in late years by the proved existence of
gold, iron, copper, coal, and nickel.

A few of the crew met with a similar adventure here to that which had
been almost fatal to some of them in the neighbourhood of Mallicolo.

Cook relates it thus:--"My secretary bought a fish which had been
harpooned by a native, and sent it to me on board. This fish was of an
entirely new species, and resembled that known as sun-fish, it was of
the order called 'tetrodon' by Linnæus. Its head was hideous, wide and
long. Never suspecting that it might be poisonous, I ordered it to be
served at table the same evening. Fortunately so much time was
consumed in drawing and describing it that no time was left for the
cooking, and only the liver was served.

"The two Forsters and myself partook of it, and towards three in the
morning we experienced a sensation of weakness and want of power in
our limbs. I all but lost the sense of touch, and could no longer
distinguish light from heavy objects when I desired to move them. A
pot full of water and a feather appeared to me equally heavy. We first
resorted to emetics, and afterwards we succeeded in inducing
perspiration, which relieved us greatly. In the morning, a pig which
had eaten the entrails of the fish was found dead. When the natives
came on board, and saw the fish hanging up, they made us understand
that it was unwholesome. They showed their disgust of it, but neither
in selling it, or even after having been paid for it, had they given
the slightest hint of such aversion."

Cook next proceeded to the survey of the greater part of the eastern
coast. During this excursion he met with a native as white as a
European. His complexion was attributed to illness. This man was an
Albino, like those already met with in Tahiti and the Society Islands.

The captain was anxious to acclimatize pigs in New Caledonia, but he
had the greatest difficulty in inducing the natives to accept a hog
and a sow. He was forced to insist upon their usefulness, the facility
of breeding them, and to exaggerate their value before the natives
would consent to their being landed.

Cook describes the New Caledonians as tall, robust, active, polite,
and peaceable. He gives them the rare character of honesty. But his
successors in this country, more especially D'Entrecasteaux,
discovered to their detriment that they did not preserve this quality.
Some of them had the thick lips, flat nose, and general appearance of
the negro. Their naturally curly hair added to the resemblance.

"If I were to guess," says Cook, "at the origin of this people, I
should take them to be an intermediate race between the people of
Tanna and the Friendly Islands, or between those of Tanna and New
Zealand, or possibly between all three, for their language is in some
respects a sort of mixture of that of these different countries."

The frequency of war amongst them is indicated by the number of their
offensive weapons, clubs, spears, lances, slings, javelins, &c. The
stones used for their slings are smooth and oval. Their houses are
built on a circular plan, most of them being like bee-hives, with the
roof of considerable height, and terminating in a point. They always
have one or two fires alight, but as there is only one outlet for the
smoke, through the doorway, no European could live in them.

[Illustration: "With the roof of considerable height."]

They subsisted entirely upon fish and roots, such as yams, and the
bark of a tree, which was but little succulent. Bananas, sugar-canes,
and bread-fruit were rare, and cocoa-nuts did not flourish so well as
in the island previously visited by the English. The number of
inhabitants appeared considerable. But Cook justly remarked that his
arrival had brought about a general reunion of all the tribes, and
Lieutenant Pickersgill decided during his hydrographical excursions
that the country was sparsely populated.

The New Caledonians buried their dead. Many of the crew visited their
cemeteries, and especially the tomb of a chief, which was a kind of
mound, decorated with spears, javelins, arrows, and darts, which were
stuck around it.

Cook left the harbour of Balade, and continued to coast New Caledonia,
without finding fresh provisions. The aspect of the country was
universally sterile. But quite to the south of this large land a
smaller one was discovered, to which the name of Pine Island was given,
on account of the number of pine trees upon it.

They were a species of Prussian pine, very appropriate for the spars
needed for the _Resolution_. Cook accordingly sent a sloop and some
men to choose and cut the trees he needed. Some of them were twenty
inches in diameter, and seventy feet high, so that a mast could have
been formed of one had it been needed. The discovery of this island
had a certain value, as, with the exception of New Zealand, it was the
only one in the entire Pacific Ocean which produced wood fit for masts
and poles.

In steering southwards towards New Zealand, Cook sighted a small
uninhabited island on the 10th of October, upon which the botanists
reaped a plentiful harvest of unknown vegetables. It was Norfolk
Island, so named in honour of the Howard family. It was afterwards
colonized by a part of the mutineers of the _Bounty_.

The _Resolution_ anchored again in Queen Charlotte's Sound. The
gardens so anxiously planted by the English had been entirely
neglected by the New Zealanders, but in spite of this several plants
had grown marvellously.

The natives were very shy of appearing at first, and seemed to care
little for any intercourse with the strangers; but when they
recognized their old friends, they testified their delight most
extravagantly. When asked why they had been so reserved at first, they
evaded a reply, and there was no doubt that they were thinking of
murder and combats.

This aroused Cook's apprehensions for the fate of the _Adventure_, of
which he had heard nothing since his last stay in this port, but he
could obtain no reply to the questions he put. He was only to learn
what had occurred in his absence, when he reached the Cape of Good
Hope, and found letters from Captain Furneaux.

After once more landing some pigs, with which he wished to endow New
Zealand, the captain set sail for Cape Horn on the 10th of November.
After a vain cruise, he at last sighted the eastern shore of Tierra
del Fuego, near the entrance to the Straits of Magellan.

"The portion of America which now met our view," says Cook, "was
dreary enough. It seemed to be cut up into small islands, which though
by no means high, were very black, and almost entirely barren. In the
background, we saw high ground covered with snow, almost to the
water's edge. It is the wildest shore I have ever seen, and appears
entirely composed of mountains and rocks, without a vestige of
vegetation. The mountains overhang horrible precipices, the sharp
peaks of which arise to great height. Probably there is nothing in
nature which presents so wild an appearance. The interior mountains
are covered with snow, but those bordering the sea are not. We
imagined the former to belong to Tierra del Fuego, and the latter to
be ranged over the small islands in such a way as to present the
appearance of an uninterrupted coast."

The captain still thought it better to remain some time in this
desolate region, to procure fresh victuals for his crew. He found safe
anchorage in Christmas Sound, where as usual, he made a careful
hydrographical survey.

[Illustration: View of Christmas Sound.]

Several birds were shot, and Mr. Pickersgill brought three hundred
sea-gull's eggs and fourteen geese on board.

"I was thus enabled," says Cook, "to distribute them to the entire
crew, a fact which gave the greater satisfaction as it was near
Christmas. Without this timely supply, they must have contented
themselves with beef and salt pork."

Some of the natives, belonging to the nation called "Pecherais" by
Bougainville, came on board without any pressing. Cook's description
of these savages recalls that of the French explorer. They preferred
the oily portions of the flesh of the seals upon which they lived--a
taste which Cook attributed to the fact that the oil warmed their
blood, and enabled them to resist the intense cold.

"If," he adds, "the superiority of a civilized to a savage life could
ever be called in question, a single glance at one of these Indians
would be sufficient to settle the question. Until it is proved that a
man perpetually tortured by the rigour of a climate is happy, I shall
never give in to the eloquent declamations of those philosophers who
have never had the opportunity of observing human nature in all its
phases, or who have not felt what they have seen."

The _Resolution_ at once set sail and doubled Cape Horn. The Strait of
Lemaire was then crossed, and Staten Island reconnoitred. Here a good
anchorage was found. Quantities of whales abound in these latitudes.
It was now their pairing season, and seals and sea-lions, penguins and
garnets appeared in shoals.

"Dr. Sparman and myself," says Forster, "narrowly escaped being
attacked by one of these sea-monsters, upon a rock where several of
them were assembled, appearing to wait the upshot of the struggle. The
doctor had fired at a bird, and stooped to pick it up, when the
sea-lion growled, and showing his tusks, seemed disposed to attack my
companion. From where I was posted I shot the animal stark dead, and
at the report of my gun the herd, seeing their companion fall, fled
along the coast. Several of them threw themselves into the sea with
such haste, that they jumped ten or fifteen roods, straight upon the
pointed rocks. But I do not think they hurt themselves much, for their
skin is very hard and their fat is so elastic that it is easily

After leaving Staten Island, Cook set sail on the 3rd of January, for
the south-east, to explore the only part of the ocean which had
hitherto escaped him. He soon reached Southern Georgia, seen in 1675
by Laroche, and again by M. Guyot Duclos in 1756, when in command of
the Spanish vessel the _Leön_. This discovery was made on the 14th of
January, 1775. The captain landed in three places and took possession
in the name of King George III. of England, bestowing his name upon
the newly-found country. Possession Bay is bordered by pointed rocks
of ice exactly similar to those which had been met with in the high
southern latitudes.

"The interior of the country," says the narrative, "is no less savage
and frightful. The summits of the rocks are lost in the clouds and the
valleys are covered with perpetual snow. Not a tree or even the
smallest shrub is to be seen."

After leaving Georgia, Cook penetrated further to the south-east,
amidst floating ice. The continual dangers of the voyage overcame the
crew. Southern Thule, Saunder's Island, and Chandeleur Islands, and
finally Sandwich Land were discovered. These sterile and deserted
archipelagoes have no value for the merchant or geographer. Once
certain of their existence, it was unnecessary to remain, for to do so
was to risk in exploring them the valuable records the _Resolution_
was taking to England.

Cook was convinced by the discovery of these isolated islands "that
near the pole there is a stretch of land, where the greater part of
the floating ice spread over this vast southern ocean is formed." This
ingenious theory has been confirmed in every particular by the
explorers of the 19th century.

After another fruitless search for Cape Circumcision, mentioned by
Bouvet, Cook decided to regain the Cape of Good Hope, and he arrived
there on the 22nd of March, 1775.

The _Adventure_ had put into this port, where Captain Furneaux had
left a letter relating all that had happened in New Zealand. Captain
Furneaux arrived in Queen Charlotte's Sound on the 13th of November,
1773, and took in wood and water. He then sent one of his boats under
Lieutenant Rowe to gather edible plants. As the lieutenant did not
return on board either in the evening or the next morning, Captain
Furneaux, feeling sure that an accident had happened, sent in search
of him. The following is a short account of what he learned.

After various useless searchings, the officer in command of the sloop
came upon some traces, as he landed upon the shore, near Grass Creek.
Portions of a boat and some shoes, one of which had belonged to an
officer of the watch, were found. A sailor, at the same time, noticed
a piece of fresh meat, which was taken to be the flesh of a dog, for
it was not known then that the people of the place were cannibals. "We
opened," says Furneaux, "about eight baskets which we found on the
beach, tightly corded. Some were full of roast flesh, and others of
roots used by the natives for bread. Continuing our search, we found
more shoes, and a hand, which we recognized as that of Thomas Hill,
because T. H. was tatooed upon it in the Tahitan fashion.

"At a short distance an officer perceived four pirogues and a number
of natives, assembled round a large fire. The English landed and fired
a regular volley, which put the Zealanders to flight, with the
exception of two, who left with the greatest _sang-froid_. One of them
was severely wounded, and the sailors advanced up the beach.

"A frightful scene was soon presented before our eyes. We saw the
heads, hearts, and lungs of many of the crew upon the sands, and at a
little distance dogs were devouring the entrails."

The officer had not a sufficient force with him, being backed by only
ten men, to meet this fearful massacre with fitting vengeance. The
weather, too, became bad, and the savages collected in large numbers.
It was necessary to regain the _Adventure_.

"I do not believe," says Captain Furneaux, "that this butchery was
premeditated on the part of the natives, for in the morning Mr. Rowe
said that he observed two vessels pass us, and remain all the forenoon
in sight of the ship. The bloodshed was most likely the result of a
quarrel which was instantly fought out, or possibly as our men took no
measures for their own safety, their want of caution tempted the

The natives having heard one discharge, were encouraged by observing
that a gun was not an infallible instrument, that it sometimes missed
fire, and that once fired it was necessary to reload before firing

In this fearful ambuscade the _Adventure_ lost ten of her best sailors.

Furneaux left New Zealand on the 23rd of December, 1773, doubled Cape
Horn, put into the Cape of Good Hope, and reached England on the 14th
of July, 1774.

After Cook had taken in provisions and repaired his vessel, he left
False Bay on the 27th of May, put into St. Helena, Ascension Island,
and Fernando de Noronha, at Fayal, one of the Azores, and finally at
Plymouth, on the 29th of July, 1775. During his voyage of three years
and eighteen days, he had only lost four men, that is to say, without
reckoning the ten sailors who were massacred at New Zealand.

No former expedition had reaped such a harvest of discoveries and
hydrographical, physical, and ethnological observations. The learned
and ingenious investigations pursued by Cook elucidated many of the
difficulties of earlier navigators. He made various important
discoveries, amongst others, that of New Caledonia and Easter Island.
The non-existence of an antarctic continent was definitely ascertained.
The great navigator received the fitting reward of his labours almost
immediately. He was nominated ship's captain nine days after his
landing, and was elected a member of the Royal Society of London on
the 29th of February, 1776.



Search for the lands discovered by the French--Kerguelen Islands--Stay
at Van Diemen's Land--Queen Charlotte's Strait--Palmerston Island--
Grand rejoicings in the Tonga Islands.

At this date the idea which had sent so many explorers to Greenland
was in full force. The question of the existence of a northern passage
between the Atlantic and the Pacific, by way of the Asiatic or
American coasts, was eagerly discussed: and should such a passage
exist, was it practicable for ships? The attempt had quite lately been
made, to discover this outlet in Hudson or Baffin Bays, and it was now
determined to seek it in the Pacific.

The task was an arduous one. The Lords of the Admiralty felt that it
was essential to send out a navigator who had experience of the
dangers of the Polar Seas, and one who had shown presence of mind in
the face of danger; one moreover, whose talents, experience, and
scientific knowledge might be of use in the powerful equipment then in
course of preparation.

In Captain Cook alone were all the requisite qualities to be found.
The command was offered to him, and although he might have passed the
remainder of his days in peace at his post in the Greenwich
Observatory, in the full enjoyment of the honour and glory he had
gained by his two voyages round the world, he did not hesitate for a

Two ships, the _Resolution_ and the _Discovery_, were placed under his
command. The latter was under the orders of Captain Clerke; and the
equipment of both was similar to that of the last expedition.

The instructions given to the commander of the expedition, enjoined
his reaching the Cape of Good Hope, and steering south in search of
the islands recently discovered by the French, in 48 degrees of
latitude, towards the meridian of the island of Mauritius. He was then
to touch at New Zealand, if he thought well, to take in refreshments
at the Society Islands, and to land the Tahitan Mai there; then to
proceed to New Albion, to avoid landing in any of the Spanish
possessions in America, and from thence to make his way by the Arctic
Ocean to Hudson and Baffin Bays. In other words he was to look in an
easterly direction for the north-west passage. This once effected,
after a stay at Kamschatka, he was to make another attempt to reach
England by the route he might judge most productive of good results
for geography and navigation.

The two vessels did not start together. The _Resolution_ set sail from
Plymouth on the 12th of July, 1776, and was rejoined at the Cape by
the _Discovery_ on the 10th of the following November, she having left
England only on the 1st of August.

The two ships were detained at the Cape until the 30th of November, by
the repairs needed by the _Discovery_. Much damaged by tempest, she
required calking. The captain profited by this long delay, to buy live
stock, which he intended to land at Tahiti and New Zealand, and also
to stock his vessels with the necessary stores for a two-years' voyage.

After steering southwards for twelve days, two islands were discovered
in 46 degrees 53 minutes south latitude, and 37 degrees 46 minutes
east longitude. The strait which separates them was crossed, and it
was found that their steep sterile coasts were uninhabited. They had
been discovered with four others, from nine to twelve degrees further
east, by the French Captains Marion-Dufresne and Crozet, in 1772.

On the 24th of December, Cook found the islands which M. de Kerguelen
had surveyed in his two voyages of 1772, 1773.

[Illustration: Kerguelen Islands.]

We will not here relate the observations made by Cook upon this group.
As they agree in every particular with those of M. de Kerguelen, we
can reserve them until we relate the adventures of that navigator, and
content ourselves with remarking that Cook surveyed the coasts
carefully, and left them on the 31st of December. The vessels were
enveloped in a thick fog, which accompanied them for more than 300

Anchor was cast in Adventure Bay, in Van Diemen's Land, on the 26th of
January. It was the same spot at which Captain Furneaux had touched
four years earlier. The English were visited by a few natives, who
received the presents offered to them, without showing any

The narrative says,--

"They were of ordinary height, but rather slightly built. Their skin
was black and their hair of the same colour, and as woolly as that of
the negroes of New Guinea, but they had not the thick lips or flat
noses of African negroes. There was nothing disagreeable in their
features, and their eyes struck us as beautiful, so did their teeth,
but they were very dirty. Most of them anointed their hair and beards
with a yellow ointment, and some even rubbed their faces with the same

Concise as this account is, it is not the less valuable. The race of
Tasmanians is extinct, the last of them died a few years ago.

Cook weighed anchor on the 30th of January, and took up his station at
his usual point in Queen Charlotte's Strait. The vessels were soon
surrounded by pirogues, but not a single native ventured to go on
board, they were so fully persuaded that the English had come to
avenge their murdered comrades. Once convinced that the English had no
such intention, they banished their mistrust and reserve. The captain
soon found out by Mai's interpretation (he understanding the Zealand
tongue) the right cause of this terrible catastrophe.

It appeared that the English had been seated on the grass, taking
their evening meal when the natives committed several thefts. One of
them was caught and struck by a sailor. At his cry, his companions
rushed upon the sailors of the _Adventure_, who killed two of them,
but unfortunately succumbed to numbers. Several of the Zealanders
pointed out to Cook the chief who had directed the carnage, and urged
Cook to kill him. But to the great surprise of the natives and the
stupefaction of Mai, the captain refused.

Mai remarked, "In England they kill a man who assassinates another;
this fellow killed ten, and you take no revenge!"

Before he left, Cook landed pigs and goats, hoping that these animals
might at length become acclimatized to New Zealand.

Mai had a wish to take a New Zealander to Tahiti. Two offered to go,
and Cook agreed to receive them, warning them at the same time that
they would never see their native land again. But no sooner had the
vessels lost sight of the shores of New Zealand than they began to
weep. Sea-sickness added to their distress. But as they recovered from
it their sadness disappeared, and they soon attached themselves to
their new friends.

An island named Mangea was discovered on the 29th of March. At Mai's
representations the inhabitants decided to come on board. Small, but
vigorous and well-proportioned, they wore their hair knotted upon the
top of the head. They wore long beards, and were tatooed in all parts
of their bodies. Cook could not carry out his earnest wish to land, as
the people were too hostile.

A new island, similar to the last, was discovered four leagues further
on. The natives appeared more friendly than those of Mangea, and Cook
profited by this fact, and landed a detachment under Lieutenant Gore,
with Mai as interpreter. Anderson, the naturalist, an officer named
Barnes, and Mai landed alone and unarmed, running the risk of being

They were received with solemnity, and conducted through a crowd of
men, with clubs on their shoulders, to the presence of three chiefs,
whose ears were adorned with red feathers. They soon perceived a score
of women, who danced in a grave and serious fashion, paying no
attention to their arrival.

The officers were separated from each other, and observing that the
natives hastened to empty their pockets, they began to entertain fears
for their safety, when Mai reappeared. They were detained all day, and
forced several times to take their clothes off, and allow the natives
to examine the colour of their skin; but night arrived at last,
without the occurrence of any disagreeable incident. The visitors
regained their sloop, and cocoa-nuts, bananas, and other provisions
were brought to them.

The English may have owed their safety to the description Mai had
given of the power of their weapons, and the experiment he made before
them of setting fire to a cartridge.

Mai had recognized three of his fellow-countrymen in the crowd on the

These Tahitans had started in a pirogue to reach Ulitea Island, and
had been driven out of their course by contrary winds. As they
expected a short voyage, they had not provided themselves with food.
Famine and fatigue had reduced their number to four men, all of them
half dead, when the pirogue capsized. The unfortunate wretches managed
to seize the side of their boat and support themselves in the water
until they were picked up by the inhabitants of this island, Wateroo.
It was now twelve years since fate threw them upon this shore, more
than two hundred leagues from their native island. They had contracted
family ties and friendly alliances with these people, whose manners
and language were not unlike their own. They refused to return to

Cook says, "We may find in this incident a better explanation of the
way in which detached portions of the globe, and particularly the
islands of the Pacific, have been peopled, than in any theories;
especially in regard to those which are far from any other continent,
and at a great distance from each other."

Wateroo Island is situated in 20 degrees 1 minute south latitude, and
201 degrees 45 minutes east longitude.

The two vessels afterwards reached a neighbouring island called Wenooa,
upon which M. Gore landed to get fodder. Although the ruins of houses
and tents were seen, it was uninhabited.

On the 5th of April, Cook arrived in sight of Harvey Island, which he
had discovered during his second voyage in 1773. At that time it
appeared to him deserted. He was, therefore, astonished to see several
pirogues leave the shore and approach the ships. But the natives could
not find courage to go on board.

Their fierce appearance and noisy offers did not promise well for
their friendly intentions.

Their language was still more like that of Tahiti, than that of the
last islands they had visited.

Lieutenant King was sent in search of good anchorage, but could not
succeed in finding a suitable harbour. The natives, armed with spears
and clubs, appeared disposed to resent any attempt at landing.

Cook, in his great need of wood and water, determined to reach the
Friendly Islands. He was sure of finding refreshments for his men and
forage for his beasts there. The season was too far advanced, and the
distance between these latitudes and the pole too great to allow of
anything being attempted in the southern hemisphere.

The wind obliged him to relinquish his idea of reaching Middlebourgh
or Eoa, as he had at first intended. He therefore, directed his course
towards Palmerston Island, where he arrived on the 14th of April, and
where he found birds in abundance, scurvy grass, and cocoa-nuts. This
island was merely a collection of nine or ten islets, very slightly
raised, appearing almost like the points of reefs, belonging to one
coral bank.

The English reached Komango Island on the 28th of April, and the
natives brought them quantities of cocoa-nuts, bananas, and other

They then proceeded to Annamooka, which is also part of the Tonga, or
Friendly archipelago.

On the 6th of May, a chief of Tonga Tabou, named Finaou, visited Cook.
He called himself king of all the Friendly Islands.

"I received," says Cook, "a present from this great personage of two
fish, which were brought to me by one of his servants. I paid him a
visit after dinner. He came to meet me as soon as he saw me land. He
appeared some thirty years of age, tall and of slender form, and I
have met no countenance in these islands so European in 'type.'"

When all the provisions of this island were exhausted, Cook visited a
group of islets called Hapaee, where his reception was friendly, owing
to the orders given by Finaou, and where he procured pigs, water,
fruits, and roots. Some of the native warriors exhibited their skill
in various singular combats, with clubs and boxing.

"What most surprised us," says the narrative, "was to see two great
women enter the lists, and attack each other with their fists, without
the least ceremony, and with as much skill as the men. Their fight
lasted about half a minute, when one of them declared herself beaten.
The victorious heroine received as much applause from the assembled
multitude as is usually accorded to a man who has overcome his rival
by his skill and address."

There was no cessation of the fêtes and games. A dance was executed to
the sound of two drums, or rather of two hollow trunks, by a hundred
and five performers, supported by a vocal choir. Cook reciprocated
these demonstrations by putting his soldiers through their artillery
exercises, and letting off fireworks, which produced indescribable
astonishment in the minds of the natives.

Not wishing to be out-done in the attempt at display, the natives gave
a concert, and then a dance, executed by twenty women crowned with
China roses. This magnificent ballet was followed by another
performance by fifteen men. But we shall never end, if we attempt to
give an account of the wonders of this enthusiastic reception. It
justly gained for the Tonga archipelago the name of Friendly Islands.

On the 23rd, Finaou, who had represented himself as king of the entire
archipelago, came to inform Cook of his departure for the neighbouring
island of Vavaoo. He had excellent reasons for this, as he had just
heard of the arrival of the real sovereign, named Futtafaih or Poulaho.

Cook at first refused to recognize the new-comer in this character,
but he soon had irrefutable proof that the title of king belonged to

Poulaho was extremely stout, which with his short height made him look
like a barrel. If rank is proportioned to size in these islands, he
was without exception the _greatest_ chief the English had met with.
Intelligent, grave, and dignified, he examined the vessel and
everything that was new to him in detail, put judicious questions, and
inquired into the motives of the arrival of these vessels. His
followers objected to his descending below decks, saying it was
"_tabu_" and that it was not allowed for any one to walk over his head.
Cook, however, promised through the interpreter Mai that no one should
be allowed to walk over his cabin, and so Poulaho dined with the
captain. He ate little and drank still less, and invited Cook to land
with him. The marks of respect lavished upon Poulaho by all the
natives, convinced Cook that he had been entertaining the real
sovereign of the archipelago.

On the 29th of May, Cook set sail on his return to Annamooka, thence
to Tonga Tabou, where a feast or "_keiva_," more magnificent than any
he had seen, was given in his honour.

"In the evening," he said, "we had the spectacle of a '_bomai_,' that
is to say, the dances of the night were performed in front of Finaou's
house. We saw twelve dances during the time. They were executed by
women, and in the midst of them we noticed the arrival of a number of
men, who formed a ring within that of the dancing women. Twenty-four
men, who executed a third, made a movement with the hands, which was
greatly applauded, and which we had not previously seen. The orchestra
was renewed once. Finaou appeared upon the scene at the head of fifty
dancers, most magnificently apparelled. His garment consisted of cloth
and a large piece of gauze, and round his neck small figures were

[Illustration: Fête in Cook's honour at Tonga.]

Cook, after a stay of three months, thought it well to leave these
enchanting islands, he distributed a share of the cattle he had bought
at the Cape, and explained, through Mai, the way to feed them, and
their utility. Before leaving, he visited a cemetery or "Fiatooka,"
belonging to the king, composed of three good-sized houses, placed on
the edge of a sort of hill. The planks of these buildings, and the
artificial hills which supported them, were covered with pretty
movable pebbles, and flat stones, placed erect, surrounded the whole.

"One thing which we had not previously seen, was that the buildings
were open on one side, and within there were two wooden busts, roughly
carved, one at the entrance, and the other a little within. The
natives followed us to the door, but dared not pass the threshold. We
asked them the meaning of the busts: they assured us that they did not
represent any divinity, but were intended to recall two chiefs who
were buried in the 'Fiatooka.'"

Leaving Tonga Tabou on the 10th of July, Cook repaired to the small of
Eoa, where his old friend Tai-One received him cordially. The captain
learned from him that the property of the various islands in the
archipelago belonged to the chiefs of Tonga Tabou, which was known as
the land of the chiefs. Thus Poulaho had a hundred and fifty islands
under his rule. The most important are Vavao and Hamao. As for the
Viti Islands, which are comprised in this number, they were inhabited
by a warlike race, very superior in intelligence to those of the
Friendly Islands.

We can only refer to some of the many and interesting particulars
collected by the captain and the naturalist Anderson, which relate to
the gentleness and docility of the natives.

Cook could do nothing but praise the welcome accorded to him, each
time he stayed in the archipelago. But then he did not guess the
project entertained by Finaou, and the other chiefs, of assassinating
him during the nocturnal feast of Hapaee, and of seizing his vessels.

The navigators who succeeded him were not lavish in their praises, and
if we did not know his sincerity, we should be tempted to think that
the illustrious mariner gave the name of Friendly Islands to this
group satirically.

The inhabitants of Tonga Island always mourned the death of a relation,
by hitting themselves on their cheeks, and by tearing them with
whale's teeth, a custom which explains the many tumours and cicatrices
they have on the face. If their friends are dangerously ill, they
sacrifice one or two joints of their little finger, to propitiate the
divinity, and Cook did not meet with one native in ten who was not

The expression "tabu," he says, "which plays so great a part in the
language of this people, has a very wide significance. When they are
not allowed to touch anything they say it is tabu. They also told us
that if the king enters a house belonging to one of his subjects, the
house becomes 'tabu,' and the owner of it may not live in it any

Cook fancied he had made out their religion. Their principal god was
Kallafoutonga, and in his anger, he destroys plantations and scatters
illness and death. The religious ideas of all the islands are not
alike, but the immortality of the soul is unanimously admitted.
Although they do not offer fruit or other productions of the earth to
their divinity, they sacrifice human victims.

Cook lost sight of the Tonga Islands on the 17th of July, and the
expedition arrived in sight of an island called Tabouai by the
inhabitants, upon the 8th of August, after a series of tempestuous
winds which caused serious damage to the _Discovery_. All the
eloquence of the English failed to bring the natives on board. Nothing
would induce them to leave their boats, and they contented themselves
with inviting the strangers to visit them. But as time pressed, and
Cook had no need of provisions, he passed the island without stopping,
although it appeared to him fertile, and the natives assured him that
it abounded in pigs and fowls. Strong, tall, and active, the natives
had a hardy and savage appearance. They spoke the Tahitan language,
which made intercourse with them easy.

Some days later, the verdant summits of Tahiti appeared on the horizon,
and the two vessels were not slow in stopping opposite the peninsula
of Tairabon, where the welcome Mai received from his compatriots was
as indifferent as possible. His brother-in-law, chief Outi, would
scarcely consent to recognize him, but when Mai showed him the
treasures he brought back, amongst them all the famous red feathers,
which had been so successful in Cook's last voyage, Oati changed his
demeanour, treated Mai affably, and proposed to change names with him.

Mai was overcome by these demonstrations of tenderness, and, but for
Cook's interference, would have been robbed of all his treasures.

The ships were well supplied with red feathers. Therefore fruits, pigs,
and fowls appeared in great abundance during the stay in port. Cook,
however, soon proceeded to Matavai Bay, where King Otoo left his
residence at Pané, to pay his old friend a visit. Mai was disdainfully
received by his friends there also, and although he threw himself at
the king's feet, when he presented him with a tuft of red feathers,
and three pieces of gold cloth, he was scarcely noticed. But as at
Taqabou, the treatment changed suddenly upon the discovery of Mai's
fortune, but he being only happy in the company of vagabonds, who
laughed at him good-naturedly, even while they robbed him, was unable
to acquire the influence over Otoo, and the principle chiefs, which
was necessary to the development of civilization.

Cook had long heard that human sacrifices were common in Tahiti, but
he had always refused to believe it. A solemn ceremonial which he saw
at Atahour, no longer allowed him to doubt the existence of the
practice. In order to gain the favourable assistance of the Atoua or
Godon in an expedition against the island of Eimèo, a man of the
lowest social rank was killed by blows with clubs in the king's
presence. As an offering the hair and one eye of the victim was placed
before the king; last signs of the cannibalism which formerly existed
in this archipelago. At the end of this barbarous ceremony, which was
a blot in the memoirs of so peaceable a people, a king-fisher alighted
in the foliage. "It is Atoua!" cried Otoo, delighted at the happy

[Illustration: Human sacrifice at Tahiti. (Fac-simile of early

Next day the ceremony was to be continued by a holocaust of pigs. The
priests, like the Roman augurs, sought to read the history of the
expedition in the dying struggles of the victims.

Cook, who had silently assisted at the ceremony, could not conceal the
horror with which it inspired him. Mai interpreted for him, eloquently
and forcibly. Towha could scarcely contain his anger.

"If the king had killed a man in England," said Mai, "as he has done
the unhappy and innocent victim he has offered to his gods, it would
have been impossible to save him from hanging, a punishment reserved
for murderers and assassins." Mai's severe reflection was a little out
of place, Cook should have remembered that manners vary with countries.
It is absurd to attempt to apply to Tahiti, as punishment for that
which is their custom, a punishment reserved in London for what is
considered a crime. "Every man's house is his castle," says a popular
proverb, which European nations have too often forgotten. Under the
pretext of civilization, they have often shed more blood than would
have flowed if they had not interfered.

Before he left Tahiti, Cook bestowed all the animals he had had so
much difficulty in bringing from Europe upon Otoo. They were geese,
ducks, turkeys, goats, sheep, horses, and cattle. Otoo was at a loss
to express his gratitude to the "Areeke no Pretonne," (King of
Britain) especially when he found that the English could not take a
large pirogue on board which he had constructed as an offering for his
friend the King of England, it being too large.

The _Resolution_ and the _Discovery_ left Tahiti on the 30th of
September, and anchored at Eimeo.

In this place their stay was marked by a painful incident. Frequent
thefts had occurred for several days, when a goat was stolen. To make
an example, Cook burnt five or six cabins, and set fire to a large
number of pirogues, threatening the king with his anger if the animal
were not immediately produced. As soon as he had obtained satisfaction
the captain started for Huaheine with Mai who was to settle on that

A sufficiently large space of land was ceded by the chiefs of the
Ouare settlement in return for such presents. Upon this Cook had a
house built, and planted a garden, where he planted European cabbages.
Mai was left with two houses, two goats, and fowls. At the same time
he was presented with a present of a coat of mail, of a complete set
of armour, powder, balls, and guns. A portable organ, an electrical
machine, fireworks, and domestic and agricultural implements completed
the collection of useful and ornamental presents intended to give the
Tahitans an idea of European civilization. Mai had a sister married at
Huaheine, but her husband occupied too humble a position for him to
attempt to despoil him. Cook then solemnly declared that the native
was his friend, and that in a short time he should return to ascertain
how he had been treated, and that he should severely punish those who
had acted badly to him.

His threats were likely to be effective, as a few days earlier, some
robbers, caught in the act by the English, had had their heads shaved
and their ears cut. A little later at Raiatea, in order to force the
natives to send back some deserters, Cook had carried off the entire
family of the chief Oreo on one rope.

The moderation exhibited by the captain in his first voyage,
constantly diminished; every day he became more severe and exacting.
This change in his conduct was fatal to him.

The two Zealanders who had asked to accompany Mai were landed with him.
The elder readily consented to live at Huaheine, but the younger
conceived such an affection for the English, that it was necessary to
use force, as it were, to land him, amid the most touching
demonstrations of affection. At the last moment as anchor was weighed
Cook bid farewell to Mai, whose expression and tears testified to his
comprehension of all he was to lose.

Although Cook left satisfied with having loaded the young Tahitan who
had trusted himself to him with benefits, he was also full of anxious
fears as to his future. He knew his light and inconstant character,
and he left him weapons with some regret, fearing that he might make a
bad use of them. The King of Huaheine gave Mai his daughter in
marriage and changed his name to Paori, by which he was afterwards
known. Mai profited by his high station to show his cruelty and
inhumanity. Always armed, he began to try his skill with pistol and
gun upon his fellow-countrymen. His memory therefore is hated in
Huaheine, and the memory of his crimes was for a long time associated
with that of the English.

Cook visited Raiatea before leaving the island. He found his friend
Oreé deprived of supreme authority. Then he went to Bolabole on the
8th of December, and bought of the King Pouni an anchor, which
Bougainville had lost in the roadstead.

During his long sojourns in the different islands of the Society
archipelago, Cook completed his geographical, hydrographical, and
ethnological investigations, as well as his studies of natural history.

In this difficult task he was seconded by Anderson, and by his entire
staff, who invariably showed the greatest zeal in their efforts for
the advancement of science.

[Illustration: Tree, from beneath which Cook observed the transit of
Venus. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

On the 24th of December Cook discovered another low island. It was
uninhabited and the crew obtained abundance of turtle there. It was
named Christmas Island, in honour of the solemn anniversary of the

Although seventeen months had passed since he left England, Cook
considered his voyage as only begun. Indeed he had not as yet been
able to put the part of his instructions relating to the exploration
of the Southern Atlantic and the search for a north passage, into

[Illustration: Captain Cook's chart of Otaheite.]


Discovery of the Sandwich Islands--Exploration of the Western shore of
America--From thence to Behring Straits--Return to the Hawain Group--
History of Rono--Death of Cook--Return of the Expedition to England.

On the 18th of January, 1778, in longitude 160 degrees and latitude 20
degrees north, the two vessels perceived the first islands of the
Sandwich or Hawain archipelago.

It did not take long to convince the navigators that they were
inhabited. A large number of pirogues left Atooi or Tavaï Island and
surrounded the ships.

The English were not a little surprised at hearing these natives speak
in the Tahitan language. On this account the intercourse between them
was soon friendly, and next day numbers of the islanders agreed to go
on board. They showed their astonishment and admiration, at the sight
of so many unknown objects, by their looks, gestures, and continual
exclamations. Iron they were acquainted with, and called "hamaite."

But their covetousness was soon excited by so many curiosities and
precious things, and they tried to appropriate them both by honest and
by illicit means.

Their cleverness and their taste for thieving was as keen as is usual
with the natives of the southern seas. It was necessary to take a
thousand precautions, and they were often taken in vain, to guard
against their larceny. The English, when they approached the shore,
under charge of Lieutenant Williamson, to sound and search for
anchorage, were forced to repulse the attempts of the natives by force.
The death of one of them repressed their turbulence in a measure, and
gave them an exalted opinion of the strength of the new arrivals.

As soon, however, as the _Resolution_ and _Discovery_ had cast anchor
in Ouai Mea Bay, Cook had himself taken on shore. He had scarcely
touched land, when the natives assembled in a crowd upon the strand,
prostrated themselves at his feet, and welcomed him with signs of the
most profound respect.

[Illustration: Cook's reception by the natives.]

This extraordinary reception gave promise of a pleasant stay, for
provisions appeared to be abundant; fruits, pigs, fowls, began to
arrive from all parts. At the same time a party of natives assisted
the English sailors in filling the casks with water, and in carrying
them on board.

Anderson and the draughtsman Weller were encouraged by this friendly
conduct to advance into the interior. They were not long in coming
upon a _moraï_, similar in every respect to the Tahitian _moraïs_.
This discovery confirmed the English in the ideas induced by the
similarity of the language with that of Tahiti. An engraving in Cook's
narrative represents the interior of this _morai_. In it two figures
may be seen, standing, the top of the heads disappearing in high
cylindrical hats, similar to those on the statues in Easter Island. In
any case, the singular resemblance gives rise to reflection.

Cook remained two days more in this anchorage and could only extol the
traffic with the natives. He then explored the neighbouring Island of
Oneeheow. In spite of his great wish to explore this interesting
archipelago, he set sail, and from a distance perceived Ouahou Island,
and the reef of Tahoora which he designated by the general appellation
of Sandwich Archipelago. This name has been superseded by the native
appellation of Hawai. Strong and vigorous, although of medium height,
the Hawaians are represented by Anderson as being of frank and loyal
character. Not so serious as the natives of the Friendly Isles, they
are less frivolous than the Tahitans.

Clever, industrious, and intelligent, their plantations showed a
knowledge of rural economy, and an extensive taste for agriculture.
They not only abstained from showing the childish and common curiosity
which the English had so often noticed, but they inquired into their
customs and evinced a certain regret for their own inferiority.

The population appeared considerable, and was estimated at 30,000 in
Tavai Island alone. In their style of dress, their choice of food,
their manner of preparing it, and their general habits, they conform
to the customs of Tahiti. This identity of two populations separated
by a large stretch of sea gave the English much food for reflection.

During his first stay Cook did not become acquainted with any chief,
but Captain Clerke, of the _Discovery_, at last received a visit from
one. He was a young and well-made man, wrapped up from head to foot.
The natives testified their respect by kneeling before him. Clerke
made him several presents, and in return received a vase decorated
with two small figures, fairly well sculptured, which served for the
"kava," a favourite drink of the Hawaians, as well as the natives of
Tonga. Their weapons comprise bows, clubs, and lances, the latter made
of a strong and durable wood, and a sort of poignard called "paphoa,"
terminating in a point at both ends. The custom of "tabu" was just as
universally practised as in the Friendly Islands, and the natives were
always careful to ask if things were "tabu" before they touched them.

On the 27th of February, Cook continued his course to the north, and
soon fell in with the sea wrack of the rocks mentioned by the narrator
of Lord Anson's voyage. On the 1st of March he steered for the east,
in order to approach the American coast, and five days later he
recognized New Albion, so named by Francis Drake.

The expedition, coasting at a distance, surveyed Cape Blanc, already
seen by Martin d'Aguilar on the 19th of January, 1603, and near which
the geographers placed a large opening, to the strait, the discovery
of which they attributed to him. Shortly afterwards the latitude of
Juan de Fuca was reached, but nothing resembling it was discovered,
although this strait really exists, and divides the continent from
Vancouver's Island.

Cook soon reconnoitred a bay in latitude 49 degrees 15 minutes, to
which he gave the name of Hope Bay. He anchored there to obtain water,
and give a little rest to his worn-out crews. This coast was inhabited,
and three boats approached the vessels.

"One of the savages," he says, "rose up, and with many gesticulations
made a long speech, which we understood as an invitation to land. In
addition, he threw feathers towards us, and many of his companions
threw us handfuls of dust or red powder. The native who usurped the
post of orator was clothed in a skin, and in each hand he held
something which he shook, and which emitted a sound like that of a
child's rattle.

"When he was tired of haranguing and exhorting, of which we did not
understand a word, he rested, but two other men took up the speech in
succession. Their speeches were not so long, and they did not declaim
so vehemently.

"Many of the natives had their faces painted in an extraordinary way,
and feathers fixed in their heads. Although they appeared friendly, it
was impossible to persuade any of them to come on board. However, as
the vessels had cast anchor, the captain had the sails furled, took in
the topmasts, and unrigged the mizzen mast of the _Resolution_, in
order to allow of repairs. Barter with the Indians soon commenced, and
the most rigorous honesty prevailed. The objects offered were bear and
wolf skins, and those of foxes, deers, and polecats, weasels, and
especially otters, which are found in the islands east of Kamschatka.
Also clothes made of a kind of hemp, bows, lances, fish-hooks,
monstrous figures, and a kind of stuff of hair or wool, bags filled
with red ochre, bits of sculptured wood, trinkets of copper and iron
shaped like horse-shoes, which they wore hung from the nose.

"Human ears and hands, not yet free from flesh, struck us most among
the things they offered us. They made us clearly understand that they
had eaten the portions that were missing, and we indeed perceived that
these hands and ears had been on the fire."

The English were not long in ascertaining that these natives were as
habitual robbers as any they had hitherto met with. They were even
more dangerous, as, possessing iron implements, they could easily cut
the cords. They combined their thefts with intelligence, and one of
them amused the sentinel at one end of the boat, whilst another
snatched the iron from the other end. They sold a quantity of very
good oil, and a great deal of fish, especially sardines.

When the numerous repairs needed by the ships were made, and the grass
required for the few goats and sheep remaining on board had been
shipped, Cook set sail on the 26th of April, 1778.

He gave the name of King George's Sound to the spot where he had
stayed, although it was called Nootka by the natives.

The vessels had scarcely gained the open sea when a violent tempest
overtook them, during which the _Resolution_ sprung a leak on the
starboard side below the water line.

Carried away by the storm, Cook passed the spot selected by
geographers as the situation of the Strait of Admiral de Fonte, though
he greatly wished to dispel all doubt on the subject.

The captain therefore continued along the American coast, surveying
and naming the principal points. During this cruise he had constant
intercourse with the Indians, and was not slow in noticing that their
canoes had been replaced by boats, of which only the framework was
wood, and over which were spread seal-skins.

[Illustration: Prince William's Sound.]

After a stay at Prince William's Sound, where the leak of the
_Resolution_ was repaired, Cook resumed his voyage, reconnoitred and
named Elizabeth and Saint Hermogene Capes, Bank's Point, Capes Douglas
and Bede, Saint Augustine's Mount, the River Cook, Kodiak Island,
Trinity Island, and the islands called Schumagin by Behring.
Afterwards he passed Bristol Bay, Round Island, Calm Point, Newenham
Cape, where Lieutenant Williamson landed, and Anderson Island, so
called in honour of the naturalist, who died there of disease of the
chest; later, King Island, and Prince of Wales's Cape, the most
western extremity of America. Cook then passed the Asiatic coast and
entered into communication with the Tchouktchis, entered Behring
Strait on the 11th of April, and next week came in contact with ice.

He tried in vain to survey in various directions. The iceberg
presented an insuperable barrier. On the 17th of April, 1778, the
expedition was in latitude 70 degrees 41 minutes. During an entire
month he coasted the iceberg, in the hope of finding an opening which
might enable him to proceed to the north, but in vain. It was remarked
that "the ice was clear and transparent except in the upper part,
which was slightly porous."

"I supposed," says Cook, "that it was frozen snow, and it appeared to
me that it must have been formed in the open sea, both because it is
improbable, or rather impossible, that such enormous masses could
float down rivers which contain too little water for a boat, and also
because we perceived no produce of the earth, which we must have done
if it was so formed."

Up to this date the passage through Behring's Strait had been the
least used to reach the northern latitudes. Cook's observation is
valuable, as it proves that beyond this aperture a vast extent of sea
without land must exist. It may possibly be (this was the view held by
the lamented Gustave Lambert) that this sea is open. No greater
distance north has ever been attained since Cook's time, except on the
Siberian coast--where Plover and Long Islands were discovered, and
where at this moment, as we write, Professor Nordenskjold is

[Footnote 1: [On the 5th September, 1879, a telegram from Stockholm
announced that the Swedish Arctic Expedition under Professor
Nordenskjold had made the North-East Passage from Europe to Japan, and
that the Swedish exploring vessel, the _Vega_, had arrived at Yokohama
by way of Behring's Straits.]--Translator.]

After most careful exploration and repeated efforts to reach higher
latitudes, Cook, seeing that the season was advanced, and encountering
more icebergs daily, had no choice but to seek winter quarters in a
more clement country, before continuing his expedition the following
summer. He therefore retraced his route as far as Ounalaska Island,
and on the 26th of October steered towards the Sandwich Islands,
hoping to complete his survey of them during his wintering there.

An island was discovered on the 26th of November. The natives sold a
quantity of fruits, roots, bread-fruits, potatoes, "taro" and "eddy"
roots, which they exchanged for nails and iron implements. It was
Mowee Island, which forms part of the Sandwich Archipelago. Shortly
afterwards Owhyhee or Hawai was sighted, the summits of which were
covered with snow.

The captain says:--

"We never met savages so liberal as these in their views. They usually
sent the different articles they wished to sell to the ships. They
then came on board themselves, and finished their 'trade' on the
quarter-deck. The Tahitans, in spite of our constant stays there, have
not the same confidence in us. I conclude from this that the
inhabitants of Owhyhee are more accurate and true in their reciprocal
trade than those of Tahiti, for the latter have no honour among
themselves, and are thus not inclined to believe in the honour of

On the 17th of January Cook and Clerke cast anchor in a bay, called by
the natives Karakakooa. The sails were unbent from the yard, the yards
and the top-mast struck. The vessels were crowded with visitors and
surrounded by pirogues, and the shore was covered by a curious
multitude. Cook had never previously seen so much excitement. Among
the chiefs who came on board the _Resolution_, a young man named
Pareea was soon remarked. He said he was "Iakanee," but it was not
known that was his title of office, or if it suggested a degree of
relationship or alliance with the king. However, he evidently had
great authority over the common people. Some presents, opportunely
given, attached him to the English, and he rendered them more than one

If Cook on his first visit to Hawai pronounced that the natives were
little disposed to robbery, he was not of the same opinion this time.
Their large numbers gave them many facilities for thieving trifles,
and encouraged them to think that their larceny would not be punished.
It became evident at last that they were encouraged by their chiefs,
for several stolen objects were found in the possession of the latter.

Pareea and another chief named Kaneena brought an old man on board,
whose name was Koah. He was very thin and his body was covered with
white scurf from immoderate use of "ava." He was a priest. When he was
presented to Cook, he put a sort of red mantle which he had brought
upon his shoulders, and gravely delivered a long discourse as he gave
him a little pig. It was soon proved that it was intended as a form of
adoration, for all the idols were clothed in similar stuff. The
English were immensely astonished at the whimsical ceremonies of
homage presented to Cook. They only understood them later, through the
researches of the learned missionary Ellis. We shall give a brief
account of his interesting discovery. It will make the recital of the
events that followed plainer.

[Illustration: "They gave him a little pig."]

According to tradition, a certain Rono, who lived under one of the
ancient kings of Hawai, had killed his wife, whom he tenderly loved,
in a transport of jealousy. The grief and sorrow which followed upon
his act, drove him mad; he ran about the island, quarrelling with, and
striking everybody. At last, tired out, but not satiated, with murder,
he embarked, promising to return one day, upon a floating island,
bringing cocoa-nuts, pigs, and dogs.

This legend had been embodied in a national song, and became an
article of faith with the priests, who added Rono to their list of
deities. Confident in the fulfilment of the prediction, they awaited
his coming every year, with a patience which nothing could exhaust.

Is not there a strange resemblance between this legend and that
relating to the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl, who, forced to fly from the
wrath of a more powerful god, embarked upon a skiff of serpent skin,
promising those who accompanied him to return at some later time, and
visit the country with his descendants?

As soon as the English ships appeared, the high priest Koah and his
son One-La declared that it was Rono himself, fulfilling his
prediction. From that moment Cook was a divinity for the entire
population. As he went about, the natives prostrated themselves. The
priests made him speeches or addressed prayers to him. They would have
sprinkled him with incense had that been fashionable at Hawai. The
captain felt that there was something extraordinary in these
demonstrations, but, unable to understand it, he resigned himself for
the sake of his crew and for the advancement of science to the
mysterious circumstances he was unable to unravel.

He was obliged to give himself up to all kinds of ceremonies, which
appeared, to him at least, ridiculous. Thus he was taken to a moraï, a
solid construction of stone forty roods long and fourteen high. The
summit was well built and was surrounded by a wooden balustrade, upon
which were hung the ears of the captives sacrificed to the gods. At
the opening of the platform were two large wooden figures with
grinning faces, and bodies draped in red stuff, the heads surmounted
by a large piece of sculptured wood, the shape of a reversed cone.
There Koah mounted with Cook upon a sort of table, under which lay a
rotten pig and a quantity of fruit. Some men brought a living pig in a
procession, and some scarlet cloth in which it was wrapped. The
priests then sang some religious hymns, while the assistants were
devoutly prostrated at the entrance of the moraï. After various
ceremonies, which it would take too long to describe, a pig, cooked in
the oven, was presented to the captain, with fruits and the roots
which were used in the preparation of "ava."

"The ava," says Cook, "was then handed round, and when we had tasted
it, Koah and Pareea divided the flesh of the pig into several pieces,
which they placed in our mouths."

"I felt no repugnance when Pareea, who is very clean, gave me
something to eat," says Lieutenant King, "but Cook, to whom Koah
offered the same attention, could not swallow a morsel, as he thought
of the putrid pig. The old man, wishing to redouble his politeness,
tried to give him pieces already chewed, and one can easily imagine
that the disgust of our captain increased."

After this ceremony Cook was conducted to his boat, by four men
carrying sticks, who repeated the same words and phrases as at the
landing, in the midst of a kneeling host of the natives. The same
ceremonies were observed every time the captain landed. One of the
priests always walked before him, announcing that Rono had landed, and
ordering the people to prostrate themselves.

If the English had reason to feel satisfied with the priests, who
loaded them with attentions and presents, it was otherwise with the
"carees," or warriors. The latter encouraged the robberies which were
perpetrated daily, and in other ways exhibited disloyalty. Still, up
to the 24th of January, 1779, no important event occurred. Upon that
day the English were surprised to see that none of the pirogues left
the river to trade with the ships. The arrival of "Terreoboo" had made
the bay "tabu," and prevented any communication with the strangers.
Upon the same day, the chief, or rather king, went without ceremony to
the ships. He had but one pirogue, in which were his wife and children.
On the 26th, Terreoboo paid a second visit, which was official.

"Cook," says the narrative, "noticing that the prince landed, followed
him and arrived about the same time. He conducted them to the tent;
they were scarcely seated when the prince rose, and in a graceful
manner threw his mantle over the captain's shoulders. He further
placed a hat of feathers upon his head, and a curious fan in Cook's
hands, at whose feet he also spread five or six very pretty mantles of
great value."

Terreoboo and the principal chiefs of his suite asked many questions
of the English as to the time of their leaving. The captain wished to
ascertain the opinion the Hawaians had formed of the English; but he
could only learn that they supposed them to be the natives of a
country where provisions were scarce, and that they had simply come
there "to fill their stomachs." This conviction arose from the
emaciated appearance of some of the sailors, and from the desire to
ship fresh victuals.

There was no fear, however, of exhausting their provisions, in spite
of the immense quantity which had been consumed since the English
arrived. It is very likely that the king wished for time to prepare
the present he intended to offer the strangers upon their leaving; and,
accordingly, the day before the one fixed upon, the king begged
Captains Cook and Clerke to accompany him to his residence. Enormous
heaps of every kind of vegetable, parcels of stuffs, yellow and red
feathers, and a herd of pigs were collected together.

All this was a gratuitous gift to the king from his subjects.
Terreoboo chose about a third of these articles, and gave the rest to
the two captains--a more valuable present than they had ever received
either at Tonga or Tahiti.

On the 4th of February the vessels left the bay, but the damage
received by the _Resolution_ forced her to put in again in a few days.
The vessels had scarcely cast anchor before the English noticed a
change in the conduct of the natives. Still all went on peaceably
until the afternoon of the 13th. Upon that day several chiefs wished
to prevent the natives from assisting the English in filling their
casks. A tumult ensued. The natives armed themselves with stones, and
became threatening.

The officer in command of the detachment was ordered by Cook to draw
upon the natives, if they persisted in throwing stones, or became
insolent. Under these circumstances, a pirogue was fired into, and it
was soon apparent that a robbery had been committed by its crew.

At the same time a still more serious dispute arose. A sloop belonging
to Pareea was seized by an officer, who took it to the _Discovery_.
The chief hastened to claim his belongings, and to protest his
innocence. The discussion grew animated, and Pareea was overthrown by
a blow from an oar.

The natives, who had hitherto been peaceable observers, armed
themselves with stones, forced the sailors to retire precipitately,
and took possession of the pinnace which had brought them. Pareea,
forgetful of his resentment at this moment, interposed, and restored
the pinnace to the English, together with several things which had
been stolen.

"I am afraid the Indians will force me to violent measures," said Cook,
upon learning what had passed. "We must not allow them to believe that
they have gained an advantage over us."

The boat of the _Discovery_ was stolen upon the 13th or 14th of
February. The captain determined to possess himself of the person of
Terreoboo, or some others of the leading persons, and to keep them as
hostages until the stolen objects were restored to him.

He therefore landed with a detachment of marines, and pursued his way
to the king's residence. He was received with the usual marks of
respect on the road, and perceiving Terreoboo and his two sons, to
whom he said a few words on the theft of the sloop, he decided to pass
the day on board the _Resolution_.

The matter took a happy turn, and the two young princes embarked upon
the pinnace, when one of Terreoboo's wives begged him with tears not
to go on board. Two other chiefs joined her, and the natives,
frightened by the hostile preparations they saw, began to crowd round
the king and captain. The latter hurried to embark, and the prince
appeared willing to follow him, but the chiefs interposed, and used
force to prevent his doing so.

Cook, seeing that his project had failed, and that he could only put
it into execution by bloodshed, gave it up, and walked quietly along
the shore to regain his boat, when a rumour spread that one of the
principal chiefs had been killed. The women and children were
therefore sent away, and all directed their attention to the English.

A native armed with a "pahooa" defied the captain, and as he would not
cease his threats, Cook discharged his pistol. The native, protected
by a thick mat, did not feel himself wounded, and so became more
audacious. Several others advanced, and the captain discharged his gun
at the nearest and killed him. This was the signal for a general

The last that was seen of Cook was his signing to the boats to cease
firing, and to approach, that his small troop might embark. In vain!
The captain was struck and fell to the earth.

"The natives," says the narrative, "uttered cries of joy when they saw
him fall. They at once dragged his body along the shore, and taking
the poniard one after the other, they all attacked him with ferocious
blows until he ceased to breathe."

Thus perished this great navigator, assuredly the most illustrious
produced by England. The boldness of his undertakings, his
perseverance in carrying them out, and the extent of his knowledge,
all made him a type of the true sailor of discovery.

[Illustration: Itinerary of the principal voyagers during the 18th
century, after Cook. _Gravé par E. Morieu_. (Fac-simile of early

What immense service he has rendered to geography! In his first voyage
he reconnoitred the Society Islands, proved that New Zealand is formed
of two islands, explored the strait that separates them, and surveyed
its coast, and lastly he visited the entire eastern coast of New

In his second voyage he proved the chimerical character of the
long-talked-of Antarctic continent, the dream of stay-at-home
geographers. He discovered New Caledonia, Southern Georgia, the
Sandwich Islands, and penetrated farther into the southern hemisphere
than any one had done before him.

In his third expedition he discovered the Hawaian archipelago, and
surveyed the eastern coast of America, to the forty-third degree, that
is to say, an extent of 3500 miles. He passed through Behring Straits,
and ventured into the Arctic Sea, which was the horror of navigators,
until the icebergs opposed an impenetrable barrier to his progress.

It is needless to praise his qualities as a seaman; his hydrographical
works remain, but above all his careful treatment of his crews
deserves to be remembered. To it was due their ability to bear the
long and trying voyages, which he made with so little loss of life.

After this fatal day the English folded their tents and returned on
board. Their offers for the recovery of the body of their unfortunate
captain were in vain. In their anger they were about to have recourse
to arms, when two priests, friends of Lieutenant King, brought a piece
of human flesh at the instance of the other chiefs, which weighed from
nine to ten pounds. It was all, they said, that remained of Rono's
body, which had been burnt according to custom. This sight of course
made the English still more anxious for reprisals, and the natives on
their side had to avenge the death of five chiefs and a score of men.
Every time the English landed at their watering place they found a
furious crowd armed with stones and sticks. In order to make an
example, Captain Clerke, who had taken the command of the expedition,
set fire to the abodes of the priests, and massacred those who opposed

On the 19th of February, however, an interview was arranged, and the
remains of Cook, his hands, recognizable by a large scar, his head,
stripped of flesh, and various other débris, were made over to the
English, who three days later paid them the last honours.

After that, barter was resumed as if nothing had happened, and no
other incident occurred during the remainder of the stay in the
Sandwich Islands.

Captain Clerke had relinquished the command of the _Discovery_ to
Lieutenant Gore, and hoisted his flag upon the _Resolution_. After
completing the survey of the Hawaian Islands, he set sail for the
north, touched at Kamschatka, where the Russians made him heartily
welcome, passed through Behring Strait, and advanced as far as
latitude 69 degrees 50 minutes north, where his further progress was
barred by icebergs.

On the 22nd of April, 1779, Captain Clerke died of pulmonary phthisis,
aged thirty-eight.

Captain Gore then assumed the command in chief, put in again at
Kamschatka, again at Canton, and at the Cape of Good Hope, and
anchored in the Thames on the 1st of October, 1780, after more than
four years' absence.

The death of Captain Cook caused a general mourning throughout England.
The Royal Society of London, of which he was a member, struck a medal
in his honour, the cost of which was covered by public subscription,
to which persons of the highest rank subscribed.

The Admiralty petitioned the king to provide for the family of the
deceased captain. The king granted a pension of 200_l_. to his widow,
and 25_l_. to each of his three sons. The charts and drawings relating
to his last voyage were engraved at the expense of the government, and
the proceeds of their sale divided among Cook's family, and the heirs
of Captain Clerke and Captain King.

Although the family of the great navigator is extinct, a proof of the
esteem in which his memory is held was given in the solemn meeting of
the French Geographical Society on the 4th of February, 1879.

A large number assembled to celebrate the centenary of Cook's death.
Amongst them were many representatives of the Australian colonies,
which are now so flourishing, and of the Hawaian Archipelago, where he
met his death. A quantity of relics belonging to the great navigator,
his charts, Webber's magnificent water-colours, and the instruments
and weapons of the Oceanic islanders decorated the walls.

This touching homage, after the lapse of a hundred years, was accorded
by a people whose king had bidden them not to thwart Cook's scientific
and civilizing mission, and was well calculated to awake an echo in
England, and to draw yet closer the bonds of that good fellowship
which exists between England and France.



[_Frontispiece of 2nd Part._: Death of Captain Cook.]



Discoveries made by Bouvet de Lozier in the Southern Seas--Surville--
The land of the Arsacides--Incident during the stay at Port Praslin--
Arrival upon the coast of New Zealand--Death of Surville--Marion's
discoveries in the Antarctic Ocean--He is murdered at New Zealand--
Kerguelen in Iceland and the Antarctic regions--The contest between
the watches--Fleurien and Verdun de la Crenne.

In the earlier half of the eighteenth century, a discovery had been
made which was destined to exercise a favourable influence upon the
progress of geographical science. Jean Baptiste Charles Bouvet de
Lozier, a captain of one of the East India Company's ships, was so
struck by the immensity of the space surrounding the Southern Pole,
known to geographers as the _Terra australis incognita_, that he
begged for the privilege of prosecuting discoveries in these unknown
regions. His importunities were long disregarded, but at length, in
1738, the Company consented, in the hope of opening new facilities for

Two small frigates, the _Aigle_ and the _Marie_, fully equipped, left
Brest upon the 19th of July, 1738, under command of Bouvet de Lozier.
After a stay of a month at St. Catherine's Island, upon the coast of
Brazil, they put to sea again upon the 13th of November, and steered
for the south-east.

On the 26th, heavy fog set in, so that the vessels could only keep in
company by constant firing, and were obliged to tack about continually,
at the risk of running foul of each other. Upon the 5th of December,
although it would have appeared impossible, the fog increased in
density to such an extent that those on board the _Aigle_ could hear
the movement of the _Marie_, though they could not see her. The sea
was covered with kelp, and sea-gulls, never found at a distance from
land, were shortly afterwards seen.

"Upon the 15th of December," says M. Favre, in his Memoir the Bouvets,
in 48 degrees 50 minutes S. lat. (Paris is in N. lat. 48 degrees 50
minutes) and in 7 degrees W. long. (the meridian of Teneriffe), an
enormous iceberg was perceived towards five or six in the morning;
shortly afterwards many others were seen, surrounded by ice-floes of
various sizes.

The _Marie_, signalling danger, tacked about, but Bouvet, annoyed by
this action, which was likely to affect the confidence of the crews,
crowded sail on the _Aigle_, and, by passing the _Marie_, showed his
determination to maintain his southern course. To reassure his men, he
asserted that it was considered a lucky omen to meet with ice, as it
was a certain indication of land at hand.

The course was continued to the south, and Bouvet's perseverance was
soon rewarded by the appearance of land, to which he gave the name of
Cape Circumcision. It was steep, covered with snow, and so shut in by
large icebergs, that it was impossible to approach to within seven or
eight leagues. It appeared to measure from four to five leagues from
north to south.

"This land was supposed," says M. Favre, judging from Pietergos'
charts, which were used by Bouvet, "to be situated in 54 degrees S.
lat. and 26 degrees and 27 degrees east of the meridian of Teneriffe,
or between 5 degrees 30 minutes and 6 degrees 3 minutes east of that
of Paris."

Bouvet would much have liked to make closer acquaintance with this
region, but the fogs and contrary winds prevented his reaching it, and
he was obliged to satisfy himself with observing it from a distance.

"Upon the 3rd of January, 1739," says Bouvet, in his report to the
Company, "we made up for what we had lost during the preceding days,
and about four in the afternoon, the fog clearing somewhat, we
distinctly saw land. The coast, broken throughout its entire length,
formed several bays. The summits of the mountains were covered with
snow; the sides appeared wooded."

After several fruitless attempts to near the coast, Bouvet was forced
to relinquish the idea. His sailors were worn out with fatigue,
discouraged, and enfeebled by scurvy. The _Marie_ was sent to the Isle
of France, and the _Aigle_ directed her course to the Cape of Good
Hope, which she reached upon the 28th of February.

"We had penetrated," says Bouvet, in the report already cited, "twelve
or fifteen hundred leagues into an unknown sea. For seventy days we
had encountered almost continuous fog. We had been for forty days in
the midst of ice, and we had had snow and hail almost every day.
Several times our decks and rigging were covered with them. Our
shrouds and sails were frozen. On the 10th of January, it was
impossible to work our fore-topsail. The cold was severe, for men
accustomed to a warm climate, and who were lightly clad. Many had
chilblains on the hands and feet. Still they were forced constantly to
tack about, bring to, get under weigh, and take soundings at least
once a day. One of the sailors belonging to the _Aigle_, having been
sent to loosen the fore-topsail, became frozen in the fore-top. He had
to be lowered by a whip, and circulation was with difficulty restored.
I have seen others with tears gushing from their eyes as they handled
the sounding-line. And all this was in the fine season, and I
ameliorated their condition by every means in my power."

We can readily understand that such small results did not tempt the
East India Company to continue their efforts in these latitudes. If
they were productive of no good, they cost heavily in the loss of men
and ships they entailed. Still Bouvet's discovery was a first blow to
the existing belief in an Antarctic continent. He gave the start, and
various navigators, amongst them two Frenchmen, followed it up.

In our short record of this expedition, which is scarcely known, we
have testified to an appreciation of our countryman, who was the
pioneer of Antarctic navigation, and who deserves the credit of
furnishing an example to the great English explorer, James Cook.

Another of the East India Company's captains, who had distinguished
himself in various battles against the English, Jean François Marie de
Surville, was destined to make important discoveries in Oceania some
thirty years later, and to re-discover, almost simultaneously with
Cook, the lands first seen by Tasman, and which he called Staten
Island. The following is an account of the circumstances.

Messrs. Law and Chevalier, governors in French India, determined to
send a vessel at their own risk to trade in the southern seas. They
admitted Surville to their schemes, and sent him to France to obtain
the needful authority from the Company, and to superintend the
equipment of the vessel.

The _Saint-Jean Baptiste_ was made ready for sea at Nantes, and
provisioned for three years, with every requisite for a distant
expedition. Surville then reached India, where Law provided him with
twenty-four native soldiers.

Leaving Angley Bay on the 3rd of March, 1769, the _Saint-Jean
Baptiste_ put in successively at Masulipatam, Yanaon, and Pondicherry,
where her equipment was completed.

Surville left the last-named port on the 2nd of June, and steered his
course for the Philippines. On the 20th of August, he cast anchor off
the Bashees, or Baschy Islands. Dampier had so named them after an
intoxicating drink, which the natives compounded from the juice of the
sugar-cane, into which they infused a certain black seed.

Several of Dampier's crew had formerly deserted in these islands; they
had received from the natives a field, agricultural instruments, and
wives. The recollection of this fact incited three of the sailors
belonging to the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_ to follow their example. But
Surville was not the man to allow his crew to melt away in such a
manner. He seized twenty-six Indians, and signified his intention of
keeping them as hostages until his men were brought back to him.

"Among the Indians thus seized," says Crozet, in his narrative of
Surville's voyage, "there were several courageous enough to throw
themselves into the sea, and, much to the surprise of the crew, they
had sufficient courage and skill to swim to one of their pirogues,
which was far enough from the vessel to be secure from danger."

Pains were taken to make the savages understand that they had been
treated in this way in order to make their comrades bring back the
three deserters. They made signs that they understood, and were then
released, with the exception of six, who had been taken on shore. The
haste with which they left the ship, and flung themselves into their
pirogues, augured badly for their return. Much surprise was therefore
felt when in a short time they were seen returning with joyful
acclamations. Doubt was no longer possible, they could only be
bringing the deserters back to the commander. They came on board, and
proceeded to deposit on deck--what?--three magnificent pigs, tied and
bound. Surville did not appreciate, and he objurgated the natives so
fiercely, that they jumped into their pirogues, and disappeared.
Twenty-four hours later the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_ left the Bashees,
taking three captive Indians to replace the deserters.

[Illustration: Map of Surville's discoveries, after Fleurieu.]

Upon the 7th of October, after a lengthened route to the south-east,
land, to which the name of "Prémiere Vue" was given, was sighted in 6
degrees 56 minutes S. lat., and 157 degrees 30 minutes long. east of

The explorers coasted along it until the 13th October, upon which day
an excellent port was discovered, sheltered from every wind, and
formed by a number of small islands. M. de Surville cast anchor and
named it Port Praslin. It is situated in 7 degrees 25 minutes S. lat.
and 151 degrees 55 minutes E. long. reckoning from the Paris meridian.

Upon entering this port, the French saw several Indians, armed with
spears, and carrying a sort of shield. The _Saint-Jean Baptiste_ was
very soon surrounded by pirogues, manned by a crowd of Indians, who
were profuse in menacing gestures. However, they were pacified at last.
About thirty of the boldest clambered on to the deck, and examined
everything they saw with close attention. It soon became needful to
check their advances, as there were many sick among the crew, and it
was unwise to allow too many natives on board.

[Illustration: Pirogues of the Admiralty Islands. (Fac-simile of early

In spite of the welcome they received, the natives were still doubtful,
and their looks expressed distrust. The slightest movement on board
the vessel was sufficient to make them jump into their pirogues, or
the sea. One only showed a little more confidence, and Surville gave
him several presents. The Indian acknowledged the attention, by saying
he could point out a spot where good water was to be had.

The captain gave orders to arm the boats, and entrusted the command to
his lieutenant Labbé.

"The savages appeared impatient for the departure of the boats from
the ship," says Fleurien, in his "Découvertes des Français," "and they
were no sooner lowered than they were followed by all the pirogues.
One of these appeared to lead the others; in it was the Indian who had
offered his services to Surville. At the back of the pirogue, a man
stood erect, holding in his hands a bunch of herbs, raising them above
his head, with a rhythmical movement. In the centre of the same
pirogue stood a young man, resting upon a spear, who gravely watched
all that went on. Red flowers were in his ears, and passed through the
cartilage of his nose, and his hair was powdered with white lime."

Certain trifling symptoms aroused the suspicions of the French, who
soon found themselves in a cul-de-sac, where the natives persisted in
declaring that fresh water was to be found. Labbé, in spite of all the
persuasions of the natives, did not wish to imperil his boats in two
or three feet of water, with a muddy bottom, and therefore allowed
only a corporal and four soldiers to disembark. They soon returned,
asserting that they had seen on all sides nothing but marsh, in which
the men would sink to the waist.

It was evident that the natives had meditated treason. Labbé took good
care not to let them suspect that he had detected their design, and
asked them to point out a spring.

The natives then led the boats some three leagues away, to a spot from
whence it was impossible to see the ship. The corporal was again sent
forward with some men, but he found only a very poor spring, barely
affording sufficient water to slake the thirst of his party. During
his absence, the natives did all in their power to induce Labbé to
land, pointing out to him the abundant cocoa-nut and other fruit trees,
and even attempting to possess themselves of the boat-hook.

"More than two hundred and fifty of these natives," says the narrative,
"armed with spears, from seven to eight feet long, with swords, or
wooden clubs, arrows and stones, and some carrying shields, were
assembled on the shore, observing the movements of the boats. When the
detachment, consisting of five men, proceeded to re-embark, the
natives fell upon them, wounding one soldier with a blow from a club,
the corporal with a spear, and many others in different ways. M. Labbé
himself was hit by two arrows in the thigh, and on the leg by a stone.
The traitors were fired upon. The first volley so astonished them that
they remained motionless. It was the more fatal, as, being fired only
three or five fathoms from the boats, every shot took effect. The
amazement of the natives gave the opportunity for a second discharge,
which completely routed them, the death of their chief greatly
hastening their flight. M. Labbé, who had recognized him, apart from
the others, with his hands raised to heaven, striking his breast, and
encouraging the assailants by his voice, aimed at him and shot him
dead. The natives carried off their wounded, leaving thirty or forty
dead upon the field of battle. It was then possible to land, and,
picking up such of the enemy's weapons as were scattered about, the
victors contented themselves with towing away one of their pirogues
and destroying the others."

[Illustration: "Picking up the enemies' weapons."]

Surville was extremely anxious to capture an Indian, who might serve
him as a guide, and who, convinced of the superiority of European
weapons, might warn his countrymen against opposing the French. With
this view, he hit upon a singular expedient. He ordered two negro
sailors to be placed on board the pirogue he had seized, had their
heads powdered, and disguised them so cleverly that the natives were
likely to be deceived.

In fact, a pirogue soon after approaching the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_,
the men who were in it, seeing what they took to be two of their own
people trafficking with the strangers, drew nearer. So soon as the
French imagined they were at a fair distance, they launched two boats
in pursuit. The natives gained ground; it was then decided to fire, in
order to stop them. One of the natives was killed at once, and, his
boat capsizing, he fell into the sea, and the other, who was only
fourteen or fifteen years of age, endeavoured to reach the shore by

"He defended himself most courageously," says the narrative,
"sometimes making believe to bite himself, but really biting those who
held him. His hands and feet were tied, and he was taken on board. He
counterfeited death for an hour, but when he was made to sit up, and
he fell back on deck, he took good care to fall on his shoulders
instead of his head. When he was tired of playing this game he opened
his eyes, and, seeing that the crew were eating, he asked for a
biscuit, ate it with a good appetite, and made many expressive signs.
He was bound securely, so that he might not throw himself overboard."

During the night, it was necessary to resort to firing, to disperse
the pirogues, which approached with a view to surprising the ship.
Next day, the native was taken in a boat to a small islet, since
called Aiguade Island. Scarcely had he landed when it was perceived
that he had almost cut through the ropes with a sharp shell.

The young savage was taken by a different route to the shore; when he
perceived that he was to re-embark, he rolled upon the ground,
shrieking, and biting the sand in his fury.

The sailors succeeded at last in finding an abundant spring, and
plenty of wood. One of the trees they cut appeared to have dyeing
properties, for it tinged the sea with red. Some of the bark was
boiled, and pieces of cotton steeped in the decoction turned deep red.

Welcome refreshment was afforded to the crew by the palm cabbages,
good oysters, and various shell-fish which abounded. There were indeed
many sufferers from scurvy on board the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_.
Surville had looked forward to this stay to cure them, but the rain,
which fell ceaselessly for six days, aggravated their complaint to
such a degree that three of them died before they left the anchorage.

This port was named Praslin, and the large island or archipelago, to
which it belonged, Arsacides, in reference to the deceitful nature of
its inhabitants.

"Port Praslin," says Fleurien, "would be one of the finest ports in
the world, if the bottom were better. It is of circular shape,
reckoning all the islands discovered from the spot where the
_Saint-Jean Baptiste_ cast anchor. The ferocity of the people
inhabiting the islands of Port Praslin was such that it was impossible
to penetrate into the interior, and it was only possible to examine
the sea-coast. We perceived no cultivated ground, either in the trip
we made to the further end of the port, nor upon Aiguade Island, which
was explored throughout."

Such are the superficial particulars which Surville and his crew were
able to collect. Fortunately, they were supplemented by those
furnished by the captive native, whose name was Lova-Salega, and who
possessed a great faculty for learning languages.

According to his account, the island produced palms, cocoa-nut trees,
various almond trees, wild coffee, the ebony tree, the tacamahac, as
well as numerous resinous or gum trees, the banana, sugar-cane, yams,
aniseed, and lastly a plant called "Binao," which is used by the
natives as bread. Cockatoos, wood pigeons, lories, and black-birds,
somewhat larger than those of Europe, abounded in the woods. In the
marshes the curlew, sea lark, a species of snipe, and ducks were to be
found. The only quadrupeds the country produced were goats and
half-wild pigs.

"The natives of Port Praslin," says Fleurien, quoting from the
manuscripts in his possession, "are of ordinary height, but strong and
muscular. They do not appear to be all of one origin (a valuable
remark), for some are perfectly black, whilst others are
copper-coloured. The former have woolly hair, which is very soft to
the touch, their foreheads are small, their eyes slightly sunken,
whilst the lower part of their face is pointed, and adorned with a
small beard; their expression is fierce. Some of the copper-coloured
natives have smooth hair. They usually cut it round the head as high
as the ear. A few only retain a little, shaped like a cap, on the top
of the head, shaving off the remainder with a sharp stone, and leaving
only a circular fringe about an inch deep at the bottom. Their hair
and eyebrows are powdered with lime, which gives them a yellowish hue.

"Both men and women are stark naked; but it must be allowed that their
nudity is not so startling as would be that of an European without
clothes, for the faces, arms, and generally every part of their bodies
are tattooed. Sometimes the taste of these designs is really wonderful.
They pierce their ears and the cartilage of their nose, and the
nostrils often hang down, from the weight of the ornaments, to the
upper lip."

The commonest ornament worn by the natives of Port Praslin is a
necklace made of men's teeth. It was at once concluded that they were
cannibals, although the same customs had been met with among people
who were not. Lova's confused replies, and the half-broiled head of a
man, found by Bougainville in a pirogue in Choiseul Island, placed the
existence of this barbarous practice beyond the possibility of doubt.

On the 21st of October, after nine days' rest, the _Saint-Jean
Baptiste_ left Port Praslin.

On the next and ensuing days, lofty and mountainous land was
constantly in sight. Upon the 2nd of November Surville descried an
island, which received the name of Contrariétés, from the contrary
winds which for three days checked the progress of the ship.

This island presented a delightful appearance. It was well cultivated,
and, judging from the number of pirogues, which constantly surrounded
the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_, it must have been well populated.

The natives could scarcely be persuaded to go on board. At last a
chief sprang on deck. His first act was to possess himself of a
sailor's clothes. He next visited the poop and took the white flag,
which he wished to appropriate. It was only after some difficulty that
he was dissuaded from the attempt. Lastly, he climbed up the mizen
mast, and from that elevated position observed all parts of the vessel.
Then, coming down, he began to jump about, and, addressing himself to
those he had left in the canoes, he invited them, by words and
gestures, to join him on deck.

About a dozen ventured. They resembled the natives of Port Praslin,
but they spoke a different language, and could not make themselves
understood by Lova-Salega. Their stay on board did not last long, for
one of them having possessed himself of a bottle and thrown it into
the sea, the captain showed some annoyance, which induced them to
return to their pirogues.

The land appeared so inviting, and the sufferers from scurvy were in
such pressing need of green provisions, that Surville determined to
send a boat to test the disposition of the natives.

It had no sooner left the vessel than it was surrounded by pirogues,
manned by a number of warriors. Hostilities were imminent, but a few
shots dispersed the assailants. During the night a flotilla advanced
towards the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_, and Surville, from motives of
humanity, did not wait until the natives were close, but at once fired
several pieces charged with grape shot, which put them to flight.

It was useless to think of landing, and Surville regained the open sea.
He discovered successively the Three Sisters Island, and Gulf and
Deliverance Islands, the last of the group.

The archipelago, just explored by Surville, was no other than that of
the Solomon Islands, which, as we have mentioned, was discovered in
the first instance by Mendana. That skilful navigator had traced and
surveyed a hundred and forty leagues, besides drawing a series of
fourteen very curious views of this sea coast.

If Surville's crew were not to be decimated by death, it was necessary
at all risks to reach land, where he might disembark the sick, and
procure fresh provisions for them.

He resolved to steer for New Zealand, which had not been visited since
the time of Tasman.

On the 12th of December, 1769, Surville descried land in 35 degrees 37
minutes S. lat., and five days later he cast anchor in a bay which he
called Lauriston. At the extremity was a creek which received the name
of Chevalier. Cook had been in search of this land since the beginning
of October, and was fated to pass by Lauriston Bay a few days later
without observing the French vessel.

Whilst anchored in Chevalier Creek, Surville was overtaken by a
frightful tempest, which brought him within an ace of destruction, but
his sailors had such confidence in his nautical ability that they felt
no anxiety, and obeyed his orders with a _sang froid_ of which,
unfortunately, the Maoris were the sole spectators.

The sloop which was conveying the sick to land had no time to reach
the shore, before the storm broke in all its fury, and she was driven
into Refuge Creek. The sailors and invalids were cordially welcomed by
a chief called Naginoui, who received them into his cabin, and
bestowed upon them all the green provisions which he could procure
during their stay.

One of the boats which was towed behind the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_ was
carried away by the waves. Surville saw it stranded in Refuge Creek.
He sent in search of it, but only the rudder was found. The natives
had carried it off. The river was searched in vain; there was no trace
of the boat. Surville would not allow this theft to go unpunished. He
made signs to some Indians who were near their pirogues to approach
him. One of them ran to him at once, and was immediately seized and
carried on board. The others fled.

"He seized one pirogue," says Crozet, "and burnt the other; set fire
to the huts and returned to the ship. The Indian who was taken was
recognized by the surgeon as the chief who had so generously assisted
them during the storm. It was the unfortunate Naginoui, who, after the
services he had rendered the whites, could hardly have anticipated
such treatment at their hands, when he obeyed Surville's signal."

He died on the 24th of March, 1770, near the island of Juan Fernandez.

We will pass over the observations made by the French navigator upon
the natives, and the productions of New Zealand, as they are merely a
repetition of those of Captain Cook.

Surville, convinced that he could not obtain the provisions he needed,
put to sea a few days later, and steered between the parallels of 27
degrees and 28 degrees S. lat.; but the ravages of the scurvy, which
increased daily, decided him on steering for the coast of Peru without

He sighted it on the 5th of April, 1770, and three days later cast
anchor off the Chilica Bar at the entrance of Callao.

In his haste to reach the land, and seek help for his sick, Surville
was unwilling to allow any one else to visit the governor.
Unfortunately his boat was capsized by the waves that break over the
bar, and only one of the crew was saved. Surville and all the rest
were drowned.

Thus miserably perished this great navigator, too early for the
services he might have rendered to his country and to science. As for
the _Saint-Jean Baptiste_, she was detained "for three years" before
Lima by the interminable delays of the Spanish customs. Labbé assumed
the command, and took her back to Lorient on the 23rd of August, 1773.

As we have already related, M. de Bougainville had taken a Tahitan
named Aoutourou to Europe. When this native expressed a desire to
return to his native land, the French administration had sent him to
Mauritius, with orders to the governor of that colony to facilitate
his return to Tahiti.

A naval officer, Marion Dufresne, availed himself of this opportunity,
and offered Poivre, the Governor of Mauritius and Bourbon, to send the
young Aoutourou to Tahiti at his own expense and in a vessel belonging
to him. He only required that a vessel belonging to the state might be
assigned to him, and a small sum of money advanced to assist him in
the preparations for the expedition.

Nicholas Thomas Marion Dufresne was born at St. Malo on the 22nd of
December, 1729, and had entered the naval service very young. On the
16th of October, 1746, he was made lieutenant of a frigate, and at the
time of his offer was still only captain of a fire ship. Still he had
served everywhere with distinction, and nowhere more successfully than
in the Indian Seas.

The mission for which he offered himself was merely a pretext for a
voyage of discovery in the Southern Seas.

Poivre, an intelligent governor and a friend to progress, approved of
Dufresne's projects, and gave him detailed instructions for the
enterprise he was about to undertake in the Southern Hemisphere. At
this time Cook had not yet proved the non-existence of an Antarctic

Poivre would dearly have liked to have discovered the northern portion
of the lands he imagined to lie near the French colonies, and where he
hoped to meet with a more temperate climate. He calculated upon
finding timber for masts, and many other necessaries there, such as
provisions, which he was now obliged to obtain at heavy cost from the
metropolis. Moreover, there might be a safe port, where vessels could
find shelter from the storms which almost periodically ravaged the
islands of Mauritius and Bourbon.

The government had just sent a ship's lieutenant, M. Kerguelen, to
make discoveries in these unknown seas. Marion's expedition, which was
to try a different route, could not fail to aid in the solution of the

On the 18th of October, 1771, the _Mascarin_, commanded by Marion, and
the _Marquis de Castries_, under the Chevalier Du Clesmeur, midshipman,
set sail. They put in first at Bourbon Island. There they took
Aoutourou on board. He was unfortunately infected with small-pox,
which he had caught in the Mauritius; and the illness soon declared
itself, so that it was necessary to leave Bourbon lest he should
communicate it to the inhabitants. The two vessels then made for Port
Dauphin, on the coast of Madagascar, in order to allow the malady to
run its course, before proceeding to the Cape, where they were to
complete provisioning. Young Aoutourou soon died of the disease.

Under these circumstances, was it necessary to return to Mauritius,
disarm the ships, and give up the expedition? Marion thought not. With
greater freedom of action, he determined to make himself famous by a
new voyage, and he inspired his companions with enthusiasm like his

He soon reached the Cape of Good Hope, where he completed in a few
days the provisioning necessary for an eighteen months' voyage.

A southerly route was chosen towards the land discovered in 1739 by
Bouvet de Lozier, and which was to be looked for east of the meridian
of Madagascar.

Nothing remarkable occurred from the 28th of December, 1771, the day
upon which the vessels had left the Cape, until the 11th of January.
It was then discovered, by taking the longitude 20 degrees 43 minutes
east of the Paris meridian, that they were in the parallel (40 degrees
to 41 degrees south) of the islands named in Van Keulen's chart as
Dina and Marvezen, and not marked at all upon French maps.

Although the presence of land-birds induced Marion to suppose that he
was not far from the islands, he left these latitudes on the 9th of
January, convinced that his search for the southern continent ought to
occupy his entire attention. The 11th of January found him in 45
degrees 43 minutes S. lat., and, although it was summer in these
regions, the cold was severe, and snow fell without ceasing. Two days
later, in a dense fog, which was succeeded by rain, Marion discerned
land which extended a distance of five leagues from the W.S.W. to the
E.N.E. The soundings gave a depth of eighty fathoms with a bottom of
coarse sand mixed with coral. This land stretched away till it could
be seen behind the vessels, that is to say, over a distance of six to
seven leagues. It appeared to be very lofty and mountainous. It
received the name of Hope, marking Marion's great desire to reach the
southern continent. Four years later Cook called it Prince Edward's

To the north lay another territory.

Crozet, editor of Marion's voyage, says,--

"I noticed, in coasting along this island, that to the N.E. there
existed a creek, opposite to what appeared to be a large cavern. All
around this cavern he remarked a number of large white spots, which
looked like a flock of sheep. Had time allowed, he might have found
anchorage opposite the creek. I fancied I saw a cascade issuing from
the mountains. In rounding the island we discovered three islets
detached from it, two of them situated in the large bay formed by the
coast, and the third on its northern extremity. The island itself was
about seven or eight leagues in circumference, without verdure, and
apparently barren. The coast was healthy and safe. M. Marion named it
Cavern Island.

"These two southern territories are situated in 45 degrees 45 minutes
S. lat. by 34 degrees 31 minutes east of the Paris meridian, half a
degree east of the route pursued by Bouvet. Next day, about six
leagues of the coast of the land of Hope was made out. It looked
fertile. The mountains were lofty and covered with snow. The
navigators were about to look for anchorage, when, during the sounding
operations, the two ships ran foul of each other and were both damaged.
Three days were occupied in repairs. The weather, which had hitherto
been fine, broke up, and, the wind becoming violent, it was necessary
to continue the course following the forty-sixth parallel. New lands
were discovered on the 24th of January.

"At first," says Crozet, "they appeared formed of two islands; I took
a sketch at a distance of eight leagues, and shortly afterwards we
took them for two capes, imagining we could see in the far distance a
stretch of land between them. They are situated in 40 degrees 5
minutes S. lat. and about 42 degrees E. long. reckoning from the
meridian of Paris. M. Marion named them Les Îles Froides, or the Cold

"Although little progress was made during the night, the islands were
invisible next morning. Upon this day the _Castries_ signalled land,
which stretched some ten or twelve leagues E.S.E.; but a dense fog,
lasting no less than twelve hours, continued rain, and cold, which was
severe and trying to lightly-clad men, made any approach nearer than
six or seven leagues impossible.

"This coast was seen again upon the 24th, as well as new land, which
received the name of the Arid Island, and is now known as Crozet
Island. Marion was at length able to lower a boat, and ordered Crozet
to take possession of the larger of the two islands in the name of the
king. It is situated in 46 degrees 30 minutes S. lat., and 43 degrees
E. long., reckoning from the Paris meridian. M. Marion called this
island La Prise de Possession (it is now known as Marion Island). This
was the sixth island discovered by us in these southern waters. From a
height I discerned snow in many of the valleys. The land appeared
barren, and covered with very small grass. I found neither tree nor
bush in the island. Exposed to the continual ravages of the stormy
west winds which prevailed the entire year in these latitudes, it
appeared uninhabitable. I found nothing there but seals, penguins,
sea-gulls, Mother Carey's chickens, and every variety of aquatic birds,
usually met with by navigators in the open sea, when passing the Cape
of Good Hope. These creatures, never having seen a man, were not wild,
and allowed us to take them in the hand. The female birds sat
tranquilly upon their eggs, others fed their young, whilst the seals
continued their gambols in our presence, without appearing in the
least alarmed."

Marion continued to steer between 46 degrees to 47 degrees lat. in the
midst of a fog so dense that it was impossible to see from one end of
the deck to the other, and without constant firing the ships must have
parted company. Upon the 2nd of February the two ships were in 47
degrees 22 minutes E. long., that is to say within 1 degree 10 minutes
of the lands discovered upon the 13th of the same month by the king's
vessels _La Fortune_ and _Le Gros Ventre_, commanded by MM. de
Kerguelen and Saint Allouarn. Doubtless, but for the accident to the
_Castries_, Marion would have fallen in with them.

Having reached 90 degrees east of the Paris meridian, Marion changed
his route, and directed his course to Van Diemen's Land. No incident
occurred during the cruise, and the two vessels cast anchor in
Frederick Henry Bay.

Boats were at once lowered, and a strong detachment made its way to
the shore, where some thirty natives were found; and the country,
judging from the fires and smoke, must have been well populated.

"The natives of the country," says Crozet, "came forward willingly.
They picked up wood and formed a sort of pile. They then presented the
new comers with pieces of dried wood which they had lighted; and
appeared to invite them to set fire to the pile. No one knew what the
ceremony might mean, and it was accordingly tried. The natives did not
appear surprised. They remained about us, without making any
demonstration either of hostility or friendship, and their wives and
children were with them. Both men and women were of ordinary height,
black in colour, with woolly hair, and all were naked. Some of the
women carried their children tied on to their backs with rushes. All
the men were armed with pointed sticks and stones, which appeared to
us to be sharp, like hatchets.

"We attempted to win them over by small presents. They disdainfully
rejected all that we offered, even iron, looking-glasses,
handkerchiefs, and pieces of cloth. Fowls and ducks which had been
brought from the ship were shown to them; as evidence that we wished
to trade. They took them, looked at them as if they had never seen
such things before, and threw them aside with an angry air."

[Illustration: "A lighted brand was also presented to them."]

An hour had been spent in the attempt to gain the good-will of the
savages, when Marion and Du Clesmeur landed. A lighted brand was also
presented to them, and fully persuaded that it was a peaceful ceremony,
they did not hesitate to light the pile which was prepared. They were
mistaken, for the natives immediately retired and flung a volley of
stones, which wounded the two captains. They retaliated by a few shots,
and the whole party re-embarked.

After another attempt at landing, which the natives opposed with great
bravery, it was necessary to repulse them by a volley which wounded
several and killed one. The crew then landed and pursued the natives,
who made no attempt to resist them.

Two detachments were sent in search of a watering place, and of trees
suitable for repairing the masts of the _Castries_. Six days passed in
fruitless search; fortunately not wholly wasted, as many curious
observations were made on behalf of science.

"From the considerable number of shells which we found at short
distances," says Crozet, "we concluded that the ordinary food of these
savages was mussels, cockles, and various shell-fish."

Is it not strange to find, among the New Zealanders, the remains of
food similar to that with which we are familiar on the Scandinavian
coasts? Is not man everywhere the same, and incited by the same needs
to the same actions?

Finding it waste of time to seek for water and wood with which to
remast the _Castries_ and repair the _Mascarin_, which leaked a good
deal, Marion started on the 10th of March for New Zealand, and reached
that island fourteen days later.

New Zealand, discovered by Tasman in 1642, and visited by Cook and
Surville in 1772, was now becoming known.

The two vessels made for land at Mount Egmont, but the shore was so
steep at this point, that Marion put back to sea and returned to
reconnoitre the land upon the 31st of March in 36 degrees 30 minutes

He coasted along the shore, and, in spite of contrary winds, returned
northward as far as the Three Kings Islands. He found it impossible to
land there. It was therefore necessary to reach the mainland, and
anchor was cast opposite Cape Maria-Van-Diemen, the most northerly
extremity of New Zealand. The anchorage was soon perceived to be bad,
and after many attempts Marion stopped at Cook's Island Bay on the
11th of May.

Tents were erected on one of the islands, where wood and water were
found, and the sick were installed there under a strong guard. The
natives came on board, some of them even slept there, and trade,
facilitated by the use of a Tahitan vocabulary, was carried on in
grand style.

"I remarked with surprise," says Crozet, "that among the savages who
came on board were three distinct species of men. One of these
appeared to be the original native, and was of a yellowish white
colour, taller than the others, the usual height being from five foot
nine to five foot ten inches; he had smooth black hair. The more
swarthy and somewhat smaller men had slightly curling hair. And lastly,
the genuine negro, with woolly hair and of smaller stature than the
others, but usually broader chested. The first have very little beard,
whilst the negroes have a great deal."

This curious observation was afterwards verified. It is unnecessary to
linger over the customs of the New Zealanders, or over Marion's minute
description of their fortified villages, their arms, clothing and
food; these details are already known to our readers.

The French pitched three camps on land. The first for the sick, upon
Matuaro Island, the second upon the mainland, which served as a depôt,
and a means of communication with the third, which was the workshop of
the carpenters, and was some two leagues away in the midst of a wood.
The crew, persuaded by the friendliness of the natives, made long
excursions into the interior, and received a hearty welcome everywhere.
Confidence was at length so fully established that, in spite of
Crozet's representations, Marion ordered the sloops' boats to be
disarmed. This was unpardonable imprudence in a country where Tasman
had given the name of Assassin Bay to the first point on which he
landed, where Cook had met with cannibals, and had been nearly

On the 8th of June, Marion landed, and was received with even greater
demonstrations of friendship than usual. He was proclaimed head chief
of the country, and the natives placed four white feathers in his hair,
as insignia of royalty.

Four days later he again landed with two young officers, MM. de
Vaudricourt and Le Houx, a volunteer and captain of arms, and a few
sailors, seventeen persons in all. Evening approached, but no one came
back to the ship. At first no anxiety was felt, for the hospitable
customs of the natives were well-known. It was supposed that Marion
had slept on shore, to be ready to visit the workshops in the morning.

On the 13th of June the _Castries_ sent her boat for the daily supply
of wood and water. At nine o'clock a man was seen swimming towards the
ships. A boat was lowered to help him on board. It was one of the
rowers, the only one who had escaped from the massacre of his comrades.
He had received two lance thrusts in the side, and been much

[Illustration: "The only one who had escaped."]

From his account, it appeared that the natives had at first shown
their usual friendliness. They had even carried the sailors, who
feared getting wet, ashore upon their shoulders. But, when the crew
dispersed to pick up their cargo of wood, the natives reappeared,
armed with spears, tomahawks, and clubs, and threw themselves in
parties of six and seven upon each of the sailors. The survivor had
been attacked by two men only, who had wounded him with two lance
thrusts, and as, fortunately, he was not far from the sea, he had
succeeded in reaching the shore, where he hid himself in some
brushwood. From thence he had witnessed the massacre of all his
companions. The savages had the bodies stripped, and commenced cutting
them up, when he stole noiselessly from his concealment, and threw
himself into the sea, hoping to reach the ship by swimming. Had all
the sixteen men who accompanied Marion, and of whom no news was
received, met a like fate? It seemed probable. In any case, it was
needful to take immediate precautions for the safety of the three
camps. Chevalier Du Clesmeur at once took the command, and, thanks to
his energy, the disaster did not assume worse proportions.

The sloop of the _Mascarin_ was armed and sent in search of Marion's
boat and sloop, with orders to warn all the camps, and carry help to
the most distant, where masts and spars were being made. On the road,
upon the shore, the two boats were discovered near the village of
Tacoury. They were surrounded by natives, who had pillaged them after
massacring the sailors.

Without waiting to regain possession of the boats, the officer put on
all speed in the hope of reaching the workshop in time. Fortunately,
it had not yet been attacked by the natives. All work was immediately
stopped, the utensils and weapons were collected, the guns were loaded,
and such objects as could not be removed were buried beneath the ruins
of the shed, which was set on fire.

The retreat was accomplished amongst crowds of natives, crying in
sinister tones, "Tacouri maté Marion," "Tacouri has killed Marion."
Two leagues were traversed in this manner, during which no aggression
was attempted against the sixty men who composed the detachment. Upon
their arrival at the sloop, the natives approached them; Crozet first
sent all the sailors who carried loads on board, then, tracing a line
on the ground, he made it understood that the first native who passed
it would immediately be fired upon. An order was then given to the
natives to seat themselves; and it must have been an imposing
spectacle to see thousands obeying unresistingly, in spite of their
desire to seize the prey which was escaping before their eyes.

Crozet embarked last, and no sooner had he set foot in the sloop than
the war-cry was uttered; whilst javelins and stones were thrown from
every direction. Hostilities had succeeded threats, and the savages
rushed into the water the better to aim at their foes. Crozet found
himself obliged to prove to these wretches the superiority of his
weapons, and gave orders to fire. The New Zealanders, seeing their
comrades fall wounded or dead, without their appearing to have been
touched, were quite amazed. They would all have been killed had not
Crozet stopped the firing. The sick were taken on board without
accident, and the encampment, reinforced and put on guard, was not

Next day, the natives, who had an important village upon Matuaro
Island, endeavoured to prevent the sailors from fetching the water and
wood they needed. The latter then marched against them, bayonet in
hand, and followed them up to their village, where they shut
themselves in. The voice of the chief inciting them to battle was
heard. Firing was commenced as soon as the village was within range,
and this was so well directed that the chiefs were the first victims.
As soon as they fell, the natives fled. Some fifty were killed, the
rest were driven into the sea, and the village was burned.

It was useless to dream of bringing to the shore the five masts, made
with great difficulty from the cedars which had been cut down, and the
carpenters were obliged to repair the mast with pieces of wood
collected on the ships. The provisioning of the ships with the seven
hundred barrels of water, and seventy loads of wood, necessary for the
voyage, would infallibly occupy at least a month, for there remained
only one sloop.

The fate of Marion, and the men who had accompanied him, was still
unknown. A well-armed detachment therefore started for the village of

It was abandoned! Only men too old to follow the flight of their
companions remained, and were seated in the doors of their huts. An
effort was made to take them. One of them, without any apparent effort,
at once struck a soldier with a javelin he held in his hand. He was
killed, but no injury was inflicted upon the others who were left in
the village. All the houses were thoroughly searched. In Tacouri's
kitchen a man's skull was found which had been cooked some days before.
Some fleshy parts still remained which bore the impress of the
cannibal's teeth. On a wooden spit, a piece of a human thigh, three
parts eaten, was found. In another house, a shirt was recognized as
having belonged to the unfortunate Marion. The collar was soaked in
blood, and two or three holes were found in the side, also
blood-stained. In various other houses, portions of the clothes, and
the pistols belonging to young Vaudricourt, who had accompanied the
Captain, were brought to light. The boat's arms, and quantities of
scraps of the unfortunate sailors' clothing, were also discovered.

[Illustration: "A man's skull was found."]

Doubt was unfortunately no longer possible. An account of the death of
the victims was drawn up, and Chevalier Du Clesmeur searched Marion's
papers to discover his projects, and the plans for the prosecution of
the voyage. He found only the instructions given by the Governor of

A council was held with the ship's officers, and, bearing in mind the
lamentable condition of the vessels, it was decided to abandon the
search for new lands, and to make for Amsterdam or Rotterdam Island,
then for the Mariana and Philippines, where there was a chance of
disposing of the cargo, before returning to Mauritius. On the 14th of
July, Du Clesmeur left Treason Port, as he named the bay of these
islands, and the vessels steered towards Amsterdam and Rotterdam
Islands, to the north of which they passed on the 6th of August.
Navigation was aided by splendid weather, a fortunate circumstance, as
scurvy had made such ravages among the sailors, that very few of them
were in a condition to work. At length, on the 20th of September,
Guaham Island, the largest of the Mariana group, was discovered. It
was impossible to cast anchor until seven days later.

The account published by Crozet contains very precise and
circumstantial details regarding this island, with its productions and
inhabitants. We will only transcribe from it one phrase, as explicit
as it is short.

"Guaham Island," he says, "appeared to us a terrestrial paradise. The
air was excellent, the water good, the vegetables and fruits were
perfect, the herds of cattle, goats, and pigs, innumerable; every
species of fowl abounded." Amongst the vegetable productions, Crozet
mentions "Rima," the fruit of which is good to eat, when it has
attained its full growth and is still green.

"In this condition," he says, "the natives gather it for food. They
remove the rough skin, and cut it in slices like bread. When they wish
to preserve it, they cut it in round pieces, and dry it in the sun or
in an oven, in the form of very small cakes. This natural biscuit
preserves its bread-like qualities for several years, and far longer
than our best ship's biscuits."

From Port Agana, Crozet reached the Philippine Islands, and anchored
off Cavite, in Manilla Bay. This was the spot where the _Castries_ and
_Mascarin_ parted, to go back to Mauritius separately.

Some years previously a gallant officer of the royal navy, Chevalier
Jacques Raymond de Geron de Grenier, who was one of that group of
distinguished men,--the Chazelles, the Bordas, the Fleuriens, the Du
Martz de Gormpy, the Chaberts, the Verduns de la Crenne, who
contributed so zealously to the progress of navigation and
geography--had employed his leisure, during a stay in the Isle of
France, in exploring the adjacent seas.

He had made a very profitable cruise in the corvette, the _Heure du
Berger_, during which he rectified the position of Saint Brandon's
rock, and of the Saya-de-Malha sandbank, examined separately Saint
Michael, Rocque-pire, and Agalega in the Seychelles archipelago, and
corrected the charts of Adu and Diego Garcia Islands. Convinced of the
connexion of the currents with the monsoon, which he had thoroughly
studied, he proposed a shortened route, always open, from the Isle of
France to the Indies. It would be a saving of eight hundred leagues,
and was well worth serious consideration.

The minister of Marine, who had seen Grenier's proposition well
received by the Naval Academy, decided to entrust its examination to a
ship's officer, who was accustomed to work of the kind.

He selected Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen. During two expeditions,
undertaken in 1767 and 1768, for the encouragement and protection of
the cod-fisheries on the coast of Iceland, this navigator had surveyed
a great number of ports and roadsteads, collected astronomical
observations, rectified the map of Iceland, and accumulated a mass of
particulars concerning this little-known country. It was he, indeed,
who gave the earliest authentic account of "geysers," those springs of
warm water which occasionally reach to such great heights, and he also
supplied curious details of the existence of fossil wood, which prove
that at an early geological period, Iceland, now entirely devoid of
trees, possessed enormous forests.

Kerguelen had at the same time published novel details of the manners
and customs of the inhabitants.

"The women," he said, "have dresses, jackets, and aprons made of a
cloth called 'wadmal' which is made in Iceland. They wear an ample
robe above their jackets, rather like that of the Jesuits, but not so
long as the petticoats, which they allow to be seen. These robes are
of different colours, but generally black; they are called 'hempe.'
They are trimmed with velvet or some other ornament. The head-dresses
look like pyramids or sugar-loaves, two or three feet high. The women
ornament the head with a large handkerchief of very coarse cloth,
which stands upright, and they cover it with another finer one, which
forms the shape of which I spoke." Lastly, Kerguelen had collected
very interesting documents, relating to Denmark, the Laplanders, the
Samoyedes, the Faroe Islands, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, which
he had thoroughly explored.

Kerguelen, entrusted with the examination of the route proposed by
Grenier, asked permission of the minister to employ his ship to
explore all the southern lands discovered in 1739 by Bouvet de Lozier.
The Abbé Terray, who had just succeeded the Duke of Praslin, gave him
command of the ship _Le Berryer_, which brought 300 able-bodied seamen
and provisions for fourteen months from Lorient, together with some
ammunition for Mauritius. The Abbé Rochon was associated with
Kerguelen, for making astronomical observations. Upon reaching
Mauritius, on the 20th of August, 1771, Kerguelen exchanged the
_Berryer_ for the _La Fortune_, to which a small vessel, the
_Gros-ventre_, with sixteen guns and a crew of a hundred men, was
attached under command of M. de Saint Allouarn.

As soon as the two vessels were equipped, Kerguelen set sail and
steered northward in search of the Mahé Islands. During a great storm,
the sounding lines of the _Fortune_ gave an ever-decreasing depth,
first thirty, then twenty, and at last only fourteen fathoms. Anchor
was then cast, and it held fast throughout the tempest.

"Daybreak at last relieved our anxieties," says Kerguelen; "we
perceived neither land nor rock. The _Gros-ventre_ was three leagues
distant; her captain could not believe that I was at anchor, for the
noise of the thunder, and the dazzling lightning, prevented his
hearing or seeing my signals. This is the sole instance of a vessel
anchoring in the night in the open sea upon an unknown coast. I set
sail, and allowed the vessels to drift, taking constant soundings. I
at first found fourteen, then twenty, then twenty-five, at last
twenty-eight fathoms. Then I suddenly lost the bottom altogether,
proving that we had passed above a submarine mountain. This new bank,
which I called Fortune Bank, stretched, N.W. and S.E. It is situated
in 7 degrees 16 minutes S. lat. and 55 degrees 50 minutes E. long."

The _Fortune_ and the _Gros-ventre_ then made for 50 degrees S. lat.,
which was the route recommended by the Chevalier de Grenier. The two
captains were aware that the winds constantly blew from the east, at
this season of the year, and therefore went to the Maldives, and
coasted along Ceylon from Point de Galle, to Trincomalée. Upon their
return the monsoon had changed. The prevailing winds were W. and S.W.
as Grenier had predicted. The route suggested by him had undeniable
advantages, and these have been so amply confirmed by experience that
no other is now followed.

Returning to Mauritius on the 8th of December, Kerguelen hurried his
preparations for departure to such an extent that he was able to start
upon the 12th of January, 1772. He steered southwards, for, supposing
that he found land in that direction, the nearest would naturally be
the most useful for the French colony.

From the 1st of February, numbers of birds seemed to indicate the
proximity of land. Hail succeeded snow. The vessels experienced foul
weather, boisterous winds, and a heavy sea. The first land was sighted
upon the 12th. Next day a second was discovered, and shortly
afterwards a very lofty and extensive cape. The following day at seven
o'clock in the morning, the sun having dispelled the clouds, a line of
coast extending some twenty-five leagues was clearly seen. The vessels
were then in 49 degrees 40 minutes S. lat. and 61 degrees 10 minutes E.

Unfortunately storm succeeded storm, and the two vessels with great
difficulty escaped being cast ashore. Kerguelen was driven northward
by currents, shortly after he had sent a boat to attempt a landing.

"Finding myself so far from land," says Kerguelen, "I reflected upon
the best course to be pursued. I remembered that the state of my mast
was too bad to allow me to crowd sail, and leave the coast, and that,
having no sloop to carry my anchors, I was exposed to extreme danger
whilst near the shore, that in the dense fog it was all but impossible
to find the _Gros-ventre_, from which I had been separated for several
days. It was the more difficult on account of the tempest we had
experienced, and the variable winds that prevailed. These reflections
and my conviction that the _Gros-ventre_ was an excellent sailer, and
that she was provisioned for seven months, determined me to return to
Mauritius, which I reached upon the 16th of March." Fortunately no
accident had happened to the _Gros-ventre_. Her boat had returned in
time; M. de Boisguehenneuc, who had landed, had taken possession of
the land with all the usual formalities, and left some writing in a
bottle, which was found by Captain Cook in 1776.

Kerguelen returned to France, but his successful enterprise had gained
him many enemies. When upon the 1st of January, 1772, the king
nominated him captain, and Chevalier de Saint Louis, the attacks upon
him increased. The most malignant slanders were circulated. They even
went the length of accusing him of having scuttled the _Gros-ventre_
in order to derive all the benefit accruing from the discovery which
he had made in concert with M. de Saint Allouarn.

The minister, however, was not influenced by these slanders, and
decided to entrust the command of a second expedition to Kerguelen.
The _Roland_, and the frigate _Oiseau_, left Brest upon the 26th of
March, 1772, the latter under command of M. de Saux de Rosnevet.

Upon reaching the Cape, Kerguelen was obliged to put in for forty days.
The entire crew was suffering from putrid fever, probably owing to the
dampness of the new vessel.

"This appeared the more probable," says the narrative, "because all
the dried vegetables, such as peas, beans, lentils, &c., together with
the rice, and a quantity of biscuits, were spoiled in the store-room.
The vegetables emitted a kind of steam which was infectious, and the
store-rooms became infested with numbers of white worms. The _Roland_
left the Cape upon the 11th of July, but she was almost immediately
overtaken by a frightful tempest, which carried away two topsails, the
jib, and the mizen mast. Finally Mauritius was reached by means of

MM. de Roches and Poivre, who had contributed so essentially to the
success of the first expedition, had been succeeded by M. de Ternay
and the Intendant Maillard. They appeared determined to offer every
possible obstacle to the execution of Kerguelen's orders. They gave
him no fresh victuals, of which the crew had pressing need, and there
were no means of replacing the masts destroyed by the tempest. In lieu
of the thirty-four sailors who had to go to the hospital, he was
provided only with disgraced or maimed soldiers, of whom he was glad
to rid himself. An expedition to the southern seas, so equipped, could
only come to a disastrous end; and that was precisely what happened.

On the 5th of January, Kerguelen sighted the lands he had discovered
in his first voyage, and between that date and the 16th he recognized
various points, Croy Island, Re-union Island, Roland Island, which in
his estimation made more than eighty leagues of coast. The weather
continued extremely severe; thick fogs, snow, hail, and gales
succeeded each other. On the 21st, the vessels could only keep in
company by constant firing. Upon that day the cold was so severe that
several of the sailors fainted on deck.

[Illustration: Island discovered by M. Marion du Fresnes in 1772,
called Prince Edward's Island by Cook in 1776.]

"The officers," says Kerguelen, "insisted that the ordinary ration of
biscuit was not enough, and that without more the crew could not
possibly resist the cold and fog. I increased each man's rations by
four ounces of biscuit daily."

Upon the 8th of January, 1774, the _Roland_ signalled the frigate at
Re-union Island. Communication with her was opened, and M. Rosnevet
declared that he had found an anchorage in a bay behind Cape Français,
that he had sent a boat on the 6th to take soundings, and that, upon
landing to take possession, the men had killed a sea-lion and some

Once again, the prostrate condition of the crew, the bad quality of
the victuals, and the dilapidated state of the vessels, prevented
Kerguelen from making a thorough investigation of this desolate
archipelago. He was forced to return; but, instead of returning to
Mauritius, he landed in Antongil Bay, Madagascar, where he was sure of
obtaining lemons, limes, custard apples, and other anti-scorbutics, as
well as fresh meat.

An adventurer named Beniowski, whose history is sufficiently curious,
had just founded a French colony there. But he was in need of
everything. Kerguelen gave him ammunition, bricks, iron implements,
shirts, blankets, &c., and finally ordered his carpenters to build a
store-shed for him.

Thirty-four of the crew of the _Roland_ had died since leaving the
southern regions, and if Kerguelen had remained another week in these
latitudes, he would have lost a hundred men! On his return to France,
Kerguelen met with nothing but ill-will and calumny, in return for so
much fatigue, so bravely born. The feeling against him was so strong
that one of his officers was not ashamed to publish a memoir, in which
all the facts were dressed up in the most unfavourable shape, and the
failure of the enterprise thrown upon Kerguelen. We do not assert that
he was entirely free from blame, but we consider the verdict of the
council of war which deprived him of his rank, and condemned him to
detention in the Château of Saumur, most unjust. No doubt the judgment
was found to be excessive, and the government discerned more malice
than justice in it, for a few months later Kerguelen was restored to
liberty. The gravest charge against him was that of having abandoned
his sloop and a portion of his crew, in the southern seas, who, but
for the opportune arrival of the _Fortune_, must have perished.
Probably, however, even this was much exaggerated, for a letter exists
from the abandoned officer, M. de Rosily (afterwards vice-admiral), in
which he begs to serve again under Kerguelen. The account of these
expeditions is an extract from the apology published by Kerguelen
during his imprisonment, a work which was confiscated by government,
and on that account is extremely rare.

We must now turn our attention to the account of expeditions which,
although they did not result in discoveries, had an importance of
their own. They contributed to the rectification of charts, to the
progress of navigation and geography, but, above all, they solved a
long-standing problem, the determination of longitude at sea.

To decide upon the position of a locality it is first necessary to
obtain its latitude, that is to say, its distance N. or S. from the
equator, and its longitude, or in other words its distance E. or W.
from some known meridian.

At this period, no instrument for determining the position of a ship
existed but the rope known as a log, which, thrown into the sea,
measured the distance which the ship made every half minute; the
proportionate speed of the vessel per hour was deduced from it. But
the log is far from immoveable, and the speed of a vessel is not
always the same, hence arose two important sources of error. The
direction of the route was determined by the mariner's needle or
compass. But every one knows that the compass is subject to variations,
and that the vessel does not invariably follow the course it indicates,
and it is no easy matter to determine the exact difference. These
inconveniences once admitted, the question was to find a method exempt
from them.

With Hadley's quadrant, latitude could be determined within a minute,
that is to say, to the third of a league. But such an approximate
exactitude was not possible in deciding longitudes. When once the
different phenomena of the variations of the magnetic needle, either
of declination or inclination, should be fully understood, it would be
easy; but how to obtain this knowledge? It was well known that in the
Indian Sea, between Bourbon, Madagascar, and Rodriguez, a variation of
four degrees in the declination of the needle was equivalent to a
variation of five degrees in the longitude, but it was equally
admitted that the declination of the magnetic needle was subject to
variations, in the same localities, for which no cause could be

Verdun de la Crenne, writing in 1778, says a declination of twelve
degrees, from N. to W. twenty years ago, indicated a longitude of 61
degrees W. of Paris, in any given latitude. It is very probable that
within the last twenty years the declination has varied two degrees,
which makes the longitude deduced from it wrong by two and a half
degrees, or nearly fifty nautical miles.

If the right time is known on board, that is to say, the correct time
by which the meridian could be computed at the moment of any given
observation, and if at the same time, the exact time at the port from
which the ship had started, or that if any known meridian could be
ascertained, the difference of time would evidently give that of the
meridians, at the rate of fifteen degrees per hour, or one degree per
four minutes. The problem of the longitude could thus be reduced to a
determination, at a given moment of the time at any given meridian.

To achieve this it was necessary to have a watch or clock which should
preserve a perfect isochronism, in defiance of the state of the sea or
differences of temperature.

Many attempts had been made. Besson in the sixteenth century, Huyghens
in the seventeenth century, and again Sully, Harrison, Dutertre,
Gallonde, Rivas, Le Roy, and Ferdinand Berthoud had attempted to solve
the problem.

The English and French Governments, moreover, convinced of the value
of a perfect instrument, had offered a high reward for its invention.
The Academy of Science had instituted a competition. In 1765 Le Roy
sent in two watches for competition, whilst Berthould, who was in the
king's service, was unable to do so. Le Roy's watches passed
successfully through the various trials to which they were subjected
on land. It remained to be proved whether they would be equally
trustworthy at sea.

The Marquis de Constanvaux had the frigate _Aurora_ built at his own
cost for this experiment. Le Roy, however, decided that a cruise, with
constant stoppages, at Calais, Dunkirk, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and
Boulogne, lasting only from the 25th of May to the 29th of August, was
far too short, and he demanded a second trial. This time his watches
were sent on board the frigate, the _Enjouée_, which, leaving Havre,
put in at St. Pierre near Teneriffe, at Salee in Africa, at Cadiz, and
finally, after a voyage of four months and a half, at Brest. The trial
had been a serious one, the latitudes and the state of the sea having
both changed constantly. If the watch had neither lost or gained, it
won the prize, which was in fact assigned to Le Roy.

The Academy, however, knew that many other scientific men had bestowed
their attention upon the subject, and for various causes had been
unable to exhibit. They therefore proposed the same subject for the
competition of 1771, and in 1773 they doubled the prize.

F. Berthould imagined that he had reached perfection, but his watch
had still to be tested by the trial of a long sea voyage.

The _Isis_, a frigate of eighteen guns, was equipped at Rochefort at
the latter end of 1768, and placed under command of Chevalier d'Eveux
de Fleurien, known later as Caret-de Fleurien. Fleurien, then a
midshipman, was already, though only thirty years of age, a well known
_savant_. We have already mentioned his name, and shall find further
occasion to do so. At this juncture, fascinated by mechanics, Fleurien
had assisted Berthould in his undertaking, but that his
disinterestedness might be above suspicion, he selected several
officers to assist him in observing the motions of the watch which was
entrusted to him.

Starting in November, 1768, the _Isis_ put in successively at Cadiz,
the Canary Islands, Goree, the Cape Verde Islands, Martinique, St.
Domingo, Terra Nuova, the Canaries, Cadiz again, and reached Aix
Island on the 31st of October, 1769.

The watches, carried through climates alternately cold, hot, and
temperate, had experienced every vicissitude of climate, and at the
same time had been exposed to all the variations of the sea, in the
roughest season of the year.

After this trial, which had redounded so much to his honour, Berthould
obtained the rank and pension of an inspector of nautical watches.

This expedition had other results which concern us more particularly.
Fleurien took a number of astronomical observations, and
hydrographical surveys, which resulted in a well-founded condemnation
of the maps of his country.

"For a long time," he says, in his account of his voyage, "I did not
attempt criticism of the maps belonging to the Society; I wished to
limit myself to giving new details by which they might be rectified;
but I found such numberless and dangerous mistakes, that I should have
considered myself culpable towards mariners if I had neglected fully
to point them out."

A little further on he justly criticizes the maps of a geographer who
had at one time been famous.

"I will not undertake," he says, "to enumerate all the errors which I
have found in M. Bellin's maps. Their number is infinite. I shall
content myself simply with proving the necessity for the work I did,
by indicating the more glaring faults, either by comparing the
positions of various places upon his maps, with the positions they
should have occupied if _M. Bellin had been willing to use the
astronomical observations which have been published at various times_;
or by comparing other positions with those which we have determined by
our own observations."

Lastly, after giving a long list of errors in the situation of the
most frequented places of Europe, of Africa and America, he winds up
with these judicious words:--

"Upon glancing at a list of the various errors I have discovered in M.
Bellin's maps, one is led to a reflection, sad but true and
inevitable--if the maps of the best known part of the globe, and on
which the greater number of observations have been taken, are so far
from correct, what exactitude can we hope to find in maps representing
less frequented shores and islands, drawn and arranged by guess-work?"

Up to this time the watches had been examined separately and by
different judges. Now arose the question of submitting them
simultaneously to the same test, and of seeing which would come out

For this purpose the frigate _La Flore_ was equipped at Brest, and the
command was given to a most distinguished officer, Verdun de la Crenne,
who was to become vice-admiral in 1786. The various stages of the
expedition were Cadiz, Madeira, the Salvage Islands, Teneriffe, Goree,
Martinique, Terra Nuova, Iceland--which our explorers had some trouble
to find--the Faroe Islands, Denmark and Dunkerque. The narrative
published by Verdun de la Crenne, like that of Fleurien, abounds in
rectifications of every kind. It is easy to see how carefully and
exactly the soundings were taken, with what care the coasts were
surveyed; but not a little interesting also is that which is
altogether wanting in Fleurien's publication, descriptions of the
countries and critical reflections upon the manners and customs of the
different peoples visited.

Amongst the most interesting particulars contained in two large 4to
volumes, we must mention those relating to the Canary Islands and
their ancient inhabitants the Serères and Yolof, on Iceland, and the
accurate remarks made by Verdun upon the subject of the meridian of
Faroe Islands.

"It was the most easterly meridian of these islands," he says, "that
Ptolemy chose for the first meridian. It would doubtless have been
easy for him to have selected Alexandria for the first meridian; but
this great man was aware that such a choice would bring no real honour
to his country, that Rome and other ambitious towns might covet this
imaginary glory, that every geographer, every narrator of voyages,
arbitrarily choosing his own meridian, would engender confusion or at
least embarrassment in the mind of the reader."

Clearly Verdun regarded the question of the first meridian from a high
standpoint, as all really disinterested minds still do. It gives him
yet another claim to our sympathy.

Let us conclude with a quotation from this author: "The watches came
out of the contest with honour. They had borne heat and cold, they had
been becalmed, they had endured shocks as well as the vessel which
carried them when it was wrecked at Antigua, and when it received
charges of artillery. In a word, they fulfilled the hopes we had
indulged, they deserve the confidence of navigators, and lastly they
are of great service in the determination of longitude at sea."

The solution of the problem was found!


The Expedition of La Perouse--St. Catherine's Island--Conception
Island--The Sandwich Islands--Survey of the American coast--French
Port--Loss of two boats--Monterey and the Indians of California--Stay
at Macao--Cavite and Manilla--_En route_ for China and Japan--
Formosa--Quelpaert Island--The coast of Tartary--Ternay Bay--The
Tartars of Saghalien--The Orotchys--Straits of La Perouse--Ball at
Kamtchatka--Navigator Islands--Massacre of M. de Langle and several of
his companions--Botany Bay--No news of the Expedition--D'Entrecasteaux
sent in search of La Perouse--False News--D'Entrecasteaux Channel--The
coast of New Caledonia--Land of the Arsacides--The natives of Bouka--
Stay in Port Carteret--Admiralty Islands--Stay at Amboine--Lewin
Land--Nuyts Archipelago--Stay in Tasmania--Fête in the Friendly
Islands--Particulars of the stay of La Perouse at Tonga Tabou--Stay at
Balado--Traces of La Perouse in New Caledonia--Vanikoro--Sad fate of
the Expedition.

The result of Cook's voyage, except the fact of his death, was still
unknown, when the French government resolved to make use of the
leisure which the peace just concluded had secured to the navy. The
French officers, desirous of emulating the success of their old rivals
the English, were fired with a noble emulation to excel them in some
new field. The question arose as to the fittest person for the conduct
of an important expedition. There was no lack of deserving candidates.
Indeed, in the number lay the difficulty.

The Minister's choice fell upon Jean François Galaup de la Perouse,
whose important military services had rapidly advanced him to the rank
of captain. During the last war he had been intrusted with the
difficult mission of destroying the English posts in Hudson's Bay, and
in this task he had proved himself not only an able soldier and sailor,
but a man who could combine humanity with professional firmness.
Second to him in the command was M. de Langle, who had ably assisted
him in the expedition to Hudson's Bay.

[Illustration: Portrait of La Pérouse. (Fac-simile of early

A large staff embarked upon the two frigates _La Boussole_ and
_L'Astrolabe_. On board the _Boussole_ were La Perouse; Clenard, who
was made captain during the expedition; Monneron, an engineer;
Bernizet, a geographer; Rollin, a surgeon; Lepante Dagelet, an
astronomer of the Academy of Sciences; Lamanon, a physicist; Duché de
Vancy and Prevost the younger, draughtsmen; Collignon, a botanist; and
Guéry, a clock maker. The _Astrolabe_, in addition to her commander,
Captain de Langle, carried Lieutenant de Monte, who was made captain
during the voyage, and the celebrated Monge, who, fortunately for the
interests of science, landed at Teneriffe upon the 30th of August,

The Academy of Sciences and the Society of Medicine had drawn up
reports for the Minister of Marine, in which they called the attention
of the navigators to certain points. Lastly, Fleurien, the
superintendent of ports and naval arsenals, had himself drawn up the
maps for the service of the expedition, and added to it an entire
volume of learned notes and discussions upon the results of all known
voyages since the time of Christopher Columbus.

The two ships carried an enormous amount of merchandise for trade, as
well as a vast quantity of provisions and stores, a twenty-ton boat,
two sloops, masts, and reserve sets of sails and rigging.

[Illustration: Map of the journey of La Perouse, after the atlas
published by General Millet-Mureau.]

The two frigates sailed upon the 1st of August, 1785, and anchored off
Madeira thirteen days later.

The French were at once charmed and surprised at the kind and cordial
welcome accorded them by the English residents. Upon the 19th La
Perouse put into Teneriffe.

"The various observations," he says, "made by MM. de Fleurien, Verdun,
and Borda, upon Madeira, the Salvage Islands, and Teneriffe leave
nothing to be wished for. Our attention was therefore confined to
testing our instruments."

This remark proves that La Perouse was capable of doing justice to his
predecessors. And we shall have other opportunities of observing that
quality in him.

While the astronomers devoted themselves to estimating the regularity
of the astronomical watches, the naturalists, with several officers,
ascended the Peak, and collected some curious plants. Monneron
succeeded in measuring this mountain with much greater accuracy than
his predecessors, Herberdeen, Feuillée, Bouguer, Verdun, and Borda,
who calculated its height respectively at 2409, 2213, 2100, and 1904
fathoms. Unfortunately his work, which would have settled the
discussion, never reached France.

Upon the 16th of October, the isles, or rather rocks, of Marten Vas
were seen. La Perouse ascertained their position, and afterwards made
for the nearest, Trinity Island, which was only some nine leagues to
the west. The commander of the expedition sent a sloop on shore in
charge of an officer, in the hope of finding water, wood, and
provisions. The officer had an interview with the Portuguese governor,
whose garrison consisted of about two hundred men, fifteen of whom
wore uniforms, and the rest merely shirts. The poverty of the land was
obvious, and the French re-embarked without having obtained anything.

After a vain search for Ascension Island, the expedition reached Saint
Catherine's Island, off the coast of Brazil.

"After ninety-six days' navigation," we read in the narrative of the
voyage published by General Millet-Mureau, "we had not one case of
illness on board. The health of the crew had remained unimpaired by
change of climate, rain, and fog; but our provisions were of
first-class quality; I neglected none of the precautions which
experience and prudence suggested to me; and above all, we kept up our
spirits by encouraging dancing every evening among the crew, whenever
the weather permitted, from eight o'clock till ten."

Saint Catherine's Island, of which we have more than once had occasion
to speak in the course of this narrative, extends from 27 degrees 19
minutes 10 seconds S. lat. to 27 degrees 49 minutes. It is only two
leagues wide, and is divided in its narrowest part from the mainland
by a channel of two hundred fathoms. The town of Nostra Señora del
Desterra, the capital of the colony, where the governor resides, is
built at the point of this narrow entrance. The population amounts, at
the utmost, to three thousand, and there are about four hundred houses.
The appearance of the town is very pleasant. According to Frezier's
account, this island was a refuge in 1712 for the vagabonds who fled
there from different parts of Brazil. They were Portuguese subjects in
name only, and recognized no other authority. The country is so
fertile that the inhabitants can live quite independently of any
neighbouring colony. The ships in the harbour gave them shirts and
coats, of which they had absolutely none, in exchange for provisions.

This island is extremely fertile, and the soil could easily be made to
grow sugar-cane, but the inhabitants are so poor that they cannot buy
the needful slaves for the labour.

The French vessels found all that they needed in this spot, and their
officers were cordially received by the Portuguese authorities.

The following fact will give an idea of the hospitality of these
people. "My boat," says La Perouse, "having been upset in a creek
where I was having wood cut, the inhabitants, after assisting in
saving it, insisted on our shipwrecked sailors using their beds, and
themselves slept on mats upon the floor of the room where they
received them so hospitably. A few days later they brought to my
vessel the sails, mast, grapnel, and flag of the boat, which would
have been of great use to them for their pirogues."

The _Boussole_ and the _Astrolabe_ weighed anchor upon the 19th of
November, and directed their course to Cape Horn. After a violent
storm, during which the frigates behaved very well, and after forty
days' fruitless search for the large island discovered by a Frenchman,
Antoine de la Roche, and called Georgia by Captain Cook, La Perouse
crossed the Straits of Lemaire. Finding the winds favourable, he
decided not to remain in Good Success Bay at this advanced season of
the year, but immediately to double Cape Horn, in the hope of avoiding
a possible delay that would have exposed his ships to injury and his
crew to useless fatigue.

The friendly demonstrations of the Fuegians, the abundance of whales,
which had never before been disturbed, the immense flocks of albatross
and petrels, did not change his resolve. Cape Horn was rounded more
easily than could have been expected. Upon the 9th of February the
expedition was in the Straits of Magellan, and upon the 24th anchor
was cast in Concepcion Harbour, which La Perouse preferred to that of
Juan Fernandez, on account of the exhaustion of his provisions. The
robust health of the crews astonished the Spanish governor. Possibly
this was the first time a vessel had rounded Cape Horn and arrived in
Chili without any sick on board.

The town, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1757, had been
rebuilt three leagues from the sea, upon the shore of the river Biobio.
The houses are of one storey, and the town of La Concepcion contains
ten thousand inhabitants. The bay is one of the most commodious in the
world; the sea is smooth, and almost free from currents. This part of
Chili is wonderfully fertile. One ear of corn reproduces sixty; vines
are equally prolific; and the country teems with innumerable flocks,
which multiply beyond all credence.

In spite of these prosperous conditions the country made no progress,
on account of the prohibitive system which at this time prevailed.
Chili, with its productions, which might easily have fed the half of
Europe; its wool, which might have sufficed for the manufactures of
France and England; its meats, which might have been preserved--had no
commerce whatever. At the same time the duty upon imported goods was
excessive, so that living was very dear. The middle class, as the
"bourgeoisie" are now called, did not exist; the population consisted
of two classes, the rich and the poor, as the following passage

"The dress of the women consists of a plaited skirt of the ancient
gold or silver tissues which were formerly manufactured at Lyons.
These petticoats, which are kept for grand occasions, are often
inherited like diamonds, and are handed down from generation to
generation. They are only worn by a small number of the higher class;
the others have scarcely the means of clothing themselves at all."

[Illustration: Costumes of the inhabitants of Conception.]

We will not follow La Perouse into his details of the enthusiastic
reception given to him, and we will pass over in silence his
description of balls and toilettes, which never for a moment induced
him to lose sight of the object of his voyage. So far the expedition
had only passed through regions often before visited by Europeans. It
was now about to penetrate to less-known realms. Anchor was raised
upon the 15th of March, and, after a voyage entirely free from
incident, the two frigates anchored upon the 9th of April in Cook's
Bay, Easter Island.

La Perouse affirms that Mr. Hodges, the painter, who accompanied the
celebrated English navigator, has given a very unjust representation
of the inhabitants. Generally their physiognomies are pleasing, but
they cannot be said to have much character.

This is by no means the only point upon which the French navigator
differs from Captain Cook. He believed the famous statues, of which
one of the draughtsmen made an excellent sketch, to have been the work
of the present generation, whose numbers he estimates at two thousand.
It appeared to him also that the absolute lack of trees, and therefore
of lakes and rivers, was due to the extravagant waste of wood by the
earlier races. No disagreeable incident occurred during the stay.
Robberies, it is true, were frequent; but as the French intended
remaining only one day on the island, they thought it superfluous to
give the population stricter ideas of honesty.

[Illustration: Inhabitants of Easter Island.]

After leaving Easter Island, upon the 10th of April, La Perouse
followed much the same route as Cook had done in 1777, when he sailed
from Tahiti to the American coast; but he was a hundred leagues
farther west. La Perouse indulged in the hope of making discoveries in
this little-known region of the Pacific Ocean, and he promised to
reward the sailor who should first sight land. Upon the 29th of May
the Hawaian archipelago was reached.

The naval watches proved of great assistance upon this occasion, and
justified the opinion entertained of them. Upon reaching the Sandwich
Islands La Perouse found a difference of five degrees between the
longitude given and that obtained by him. Without the watches he would
have placed this group five degrees too far east. This explains why
the islands discovered by the Spanish--Mendana, Queros, &c.--are much
too near the American coast, and also the non-existence of the group
called by the Spaniards La Mesa, Los Majos, and La Disgraceada, which
there is every reason to suppose was none other than the Sandwich
archipelago, as Mesa in Spanish means "table," and Captain King
compares the mountain called Mauna Loa to a plateau or table-land. He
did not, however, trust to conjecture; he crossed the reputed site of
Los Majos, and found not the slightest trace of land.

"The aspect of Monee," says La Perouse, "is delightful. We saw water
tumbling in cascades from the summit of the mountains, and reaching
the sea after watering the Indian plantations, of which there are so
many that each village extends over three or four leagues. All the
huts are, however, on the sea-shore; and the mountains are so close
that the habitable portion of the land appeared to me to be less than
half a league in depth. One must be a sailor, and, like us, have been
reduced to a bottle of water per day in a burning climate, to realize
the sensations we experienced. The trees which crowned the mountains,
the green fields, the banana-trees which surrounded the dwellings, all
combined to charm our senses with an inexpressible delight; but the
sea broke violently on the shore, and, like Tantalus, we were obliged
to devour with our eyes what was completely beyond our reach."

The two frigates had no sooner anchored than they were surrounded by
pirogues, full of natives, offering pigs, potatoes, bananas, "taro,"
&c. Clever traders, they attached most value to bits of old iron rings.
Their acquaintance with iron and its use, for which they were not
indebted to Cook, is another proof that this people had known the
Spaniards, to whom the discovery of the group is probably due.

The welcome accorded to La Perouse was most cordial, in spite of the
military force by which he had thought proper to protect himself.
Although the French were the first to land on Monee Island, La Perouse
did not think it his duty to take possession.

"The usual European custom in such matters," he says, "is perfectly
ridiculous. Philosophers may well sigh when they see men, simply
because they have guns and bayonets, thinking nothing of sixty
thousand of their fellow-men, and, without the least respect for the
most sacred rights, looking upon a land whose inhabitants have
cultivated it in the sweat of the brow, and whose ancestors lie buried
there, as an object fit for conquest."

La Perouse does not pause to give any details about the inhabitants of
the Sandwich Islands. He only passed a few hours there, whilst the
English remained for four months. He therefore rightly refers to
Captain Cook's narrative.

During their short stay the French bought more than a hundred pigs,
mats, fruits, a pirogue, ornaments made of feathers and shells, and
handsome helmets decorated with feathers.

The instructions furnished La Perouse before his departure enjoined
him to survey the American coast, of which a portion, extending to
Mount Elias had, with the exception of Nootka port, been merely
sighted by Captain Cook.

On the 23rd of June he reached 60 degrees N. lat., and, in the midst
of a long chain of snow-covered mountains, recognized the Mount Elias
of Behring. After skirting along the coast for some time, La Perouse
sent three boats, under command of one of his officers, M. de Monte,
who discovered a large bay, to which he gave his name.

Following the coast at a short distance, surveys were taken, which
were uninterrupted as far as an important river, which received the
name of Behring. Apparently it was that to which Cook had given this

Upon the 2nd of July, in 58 degrees 36 minutes lat., and 140 degrees 3
minutes long., what appeared to be a fine bay was discovered. Boats,
under command of MM. de Pierrevert, de Flassan, and Boutevilliers,
were sent to examine it.

Their report being favourable, the two frigates arrived at the
entrance of the bay, but the _Astrolabe_ was driven back to the open
sea by a strong current, and the _Boussole_ was forced to join her. At
six o'clock in the morning, after a night passed under sail, the
vessels again approached the bay. "But," says the narrative, "at seven
in the morning, when we were close to it, the wind veered so suddenly
to W.N.W. and N.N.W., that we were forced to give way, and even to
bring our ships to the wind. Fortunately the tide carried our frigates
into the bay, and we escaped the rocks on the east by half a pistol's
range. I anchored in three and a half fathoms, with a rocky bottom,
half a cable's length from shore. The _Astrolabe_ had anchored in the
same depth, and upon a similar bottom. In all the thirty years I have
spent at sea, I have never seen two vessels in greater danger. Our
situation would have been safe had we not anchored upon a rocky bottom,
which extended several cables' length around us, and which was
different from what MM. de Flasson and Boutevilliers had reported. We
had no time to make reflections; it was above everything necessary to
get out of our dangerous anchorage, to which the rapidity of the
current was a great obstacle." However, by dint of much skilful
tacking, La Perouse succeeded.

Ever since their entry into the bay the vessels had been surrounded by
pirogues swarming with savages. The natives showed a decided
preference for iron, in exchange for fish and the skins of otters and
other animals. After a few days' stay their number increased rapidly,
and they became, if not dangerous, at least a nuisance.

La Perouse established an observatory upon one of the islands in the
bay, and set up tents for the sail makers and smiths. Although these
posts were most carefully watched, the natives, gliding along the
ground like snakes, scarcely stirring a leaf, managed in spite of our
sentinels to commit various thefts; and one night they were clever
enough to enter the tent where MM. de Launston and Darbaud (who were
in charge of the observatory) slept. They carried off a silver-mounted
gun, as well as the clothes belonging to the two officers, who had
placed them for safety under their pillows. They escaped the notice of
a guard of twelve men, and the two officers were not even awakened.

[Illustration: Typical native of the Port des Français.]

But now the stay of the expedition in this port drew to a close. The
soundings, surveys, plans, and astronomical observations were
completed; but, before finally leaving the island, La Perouse wished
thoroughly to explore the depths of the bay. He imagined that some
large river must empty itself into it, which would enable him to
penetrate into the interior; but in all the openings he entered he
found only vast glaciers, which extended to the very summit of Fair
Weather Mount.

No accident or sickness marred the success which had so far attended
the expedition.

"We thought ourselves," says La Perouse, "the most fortunate of
navigators, for having reached so great a distance from Europe without
having had one invalid or a single sufferer from scurvy. But the
greatest misfortune, and one it was impossible to foresee, now awaited

Upon the chart of the Port des Français, drawn up by MM. Monneron and
Bernizet, the soundings alone remained to be indicated. The naval
officers were bound to accomplish the task, and three boats, under the
orders of MM. d'Escures, de Marchainville, and Boutin, were selected
for the undertaking. La Perouse, acquainted with the somewhat rash
zeal of M. d'Escures, advised him on the eve of departure to act with
most careful prudence, and only to attempt the soundings in the
channel if the sea were smooth.

The boats left at six o'clock in the morning. It was as much a party
of pleasure as of duty, as the crews were to hunt, and breakfast under
the trees.

"At ten in the morning," says La Perouse, "I saw our little boat
return. Somewhat surprised, for I had not expected it so soon, I asked
M. Boutin, before he came on deck, whether he had any news. At first I
feared an attack from the natives, and M. Boutin's expression was not
calculated to reassure me, for it was profoundly sad.

"He soon related to me the terrible disaster he had just witnessed,
and from which he had escaped by the presence of mind which enabled
him to see the best course to pursue in the dreadful peril. Carried,
whilst following his commander, into the midst of breakers caused by
the tide rushing with a speed of three or four leagues per hour out of
the channel, he thought he could place his boat stern on the breakers;
the boat yielding to their force, and being impelled by the tide,
would not fill, but would be carried safely outside.

"Soon, however, he saw breakers ahead of his boat, and found himself
in the open sea. More concerned for the safety of his companions than
for his own, he again approached the breakers, and in the hope of
saving some life he again braved them, but was repulsed by the tide;
finally, he mounted on M. Mouton's shoulder, in the hope of finding a
wider opening. All was in vain; everything had been swallowed up, and
M. Boutin returned with the ebb of the tide.

"The sea becoming quieter, this officer had still some hope of finding
the boat of the _Astrolabe_; he had only witnessed the loss of ours. M.
de Marchainville was now a quarter of a mile from the danger, that is
to say, in a sea as still as the quietest harbour; but, impelled by an
imprudent generosity--for all help was quite impossible under the
circumstances--this rash young officer, being too high-spirited and
too courageous to pause in presence of his friends' danger, flew to
their help, threw himself among the breakers, and, a victim to his
imprudence and disregard of his chief's orders, perished with him.

"M. de Langle shortly after came on board my ship, as much overcome as
myself, and informed me with tears that the misfortune was even
greater than I had supposed. We had always made a point, ever since
leaving France, of never allowing the two brothers, M. la Borde
Marchainville and M. la Borde Boutevilliers, to go on the same service,
but on this one occasion he had yielded, as they desired to hunt
together; and it was almost wholly on this account that we had, both
of us, directed our boats in the way we did, thinking there was as
little danger as there is in Brest Harbour in fine weather.

"Several boats were at once despatched in search of the shipwrecked
crew. Rewards were offered to the natives if they saved any one; but
the return of the sloops destroyed all hope. All had perished."

[Illustration: Shipwreck of French boats outside the Port des Français.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

Eighteen days after this catastrophe, the two frigates left the Port
des Français. La Perouse erected a monument to the memory of his
unfortunate countrymen, in the middle of the bay, on an island which
he called the Cenotaph. It bore the following inscription:--

   "At the entrance of this port, twenty-one brave sailors perished.
        Whoever you are, mingle your tears with ours."

A bottle, containing an account of this deplorable accident, was
buried at the foot of the monument.

The Port des Français, which is situated in 58 degrees 37 minutes N.
lat., and 139 degrees 50 minutes W. long., presents many advantages,
but also many inconveniences--foremost amongst them the currents of
the channel. The climate is much milder than in Hudson's Bay, which is
in the same latitude. The vegetation is vigorous; pines six feet in
girth, and a hundred and forty in height, are not rare. Celery, sorrel,
lupine, wild pea, chicory, and mimulus are met with in every direction,
as well as many pot-herbs, the use of which helped to keep the crews
in health.

The sea supplied abundance of salmon, trout, cod, and plaice.

In the woods are found black and brown bears, the lynx, ermine, weasel,
minever, squirrel, marmot, beaver, fox, elk, and the wild goat. The
most precious skins are those of the otter, wolf, and sea-bear.

"But if the vegetable and animal productions of this country," says La
Perouse, "are similar to those of many others, its aspect cannot be
compared with them, and I doubt whether the deep valleys of the Alps
and Pyrenees offer so terrible, and at the same time so picturesque, a
prospect. Were it not at one of the extremities of the world, it
should be visited by every one."

As to the inhabitants, La Perouse gives an account of them which is
worth preserving.

"The Indians in their pirogues surrounded our frigates, hovering about
for three or four hours before beginning to exchange a few fish, or
two or three otter skins; they seized every opportunity of robbing us;
they tore off all the iron which could be easily carried away, and
they took every precaution to elude our vigilance at night. I invited
some of the principal personages on board my frigate, and loaded them
with presents; and the very men I distinguished in this manner did not
scruple to steal a nail or an old pair of trousers. Whenever they
assumed a particularly lively and pleasant air, I was convinced that
they had committed a theft, and I often pretended not to see it."

The women make an opening in the thick part of the lower lip, the
whole length of the jaw. They wear a sort of wooden bowl without a
handle, which rests on the gums, "to which this split lip forms an
outer cushion, in such a way that the lower part of the mouth
protrudes some two or three inches."

The forced stay which La Perouse had just made in Port des Français
prevented his stopping elsewhere and reconnoitring the indentations of
the coast, for at all hazards he was to reach China during the month
of February, in order to secure the following summer for the survey of
the coast of Tartary.

He successively reconnoitred, upon this coast, Cross Sound, where the
high snow-covered mountains cease, Cook's Island Bay, Engamio Cape,
low land partly submerged and containing Mount Hyacinthine, Mount
Edgecomb of Cook, Norfolk Sound, where the following year the English
navigator Dixon was to anchor, ports Necker and Guibert, Cape
Tschiri-Kow, Croyère Islands, so called after the brother of the
famous geographer Delisle, companion of Tschiri-Kow, the San Carlos
Islands, La Touche Bay, and Cape Hector.

La Perouse imagined that these various coast lines were formed by a
vast archipelago; and in this he was correct. They contained George
III.'s Island, Prince of Wales and Queen Charlotte's Islands--Cape
Hector forming the southern extremity of the latter.

The season was far advanced, and too short a time remained at La
Perouse's disposal to allow of his making detailed observations of
these countries; but his instinct had justly led him to imagine that
the series of points he had discovered indicated a group of islands,
and not a continent. Beyond Cape Fleurien, which formed the extremity
of an elevated island, he passed several groups, which he named
Sartines, and then returning, he reached Nootka Sound on the 25th of
August. He afterwards visited various parts of the continent which
Cook had been unable to approach, and which had left a blank on his
chart. This navigation was attended with a certain amount of danger,
on account of the currents, "which rendered it impossible to make more
than three knots an hour at a distance of five leagues from land."

Upon the 5th of September new islets were discovered, about a league
from Cape Blanco, to which the captain gave the name of Necker Islands.
The fog was very thick, and more than once the fear of running upon
some islet or rock, the existence of which could not be suspected,
obliged the vessels to deviate from the land. Until they reached
Monterey Bay the weather continued bad. At that port La Perouse found
two Spanish vessels.

At this time Monterey Bay abounded in whales, and the sea was
literally covered with pelicans, which were very common upon the
Californian coast.

A garrison of two hundred and eighty men was sufficient to keep in
order a population of fifty thousand Indians, wandering about this
part of America. It must be admitted that these Indians were usually
small and insignificant, and not endowed with that love of
independence which characterizes the northern tribes; and, unlike them,
they have no appreciation of art, and no industry.

"These Indians," says the narrative, "are very expert in the use of
the bow and arrow. They killed the smallest birds in our presence. It
is true that they approach them with wonderful patience, hiding
themselves, gliding, somehow, close to their prey, and aiming at them
only when within fifteen paces.

"Their skill in the capture of larger animals is even more wonderful.
We saw an Indian with a stag's head over his own, walking on all fours,
appearing to graze, and carrying out the pantomime with such truth to
life that our hunters would have fired at him at thirty paces had they
not been prevented. By this means the natives approach quite close to
a herd of deer, and then kill them with arrows."

[Illustration: "An Indian with a stag's head over his own."]

La Perouse gave many details of the presidency of Loretto and of the
Californian missions, but these are rather of historical interest, and
are out of place in a work of this kind. His remarks upon the
fertility of the country are more within our programme. "The harvest
of maize, barley, corn, and peas," he says, "is comparable only to
that of Chili. Our European husbandmen could not conceive of such
abundance. The most moderate yield of corn is at the rate of from
seventy and eighty to one, and the largest from sixty to a hundred."

Upon the 22nd of September the two frigates returned to sea, after a
cordial welcome from the Spanish governor and the missionaries. They
carried with them a quantity of provisions of all sorts, which would
be of the greatest value to them during the long trip to be taken
before reaching Macao.

The portion of the ocean now to be crossed by the French was almost
unknown. The Spaniards had navigated it previously, but their
political jealousy prevented their publishing the discoveries and
observations they had made. La Perouse wished to steer S.W. as far as
28 degrees lat., where some geographers had placed the island of
Nuestra Señora-de-la-Gorta.

But he looked for it in vain during a long and difficult cruise, with
contrary winds, which sorely tried the patience of the navigators.

"We were daily reminded," he says, "by the condition of our sails and
rigging, that we had been sixteen months at sea. Our ropes gave way,
and the sail makers could not repair the sails, which were fairly worn

Upon the 6th of November a small island, or rather rock, some five
hundred fathoms long, upon which not a single tree grew, and which was
thickly covered with guano, was discovered. It was named Necker Island,
and is in 166 degrees 52 minutes long. W. of Paris, and 23 degrees 34
minutes N. lat.

Never had the expedition seen a more lovely sea, or a more exquisite
night, when suddenly, at about half-past one in the morning, breakers
were perceived two cable lengths ahead of the _Boussole_. The sea,
only broken here and there by a slight ripple, was so calm that it
scarcely made any sound. The ship's course was altered immediately;
but the manoeuvre took time, and when it was accomplished the vessel
was but a cable's length off the rocks.

"We had just escaped one of the most imminent dangers to which
navigators are subject," says La Perouse, "and I must do my crews the
justice to say that less disorder and confusion in such a position
would have been impossible. The slightest neglect in the execution of
the manoeuvres which were necessary to carry us from the breakers
would have been fatal."

These rocks were unknown; it was therefore needful to determine their
exact position, for the safety of succeeding navigators. La Perouse,
after fulfilling this duty, named them the "Reef of the French

Upon the 14th of December the _Astrolabe_ and the _Boussole_ sighted
the Mariana Islands. A landing was effected upon the volcanic island
of Assumption. Here the lava had formed ravines and precipices,
bordered by a few stunted cocoa-nut trees, alternately with tropical
creepers and a few shrubs. It was almost impossible to advance a
couple of hundred yards in an hour. Landing and re-embarkation were
difficult, and the few cocoa-nut shells and bananas, of a new variety,
which the naturalists obtained, were not worth the risk.

It was impossible to remain longer in this archipelago if China were
to be reached before the vessels returned to Europe. They were to take
back an account of the results of the expedition upon the American
coast, and of the crossing to Macao.

After taking the position of the Bashees, without stopping, La Perouse
sighted the coast of China, and next day cast anchor in the roadstead
of Macao.

Here La Perouse met with a small French cutter, commanded by M. de
Richery, midshipman, whose business it was to cruise about the eastern
coast, and protect French trade.

The town of Macao is so well known that it is needless for us to give
La Perouse's description of it. The constant outrages and humiliations
to which Europeans were daily subjected under the most despotic and
cowardly government in the world, aroused the indignation of the
French captain, and made him heartily wish that an international
expedition might put a stop to so intolerable a state of things.

The furs which had been collected upon the American coasts were sold
at Macao for ten thousand piastres. The sum produced should have been
divided among the crews, and the head of the Swedish company undertook
to ship it at Mauritius; but the unfortunate sailors themselves were
never to receive the money.

Leaving Macao on the 5th of February, the vessels directed their
course to Manilla, and, after sighting the shoals of Pratas, Bulinao,
Manseloq, and Marivelle, wrongly placed upon D'Après' maps, they were
forced to put into the port of Marivelle, to wait for better winds and
more favourable currents. Although Marivelle is only one league to
windward of Cavito, three days were consumed in reaching the latter

"We found," says the narrative, "different houses where we could
repair our sails, salt our provisions, construct two boats, lodge the
naturalists and geographical engineers, and the governor kindly lent
us his own for the establishment of our observatory. We enjoyed as
much liberty as if we had been in the country; and in the market and
arsenal we found the same resources as in the best European ports."

Cavito, the second town of the Philippine islands, and the capital of
the province of the same name, was then but a miserable village, where
only Spanish military and government officers resided; but although
the town was nothing but a mass of ruins, it was none the less a port,
and afforded the French every possible resource. Upon the morrow of
his arrival La Perouse, accompanied by De Langle and his principal
officers, paid a visit to the governor, reaching Manila by boat.

"The environs of Manila are delightful," he says. "A most beautiful
river flows through it, separating into different canals, one of which
leads to the famous Bay Lake, which is distant seven leagues in the
interior, surrounded by more than a hundred Indian settlements in the
midst of a most fertile territory.

"Manila, built upon the shore of the bay of that name, which is more
than twenty-five leagues in circumference, is at the mouth of a river
navigable as far as the lake in which it rises. It is probably the
most fortunately situated town in the whole world. Provisions are
found there in the greatest profusion, and very cheap; but clothing,
European cutlery, and furniture fetch an enormous price.

"Want of competition, the prohibitive tariffs, and commercial
restrictions of every sort, tend to make the productions and
manufactured goods of India and China at least as dear as in Europe;
and although the various duties on imports bring to the treasury some
eight hundred thousand piastres, the colony costs the Spanish
government at least fifteen hundred thousand francs per annum, which
are sent from Mexico. The immense possessions of the Spanish in
America have prevented the government from bestowing much attention
upon the Philippines. They are still like the possessions of great
lords, which remain uncultivated, though they might provide fortunes
for many families.

"I do not hesitate to state, that a great nation with no colony but
the Philippine Islands, supposing that colony to be as well governed
as possible, need not envy all the European colonies in Africa and

Upon the 9th of April--after having heard of the arrival at Macao of M.
d'Entrecasteaux, who had come from Mauritius with the contrary monsoon,
and received despatches from Europe by the frigate _La Subtile_, MM.
Guyet, midshipman, and Le Gobien, naval officer, and a reinforcement
of eight sailors--the two vessels set out for the coast of China.

Upon the 21st La Perouse sighted Formosa, and at once entered the
channel which separates that island from China. He discovered a very
dangerous bank unknown to navigators, and carefully examined the
soundings and approaches. Shortly afterwards he passed in front of the
bay of the ancient Dutch fort of Zealand, where the capital of the
island, Tai-wan, is situated.

The monsoon was unfavourable for ascending the channel, and La Perouse
therefore resolved to pass to the east of the island. He rectified the
position of the Pescadores Islands, a mass of rocks which assume
various shapes, reconnoitred the small island of Botol-Tabaco-Xima,
where no navigator had landed, coasted Kinin Island, which forms part
of the kingdom of Liken, whose inhabitants are neither Chinese nor
Japanese, but appear to be of both races, and sighted Hoa-pinsu and
Tiaoy-su Islands. The latter form part of the Liken Archipelago, known
only through the letters of Father Goubil, a Jesuit.

The frigates then entered the Eastern Sea, and directed their course
to the channel which divides China and Japan. La Perouse there
encountered fogs as thick as those which prevail upon the coast of
Labrador, with variable and violent currents. The first point of
interest before entering the Sea of Japan was Quelpaert Island, first
made known to Europeans by the shipwreck of the _Sparrow Hawk_ upon
its coast in 1635. La Perouse determined its southerly extremity, and
surveyed it for a distance of twelve leagues.

"It is scarcely possible," he says, "to find an island of pleasanter
aspect. A peak of about four thousand five hundred feet high, visible
at a distance of eighteen or twenty leagues, rises in the centre of
the island; the land slopes gently from thence to the sea, so that the
houses look like an amphitheatre. The soil seemed to be highly
cultivated. By the aid of our glasses we clearly made out the
divisions of the fields. They are in very small allotments, which
augurs a large population. The different shades of the various
cultivated patches give a very agreeable variety to the view."

The explorers had ample opportunity for taking the longitude and
latitude, which was the more important, as no European vessel had
navigated these seas, which were only indicated upon the maps in
accordance with the Chinese and Japanese maps published by the Jesuits.

Upon the 25th of May the frigates entered the channel of Corea, which
was minutely explored, and in which soundings were taken every half

As it was possible to keep close in shore, it was easy to observe some
fortifications in the European style, and to note all their details.

On the 27th an island was perceived which was not to be found upon any
map, and which seemed to be about twenty leagues distant from the
coast of Corea. It received the name of Dagelet Island.

The course was now directed towards Japan, but it was very slow, on
account of the contrary winds that prevailed.

On the 6th of June Cape Noto and the island of Tsus Sima were

"Cape Noto, upon the Japanese coast," says La Perouse, "is a point on
which geographers may rely. Reckoning from it to Cape Kona on the
eastern coast, the position of which was determined by Captain King,
the width of the northern half of the empire may be ascertained. Our
observations have the greater value for geographers as they determine
the width of the Gulf of Tartary, to which I now directed my course."

[Illustration: Map of the coast of Asia, after the map of La Pérouse's
voyage published by General Millet-Mureau.]

Upon the 11th of June La Perouse sighted Tartary. He made land
precisely at the boundary between the Corea and Manchuria. The
mountains appeared to be six or seven thousand feet high. A small
quantity of snow was visible on the summits. No trace of inhabitants
or cultivation could be seen; nor was any river's mouth found upon a
length of coast extending for forty leagues. A halt would have been
desirable, to enable the naturalists and lithologists to make

"Up to the 14th of June the coast had run to the N.E. by N. We were
now in 44 degrees lat., and had reached the degree which geographers
assign for the so-called Strait of Tessoy, but we were five degrees
farther west than the longitude given for this spot. These five
degrees should be taken from Tartary, and added to the channel which
separates it from the islands north of Japan."

Whilst coasting along this shore no sign of habitation had been
perceived--not a pirogue left the shore. The country, although covered
with magnificent trees and luxuriant vegetation, appeared to be

On the 23rd of June the _Boussole_ and the _Astrolabe_ cast anchor in
a bay situated in 45 degrees 13 minutes N. lat. and 135 degrees 9
minutes E. long. It was named Ternay Bay.

"We burned with impatience," say La Perouse, "to reconnoitre this land,
which had occupied our imagination ever since we left France. It was
the only portion of the globe which had escaped the indefatigable
activity of Captain Cook; and perhaps we owe the small advantage of
having first landed there to the sad event which ended his days.

"This roadstead was formed of five little creeks, separated one from
the other by hillocks covered with trees of a more delicate and varied
green than is to be seen in France in the brightest spring. Before our
boats reached the shore, our glasses had been directed to the coast,
but we perceived nothing but stags and bears, quietly grazing. Our
impatience to disembark increased at the sight. The ground was
carpeted with plants similar to those of our climate, but more
vigorous and green; most of them were in flower. At every step we
found roses, red and yellow lilies, lilies of the valley, and almost
all our field flowers. The summits of the mountains were crowned with
pines, and oak-trees grew half way up, decreasing in size and vigour
as they neared the sea. The rivers and streams were planted with
willows, birches, and maples; and skirting the larger woods we saw
apple-trees and azaroles in full bloom, as well as clumps of nut-trees,
the fruit of which was beginning to form."

Upon returning from a fishing excursion the French met with a Tartar
tomb. Curiosity induced them to open it, and they found in it two
skeletons, lying side by side. The heads were covered with stuff caps,
the bodies were wrapped in bearskins, and from the waists hung several
little Chinese coins and copper ornaments. They also found
half-a-score of silver bracelets, an iron hatchet, a knife, and other
things, amongst which was a small bag of blue nankeen filled with rice.

Upon the morning of the 27th La Perouse left this solitary bay, after
depositing there several medals, with an inscription giving the date
of his arrival.

A little further on, more than eight hundred cod, which were at once
salted, were caught, and an immense quantity of oysters with superb
mother of pearl were also obtained.

After a stay in Saffren Bay, situated in 47 degrees 51 minutes N. lat.
and 137 degrees 25 minutes E. long., La Perouse discovered, upon the
6th of July, an island, which was no other than Saghalien. The shore
here was as wooded as that of Tartary. Lofty mountains arose in the
interior, the highest of which was called Lamanon peak. As huts and
smoke were seen, M. de Langle and several officers landed. The
inhabitants had recently fled, for the ashes of their fires were
scarcely cold.

Just as the French were re-embarking, after leaving some presents for
the natives, a pirogue landed seven natives, who showed no signs of

"Amongst them," says the narrative, "were two old men with long white
beards, dressed in stuff made from the bark of trees, very like the
cotton drawers worn in Madagascar. Two of the seven natives had coats
of padded nankeen, differing little in shape from those of the Chinese.
Others wore long gowns, which were fastened by means of a waist-belt
and some little buttons, so that they had no need of drawers. Their
heads were bare, but one or two of them wore bearskin bands. They had
their forelocks and faces shaven, but the back hair kept about eight
or ten inches long, in a different fashion from the Chinese, however,
who leave only a round tuft of hair, which they call 'pen-t-sec.' All
had sealskin boots with the feet artistically worked _à la Chinoise_.

"Their weapons were bows, spears, and arrows, tipped with iron. The
oldest of the natives, to whom the others showed the most respect, had
his eyes in a dreadful state; he wore a shade round his head, to
protect them from the sun. These natives were grave in manner, and

M. de Langle appointed a meeting for the morrow. La Perouse and most
of his officers attended. The facts they learned about these Tartars
were important, and decided La Perouse to pursue his discoveries
further north.

"We succeeded in making them understand," he says, "that we wished
them to draw their country, and that of Manchuria. One of the old men
then arose, and with the point of his spear traced the coast of
Tartary westward, running nearly N. and S. To the east, _vis-à-vis_ in
the same direction, he represented his island, and, placing his hand
upon his breast, made us understand that he had indicated his own
country. He left an opening between his island and Tartary, and,
pointing to our vessels, showed us by signs that they could pass
through it. At the south island he delineated another, and left a
second opening, indicating that this too was a route for our ships.

"His quickness in understanding us was great, but not equal to that of
another islander, about thirty years of age, who, seeing that the
figures traced on sand were rubbed out, took one of our pencils and
some paper. He traced out his island, which he called Tchoka, and made
a line for the little river upon the shore of which we were--placing
it two-thirds of the length of the island from north to south. He then
drew Manchuria, leaving, as the old man had done, a strait at the
extreme end; and to our surprise he added the river Saghalien, the
name of which the natives pronounce like ourselves. He placed the
mouth of this river a little to the south of the northerly point of
his island.

"We afterwards wished to ascertain whether this strait was very wide.
We tried to make him understand our idea. He caught at it at once, and,
placing his two hands upright at a distance of three inches one from
the other, he made us understand that he meant to indicate the width
of the little river which formed our watering place; and then, holding
them wider apart, he indicated that the second width was to represent
that of the river Saghalien; and, separating them still more, he gave
the breadth of the strait which divides his country from Tartary.

"M. de Langle and I thought it of the greatest importance to ascertain
whether the island we were coasting was that to which geographers had
given the name of Saghalien, without guessing its extension southwards.
I ordered all hands on board, and prepared to sail in the morning. The
bay in which we had anchored received the name of Langle, from the
captain who discovered it, and was the first to put foot on land.

"In another bay upon the same shore, called Estaing Bay, the boats
landed close to ten or twelve huts. They were larger than those we
before had seen, and were divided into two rooms. That at the back
contained the stove, cooking utensils, and the bench running all round.
That in front was absolutely bare, and probably destined for the
reception of strangers. The women fled when they saw the French land.
Two of them, however, were caught, and, whilst they were being
re-assured, time was found to sketch them. Their faces were peculiar,
but pleasant; they had small eyes and thick lips, the upper one being
painted or tattooed."

[Illustration: He traced the coast of Tartary.]

M. de Langle found the natives gathered about four boats, that were
loaded with smoked fish, which they were helping to put in water. They
were Manchurians, from the shores of Saghalien River. In the corner of
the island was a kind of circus, planted with fifteen or twenty stakes,
each surmounted by the head of a bear. It was supposed, not without
some show of reason, that these trophies were intended to perpetuate
the memory of a victory over this wild beast.

Quantities of cod-fish were obtained upon this coast; and at the mouth
of the river a prodigious quantity of salmon was caught. After
reconnoitring the bay of La Jonquière, La Perouse cast anchor in
Casters Bay. His water supply was nearly exhausted, and he had no more
wood. The further he penetrated into the strait which separates
Saghalien from the continent, the more the depth diminished. La
Perouse, recognizing that he could not double the island of Saghalien
by the north, and afraid of not being able to leave the defile in
which he now found himself excepting by the strait of Sangaar, which
was much further south, determined to remain only five days in Casters
Bay, a period which he absolutely needed to take in provisions.

The observatory was set up in a small island, while the carpenters cut
down wood, and the sailors filled the water-barrels.

"The huts of these islanders, who call themselves Orotchys," says the
narrative, "are surrounded by a drying ground for salmon, which were
exposed to the sun upon perches, after having been smoked for three or
four days at the stove which is in the centre of the hut. The women
who have charge of this operation take them, as soon as they are
smoked through, into the open air, where they become as hard as wood.

"The natives joined us in our fishing with nets or hooks, and we saw
them voraciously devouring the head, gills, and sometimes the skin, of
raw salmon, tearing it up very cleverly. They sucked out the mucilage,
much as we eat oysters. Their fish seldom reach the shore without
having first paid toll, unless the catch is very large; and the women
show the same eagerness to seize upon the whole fish, and in the same
ravenous way devour the mucilaginous parts, which appear to be their

"These people are revoltingly dirty. It would be impossible to find a
race farther removed from our ideas of beauty. In height they are less
than four foot ten, their bodies are emaciated, their voices are weak
and shrill like children's. They have projecting cheek-bones, bleared
and sunken eyes, large mouths, flat noses, short and almost beardless
chins, and olive skins, shining with oil and smoke. They allow their
hair to grow long, and dress it somewhat in the European style. The
women wear it loose over their shoulders, and the description we have
given applies to them as well as to the men, from whom they are
scarcely to be distinguished, except for a slight difference in their
apparel. The women are not subject to any labour, which, as in the
case of the American Indians, might have accounted for the inelegance
of their appearance. All their time is occupied in cutting out and
making their clothes, in drying fish and nursing their children, whom
they suckle to the age of three or four years. It rather astonished me
to see a child of this age, who had been shooting with bow and arrows,
beating a dog, &c., throw himself upon his mother's bosom, and take
the place of an infant of five or six months who was lying asleep upon
her knees."

[Illustration: Typical Orotchys. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

The Bitchys and the Orotchys confirmed much of the information which
La Perouse had already obtained. From them he ascertained that the
northern point of Saghalien was connected with the continent merely by
a sand-bank, on which grew seaweed, and where there was but little

This concurrence of testimony left no room for doubt, especially as he
never found more than six fathoms in the canal. There remained but one
point of interest to determine, and that was the survey of the
southern point of Saghalien, which he had only explored as far as
Langle Bay in 47 degrees 49 minutes.

Upon the 2nd of August the _Astrolabe_ and the _Boussole_ left Casters
Bay, and returned southwards, successively discovering and
reconnoitring Monneron Island and Langle Peak, doubling the southern
point of Saghalien called Cape Crillon, which led to a strait between
Oku-Jesso and Jesso; this they named after La Perouse. Hitherto the
geography of this part of the world had been most fanciful and
imaginary. Sansen was of opinion that Corea was an island, and that
Jesso, Oku-Jesso, and Kamtchatka existed only in imagination; whilst
Delisle insisted that Jesso and Oku-Jesso were merely an island,
ending at Sangaar Strait; and lastly, Buache, in his "Considérations
Géographiques," page 105, says, "Jesso, after being placed first in
the east, then in the south, and finally in the west, was at last
found to be in the north."

To this confusion the discoveries of the French expedition were
destined to put an end.

La Perouse had some intercourse with the natives of Crillon Cape, and
stated that they were handsome men, far more industrious than the
Orotchys of Casters Bay, but less liberal in their dealings.

"They have," he says, "one most important article of commerce--unknown
in the channel of Tartary--from which they derive their riches, namely,
whale oil. Of this they collect considerable quantities. They extract
it in a way which is far from economical. They cut the flesh into
pieces, and dry it upon a slope in the open air, by exposing it to the
sun. The oil which flows from it is caught in vessels made of bark, or
into bottles of dried sealskin."

After sighting the Cape Arniva of the Dutch, the vessels coasted along
the barren, treeless, uninhabited country in possession of the Dutch
Company, and shortly reached the Kurile Islands. They then passed
between Marikon Island and the Island of the Four Brothers, calling
the strait--the finest amongst the Kurile Islands, through which they
penetrated--La Boudeuse.

On the 3rd of September the coast of Kamtchatka was reached. This
coast was uninviting enough. "There the eyes rest painfully, and often
fearfully, upon enormous masses of rock, which are already covered
with snow in the beginning of September, and which never appear to
have had any vegetation."

Three days later Avatscha Bay, or the Bay of Saint Peter and Saint
Paul, was reached. The astronomers at once proceeded to take
observations; the naturalists made the perilous and arduous ascent of
a volcano, some eight leagues inland; whilst those of the crew who
were not engaged upon the vessels gave themselves up to hunting and
fishing. Thanks to the welcome accorded by the governor, their
pleasures were varied.

"We were invited," says La Perouse, "to a ball which the governor
wished to give to all the women, whether from Kamtchatka or Russia. If
the ball was not large, it was at least mixed. Thirteen females,
clothed in silk, ten of whom were natives of Kamtchatka, with large
faces, small eyes, and flat noses, were seated upon benches round the
room. Both they and the Russians wore silk handkerchiefs wrapped round
the head, in a way similar to those worn by mulattoes. The ball opened
with Russian dances, the airs for which were very lively, and like
those of the Cossack dances given a short time since in Paris. These
were followed by Kamtchatka dances, which were comparable only to the
convulsionists of the famous tomb of Saint Médard. The dancers of this
part of Asia scarcely require legs, they make such vigorous use of the
shoulders and arms. The impression made upon the spectators by the
convulsive and contorted movements of the Kamtchatka dancers is
painful, and is rendered more so by a pitiful cry which escapes them
at intervals, and which is the sole music by which they measure their
time. The exertions they made are so formidable that they are
completely covered with sweat, and at the conclusion they lie upon the
ground unable to move a limb. The exhalations from their bodies
permeate the atmosphere with the smell of fish and oil, so strong as
to be disagreeable to the unaccustomed nostrils of Europeans."

The arrival of a courier from Okotsk interrupted the ball. The news he
brought was pleasant for every one, but particularly for La Perouse,
who learned that he was promoted.

During their stay in this port, the navigators found the tomb of Louis
Delisle de la Croyère, Member of the Academy of Sciences, who died in
Kamtchatka in 1741, upon his return from an expedition undertaken by
command of the Czar for the survey of the American coast. His
fellow-countrymen honoured his memory by placing an engraved copper
slab over his grave. They paid the same homage to Captain Clerke,
Captain Cook's second in command, and successor.

"Avatscha Bay," says La Perouse, "is certainly the best, most
commodious, and safest to be found in any part of the world. The
entrance is narrow, and forts might easily be constructed to command
vessels entering it. The anchorage is excellent, the bottom muddy; and
two large harbours, one on the eastern shore and one on the west,
would hold all the vessels of the French and English navy."

The _Boussole_ and the _Astrolabe_ set sail upon the 29th of September,
1787. M. de Lesseps, Vice-Consul for Russia, who had accompanied La
Perouse thus far upon his expedition, was charged to return to France
by land (at that time a most perilous journey), and to convey
despatches from the expedition to the government.

The question now arose of finding land discovered in 1620 by the
Spaniards. The two frigates passed south of 37 degrees 30 minutes some
three hundred leagues, without finding any trace of it. Crossing the
line for the third time, they passed the site given by Byron as that
of the Dangerous Islands, without finding them; and, upon the 6th of
December, entered the Navigator Archipelago, the merit of discovering
which belongs to Bougainville. The vessels were at once surrounded by
pirogues. The natives who manned them did not give La Perouse a very
favourable idea of the beauty of the inhabitants.

"I saw but two women," he says, "and they had no delicacy of feature;
the younger, who may have been eighteen years of age, had a frightful
ulcer upon her leg. Many of these islanders were covered with sores,
which may have been the commencement of leprosy; for I noticed two men,
whose ulcerated and swollen legs left no doubt as to their malady.
They approached us fearlessly and unarmed, and appeared as peaceable
as the natives of the Society or Friendly Islands."

Upon the 9th of December anchor was cast off Maouna Island. Next day
the weather was so promising that La Perouse resolved to land to take
in water, and then set sail at once, as the anchorage was too bad to
admit of a second night's stay. Every precaution having been taken, La
Perouse landed, and proceeded to the spot where his sailors were
obtaining water. Captain Langle penetrated to a small creek about a
league from the watering place, "and this excursion, from which he
returned delighted with the beauty of the village he had seen, was, as
will be seen, the cause of our misfortunes."

Upon the shore, meantime, a brisk trade was going on. Men and women
sold hens, parrots, fruits, and pigs. At the same time a native,
getting into one of the sloops, possessed himself of a hammer, and
commenced dealing vigorous blows upon a sailor's back. He was speedily
seized by four strong fellows, and thrown into the sea.

La Perouse penetrated into the interior, accompanied by women, old men,
and children. He enjoyed a delightful excursion through a charming
country, which rejoiced in the double advantage of a soil which
required no culture, and a climate in which clothing was superfluous.

"Bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, bananas, guavas, and oranges afforded a
wholesome and sufficient nourishment to the inhabitants; while
chickens, pigs, and dogs, which lived upon the surplus fruits,
afforded the necessary change of diet.

"The first visit passed over without serious danger. There were a few
quarrels, it is true; but, thanks to the prudence and reserve of the
French, who kept on their guard, they did not amount to anything
serious. La Perouse had given orders to re-embark, when M. de Langle
insisted upon sending for a few more casks of water.

"He had adopted Captain Cook's views: he thought fresh water
preferable to all other things which he had on board; and as some of
his crew showed signs of scurvy, he was right in thinking that every
help should be given them."

La Perouse from the first had a presentiment against consenting. But
he yielded when M. de Langle persisted that a captain is responsible
for the health of his crew, that the spot which he named was perfectly
safe, that he himself would command the expedition, and that three
hours would suffice for the work.

"M. de Langle," says the narrative, "was a man of so much judgment,
that his representation influenced my decision more than anything else.

"Next day two boats, under command of M. Boutin and M. Mouton,
conveying all the sufferers from scurvy, under charge of six armed
soldiers and a captain, in all twenty-eight men, left the _Astrolabe_,
to be under M. de Langle's orders. M. de Langle was accompanied in his
boat by M. de Lauranon and M. Collinet, who were invalids, and M. de
Varignas, who was convalescent. M. de Gobien commanded the sloop, M.
de la Martinière, M. Lavant, and the elder Receveur, were amongst the
thirty-three persons sent by the _Boussole_. The entire force amounted
to sixty-one, and those the picked men of the expedition.

"M. de Langle ordered every one to be armed with guns, and six
swivel-guns were placed in the sloop. M. de Langle and all his
companions were greatly surprised when, instead of a large and
commodious bay, they found a creek filled with coral, which it was
only possible to reach through a tortuous channel, where the surf
broke violently. M. de Langle had only seen this bay at high tide, and
as soon as this new sight met his view his first idea was to regain
the former watering-place.

"But the friendly appearance of the natives, the number of women and
children he observed among them, the quantities of pigs and fruit they
offered for sale, put his prudent resolutions to flight.

"The water-casks of the four boats were landed quietly, the soldiers
keeping order upon the shore, and forming a barrier which left a free
space for the workers. But this peaceful condition of affairs did not
last long. Many of the pirogues, having disposed of their wares to our
vessels, returned to the shore, and, landing in the bay of our
watering-place, it was soon entirely filled by them. In place of the
two hundred natives, counting women and children, whom De Langle had
found an hour and a half previously, there were now, at the end of
three hours, a thousand or twelve hundred.

"M. de Langle's situation became more perilous every moment. He
succeeded, however, seconded by M. de Varignas, M. Boutin, M. Collier,
and Gobien, in embarking the water-casks. But the bay was almost dry,
and he could not hope to get his boats off before four o'clock in the
afternoon. However, followed by his detachment, he attempted it, and,
leading the way with his gun and the soldiers, he forbade firing until
he should give the order.

"He felt that he would soon be forced to fire. Already stones were
flying; and the Indians who were in shallow water surrounded the
sloops for a distance of at least two hundred yards. The soldiers who
were already in the boats tried in vain to drive them back.

"M. de Langle was anxious to avoid beginning hostilities, and fearful
of being accused of barbarity; otherwise he would, no doubt, have
ordered a general discharge, which would effectually have scattered
the multitude. But he believed he could subdue the natives without
bloodshed, and he was the victim of his humanity.

"Very soon a storm of stones, thrown at short distances with the force
of a sling, struck almost all who were in the sloop. M. de Langle had
only time to discharge his gun. He was thrown over, and unfortunately
fell outside the sloop. He was at once massacred by more than two
hundred Indians, who assailed him with clubs and stones. As soon as he
expired they fastened him by one arm to the sloop, no doubt with a
view to despoiling the body.

"The sloop of _La Boussole_, under M. Boutin, was run aground within
four yards of that of the _Astrolabe_, and parallel between them was a
narrow channel not yet occupied by the Indians. By this outlet, all
the wounded who were fortunate enough to avoid falling into the open
sea, escaped by swimming. They reached our boats, which fortunately
had remained afloat, and we succeeded in saving forty-nine out of the
sixty-one men who had composed the expedition.

"M. Boutin had imitated M. de Langle. He would not fire, and only gave
orders for a discharge after his commander's shot. Naturally, at the
short distance of four or five paces, every shot killed an Indian; but
there was no time to re-load. M. Boutin was knocked down by a stone,
and fortunately fell between the two stranded boats. Those who had
escaped by swimming towards the two boats had received many wounds,
mostly on the head; whilst those who, less fortunate, had fallen
overboard upon the side near the Indians, were killed instantaneously.

"The safety of forty-nine of the crew is due to the good order which M.
de Varignas was wise enough to maintain, and to the punctuality with
which M. Mouton, who commanded the boats of the _Boussole_, carried
out his orders.

"The boat belonging to the _Astrolabe_ was so overloaded that it
grounded. The natives at once decided to harass the wounded in their
retreat. They hastened in great numbers towards the reefs, within six
feet of which the boats must necessarily pass. The little ammunition
which remained was exhausted upon these savages, and the boats at last
emerged from the creek."

La Perouse's first idea was naturally to avenge the death of his
unfortunate companions; but M. de Boutin, who, although severely
wounded, retained all his faculties, begged him to desist,
representing to him that if by any mishap one of the boats ran aground,
the creek was so situated, being bordered with trees which afforded
secure shelter to the natives, that not a Frenchman would come back
alive. La Perouse remained for two days upon the scene of this
terrible disaster, without being able to gratify the vindictive
desires of his crew.

"No doubt," says La Perouse, "it will appear incredible that during
this time five or six pirogues left the shore, bringing pigs, pigeons,
and cocoa-nuts, and offering them in exchange. I was forced to control
myself, or I should have disposed of these natives summarily enough."

It may readily be supposed that an event which deprived La Perouse of
a large number of officers, and of thirty-two of his best sailors, was
calculated to upset the plans of the expedition. At the slightest
approach of danger it would now be necessary to destroy one frigate,
in order to arm the other. But one course remained for La Perouse--to
set sail for Botany Bay, reconnoitring the various islands he passed,
and taking their astronomical positions.

Upon the 14th of December, Oyolava, another island belonging to the
same group, and which Bougainville had seen from a distance, was
sighted. It was larger than Tahiti, and exceeded that island in beauty,
fertility, and in the number of its inhabitants.

The natives resembled those of Maouna in every particular, and quickly
surrounded the two frigates, offering the multifarious productions of
their island. It appeared that the French must have been the first to
trade with them, for they were quite unacquainted with the use or
value of iron, and preferred a single coloured bead to a hatchet, or a
nail six inches long.

Some of the women had pleasant features and elegant figures; their
eyes were gentle, and their movements quiet, whilst the men were wild
and fierce in appearance.

Pola Island, also belonging to the Navigator Archipelago, was passed
upon the 17th of December. Probably the news of the massacre of the
French had already reached this people, for no pirogue approached the

Cocoa-nut Island and Schouten's Traitor Island were recognized upon
the 20th of December. The latter is divided by a strait, which the
navigators would not have perceived, had they not coasted close in
shore. About a score of natives appeared, bringing the finest
cocoa-nuts La Perouse had ever seen, with a few bananas and one small

These islands, which Wallis calls Boscawen and Keppel Islands, and
which he places 1 degree 13 minutes too far west, may also be
considered part of the Navigator Archipelago. La Perouse considers the
natives of this group as belonging to the finest Polynesian race. Tall,
vigorous, and well-formed, they are of finer type than those of the
Sandwich Islands, whose language is very similar to theirs. Under
other circumstances, the captain would have proceeded to explore
Oyolava and Pola Islands; but the memory of the disaster at Maouna was
too recent, and he dreaded another encounter which might end in

"Painful associations," he says, "met us with every succeeding island.
In the Recreation Islands, east of the Navigator Archipelago,
Roggewein's crew had been attacked and stoned to death; at Traitor
Island, which was now in sight, Schouten's crew were the victims; and
in the south was Maouna Island, where we ourselves had met with so
shocking a calamity.

"These recollections affected our way of dealing with the Indians. We
now punished every little theft and injustice severely; we
demonstrated by force of arms that flight would not save them from our
vengeance; we refused to allow them to come on board, and threatened
to punish all who did so without permission with death."

These remarks prove that La Perouse was right in preventing all
intercourse between his crews and the natives. We cannot sufficiently
praise the prudence and humanity of the commander who, in the excited
condition of his men's minds, knew how to curb the desire for

From the Navigator Islands the route was directed to the Friendly
Archipelago, which Cook had been unable to explore entirely. Upon the
27th of December, Vavao Island was discovered, one of the largest of
the group, which had not been visited by the English navigator. As
large as Tonga Tabou, it is higher, and not wanting in fresh water. La
Perouse reconnoitred many of these islands, and entered into relations
with the natives, who, however, did not offer sufficient provisions to
make it worth his while to trade. He therefore resolved upon the 1st
of January, 1788, to go to Botany Bay, following a route not yet
attempted by any navigator.

Pilstaart Island, discovered by Tasman--or rather, the rock of
Pilstaart, for its entire length is but a quarter of a
league--presents but a steep and broken appearance, and serves only as
a resting-place for sea birds. On this account La Perouse, having no
reason for remaining, wished to hasten on to New Holland; but there
was another power to be consulted--the wind, and by it La Perouse was
detained for three days before Pilstaart.

Norfolk Island and its two islets were sighted upon the 13th of
January. La Perouse cast anchor within easy distance of shore,
intending to allow the naturalists to land, and inspect the
productions of the island; but the waves broke with such violence upon
the beach that landing was impossible. Yet Cook had landed there with
the greatest facility.

An entire day was passed in vain attempts, and was quite unproductive
of scientific results.

Next day La Perouse started afresh, and upon entering the roadstead of
Botany Bay encountered an English vessel, under command of Commodore
Phillip, who was engaged in constructing Port Jackson, the embryo of
that powerful colony which in our day, after only a quarter of a
century's growth, has attained to such a height of civilization and

Here the journal kept by La Perouse terminates. A letter, written by
him from Botany Bay, upon the 5th of February, to the Naval Minister,
informs us that he intended building two sloops, to replace those
which had been destroyed at Maouna. All his wounded, amongst them M.
Lavaux, the surgeon of the _Astrolabe_, who had been trepanned, were
perfectly recovered. M. de Clenard had assumed command of the
_Astrolabe_, and had been succeeded upon the _Boussole_ by M. de Monti.

In a letter of two days' later date, giving particulars of his
intended route, La Perouse says,--

"I shall regain the Friendly Islands, and carry out the instructions I
have received with regard to the northern portion of New Caledonia, to
Santa Cruz de Mendana, to the land south of the Arsacides of Surville,
and to the Louisiade of Bougainville, and also ascertain, if possible,
whether the latter constitutes a portion of New Guinea, or is a
separate continent. At the end of July, 1788, I shall pass between New
Guinea and New Holland by some other channel than the Endeavour; that
is to say, if there be another. During September, and the early part
of October, I propose to visit the Gulf of Carpentaria, and the
eastern coast of New Holland, as far as Van Diemen's Land, so as to
allow of my return to the north in time to arrive at Mauritius in the
beginning of December, 1788."

Not only did La Perouse fail to keep the rendezvous he himself
appointed, but two entire years passed away, and no news whatever of
his expedition were received.

Although at that epoch France was passing through a terrible crisis,
the interest of the public in the fate of La Perouse was so intense
that it found vent in an appeal to the National Assembly from the
members of the Society of Natural History in Paris. Upon the 9th of
February, 1791, a decree was passed enjoining the fitting out of two
or more armed vessels, to be sent in search of La Perouse. It was
argued, that had shipwreck overtaken the expedition a number of the
crews might still survive, and that it was only just to carry help to
them as soon as possible. Men of science, naturalists, and draughtsmen,
were to take part in the expedition, with the view to obtaining
valuable information for navigation, geography, and commerce, as well
as for the arts and sciences. Such were the terms of the decree to
which we have alluded.

The command of the expedition was entrusted to Vice-admiral Bruny
d'Entrecasteaux, who had attracted the attention of government by his
conduct in India. Two vessels, the _Recherche_, and the _Espérance_,
the latter under the orders of M. Huon de Kermadec, ship's captain,
were placed at his command. The staff of these vessels comprised many
officers who later attained to high military positions. Amongst them
were, Rossei, Willaumez, Trobriand, La Grandière, Laignel, and Jurien.
Amongst the men of science on board were, La Billardière, naturalist,
Bertrand and Pierson, astronomers, Ventenat and Riche, naturalists,
Beautemps-Beaupré, hydrographer, and Jouveney, engineer.

The vessels were stocked with provisions for eighteen months, and a
quantity of merchandise, for trading purposes. Leaving Brest upon the
28th of September, they reached Teneriffe upon the 13th of October. An
ascent of the famous Peak followed as a matter of course. La
Billardière noticed a phenomenon which had already been observed by
him in Asia Minor: his figure was reflected upon the clouds below him,
opposite to the sun, in every colour of the rainbow.

Upon the 23rd of October, the necessary provisions having been shipped,
anchor was weighed, and the start made for the Cape. During the cruise,
La Billardière discovered that the phosphorescent appearance of the
sea is caused by minute globular animalculi, floating in the waves.
The voyage to the Cape, where the vessels arrived upon the 18th of
January, 1792, was barren of incident, if we except the unusual
quantity of bonitos, or tunny, and other fish that were met with, and
a small leakage which occurred, but was quickly remedied.

At the Cape, D'Entrecasteaux found a letter from M. de Saint Felix,
commanding the French forces in India, which seemed likely to upset
all his plans, and exercise an unfavourable influence upon the
expedition. From this communication it appeared that two French
captains, from Batavia, had stated that Commodore Hunter, in command
of the English frigate _Syrius_, had seen, "near the Admiralty Islands,
in the Pacific Ocean, men dressed in the European style, and in what
he took to be French uniforms." "It is clear," wrote M. de Saint Felix,
"that the commodore was convinced they were the remnants of La
Perouse's company."

When D'Entrecasteaux arrived at the Cape, Hunter was still in the
roadstead; but within two hours of the arrival of the French vessels
he weighed anchor. This conduct, appeared very strange. The commodore
had had time to hear that the vessels just arrived were those sent in
search of La Perouse, and yet he had made no communication to the
commander upon the subject. But it was soon ascertained that Hunter
had declared himself quite ignorant of the facts stated by M. de Saint
Felix. Were they then to be regarded as unfounded? Incredible as M. de
Saint Felix's communication appeared, D'Entrecasteaux could not
suppose so.

[Illustration: Portrait of D'Entrecasteaux. (Fac-simile of early

The naturalists had availed themselves of their stay at the Cape to
make many excursions in the neighbourhood: La Billardière had
penetrated as far into the interior as the short stay of the frigates
in the roadstead permitted.

Anchor was weighed upon the 16th of February, and D'Entrecasteaux
decided upon reaching the southern seas by doubling Cape Horn, and
steered for the passage between St. Paul and Amsterdam Islands.
Captain Valming had discovered these islands in 1696, and they had
been recognized by Cook in his last voyage. When the _Recherche_ and
the _Espérance_ passed St. Paul Island it was enveloped in a thick
smoke, through which the summits of the mountains were visible. The
forests were on fire.

Upon the 21st of April the two vessels entered a bay upon the coast of
Van Diemen's Land, which was supposed to be Adventure Bay, but which
in reality was Storm Bay. The extreme point of this bay was named
after D'Entrecasteaux. Wood was easily obtained there, and fish was
very abundant. Amongst the magnificent trees of the country, La
Billardière mentions various species of the eucalyptus, the many uses
of which were then unknown. The hunting-parties caught black swans and
kangaroos, creatures also but little known.

Upon the 16th of May the vessels left the port, and made for a strait,
afterwards named after D'Entrecasteaux.

"M. Creton and M. Auribeau," says the narrative, "were encouraged to
land by the sight of fires close to the shore. They had gone but a
short distance when they came upon four natives, attending to three
small fires, by which they were seated. They took to flight on seeing
the strangers, in spite of every friendly demonstration, leaving the
lobsters and shell-fish which they had been broiling. As many huts as
there were fires were close by.

"One of the natives, in his hurry, left a small basket, full of pieces
of silica, behind him. He was not afraid to return in search of it,
but approached Creton with a bold air, possibly owing to his
confidence in his own strength. Some of these savages were naked, and
others wore only a kangaroo skin upon the shoulders. In colour they
were nearly black; they had woolly hair, and allowed the beard to

[Illustration: "They came upon four natives."]

Upon leaving D'Entrecasteaux Strait, the vessels proceeded to survey
the south-western coast of New Caledonia, which La Perouse should have
visited. A portion of Pine Island, which stretches to the north of
that country, was the first to be recognized.

The _Recherche_ narrowly escaped destruction upon the coral reefs
which surround the coast, leaving only a narrow passage between them
and the main land. At the northern extremity several mountainous
islands and detached rocks were perceived, which rendered the
navigation extremely dangerous. The navigators, grateful for their
escape, named them the Entrecasteaux Reefs and Huon Islands.

The survey of this perilous coast lasted from the 16th of June to the
3rd of July. A true service was thus rendered to geographers and
navigators, though it was, perhaps, the least profitable part of the
voyage of discovery.

As the favourable season was now approaching, D'Entrecasteaux
determined to avail himself of it to reach the land of the Arsacides,
which had been seen by Surville, and visited some years later by
Shortland, who, imagining he was making a new discovery, named it New

"Upon the 9th of July," says La Billardière, "towards half-past four
o'clock, we perceived, about ten miles to the N.W., a rock called
Eddystone. We took it at first, as Shortland had done, for a sailing
vessel. The illusion was the greater, as in colour it much resembles
the sails of a ship; a few shrubs crowned the summit. The land of the
Arsacides, opposite this rock, is steep, and covered with large

After rectifying the position of Eddystone rocks, and that of the
Treasury Islands--which are five in number, though so close together
that Bougainville took them for one island--D'Entrecasteaux coasted
Bougainville Island. It is separated from Bouka Island by a narrow
strait, and is covered with plantations. It appeared to be well
populated. Some trade was done with the natives, but nothing would
induce them to venture on board the vessels.

"The colour of their skins," says La Billardière, "is nearly black.
They are of medium height, and wear no clothes. They are muscular and
strong. Although their features are not pleasant, they are very
expressive. They have large heads, and broad foreheads. Their faces,
especially in the lower part, are flat; they have thick chins, rather
prominent cheek bones, flat noses, large mouths, and thin lips.

"Their ugliness is increased by the colour with which the betel-nut
stains their mouths. They appear very skilful in the use of bows and
arrows. One of them brought a gannet which he had just killed, on
board, and the hole made by the arrow could easily be seen.

"These natives have bestowed particular attention upon their weapons,
which are very well finished. We could not but admire the skill with
which they coated the strings of their bows with resin, in such a way
that at first sight they looked like catgut. The centre was protected
with a piece of bark, to lessen the wear in projecting the arrows."

The survey of the western coast of these two islands was completed
upon the 15th of July. Bougainville had already surveyed the eastern

Next day the French navigators sighted first the island to which
Carteret had given the name of Sir Charles Hardy, and then the south
eastern extremity of New Ireland.

The two vessels cast anchor in Carteret Bay, and the crews were
established upon Cocoa Island. This island is covered with evergreen
trees, which, in spite of the volcanic nature of the soil, grow

The cocoa-nuts from which it received its name were procured with
difficulty. On the other hand, it afforded the naturalists so many
varieties of plants and insects as to charm Billardière.

Rain fell abundantly during the stay; it was like a ceaseless torrent
of tepid water.

After obtaining the necessary wood and water, the _Recherche_ and
_Espérance_ set sail from Port Carteret upon the 24th of July, 1792.
In so doing the Espérance unfortunately lost an anchor, the cable
having been cut by the coral reefs. The two vessels then entered St.
George's Strait, which at the southern extremity is only about
forty-two miles in width, about half the extent assigned to it by
Carteret. The currents were so rapid that the ships were carried past
Man and Sandwich Islands, without being able to stop.

After sighting Portland Islands, low lands, seven in number, which
stretch from 2 degrees 39 minutes 44 seconds S. lat. to 147 degrees 15
minutes E. long., D'Entrecasteaux continued his route towards the
Admiralty Islands, which he intended to visit. It was upon the most
easterly of these islands that, according to the report received by
Commodore Hunter, the natives wearing French naval uniforms had been

"The natives appeared in crowds," says the narrative. "Some ran along
the shore, others, fixing their eyes upon our vessels, invited us by
signs to land. The cries they uttered were intended to express their
joy. At half-past one the vessels anchored, and a boat was despatched
from each, containing articles for distribution among the natives of
this small island. The frigates were so placed as to protect the boats
as they neared the land, in the event of any attack by the savages,
for our recollection of the treachery of the natives of the islands
south of the Admiralty made us distrustful."

The coast abounded in reefs; the boats could only approach within a
hundred yards of the shore. Numbers of the natives crowded to the
beach, and invited the French by signs to land.

"One of the savages, distinguished by a double row of small shells
upon his forehead, appeared to exercise a good deal of authority. He
ordered one of the natives to jump into the water, and bring us some
cocoa-nuts. Fearing to approach strangers swimming and defenceless, he
hesitated for a moment. The chief, evidently quite unaccustomed to
resistance to his wishes, followed up his command by blows from his
club, and compelled obedience.

"As soon as the islander returned to land, curiosity brought the
natives around him in crowds. Each wished to participate in our
presents. Pirogues were immediately launched, and many natives swam to
the boats, which were shortly surrounded by quite a crowd. We were
surprised that the violence of the surf upon the breakers did not
intimidate them."

Perhaps the French may have attempted that which the Indians
accomplished. It seems probable that they would never have observed
these people if the vessels, or at least a small boat, had not been
wrecked in the archipelago.

The only remark made by them is to the effect that the natives
understood and appreciated the use of iron.

D'Entrecasteaux then proceeded to reconnoitre the northern portion of
the archipelago, and to trade with the natives. He did not land
anywhere, and does not appear to have executed this part of his task
with the minute care and attention which might have been expected of

The _Recherche_ and the _Espérance_ afterwards visited the Hermit
Islands, discovered in 1781 by a Spanish frigate, _La Princesa_. The
natives, like all those they had encountered, showed a great desire to
induce the strangers to land, but did not succeed in persuading them
to do so.

The Exchequer Islands, discovered by Bougainville, several unknown low
islands, covered with luxuriant vegetation, Schouten Island, and the
coast of New Guinea, were successively sighted. In the interior of the
last-named a large chain of mountains was distinguished, the loftiest
of which appeared at least three thousand five hundred feet high.

After coasting this large island, the _Recherche_ and the _Espérance_
entered Pitt Strait to reach the Moluccas.

Upon the 5th of September, 1792, the French joyfully anchored in the
roadstead of Amboyna. There were many sufferers from scurvy on board,
and officers and crew alike needed a lengthened rest. The naturalists,
astronomers, and other scientific men immediately landed, and took the
necessary steps for the prosecution of their various observations. The
naturalists were particularly successful in acquiring new facts. La
Billardière congratulates himself upon the multiplicity of new plants
and animals that he was able to obtain.

"Once when upon the shore," he says, "I heard what appeared to be wind
instruments, the tones now harmonious, now discordant, yet never
unpleasing. These harmonious and distinct sounds appeared to come from
a distance, and I imagined the natives were making music some six or
seven miles beyond the roadstead. But my ear deceived me, for I found
that I was not a hundred yards from the instrument. A bamboo cane, at
least sixty feet high, was fixed vertically upon the shore. At each
notch a slit had been made, about two and a half inches long and one
and a quarter broad. These slits made so many openings for the wind,
which, passing through them, produced varied and pleasant sounds. As
the notches in this cane were very numerous, the slits had been made
all round, so that whichever way the wind blew it went through some of
them. I can only compare the sound of this instrument to that of an

During this long stay of a month in one place the vessels were well
caulked, the sails and rigging attended to, and every precaution taken
for a voyage in tropical and damp climates.

A few details on the roadstead of Amboyna, and the manners and customs
of the native population, will not be out of place.

"Amboyna roadstead," says La Billardière, "forms a channel some
thirteen or fourteen miles in length, and about two and a half miles
in breadth. It affords good anchorage, although the bottom is partly
of coral.

"The fort, called Victory Fort, is built of bricks; the governor and
some of the members of government reside there. It was at this time
falling into ruins, and every discharge of cannon did evident damage.

"The garrison consisted of about two hundred men, of which the natives
of the island composed a considerable part; the remainder consisted of
a few retired European soldiers and a small detachment of a Wurtemberg

"The mortality amongst officers living in the Indies makes the lives
of those who have been some time in the climate precious; the Dutch
Company is therefore seldom true to its promise to allow them to
return to Europe at the expiration of their time of service. I met
with several of these unfortunate men who had been detained for more
than twenty years, when, according to agreement, they ought to have
been freed long before.

"The language of the natives of Amboyna is Malay. It is very soft and
musical. The country produces spices, coffee, which is inferior to
that of Reunion Island, and sago; the latter is largely cultivated in
the marshy districts.

"The rice consumed at Amboyna is not indigenous to the soil, but still
it might be successfully cultivated in the low lands. The Dutch
Company, however, prohibit the growth of this article of commerce,
because its sale enables them to keep back a part of the sum which
they are obliged to pay for cloves furnished by the blacks. They thus
prevent the increase of pay, and obtain the fruits of native labour at
a moderate price.

"Thus the company, consulting their own interest only, discourage all
industry in the population, by forcing them, as it were, to relinquish
everything but the cultivation of spices.

"The Dutch are careful to limit the cultivation of spices within the
compass of ordinary consumption. Their efforts, which are destructive
of all enterprise, chime in with the _nonchalant_ character of the

On the 23rd of "Vendémiaire"[1] of the year 1, if we conform to the
new style, as Bougainville does, the two vessels left Amboyna, amply
provisioned with fowls, ducks, geese, pigs, goats, potatoes, yams,
bananas, and pumpkins. Meat, however, they obtained in but small
quantities, the flour was of a bad quality, and the sailors could
never accustom themselves to the sago which was shipped in its stead;
bamboos, cloves, and arrack may be added to the list of shipments.

[Footnote 1: First month of the Republican calendar.]

"Young bamboo shoots, cut in slices, and preserved in vinegar," says
La Billardière, "made an excellent store for a long voyage. These
young shoots are generally very tender. They are gathered early, and
sold in the market as vegetables, for which they are a good substitute.
They are often a yard long, and half an inch thick.

"These young bamboo shoots are much appreciated by the Chinese, who
think them similar to asparagus in flavour.

"We were also provided with cloves and nutmegs preserved in sugar. The
shell of the nutmeg is the only edible portion; unfortunately,
ignorant preservers had chosen full-grown nutmegs. Cloves, when once
as large as ordinary olives, retain too much flavour to be a pleasant
sweetmeat. One must be endowed with an Indian palate to enjoy them. I
might say the same of our ginger preserves.

"The only spirituous liquor obtainable was arrack, several casks of
which were bought. Many travellers have spoken in praise of this
liquor, which is, in reality, not equal to the poorest brandy."

Upon leaving Amboyna, the expedition sailed for the south-west coast
of Australia. Shortly afterwards, Kisser Island, the north shore of
Timor, Baton Island, and the delightful Sauva Island, were
successively passed; and finally, upon the 16th "Frimaire," the
western extremity of the south-western coast of New Holland, which was
discovered by Leuwin in 1622, was sighted.

The coast presented a succession of sandy dunes, in the midst of which
arose pointed rocks, apparently utterly sterile. Navigation upon this
unsheltered coast was extremely dangerous. The sea ran high, the wind
was boisterous, and it was necessary to steer amongst the breakers.
During a strong gale the _Espérance_ was nearly driven upon the coast,
when one of the officers fortunately distinguished from the main-mast
an anchorage, where, he declared, the ships would be in safety.

"The safety of the two ships," says the narrative, "was due to this
discovery, for the _Recherche_, after battling as long as she could
against the storm, had been forced to tack about all night amidst
these perilous breakers, hoping for a change of wind which would make
it possible for her to reach the open sea, and must infallibly have
perished. This bay, named Legrand, after the able seaman who first
discovered it, will always recall his invaluable service to the

The islets surrounding this coast were reconnoitred by the navigators.
A geographical engineer, named Riche, belonging to the _Recherche_,
landing upon the mainland to make observations, lost his way, and only
reached the vessels after two days' absence, nearly dead of fatigue
and hunger.

This small archipelago concluded the discoveries of Nuyts.

"We were surprised," says La Billardière, "at the exactitude with
which the latitude had been determined by this navigator, at a time
when instruments were very imperfect. The same remark applies to
nearly all Leuwin's discoveries in this region."

Upon the 15th Nivose[2] 31 degrees 52 minutes lat. and 129 degrees 16
minutes E. long., Captain Huon de Kermadec informed D'Entrecasteaux
that his rudder was injured, that he was obliged to limit his crew to
three quarters of a bottle of water per day, that he had been forced
to discontinue the distribution of anti-scorbutic drinks, and that he
had only thirty casks of water remaining. The _Recherche_ was hardly
in better case. D'Entrecasteaux accordingly made for Cape Dieman,
after navigating for about six hundred and seventy miles along a
barren coast, which offered no object of interest or value.

[Footnote 2: Fourth month of the Republican calendar, from 21st
December to 21st January.]

Upon the 3rd Pluviose,[3] the vessels anchored in the Bay of Rocks, in
Tempest Bay, which they had visited the preceding year. This spot was
very rich in points of interest. La Billardière was amazed at the
varied products of this portion of Van Diemen's Land, and was never
tired of admiring the vast forests of gigantic trees, and the many
unknown shrubs and plants, through which he had to force his way.
During one of his numerous excursions he picked up some fine pieces of
beautiful bronze red hæmatite, and further on some earth containing
ochre, of so bright a red as to denote the presence of iron. He soon
encountered some natives, and his remarks upon this race, which is now
quite extinct, are interesting enough for repetition; moreover, they
complete the particulars already given by Captain Cook.

[Footnote 3: Fifth month of the Republican calendar, from 20th January
to 20th February.]

He says, "There were about forty-two natives; seven grown men, and
eight women, the others appeared to be their children; many of them
were girls already arrived at maturity, who were even more lightly
clad than their mothers. They have woolly hair, and the men let their
beards grow long. In the children the upper jaw projects, but in
adults it is about even with the lower. No doubt these people consider
it a beauty to be black; for, not being very dark to begin with, they
powder the upper part of the body with coal dust.

"We noticed rows of spots on the skin, especially of the shoulders and
breast, now in lines above three inches long, now in equidistant dots.
These people do not appear to observe the custom which many travellers
have thought to be universal amongst their tribes, of extracting the
incisor teeth, for we saw no native with any missing from the upper
jaw, and they all had very fine, strong teeth. These people swarm with
vermin. We could not but admire the patience of a woman, whom we
watched freeing her child of them; nor could we avoid feeling shocked
when she crushed the disgusting insects with her teeth, and then
swallowed them. Monkeys have the same habit!

"The young children greatly admired everything shining, and they did
not hesitate to take the metal buttons off our coats. I must not omit
to mention a trick played upon a sailor by a young savage. The man had
collected a number of shells, and left them in a bag at the foot of a
rock. The native furtively removed them, and allowed the sailor to
search for them vainly for some time; then quietly replacing them, he
seemed much amused at the trick he had played."

Early in the morning of the 26th Pluviose the two vessels weighed
anchor, entered D'Entrecasteaux Strait, and, on the 5th of Ventose,[4]
anchored in Adventure Bay. After a stay of five days, spent in taking
observations, D'Entrecasteaux set sail for New Zealand, and reached
its southern extremity. After an interview with the natives, too short
to admit of additions being made to the many and precise observations
of Captain Cook, D'Entrecasteaux started for the Friendly Islands,
which La Perouse had intended visiting. He anchored in Tonga Tabou Bay.
The vessels were at once surrounded by a crowd of pirogues, and
literally boarded by the natives, who came to sell pigs and every
variety of fruit.

[Footnote 4: Fifth month of French Republican calendar.]

One of the sons of Poulao, the king Cook had known, received the
navigators cordially, and scrupulously superintended the trade with
the islanders. This was no easy task, for they developed surprising
talents for stealing everything which came in their way.

La Billardière describes rather a good joke of which he was the victim.
He was followed to the provision tent by two natives, whom he took to
be chiefs.

"One of them," he says, "was very anxious to choose the best fruits
for me. I had placed my hat on the ground, thinking it safe there; but
these two rogues understood their business. The one behind me was
clever enough to hide my hat under his clothes, and was off before I
perceived the theft; the other speedily followed. I was the more
surprised at this attempt, because I should have supposed they would
not have had the courage to steal so large an object, running the risk
of being caught, in the enclosure to which we had admitted them.
Moreover, a hat could not be a very useful article to these people,
who generally go bare-headed. Their dexterity in robbing me, convinced
me that it was by no means their first attempt."

The French entered into relations with a chief named Finau, probably
the same who is mentioned as Finauo in Captain Cook's voyage, and who
called him Touté. But he was only a secondary chief. The real king,
supreme chief of Tonga Tabou, Vavao, and of Annamooka, was named
Toubau. He visited the ships, and brought back a gun which had been
stolen a day or two previously from a sentinel. He presented
D'Entrecasteaux with two pieces of stuff made from the bark of the
mulberry-tree, so large that if opened out either would have covered
the vessel. In exchange for mats and pigs he received a fine hatchet
and a general's red coat, which he immediately put on.

Two days later, an extraordinarily stout female, at least fifty years
of age, and to whom the natives paid great respect, came on board.
This was Queen Tina. She tasted everything that was offered to her,
but preferred preserved bananas. The steward stood behind her chair,
and waited to clear away, but she saved him the trouble by
appropriating the plate and napkin.

King Toubau was anxious to give an entertainment to D'Entrecasteaux.
The admiral was received upon landing by two chiefs, Finau and Omalai,
and conducted by them to an extensive esplanade. Toubau arrived with
his two daughters. They had sprinkled a quantity of cocoa-nut oil upon
their heads, and each wore a necklace made of the pretty seeds of the
_arbus peccatorius_.

"The natives," says the narrative, "arrived from all parts in great
crowds; we estimated that the number amounted to at least four

"The seat of honour was evidently to the left of the king, for he
invited D'Entrecasteaux to take his place there. The captain then
offered the presents he had brought for the king which were gratefully
accepted. A piece of crimson damask excited the most vivid admiration
from all the assembled natives. 'Eho! Eho!' they exclaimed repeatedly,
in accents of the greatest surprise. They uttered the same admiring
cry when we unfolded some pieces of coloured ribbon, in which red
predominated. The captain then presented a couple of goats, and a pair
of rabbits, of which the king promised to take every care.
D'Entrecasteaux also bestowed various presents upon Toubau's son
Omalai, and several other chiefs.

"To our right, on the north-east, under a shady bread-fruit tree laden
with fruit, thirteen musicians were seated, who sang together in
different parts. Four of the musicians played the accompaniment by
striking bamboo canes, yard and a yard and a half long, upon the
ground, the holder of the longest bamboo occasionally acting as
conductor. These bamboo canes emitted a sound not unlike that of a
tambourine, and they were arranged in the following order. The two
medium-sized canes were in unison, the longest a tone and a half lower,
and the shortest two tones and a half higher. The voice of the alto
was heard far above all the others, although he was a little hoarse;
he accompanied himself by striking with two little sticks upon a
bamboo cane, some six yards long, and split throughout its entire
length. Three musicians stationed in front of the others appeared to
explain the song by gestures, which had apparently been well studied,
as they all acted in unison. Occasionally gracefully moving their arms,
they turned towards the king; whilst sometimes they suddenly sunk
their heads upon their breasts, and as suddenly tossed them back.

"After these entertainments Toubau offered the captain several pieces
of stuff made from the bark of the mulberry-tree. He had them unrolled
with great ostentation, that we might fully appreciate the value of
his gift. The minister seated upon his left ordered the preparation of
'kava,' which was soon brought in an oval-shaped wooden vase, about
three feet long.

"The musicians had reserved their best pieces for this moment, for at
each succeeding effort we heard applauding cries of 'Mâli, Mâli;' and
it was evident that the music had an agreeable and inspiriting effect
upon the natives. The 'kava' was then offered to the various chiefs by
those who had prepared it."

This concert, it will be seen, was by no means equal to the splendid
entertainment which had been given to Captain Cook.

[Illustration: Fête in honour of D'Entrecasteaux at the Friendly
Islands. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

Queen Tina followed it up by giving a grand ball, which was preceded
by a concert, fully attended by the natives, amongst whom, we may
incidentally mention, were numbers of thieves, who became so bold that
they ended by forcibly taking possession of a cutlas. As the
blacksmith of the _Recherche_ pursued the thieves, they turned, and
seeing him alone, struck him on the head with a club. Fortunately his
danger was perceived by those on board the _Espérance_, and a
well-directed shot dispersed his assaillants. Several natives were
killed upon this occasion by the officers and sailors, who, not seeing
exactly what had happened, treated all the islanders they met as
dangerous. Fortunately, concord was soon restored; and the relations
were so friendly when the time came for the French to leave, that many
of the natives begged to accompany them to France.

"The intelligent account which these islanders gave of the vessels
which had anchored in this archipelago," says the narrative,
"convinced us that La Perouse had not visited any of these islands.
They remembered perfectly every occasion upon which they had seen
Captain Cook, and they indicated the intervals between his visits by
the crops of yams, reckoning two in each year."

It is true that their information, as far as it related to La Perouse,
was in direct contradiction to the facts which Dumont-Durville
collected thirty-six years later, when Tamaha was queen.

"I was anxious to know," he says, "if any Europeans had visited Tonga
between Cook and D'Entrecasteaux. After a few moments' reflection, she
explained to me very clearly that a few years before D'Entrecasteaux's
visit, two large vessels, like his in every respect, carrying guns and
many Europeans, had anchored off Annamooka, and remained there six
days. They showed a white flag, quite unlike the English one. The
strangers had been very friendly with the natives, and had had a house
on the island and entered into trade. She related that a native who
had agreed to exchange a wooden bolster for a knife, was shot by an
officer because he wanted to take back his merchandise when he had
been paid for it. However, the incident had not broken the peace,
because in that instance the native was in the wrong."

Although it is impossible to suspect Dumont-Durville of any attempt at
imposition, many portions of this circumstantial account bear the
impress of truth, more especially that relating to the flag, as being
different to that of the English. Must we then charge D'Entrecasteaux
with want of thoroughness in his work? This would be a very serious
charge. Yet two circumstances, which we shall presently relate, appear
to point to that conclusion.

The natives witnessed the departure of the French with keen regret.
The expedition left upon the 21st Germinal,[5] and six days later the
_Espérance_ signalled Erronan, the most easterly of the islands of
Santo Espiritu, discovered by Quiros in 1660. Beyond this Annatom,
Tanna, with its volcano in constant eruption, and the
Beautemps-Beaupré Islands were passed. Carried onwards by the currents,
the vessels were soon in sight of the mountains of New Caledonia, and
anchored in Balade harbour, where Captain Cook had cast anchor in 1774.

[Footnote 5: Seventh month of the Republican calendar, from 21st March
to 19th April.]

The natives were acquainted with the use of iron, but they did not
appear to value it as highly as others had done, probably because the
stones they used instead were very hard and answered admirably for
their purposes. Their first demand upon going on board was for
something to eat; and their need was unmistakable, for they pointed to
their manifestly empty stomachs. Captain Cook had already remarked
that they managed their pirogues, which were far less ingeniously
constructed than those of the Friendly Islands, unskilfully. The
greater number of these natives had woolly hair, and skins almost as
black as those of the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land. Their weapons
were assegais and clubs; and in addition to these they carried at the
waist a little bag, full of the oval stones which they throw from
their slings.

[Illustration: Typical native of New Holland. (Fac-simile of early

After a short excursion inland, during which they visited the huts of
the natives, which were shaped like beehives, the officers and
naturalists prepared to re-embark.

"Upon returning to our boat," says the narrative, "we found more than
seven hundred natives, who had assembled from all directions. They
began by demanding stuffs and iron in exchange for their wares, and
soon some of them proved themselves arrant thieves.

"I will mention one of their many manoeuvres. A man offered to sell me
the little bag of stones which he carried at his waist. He unfastened
it, and pretended to offer it to me in one hand, whilst he held out
the other for the price upon which we had agreed. But at the same
moment another native, who had taken up his stand behind me, uttered a
shrill scream, which made me turn my head in his direction, whereupon
the rogue made off with his bag, and hid himself in the crowd. We were
unwilling to punish him, although most of us carried our guns.

"Unfortunately our leniency might be regarded as a proof of our
weakness, and so add to the native insolence; and an incident which
shortly occurred indicates this was so.

"Some natives were bold enough to throw stones at an officer who was
only about two hundred paces away from us. We were still unwilling to
act harshly, as we had heard so much in their favour from Forster's
narrative, and had such confidence in their good will that still more
evidence was required to convince us of their real character.

"One of them, who was enjoying a broiled bone, and busily devouring
the meat which still clung to it, offered a share of his meal to a
sailor named Piron. He, thinking it to be the bone of some animal,
accepted it, but before eating it showed it to me. I at once
recognized that it had belonged to the body of a child, of probably
fourteen or fifteen years of age. The natives crowding round us,
showed us upon a living child the position of the bone, owning without
hesitation that the man had been making his meal off it, and giving us
to understand that it was a great delicacy.

"Those of our company who had remained on board, could hardly credit
our account of this disgusting fact. They refused to believe that a
people who had been so differently described by Captain Cook and
Captain Forster could be capable of so degrading a practice, but the
most incredulous were soon convinced. I had retained possession of the
gnawed bone, and our surgeon at once recognized it as that of a child.
To make still more sure of the cannibalism of the natives, I offered
it to one of them. He seized it eagerly, and tore the remaining flesh
from it with his teeth; after he had done with it, I passed it to
another, who still found something upon it to relish."

[Illustration: Natives of New Caledonia.]

The natives who visited the vessel, committed so many thefts, and
became so impudent, that we were forced to drive them away. Upon
landing next day, the French found the natives feasting.

They immediately offered a share of their meal to the strangers. It
proved to be human flesh recently cooked.

Many of them even came close up to the French and felt the muscles of
their arms and legs, uttering the word Karapek, with an expression of
admiration and longing which was anything but reassuring.

Many of the officers were assaulted and robbed with the greatest
effrontery. There remained no doubt of the intentions of the natives.
They even attempted to possess themselves of the hatchets the sailors
had brought on shore to cut wood, and were only made to desist by
being fired upon.

These constantly recurring hostilities always ended in the repulse of
the natives, many of whom were killed or wounded. But in spite of the
repulses they met with, they let no favourable opportunity pass of
recommencing their attacks.

La Billardière was witness to a fact which has since been frequently
observed, but was long disbelieved. He saw the natives eating steatite.
This mineral substance serves to deaden the sense of hunger, by
filling the stomach and sustaining the viscera of the diaphragm, and
although it contains no nourishment whatever, it is useful to them,
because they have long periods when food is scarcely procurable, as
they bestow very little cultivation upon their land, which is
naturally very sterile. Yet, one would scarcely have expected hungry
cannibals to resort to such an expedient.

No news of La Perouse had been obtained during the stay in New
Caledonia. But M. Jules Garnier states that a tradition exists of the
appearance of two large ships, which had sent boats on shore, near the
northern extremity of Pine Island.

"After the first alarm," says M. Jules Garnier, in a communication
which appeared in the "Bulletin de la Societé de Géographie" for
November, 1869, "the natives approached the strangers and fraternized
with them; they were quite astonished at their riches, and their
cupidity induced them to oppose the departure of the French sailors by
force; but their ardour was moderated by a volley which killed a few
of them. Little pleased with their reception, the French vessels
proceeded to the mainland, after letting off a cannon, which the
natives took to be a clap of thunder."

It is strange that D'Entrecasteaux, who entered into communications
with the natives of Pine Island, should have heard nothing of these
events. The island is small, and its population has always been scanty.
The natives must have kept secret the fact of their dealings with La

Had D'Entrecasteaux, in his navigation among the coral reefs which
protect the eastern coast of New Caledonia, succeeded in entering one
of the many openings he met with, he might have found some trace of
the course taken by La Perouse, who was a careful navigator, and
anxious to emulate Cook, who had touched at several points of that
coast. A whaler, whose account is quoted by Rienzi, declared that he
had seen medals and a cross of St. Louis, relics of the French
expedition, in possession of the natives of New Caledonia.

M. Jules Garnier, during a voyage from Noumea to Canala, in March,
1865, observed in the hand of one of their native escort, "an old
rusty sword, in the fashion of the last century," which bore the
impression of the "fleur-de-lys." He could obtain no account of it
from its possessor, except that he had had it a long time.

There is no evidence that any member of the expedition gave a sword,
still less a cross of the order of St. Louis, to a savage. No doubt an
officer had fallen in some encounter, and thus these articles had come
into native hands.

This hypothesis accords with M. Garnier's explanation of the
contradictory accounts given by Cook and D'Entrecasteaux of the people
of Balade. According to the former, they are peaceable, honest, and
friendly; according to the latter, they are robbers, traitors, and
cannibals. M. Jules Garnier suggests that some extraordinary event
must have changed the disposition of the natives between the two
visits. Most likely an encounter had taken place. The Europeans may
have been driven to the use of arms: they may possibly have destroyed
plantations and burnt huts. In such a case their hostile reception of
D'Entrecasteaux would be explicable.

La Billardière, in his account of an excursion to the mountains
forming the water-shed of the northern extremity of New Caledonia, and
from which the sea can be seen on either side, says,--

"We were followed by three natives, who had no doubt seen us a year
previously, when we coasted the eastern shores of their island, for
before they left us they spoke of two ships which they had seen upon
that coast."

La Billardière ought to have pressed the natives upon this subject.
Were the vessels seen by them those of La Perouse or of
D'Entrecasteaux: and was it really "a year previously"?

From these details we see how much it is to be regretted that
D'Entrecasteaux did not pursue his investigations more zealously. No
doubt, had he done so, he would have found traces of his
fellow-countrymen. We shall shortly see, that with a little
perseverance he would have found some at least, if not all of them

During the stay in this port Captain Huon de Kermadec succumbed to a
hectic fever from which he had long been suffering. He was succeeded
in the command of the _Espérance_ by M. D'Hesminy d'Auribeau.

Leaving New Caledonia upon the 21st Floréal,[6] D'Entrecasteaux
sighted successively Moulin and Huon Islands, and Santa Cruz de
Mendana, which is separated from New Jersey by a strait, in which the
French vessels were attacked by the natives.

[Footnote 6: Eighth month of the Republican calendar, from 18th April
to 20th May.]

To the south-east D'Entrecasteaux observed an island, which he named
after the _Recherche_, and which he might have called Discovery if he
had approached it. It was Vanikoro, an islet surrounded by coral reefs,
upon which La Perouse's vessels had been wrecked, and which at this
time, in all probability, was inhabited by some of the unfortunate
seamen. It was most unfortunate to be so near success, and yet to miss
it! But the veil which hid the fate of La Perouse and his companions
was not destined to be removed for a long time yet.

After surveying the northern extremities of Santa Cruz, without any
result so far as the object of his expedition was concerned,
D'Entrecasteaux directed his course to De Surville's Land of the
Arsacides. He reconnoitred the northern coast, and thence reached the
shores of Lousiade, which La Perouse had announced his intention of
visiting when he left Salomon Island, and surveyed Cape Deliverance.
Bougainville was wrong in supposing that this cape belonged to New
Guinea; it is the extreme point of an island, called Rossel after one
of the officers who has given an account of the expedition.

After coasting along a series of low and rocky islands, which were
named after the principal officers, the vessels reached Cape William,
on the coast of New Guinea. They then directed their course to
Dampier's Strait. After sailing along the northern coast of New
Britain, several small and mountainous islands, hitherto unknown, were
discovered. Upon the 17th of July a small island in the neighbourhood
of the Anchorite Islands was sighted.

D'Entrecasteaux had long been suffering from dysentery and scurvy, and
was in extreme danger. Following the advice of his officers, he
decided to take leave of the _Espérance_, and endeavoured to reach
Waihoun more quickly. Upon the 20th of July he sunk under long and
protracted sufferings. After a stay at Waihoun and Bouro Islands, at
which latter place the President overwhelmed the French with
civilities, and where Bougainville was still remembered by the natives,
the expedition left, under command of D'Auribeau. He also
unfortunately fell ill, and the command was transferred to Rossel,
under whose orders the vessels passed first Boutong, and then Saleyer
Straits, and reached Sourabaya upon the 19th of October.

[Illustration: View of the Island of Bouron.]

Sad news here awaited the members of the expedition. Louis XVI. had
been beheaded. France was at war with Holland and all the European
powers. Although both the _Recherche_ and the _Espérance_ needed many
repairs, and the health of the crews needed repose, D'Auribeau was
about to start for Mauritius, when he was detained by the Dutch
governor. Fearing that the news from Europe, affecting as it did the
various members of the expedition so differently, might lead to
disaffection in his colony, he subjected his "prisoners," as he called
the French, to most humiliating conditions, which they could not
escape. Irritation and hatred were rampant, when it occurred to
D'Auribeau to unfurl the white flag. However, the greater part of the
officers and men of science, amongst them Billardière, obstinately
refused to respect the conditions imposed; and being arrested by order
of the Dutch authorities, were distributed throughout the different
ports of the colony.

After the death of D'Auribeau, which occurred upon the 21st of Aug.,
1794, Rossel became head of the expedition. He undertook to convey all
documents of every kind collected during the voyage to France; but
being taken prisoner by an English frigate, he was deprived of his
property, in defiance of justice; and when France obtained the objects
of natural history, of which she had been robbed--the expression is
not too strong when we recall the instructions given by the French
government with regard to Captain Cook's expedition--they were in so
bad a condition that they had lost much of their value.

Thus ended this unfortunate expedition. Although its principal object
had not been attained, it had at least resulted in some geographical
discoveries; it had completed or rectified those made by preceding
navigators; and to it, especially to the exertions of La Billardière,
are due the acquisition of an immense number of facts in natural


Captain Marchand's voyage--The Marquesas--Discovery of Nouka-Hiva--
Manners and customs of the inhabitants--Revolution Islands--The coast
of America and Tchinkitané Port--Cox Strait--Stay at the Sandwich
Islands--Macao--Disappointment--Return to France--Discoveries made by
Bass and Flinders upon the Australian coast--Captain Baudin's
expedition--Endracht and De Witt Islands--Stay at Timor--Survey of Van
Diemen's Land--Separation between the _Géographe_ and the
_Naturaliste_--Stay at Port Jackson--Convicts--Agricultural wealth of
New South Wales--Return of the _Naturaliste_ to France--Cruise of the
_Géographe_ and of the _Casuarina_ to the Islands of Nuyts, Edels,
Endracht, and De Witt--Second stay at Timor--Return to France.

Etienne Marchand, a captain in the merchant service, returning to
France from Bengal in 1788, met with the English Captain Portlock in
the roadstead of St. Helena. Their conversation naturally fell upon
commerce, and the value of various articles of trade. Like a sensible
man, Marchand allowed his companion to talk, and only put in a few
words himself now and again, and thus drew from Portlock the
interesting information that furs, and more especially otter skins,
which could be obtained for a mere trifle upon the eastern coast of
North America, realized an enormous price in China; whilst at the same
time a cargo brought from the Celestial Empire would return a large
profit in Europe.

Upon arriving in France, Marchand communicated what he had learned to
his ship-owners, MM. Baux of Marseilles, and they at once resolved to
act upon the knowledge he had obtained. Navigation in the Pacific
Ocean required a ship of special strength and excellence. MM. Baux
ordered the construction of a vessel of 300 tons' burden, plated with
copper, and provided with every necessary for defence in case of
attack, and for repairs in the event of accident, and also with
everything likely to promote trade and to ensure the health of the
crews during a voyage of three or four years.

Two captains, MM. Masse and Prosper Chanal, were associated with
Marchand in the command of the expedition, and the rest of the party
consisted of three lieutenants, two surgeons, three volunteers, and a
crew of thirty-nine seamen. Four cannon, two howitzers, four swivel
guns, with the needful ammunition, &c., formed the equipment.

Although the vessel was only to reach Cape Horn at the beginning of
winter, the _Solide_ left Marseilles upon the 14th of December, 1790.
After a short stay at Praya, Cape Verde Islands, Marchand proceeded to
Staten Island, which he reached upon the 1st of April, 1791. He then
doubled Tierra del Fuego, and entered the Pacific. His intention was
to proceed immediately to the north-western coast of America, but at
the beginning of May the water on board was already so tainted that he
required a fresh supply.

Under these circumstances, the captain decided to reach the Marquesas
Islands of Mendoza which are situated in S. lat. 6 degrees, and near
141 degrees west of the Paris meridian.

"The situation of these islands," says Fleurien, who published an
interesting account of this voyage, "was the more suitable for his
purpose, because with a view to escaping the calms often met with in
too easterly a course, he had resolved to cross the line at 142
degrees west longitude."

This group of islands had been discovered in 1595 by Mendoza, and
visited by Cook in 1774. Magdalena Island, the most southerly of the
group, was reached upon the 12th of June.

The captain, and his associate Chanal, had calculated with such
precision, that the _Solide_ anchored off the Mendoza Islands, after a
cruise of seventy-three days from the time of leaving Staten Island,
without having noticed any land whatever. Constant astronomical
observations alone ensured the safety of the vessel in a sea where the
currents were unequal, and it was quite impossible to regulate the
course of the ship by any ordinary calculations.

Marchand made for San Pedro, which lay on the west. He soon recognized
Dominica, Santa Cristina, and Hood Island, the most northerly of the
group, and finally anchored in Madre-de-Dios Bay, where he was
enthusiastically welcomed by the natives, crying "Tayo, Tayo."

Finding it impossible to obtain the number of pigs he required at this
port, the captain decided upon visiting the remaining bays of Santa
Cristina Island, which he found better populated, more fertile, and
more picturesque than that of Madre-de-Dios.

The stay of the English in the Marquesas Islands had been too short to
allow of accurate observations of the manners and customs of the
inhabitants. We will therefore make a few extracts from the
description given by Etienne Marchand.

"These natives are tall, strong, and active. Their complexion is clear
brown, but many differ little in this respect from the lower orders in
Europe. The climate renders clothing unnecessary, but they tattoo
their entire bodies so regularly (each arm and leg, for example,
exactly like its fellow), that the effect is by no means bad. The way
of arranging the hair varies, and fashion is as despotic in the
Marquesas as in other countries. Some wear necklaces of red beads,
others a string of small pieces of light wood. Although both men and
women have their ears pierced, ear-rings are not usually worn. But a
young native girl has been seen strutting about wearing as a neck
ornament the rusty iron shaving-dish which she had stolen from the
ship's barber, whilst a man was equally proud of sporting the ramrod
of Captain Marchand's gun, which he had placed in the orifice of his
ear, letting part of it hang down."

Cook affirms that these islanders, like the Tahitans, were acquainted
with "Kaba." Certain it is that they called the brandy, which was
offered them on the _Solide_, by the name of the pepper-plant. It
appeared that they did not indulge to excess in this liquor, for none
of them were ever seen in a state of drunkenness.

The English did not mention in their account of the natives an act of
civility, which Captain Chanal thought worthy of special record. It
consisted in offering to a friend a piece of food which had been
already chewed, that he might have no trouble but that of swallowing
it. We may easily imagine that the French, in spite of their
appreciation of the good-will conveyed in this action, were little
likely to avail themselves of it.

To Marchand we owe also the curious observation that their huts are
raised upon flat stones, and that the stilts which they use indicate
that Santa Cristina is subject to inundations. In the exhibition at
the Trocadero, one of these stilts, extremely well made and carved,
was exhibited; and M. Hamy, whose thorough knowledge of everything
relating to Oceania is well known, has written an essay upon this
singular object.

Beyond the usual occupations of fishing, the construction of their
weapons, pirogues, and domestic implements, the natives of Santa
Cristina pass their time in singing, dancing, and amusing themselves.
The common expression of "killing the time" seems to have been
invented to mark the uselessness of the actions which make up their

During the earlier days of the stay in Madre-de-Dios Bay, Marchand had
observed something which led him to the discovery of a group of
islands hitherto unknown to the older navigators or to Cook. Upon a
clear evening, at sunset, he noticed a spot upon the horizon, which
had the appearance of a lofty peak. As this appeared several nights in
succession, he concluded that it was land, and finding it not
mentioned upon any of the charts, it seemed probable that it was some
unknown island.

Marchand determined to satisfy himself upon this point, and leaving
Santa Cristina upon the 20th of June, he had the satisfaction of
discovering a group of small islands in the north-west, which were
situated in 7 degrees south latitude. He gave his own name to the most
important of them. The natives were evidently of the same race as that
which peopled the Marquesas. Shortly afterwards several other islands
were discovered; including Baux Island, which is identical with
Nouka-Hiva, the Deux Frères, and Masse and Chanal Islands. This group,
since united by geographers to that of the Marquesas, received the
name of Revolution Islands.

The course was then directed to the American coast. It was too late in
the season to attempt to reach William's Sound or Cook's River, on the
sixth parallel. Marchand accordingly resolved upon making for Engano
Cape and entering the Norfolk Bay of Dixon, which is identical with
the Guadaloupe Bay of the Spaniards.

Upon the 7th of August Engano Cape was sighted, and after five days of
calm anchor was cast in Guadaloupe Bay. There had not been a single
case of scurvy on board, after 242 days' navigation, ten of which only
were passed in port, at Praya and Madre-de-Dios, and after traversing
some 5800 leagues of sea. This was certainly a wonderful fact, due to
the prevision of the ship-owners, who had spared nothing that could
conduce to the health of the crews, and also to the care with which
the captains had observed the sanitary measures commended to them by

During his stay in this port, which the natives called Tchinkitané,
Marchand bought a number of otter skins, one hundred of which were of
the very first quality.

The natives are ugly, stunted, but well proportioned. They have round,
flat faces, small, sunken, bleared eyes, and prominent cheek-bones,
which do not add to their beauty.

It is difficult to define the colour of their skins, so carefully is
it disguised under a thick coating of grease, and the black and red
substances which they rub in. Their hair is coarse, thick, and bushy,
covered with ochre, down, and all the filth accumulated by time and
neglect, and adds not a little to their unprepossessing appearance.

The women, though not so black as the men, are even more ugly. They
are short and thick-set; their feet turn inwards, and their incredibly
filthy habits make them repulsive. The coquetry which is innate in the
female mind, induces them to add to their natural charms by the use of
a labial ornament, as ugly as it is inconvenient, of which we have
already spoken in our account of Captain Cook's stay in these waters.

By means of an incision just below the lower lip, they make an opening
parallel to that of the mouth, into which they insert an iron or
wooden skewer, and from time to time they gradually increase the size
of the instrument, in accordance with advancing age.

Finally, they introduce a piece of wood, made for the purpose, of the
size and shape of the bowl of an ordinary table-spoon. This ornament,
weighing upon the projecting part, naturally forces down the lower lip
upon the chin, and developes the beauty of a large, gaping mouth, in
shape not unlike an oven, revealing a row of dirty, yellow teeth. This
bowl is removable at pleasure, and when it is absent the opening in
the lower lip presents the appearance of a second mouth, which is
little smaller than the natural one, and in some cases has been known
to be three inches in length.

The _Solide_ left Tchinkitané upon the 21st of August, and steered to
the south-east, in the hope of coming upon Queen Charlotte's Islands,
which had been discovered in 1786 by La Perouse. These islands extend
over a distance of nearly seventy leagues. Upon the 23rd, Etienne
Marchand sighted Manteau Bay (Dixon's Cloak Bay), which was carefully
surveyed by Captain Chanal.

Next day the vessels entered Cox Strait, and began to trade with the
Indians for furs.

The navigators were immensely astonished at seeing two enormous
paintings, evidently of great age, and some gigantic sculptures, which,
although not bearing the very smallest comparison to the
_chef-d'oeuvres_ of Greece, testified none the less to artistic tastes
little to be expected from the miserable population.

The lands which form Cox Strait and Bay are low and covered with firs.
The soil, composed of the remains of plants and broken rocks, does not
appear to have much depth, and the productions are similar to those of

The population may be estimated at 400. Not unlike Europeans in height
and figure, they are less hideous than the Tchinkitaneans.

This stay in Cloak Bay was not as productive of trade in furs as
Marchand had expected, and he therefore decided to send an expedition
under Captain Chanal to the more southerly islands. The object of the
expedition was the survey of the regions which had hitherto been
unvisited. Dixon was the only navigator who had crossed these waters,
and none of his crew had landed. It is therefore not astonishing that
many of his assertions were either rectified or denied after this more
careful exploration.

After sighting Nootka Sound, Berkley Bay was reached, but just as the
_Solide_ was about to enter it, a three-masted ship was seen
approaching the harbour from the south, which was precisely what
Marchand had intended doing. This decided the French navigator to
proceed immediately to the coast of China, and dispose of his
merchandize before the vessel he now saw should have time to reach it
and compete with him.

The best route to follow was that of the Sandwich Islands, and upon
the 5th of October, the heights of Mauna Loa, and Mauna-Koa were made
out by the French. They seemed quite free from snow, which was
contrary to the description given of them by Captain King.

So soon as Owhyhee Island was in sight, Marchand wisely decided to
conduct all his trade on board. He obtained pigs, fowls, cocoa-nuts,
bananas, and various fruits from this island, and was delighted at
finding amongst them pumpkins and watermelons, no doubt from the seeds
sown by Captain Cook.

Four days were passed in trade, then the route to China was resumed,
and in due course Tinian Island, one of the Mariannas, was sighted.

Commodore Anson's glowing description of this island will be recalled.
Byron, as we have already mentioned, was quite astonished at the
different aspect it presented to him. But the fact is, some fifty
years earlier Tinian was flourishing and counted thirty thousand
inhabitants, and the victorious Spaniards had since introduced an
epidemic which had decimated the population, whilst the miserable
survivors had been torn from their country and sent to Guaham as

Marchand did not land at Tinian--which according to the accounts of
every navigator who had visited it since Byron, had relapsed into
barbarism--but made for the southern extremity of Formosa.

Reaching Macao upon the 28th of November, he heard news which
disconcerted him. The Chinese Government had just passed a law
prohibiting the introduction of furs into the ports of the empire
under most severe penalties. Was this the result of some unknown
clause in a secret treaty with Russia, or was it due to the cupidity
and avarice of a few mandarins? In either case it was impossible to
infringe the law.

Marchand wrote to MM. Baux's agents in Canton; but the same
prohibition held good in that town also, and it was useless to think
of reaching Whampoa, where he would have had to pay duty, amounting to
at least six thousand piastres.

The only course open to Marchand was to go to Mauritius, and thence
return to Marseilles. It is unnecessary to describe the return voyage,
which was accomplished without any unusual incidents.

What were the scientific results of this expedition? Nothing to speak
of, from a geographical point of view. They may be enumerated as
follows:--The discovery of that portion of the Marquesas Islands which
had escaped the notice of Captain Cook and his predecessors, a more
thorough examination of the country, and the manners and customs of
the natives of Santa Christina in the same group, of Tchinkitané and
Cloak Bays, and of Queen Charlotte's Islands off the American coast.
Small as these results might appear for an official expedition, they
were not unsatisfactory for a vessel equipped by private enterprise;
moreover, Captain Marchand and his colleagues had turned new
discoveries to such good account, and studied the narratives of
earlier voyagers so carefully, that they carried out the plan of their
expedition more precisely than many experienced navigators might have
done. And, in their turn, they rendered valuable assistance to their
successors by the accuracy of their charts and drawings.

Circumstances were to prove less favourable for the publication of an
account of a scientific expedition undertaken some years later, under
the auspices of the French Government, having for its object the
survey of the Australian coast. Although the results of the voyage
made by Nicolas Baudin were most abundant, they seem up to this date
to have been little recognized, and scientific dictionaries and
biographies say as little as possible of his expedition.

From the time of Tasman's discovery of the western coast of New
Holland, much had been done towards exploring this immense continent.
Cook had carefully surveyed the eastern coast, discovering Endeavour
Strait, and had urged upon his government the great advantages which
would accrue from the founding of a colony in Botany Bay. In 1788,
Philip, with his band of convicts, had laid the foundation of Port
Jackson and of English power in this fifth continent of the world. In
1795 and 1796, Flinders, a midshipman, and Surgeon Bass, with a small
vessel called the _Tom Thumb_, had explored twenty miles of the River
George, and made a careful survey of a long stretch of coast.

In 1797, Bass discovered a large harbour, which he named Western Port
on account of its situation.

"His provisions were now exhausted," says Desborough Coolley, "and in
spite of his earnest wish to make an accurate and minute survey of his
new discoveries, he was obliged to retrace his steps. He was only
provided with provisions for six weeks; still, by aid of fish and
sea-birds, which he obtained in abundance, he succeeded in extending
his voyage for another five weeks, although he had taken on board two
convicts, whom he had picked up. This voyage of six hundred miles in
an open boat, is one of the most remarkable on record. It was not
undertaken from necessity, but with the view to exploring unknown and
dangerous shores."

In 1798, Bass, accompanied by Flinders, discovered the strait which
now bears his name, and which divides Tasmania from New Holland, and
in a schooner of some twenty-five tons' burden, he made the tour of
Van Diemen's land. These brave adventurers collected facts, and made
observations of the rivers and ports of this country which were of
great use in the future colonization of the continent. Bass and
Jackson were both enthusiastically received at Port Jackson.

Upon his return to England, Flinders received command of the
_Investigator_, with the rank of naval lieutenant. This vessel was
especially equipped for a voyage of discovery upon the Australian
coast. The south and north-western shores, the Gulf of Carpentaria,
and Torres Straits, were to be explored.

Public attention in France had been attracted to New Holland by the
narratives published by Cook and D'Entrecasteaux. This wonderful
continent, with its strange unknown animals, and forests of gigantic
eucalyptus, alternating with barren plains producing nothing but
prickly plants, was long to present all but invincible obstacles to
the explorer.

The French Institute was the mouthpiece of popular opinion, in
demanding from the government the organization of an expedition to the
southern continent. As a result of their representations, twenty-four
scientific men were selected to participate in the voyage.

No previous expedition had been so fortunate in the number of
scientific men attached to the staff. Astronomers, geographers,
mineralogists, botanists, zoologists, draughtsmen, and gardeners, all
mustered four or five strong. Foremost amongst them we may mention,
Leschenaut de Latour, Francois Péron, and Borg de Saint Vincent.
Officers and sailors had been carefully selected. Among the first were
François-Andre Baudin, Peureux de Mélay, Hyacinthe de Bougainville,
Charles Baudin, Emmanuel Hamelen, Pierre Milius, Mangin, Duval d'Ailly,
Henri de Freycinet, all of whom in after-life rose to be admirals or
vice-admirals; Le Bas Sante-Croix, Pierre Gillaume Gicquel,
Jacques-Philippe Montgéry, Jacques de Saint Cricq, Louis de Freycinet,
all future naval captains.

The narrative says, "The plans for the expedition were such as to
guarantee its success, and the attainment of the results so eagerly
desired. All the experiences of preceding navigators, in the latitudes
through which we were to pass, all that theories and reasoning could
suggest, had been called into requisition. Most accurate calculations
of the variable winds, monsoons, and currents had been made, and the
misfortunes which overtook us were in every case due to our deviation
from our valuable instructions."

A third vessel of lesser draught was equipped at the Mauritius. The
navigators were then to proceed to Van Diemen's Land, D'Entrecasteaux,
Bass, and Banks Straits, and thence, having determined the situation
of the Hunter Islands, to pass behind St. Peter and St. Francis
Islands, and survey the country behind them, in the hope of finding
the strait supposed to be connected with the Gulf of Carpentaria and
to divide New Holland into two parts.

This survey accomplished, Leuvin, Edels, and Endracht Islands were
next to be visited, Swan River to be followed as far as possible, and
a survey taken of Rottnest Island and the coast near it. From thence
the expedition was to proceed to Shark Bay, to determine various
points in De Witt Land, and, leaving the coast at North West Cape, to
go to Timor, in the Moluccas, for a well-earned rest.

After allowing sufficient time for the crews to recover from their
fatigue, the coast of New Guinea was to be surveyed, with the view to
ascertaining whether it was broken up into islands by various straits,
the further portion of Gulf of Carpentaria was to be explored, various
districts in Arnheim Land were to be reconnoitred, and from thence the
expedition was to proceed to Mauritius, on its way to Europe.

A more splendid programme was impossible, and it was clearly traceable
to the able mind which had laid down the route taken by La Perouse and
D'Entrecasteaux. If the expedition were skilfully conducted the
results could not fail to be considerable.

The _Géographe_, a corvette of thirty guns, and the _Naturaliste_, a
large transport ship, were equipped at Havre for the expedition.

Nothing had been forgotten, the provisions were abundant and of good
quality; each vessel was provided with all kinds of scientific
instruments by the best makers, a library of the most trustworthy
authorities, passports couched in the most flattering terms and signed
by every government in Europe, and unlimited credit in all the towns
of Asia and Africa. In short, every possible measure was taken to
ensure the success of this important expedition.

Upon the 19th of October, 1800, the two vessels left Havre amidst the
acclamations of an immense multitude. A short stay was made at Port
Santa Cruz in Teneriffe, and thence they proceeded without stopping to
Mauritius, where several officers were left who were too ill to
proceed when the expedition set sail upon the 25th of April, 1801.

This was not an encouraging beginning, and discontent was rife when it
was ascertained that the allowance of fresh bread was to be limited to
half a pound weekly, and that the usual ration of wine was to be
replaced by three-sixths of a bottle of the inferior tafia of
Mauritius, whilst biscuits and salt meats were to be the staple food.
This ill-advised economy resulted in the illnesses of the crew, and
the discontent of many of the scientific staff.

The length of the voyage from France to Mauritius, and the long stay
in that island, had consumed much valuable time, and the favourable
season was on the wane. Baudin, fearing to attempt to reach Van
Diemen's Land, decided to commence his exploration upon the north-west
coast of New Holland. He forgot that he would thus maintain a
southerly course, so that his advance would coincide with that of the

The coast of New Holland was discovered upon the 27th of May. It was
low, barren, and sandy. Geography Bay, Naturalist Cape, Depuch Creek,
and Piquet Point, were successively sighted and named. In the
last-named spot the naturalists landed, and reaped a rich harvest of
plants and shells.

Meantime, however, the violence of the waves carried away the two
vessels, and twenty-five of the crew were forced to spend several days
on shore, unable to obtain any but brackish water. They could not
succeed in killing any sort of game, and their only nourishment was a
species of samphire, containing a quantity of carbonate of soda and
acid juice.

A sloop which had been driven on shore by the force of the waves had
to be abandoned, together with guns, sabres, cartridges, cables,
tackle, and many other valuable articles.

"But the worst part of this last misfortune," says the narrative, "was
the loss of Vasse, of Dieppe, one of the most able of the crew of the
_Naturaliste_. Swept away by the waves three times in his efforts to
re-embark, he was finally swallowed up without the possibility of
assistance being rendered to him, or even the fact of his death being
ascertained--so violent were the waves, and so dark the night!"

The foul weather continued, the wind blew in hurricanes, fine rain
fell uninterruptedly, and the _Naturaliste_ was lost to view in a
thick fog which prevailed until Timor was reached.

Upon reaching Rottnest Island--which he had named as a place of
rendezvous to Captain Hamilton in case of separation--Baudin, to the
surprise of every one, gave orders to make for Shark's Bay, upon the
coast of Endracht Island.

The coast of this part of New Holland is a succession of low and
almost level sandy barren lands, with grey or reddish soil,
intercepted here and there by slight ravines. The coast is almost
perpendicular, and is protected by inaccessible reefs; it well
deserves the name of "the iron coast," which was bestowed upon it by
the able hydrographer, Boullanger.

From Dirk Hartog Island (where Endracht Land commences), Doore Islands,
Bernier Islands (where troops of kangaroos were met with), and Dampier
roadstead, were successively sighted, as far as Shark's Bay, which was
thoroughly explored.

[Illustration: Native hut in Endracht Land. (Fac-simile of early

Upon leaving Endracht Land, which offers no attractions, De Witt
Land--extending from the North West Cape to Arnheim Land, over ten
degrees of latitude and fifteen of longitude--was thoroughly surveyed.
Much the same incidents and dangers were met with by the explorers as
they successively named Hermit and Forester islands, the latter with
volcanic soil. The Basseterre, in Geography channel--low lands, which
were avoided with difficulty--with Bedont and Lacepede Islands, Capes
Borda and Mollien, Champagny d'Arcole, Freycinet, Lucas, and other
islands, were seen and named.

"Amidst these numberless islands," says the narrative, "there was
little to please the navigators. The sun shines unprotected by any
clouds, and, except during the nocturnal storms, there is no movement
even of the water. Man appears to have fled from this ungrateful soil,
for no trace of his presence is to be seen."

It is difficult for the traveller, who turns in despair from the
inhospitable islands of this forsaken coast, where dangers of every
sort assail him, and no provisions are to be had, to reflect that this
barren country adjoins groups of Asiatic islands upon which nature has
lavished her treasures and delights with a liberal hand.

The discovery of the Buonaparte Archipelago completed the survey of
this miserable region. It is situated between 13 degrees 15 minutes S.
lat. and 123 degrees 30 minutes long. W. of Paris.

"The wretched food upon which we had lived since we left Mauritius had
tried the strongest constitutions. The ravages of scurvy had been
severely felt, our store of water was very low, and there was no
possibility of replenishing it in this miserable region. The time
approached for the return of the monsoon, and its accompanying storms
must be avoided on this coast; above all, we must procure a boat to
enable us to rejoin the _Naturaliste_."

Moved by all these considerations, the captain decided to direct his
course to Timor Island, and he anchored there upon the 22nd of August,
in the roadstead of Coupang.

It is unnecessary to enter into details of the reception accorded to
the navigators. Hospitality and kindness are ever valuable to the
recipients, but there is a sameness in an account of them which is
wearisome to the reader. We need only dwell upon the sore need of rest
for the suffering crew: ten of those who landed were in the worst
stage of scurvy, and many others had the swollen and inflamed gums
which precede the attack of this scourge of seamen.

Unfortunately, although the scurvy yielded to the remedies applied, it
was succeeded by dysentery, which in a few days laid low eighteen men.

[Illustration: King of the Island of Timor. (Fac-simile of early

At length, upon the 21st of September, the _Naturaliste_ appeared. Her
captain had patiently awaited the arrival of the _Géographe_ in
Shark's Bay, that being the rendezvous appointed by Baudin, but which
he had failed to keep. The officers availed themselves of this stay
thoroughly to survey the shores of Rottnest Island, and to explore the
Swan River, and Albrolhos or Houtman Rocks.

Two Dutch inscriptions, scratched upon tin plates, had been discovered
by Captain Hamelin upon Dirk Hartog Island. One recorded the passage,
upon the 25th of October, 1616, of the ship _Eendraght_, from
Amsterdam; and the other, the stay of the _Geelwinck_ in this port in
1697, under command of Captain Vlaming.

"The result of the examinations made by the officers of the
_Naturaliste_ was as follows:--The so-called Shark's Bay extends from
Cape Cuvier on the north, to Freycinet Gulf; the eastern coast is all
part of the mainland; and the western consists of the islet of Koks,
Bernier, Doore, and Dirk Hartog Islands, and a small portion of the
mainland. The peninsula of Péron occupies the centre of this extensive
bay, and to the east and west are the harbours of Hamelin and Henri

Unfortunately even the sickness among their unfortunate crews did but
restore temporary concord between Captain Baudin and his staff. He
himself had been attacked by a fever, and for a few hours it was
supposed that he was dead.

Upon his recovery eight days later, however, he did not hesitate to
place one of his officers, M. Picquet, ensign, under arrest. All the
members of his staff disapproved of this action, and offered
repeatedly many flattering tokens of their esteem and regard to the
disgraced officer. As M. Picquet was made lieutenant upon his return
to France, it would appear that he was not in fault.

Captain Baudin had deviated from the instructions given him by the
Institute. He now proceeded to Van Diemen's Land, leaving Timor upon
the 13th of November, 1801. The French found themselves in sight of
the southern coast of this island exactly two months later; the
ravages of disease continued on board, and the number of victims was

The two ships at length reached D'Entrecasteaux Strait, which had
escaped the notice of Tasman, Furneaux, Cook, Marion, Hunter and Bligh,
and the discovery of which was the result of a mistake, which might
have had dangerous consequences. The vessels had anchored in this spot
for the sake of obtaining water, and several boats were sent in search
of it.

"At half-past nine," says Péron, "we were at the mouth of Swan River.
This spot appeared to me to exceed in beauty and picturesque effect
anything that I had hitherto met with. Seven mountain ranges rise one
above the other, forming the background of the harbour; whilst on the
right and left lofty hills shut it in, and present the appearance of a
number of rounded capes and romantic creeks. Vegetation is most
luxuriant, the shores abound in hardy trees, growing so densely that
it is almost impossible to penetrate into the forest. Flocks of
paroquets and cockatoos, of most brilliant plumage, hover above them,
while the blue-ringed tomtits sport beneath their branches. The sea
was almost calm, and scarcely ruffled by the passage of the
innumerable black swans continuously passing to or fro."

[Illustration: The Swan River. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

All who went in search of a watering-place were not equally pleased
with their reception by the natives.

Captain Hamelin, in company with MM. Leschenant and Petit, and several
officers and sailors, had encountered some natives, to whom he offered
various presents. As they were about to re-embark the French were
assailed by a shower of stones, one of which wounded Captain Hamelin
severely. The natives brandished their assegais, and made many
threatening gestures, but could not provoke the strangers to retaliate
by a single shot--a most rare example of moderation and humanity!

"The geographical observations made by Admiral D'Entrecasteaux in Van
Diemen's Land are so wonderfully correct," says the narrative, "that
it would be scarcely possible to imagine anything more perfect of
their kind. Their principal author, M. Beautemps-Beaupré has indeed
fully merited the esteem of his fellow countrymen and the gratitude of
all navigators. In every case where investigation was possible, this
skilful engineer made sure of every point. His survey of the strait of
D'Entrecasteaux, and the numberless bays and channels comprised in it,
was especially thorough. Unfortunately his explorations did not extend
to that portion of Van Diemen's Land which lies north-east of the
strait, and which was only superficially examined by the French

It was to this portion of the coast that the hydrographers more
particularly directed their attention, in the hope that by adding the
results of their observations to that of their fellow-countrymen they
might gain a thorough knowledge of the coast. This undertaking, which
was to complete the results of D'Entrecasteaux's exertions, detained
the navigators until the 6th of February. The details and incidents of
such exploration are always alike, and offer little to interest the
general reader. For this reason we shall not dwell upon them, in spite
of their importance, except when they contain anecdotes of interest.

The _Naturaliste_ and _Géographe_ next proceeded to the exploration of
Banks' and Bass's straits.

"Upon the morning of the 6th of March we coasted the islets of
Taillefer and Schouten Island, at a good distance. Towards mid-day we
found ourselves opposite Forester's Cape, and our skilful geographer,
M. Boullanger, embarked in the long-boat, commanded by M. Maurouard,
to survey the coast. The ship was to follow a route parallel with that
of the boat, of which it was never to lose sight for a moment; but M.
Boullanger had scarcely been gone a quarter of an hour when Capt.
Baudin, without any apparent reason, tacked round and gained the more
open sea. The boat was lost to sight, and the coast was not neared
again until night was approaching. A strong breeze had arisen, which,
increasing every moment, added to the uncertainty of our movements.
Night fell, and the coast upon which we had abandoned our unhappy
comrades was hidden from our sight. The three following days were
vainly spent in the endeavour to find the missing boats."

This calm narration would appear to veil strong indignation against
Captain Baudin.

What can have been his motive for forsaking his sailors and two of his
ablest officers? This is a problem which the most attentive perusal of
Péron's narrative fails to elucidate.

To enter the straits of Banks and Bass was to tread in the footsteps
of the latter, and of Flinders, who had made these waters the special
field of their discoveries; but when, upon the 29th of March, 1802,
the _Géographe_ commenced coasting the south-western shore of New
Holland, one portion of it only was known--that which extends from
Cape Leuwin to St. Peter and St. Francis Islands. The land stretching
from the eastern boundary of Nuytsland to Port Western had never yet
been trodden by an European foot. All the importance of this cruise is
apparent when we reflect that it was undertaken to decide whether New
Holland consisted of one island only, and whether any large rivers
flowed into the sea from it.

Latreille Island, Mount Tabor Cape, Cape Folard, Descartes Bay,
Bouffler Cape, Estaing Bay, Rivoli Bay, Mongo Cape, were all
successively sighted and named. An extraordinary take of dolphins had
delighted the crew, when a sail was seen upon the horizon. It was of
course supposed that it was the _Naturaliste_, from which the
_Géographe_ had been separated by violent storms since the night of
the 7-8 March. As the vessel was making rapid way, she was soon
abreast of the _Géographe_. She carried the English colours. It was
the _Investigator_, under command of Captain Flinders, eight months
from Europe, sent for the completion of the survey of New Holland.
Flinders had been engaged for three months in the exploration of the
coast. He, too, had suffered from storms and tempest in Bass's Strait;
during one of the latter he had lost a boat, containing eight men and
his chief officer.

[Illustration: A sail was seen on the horizon.]

The _Géographe_ visited in succession Cape Crêtet, the Peninsula of
Fleurien (which is about twenty miles in extent), the Gulf of St.
Vincent (so called by Flinders), Kangaroo Island, Althorp Islands,
Spencer Gulf--upon the western coast of which is Port Lincoln, the
finest and safest harbour in New Holland--and the islands of St.
Francis and St. Peter. Certainly Captain Baudin, in order to render
this hydrographical survey complete, should have followed out his
instructions, and penetrated beyond St. Peter and St. Francis Islands.
The weather, however, was too unpropitious, and this exploration was
reserved for a future expedition.

Scurvy meantime made fearful ravages amongst the adventurers. More
than half the crew were incapable of service. Two only of the helmsmen
were in a fit condition for duty. How could anything else be expected
in a vessel which was not provided with either wine or brandy, but was
provisioned only with foetid water, biscuits infested with maggots,
and putrid meats, the mere smell of which was injurious?

Winter, too, had set in in the southern hemisphere, and the crews were
in sore need of rest. The nearest harbour was Port Jackson, and the
shortest passage thither was by Bass's Strait. Baudin, who always
appears to have disliked following a beaten track, thought differently,
and gave orders for doubling the southern extremity of Van Diemen's

Upon the 20th of May anchor was cast in Adventure Bay. The sick who
could be moved were carried on shore, where water was plentiful. But
the stormy waters were no longer passable; a thick fog prevailed, and
only the sound of the waves breaking upon the shore saved the vessels
from running aground. The number of sick increased. The ocean claimed
a fresh victim each succeeding day. Upon the 4th of June there were
only six men equal to their work, and the tempest increased in fury,
yet the _Géographe_ escaped destruction once more!

[Illustration: The sick were carried on shore.]

Upon the 17th of June a vessel was signalled, and from her captain the
navigators learned that the _Naturaliste_, after waiting vainly for
her consort at Port Jackson, had gone in search of her--that the
abandoned boat had been rescued by an English vessel, and the crew had
been received upon the _Naturaliste_.

The _Géographe_ was awaited with eager impatience at Port Jackson,
where help of every kind was prepared for her.

The _Géographe_ was for three days within reach of Port Jackson, and
yet unable to enter the harbour, for want of able-bodied seamen to
work her. An English sloop, with a pilot, and the necessary men for
working the vessel, was, however, sent to the rescue.

The entrance to Port Jackson is only two miles in width, but it widens
until it forms a large harbour containing water enough for the largest
ships, and space enough to accommodate all comers in perfect safety. A
thousand ships of the line might easily anchor there, according to
Commodore Philips' report.

"Towards the centre of this magnificent port, and upon its southern
coast, the town of Sydney is situated. Built upon two adjacent hills,
and watered by a small river which runs through it, this rising town
presents a pleasant and picturesque appearance.

"The eye is at once struck by the fortifications, and the hospital,
which is large enough to contain two or three hundred sick, and was
brought from England in pieces by Commodore Philips. Immense
warehouses, for the reception of the cargoes of the largest vessels,
are built upon the shore. Ships of all kinds were being constructed in
the yards from the wood of the country."

[Illustration: View of Sydney. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

With a sentiment of respect, which almost amounts to veneration, the
sloop in which M. Bass made the discovery of the strait which
separates Tasmania from New Holland is preserved. Snuff-boxes made of
the wood of her keel are valued as relics by their possessors; and the
governor of the fort could think of no more acceptable present for
Captain Baudin than a piece of the wood of this famous vessel, mounted
in silver, upon which the chief details of the discovery of Bass's
Straits were engraved. Equally worthy of admiration were the prison
(capable of lodging two hundred prisoners), the wine and provision
warehouses, the exercising ground (overlooked by the governor's house),
the barracks, observatory, and the English church, of which the
foundations were at this time but just laid.

"The great change in the conduct and condition of the convicts was not
less interesting.

"We found new cause for surprise in the population of the colony. A
more worthy subject for the reflection of a philosopher or statesman
never existed--no brighter example of the influence of social
institutions can be imagined--than that afforded on the distant shores
of which we are speaking. Here are to be found the formidable ruffians
who in a civilized country were the terror of their government.
Transported to these foreign shores, ejected from European society,
and placed from their first arrival between the certainty of
punishment on the one hand and the hope of a better fate in store for
them upon the other, surrounded by a surveillance as benevolent as it
is active, they are absolutely forced to relinquish their anti-social

"The majority, after expiating their crimes by hard labour, receive
the rank of citizenship. Interested themselves in the maintenance of
order and justice, for the sake of the preservation of such property
as they have accumulated, many of them having become husbands and
fathers, the closest of all ties bind them to their present situation.

"The same revolution, brought about by the same means, takes place in
the lives of the women and wretched girls. By degrees accustomed to
more correct principles of conduct, they in time become the mothers of
hard-working and honest families."

The welcome accorded to the French at Port Jackson was in the highest
degree satisfactory. Every possible facility for the prosecution of
their researches was afforded to the naturalists, whilst the military
authorities and private inhabitants vied with each other in offering
provisions and help of every kind.

Many were the successful excursions in the neighbourhood, and the
naturalists delighted in examining the famous vineyards of Rose Hill,
to which the finest plants from the Cape, the Canary Islands, Madeira,
Xeres, and Bordeaux had been transported.

When questioned, the vine-dressers said the plants sprout more
vigorously here than anywhere else, but the first breath of wind from
the north-west is enough to destroy everything; buds, flowers, and
leaves alike withering beneath its scorching heat.

Somewhat later, the culture of the vine, transported to a more
favourable locality, increased greatly; and although it has as yet not
attained to any remarkable growth, furnishes a wine which is pleasant
to the taste and very alcoholic.

The Blue Mountains, which for a long time bounded European research,
are thirty miles beyond Sydney. Lieutenant Dawes and Captain Tench
Paterson--who explored Hawkesbury River, the Nile of New
Holland--Hacking, Bass, and Barraillier, had alike failed to scale

Already, the thinning of the trees in the neighbouring forests, and
the excellence of the grass, had rendered New South Wales an excellent
pasturage. Cattle and sheep had been largely imported.

"They multiplied so quickly, that in State pastures alone there were
no less than 1800 head of cattle within a short time of our stay at
Port Jackson; of these 514 were bulls, 121 oxen, and 1165 cows. The
increase and growth of these animals was so rapid, that in less than
eleven months the number of oxen and cows had reached from 1856 to
2450, which would be at the rate of increase per annum of 650 head, or
one third of the entire number.

"Carrying this calculation on at the same rate for a period of thirty
years, or even reducing the increase by one half, it is clear that New
South Wales would be teeming throughout its length and breadth with

"Sheep farming has had even greater success. The increase of flocks
upon these distant shores is so prolific that Captain MacArthur, one
of the richest landowners of New South Wales, does not hesitate to
assert, in a pamphlet published for that purpose, that in twenty years
New Holland alone will be able to supply England with all the wool
which is now imported from neighbouring countries, and the price of
which amounts yearly to 1,800,000_l_. sterling."

We know now how very little exaggeration there was in these
calculations, although at that time they appeared most wonderful. It
is interesting to read of the growth of this industry, and the
impression produced by it, in its earlier stages, upon the French

The crew had many of them recovered their health, but the number of
able sailors was still so small that it was necessary to send the
_Naturaliste_ back to France, after selecting the most healthy of the
crew. She was replaced by a vessel of thirty tons burden, called the
_Casuarina_, the command of which was entrusted to Louis de Freycinet.
The slight build and low draught of this vessel made it valuable for
coasting purposes.

The _Naturaliste_, says Péron, with the records of the expedition, and
the results of the observations made during the two voyages, also took
away with it "more than 40,000 animals of different kinds, collected
from the various countries which had been visited during the two
years." Thirty-two huge cases contained these collections, certainly
the richest ever brought together in Europe, which when exhibited in
the house occupied by myself and M. Bellefin, excited the admiration
of all the English visitors, especially of the celebrated naturalist,

The _Géographe_ and the _Casuarina_ left Port Jackson upon the 18th of
November, 1802. On this new trip the explorers surveyed King Island,
Hunter Island, and the north-western portion of Van Diemen's Land,
thus completing the geography of the coast of this huge island. From
the 27th of December, 1802, till the 15th of February, 1803, Captain
Baudin was engaged in reconnoitring the Kangaroo Islands, upon the
south-western coast of Australia, with the two gulfs opposite to them.

"It was indeed strange," says Péron, "to observe the monotonous and
sterile character of the different portions of New Holland--the
greater on account of its contrast to that of the neighbouring
countries. On the north-west we had been charmed by the fertile
islands of the Timor Archipelago, with their lofty mountains, rivers,
streams, and forests. Yet scarcely forty-eight hours had passed since
we left the desert shores of De Witt Land. Again, on the south, the
wonderful vegetation and smiling slopes of Van Diemen's Land had
excited our admiration, and yet more recently we had been delighted
with the verdure and fertility of King Island.

"The scene changes; we reach the shore of New Holland, and are once
more face to face with the desolation, the description of which must
already have wearied the reader as much as it surprised the
philosopher and oppressed the explorer."

The engineers who accompanied the _Casuarina_ for the survey of
Spencer Gulf, and the peninsula which divides it from the Gulf of St.
Vincent, were obliged to abridge the prosecution of their discoveries
in Lincoln Port, and content themselves with the thorough survey which
enabled them to decide positively that no great river discharges
itself into the ocean in this region. The time for their return to
Kangaroo Island had arrived. But in spite of their conviction that if
they delayed they would be left behind, they did not hasten their
movements sufficiently, and upon reaching the rendezvous found that
the captain of the _Géographe_ had already started, without concerning
himself in the least about the _Casuarina_, although her stock of
provisions was very inadequate.

Baudin decided to continue the exploration of the coast and the survey
of St. Francis Archipelago alone--a most important undertaking, as no
navigator had examined its islands separately since its first
discovery by Peter Nuyts in 1627.

Flinders had really just made this exploration; but Baudin was not
aware of this, and fancied himself the first European who had entered
these waters since their discovery.

When the _Géographe_ reached King George's Harbour upon the 6th of
February, the _Casuarina_ had already arrived there, but in such a
damaged condition that her captain had been obliged to run her aground.

King George's Sound, discovered in 1791 by Vancouver, is of great
importance, as being the only point throughout an extent of coast
equal to the distance between Paris and St. Petersburg where it is
possible to rely upon obtaining sweet water at all seasons of the year.

In spite of its advantages in this respect, the surrounding country is
very barren. M. Boullanger in his "Journal" says, "The aspect of the
country inland at this point is perfectly horrible; even birds are
scarce: it is a silent desert."

In one of the recesses of this bay, known as Oyster Harbour, a
naturalist, named M. Faure, discovered a large river, named after the
French, the mouth of which was as wide as the Seine at Paris. He
undertook to ascend it, and thus penetrated as far as possible into
the interior of the country. About two leagues from the entrance of
the river his further progress was arrested by two embankments,
solidly constructed of stones, connected with a small island, and
forming an impassable obstacle.

This barrier was pierced by several openings, most of them above the
low tide level, and much wider upon the side facing the sea than upon
the other.

By these openings the fish which entered the river at high tide could
easily pass through, but could not return, and were consequently
imprisoned in a sort of reservoir, where the natives could catch them
at their leisure.

M. Faure found no less than five of these erections in the space of
less than the third of a mile--a most singular proof of the ingenuity
of the barbarous natives of the country, who in other respects appear
upon the level of brutes.

In King George's Harbour one of the officers attached to the
_Géographe_, named M. Ransonnet, more fortunate than Vancouver and
D'Entrecasteaux, had an interview with the natives. This was the first
time a European had been able to approach them.

M. Ransonnet says, "We had scarcely appeared when eight natives, who,
upon our first appearance on their coast, had vainly called to us by
cries and gestures, appeared suddenly together. After awhile three of
them, who were no doubt women, went away again. The remaining five,
first throwing their assegais to a distance, to convince us, probably,
of their pacific intentions, assisted us in landing. At my suggestion,
the sailors offered them various presents, which they received with an
air of satisfaction, but without enthusiasm. Whether from apathy, or
as a mark of confidence, they returned the presents to us with a
pleased expression; and upon our once more presenting them with the
same things, they left them upon the ground or surrounding rocks.

"They were accompanied by many large and handsome dogs. I did all I
could to induce them to part with one. I offered them all I had, but
their refusal was persistent. They probably employed them in hunting
the kangaroo, which, with the fish that I had seen them pierce with
their assegais, formed their staple food. They drank some coffee, and
ate some salt beef and biscuits, but refused the bacon we offered, and
left it behind them upon the stones without touching it.

"These natives are tall, thin, and very active. They have long hair,
black eyebrows, short flat noses, sunken eyes, large mouths, with
projecting lips, and fine and very white teeth. The inside of their
mouths seemed as black as the outside of their bodies.

"The three who appeared the oldest among them, and who might have been
from forty to fifty years of age, had large black beards. Their teeth
appeared to have been filed, and the cartilage of the nose pierced.
Their hair was trimmed, and curled naturally.

"The other two, whose ages we took to be from sixteen to eighteen,
were not tatooed at all. Their long hair was gathered into a chignon,
powdered with red dust, similar to that which the elder ones had
rubbed over their bodies.

"They were all naked, and wore no ornament, excepting a large
waistband, composed of a number of small fringed strips of kangaroo
skin. They talked volubly, and sang in snatches, but always in the
same key, and accompanied their song with the same gestures. In spite
of the friendly feeling which continued to exist between us, they
never allowed us to approach the spot where the other natives,
probably their wives, were hidden."

After a stay of twelve days in King George's Harbour, the explorers
again put to sea. They rectified and completed the maps drawn by
D'Entrecasteaux and Vancouver of Lecon, Edel, and Endrant Lands, which
were in turn visited and surveyed, between the 7th and the 26th of
March. Thence Baudin proceeded to De Witt Land, which was almost
unknown when he visited it the first time. He hoped to succeed better
than De Witt, Vianen, Dampier, and St. Allouarn, who had all been
unsuccessful in their efforts to explore it; but the breakers, reefs,
and sandbanks, rendered navigation extremely perilous.

A new source of danger shortly afterwards arose, in the singular
illusion of the mirage. "The effect," says the narrative, "was to make
the _Géographe_ appear to be surrounded by reefs, although at the time
she was a full league away from them, and every one on board the
_Casuarina_ imagined her to be in the most imminent danger. Only when
it became too exaggerated to be real was the magic of the illusion

Upon the 3rd of May the two vessels once more cast anchor in Coupang
Port, Timor Island. One month later, after revictualling, Captain
Baudin set sail for De Witt Land, where he now hoped to find the winds
favourable for an advance to the east. From thence he proceeded to
Mauritius, where he died upon the 16th of September, 1803. It appears
probable that the precarious state of his health had some influence
upon his conduct of this expedition, and possibly his staff would have
had less reason to complain of him had he been in full possession of
all his faculties. This, however, is a question for psychologists to

[Illustration: Water-carrier at Timor. (Fac-simile of early

The _Géographe_ entered Lorient roadstead upon the 23rd of March, and
three days later the vast collection of natural curiosities was landed.

The narrative says, "Besides an immense number of cases, containing
minerals, dried plants, fish, reptiles, and zoophytes, preserved in
brandy, stuffed or dissected quadrupeds and birds, we had seventy
large cases filled with vegetables in their natural state, comprising
nearly two hundred species of useful plants, and about six hundred
varieties of seeds. In addition to all this, at least a hundred living

We cannot better complete our account of the results of this
expedition than by giving an extract from the report laid before the
Government by the Institute, relating more particularly to the
zoological collection made by MM. Péron and Lesueur.

"It comprises more than 100,000 specimens of large and small animals.
Many important new species are already recognized, and there still
remain, according to the statement made by the professor at the museum,
upwards of 2500 to be classified."

When we reflect that Cook's second voyage, the most successful
undertaken up to this period, had produced only 250 specimens; that
the united voyages of Carteret, Wallis, Furneaux, Meares, and even
Vancouver, had not accumulated so many, and when we admit that the
same statement applies to all succeeding French expeditions, it is
evident that MM. Péron and Lesueur introduced more new animals to
Europe than all other modern travellers put together.

Moreover, the geographical and hydrographical results were
considerable. The English Government has always refused to acknowledge
them, and Desborough Cooley, in his "History of Voyages," subordinates
Baudin's discoveries to those of Flinders. It was even suggested that
Flinders was detained prisoner at Mauritius for six years and a half,
in order to allow French authors time to consult his maps, and arrange
the details of their voyages accordingly. This accusation is too
absurd to need refutation.

The two navigators, French and English, have each fairly earned a
place in the history of the discovery of the Australian coasts, and it
is unnecessary to praise one at the expense of the other.

In the preface to the second edition of his "Voyage de la Corvette
_Australis_" which was revised and corrected by Louis de Freycinet,
Péron has given each his due meed of praise; and to his able work we
refer all readers who are interested in the question.


Shaw in Algeria and Tunis--Hornemann in Fezzan--Adamson at Senegal--
Houghton in Senegambia--Mungo Park and his two voyages to the Djoliba,
or Niger--Sego--Timbuctoo--Sparmann and Lavaillant at the Cape, at
Natal, and in the Interior--Lacerda in Mozambique, and at Cazembé--
Bruce in Abyssinia--Sources of the Blue Nile--Tzana Lake--Browne's
journey in Darfur.

An Englishman named Thomas Shaw, a chaplain in Algeria, had profited
by his twelve years' stay in Barbary to gather together a rich
collection of natural curiosities, medals, inscriptions, and various
objects of interest. Although he himself never visited the southern
portion of Algeria, he availed himself of the facts he was able to
obtain from well-informed travellers, who imparted to him a mass of
information concerning the little known and scarcely visited country.
He published a book in two large quarto volumes, which embraced the
whole of ancient Numidia.

[Illustration: Map of part of North Africa.]

It was rather the work of a learned man than the account of a
traveller, and it must be admitted that the learning is occasionally
ill-directed. But in spite of its shortcomings as a geographical
history, it had a large value at the time of its publication, and no
one could have been better situated than Shaw for collecting such an
enormous mass of material.

The following extract may give an idea of the style of the work:--

"The chief manufacture of the Kabyles and Arabs is the making 'hykes,'
as they call their blankets. The women alone are employed in this
work; like Andromache and Penelope of old, they do not use the shuttle,
but weave every thread of the woof with their fingers. The usual size
of a hyke is six yards long and five or six feet broad, serving the
Kabyle and Arab as a complete dress during the day, and as a covering
for the bed at night. It is a loose but troublesome garment, as it is
often disarranged and slips down, so that the person who wears it is
every moment obliged to tuck it up and rearrange it. This shows the
great use there is of a girdle whenever men are in active employment,
and explains the force of the Scripture injunction _of having our
loins girded_. The method of wearing this garment, with the use it is
at other times put to as bed-covering, makes it probable that it is
similar to if not identical with the _peplus_ of the ancients. It is
likewise probable that the loose garment flung over the shoulder, the
_toga_ of the Romans, was of this kind, as the drapery of statues is
arranged very much in the same manner as the Arab hyke."

It is unnecessary to linger over this work, which has little interest
for us. We shall do better to turn our attention to the journey of
Frederic Conrad Horneman to Fezzan.

This young German offered his services to the African Society of
London, and, having satisfied the authorities of his knowledge of
medicine and acquaintance with the Arabic language, he was engaged,
and furnished with letters of introduction, safe-conducts, and
unlimited credit.

Leaving London in July, 1797, he went first to Paris. Lalande
introduced him to the Institute, and presented him with his "Mémoire
sur l'Afrique," and Broussonet gave him an introduction to a Turk from
whom he obtained letters of recommendation to certain Cairo merchants
who carried on business in the interior of Africa.

During his stay at Cairo, Horneman devoted himself to perfecting his
knowledge of Arabic, and studying the manners and customs of the
natives. We must not omit to mention that the traveller had been
presented by Monge and Berthollet to Napoleon Buonaparte, who was then
in command of the French forces in Egypt. From him he received a
cordial welcome, and Buonaparte placed all the resources of the
country at his service.

[Illustration: "He received a cordial welcome."]

As the safer method of travelling, Horneman resolved to disguise
himself as a Mohammedan merchant. He quickly learned a few prayers,
and adopted a style of dress likely to impose upon unsuspecting people.
He then started, accompanied by a fellow-countryman named Joseph
Frendenburg, who had been a Mussulman for more than twelve years, had
already made three pilgrimages to Mecca, and was perfectly familiar
with the various Turkish and Arabic dialects. He was to act as
Horneman's interpreter.

On the 5th of September, 1798, the traveller left Cairo with a caravan,
and visited the famous oasis of Jupiter Ammon or Siwah, situated in
the desert on the east of Egypt. It is a small independent state,
which acknowledges the Sultan, but is exempt from paying tribute. The
town of Siwah is surrounded by several villages, at distances of a
mile or two. It is built upon a rock in which the inhabitants have
hollowed recesses for their dwellings. The streets are so narrow and
intricate that a stranger cannot possibly find his way among them.

This oasis is of considerable extent. The most fertile portion
comprises a well-watered valley, about fifty miles in circumference,
which is productive of corn and edible vegetables. Dates of an
excellent flavour are its most valuable export.

Horneman was anxious to explore some ruins which he had noticed, for
he could obtain little information from the natives. But every time he
penetrated to any distance in the ruins, he was followed by a number
of the inhabitants, who prevented him from examining anything in
detail. One of the Arabs said to him, "You must still be a Christian
at heart, or you would not so often visit the works of the infidels."

This remark put a speedy end to Horneman's further explorations. As
far as his superficial examination enabled him to judge, it was really
the oasis of Ammon, and the ruins appeared to him to be of Egyptian

The immense number of catacombs in the neighbourhood of the town,
especially on the hill overlooking it, indicate a dense population in
ancient times. The traveller endeavoured vainly to obtain a perfect
head from one of these burial-places. Amongst the skulls he procured,
he found no certain proof that they had been filled with resin. He met
with many fragments of clothing, but they were all in such a state of
decay that it was impossible to decide upon their origin or use.

After a stay of eight days in this place, Horneman crossed the
mountains which surrounded the oasis of Siwah, and directed his steps
towards Schiatah. So far no misfortune had interrupted his progress.
But at Schiatah he was denounced as a Christian and a spy. Horneman
cleverly saved his life by boldly reading out a passage in the Koran
which he had in his possession. Unfortunately, his interpreter,
expecting that his baggage would be searched, had burned the
collection of fragments of mummies, the botanical specimens, the
journal containing the account of the journey, and all the books. This
loss was quite irreparable.

A little further on, the caravan reached Augila, a town mentioned by
Herodotus, who places it some ten days' journey from the oasis of
Ammon. This accords with the testimony given by Horneman, who reached
it in nine days' forced march. At Augila a number of merchants from
Bengasi, Merote, and Mokamba had joined the caravan, amounting
altogether to no less than a hundred and twenty persons. After a long
journey over a sandy desert, the caravan entered a country
interspersed with hills and ravines, where they found trees and grass
at intervals. This was the desert of Harutsch. It was necessary to
cross it in order to reach Temissa, a town of little note, built upon
a hill, and surrounded by a high wall. At Zuila the Fezzan country was
entered. The usual ceremonies, with interminable compliments and
congratulations, were repeated at the entrance to every town. The
Arabs appear to lay great stress upon these salutations, little
trustworthy as they are, and travellers constantly express surprise at
their frequent recurrence.

Upon the 17th of November, the caravan halted at Murzuk, the capital
of Fezzan. It was the end of the journey. Horneman says that the
greatest length of the cultivated portion of Fezzan is about three
hundred miles from north to south, but to this must be added the
mountainous region of Harutsch on the east, and the various deserts
north and west. The climate is never pleasant; in summer the heat is
terrible, and when the wind blows from the south, it is all but
insupportable, even to the natives, and in winter the north wind is so
cold that they are obliged to have recourse to fires.

The produce of the country consists principally of dates and
vegetables. Murzuk is the chief market; there are collected the
products of Cairo, Bengazi, Tripoli, Ghâdames, Ghât, and the Soudan.
Among the articles of commerce are male and female slaves, ostrich
feathers, skins of wild beasts, and gold-dust or nuggets. Bornu
produces copper; Cairo silks, calicoes, woollen garments, imitation
coral, bracelets, and Indian manufactures. Fire-arms, sabres, and
knives are imported by the merchants of Tripoli and Ghâdames.

The Fezzan country is ruled by a sultan descended from the scherifs,
whose power is limitless, but who, nevertheless, pays a tribute of
four thousand dollars to the Bey of Tripoli. Horneman, without giving
the grounds of his calculation, informs us that the population amounts
to seventy-five thousand inhabitants, all of whom profess

Horneman's narrative gives a few more details of the manners and
customs of the people. He ends his report to the African Society by
saying that he proposes visiting Fezzan again in the hope of obtaining
new facts.

We learn, further, that Frendenburg, Horneman's faithful associate,
died at Murzuk. Attacked by a violent fever, Horneman was forced to
remain much longer than he desired in that town. While still only
partially recovered, he went to Tripoli for change and rest, hoping
there to meet with Europeans. Upon the 1st of December, 1799, he
returned to Murzuk, and left it finally with a caravan upon the 7th of
April, 1800. He was irresistibly attracted towards Bornu, and perished
in that country, which was to claim so many victims.

During the eighteenth century, Africa was literally besieged by
travellers. Explorers endeavoured to penetrate into it from every side.
More than one succeeded in reaching the interior, only to meet with
repulse or death. The discovery of the secrets of this mysterious
continent was reserved for our own age, when the unexpected fertility
of its resources has astonished the civilized world.

The facts relating to the coast of Senegal needed confirmation, but
the French superiority was no longer undisputed. The English, with
their earnest and enterprising character, were convinced of its
importance in the development of their commerce, and determined upon
its exploration. But before proceeding to the narrative of the
adventures of Major Houghton and Mungo Park, we will devote a small
space to the record of the work done by the French naturalist, Michel

Devoted from early youth to the study of natural history, Adanson
wished to become famous by the discovery of new species. It was
hopeless to dream of obtaining them in Europe, and, in spite of
opposition, Adanson selected Senegal as the field of his labours. He
says, in a manuscript letter, that he chose it because it was the most
difficult to explore of all European settlements, and, being the
hottest, most unhealthy, and most dangerous, was the least known by
naturalists. Certainly a choice founded upon such reasoning gave proof
of rare courage and ambition.

It is true that Adanson was by no means the first naturalist to
encounter similar dangers, but he was the first to undertake them,
with so much enthusiasm, at his own cost, and without hope of reward.
Upon his return, he had not sufficient money to pay for the
publication of his account of the discoveries he had made.

Embarking upon the 3rd of March, 1749, on board the _Chevalier Marin_,
commanded by D'Après de Mannevillette, he touched at Santa Cruz,
Teneriffe, and disembarked at the mouth of the Senegal, which he took
to be the Niger of ancient geographers. During nearly five years he
was engaged in exploring the colony in every direction, visiting in
turn Podor, Portudal, Albreda, and the mouth of the Gambia. With
unceasing perseverance, he collected a rich harvest of facts in the
animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms.

To him is due the first exact account of a gigantic tree called the
Baobab, which is often called Adansonia after him; of the habits of
the grasshoppers, which form the chief food of certain wild tribes; of
the white ants, and the dwellings they construct; and of a certain
kind of oyster, which attach themselves to trees at the mouth of the
Gambia. He says,--

"The natives have not the difficulty one might anticipate in catching
them; they simply cut off the bough to which they cling. They often
cluster to the number of over two hundred on one branch, and if there
are several branches, they form a bunch of oysters such as a man could
scarcely carry."

[Illustration: The Baobab.]

In spite of the interest of these and similar discoveries, there are
few new facts for the geographer to glean. A few words about the
Yolofs and Mandingoes comprise all there is to learn. If we followed
Adanson throughout his explorations, we should gain little fresh

The same cannot be said of the expedition of which we are about to
give some account. Major Houghton, captain in the 69th regiment, and
English Governor of the Fort of Goree, had been familiar from his
youth, part of which was passed with the English Embassy in Morocco,
with the manners and customs of the Moors and the negroes of
Senegambia. In 1790, he proposed to the African Society to explore the
course of the Niger, penetrate as far as Timbuctoo and Houssa, and
return by way of the Sahara. The carrying out of this bold plan met
with but one obstacle, but that was almost sufficient to upset it.

Houghton left England upon the 16th of October, 1790, and anchored in
Jillifree harbour, at the mouth of the Gambia, upon the 10th of
November. Well received by the King of Barra, he followed the course
of the Gambia to a distance of three hundred leagues, traversed the
remainder of Senegambia, and reached Gonda Konda in Yanvi.

Walknaer, in his "History of Voyages," says, "He purchased a negro, a
horse, and five asses, and prepared to proceed with the merchandise
which was to pay his expenses to Mendana, the capital of the little
kingdom of Woolli. Fortunately his slight knowledge of the Mandingo
language enabled him to understand a negress who was speaking of a
plot against him. The merchants trading on the river, imagining
commerce to be his sole object, and fearing that he might compete with
them, had determined upon his death.

"In order to avoid the threatened danger, he thought it wise to
deviate from the usual route, and, accordingly, crossed the river with
his asses, and reached the northern shore in the kingdom of Cantor."

Houghton then crossed the river a second time, and entered the kingdom
of Woolli. He at once sent a messenger to the king, bearing presents,
and asking for protection. He was cordially received, and the
traveller was welcomed to Mendana, the capital, which he describes as
an important town, situated in the midst of a fertile country, in
which many herds of cattle graze.

Houghton was justified in anticipating a successful issue to his
voyage; everything appeared to presage it, when an event occurred
which was the first blow to his hopes. A hut next that in which he
slept took fire, and the whole town was soon in flames. His
interpreter, who had made several attempts to rob him, seized this
opportunity, and fled with a horse and three asses.

Still the King of Woolli continued his protection of the traveller,
and loaded him with presents, precious not on account of their value,
but as signs of the good-will which they demonstrated. This friend of
the Europeans was named Djata. Humane, intelligent, and good-hearted,
he wished the English to establish a factory in his kingdom.

Houghton, in a letter to his wife, says,--

"Captain Littleton, during a stay of four years here, has amassed a
considerable fortune. He possesses several ships which trade up and
down the river. At any time one can obtain, for the merest trifle,
gold, ivory, wax, and slaves. Poultry, sheep, eggs, butter, milk,
honey, and fish are extremely abundant, and for ten pounds sterling a
large family might be maintained in luxury. The soil is dry, the air
very healthy; and the King of Woolli told me that no white man had
ever died at Fataconda."

Houghton then followed the Falemé river as far as Cacullo, which in
D'Anville's map is called Cacoulon, and whilst in Bambouk gleaned a
few facts about the Djoliba river, which runs through the interior of
the Soudan. The direction of this river he ascertained to be southward
as far as Djeneh, then west by east to Timbuctoo--facts which were
later confirmed by Mungo Park. The traveller was cordially received by
the King of Bambouk, who provided him with a guide to Timbuctoo, and
with cowries to pay his expenses during the journey. It was hoped that
Houghton would reach the Niger without accident, when a note, written
in pencil and half effaced, reached Dr. Laidley. It was dated from
Simbing, and stated that the traveller had been robbed of his baggage,
but that he was prosecuting his journey to Timbuctoo. This was
followed by accounts from various sources, which gave rise to a
suspicion that Houghton had been assassinated in Bambara. His fate was
uncertain until it was discovered by Mungo Park.

Walknaer says,--

"Simbing, where Houghton wrote the last words ever received from him,
is a little walled town on the frontier of the kingdom of Ludamar.
Here he was abandoned by his negro servants, who were unwilling to
accompany him to the country of the Moors. Still he continued his
route, and, after surmounting many obstacles, he advanced to the north,
and endeavoured to cross the kingdom of Ludamar. Finally he reached
Yaouri, and made the acquaintance of several merchants, on their way
to sell salt at Tischet, a town situated near the marshes of the great
desert, and six days' journey north of Yaouri. Then, by bribing the
merchants with a gun and a little tobacco, he persuaded them to
conduct him to Tischet. All this would lead us to suppose that the
Moors deceived him, either as to the route he should have followed, or
as to the state of the country between Yaouri and Timbuctoo.

"After two days' march, Houghton, finding himself deceived, wished to
return to Yaouri. The Moors robbed him of all he possessed, and fled.
He was forced to reach Yaouri on foot. Did he die of hunger, or was he
assassinated by the Moors? This has never been rightly determined, but
the spot where he perished was pointed out to Mungo Park."

The loss of Houghton's journals, containing the observations made
during his journey, deprived science of the result of all his fatigue
and devotion. To ascertain what he accomplished, one must have
recourse to the _Proceedings of the African Society_. At this time
Mungo Park, a young Scotch surgeon, who had just returned from a
voyage to the East Indies on board the _Worcester_, learnt that the
African Society were anxious to find an explorer willing to penetrate
to the interior of the country watered by the Gambia. Mungo Park, who
had long wished to acquaint himself with the productions of the
country, and the manners and customs of the inhabitants, offered his
services. He was not deterred by the apprehension that his predecessor,
Houghton, had probably perished.

[Illustration: Portrait of Mungo Park. (Fac-simile of early

At once accepted by the Society, Mungo Park hastened his preparations,
and left Portsmouth upon the 22nd of May, 1795. He was furnished with
introductions to Dr. Laidley, and a credit of two hundred pounds
sterling. Landing at Jillifree, at the mouth of the Gambia, in the
kingdom of Barra, and following the river, he reached Pisania, an
English factory belonging to Dr. Laidley. He directed his attention
first to acquiring a knowledge of the Mandingo language, which was
most generally used, and in collecting the facts most likely to be
useful in the execution of his plans.

His stay here enabled him to obtain more accurate information than his
predecessors with regard to the Feloups, the Yolofs, the Foulahs, and
the Mandingoes. The Feloups are morose, quarrelsome, and vindictive,
but faithful and courageous. The Yolofs are a powerful and warlike
nation, with very black skins. Except in colour and speech, they
resemble the Mandingoes, who are gentle and sociable. Tall and
well-made, their women are, comparatively speaking, pretty. Lastly,
the Foulahs, who are the lightest in colour, seem much attached to a
pastoral and agricultural life. The greater part of these populations
are Mohammedans, and practise polygamy.

Upon the 2nd of December, Mungo Park, accompanied by two negro
interpreters, and with a small quantity of baggage, started for the
interior. He first reached the small kingdom of Woolli, the capital of
which, Medina, comprises a thousand houses. He then proceeded to Kolor,
a considerable town, and, after two days' march across a desert,
entered the kingdom of Bondou. The natives are Foulahs, professing the
Mohammedan religion; they carry on a brisk trade in ivory, when they
are not engaged in agriculture.

The traveller soon reached the Falemé river, the bed of which, near
its source in the mountains of Dalaba, is very auriferous. He was
received by the king at Fataconda, the capital of Bondou, and had
great difficulty in convincing him that he travelled from curiosity.
His interview with the wives of the monarch is thus described. Mungo
Park says,--

"I had scarcely entered the court, when I was surrounded by the entire
seraglio. Some begged me for physic, some for amber, and all were most
desirous of trying the great African specific of _blood-letting_. They
are ten or twelve in number, most of them young and handsome, wearing
on their heads ornaments of gold or pieces of amber. They rallied me a
good deal upon different subjects, particularly upon the whiteness of
my skin and the length of my nose. They insisted that both were
artificial. The first, they said, was produced, when I was an infant,
by dipping me in milk, and they insisted that my nose had been pinched
every day till it had acquired its present unsightly and unnatural

Leaving Bondou by the north, Mungo Park entered Kajaaga, called by the
French Galam. The climate of this picturesque country, watered by the
Senegal, is far healthier than that of districts nearer the coast. The
natives call themselves Serawoullis, and are called Seracolets by the
French. The colour of their skin is jet black, and in this respect
they are scarcely distinguishable from the Yolofs.

Mungo Park says, "The Serawoollis are habitually a trading people.
They formerly carried on a great commerce with the French in gold-dust
and slaves, and still often supply the British factories on the Gambia
with slaves. They are famous for the skill and honesty with which they
do business."

[Illustration: Natives of Senegal.]

At Joag, Mungo Park was relieved of half his property by the envoys of
the king, under pretence of making him pay for the right to pass
through his kingdom. Fortunately for him, the nephew of
Demba-Jego-Jalla, King of Kasson, who was about to return to his
country, took him under his protection. They reached Gongadi, where
there are extensive date plantations, together, and thence proceeded
to Samia, on the shores of the Senegal, on the frontiers of Kasson.

The first town met with in this kingdom was that of Tiesie, which was
reached by Mungo Park on the 31st of December. Well received by the
natives, who sold him the provisions he needed at a reasonable price,
the traveller was subjected by the brother and nephew of the king to
endless indignities.

Leaving this town upon the 10th of January, 1796, Mungo Park reached
Kouniakari, the capital of Kasson--a fertile, rich, and well-populated
country, which can place forty thousand men under arms. The king, full
of kindly feeling for the traveller, wished him to remain in his
kingdom as long as the wars between Kasson and Kajaaga lasted. It was
more than probable that the countries of Kaarta and Bambara, which
Mungo Park wished to visit, would be drawn into it. The advice of the
king to remain was prudent, and Park had soon reason enough to regret
not having followed it.

But, impatient to reach the interior, the traveller would not listen,
and entered the level and sandy plains of Kaarta. He met crowds of
natives on the journey who were flying to Kasson to escape the horrors
of war. But even this did not deter him; he continued his journey
until he reached the capital of Kaarta, which is situated in a fertile
and open plain.

He was kindly received by the king, Daisy Kourabari, who endeavoured
to dissuade him from entering Bambara, and, finding all his arguments
useless, advised him to avoid passing through the midst of the fray,
by entering the kingdom of Ludamar, inhabited by Moors. From thence he
could proceed to Bambara.

During his journey Mungo Park noticed negroes who fed principally upon
a sort of bread made from the berries of the lotus, which tasted not
unlike gingerbread. This plant, the _rhamnus lotus_, is indigenous in
Senegambia, Nigritia, and Tunis.

"So," says Mungo Park, "there can be little doubt of this fruit being
the lotus mentioned by Pliny as the food of the Lybian Lotophagi. I
have tasted lotus bread, and think that an army may very easily have
been fed with it, as is said by Pliny to have been done in Lybia. The
taste of the bread is so sweet and agreeable, that the soldiers would
not be likely to complain of it."

On the 22nd February, Mungo Park reached Jarra, a considerable town,
with houses built of stone, inhabited by negroes from the south who
had placed themselves under the protection of the Moors, to whom they
paid considerable tribute. From Ali, King of Ludamar, the traveller
obtained permission to travel in safety through his dominions. But, in
spite of this safe-conduct, Park was almost entirely despoiled by the
fanatical Moors of Djeneh. At Sampaka and Dalli, large towns, and at
Samea, a small village pleasantly situated, he was so cordially
welcomed that he already saw himself in fancy arrived in the interior
of Africa, when a troop of soldiers appeared, who led him to Benown,
the camp of King Ali.

"Ali," says Mungo Park, "was sitting upon a black morocco cushion,
clipping a few hairs on his upper lip--a female attendant holding a
looking-glass before him. He was an old man of Arab race, with a long
white beard, and he looked sullen and angry. He surveyed me with
attention, and inquired of the Moors if I could speak Arabic. Being
answered in the negative, he appeared surprised, and continued silent.
The surrounding attendants, and especially ladies, were much more
inquisitive. They asked a thousand questions, inspected every part of
my apparel, searched my pockets, and obliged me to unbutton my
waistcoat to display the whiteness of my skin. They even counted my
toes and fingers, as if they doubted whether I was in truth a human

An unprotected stranger, a Christian, and accounted a spy, Mungo Park
was a victim to the insolence, ferocity, and fanaticism of the Moors.
He was spared neither insults, outrages, nor blows. They attempted to
make a barber of him, but his awkwardness in cutting the hairy face of
the king's son exempted him from this degrading occupation. During his
captivity he collected many particulars regarding Timbuctoo, which is
so difficult of access to Europeans, and was the bourne of all early
African explorers.

"Houssa," a scherif told him, "is the largest town I have ever seen.
Walet is larger than Timbuctoo, but as it is farther from the Niger,
and its principal trade is in salt, few strangers are met there. From
Benown to Walet is a distance of six days' journey. No important town
is passed between the two, and the traveller depends for sustenance
upon the milk procurable from Arabs, whose flocks and herds graze
about the wells and springs. The road leads for two days through a
sandy desert, where not a drop of water is to be had."

It takes eleven days to go from Walet to Timbuctoo, but water is not
so scarce on this journey, which is generally made upon oxen. At
Timbuctoo there are a number of Jews who speak Arabic, and use the
same forms of prayer as the Moors.

[Illustration: Map of Western Africa.]

The events of the war decided Ali to proceed to Jarra. Mungo Park, who
had succeeded in making friends with the sultan's favourite, Fatima,
obtained permission to accompany the king. The traveller hoped, by
nearing the scene of action, to manage to escape. As it happened, the
King of Kaarta, Daisy Kourabari, soon after marched against the town
of Jarra. The larger number of inhabitants fled, and Mungo Park did
the same.

He soon found means to get away, but his interpreter refused to
accompany him. He was forced to start for Bambara alone, and destitute
of resources.

The first town he came to was Wawra, which properly belongs to Kaarta,
but was then paying tribute to Mansong, King of Bambara. Mungo Park

"Upon the morning of the 7th of July, as I was about to depart, my
landlord, with a great deal of diffidence, begged me to give him a
lock of my hair. He had been told, he said, that white men's hair made
a _saphic_ (talisman) that would give the possessor all the knowledge
of the white man. I had never before heard of so simple a mode of
education, but I at once complied with the request; and my landlord's
thirst for learning was so great that he cut and pulled at my hair
till he had cropped one side of my head pretty closely, and would have
done the same with the other had I not signified my disapprobation,
assuring him that I wished to reserve some of this precious material
for a future occasion."

First Gallon and then Mourja, a large town, famous for its trade in
salt, were passed, after fatigues and incredible privations. Upon
nearing Sego, Mungo Park at last perceived the Djoliba. "Looking
forward," he says, "I saw, with infinite pleasure, the great object of
my mission--the long-sought-for, majestic Niger, glittering in the
morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and flowing slowly
to the eastward. I hastened to the brink, and, having drunk of the
water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to the Great Ruler of all
things for having thus far crowned my endeavours with success.

"The fact of the Niger flowing towards the east did not, however,
excite my surprise; for, although I had left Europe in great
hesitation on this subject, and rather believed it ran in the contrary
direction, I had made frequent inquiries during my progress, and had
received from negroes of different nations such clear and decisive
assurances that its course _was towards the rising sun_ as scarce left
any doubt in my mind, more especially as I knew that Major Houghton
had collected similar information in a similar manner.

"Sego, the capital of Bambara, at which I had now arrived, consists,
properly speaking, of four distinct towns; two on the northern bank of
the river, called Sego Korro and Sego Boo, and two on the southern
bank, called Sego Sou Korro and Sego See Korro. They are all
surrounded with high mud walls; the houses are built of clay, of a
square form, with flat roofs; some of them have two stories, and many
of them are whitewashed. Besides these buildings, Moorish mosques are
seen in every quarter, and the streets, though narrow, are broad
enough for every practical purpose in a country where wheel carriages
are unknown. From the best information I could obtain, I have reason
to believe that Sego contains altogether about thirty thousand
inhabitants. The king of Bambara resides permanently at Sego See
Korro; he employs a great many slaves in conveying people over the
river; and the money they take, though the fare is only ten cowries
for each person, furnishes a considerable revenue to the king in the
course of a year."

By advice of the Moors, the king refused to receive the traveller, and
forbade him to remain in his capital, where he could not have
protected him from ill-treatment. However, to divest his refusal of
all appearance of ill-will, he sent him a bag containing 5000 cowries,
of the value of about a pound sterling, to buy provisions. The
messenger sent by the king was to serve as guide as far as Sansanding.
Protest and anger were alike impossible; Mungo Park could do nothing
but follow the orders sent. Before reaching Sansanding, he was present
at the harvest of vegetable butter, which is the produce of a tree
called Shea.

"These trees," says the narrative, "grow in great abundance all over
this part of Bambara. They are not planted by the natives, but are
found growing naturally in the woods; and, in clearing land for
cultivation, every tree is cut down but the shea. The tree itself very
much resembles the American oak; the fruit--from the kernel of which,
after it has been dried in the sun, the butter is prepared by boiling
in water--has somewhat the appearance of a Spanish olive. The kernel
is imbedded in a sweet pulp, under a thin green rind, and the butter
produced from it, besides the advantage of keeping a whole year
without salt, is whiter, firmer, and, to my palate, of a richer
flavour than the best butter I ever tasted from cows' milk. It is a
chief article of the inland commerce of these districts."

Sansanding, a town containing from eight to ten thousand inhabitants,
is a market-place much frequented by the Moors, who bring glass-ware
from the Mediterranean forts, which they exchange for gold-dust and
cotton. Mungo Park was not able to remain at this place, for the
importunities of the natives and the perfidious insinuations of the
Moors warned him to continue his route. His horse was so worn out by
fatigue and privation that he felt obliged to embark on the river
Djoliba or Niger.

At Mourzan, a fishing village upon the northern bank of the river,
everything combined to induce Park to relinquish his enterprise. The
further he advanced to the eastward down the river, the more he placed
himself in the power of the Moors. The rainy season had commenced, and
it would soon be impossible to travel otherwise than by boat. Mungo
Park was now so poor that he could not even hire a boat; he was forced
to rely upon public charity.

To advance further under these circumstances was not only to risk his
life, but to place the results of all his fatigues and efforts in
jeopardy. To return to Gambia was scarcely less perilous; to do so he
must traverse hundreds of miles on foot through hostile countries.
Still the hope of returning home might sustain his courage.

"Before leaving Silla," says the traveller, "I thought it incumbent on
me to collect from the Moorish and negro traders all the information I
could concerning the further course of the Niger eastward, and the
situation and extent of the kingdoms in its neighbourhood.

"Two days' journey eastward of Silla is the town of Djenneh, which is
situated on a small island in the river, and is said to contain as
many inhabitants as Sego itself, or any other town in Bambara. At a
distance of two days' more, the river widens and forms a considerable
lake, called Dibby (or the dark lake), concerning the extent of which,
all I could learn was that, in crossing it from east to west, the
canoes lose sight of land for one whole day. From this lake the water
issues in many different streams, which finally become two branches,
one flowing to the north-east, the other to the east; but these
branches join at Kabra, which is one day's journey to the south of
Timbuctoo, and is the port or shipping-place of that city. The tract
of land between the two streams is called Timbala, and is inhabited by
negroes. The whole distance by land from Djenneh to Timbuctoo is
twelve days' journey. North-east of Masena is the kingdom of Timbuctoo,
the great object of European research, the capital of the kingdom
being one of the principal marts for the extensive commerce which the
Moors carry on with the negroes. The hope of acquiring wealth in this
pursuit, and zeal for propagating their religion, have filled this
extensive city with Moors. The king himself and all the chief officers
of his court are Moors, and are said to be more intolerant and severe
in their principles than any other of the Moorish tribes in this part
of Africa."

Mungo Park was then forced to retrace his steps, and that through a
country devastated by inundation and heavy rains. He passed through
Mourzan, Kea, and Modibon, where he regained his horse; Nyara,
Sansanding, Samea, and Sai, which is surrounded by a deep moat, and
protected by high walls with square towers; Jabbéa, a large town, from
which he perceived high mountain ranges, and Taffara, where he was
received with little hospitality.

At the village of Souha, Park begged a handful of grain of a "dooty,"
who answered that he had nothing to give away.

"Whilst I was examining the face of this inhospitable old man, and
endeavouring to find out the cause of the sullen discontent which was
visible in his eye, he called to a slave who was working in the
corn-field at a little distance, and ordered him to bring his spade
with him. The Dooty then told him to dig a hole in the ground,
pointing to a spot at no great distance. The slave with his spade
began to dig in the earth, and the Dooty, who appeared to be a man of
very fretful disposition, kept muttering to himself until the pit was
almost finished, when he repeatedly pronounced the word _ankatod_
(good for nothing), _jankra lemen_ (a regular plague), which
expressions I thought applied to myself. As the pit had very much the
appearance of a grave, I thought it prudent to mount my horse, and was
about to decamp when the slave, who had gone before to the village,
returned with the corpse of a boy about nine or ten years of age,
quite naked. The negro carried the body by an arm and leg, and threw
it into the pit with a savage indifference such as I had never seen.
As he covered the body with earth, the Dooty kept repeating _naphula
attemata_ (money lost), whence I concluded the boy had been his

Mungo Park left Koulikorro, where he had obtained food by writing
saphics or talismans for the natives, upon the 21st of August, and
reached Bammakoa, where a large salt-market is held. From an eminence
near the town he perceived a high mountain range in the kingdom of
Kong, whose ruler had a more numerous army than the King of Bambara.

Once more robbed by brigands of all he possessed, the unfortunate
traveller found himself, in the rainy season, alone in a vast desert,
five leagues from the nearest European settlement, and for the moment
gave way to despair. But his courage soon revived; and reaching the
town of Sibidoulou, his horse and clothes, which had been stolen from
him by Foulah robbers, were restored to him by the _mansa_, or chief.
Kamalia, or Karfa Taura advised him to await the cessation of the
rainy season, and then to proceed to Gambia with a caravan of slaves.
Worn out, destitute, attacked by fever, which for five months kept him
prostrate, Mungo Park had no choice but to remain in this place.

Upon the 19th of April the caravan set out. We can readily imagine the
joy experienced by Mungo Park when all was ready. Crossing the desert
of Jallonka, and passing first the principal branch of the Senegal
river, and then the Falemé, the caravan finally reached the shores of
the Gambia, and on the 12th of June, 1797, Mungo Park once more
arrived at Pisania, where he was warmly welcomed by Dr. Laidley, who
had despaired of ever seeing him again.

The traveller returned to England upon the 22nd of September. So great
was the impatience with which an account of his discoveries, certainly
the most important in this part of Africa, was awaited, that the
African Society allowed him to publish for his own profit an abridged
account of his adventures.

He had collected more facts as to the geography, manners, and customs
of the country than all preceding travellers; he had determined the
position of the sources of the Senegal and Gambia, and surveyed the
course of the Niger or Djoliba--which he proved to run eastwards,
whilst the Gambia flowed to the west.

Thus a point, which up to this time had been disputed by geographers,
was definitely settled. It was no longer possible to confound the
three rivers, as the French geographer Delisle had done, in 1707, when
he represented the Niger as running eastward from Bornu, and flowing
into the river Senegal on the west. He himself, however, had admitted
and corrected this error, in his later maps of 1722 and 1727, no doubt
on account of the facts ascertained by André Brue, governor of Senegal.

Houghton, indeed, had learned much from the natives of the course of
the Niger through the Mandingo country, and of the relative positions
of Sego, Djennéh, and Timbuctoo; but it was reserved for Mungo Park to
fix positively, from personal knowledge, the position of the two
first-named towns, and to furnish circumstantial details of the
country, and the tribes who inhabit it.

Public opinion was unanimous as to the importance of the great
traveller's exploration, and keenly appreciative of the courage, skill,
and honesty exhibited by him.

A short time later, the English government offered Mungo Park the
conduct of an expedition to the interior of Australia; but he refused

In 1804, however, the African Society determined to complete the
survey of the Niger, and proposed to Mungo Park the command of a new
expedition for its exploration. This time the great traveller did not
refuse, and upon the 30th of January, 1805, he left England. Two
months later he landed at Goree.

He was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Anderson, a surgeon, by
George Scott, a draughtsman, and by thirty-five artillery-men. He was
authorized to enrol as many soldiers as he liked in his service, and
was provided with a credit of five hundred pounds.

"These resources," says Walcknaer, "so vast in comparison with those
furnished by the African Society, were, to our thinking, partly the
cause of his loss. The rapacious demands of the African kings grew in
proportion to the riches they supposed our traveller to possess; and
the effort to meet the enormous drain made upon him, was in great part
the cause of the catastrophe which brought the expedition to an end."

Four carpenters, one officer and thirty-five artillery-men, and a
Mandingo merchant named Isaac, who was to act as guide, with the
leaders of the expedition already mentioned, composed an imposing
caravan. Mungo Park left Cayee upon the 27th of April, 1805, and
reached Pisania the next day. From this place, ten years earlier, he
had started upon his first exploration. Taking an easterly direction,
he followed his former route as far as Bambaku, upon the shores of the
Niger. When he arrived at this place, the number of Europeans was
already reduced to six soldiers and a carpenter; the remainder had
succumbed to fatigue, or the fevers incidental to the inundations. The
exactions of the various petty chiefs through whose domains the
expedition passed had considerably diminished the stock of merchandise.

Mungo Park was now guilty of an act of grave imprudence. Remarking
that trade was very active at Sansanding, a town containing eleven
thousand inhabitants, and that beads, indigo, antimony, rings,
bracelets, and other articles not likely to be spoiled in the transit
to England, were freely exhibited for sale, "he opened," says
Walcknaer, "a large shop, which he stocked with European merchandise,
for sale wholesale and retail; and probably the large profits he made
excited the envy of the merchants. The natives of Djenneh, the Moors,
and merchants of Sansanding, joined with those of Sego in offering, in
the presence of Modibinne, to give the King of Mansong a larger and
more valuable quantity of merchandise than he had received from the
English traveller, if he would seize his baggage, and then kill him,
or send him out of Bambarra. But in spite of his knowledge of this
fact, Mungo Park still kept his shop open, and he received, as the
proceeds of one single day's business, 25,756 pieces of money, or

Upon the 28th of October Anderson expired, after four months' illness,
and Mungo Park found himself once more alone in the heart of Africa.
The King of Mansong had accorded him permission to build a boat, which
would enable him to explore the Niger. Naming his craft the _Djoliba_,
he fixed upon the 16th of November for his departure.

Here his journal ends, with details on the riverside populations, and
on the geography of the countries he was the first to discover. This
journal, when it reached Europe, was published, imperfect as it was,
as soon as the sad fact was realized that the writer had perished in
the waters of the Djoliba. It contained in reality no new discovery,
but it was recognized as useful to geographical science. Mungo Park
had determined the astronomical position of the more important towns,
and thereby furnished material for a map of Senegambia. The perfecting
of this map was entrusted to Arrowsmith, who stated in an
advertisement, that, finding wide differences between the positions of
the towns as shown in the journal by each day's travel and that
furnished by the astronomical observations, it was impossible to
reconcile them; but that, in accordance with the latter, he had been
obliged to place the route followed by Mungo Park in his first voyage
farther north.

It was reserved for the Frenchman Walcknaer to discover a curious
discrepancy in Mungo Park's journal. This was a singular error upon
the part of the traveller, which neither the English editor nor the
French translator (whose work was badly performed) had discovered.
Mungo Park in his diary records events as happening upon the 31st of
April. As every one knows that that month has only thirty days, it
followed that during the course of his journey the traveller had made
a mistake of a whole day, reckoning in his calculations from the
evening instead of the morning. Hence important rectifications were
necessary in Arrowsmith's map; but none the less, when once Mungo
Park's error is recognized, it is evident that to him we owe the first
faithful map of Senegambia.

Although the facts that reached the English Government allowed no room
for doubt as to the fate of the traveller, a rumour that white men had
been seen in the interior of Africa induced the Governor of Senegal to
fit out an expedition. The command was entrusted to the negro merchant
Isaac, Mungo Park's guide, who had faithfully delivered the
traveller's journal to the English authorities. We need not linger
over the account of this expedition, but merely relate that which
concerns the last days of Mungo Park.

At Sansanding, Isaac encountered Amadi Fatouma, the native who was
with Park on the _Djoliba_ when he perished, and from him he obtained
the following recital:--

"We embarked at Sansanding, and in two days reached Silla, the spot
where Mungo Park completed his first journey.

"After two days' navigation we reached Djenneh. In passing Dibby,
three boats, filled with negroes armed with lances and arrows, but
without fire-arms, approached us. We had passed successively Racbara
and Timbuctoo, when we were pursued by these boats, which we repulsed
with difficulty, and only after killing several natives. At Gourouma
we were attacked by seven boats, but succeeded in repulsing them.
Constant skirmishes ensued, with heavy loss to the blacks, until we
reached Kaffo, where we remained for a day. We then proceeded down the
river as far as Carmusse, and anchored off Gournou. Next day we
perceived a Moorish detachment, who allowed us to pass.

"We then entered the country of Houssa. Next day we reached Yaouri,
and sent Amadi Fatouma into the town, with presents for the chief and
to purchase food. The negro, before accepting the presents, enquired
if the white traveller intended to revisit his country. Mungo Park, to
whom the question was reported, replied that he should never return."

It is supposed that these words brought about his death. The negro
chief, once convinced that he should not see Mungo Park again,
determined to keep the presents intended for his king.

Meantime, Amadi Fatouma reached the king's residence, at some distance
from the river. The prince, warned of the presence of the white men,
sent an army next day to the small village of Boussa, on the river
side. When the _Djoliba_ appeared it was assailed by a shower of
stones and arrows. Park threw his baggage into the river, and jumped
in with his companions. All perished.

Thus miserably died the first Englishman who had navigated the Djoliba
and visited Timbuctoo. Many efforts were made in the same direction,
but almost all were destined to fail.

At the end of the eighteenth century, two of Linnæus's best pupils
explored the south of Africa in the interests of natural history.
Sparrman undertook to search for animals, and Thunberg for plants. The
account of Sparrman's expedition, which, as we have said, was
interrupted by his voyage in Oceania, after Cook's expedition, was the
first to appear. It was translated into French by Le Tourneur. In his
preface, which is still allowed to stand, Le Tourneur deplored the
loss of the learned explorer, who he said had died during a voyage to
the Gold Coast. Just as the work was published, Sparrman reappeared,
to the great astonishment of Le Tourneur.

Sparrman had reached Africa upon the 30th of April, 1772, and landed
at the Cape of Good Hope. At this time the town was only two miles
across each way, including the gardens and plantations adjoining it on
one side. The streets were wide, planted with oaks, and the houses
were white, or, to Sparrman's surprise, painted green.

His object in visiting the Cape was to act as tutor to the children of
a M. Kerste; but upon his arrival in Cape Town, he found that his
employer was absent at his winter residence in False Bay. When the
spring came round, Sparrman accompanied Kerste to Alphen, a property
which he possessed near Constance. The naturalist availed himself of
the opportunity to make many excursions in the neighbourhood, and
attempt the somewhat dangerous ascent of the Table Mountain. By these
means he became acquainted with the manners and customs of the Boers,
and their treatment of their slaves. The violence of the latter was so
great that the inhabitants of the town were obliged to sleep with
locked doors, and provided with fire-arms close at hand.

Nearly all over the colony a rough hospitality ensured a certain
welcome for the traveller. Sparrman relates several curious
experiences of his own.

"I arrived one evening," he says, "at the dwelling of a farmer named
Van der Spooei, a widower, born in Africa, and father of the
proprietor of the Red Constance, or the Old Constance.

"Making believe not to see me approach, he remained stationary in the
entry of his house. As I approached him, he offered his hand, still
without attempting to come forward, and said, 'Good day! You are
welcome! How are you? _Who_ are you? A glass of wine perhaps? or a
pipe? Will you partake of something?' I answered his questions
laconically, and accepted his offers in the same style as they were
offered. His daughter, a well-made girl of some fourteen or fifteen
years of age, brought in dinner, which consisted of a fine breast of
lamb, stewed with carrots. The meal over, she offered me tea so
pleasantly that I was quite puzzled whether to admire the dinner or my
charming hostess the most. Both father and daughter showed the
greatest kindness and good will. I spoke to my host several times, in
hopes of breaking his silence; but his replies were brief; and I
observed that he only once commenced a conversation himself, when he
pressed me to remain over night in his house. I bid him farewell,
deeply impressed with his hospitality."

Sparrman undertook several similar expeditions, among others, one to
Hout Bay and Paarl, in which he had frequent occasion to notice the
exaggerations to be met with in the narrative of Kolbe, his

He intended to continue his explorations during the winter, and
projected a journey into the interior, when the fine season should
return. When the frigates commanded by Captain Cook, the _Resolution_
and _Adventure_, arrived at the Cape, Forster invited the young
Swedish naturalist to accompany him; and Sparrman was thus enabled to
visit New Zealand, Van Diemen's Land, New Holland, Otaheite, Tierra
del Fuego, the Antarctic Regions, and New Georgia, before his return
to the Cape, where he landed on the 22nd of March, 1775.

His first care upon his return was to organize his expedition to the
interior; and in order to add to his available resources he practised
medicine and surgery during the winter. A cargo of corn, medicine,
knives, tinder-boxes, and spirits for the preservation of specimens
was collected, and packed in an immense waggon, drawn by five yoke of

Sparrman says,--

"The conductor of this cart needs dexterity, not only in his
management of the animals, but in the use of the whip of African
drivers. These instruments are about fifteen feet long, with a thong
of the same or greater length, and a tongue of white leather almost
three feet long. The driver holds this formidable instrument in both
hands, and from his seat in front of the waggon can reach the foremost
oxen with it. He distributes his cuts unceasingly, well understanding
how and where to distribute them in such a manner that the hide of the
animals feels the whip."

Sparrman was to accompany the waggon on horseback, and was accompanied
by a young colonist, named Immelman, who wished to penetrate into the
interior for recreation. They started upon the 25th of July, 1775.
After passing Rent River, scaling the Hottentot Holland Kloof, and
crossing the Palmite, they entered a desert country, interspersed with
plains, mountains, and valleys, without water, but frequented by
antelopes of various kinds, with zebras and ostriches.

Sparrman soon reached the warm mineral baths at the foot of the
Zwartberg, which, at that time, were much frequented, the company
having built a house near the mountains. At this point the explorer
was joined by young Immelman, and together they started for Zwellendam,
which they reached upon the 2nd of September. We will give a few of
the facts they collected about the inhabitants.

The Hottentots are as tall as Europeans, their hands and feet are
small, and their colour a brownish yellow. They have not the thick
lips of the Kaffirs and natives of Mozambique. Their hair is black and
woolly, curly, but not thick. They rub the entire body with fat and
soot. A Hottentot who paints himself looks less naked, and more
complete, so to say, than one who only rubs himself with grease. Hence
the saying, "A Hottentot without paint, is like a shoe without

[Illustration: A Hottentot. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

These natives usually wear a cloak called karos, made of sheep's skin,
with the wool turned inwards. The women arrange it with a long point,
which forms a sort of hood, in which they place their children. Both
men and women wear leather rings upon their arms and legs--a custom,
which gave rise to the fable that this race rolled puddings round
their limbs, to feed on from time to time. They also wear copper and
iron rings, but these ornaments are less common.

The kraal, or Hottentot village, is a collection of huts in a circle,
all very similar, and of the shape of beehives. The doors, which are
in the centre, are so low that they can only be entered on the knees.
The hearth is in the middle of the hut, and the roof has no hole for
the escape of the smoke.

The Hottentots must not be confounded with the Bushmen. The latter
live only for hunting and robbery; their skill in throwing poisoned
arrows, their courage, and the wildness of their lives, render them

At Zwellendam, Sparrman saw the quagga, a species of horse, like a
zebra in shape, but with shorter ears.

The explorer next visited Mossel Bay, a harbour little used, as it is
too much exposed to the west winds; and thence he proceeded to the
country of the Houtniquas, or, as Burchell's map calls them, the
Antiniquas. This woody country appeared fertile, and the colonists
established there are prosperous. Sparrman met with most of the
quadrupeds of Africa in this district, such as elephants, leopards,
lions, tiger cats, hyenas, monkeys, hares, antelopes, and gazelles.

We will not attempt to follow Sparrman to all the small settlements he
visited. An enumeration of the streams, kraals, or villages he passed
would convey no information to the reader. Rather let us gather from
his narratives a few curious and novel details concerning two
creatures which he describes, the sheep of the Cape, and the

"When a sheep is to be killed," he says, "the very leanest of the
flock is selected. It would be impossible to use the others for food.
Their tails are of a triangular shape, and are often a foot and a half
long, and occasionally six inches thick in the upper part. One of
these tails will weigh eight or twelve pounds, and they consist
principally of delicate fat, which some persons eat with bread instead
of butter. It is used in the preparation of food, and sometimes to
make candles."

After describing the two-horned rhinoceros, hitherto unknown, the
gnu--an animal in form something between the horse and the ox--the
gazelle, the baboon, and the hippopotamus, the habits of which were
previously imperfectly known, Sparrman describes a curious bird, of
great service to the natives, which he calls the honey-guide.

"This bird," he says, "is remarkable neither in size nor colour. At
first sight it would be taken for a common sparrow, but it is a little
larger than that bird, of a somewhat lighter colour, with a small
yellow spot on each shoulder, and dashes of white in the wings and

"In its own interests, this bird leads the natives to the bees' nests,
for it is very fond of honey, and it knows that whenever a nest is
destroyed, a little honey will be spilled, or left behind, as a
recompense for its services.

"It seems to grow hungry in the morning and evening. In any case, it
is then that it leaves its nest, and by its piercing cries attracts
the attention of the Hottentots or the colonists. The cries are almost
always answered by the appearance of natives or settlers, when the
bird, repeating its call unceasingly, slowly flies from place to place
towards the spot where the bees have made their home. Arrived at the
nest, whether it be in the cleft of a rock, in a hollow tree, or in
some underground cavity, the guide hovers about it for a few seconds,
and then perches hard by, and remains a silent and hidden spectator of
the pillage, in which he hopes subsequently to have his share. Of this
phenomenon I have myself twice been a witness."

[Illustration: A Bosjeman. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

On the 12th of April, 1776, on his way back to the Cape, Sparrman
heard that a large lake, the only one in the colony, had been
discovered to the north of the Schneuwberg district. A little later,
the traveller got back to the Cape, and embarked for Europe with the
numerous natural history collections he had made.

About the same time, between 1772-1775, Thunberg, the Swede, whom
Sparrman had met at the Cape, made three successive journeys in the
interior of Africa. They were not, any more than Sparrman's, actual
journeys of discovery; and we owe the acquisition of no new
geographical fact to Thunberg. He did but make a vast number of
interesting observations on the birds of the Cape, and he also
ascertained a few interesting details respecting the various races of
the interior, which turned out to be far more fertile than was at
first supposed.

Thunberg was followed in the same latitudes by an English officer,
Lieutenant William Paterson, whose chief aim was to collect plants and
other objects of natural history. He penetrated a little further north
than the Orange River, and into Kaffraria a good deal further east
than Fish River. To him we owe the first notice of the giraffe; and
his narrative is rich in important observations on the natural history,
structure, and inhabitants of the country.

It is a curious fact that the Europeans attracted to South Africa by
zeal for geographical discovery, were far less numerous than those
whose motive was love of natural history. We have already mentioned
Sparrman, Thunberg, and Paterson. To this list we must now add the
name of the ornithologist Le Vaillant.

Born at Paramaribo, in Dutch Guiana, of French parents, who traded in
birds, Le Vaillant visited Europe with them as a mere child, and
traversed Holland, Germany, Lorraine, and the Vosges, on his way to
Paris. It will readily be understood that this wandering life awoke in
him a taste for travelling; and his passion for birds, early excited
by the examination of private and public collections, made him eager
to enrich science by descriptions and drawings of unknown species.

Now what country would afford the richest ornithological harvest? The
districts near the Cape had been explored by botanists, and by a
scientific man who had made quadrupeds his chief study; but no one had
as yet traversed them to collect birds.

Le Vaillant arrived at the Cape on the 29th of March, 1781, after the
loss of his vessel in an explosion, with nothing but the clothes he
wore, ten ducats, and his gun.

Others would have been disheartened, but Le Vaillant did not despair
of extricating himself from his painful position. Confident in his
skill with the gun and the bow, in his strength and agility, as well
as in his skill in preparing the skins of animals, and in stuffing
birds so that their plumage should retain all its original gloss, the
naturalist had soon opened relations with the wealthiest collectors of
the Cape.

One of these, an official named Boers, provided Le Vaillant with every
requisite for a successful journey, including carts, oxen, provisions,
objects for barter, and horses. Even servants and guides were
appointed, free of cost, to the explorer. The kind of researches to
which Le Vaillant intended to devote himself influenced his mode of
travelling. Instead of seeking frequented and beaten tracks, he tried
to avoid them, and to penetrate into districts neglected by Europeans,
hoping in them to meet with birds unknown to science. As a result he
may be said always to have taken nature by surprise, coming into
contact with natives whose manners had not yet been modified by
intercourse with whites; so that the information he gives us brings
savage life, as it really is, more vividly before us than anything
told us by his predecessors or successors. The only mistake made by Le
Vaillant was the entrusting of the translation of his notes to a young
man who modified them to suit his own notions. Far from taking the
scrupulous care to be exact which distinguishes modern editors, he
exaggerated facts; and, dwelling too much on the personal qualities of
the traveller, he gave to the narrative of the journey a boastful tone
very prejudicial to it.

After three months' stay at the Cape and in its neighbourhood, Le
Vaillant started, on the 18th December, 1781, for a first journey
eastwards, and in Kaffraria. His equipment this time consisted of
thirty oxen--ten for each of his two waggons, and ten as
reserve--three horses, nine dogs, and five Hottentots.

Le Vaillant first crossed the Dutch districts already explored by
Sparrman, where he met with vast herds of zebras, antelopes, and
ostriches, arriving in due course at Zwellendam, where he bought some
oxen, a cart, and a cock--the last serving as an alarm-clock
throughout the journey. Another animal was also of great use to him.
This was a monkey he had tamed, and promoted to the post, alike useful
and honourable, of taster--no one being allowed to touch any fruit or
root unknown to the Hottentots till Master Rees had given his verdict
upon it.

[Illustration: "Till Master Rees had given his verdict."]

Rees was also employed as a sentinel; and his senses, sharpened by use
and the struggle for life, exceeded in delicacy those of the most
subtle Redskin. He it was who warned the dogs of the approach of
danger. If a snake approached, or a troop of monkeys were disporting
themselves in a neighbouring thicket, Rees' terror and his shrieks
quickly revealed the presence of a disturbing element.

From Zwellendam, which he left on the 12th January, 1782, Le Vaillant
made his way eastwards, at some little distance from the sea. He
pitched his camp on the banks of the Columbia (Duywen Hock) river and
made many very successful hunting excursions in a district rich in
game, finally reaching Mossel Bay, where the howls of innumerable
hyenas frightened the oxen.

A little farther on he entered the country of the Houtniquas, a
Hottentot name signifying men filled with honey. Here not a step could
be taken without coming upon swarms of bees. Flowers sprang up beneath
the feet of the travellers; the air was heavy with their perfume;
their varied colours lent such enchantment to the scene that some of
the servants would have liked to halt. Le Vaillant however hastened to
press on. The whole of this district, down to the sea, is occupied by
colonists, who breed cattle, make butter, cultivate timber, and
collect honey, sending their merchandise to the Cape for sale.

A little beyond the last post of the company, Le Vaillant, having
entered a district peopled by thousands of "turacos," and other rare
birds, pitched his hunting camp; but his plans were terribly upset by
the continuous fall of heavy rains, the result of which was to reduce
the travellers to great straits for want of food.

After many a sudden change of fortune and many hunting adventures, an
account of which would be very amusing, though beyond the scope of our
narrative, Le Vaillant reached Mossel Bay. Here, with what delight we
can easily imagine, he found letters from France awaiting him. One
excursion after another was now made in various directions, until
Kaffraria was entered. It was difficult to open relations with its
people, who sedulously avoided the whites, having suffered the loss of
many men and much cattle at their hands. Moreover the Tamboukis had
taken advantage of their critical position to invade Kaffraria and
commit numerous depredations, whilst the Bosjemans hunted them down
unmercifully. Without fire-arms, and attacked on so many sides at once,
the Kaffirs were driven to hiding themselves, and were retiring

[Illustration: A Kaffir woman. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

As matters stood it was useless to attempt to penetrate into the
mountainous districts of Kaffraria, and Le Vaillant retraced his steps.
He then visited the Schneuwberg mountains, the Karroo desert and the
shores of the Buffalo River, returning to the Cape on the 2nd April,

The results of this long campaign were important. Le Vaillant obtained
some decided information about the Gonaquas, a numerous race which
must not be confounded with the Hottentots properly so called, but are
probably the offspring of their intermarriage with the Kaffirs. With
regard to the Hottentots themselves, the information collected by Le
Vaillant agrees on almost every point with that obtained by Sparrman.

"The Kaffirs seen by Le Vaillant," says Walcknaer, "were most of them
taller than either the Hottentots or the Gonaquas. They have neither
the retiring jaws nor prominent cheek bones which are so repulsive in
the Hottentots, but are less noticeable in the Gonaquas, neither have
they the broad flat faces and thick lips of their neighbours the
negroes of Mozambique. Their faces, on the contrary, are round, their
noses fairly prominent, and their teeth the whitest and most regular
of any people in the world. Their complexion is of a clear dark brown;
and, but for this one characteristic, says Le Vaillant, any Kaffir
woman would be considered very pretty, even beside a European."

During Le Vaillant's sixteen months of absence, the aspect of the Cape
had completely changed. When the traveller left he admired the modest
bearing of the Dutch women; on his return he found them thinking only
of amusement and dress. Ostrich feathers were so much in vogue that
they had to be imported from Europe and Asia. All those brought by our
traveller were quickly bought up. The birds which he had sent to the
colony on every possible opportunity now amounted to one thousand and
twenty-four specimens; and Mr. Boers' house, where they were kept, was
converted into a regular natural history museum.

Le Vaillant's journey had been so successful that he could not but
wish to begin another. Although his friend Boers had returned to
Europe, he was able, with the aid of the many other friends he had
made, to collect the materials for a fresh trip. On the 15th June,
1783, he started at the head of a caravan numbering nineteen persons.
He also took thirteen dogs, one he- and two she-goats, three cows,
thirty-six draught and fourteen reserve oxen, with two for carrying
the baggage of the Hottentot servants.

We shall not, of course, follow the traveller in his hunting
excursions; all we need to know is that he succeeded in making a
collection of marvellous birds, that he introduced the first giraffe
to Europe, and that he traversed the whole of the vast space between
the tropic of Capricorn on the west and the 14th meridian on the east.
He returned to the Cape in 1784, he embarked for Europe, and arrived
at Paris early in January, 1785.

The first native people met with by Le Vaillant in his second voyage
were the Little Namaquas, a race but very little known, and who soon
died out--the more readily that they occupied a barren country,
subject to constant attacks from the Bosjemans. Although of fair
height, they are inferior in appearance to the Kaffirs and Namaquas,
to whose customs theirs bear a great resemblance.

The Caminouquas, or Comeinacquas, of whom Le Vaillant gives many
particulars, exceed them in height. He says,--

"They appear taller even than the Gonaquas, although possibly they are
not so in reality; but the illusion is sustained by their small bones,
delicate and emaciated appearance, and slender limbs. The long mantle
of light material which hangs from the shoulder to the ground adds to
their height. They look like drawn out men. Lighter in colour than the
Cape natives, they have better features than the other Hottentot
tribes, owing to the fact that their noses are less flat and their
cheek bones less prominent."

Of all the races visited by Le Vaillant, the most peculiar and most
ancient was that of the Houzonanas, a tribe which had not been met
with by any other northern traveller; but they appear identical with
the Bechuanas, although the part of the country assigned to them does
not coincide with that which they are known to have occupied for many

"The Houzonanas," says the narrative, "are small in stature, the
tallest being scarcely five feet four in height. These small beings
are perfectly proportioned, and are surprisingly strong and active.
They have an imposing air of boldness." Le Vaillant considers them the
best endowed mentally, and the strongest physically, of all the savage
races he had met with. In face they resemble the Hottentots, but they
have rounder chins, and they are far less black. They have curly hair,
so short that Le Vaillant at first imagined it to be shaven.

One striking peculiarity of the Houzonanas is a large mass of flesh
upon the back of the women, which forms a natural saddle, and
oscillates strangely with every movement of the body. Le Vaillant
describes a woman whom he saw with her child about three years old,
who was perched upon his feet behind her, like a footman behind a

We will pass over the traveller's description of the appearance and
customs of these various races, many of which are now extinct, or
incorporated in some more powerful tribe. Although by no means the
least curious portion of his narrative, the details are so exaggerated
that we prefer to omit them.

Upon the eastern coast of Africa, a Portuguese traveller, named
Fransisco José de Lacerda y Almeida, left Mozambique in 1797, to
explore the interior. The account of this expedition to a place which
has only lately been revisited, would be of great interest; but
unfortunately, so far as we know, his journal has not been published.
His name is often quoted by geographers, and they appear to know what
countries he visited; but in France, at least, no lengthened notice of
this geographer exists which would furnish the details of his
exploration. A very few words will convey all that we have been able
to collect of the history of a man who made most important discoveries,
and whose name has most unfairly been forgotten.

Lacerda, the date and place of whose birth are unknown, was an
engineer, and he was professionally engaged in settling the boundary
of the frontier between the Spanish and Portuguese possessions in
South America. Whilst thus employed, he collected a mass of
interesting particulars of the province of Mato Grosso, which are
given in the _Rivesta trimensal do Brazil_. We cannot tell what
circumstances led him, after this successful expedition, to the
Portuguese possessions in Africa; nor is it easy to imagine his motive
for crossing South Africa from the eastern shore to the kingdom of
Loanda. It is however certain that he left the well-known town of Teté
in 1797, in command of an important caravan bound for the States of

This country was governed by a king as renowned for his benevolence
and humanity as for his bravery. He inhabited a town called Lunda,
which was two miles in extent, and situated upon the eastern shore of
the lake called Mofo. It would have been interesting to compare these
localities with those that we know of in the same parallels to-day;
but the lack of details obliges us to desist, merely observing that
the word Lunda was well-known to Portuguese travellers. As regards
Cazembé, there is no longer any question as to its position.

Well received by the king, Lacerda remained some twelve days with him,
and then proceeded upon his journey. Unfortunately, when a day or
two's march from Lunda he succumbed to fatigue and the unhealthiness
of the climate.

The native king collected the traveller's notes and journals, and
ordered them to be sent with his remains to Mozambique. But
unfortunately the caravan entrusted with these precious memorials was
attacked, and the remains of the unfortunate Lacerda were left in the
heart of Africa. His notes were brought to Europe by a nephew, who had
accompanied the expedition.

We now come to the account of the expeditions undertaken in the east
of Africa, foremost amongst which is that of the well-known traveller
Bruce. A Scotchman by birth, like so many other African explorers,
James Bruce was brought up for the bar; but the sedentary nature of
his occupation had little charm for him, and he embraced an
opportunity of entering commercial life. His wife died a few years
after their marriage, and Bruce started for Spain, where he employed
his leisure in studying Arabic monuments. He wished to publish a
detailed account of those in the Escorial, but the Spanish Government
refused him the necessary permission.

[Illustration: Portrait of James Bruce. (Fac-simile of early

Returning to England, Bruce began to study Eastern languages, and more
especially the Ethiopian, which at that time was known only through
the imperfect works of Ludolf. One day Lord Halifax half jestingly
proposed to him an exploration of the sources of the Nile. Bruce
entered enthusiastically into the subject, and set to work to realize
it. He overcame every objection, conquered every difficulty, and in
June, 1768, left England for the shores of the Mediterranean. Bruce
hurriedly visited some of the islands of the Archipelago, Syria, and
Egypt. Leaving Djedda he proceeded to Mecca, Lobheia, and arrived at
Massowah upon the 19th September, 1769. He had taken care to obtain a
firman from the Sultan, and also letters from the Bey of Cairo, and
the Sheriff of Mecca. This was fortunate, for the Nawab, or governor
did all in his power to prevent his entering Abyssinia, and
endeavoured to make him pay heavily with presents. Abyssinia had been
explored by Portuguese Missionaries, thanks to whose zeal some
information about the country had been obtained, although far less
accurate in detail than that which we owe to Bruce. Although his
veracity has often been questioned, succeeding travellers have
confirmed his assertions.

From Massowah to Adowa the road rises gradually, and passes over the
mountains which separate Tigré from the shores of the Red Sea.

Adowa was not originally the capital of Tigré. A manufacture of a
coarse cotton cloth which circulates as current money in Abyssinia was
established there. The soil in the neighbourhood is deep enough for
the cultivation of corn.

"In these districts," says Bruce, "there are three harvests a year.
The first seeds are sown in July and August, when the rain flows
abundantly. In the same season they sow 'tocusso,' 'teff,' and barley.
About the 20th of November they reap the first barley, then the wheat,
and last of all the 'teff.' In some of these they sow immediately upon
the same ground without any manure, barley, which they reap in
February, and then often sow 'teff,' but more frequently a kind of
vetch or pea, called Shimbra; these are cut down before the first
rains, which are in April; yet with all the advantages of a triple
harvest, which requires neither manure nor any expensive processes,
the farmer in Abyssinia is always very poor."

At Fremona, not far from Adowa, are the ruins of a Jesuit convent,
resembling rather a fort than the abode of men of peace. Two days'
journey further on, one comes to the ruins of Axum, the ancient
capital of Abyssinia. "In one square," says Bruce, "which I apprehend
to have been the centre of the town, there are forty obelisks, none of
which have any hieroglyphics on them. The two first have fallen down,
but a third a little smaller than them is still standing. They are all
hewn from one block of granite, and on the top of that which is
standing there is a _patera_, exceedingly well engraved in the Greek

"After passing the convent of Abba Pantaleon, called in Abyssinia
Mantillas, and the small obelisk on a rock above, we follow a path cut
in a mountain of very red marble, having on the left a marble wall
forming a parapet about five feet high. At intervals solid pedestals
rise from this wall, bearing every token of having served to support
colossal statues of Sirius, the barking Anubis, or the Dog star. One
hundred and thirty-three of these pedestals with the marks just
mentioned are still in their places, but only two figures of the dog
were recognizable when I was there; these, however, though much
mutilated, were evidently Egyptian.

"There are also pedestals supporting the figures of the Sphinx. Two
magnificent flights of steps, several hundred feet long, all of
granite, exceedingly well finished, and still in their places, are the
only remains of a magnificent temple. In an angle of this platform
where the temple stood, is the present small church of Axum. This
church is a mean, small building, very ill kept and full of pigeons'
dung." It was near Axum that Bruce saw three soldiers cut from a
living cow a steak for their midday meal.

In his account of their method of cutting the steak Bruce says, "The
skin which had covered the flesh that was cut away was left intact,
and was fastened to the corresponding part by little wooden skewers
serving as pins. Whether they put anything between the skin and the
wounded flesh I do not know, but they soon covered the wound with mud.
They then forced the animal to rise, and drove it on before them, to
furnish them, no doubt, with another meal when they should join their
companions in the evening."

From Tigré, Bruce passed into the province of Siré, which derives its
name from its capital, a town considerably larger than Axum, but
constantly a prey to putrid fevers. Near it flows the Takazzé, the
ancient Siris, with its poisonous waters bordered by majestic trees.

In the province of Samen, situated amongst the unhealthy and broiling
Waldubba Mountains, and where many monks had retired to pray and do
penance, Bruce stayed only long enough to rest his beasts of burden,
for the country was not only haunted by lions and hyenas, and infested
by large black ants, which destroyed part of his baggage, but also
torn with civil war; so that foreigners were anything but safe. This
made him most anxious to reach Gondar, but when he arrived typhoid
fever was raging fiercely. His knowledge of medicine was very useful
to him, and procured him a situation under the governor, which was
most advantageous to him, as it rendered him free to scour the country
in all directions, at the head of a body of soldiers. By these means
he acquired a mass of valuable information upon the government,
manners, and customs of the country, and the chief events of its
history, which combined to make his work the most important hitherto
published about Abyssinia.

It was in the course of one of these excursions that Bruce discovered
the sources of the Blue Nile, which he took to be the true Nile.
Arrived at the church of St. Michael, at Geesh, where the river is
only four paces wide, and some four inches deep, Bruce became
convinced that its sources must be in the neighbourhood, although his
guide assured him that he must cross a mountain before he found them.
The traveller was not to be deceived.

"'Come! come!'" said Bruce, "'no more words. It is already late; lead
me to Geesh and the sources of the Nile, and show me the mountain that
separates us from it.' He then made me go round to the south of the
church, and coming out of the grove of cedars surrounding it, 'This is
the mountain,' he said, looking maliciously up into my face, 'that
when you were on the other side of it, was between you and the
fountains of the Nile; there is no other. Look at that green hillock
in the centre of that marsh. It is there that the two fountains of the
Nile are to be found. Geesh is at the top of the rock, where you see
those very green trees. If you go to the fountains, pull off your
shoes as you did the other day, for these people are all Pagans, and
they believe in nothing that you believe, but only in the Nile, to
which they pray every day as if it were God, as you perhaps invoke it
yourself.' I took off my shoes, and rushed down the hill towards the
little green island, which was about two hundred yards distant. The
whole of the side of the hill was carpeted with flowers, the large
roots of which protruded above the surface of the ground; and as I was
looking down, and noticing that the skin was peeling off the bulbs, I
had two very severe falls before I reached the edge of the marsh; but
at last I approached the island with its green sod. It was in the form
of an altar, and apparently of artificial construction. I was in
rapture as I gazed upon the principal fountain which rises in the
middle of it. It is easier to imagine than to describe what I felt at
that moment, standing opposite the sources which had baffled the
genius and courage of the most celebrated men for three thousand

Bruce's narrative contains many other curious observations, but we
must now pass on to his account of Lake Tzana.

"Lake Tzana," according to his narrative, "is by far the largest sheet
of water known in these regions. Its extent, however, has been greatly
exaggerated. Its greatest breadth from Dingleber to Lamgue, i.e. from
east to west, is thirty-five miles, but it decreases greatly at each
end, and in some parts is not above ten miles broad. Its greatest
length is forty-nine miles from north to south, measured from Bab-Baha
to a point a trifle to the S.W.¼W. of the spot where the Nile, after
flowing through the lake with an ever perceptible current, bends
towards Dara in the Allata territory. In the dry season, from October
to March, the lake decreases greatly; but when the rains have swollen
the rivers, which unite at this place like the spokes of a wheel at
the nave, the lake rises, and overflows a portion of the plain. If the
Abyssinians, great liars at all times, are to be believed, there are
forty-five islands in Lake Tzana; but this number may be safely
reduced to eleven. The largest is named Dek, Daka, or Daga; the next
in size are Halimoon, on the Gondar side of the lake, Briguida, on the
Gorgora side, and Galila, beyond Briguida. All these islands were
formerly used as prisons for Abyssinian chieftains, or as retreats by
such as were dissatisfied at court, or wished to secure their
valuables in troubled times."

And now having visited Abyssinia with Bruce, let us return to the

Some light was now being thrown upon the ancient civilization of Egypt.
The archæological expedition of Pococke, Norden, Niebuhr, Volney, and
Savary had been published in succession, and the Egyptian Society was
at work upon the publication of its large and magnificent work. The
number of travellers increased daily, and amongst others W. G. Browne
determined to visit the land of the Pharaohs.

From his work we learn much alike of the monuments and ruins which
make this country so interesting, and of the customs of its
inhabitants. The portion of the work relating to Darfur is entirely
new, no Europeans having previously explored it. Browne attained a
high place among travellers by his discovery that the Bahr-el-Abiad is
the true Nile, and because he endeavoured not indeed to discover its
source, that he could scarcely hope to do, but to ascertain its
latitude and course.

Arriving in Egypt upon the 10th of January, 1792, Browne set out upon
his first expedition to Siwâh, and discovered, as Horneman did later,
the oasis of Jupiter Ammon. He had little more opportunity than his
successor for exploring the catacombs and ruins, where he saw many
skulls and human remains.

"The ruins of Siwâh," he says, "resembled too much those of Upper
Egypt to leave any doubt that the buildings to which they belonged
were built by the same race of men. The figures of Isis and Anubis are
easily recognizable on them, and the proportions of their
architectural works, though smaller, are the same as those of the
Egyptian temples.

"The rocks I noticed in the neighbourhood of Siwâh were of the
sandstone formation, bearing no relation whatever to the stones of
these ruins; so that I should think that the materials for these
buildings cannot have been obtained on the spot. The people of Siwâh
have preserved no credible traditions respecting these objects. They
merely imagined them to contain treasures, and to be frequented by

After leaving Siwâh, Browne made various excursions in Egypt, and then
settled in Cairo, where he studied Arabic. He left this town upon the
10th of September, 1792, and visited in succession Kaw, Achmin, Gergeh,
Dendera, Kazr, Thebes, Assoûan, Kosseir, Memphis, Suez, and Mount
Sinai; then wishing to enter Abyssinia, but convinced that he could
not do so by way of Massowah, he left Assiût for Darfur, with a Soudan
caravan, in May, 1793. The caravan halted upon its way to Darfur at
the different towns of Ainé, Dizeh, Charyeh, Bulak, Scheb, Selinceh,
Leghéa, and Ber-el-Malha.

Being taken ill at Soueini, Browne was detained there, and only
reached El-Fascher after a long delay. Here his annoyances and the
exactions levied recommenced, and he could not succeed in obtaining an
interview with the Sultan. He was forced to spend the winter at Cobbeh,
awaiting his restoration to health, which only took place in the
summer of 1794. This time of forced inaction was not, however, wasted
by the traveller; he acquainted himself with the manners and dialects
of Darfur. Upon the return of summer, Browne repaired to El-Fascher,
and recommenced his applications for admittance to the Sultan. They
were attended with the same unsuccessful results, until a crowning act
of injustice at length procured for him the interview he had so long
solicited in vain.

"I found," he says, "the monarch Abd-el-Raschman seated on his throne
under a lofty wooden canopy, of Syrian and Indian stuffs
indiscriminately mixed. The floor in front of the throne was spread
with small Turkey carpets. The meleks (officers of the court) were
seated at some little distance off on the right and left, and behind
them stood a line of guards, wearing caps ornamented in front with a
small copper plate and a black ostrich feather. Each bore a spear in
his right hand, and a shield of hippopotamus-hide on the left arm.
Their only clothing was a cotton shirt, of the manufacture of the
country. Behind the throne were fourteen or fifteen eunuchs, clothed
in rich stuffs of various kinds and all manner of colours. The space
in front was filled with petitioners and spectators, to the number of
more than fifteen hundred. A kind of hired eulogist stood on the
monarch's left hand, crying out at the top of his voice during the
whole ceremony, 'See the buffalo, the son of a buffalo, the powerful
Sultan Abd-el-Raschman El-rashid. May God protect thy life, O master,
may God assist thee and render thee victorious.'"

[Illustration: "I found the monarch seated on his throne."]

The Sultan promised justice to Browne, and put the matter into the
hands of the meleks, but he only obtained restitution of a sixth of
that of which he had been robbed.

The traveller had merely entered Darfur to cross it. He found it would
be no easy task to leave it, and that in any case he must give up the
idea of prosecuting his exploration; he says,--

"On the 11th of December, 1795, (after a delay of three months) I
accompanied the chatib (one of the principal officers of the country)
to the monarch's presence. I shortly stated what I required, and the
chatib seconded me, though not with the zeal that I might have wished.
To my demand for permission to travel no answer was returned, and the
iniquitous despot, who had received from me no less than the value of
about 750 piastres in goods, condescended to give me twenty meagre
oxen, worth about 120 piastres. The state of my purse would not permit
me to refuse even this mean return, and I bade adieu to El-Fascher as
I hoped for ever."

Browne was not able to leave Darfur till the spring of 1796, when he
joined the caravan which was about to return to Egypt.

The town of Cobbeh, although not the resort of the merchants, must be
considered the capital of Darfur. It is more than two miles in length,
but is extremely narrow, each house stands in a field surrounded by a
palisade, and between each there is a plot of fallow land.

The plain in which the town is situated runs W.S.W., to a distance of
some twenty miles. Almost all the inhabitants are merchants, who trade
with Egypt. Their number may be estimated at six thousand, the larger
proportion being slaves. The entire population of Darfur cannot exceed
two hundred thousand, but Browne only arrived at this calculation by
estimating the number of recruits raised for the war with Kordofan.

"The inhabitants of Darfur," says the narrative, "are of various races.
Some, chiefly fakeers or priests and traders, come from the west, and
there are a good many Arabs, none of whom are permanent residents.
They are of various tribes; the greater number lead a wandering life
on the frontiers, where they pasture their camels, oxen, and horses.
They are not in such complete dependence on the Sultan as always to
contribute to his forces in war, or to pay him tribute in time of

After the Arabs come the people of Zeghawa, which once formed a
distinct kingdom, whose chief could put a thousand horsemen in the
field. The Zeghawas speak a different dialect from the people of Für.
We must also include the people of Bego or Dageou, who are now subject
to Darfur, but are the issue of a tribe which formerly ruled the

The natives of Darfur are inured to hunger and thirst, but they
indulge freely in an intoxicating liquor called _Bouzza_ or _Merissé_.
Thieving, lying, and dishonesty, with their accompanying vices,
prevail largely among them.

"In buying and selling the parent glories in deceiving the son, and
the son the parent, and atrocious frauds are committed in the name of
God and of the Prophet.

"Polygamy, which it is well known is tolerated by their religion, is
indulged in to excess by the people of Darfur. When Sultan Teraub went
to war with Korodofan, he took in his retinue five hundred women,
leaving as many in his palace. This may at first sight seem ridiculous,
but it must be remembered that these women had to grind corn, draw
water, dress food, and perform all the domestic work for a large
number of people, so that there was plenty for them to do."

Browne's narrative contains many medical observations of interest, and
gives valuable advice as to the mode of travelling in Africa, with
particulars of the animals, fish, metals, and plants of Darfur. We do
not give them here, because they do not contain anything of special
interest for us.


Witzen's account of Tartary--China as described by the Jesuits and
Father Du Halde--Macartney in China--Stay at Chu-Sang--Arrival at
Nankin--Negotiations--Reception of the Embassy by the Emperor--Fêtes
and ceremonies at Zhe Hol--Return to Pekin and Europe--Volney--
Choiseul Gouffier--Le Chevalier in Troas--Olivier in Persia--A
semi-Asiatic country--Pallas's account of Russia.

At the end of the seventeenth century, a traveller named Nicolas
Witzen had explored eastern and northern Tartary, and in 1692
published a curious narrative of his journey. This work, which was in
Dutch, and was not translated into any other European language, did
not win for its author the recognition he deserved. A second edition,
illustrated with engravings which were meritorious rather from their
fidelity to nature than their artistic merit, was issued in 1705, and
in 1785 the remaining copies of this issue were collected, and
appeared under a new title. But it attracted little notice, as by this
time further, and more curious particulars had been obtained.

From the day that the Jesuits first entered the Celestial Empire, they
had collected every possible fact with regard to the customs of this
immense country, which previous to their stay there had been known
only through the extravagant tales of Marco Polo. Although China is
the country of stagnation, and customs and fashion always remain much
the same in it, the many events which had taken place made it
desirable to obtain more exact particulars of a nation with whom
Europeans might possibly enter into advantageous friendly relations.

The Jesuits published the result of these investigations in the rare
work entitled "Lettres Edifiantes," which was revised and supplemented
by a zealous member of their order, Father Du Halde. It would be
useless to attempt any reproduction of this immense work, for which a
volume would be required, and it is the less necessary as at this day
we have fuller and more complete details of the country than are to be
found even in the learned father's book. To the Jesuits also belong
the merit of many important astronomical observations, facts
concerning natural history, and the compilation of maps, which were
till quite lately authorities on remote districts of the country
consulted with advantages.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Abbé Grosier, of the order
of St. Louis du Louvre, published in an abridged form, a new
description of China and Tartary. He made use of the work of his
predecessor, Du Halde, and at the same time rectified and added to it.
After an account of the fifteen provinces of China and Tartary, with
the tributary States, such as Corea, Tonking, Cochin China, and Thibet,
the author devotes several chapters to the population and natural
history of China, whilst he reviews the government, religion, manners,
literature, science, and art of the Chinese.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the English Government,
being desirous of entering into commercial relations with China, sent
an Envoy-extraordinary to that country named George Macartney.

This diplomatist had already visited the courts of Europe and Russia,
had been governor of the English Antilles and Madras, and
Governor-General of India.

He had acquired in the course of his travels in such varied climates,
and amid such diverse peoples, a profound knowledge of human nature.
His narrative of his voyages is rich in facts and observations
calculated to give Europeans a true idea of the Chinese character.

Personal accounts of travel are always more interesting than anonymous

Although the great _I_ is generally hateful, it is not so in travels,
where the assertion _I_ have been there, _I_ have done such or such a
thing, carries weight, and gives interest to the narrative.

Macartney and his suite sailed in a squadron consisting of three
vessels, the _Lion_, the _Hindustan_, and the _Jackal_, which left
Portsmouth on the 26th September, 1792.

[Illustration: Map of the Empire of China.]

After a few necessary delays at Rio-de-Janeiro, St. Paul and Amsterdam
Islands, where some seal-hunters were seen, at Batavia, and Bantam, in
Java, and at Poulo Condere, the vessels cast anchor off Turon (Han
San) in Cochin China, a vast harbour, of which only a very bad chart
was then in existence.

The arrival of the English was at first a cause of uneasiness to the
natives of Cochin China. But when they were once informed of the
motives which had brought the English to their country, they sent an
ambassador of high rank on board with presents for Macartney, who was
shortly afterwards invited to a banquet at the governor's, followed by
a dramatic entertainment. During the short stay many notes were taken
of the manners and customs of the people, unfortunately too hurriedly
to admit of accuracy.

As soon as the sick had recovered and fresh provisions had been
obtained the vessels set sail. A short stay was made at the Ladrone
Islands, and the squadron then entered the Strait of Formosa, where it
encountered stormy weather, and took refuge in Chusan Harbour. During
this stay the map of this archipelago was rectified and an opportunity
was taken to visit Tinghai, where the English excited as much
curiosity as they felt themselves at the sight of the many things
which were new to them.

Many of the facts which surprised them are familiar to us, the
appearance of the houses, the markets and dress of the Chinese, the
small feet of the women, and many other particulars to which we need
not refer. We will only allude to the account of the method employed
by them in cultivating dwarf trees.

"This stunted vegetation," says Macartney, "seems to be highly
appreciated in China, for specimens of it are found in all the larger
houses. It is an art peculiar to the Chinese, and the gardener's skill
consists in knowing how to produce it. Independently of the
satisfaction of triumphing over a difficulty, he has the advantage of
introducing into rooms plants whose natural size would have precluded
such a possibility.

"The following is the method employed in China for the production of
dwarfed trees. The trunk of a tree of which it is desired to obtain a
dwarfed specimen, is covered as nearly as possible where it separates
into branches with clay or mould, over which is placed a linen or
cotton covering constantly kept damp. This mould is sometimes left on
for a whole year, and throughout that time the wood it covers throws
out tender, root-like fibres. Then the portions of the trunk from
which issue these fibres, with the branch immediately above them, are
carefully separated from the tree and placed in fresh mould, where the
shoots soon develope into real roots, whilst the branch forms the stem
of a plant which is in a manner metamorphosed. This operation neither
destroys nor alters the productive faculties of the branch which is
separated from the parent tree. When it bears fruit or flowers it does
so as plentifully as when it was upon the original stem. The
extremities of the branches intended to be dwarfed are always pulled
off, which precludes the possibility of their growing tall, and forces
them to throw out shoots and lateral branches. These shoots are tied
with wire, and assume the form the gardener chooses. When it is
desired to give an aged appearance to the tree, it is constantly
moistened with theriaca or treacle, which attracts to it multitudes of
ants, who not content with devouring the sweetmeat, attack the bark of
the tree, and eat it away in such a manner as to produce the desired

Upon leaving Chusan, the squadron entered the Yellow Sea, never before
navigated by an European vessel. The river Hoang-Ho flows into it, and
it is from the immense quantity of yellow mud brought down by it in
its long and tortuous course that the sea derives its name.

The English vessels cast anchor in Ten-chou-Fou Bay, and thence
entered the gulf of Pekin, and halted outside the bar of Pei-Ho. There
being only three or four feet of water on this bar at low tide, the
vessels could not cross it.

The mandarins appointed by the government to receive the English
ambassador, arrived shortly after, bringing numerous presents; whilst
the gifts intended for the emperor were placed in junks, and Macartney
went on board a yacht which had been prepared for him.

The first town reached was Takoo, where Macartney received a visit
from the viceroy of the province and the principal mandarin. Both were
men of venerable and dignified aspect, polite and attentive, and
entirely free from obsequiousness.

"It has been rightly said," remarks Macartney, "that a people are as
they are made, and the English had continual proof of this truth in
the effect produced upon the Chinese character by the fear of the iron
power that ruled them. Apart from this fear they were cheerful and
confiding, but in the presence of their rulers they appeared most
timid and embarrassed."

In ascending the Pei-Ho towards Pekin, the course was retarded by the
many windings of the river. The country through which they passed was
highly cultivated, with houses and villages at intervals upon the
banks of the river or inland, alternating with cemeteries and pyramids
of bags of salt, producing a charming and ever varying landscape. When
night approached, lanterns of every hue, fastened to the masts and
rigging of the yachts, produced the fantastic effect of many-coloured

[Illustration: Chinese magic-lantern. (Fac-simile of early

Tieng Tsing signifies "heavenly spot," and the town owes this name to
its agreeable climate and clear blue sky, and the fertility of its
neighbourhood. In this place, the ambassador was received by the
viceroy and a legate sent by the emperor. From them Macartney learned
that the emperor was at his summer palace in Tartary, and that the
anniversary of his birthday was to be celebrated there upon the 13th
of September. The ambassador and his suite were therefore to go up by
water as far as Tong Schou, about a dozen miles from Pekin, and thence
proceed by land to Zhe Hol, where the emperor awaited them. The
presents might be sent on afterwards. Although the first intimation
was pleasant, the latter was singularly disagreeable to Macartney, for
the presents consisted for the most part of delicate instruments,
which had been taken to pieces for safety and packed separately. The
legate would not consent to their being left where they would be free
from danger of being disturbed. Macartney was obliged to obtain the
intervention of the viceroy for the protection of these proofs of the
genius and knowledge of Europe.

The cortège reached Tien Tsing, a town which appeared as long as
London, and contained not less than seven hundred thousand inhabitants.
A vast crowd assembled on the banks of the river to see the English
pass, and the river swarmed with junks teeming with natives.

The houses in this city are built of blue with a few red bricks, some
are two stories high, but that is unusual. Here the English saw the
employment of those carriages with sails which had long been
considered fabulous. They consist of two barrows made of bamboo, with
one large wheel between them.

When there is not sufficient wind to propel the carriage, says the
narrative, it is drawn by one man, while another pushes behind and
keeps it steady. When the wind is favourable, the sail, which is a mat
attached to two sticks placed upon either side of the carriage,
renders the help of the man in front unnecessary.

The banks of the Pei-Ho are in many parts protected by breastworks of
granite, to arrest inundation, and here and there dikes, also of
granite, provided with a sluice, by means of which water is conveyed
to the fields below. The country, although well cultivated, was often
devastated by famines, following upon inundations, or resulting from
the ravages of locusts.

Thus far, the cortège had been sailing through the immense alluvial
plain of Pe-tche-Li. Not until the fourth day after leaving Tien Tsing
was the blue outline of mountains perceived on the horizon. Pekin was
now in sight; and on the 6th of August, 1793, the yachts anchored
within two miles of the capital, and half a mile from Tong-Chow-Fow.

In order to leave the presents which could not be taken to Zhe Hol, at
the palace, called "The garden of eternal spring," it was necessary to
land. The inhabitants of Tong-Chow-Fow, who were already greatly
excited by the appearance of the English, were still more amazed at
the first sight of a negro servant. His skin, his jet black colour,
his woolly hair, and all the distinguishing marks of his race, were
absolutely novel in this part of China. The people could not remember
seeing anything at all like him before. Some of them even doubted if
he could be a human being at all, and the children cried out in fear
that it was a black devil. But his good humour soon reconciled them to
his appearance, and they became accustomed to look upon him without
fear or displeasure.

The English were especially surprised at seeing upon a wall the sketch
of a lunar eclipse which was to take place in a few days. They
ascertained among other facts, that silver is an article of commerce
with the Chinese, for they have no coined money, but use ingots
bearing only a sign, indicative of their weight. The English were
struck with the extraordinary resemblance between the religious
ceremonies of Fo and those of the Christians.

Macartney states that certain authors maintain that the apostle Thomas
visited China; while the Missionary Tremore contends, that this is
merely a fiction palmed upon the Jesuits by the devil himself.

Ninety small carriages, forty-four wheelbarrows, more than two hundred
horses, and over three thousand men, were employed in the transport of
the presents of the British government to the emperor. Macartney and
three of his suite accompanied the convoy in palanquins. An enormous
crowd followed them. The English ambassador was greeted at the gates
of Pekin by volleys of artillery. Once beyond the fortifications, he
found himself in a wide unpaved street, with houses on either side,
one or two stories high. Across the street extended a wooden triumphal
arch in three partitions, each with a lofty and highly decorated roof.

The embassy afforded ample material for the tales which at this time
filled the imagination of the people. It was declared that the
presents brought for the emperor consisted of everything that was rare
in other countries and unknown in China. It was gravely asserted that
among the animals, there was an elephant not larger than a monkey, but
as fierce as a lion, and a cock which was fed upon coal. Everything
which came from England was supposed to differ from anything hitherto
seen in Pekin, and to possess the very opposite qualities to those
usual to it.

The wall of the imperial palace was at once recognized by its yellow
colour. Through the gate were seen artificial hills, lakes and rivers,
with small islets, and fantastic buildings amidst the trees.

At the end of a street terminating at the northern wall of the city,
was a vast edifice of considerable height, which contained an enormous
bell. The English explored the town in various directions, and on the
whole were not favourably impressed. They concluded that a Chinaman
visiting London, with its bridges and innumerable ships, its squares
and monuments, would carry away a better idea of the importance of the
capital of Great Britain than they could do of Pekin.

Upon their arrival at the palace, where the presents for the emperor
were to be displayed, the governor discussed with Macartney the best
way to arrange and display them. They were finally placed in a large
and well-decorated hall, which at the time contained nothing but a
throne and a few vases of old china.

It is unnecessary to enter upon the interminable negotiations which
arose out of the resolve of the Chinese, that Macartney should
prostrate himself before the emperor; which humiliating proposition
they had prepared for by the inscription placed upon the yachts and
carriages of the embassy, "Ambassador bringing tribute from England."

[Illustration: Emperor of China. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

It is in Pekin that the field is situated which the emperor, in
accordance with ancient custom, sows every spring. Here, too, is to be
found the "Temple of the Earth," to which the sovereign resorts at the
summer solstice, to acknowledge the astral power which lightens the
world, and to give thanks for its beneficent influence.

Pekin is merely the seat of the Imperial government in China, and has
neither shipping, manufactures, nor trade.

Macartney computes the number of inhabitants at three millions. The
one-storied houses in the town appear insufficient for so large a
population, but a single house accommodates three generations. This
density of the population is the result of the early ages at which
marriages are contracted. These hasty unions are often brought about
from prudential motives by the Chinese, the children, and especially
the sons, being responsible for the care of their parents.

The embassy left Pekin on the 2nd of September, 1793, Macartney,
travelling in a post-chaise, probably the first carriage of the kind
which ever entered Tartary.

As the distance from Pekin increased, the road ascended and the soil
became more sandy, and contained less and less clay and black earth.
Shortly afterwards, vast plains, planted with tobacco, were crossed.
Macartney imagines tobacco to be indigenous, and not imported from
America, and thinks that the habit of smoking was spontaneous in Asia.

The English soon noticed that as the soil became more and more barren,
the population decreased. At the same time the Tartar element became
larger and larger, and the difference between the manners of the
Chinese and their conquerors was less marked.

Upon the fifth day of the journey, the far-famed Great Wall was seen.

"The first glance at this fortified wall," says Macartney, "is enough
to give an impression of an enterprise of surprising grandeur. It
ascends the highest mountains to their very loftiest peaks, it goes
down into the deepest valleys, crossing rivers on sustaining arches,
and with its breadth often doubled and trebled to increase its
strength, whilst at intervals of about a hundred paces rise towers or
strong bastions. It is difficult to understand how the materials for
this wall were brought to and used in places apparently inaccessible,
and it is impossible sufficiently to admire the skill brought to bear
upon the task. One of the loftiest mountains over which the wall
passes has been ascertained to be no less than 5225 feet high.

"This fortification--for the simple word 'wall' gives no just idea of
the wonderful structure--is said to be 1500 miles long, but it is not
quite finished. The fifteen hundred miles was the extent of the
frontier which separates colonized China from the various Tartar
tribes. Such barriers as these would not suffice in modern times for
nations at war.

"Many of the lesser works in the interior of this grand rampart have
yielded to the effect of time, and fallen into ruins; others have been
repaired; but the principal wall appears throughout to have been built
with such care and skill as never to have needed repairs. It has now
been preserved more than two thousand years, and appears as little
susceptible of injury as the rocks which nature herself has planted
between China and Tartary."

[Illustration: The great wall of China.]

Beyond the wall nature seems to proclaim the entrance into a new
country; the temperature is colder, the roads are more rugged, and the
mountains are less wooded. The number of sufferers from goître in the
Tartar valleys is very considerable, and, according to the estimate
given by Dr. Gillan, physician to the embassy, comprises a sixth of
the population. The portion of Tartary in which this malady rages is
not unlike many of the cantons of Switzerland and Savoy.

The valley of Zhe Hol, where the emperor possesses a summer palace and
garden, was at length reached. This residence is called "The abode of
pleasant freshness," and the park surrounding it is named the "Garden
of innumerable trees." The embassy was received with military honours,
amid an immense crowd of people, many of whom were dressed in yellow.
These were inferior lamas or monks of the order of Fo, to which the
emperor also belonged.

The disputes as to prostration before the emperor begun in Pekin were
continued here. At last Tchien Lung consented to content himself with
the respectful salutation with which English nobles are accustomed to
greet their own sovereign. The reception accordingly took place, with
every imaginable pomp and ceremony.

The narrative says,--

"Shortly after daybreak the sound of many instruments, and the
confused voices of distant crowds, announced the approach of the
emperor. He soon appeared, issuing from behind a high mountain,
bordered with trees, as if from a sacred grove, and preceded by a
number of men who proclaimed his virtues and power in loud voices. He
was seated in a chair carried by sixteen men; his guards, the officers
of his household, standard and umbrella bearers, and musicians
accompanied him. He was clothed in a robe of sombre-coloured silk, and
wore a velvet cap, very similar in shape to that of Scotch
mountaineers. A large pearl was conspicuous on his forehead, and was
the only jewel or ornament he wore."

Upon entering the tent, the emperor mounted the steps of the throne,
which he alone is allowed to ascend. The first minister, Ho Choo-Tang,
and two of the chief officers of his household, remained near, and
never addressed him but in a kneeling position. When the princes of
royal blood, the tributary princes, and state officers, were in their
places, the president of the customs conducted Macartney within a foot
of the left-hand side of the throne, which in the Chinese court is
considered the place of honour. The ambassador was accompanied by the
minister plenipotentiary, and followed by his page and interpreter.

Macartney, in accordance with the instructions given him by the
president, raised above his head the magnificent square golden box
studded with diamonds, which contained the King of England's letter to
the emperor. Then mounting the few steps leading to the throne, he
bowed the knee, and, with a short prefatory compliment, presented the
box to his Imperial Majesty. The Chinese monarch received it
graciously, and said, as he placed it on one side, "that he
experienced much satisfaction at the token of esteem and friendship
offered by his Britannic Majesty in sending to him an embassy with a
letter and rich gifts; that, for his part, he had the like friendly
feelings towards the King of Great Britain, and he hoped the same
harmony would always continue between their respective subjects."

After a few moments of private conversation with the ambassador, the
emperor presented gifts to him and to the minister plenipotentiary.
They were then conducted to cushions, in front of which were tables
covered with a number of vessels containing meat and fruits. The
emperor also partook of these, and continued to overwhelm the
ambassadors with expressions of regard and esteem, which had a great
effect in raising the English in the estimation of the Chinese public.
Macartney and his suite were later invited to visit the gardens of Zhe
Hol. During their walk in the grounds, the English met the emperor,
who stopped to receive their respectful salutations, and order his
first minister, who was looked upon as little less than a vice-emperor,
and several other grandees to accompany them.

[Illustration: Chinese Prime Minister. (Fac-simile of early

The Chinese conducted the English over a portion of the grounds laid
out as pleasure-gardens, which formed only a small portion of the vast
enclosure. The rest is sacred to the use of the women of the imperial
family, and was as rigorously closed to the Chinese ministers as to
the English embassy.

Macartney was then led through a fertile valley, in which there were
many trees, chiefly willows of enormous size. Grass grows abundantly
between the trees, and its luxuriance is not diminished by cattle or
interfered with by mowing. Arriving upon the shores of an irregular
lake, of vast extent, the whole party embarked in yachts, and
proceeded to a bridge which is thrown across the narrowest part of the
lake, and beyond which it appeared to stretch away indefinitely.

Upon the 17th of September Macartney and his suite were present at a
ceremony which took place upon the anniversary of the emperor's
birthday. Upon the morrow and following days splendid fêtes succeeded
each other, Tchien Lung participating in them with great zest. Dancers
on the tight-rope, tumblers, conjurors (of unrivalled skill), and
wrestlers, performed in succession. The natives of various portions of
the empire appeared in their distinctive costumes and exhibited the
different productions of their provinces. Music and dancing were
succeeded by fireworks, which were very effective, although they were
let off in daylight.

The narrative says,--

"Several of the designs were novel to the English. One of them I will
describe. A large box was raised to a great height, and the bottom
being removed as if by accident, an immense number of paper lamps fell
from it. When they left the box they were all neatly folded; but in
falling they opened by degrees and sprung one out of the other. Each
then assumed a regular form, and suddenly a beautifully coloured light
appeared. The Chinese seemed to understand the art of shaping the
fireworks at their fancy. On either side of the large boxes were
smaller ones, which opened in a similar manner, letting fall burning
torches, of different shapes, as brilliant as burnished copper, and
flashing like lightning at each movement of the wind. The display
ended with the eruption of an artificial volcano."

It is the usual custom for the Emperor of China to conclude his
birthday festivities by hunting in the forests of Tartary; but in the
present case advancing age rendered that diversion unwise, and his
Majesty decided to return to Pekin, the English embassy being invited
to precede him thither.

Macartney, however, felt that it was time to terminate his mission. In
the first place, it was not customary for ambassadors to reside long
at the Chinese court; and in the second, the fact that the Chinese
emperor defrayed the expenses of the embassy naturally induced him to
curtail his stay. In a short time he received from Tchien Lung the
reply to the letter of the King of England, and the presents intended
for the English monarch, as well as a number for the members of his
suite. This Macartney rightly interpreted as his _congé_!

The English went back to Tong Chou Fou by way of the imperial canal.
Upon this trip they saw the famous bird "Leutzé," fishing for its
master. It is a species of cormorant, and is so well trained that it
is unnecessary to place either a cord or ring round its neck to
prevent it from swallowing any of its prey.

"Upon every boat or raft there are ten or twelve of these birds, ready
to plunge the instant they receive a sign from their masters. It is
curious to see them catch enormous fish, and carry them in their

[Illustration: "The famous bird Leutzé."]

Macartney mentions a singular manner of catching wild ducks and other
water-birds. Empty jars and calabashes are allowed to float upon the
water for several days, until the birds are accustomed to the sight of
them. A man then enters the water, places one of the jars upon his
head, and advancing gently, seizes the feet of any bird which allows
him to come near enough: he rapidly immerses it in the water to choke
it, and then noiselessly continues his search until his bag is full.

The embassy visited Canton and Macao, and thence returned to England.
We need not dwell upon the return voyage.

We must now consider that portion of Asia which may be called the
interior. The first traveller to be noticed is Volney.

Every one knows, by repute at least, his book on Ruins; but his
account of his adventures in Egypt and Syria far surpasses it. There
is nothing exaggerated in the latter; it is written in a quiet,
precise manner, and is one of the most instructive of books. The
members of the Egyptian Expedition refer to it as containing exact
statements as to climate, the productions of the soil, and the manners
of the inhabitants.

Volney prepared himself most carefully for the journey, which was a
great undertaking for him. He determined to leave nothing to chance,
and upon reaching Syria he realized that he could not possibly acquire
the knowledge of the country he desired unless he first made himself
acquainted with the language of the people. He therefore retired to
the monastery of Mar-Hannd, in Libiya, and devoted himself to the
study of Arabic.

Later on, in order to learn something of the life led by the wandering
tribes of the Arabian desert, he joined company with a sheik, and
accustomed himself to the use of a lance, and to live on horseback,
thus qualifying himself to accompany the tribes in their excursions.
Under their protection he visited the ruins of Palmyra and Baalbec,
cities of the dead, known to us only by name.

"His style of writing," says La Beuve, "is free from exaggeration, and
marked by singular exactness and propriety. When, for example, he
wishes to illustrate the quality of the Egyptian soil, and in what
respect it differs from that of Africa, he speaks of 'this black,
light, greasy earth,' which is brought up and deposited by the Nile.
When he wishes to describe the warm winds of the desert, with their
dry heat, he compares them 'to the impression which one receives upon
opening a fierce oven to take out the bread;' according to his
description, speaking of the fitful winds, he says they are not merely
laden with fog, but gritty and powdery, and in reality full of fine
dust, which penetrates everything; and of the sun, he says it
'presents to view but an obscured disk.'"

If such an expression may be used in speaking of a rigid statement of
facts, Volney attained to true beauty of expression--to an actual
physical beauty, so to speak, recalling the touch of Hippocrates in
his "De Aere, Aquis et Locis." Although no geographical discoveries
can be imputed to him, we must none the less recognize in him one of
the first travellers who had a true conception of the importance of
their task. His aim was always to give a true impression of the places
he visited; and this in itself was no small merit, at a time when
other explorers did not hesitate to enliven their narratives with
imaginary details, with no recognition whatever of their true

The Abbé Barthélemy, who in 1788 was to publish his "Voyage du jeune
Anacharsis," was already exercising a good deal of influence on public
taste, by his popularity in society and position as a man of science,
and drawing special attention to Greece and the neighbouring countries.
It was evidently whilst attending his lessons that De Choiseul imbibed
his love for history and archæology.

Nominated ambassador at Constantinople, De Choiseul determined to
profit by the leisure he enjoyed in travelling as an artist and
archæologist through the Greece of Homer and Herodotus. Such a journey
was the very thing to complete the education of the young ambassador,
who was only twenty-four years of age, and if he knew himself, could
not be said to have any acquaintance with the ways of the world.

Sensible of his shortcomings, he surrounded himself with learned and
scientific men, amongst them the Abbé Barthélemy, the Greek scholar,
Ansse de Villoison, the poet Delille, the sculptor Fauvel, and the
painter Cassas. In fact, in his "Picturesque History of Greece" he
himself merely plays the _rôle_ of Mæcenas.

M. de Choiseul Gouffier engaged as private secretary a professor, the
Abbé Jean-Baptiste Le Chevalier, who spoke Greek fluently. The latter,
after a journey to London, where M. de Choiseul's business detained
him long enough for him to learn English, went to Italy, and was
detained at Venice by severe illness for seven months. After this he
joined M. de Choiseul Gouffier at Constantinople.

Le Chevalier occupied himself principally with the site of Troy. Well
versed in the Iliad, he sought for, and believed he identified, the
various localities mentioned in the Homeric poem.

His able geographical and historical book at once provoked plentiful
criticism. Upon the one side learned men, such as Bryant, declared the
discoveries made by Choiseul to be illusory, for the reason that Troy,
and, as a matter of course, the Ten Years Siege, existed only in the
imagination of the Greek poet; whilst others, and principally the
English portion of his critics, adopted his conclusions. The whole
question was almost forgotten, when the discoveries made quite
recently by Schliemann reopened the discussion.

Guillaume-Antoine Olivier, who traversed the greater portion of the
Western hemisphere, at the end of the last century, had a strange
career. Employed by Berthier de Sauvigny to translate a statistical
paper on Paris, he lost his patron and the payment for his labours in
the first outburst of the Revolution. Wishing to employ his talent for
natural history away from Paris, he was nominated, by the minister
Roland, to a mission to the distant and little-known portions of the
Ottoman Empire. A naturalist, named Bruguère, was associated with him.

The two friends left Paris at the end of 1792, and were delayed for
four months at Versailles, until a suitable ship was found for them.

They only reached Constantinople at the end of the following May,
carrying letters relating to their mission to M. de Semonville. But
this ambassador had been recalled, and his successor, M. de Sainte
Croix had heard nothing of their undertaking. What was the best thing
to do whilst awaiting the reply to the inquiries sent to Paris by M.
de Sainte Croix?

The two friends could not remain inactive. They therefore decided to
visit the shores of Asia Minor, and some islands in the Egyptian

The French minister had excellent reasons for not supplying them with
much money, and their own resources being limited, they were unable to
do more than make a flying visit to these interesting countries.

Upon their return to Constantinople they found a new ambassador, named
Verninac, who had received instructions to send them to Persia, where
they were to endeavour to awaken the sympathy of the government for
France, and to induce it to declare war against Russia.

At this time the most deplorable anarchy reigned in Persia. Usurpers
succeeded each other upon the throne, to the great detriment of the
welfare of the inhabitants. War was going on in Khorassan at the time
that Olivier and Bruguère arrived. An opportunity occurred for them to
join the shah in a country as yet unvisited by any European; but
unfortunately Bruguère was in such bad health that they were not only
forced to lose the chance, but were detained for four months in an
obscure village buried amongst the mountains.

In September, 1796, Mehemet returned to Teheran. His first act was to
order a hundred Russian sailors whom he had taken prisoners on the
Caspian Sea, to be put to death, and their limbs to be nailed outside
his palace walls--a disgusting trophy worthy of the butcher tyrant.

The following year Mehemet Ali was assassinated, and his nephew,
Fehtah-Ali Shah, succeeded him, after a short struggle.

It was difficult for Olivier to discharge his mission with this
constant change of reigning sovereigns. He was forced to renew his
negotiations with each succeeding prince. Finally, the travellers,
realizing the impossibility of obtaining anything definite under such
circumstances, returned to Europe, and left the question of alliance
between France and Persia to a more favourable season. They stopped
upon their homeward journey at Bagdad, Ispahan, Aleppo, Cyprus, and

Although this journey had been fruitless as regarded diplomacy, and
had contributed no new discovery to geography, Cuvier, in his eulogy
of Olivier, assures us that, so far as natural history was concerned,
much had been achieved. This may be the better credited, as Olivier
was elected to the Institute as the successor to Daubenton.

Cuvier, in academic style, says that the narrative of the voyage
published, in three quarto volumes, was warmly received by the public.

"It has been said," he continues, "that it might have been of greater
interest if the censor had not eliminated certain portions; but
allusions were found throughout the whole volume, which were
inadmissible, as it does not do to say all we know, especially of
Thamas Kouli Khan.

"M. Olivier had no greater regard for his assertions than for his
fortune; he quietly omitted all that he was told to leave out, and
restricted himself to a quiet and simple account of what he had seen."

A journey from Persia to Russia is not difficult; and was less so in
the eighteenth century than to-day. As a matter of fact, Russia only
became an European power in the days of Peter the Great. Until the
reign of that monarch she had been in every particular--manners,
customs, and inhabitants--Asiatic. With Peter the Great and Catherine
II., however, commerce revived, high roads were made, the navy was
created, and the various tribes became united into one nation.

The empire was vast from the first, and conquest has added to its
extent. Peter the Great ordered the compilation of charts, sent
expeditions round the coast to collect particulars as to the climate,
productions, and races of the different provinces of his empire; and
at length he sent Behring upon the voyage which resulted in the
discovery of the straits bearing his name.

The example of the great emperor was followed by his successor,
Catherine II. She attracted learned men to her court, and corresponded
with the savants of the whole world. She succeeded in impressing the
nations with a favourable idea of her subjects. Interest and curiosity
were awakened, and the eyes of Western Europe were fixed upon Russia.
It became recognized that a great nation was arising, and many doubts
were entertained as to the result upon European interests. Prussia had
already changed the balance of power in Europe, by her victories under
Frederick II.; Russia possessed resources of her own, not only in men,
but in silver and riches of every kind--still unknown or untested.

Thus it came to pass that publications concerning that country
possessed an attraction for politicians, and those interested in the
welfare of their country, as well as for the scientific men to whom
descriptions of manners and customs foreign to their experience were
always welcome.

No work had hitherto excelled that of the naturalist Pallas, which was
translated into French between 1788-1793. It was a narrative of a
journey across several provinces of the Russian empire. The success of
this publication was well deserved.

Peter Simon Pallas was a German naturalist, who had been summoned to
St. Petersburg by Catherine II. in 1668, and elected by her a member
of the Academy of Sciences. She understood the art of enlisting him in
her service by her favours. Pallas, in acknowledgment of them,
published his account of fossil remains in Siberia. England and France
had just sent expeditions to observe the transit of Venus. Russia, not
to be behindhand, despatched a party of learned men, of whom Pallas
was one, to Siberia.

Seven astronomers and geometers, five naturalists, and a large number
of pupils, made up the party, which was thoroughly to explore the
whole of the vast territory.

For six whole years Pallas devoted himself to the successive
explorations of Orenburg upon the Jaik, the rendezvous of the nomad
tribes who wander upon the shores of the Caspian Sea; Gouriel, which
is situated upon the borders of the great lake which is now drying up;
the Ural Mountains, with their numberless iron-mines; Tobolsk, the
capital of Siberia; the province of Koliwan, upon the northern slopes
of the Atlas; Krasnojarsk, upon the Jenissei; and the immense lake of
Bakali, and Daouria, on the frontiers of China. He also visited
Astrakan; the Caucasus, with its varied and interesting inhabitants;
and finally, he explored the Don, returning to St. Petersburg on the
30th of July, 1774.

It may well be believed that Pallas was no ordinary traveller. He was
not merely a naturalist; he was interested in everything that affects
humanity; geography, history, politics, commerce, religion, science,
art, all occupied his attention; and it is impossible to read his
narrative without admiring his enlightened patriotism, or without
recognizing the penetration of the sovereign who understood the art of
securing his services.

When his narrative was once arranged, written, and published, Pallas
had no idea of contenting himself with the laurels he had gained. Work
was his recreation, and he found occupation in assisting in the
compilation of a map of Russia.

His natural inclinations led him to the study of botany, and by his
works upon that subject he obtained a distinctive place among Russian

One of his later undertakings was a description of Southern Russia, a
physical and topographical account of the province of Taurius--a work
which, originally published in French, was afterwards translated into
English and German.

Delighted with this country, which he had visited in 1793-94, he
desired to settle there. The empress bestowed some of the crown lands
upon him, and he transported his family to Simpheropol.

Pallas profited by the opportunity to undertake a new journey in the
northern provinces of the empire, the Steppes of the Volga, and the
countries which border the Caspian Sea as far as the Caucasus. He then
explored the Crimea. He had seen parts of the country twenty years
before, and he now found great changes. Although he complains of the
devastation of the forests, he commends the increase of agricultural
districts, and the centres of industries which had been created. The
Crimea is known to be considerably improved since that time--it is
impossible to foresee what it may yet become.

Enthusiastic though he was at first in his admiration of this province,
Pallas was exposed to every kind of treachery on the part of the
Tartars. His wife died in the Crimea; and finally, disgusted with the
country and its inhabitants, he returned to Breton to end his days. He
died there on the 8th of September, 1811.

He left two important works, from which naturalists, geographers,
statesmen, and merchants, were able to gather much trustworthy
information upon countries then but little known, and the commodities
and resources of which were destined to have a large influence over
European markets.


The western coast of America--Juan de Fuca and De Fonte--The three
voyages of Behring and Tschirikow--Exploration of the straits of De
Fuca--Survey of the Archipelago of New Georgia and of part of the
American coast--Exploration of the interior of America--Samuel Hearn--
Discovery of the Coppermine river--Mackenzie, and the river named
after him--Fraser river--South America--Survey of the Amazon by
Condamine--Journey of Humboldt and Bonpland--Teneriffe--The Guachero
cavern--The "Llaños"--The Electric eels--The Amazon, Negro, and
Orinoco rivers--The earth-eaters--Results of the journey--Humboldt's
second journey--The "Volcanitos," or little volcanoes--The cascade at
Tequendama--The bridge of Icononzo--Crossing the Brindisi on men's
backs--Pinto and Pinchincha--Ascent of Chimborazo--The Andes--Lima--
The transit of Mercury--Exploration of Mexico--Puebla and Cofre de
Perote--Return to Europe.

We have more than once had occasion to speak of expeditions for the
survey of the coasts of America. We have told of the attempts of
Fernando Cortes and of the voyages and explorations of Drake, Cook, La
Perouse, and Marchand. It will be well now to go back for a time, and
with Fleurieu sum up the series of voyages along the western coast of
America, to the close of the eighteenth century.

[Illustration: Map of North-West America.]

In 1537, Cortes with Francisco de Ulloa, discovered the huge peninsula
of California, and sailed over the greater part of the long and narrow
strait now known as the Vermilion Sea.

He was succeeded by Vasquez Coronado and Francisco Alarcon, who--the
former by sea, and the latter by land--devoted themselves to seeking
the channel which was erroneously supposed to connect the Atlantic and
Pacific. They did not, however, penetrate beyond 36 degrees N. lat.

Two years later, in 1542, the Portuguese Rodrique de Cabrillo, reached
44 degrees N. lat., where the intense cold, sickness, want of
provisions, and the bad state of his vessel, compelled him to turn
back. He made no actual discovery, but he ascertained that, from Port
Natividad to the furthest point reached by him, the coast-line was
unbroken. The channel of communication seemed to recede before all

The little success met with appears to have discouraged the Spaniards,
for at this time they retired from the ranks of the explorers. It was
an Englishman, Drake, who, after having sailed along the western coast
as far as the Straits of Magellan, and devastated the Spanish
possessions, reached the forty-eighth degree, explored the whole coast,
and, returning the same way, gave to the vast districts included
within ten degrees the name of New Albion.

Next came, in 1592, the greatly fabulous voyage of Juan de Fuca, who
claimed to have found the long-sought Strait of Anian, when he had but
found the channel dividing Vancouver's Island from the mainland.

In 1602 Viscaino laid the foundations of Port Monterey in California,
and forty years later took place that much contested voyage of Admiral
De Fuente, or De Fonte according as one reckons him a Spaniard or a
Portuguese, which has been the text of so many learned discussions and
ingenious suppositions. To him we owe the discovery of the Archipelago
of St. Lazarus above Vancouver's Island; but all that he says about
the lakes and large towns he claims to have visited must be relegated
to the realms of romance, as well as his assertion that he discovered
a communication between the two oceans.

[Illustration: Port Monterey. (Fac-simile of early engraving.)]

In the eighteenth century the assertions of travellers were no longer
blindly accepted. They were examined and sifted, those parts only
being believed which accorded with the well authenticated accounts of
others. Buache, Delisle, and above all Fleurieu, inaugurated the
prolific literature of historical criticism, and we have every reason
to be grateful to them.

The Russians, as we know, had greatly extended the field of their
knowledge, and there was every reason to suppose that their hunters
and Cossacks would soon reach America, if, as was then believed, the
two continents were connected in the north. But from such
unprofessional travellers no trustworthy scientific details could be

A few years before his death the Emperor Peter I. drew up, with his
own hands, a plan of an expedition, with instructions to its members,
which he had long had in view, for ascertaining whether Asia and
America are united, or separated by a strait.

The arsenal and forts of Kamtchatka being unable to supply the
necessary men, stores, &c., captains, sailors, equipment, and
provisions, had to be imported from Europe.

Vitus Behring, a Dane, and Alexis Tschirikow, a Russian, who had both
given many a proof of skill and knowledge, were appointed to the
command of the expedition, which consisted of two vessels built at
Kamtchatka. They were not ready to put to sea until July 20th, 1720.
Steering north-east along the coast of Asia, of which he never for a
moment lost sight, Behring discovered, on the 15th August, in 67
degrees 18 minutes N. lat. a cape beyond which the coast stretched
away westwards.

In this first voyage Behring did not apparently see the coast of
America, though he probably passed through the strait to which
posterity has given his name. The fabulous strait of Anian gave place
to Behring Straits. A second voyage made by the same explorers the
following year was without results.

Not until June 4th, 1741, were Behring and Tschirikow in a position to
start again. This time they meant to bear to the east after reaching
50 degrees N. lat. till they should come to the coast of America; but
the two vessels were separated in a gale of wind on the 28th August,
and were unable to find each other again throughout the trip. On the
18th July Behring discerned the American continent in 58 degrees 28
minutes N. lat. and the succeeding days were devoted to the survey of
the vast bay between Capes St. Elias and St. Hermogenes.

Behring spent the whole of August in sailing about the islands known
as the Schumagin archipelago, off the peninsula of Alaska; and after a
struggle, lasting until the 24th September, with contrary winds, he
sighted the most southerly cape of the peninsula, and discovered part
of the Aleutian group.

Exhausted by long illness, however, the explorer was now no longer
able to direct the course of his vessel, and could not prevent her
from running aground on the little island bearing his name. There, on
the 8th December, 1741, this brave man and skilful explorer perished

The remnant of his crew who survived the fatigues and privations of
winter in this desolate spot, succeeded in making a large sloop of the
remains of the vessel, in which they returned to Kamtchatka.

Meanwhile Tschirikow, after waiting for his superior officer until the
25th June, made land between 55 degrees 56 minutes N. lat., where he
lost two boats with their crews, without being able to find out what
had become of them. Unable after this catastrophe to open
communication with the natives, he went back to Kamtchatka.

The way was now open, and adventurers, merchants, and naval officers
eagerly rushed in, directing their efforts carefully to the Aleutian
Islands and the peninsula of Alaska.

The expeditions sent out by the English, and the progress made by the
Russians, had, however, aroused the jealousy and anxiety of the
Spanish, who feared lest their rivals should establish themselves in a
country nominally belonging to Spain, though she owned not a single
colony in it.

The Viceroy of Mexico now remembered the discovery of an excellent
port by Viscaino, and resolved to found a "presidio" there. Two
expeditions started simultaneously, the one by land, under Don Gaspar
de Partola, the other by sea, consisting of two packets, the _San
Carlos_ and _San Antonio_, and after a year's search found again the
harbour of Monterey, alluded to by Viscaino.

After this expedition the Spanish continued the exploration of the
Californian coast. The most celebrated voyages were those of Don Juan
de Ayala and of La Bodega, which took place in 1775, and resulted in
the discovery of Cape Engano and Guadalupe Bay. Next to these rank the
expeditions of Arteaga and Maurelle.

We have already related what was done by Cook, La Pérouse, and
Marchand, so we can pass on to say a few words on the expeditions of
Vancouver. This officer, who had accompanied Cook on his second and
third voyage, was naturally appointed to the command of the expedition
sent out by the English government with a view to settling the
disputes with the Spanish government as to Nootka Sound.

George Vancouver was commissioned to obtain from the Spanish
authorities the formal cession of this great harbour, of such vast
importance to the fur trade. He was then to survey the whole of the
north-west coast, from 30 degrees N. lat. to Cook's River in 61
degrees N. lat. Lastly, he was to give special attention to the
Straits of De Fuca and the bay explored in 1749 by the _Washington_.

The two vessels, the _Discovery_ of 340 tons, and the _Chatham_ of
135--the latter under the command of Captain Broughton--left Falmouth
on the 1st of April, 1791. After touching at Teneriffe, Simon Bay, and
the Cape of Good Hope, Vancouver steered south-wards, sighted St.
Paul's Island, and sailed towards New Holland, between the routes
taken by Dampier and Marion, and through latitudes which had not yet
been traversed. On the 27th September was sighted part of the coast of
New Holland, ending in abrupt and precipitous cliffs, to which the
name of Cape Chatham was given. As many of his crew were down with
dysentery, Vancouver decided to anchor in the first harbour he came to,
to get water, wood, and above all provisions, of which he stood sorely
in need. Port George III. was the first reached, where ducks, curlews,
swans, fish, and oysters abounded; but no communication could be
opened with the natives, although a recently abandoned village of some
twenty huts was seen.

We need not follow Vancouver in his cruise along the south-west coast
of Holland, as we shall learn nothing new from it.

On the 28th November Van Diemen's Land was doubled, and on the 2nd
December the coast of New Zealand was reached and anchor cast by the
two vessels in Dusky Bay. Here Vancouver completed the survey left
unfinished by Cook. A gale soon separated the _Discovery_ from the
_Chatham_, which was found again in Matavai Bay, Tahiti. During the
voyage there from Dusky Bay, Vancouver discovered some rocky islands,
which he called the Snares, and a large island named Oparra, whilst
Captain Broughton had discovered Chatham Island, on the east of New
Zealand. The incidents of the stay at Tahiti resemble those of Cook's
story too closely for repetition.

On the 24th January the two vessels started for the Sandwich Islands,
and stopped for a short time off Owyhee, Waohoo, and Ottoway. Since
the murder of Cook many changes had taken place in this archipelago.
English and American vessels now sometimes visited it to take whales,
or trade in furs, and their captains had given the natives a taste for
brandy and fire-arms. Quarrels between the petty chiefs had become
more frequent, the most complete anarchy prevailed everywhere, and the
number of inhabitants was already greatly diminished.

[Illustration: Map of the two Americas.]

On the 17th March, 1792, Vancouver left the Sandwich Islands and
steered for America, of which he soon sighted the part called by Drake
New Albion. Here he almost immediately met Captain Grey, who was
supposed to have penetrated, in the _Washington_, into De Fuca Strait,
and discovered a vast sea. Grey at once disavowed the discoveries with
which he was so generously credited, explaining that he had only
sailed fifty miles up the strait, which runs from east to west till it
reaches a spot where, according to some natives, it veers to the north
and disappears.

Vancouver in his turn entered De Fuca Strait, and recognized Discovery
Port, Admiralty Entry, Birch Bay, Desolation Sound, Johnston Strait,
and Broughton Archipelago. Before reaching the northern extremity of
this long arm of the sea, he met two small Spanish vessels under the
command of Quadra. The two captains compared notes, and gave their
names to the chief island of the large group known collectively as New

Vancouver next visited Nootka Sound and the Columbia River, whence he
sailed to San Francisco, off which he anchored. It will be understood
that it is impossible to follow the details of the minute survey of
the vast stretch of coast between Cape Mendocino and Port Conclusion,
in N. lat. 56 degrees 37 minutes, which required no less than three
successive trips.

"Now," says the great navigator, "that we have achieved the chief aim
of the king in ordering this voyage, I flatter myself that our very
detailed survey of the north-west coast of America will dispel all
doubts, and do away with all erroneous opinions as to a north-west
passage; surely no one will now believe in there being a communication
between the North Pacific and the interior of the American continent
in the part traversed by us."

Leaving Nootka, to survey the coast of South America before returning
to Europe, Vancouver touched at the small Cocoa-Nut Island--which, as
we have already observed, little deserves its name--cast anchor off
Valparaiso, doubled Cape Horn, took in water at St. Helena, and
re-entered the Thames on the 12th September, 1795.

The fatigue incidental to this long expedition had so undermined the
health of the explorer that he died in May, 1798, leaving the account
of his voyage to be finished by his brother.

Throughout the arduous survey, occupying four years, of 900 miles of
coast, the _Discovery_ and _Chatham_ lost but two men. It will be seen
from this how apt a pupil of Cook the great navigator was; and we do
not know whether most to admire in Vancouver his care for his sailors
and humanity to the natives, or the wonderful nautical skill he
displayed in this dangerous cruise.

While explorers thus succeeded each other on the western coast of
America, colonists were not idle inland. Already established on the
borders of the Atlantic, where a series of states had been founded
from Florida to Canada, the white men were now rapidly forcing their
way westwards. Trappers, and _coureurs des bois_, as the French
hunters were called, had discovered vast tracts of land suitable for
cultivation, and many English squatters had already taken root, not,
however, without numerous conflicts with the original owners of the
soil, whom they daily tried to drive into the interior. Emigrants were
soon attracted in large numbers by the fertility of a virgin soil, and
the more liberal constitution of the various states.

Their number increased to such an extent, that at the end of the
seventeenth century the heirs of Lord Baltimore estimated the produce
of the sale of their lands at three thousand pounds; and in the middle
of the following century, 1750, the successors of William Penn also
made a profit ten times as great as the original price of their
property. Yet emigration was even then not sufficiently rapid, and
convicts were introduced. Maryland numbered 1981 in 1750. Many
scandalous abuses also resulted from the compulsory signing by new
comers of agreements they did not understand.

Although the lands bought of the Indians were far from being all
occupied, the English colonists continued to push their way inland, at
the risk of encounters with the legitimate owners of the soil.

In the north the Hudson's Bay Company, holding a monopoly of the fur
trade, were always on the look-out for new hunting-grounds, for those
originally explored were soon exhausted. Their trappers made their way
far into the western wilds, and gained valuable information from the
Indians whom they pressed into their service, and taught to get drunk.
By this means the existence of a river flowing northwards, past some
copper-mines, from which some natives brought fine specimens to Fort
Prince of Wales, was ascertained. The company at once, i.e. in 1769,
decided to send out an expedition, to the command of which they
appointed Samuel Hearn.

For a journey to the Arctic regions, where provisions are difficult to
obtain, and the cold is intense, a few well-seasoned men are required,
who can endure the fatigue of an arduous march over snow, and bear up
against hunger. Hearn took with him only two whites, and a few Indians
on whom he could depend.

In spite of the great skill of the guides, who knew the country, and
were familiar with the habits of the game it contained, provisions
soon failed. Two hundred miles from Fort Prince of Wales the Indians
abandoned Hearn and his two companions, who were obliged to retrace
their steps.

The chief of the expedition, however, was a rough sailor, accustomed
to privations, so he was not discouraged. If he had failed the first
time, that was no reason why a second attempt should not succeed.

In March, 1770, Hearn started again to try and cross the unknown
districts. This time he was alone with five Indians, for he had
noticed that the inability of the whites to endure fatigue excited the
contempt of the natives. He had penetrated 500 miles when the severity
of the weather compelled him to wait for a less severe temperature. He
had had a terrible experience. At one time to have, indeed, more game
than can be eaten; but more often to have no food whatever, and be
compelled for a week at a time to gnaw old leather, pick bones which
had been thrown aside, or to seek, often in vain, for a few berries on
the trees; and lastly, to endure fearful cold--such is the life of an
explorer in these Arctic regions.

Hearn started once more in April, wandered about the woods until
August, and had arranged to spend the winter with an Indian tribe
which had received him well, when an accident which deprived him of
his quadrant compelled him to continue his journey.

Privations, miseries, and disappointments, had not quenched the ardour
of Hearn's indomitable spirit. He started again on the 7th December,
and penetrating westwards below the 60th parallel N. lat. he came to a
river. Here he built a canoe, and went in it down the stream, which
flowed into an innumerable series of large and small lakes. Finally,
on the 13th July, 1771, he reached the Coppermine River. The Indians
with him now declared that they had been for some weeks in the country
of the Esquimaux, and that they meant to massacre all they should meet
of that hated race.

An encounter very soon took place.

"Coming," says Hearn, "upon a party of Esquimaux asleep in their tents,
the Indians fell upon them suddenly, and I was compelled to witness
the massacre of the poor creatures."

Of twenty individuals, not one escaped the sanguinary rage of the
Indians; and they put to death with indescribable tortures an old
woman who had in the first instance eluded them.

"After this horrible carnage," says Hearn, "we sat down on the grass,
and made a good dinner off fresh salmon."

Here the river widened considerably. Had Hearn arrived at its mouth?
The water was still quite sweet. There were, however, signs of a tide
on the shores, and a number of seals were disporting themselves in the
water. A quantity of whale blubber was found in the tents of the
Esquimaux. Everything in fact combined to prove that the sea was near.
Hearn seized his telescope, and saw stretching before him a huge sheet
of water, dotted with islands. There was no longer any doubt; it was
the sea!

On the 30th June Hearn got back to the English posts, after an absence
of no less than a year and five months.

The company recognized the immense service just rendered by Hearn, by
appointing him Governor of Fort Prince of Wales. During his expedition
to Hudson's Bay, La Perouse visited this post, and there found the
journal of Samuel Hearn's expedition. The French navigator returned it,
on condition that he would publish it. We do not know why its
appearance in accordance with the promise given by the English
traveller to the French sailor was delayed until 1795.

Not until the close of the eighteenth century did the immense chain of
lakes, rivers, and portages become known, which, emanating from Lake
Superior, receive all the waters flowing from the Rocky Mountains, and
divert them to the Arctic Ocean. It was to the brothers Frobisher, fur
traders, and to a Mr. Pond, who reached Athabasca, that their
discovery is partially due.

Thanks to their efforts, travelling in these parts became less
difficult. One explorer succeeded another, posts were established, and
the country was opened to all comers. Soon after a rumour was spread
of the discovery of a large river flowing in a north-westerly

It was Alexander Mackenzie who gave his name to it. Starting on the
3rd June, 1789, from Fort Chippewyan, on the southern shores of the
Lake of the Hills, accompanied by a few Canadians, and several Indians
who had been with Samuel Hearn, he reached 67 degrees 45 minutes N.
lat., where he heard that the sea was not far off on the east, but
that he was even nearer to it on the west. It was evident that he was
quite close to the north-western extremity of America.

On the 12th July, Mackenzie reached a large sheet of shallow water
covered with ice, which he could not believe to be the sea, though no
land could be seen on the horizon. It was, however, the Northern Ocean,
as he became assured when he saw the water rising, although the wind
was not violent. The tide was coming in! The traveller then gained an
island at a little distance from the shore, from which he saw several
whales gambolling in the water. He therefore named the island, which
is situated in N. lat. 69 degrees 11 minutes, Whale Island. On the
12th September the expedition safely returned to Fort Chippewyan.

Three years later Mackenzie, whose thirst for discovery was unslaked,
ascended Peace River, which rises in the Rocky Mountains. In 1793,
after forcing his way across this rugged chain, he made out on the
other side the Tacoutche-Tesse River, which flows in a south-westerly
direction. In the midst of dangers and privations more easily imagined
than described, Mackenzie descended this river to its mouth, below
Prince of Wales Islands. There, he wrote with a mixture of grease and
vermilion, the following laconic but eloquent inscription on a wall of
rock: "Alexander Mackenzie, come from Canada overland, July 22nd,
1793." On the 24th August he re-entered Fort Chippewyan.

[Illustration: Mackenzie's first view of the North Pacific Ocean.]

In South America no scientific expedition took place during the first
half of the eighteenth century. We have now only to speak of Condamine.
We have already told of his discoveries in America, explaining how
when the work was done he had allowed Bougner to return to Europe, and
left Jussieu to continue the collection of unknown plants and animals
which was to enrich science, whilst he himself went down the Amazon to
its Mouth.

"Condamine," says Maury in his "Histoire de l'Académie des Sciences,"
"may be called the Humboldt of the eighteenth century. An intellectual
and scientific man, he gave proof in this memorable expedition of an
heroic devotion to the progress of knowledge. The funds granted to him
by the king for his expedition were not sufficient; he added 100,000
livres from his private purse; and the fatigue and suffering he
underwent led to the loss of his ears and legs. The victim of his
enthusiasm for science, on his return home he met with nothing but
ridicule and sarcasm from a public who could not understand a martyr
who aimed at winning anything but Heaven. In him was recognized, not
the indefatigable explorer who had braved so many dangers, but the
infirm and deaf M. de Condamine, who always held his ear-trumpet in
his hand. Content, however, with the recognition of his fellow-savants,
to which Buffon gave such eloquent expression in his reply to the
address at his reception at the French Academy, Condamine consoled
himself by composing songs; and maintained until his death, which was
hastened by all he had undergone, the zeal for information on all
subjects, even torture, which led him to question the executioner on
the scaffold of Damiens."

[Illustration: Portrait of Condamine. (Fac-simile of early

Few travellers before Condamine had had an opportunity of penetrating
into Brazil. The learned explorer hoped, therefore, to render his
journey useful by making a map of the course of the river, and putting
down all his observations on the singular costumes worn by the natives
of that little frequented country.

After Orellana, whose adventurous trip we have related, Pedro de Ursua
was sent in 1559 by the Viceroy of Peru to seek for Lake Parima and
the El Dorado. He was murdered by a rebel soldier, who committed all
manner of outrages on his way down the river, and finished his course
by being abandoned on Trinity Island.

Efforts of this kind did not throw much light on the course of the
river. The Portuguese were more fortunate. In 1636 and 1637 Pedro
Texeira with forty-seven canoes, and a large number of Spaniards and
Indians, followed the Amazon as far as the junction of its tributary
the Napo, and then ascended, first it, and afterwards the Coca, to
within thirty miles of Quito, which he reached with a few men.

The map drawn up by Sanson after this trip, and as a matter of course
copied by all geographers, was extremely defective, and until 1717
there was no other. At that time the copy of a map drawn up by Father
Fritz, a German missionary, came out in Vol. xii. of the "Lettres
Édifiantes," a valuable publication, containing a multitude of
interesting historical and geographical facts. In this map it was
shown that the Napo is not the true source of the Amazon, and that the
latter, under the name of the Marañon, issues from Lake Guanuco,
thirty leagues east of Lima. The lower portion of the course of the
river was badly drawn, as Father Fritz was too ill when he went down
it to observe closely.

Leaving Tarqui, five leagues from Cuenca, on the 11th May, 1743,
Condamine passed Zaruma, a town once famous for its gold-mines, and
having crossed several rivers on the hanging bridges, which look like
huge hammocks slung from one side to the other, reached Loxa, four
degrees from the line, and 400 fathoms lower than Quito. Here he
noticed a remarkable difference of temperature, and found the
mountains to be mere hills compared with those of Quito.

Between Loxa and Jaen de Bracamoros the last buttresses of the Andes
are crossed. In this district rain falls every day throughout the year,
so that a long stay cannot be made there. The whole country has
declined greatly from its former prosperity. Loyola, Valladolid, Jaen,
and the greater number of the Peruvian towns at a distance from the
sea, and the main road between Carthagena and Lima, were in
Condamine's time little more than hamlets. Yet forests of cocoa-nut
trees grow all around Jaen, the natives thinking no more of them than
they do of the gold dust brought down by their rivers.

Condamine embarked on the Chincipe, wider here than the Seine at Paris,
and went down it as far as its junction with the Marañon, beyond which
the latter river becomes navigable, although its course is broken by a
number of falls and rapids, and in many places narrows till it is but
twenty fathoms wide. The most celebrated of these narrows is the
_pongo_, or gate, of Manseriche, in the heart of the Cordillera, where
the Amazon has hewn for itself a bed only fifty-five fathoms wide,
with all but perpendicular sides. Condamine, attended only by a single
negro, met with an almost unparalleled adventure on a raft in this

"The stream," he says, "the height of which had diminished twenty-five
feet in thirty-six hours, continued to decrease in volume. In the
middle of the night, part of a large branch of a tree caught between
the woodwork of my boat, penetrating further and further as the latter
sunk with the water, so that if I had not been awake and on guard at
the time, I should have found myself hanging from a tree, on my raft.
The least of the evils threatening me would have been the loss of my
journals and note-books, the fruit of eight years of work. Fortunately,
I eventually found means to free my raft, and float it again."

[Illustration: Celebrated narrows of Manseriche. (Fac-simile of early

In the midst of the woods near the ruined town of Santiago, where
Condamine arrived on the 10th July, lived the Xibaro Indians, who had
been for a century in revolt against the Spaniards, who tried to force
them to labour in the gold-mines.

Beyond the pongo of Manseriche a new world was entered, a perfect
ocean of fresh water--a labyrinth of lakes, rivers, and channels, set
in an impenetrable forest. Although he had lived in the open air for
more than seven years, Condamine was struck dumb by this novel
spectacle of water and trees only, with nothing else besides. Leaving
Borja on the 14th July, the traveller soon passed the mouth of the
Morona, which comes down from the volcano of Sangay, the ashes from
which are sometimes flung beyond Guayaquil. He next passed the three
mouths of the Pastaca, a river at this time so much swollen that the
width of no one of its mouths could be estimated.

On the 19th of the same month Condamine reached Laguna, where Pedro
Maldonado, governor of the province of Esmeraldas, who had come down
the Pastaca, had been waiting for him for six weeks. At this time
Laguna was a large community, of some thousand Indians capable of
bearing arms, who recognized the authority of the missionaries of the
different tribes.

"In making a map of the course of the Amazon," says Condamine, "I
provided myself with a resource against the _ennui_ of a quiet voyage
with nothing to break the monotony of the scenery, though that scenery
was new to me. My attention was continually on the strain as, compass
and watch in hand, I noted the deflexions in the course of the river,
the time occupied in passing from one bend to another, the variations
in the breadth of its bed and in that of the mouths of its tributaries,
the angle formed by the latter at the confluence, the position and
size of the islands, and above all the rate of the current and that of
the canoe. Now on land and now in the canoe, employing various modes
of measurement, which it would be superfluous to explain here, every
instant was occupied. I often sounded, and measured geometrically the
breadth of the river and that of its tributaries. I took the height of
the sun at the meridian every day, and I noted its amplitude at its
rising and setting, wherever I went."

On the 25th July, after having passed the Tigre River, Condamine came
to a new mission station, that of a tribe called Yameos, recently
rescued from the woods by the Fathers. Their language is difficult to
learn, and their mode of pronouncing it extraordinary. Some of their
words are nine or ten syllables long, and yet they can only count up
to three. They use a kind of pea-shooter with great skill, firing from
it small arrows tipped with a poison which causes instantaneous death.

The following day the explorer passed the mouth of the Ucayale, one of
the most important of the tributaries of the Marañon, and which might
even be its source. Beyond it the main stream widens sensibly.

Condamine reached on the 27th the mission station of the Omaguas,
formerly a powerful nation, whose dwelling extended along the banks of
the Amazon for a distance of 200 leagues below the Napo. Originally
strangers in the land, they are supposed to have come down some river
rising in Granada, and to have fled from the Spanish yoke. The word
Omagua means flat-head in Peruvian, and these people have the singular
custom of squeezing the foreheads of new-born babies between two flat
pieces of wood, to make them, as they say, resemble the full moon.
They also use two curious plants, the floripondio and the curupa,
which makes them drunk for twenty-four hours, and causes very
wonderful dreams. So that opium and hatchich have their counterparts
in Peru.

[Illustration: Omagua Indians.]

Cinchona, ipecacuanha, simaruba, sarsaparilla, guaiacum, cocoa, and
vanilla grow on the banks of the Marañon, as does also a kind of
india-rubber, of which the natives make bottles, boots, and syringes,
which, according to Condamine, require no piston. They are of the
shape of hollow pears, and are pierced at the end with a little hole,
into which a pipe is fitted. This contrivance is much used by the
Omaguas; and when a fête is given, the host, as a matter of politeness,
always presents one to each of his guests, who use them before any
ceremonial banquet.

Changing boats at San Joaquin, Condamine arrived at the mouth of Napo
in time to witness, during the night of the 31st July or the 1st
August, the emersion of the first satellite of Jupiter, so that he was
able to determine exactly the latitude and longitude of the spot--a
valuable observation, from which all other positions on the journey
could be calculated.

Pevas, which was reached the next day, is the last of the Spanish
missions on the Marañon. The Indians collected there were neither all
of the same race nor all converts to Christianity. They still wore
bone ornaments in the nostrils and the lips, and had their cheeks
riddled with holes, in which were fixed the feathers of birds of every

St. Paul is the first Portuguese mission. There the river is no less
than 900 fathoms wide, and often rises in violent storms. The
traveller was agreeably surprised to find the Indian women possessed
of pet birds, locks, iron keys, needles, looking-glasses, and other
European utensils, procured at Para in exchange for cocoa. The native
canoes are much more convenient than those used by the Indians of the
Spanish possessions. They are in fact regular little brigantines,
sixty feet long by seven wide, manned by forty oarsmen.

Between St. Paul and Coari several large and beautiful rivers flow
into the Amazon. On the south the Yutay, Yuruca, Tefé, and Coari; on
the north the Putumayo and Yupura. On the shores of the last-named
river lives a cannibal race. Here Texeira set up a barrier, on the
26th June, 1639, which was to mark the frontier between the district
in which the Brazilian and Peruvian languages respectively were to be
used in dealing with the Indians.

Purus River and the Rio Negro, connecting the Orinoco with the Amazon,
the banks dotted with Portuguese missions under the direction of the
monks of Mount Carmel, were successively surveyed. The first reliable
information on the important geographical fact of the communication
between the two great rivers, is to be found in the works of Condamine,
and his sagacious comments on the journeys of the missionaries who
preceded him. It was in these latitudes that the golden lake of Parimé
and the fabulous town of Manoa del Dorado are said to have been
situated. Here, too, lived the Manaos Indians, who so long resisted
the Portuguese.

Now were passed successively the mouth of the Madera River--so called
on account of the quantity of timber which drifts down from it, the
port of Pauxis--beyond which the Marañon takes the name of the Amazon,
and where the tide begins to be felt, although the sea is more than
200 miles distant--and the fortress of Topayos, at the mouth of a
river coming down from the mines of Brazil, on the borders of which
live the Tupinambas.

Not until September did the mountains come in sight on the
north--quite a novel spectacle, since for two months Condamine had not
seen a single hill. They were the first buttresses of the Guiana chain.

On the 6th September, opposite Fort Paru, Condamine left the Amazon,
and passed by a natural canal to the Xingu River, called by Father
D'Acunha the Paramaribo. The port of Curupa was then reached, and
lastly Para, a large town, with regular streets and houses of rough or
hewn stone. To complete his map, the explorer was obliged to visit the
mouth of the Amazon, where he embarked for Cayenne, arriving there on
the 20th February, 1774.

This long voyage had the most important results. For the first time
the course of the Amazon had been laid down in a thoroughly scientific
manner, and the connexion between it and the Orinoco ascertained.
Moreover Condamine had collected a vast number of interesting
observations on natural history, physical geography, astronomy, and
the new science of anthropology, then in its earliest infancy.

We have now to relate the travels of a man who recognized, better than
any one else had done, the connexion between geography and the other
physical sciences. We allude to Alexander von Humboldt. To him is due
the credit of having opened to travellers this fertile source of

[Illustration: Portrait of Alex. de Humboldt. (Fac-simile of early

Born at Berlin, in 1759, Humboldt's earliest studies were carried on
under Campe, the well-known editor of many volumes of travels. Endowed
with a great taste for botany, Humboldt made friends at the university
of Göttingen with Forster the younger, who had just made the tour of
the world with Captain Cook. This friendship, and the enthusiastic
accounts given of his adventures by Forster, probably did much to
rouse in Humboldt a longing to travel. He took the lead in the study
of geology, botany, chemistry, and animal magnetism; and to perfect
himself in the various sciences, he visited England, Holland, Italy,
and Switzerland. In 1797, after the death of his mother, who objected
to his leaving Europe, he went to Paris, where he became acquainted
with Aimé Bonpland, a young botanist, with whom he at once agreed to
go on several exploring expeditions.

It had been arranged that Humboldt should accompany Captain Baudin,
but the delay in the starting of his expedition exhausted the young
enthusiast's patience, and he went to Marseilles with the intention of
joining the French army in Egypt. For two whole months he waited for
the sailing of the frigate which was to take him; and, weary of
inaction, he went to Spain with his friend Bonpland, in the hope of
obtaining permission to visit the Spanish possessions in America.

This was no easy matter, but Humboldt was a man of rare perseverance.
He was thoroughly well-informed, he had first-rate introductions, and
he was, moreover, already becoming known. In spite, therefore, of the
extreme reluctance of the government, he was at last authorized to
explore the Spanish colonies, and take any astronomical or geodesic
observations he chose.

The two friends left Corunna on the 5th June, 1799, and reached the
Canaries thirteen days later. Of course, as naturalists they were in
duty bound not to land at Teneriffe without ascending the Peak.

"Scarcely any naturalist," says Humboldt in a letter to La Metterie,
"who, like myself, has passed through to the Indies, has had time to
do more than go to the foot of this colossal volcano, and admire the
delightful gardens of Orotava. Fortunately for me our frigate, the
_Pizarro_, stopped for six days. I examined in detail the layers of
which the peak of Teyde is composed. We slept in the moonlight at a
height of 1200 fathoms. At two o'clock in the morning we started for
the summit, where we arrived at eight o'clock, in spite of the violent
wind, the great heat of the ground, which burnt our boots, and the
intense cold of the atmosphere. I will tell you nothing about the
magnificent view, which included the volcanic islands of Lancerote,
Canaria, and Gomera, at our feet; the desert, twenty leagues square,
strewn with pumice-stone and lava, and without insects or birds,
separating us from thickets of laurel-trees and heaths; or of the
vineyards studded with palms, banana, and dragon-trees, the roots of
which are washed by the waves. We went into the very crater itself. It
is not more than forty or sixty feet deep. The summit is 1904 fathoms
above the sea-level, as estimated by Borda in a very careful geometric
measurement.... The crater of the Peak--that is to say, of the
summit--has been inactive for several centuries, lava flowing from the
sides only. The crater, however, provides an enormous quantity of
sulphur and sulphate of iron."

In July, Humboldt and Bonpland arrived at Cumana, in that part of
America known as Terra Firma. Here they spent some weeks in examining
the traces left by the great earthquake of 1797. They then determined
the position of Cumana, which was placed a degree and a half too far
north on all the maps--an error due to the fact of the current bearing
to the north near La Trinidad, having deceived all travellers. In
December, 1799, Humboldt wrote from Caracas to the astronomer

"I have just completed an intensely interesting journey in the
interior of Paria, in the Cordillera of Cocolar, Tumeri, and Guiri. I
had two or three mules loaded with instruments, dried plants, &c. We
penetrated to the Capuchin mission, which had never been visited by
any naturalist. We discovered a great number of new plants, chiefly
varieties of palms; and we are about to start for the Orinoco, and
propose pushing on from it perhaps to San Carlos on the Rio Negro,
beyond the equator. We have dried more than 1600 plants, and described
more than 500 birds, picked up numberless shells and insects, and I
have made some fifty drawings. I think that is pretty well in four
months, considering the broiling heat of this zone."

During this first trip Humboldt visited the Chayma and Guarauno
Missions. He also climbed to the summit of the Tumiriquiri, and went
down into the Guacharo cavern, the entrance to which, framed as it is
with the most luxuriant vegetation, is truly magnificent. From it
issues a considerable river, and its dim recesses echo to the gloomy
notes of birds. It is the Acheron of the Chayma Indians, for,
according to their mythology and that of the natives of Orinoco, the
souls of the dead go to this cavern. To go down into the Guacharo
signifies in their language to die.

The Indians go into the Guacharo cavern once a year, in the middle of
summer, and destroy the greater number of the nests in it with long
poles. At this time many thousands of birds die a violent death, and
the old inhabitants of the cave hover above the heads of the Indians
with piercing cries, as if they would defend their broods.

The young birds which fall to the ground are opened on the spot. Their
peritoneum is covered with a thick layer of fat, extending from the
abdomen to the anus, and forming a kind of cushion between the legs.
At the time called at Caripe the oil harvest, the Indians build
themselves huts of palm leaves outside the cavern, and then light
fires of brushwood, over which they hang clay pots filled with the fat
of the young birds recently killed. This fat, known under the name of
the Guacharo oil or butter, is half-liquid, transparent, without smell,
and so pure that it can be kept a year without turning rancid.

Humboldt continues: "We passed fifteen days in the Caripe valley,
situated at a height of 952 Castilian varas above the sea-level, and
inhabited by naked Indians. We saw some black monkeys with red beards.
We had the satisfaction of being treated with the greatest kindness by
the Capuchin monks and the missionaries living amongst these
semi-barbarous people."

[Illustration: Itinerary of Humboldt's route in equinoctial America.]

From the Caripe valley the two travellers went back to Cumana by way
of the Santa Maria Mountains and the Catuaro missions, and on the 21st
November they arrived--having come by sea--at Caracas, a town situated
in the midst of a valley rich in cocoa, cotton, and coffee, yet with a
European climate.

Humboldt turned his stay at Caracas to account by studying the light
of the stars of the southern hemisphere, for he had noticed that
several, notably the Altar, the Feet of the Centaur, and others,
seemed to have changed since the time of La Caille.

At the same time he put his collections in order, despatching part of
them to Europe, and most thoroughly examined some rocks, with a view
to ascertaining of what materials the earth's crust was here composed.

After having explored the neighbourhood of Caracas, and ascended the
Silla, which, although close to the town, had never been scaled by any
native, Humboldt and Bonpland went to Valencia, along the shores of a
lake called Tacarigua by the Indians, and exceeding in size that of
Neufchâtel in Switzerland. Nothing could give any idea of the richness
and variety of the vegetation. But the interest of the lake consists
not only in its picturesque and romantic beauty; the gradual decrease
in the volume of its waters attracted the attention of Humboldt, who
attributed it to the reckless cutting down of the forests in its
neighbourhood, resulting in the exhaustion of its sources.

Near this lake Humboldt received proof of the truth of the accounts he
had heard of an extraordinary tree, the palo de la vaca, or cow-tree,
which yields a balsamic and very nutritive milk, drawn off from
incisions made in the bark.

The most arduous part of the trip began at Porto Caballo, at the
entrance to the llanos, or perfectly flat plains stretching between
the hills of the coast and the Orinoco valley.

"I am not sure," says Humboldt, "that the first sight of the llanos is
not as surprising as that of the Andes."

Nothing in fact could be more striking than this sea of grass, from
which whirls of dust rise up continually, although not a breath of
wind is felt at Calabozo, in the centre of this vast plain. Humboldt
first tested the power of the gymnotus, or electric eel, large numbers
of which are met with in all the tributaries of the Orinoco. The
Indians, who were afraid of exposing themselves to the electric
discharge of these singular creatures, proposed sending some horses
into the marsh containing them.

"The extraordinary noise made by the shoes of the horses," says
Humboldt, "made the eels come out of the ooze and prepare for battle.
The yellowish livid gymnoti, resembling serpents, swam on the top of
the water, and squeezed themselves under the bodies of the quadrupeds
which had disturbed them. The struggle which ensued between animals so
differently constituted presented a very striking spectacle. The
Indians, armed with harpoons and long canes, surrounded the pond on
every side, and even climbed into the trees, the branches of which
stretched horizontally over the water. Their wild cries, as they
brandished their long sticks, prevented the horses from running away
and getting back to the shores of the pond; whilst the eels, driven
mad by the noise, defended themselves by repeated discharges from
their electric batteries. For a long time they appeared victorious,
and some horses succumbed to the violence of the repeated shocks which
they received upon their vital organs from every side. They were
stunned, and sank beneath the water.

"Others, panting for breath, with manes erect, and wild eyes full of
the keenest suffering, tried to fly from the scene, but the merciless
Indians drove them back into the water. A very few, who succeeded in
eluding the vigilance of the guards, regained the bank, stumbling at
every step, and lay down upon the sand, exhausted with fatigue, every
limb paralyzed from the electric shocks received from the eels.

"I never remember receiving a more terrible shock from a Leyden jar
than I did from a gymnotus on which I accidentally trod just after it
came out of the water."

The astronomic position of Calabozo having been determined, Humboldt
and Bonpland resumed their journey to the Orinoco. The Uriticu, with
its numerous and ferocious crocodiles, and the Apure, one of the
tributaries of the Orinoco, the banks of which are covered with a
luxuriant vegetation such as is only met with in the tropics, were
successively crossed or descended.

The latter stream is flanked on either side by thick hedges, with
openings here and there, through which boars, tigers, and other wild
animals, made their way to quench their thirst. When the shades of
night shut in the forest, so silent by day, it resounds with the cries
of birds and the howling or roaring of beasts of prey, vying with each
other as to which shall make the most noise.

While the Uriticu is inhabited by fierce crocodiles, the Apure is the
home of a small fish called the "carabito," which attacks bathers with
great fury, often biting out large pieces of flesh. It is only four or
five inches long, but more formidable than the largest crocodile, and
the waters it frequents are carefully avoided by the Indians, in spite
of their fondness for bathing, and the relief it affords them,
persecuted as they are by ants and mosquitoes.

Our travellers went down the Orinoco as far as the Temi, which is
connected by a short portage with the Cano-Pimichino, a tributary of
the Rio Negro.

The banks of the Temi, and the adjacent forests, are often inundated,
and then the Indians make waterways, two or three feet wide, between
the trees. Nothing could be more quaint or imposing than floating
amongst the gigantic growths, beneath their green foliage. Sometimes,
three or four hundred leagues inland, the traveller comes upon a troop
of fresh-water dolphins, spouting up water and compressed air in the
manner which has gained for them the name of blowers.

[Illustration: Gigantic vegetation on the banks of the Temi.]

It took four days to transport the canoes from the Tenir to the
Cano-Pimichino, as a path had to be cleared with axes.

The Pimichino flows into the Rio-Negro, which is in its turn a
tributary of the Amazon.

Humboldt and Bonpland went down the Rio-Negro as far as San Carlos,
and then up the Casiquiaro, an important branch of the Orinoco, which
connects it with the Rio-Negro. The shores of the Casiquiaro are
inhabited by the Ydapaminores, who live entirely on smoked ants.

Lastly, the travellers went up the Orinoco nearly to its source, at
the foot of the Duida volcano, where their further progress was
stopped by the hostility of the Guaharibos and the Guaica Indians, who
were skilful marksmen with the bow and arrow. Here was discovered the
famous El Dorado lake, with its floating islets of talc.

Thus was finally solved the problem of the junction of the Orinoco and
the Marañon, which takes place on the borders of the Spanish and
Portuguese territories, two degrees above the equator.

The two travellers then floated with the current down the Orinoco,
traversing by this means five hundred leagues in twenty-five days,
after which they halted for three weeks at Angostura, to tide over the
time of the great heat, when fever is prevalent, regaining Cumana in
October, 1800.

"My health," says Humboldt, "was proof against the fatigue of a
journey of more than 1300 leagues, but my poor comrade Bonpland, was,
immediately on his return, seized with fever and sickness, which
nearly proved fatal. A constitution of exceptional vigour is necessary
to enable a traveller to bear the fatigue, privations, and
interruptions of every kind with which he has to contend in these
unhealthy districts, with impunity. We were constantly surrounded by
voracious tigers and crocodiles, stung by venomous mosquitoes and ants,
with no food for three months but water, bananas, fish, and tapioca,
now crossing the territory of the earth-eating Otomaques, now
wandering through the desolate regions below the equator, where not a
human creature is seen for 130 leagues. Few indeed are those who
survive such perils and such exertions, fewer still are those who,
having surmounted them, have sufficient courage and strength to
encounter them a second time."

We have seen what an important geographical discovery rewarded the
perseverance of the explorers who had completed the examination of the
whole of the district north of the Amazon, between Popayan and the
mountains of French Guiana. The results obtained in other branches of
science were no less novel and important.

Humboldt had discovered that there exists amongst the Indians of the
Upper Orinoco and the Rio Negro a race with extremely fair complexions,
differing entirely from the natives of the coast. He also noticed the
curious tribe of the Otomaques.

"These people," he says "who disfigure their bodies with hideous
paintings, eat nothing but loam for some three months, when the height
of the Orinoco cuts them off from the turtles which form their
ordinary food. Some monks say they mix earth with the fat of
crocodiles' tails, but this is a very false assertion. We saw
provisions made of unadulterated earth, prepared only by slow roasting
and moistening with water."

Amongst the most curious of the discoveries made by Humboldt, we must
mention that of the "curare," the virulent poison which he saw
manufactured by the Catarapeni and Maquiritare Indians, and a specimen
of which he sent to the Institute with the "dapiche," a variety of
Indian rubber hitherto unknown, being the gum which exudes
spontaneously from the roots of the trees known as "jacio" and
"cucurma," and dries underground.

Humboldt concluded his first journey by the exploration of the
southern districts of San Domingo and Jamaica, and by a short stay in
Cuba, where he and his companions made several experiments with a view
to facilitating the making of sugar, surveyed the coast of the island,
and took some astronomical observations.

These occupations were interrupted by the news of the starting of
Captain Baudin, who, it was said, was to double Cape Horn and examine
the coasts of Chili and Peru. Humboldt, who had promised to join the
expedition, at once left Cuba, and crossed South America, arriving on
the coast of Peru in time, as he thought, to receive the French
navigator. Although Humboldt had throughout his long journey worked
with a view to timing his arrival in the Peruvian capital to meet
Baudin, it was only when he reached Quito that he ascertained that the
new expedition was making for the Pacific by way of the Cape of Good

In May, 1801, Humboldt, still accompanied by the faithful Bonpland,
embarked at Cartagena, whence he proposed going first to Santa Fé de
Bogota, and then to the lofty plains of Quito. To avoid the great heat
the travellers spent some time at the pretty village of Turbaco,
situated on the heights overlooking the coast, where they made the
necessary preparations for their journey. In one of their excursions
in the neighbourhood they visited a very strange region, of which
their Indian guides had often spoken under the name of _Volcanitos_.

This is a volcanic district, set in a forest of palms, and of the tree
called "tola," about two miles to the east of Turbaco. According to a
legend, the country was at one time one vast collection of burning
mountains, but the fire was quenched by a saint, who merely poured a
few drops of holy water upon it.

In the centre of an extensive plain Humboldt came upon some twenty
cones of greyish clay, about twenty-five feet high, the mouths of
which were full of water. As the travellers approached a hollow sound
was heard, succeeded in a few minutes by the escape of a great
quantity of gas. According to the Indians these phenomena had recurred
for many years.

Humboldt noticed that the gas which issues from these small volcanoes
was a far purer azote than could then be obtained by chemical

Santa Fé is situated in a valley 8600 feet above the sea-level. Shut
in on every side by lofty mountains, this valley appears to have been
formerly a large lake. The Rio-Bogota which receives all the waters of
the valley, has forced a passage for itself near the Tequendama farm,
on the south-west of Santa-Fé, beyond which it leaves the plain by a
narrow channel and flows into the Magdalena basin. As a natural
consequence, were this passage blocked, the whole plain of Bogota
would be inundated and the ancient lake restored. There exists amongst
the Indians a legend similar to that connected with Roland's Pass in
the Pyrenees, telling how one of their heroes split open the rocks and
drained dry the valley of Bogota, after which, content with his
exploit, he retired to the sacred town of Eraca, where he did penance
for 2000 years, inflicting upon himself the greatest torture.

The cataract of Tequendama, although not the largest in the world, yet
affords a very beautiful sight. When swollen by the addition of all
the waters of the valley, the river, a little above the Falls, is 175
feet wide, but on entering the defile which appears to have been made
by an earthquake, it is not more than forty feet in breadth. The abyss
into which it flings itself, is no less than 600 feet deep. Above this
vast precipice constantly rises a dense cloud of foam, which, falling
again almost immediately, is said to contribute greatly to the
fertility of the valley.

Nothing could be more striking than the contrast between the valley of
the Rio Bogota and that of the Magdalena: the one with the climate and
productions of Europe, the corn, the oaks and other trees of our
native land; the other with palms, sugar-canes, and all the growths of
the tropics.

One of the most interesting of the natural curiosities met with by our
travellers on the trip, was the bridge of Jcononzo, which they crossed
in September, 1801. At the bottom of one of the contracted ravines,
known as "cañons," peculiar to the Andes, a little stream, the Rio
Suma Paz, has forced for itself a narrow channel. To cross this river
would be impossible, had not nature herself provided two bridges, one
above the other, which are justly considered marvels of the country.

Three blocks of rock detached from one of the mountains by the
earthquake which produced this mighty fissure, have so fallen as to
balance each other and form a natural arch, to which access is
obtained by a path along the precipice. In the centre of this bridge
there is an opening through which the traveller may gaze down into the
infinite depth of the abyss, at the bottom of which rolls the torrent,
its terrible roar mingled with the incessant screaming of thousands of
birds. Sixty feet above this bridge is a second, fifty feet long by
forty wide, and not more than eight feet thick in the middle. To serve
as a parapet, the natives have made a slender balustrade of reeds
along the edges of this second bridge, from which the traveller can
obtain a fine view of the magnificent scene beneath him.

The heavy rain and bad roads made the journey to Quito very exhausting,
but for all that Humboldt and Bonpland only halted there for an
absolutely necessary rest, quickly pressing on for the Magdalena
valley, and the magnificent forests clothing the sides of the Trinidiu
in the Central Andes.

This mountain is considered one of the most difficult to cross in the
whole chain. Even when the weather is favourable, twelve days, at
least, are necessary for traversing the forests, in which not a human
creature is seen and no food can be obtained. The highest point is
1200 feet above the sea-level, and the path leading up to it is in
many parts only one foot wide. The traveller is generally carried,
bound to a chair in a sitting posture, on the back of a native, as a
porter carries a trunk.

"We preferred to go on foot," says Humboldt in a letter to his brother,
"and the weather being very fine we were only seventeen days in these
solitudes, where not a trace is to be seen of any inhabitant. The
night is passed in temporary huts made of the leaves of the heliconia,
brought on purpose. On the western slopes of the Andes marshes have to
be crossed, into which one sinks up to the knees; and the weather
having changed when we reached them, it rained in torrents for the
last few days. Our boots rotted on our feet, and we reached Carthago
with naked and bleeding feet, but enriched with a fine collection of
new plants.

"From Carthago we went to Popayan by way of Buga, crossing the fine
Cauca valley, and skirting along the mountain of Choca, with the
platina-mines for which it is famous.

"We spent October, 1801, at Popayan, whence we made excursions to the
basaltic mountains of Julusuito and the craters of the Puracé volcano,
which discharge hydro-sulphuric steam and porphyritic granite with a
terrible noise....

"The greatest difficulties were met with in going from Popayan to
Quito. We had to pass the Pasto Paramos, and that in the rainy season,
which had now set in. A 'paramo' in the Andes is a district some 1700
or 2000 fathoms high, where vegetation ceases, and the cold is

"We went from Popayan to Almager and thence to Pasto, at the foot of a
terrible volcano, by way of the fearful precipices forming the ascent
to the summit of the Cordillera, thus avoiding the heat of the Patia
valley, where one night will often bring on the fever known as the
_Calentura de Patia_, lasting three or four months."

The province of Pasto consists entirely of a frozen plateau almost too
lofty for any vegetation to thrive on it, surrounded by volcanoes and
sulphur-mines from which spiral columns of smoke are perpetually
issuing. The inhabitants have no food but batatas, and when they run
short they are obliged to live upon a little tree called "achupalla,"
for which they have to contend with the bear of the Andes. After being
wet through night and day for two months, and being all but drowned in
a sudden flood, accompanied by an earthquake near the town of Jbarra,
Humboldt and Bonpland arrived on the 6th January, 1801, at Quito,
where they were received in cordial and princely style by the Marquis
of Selva-Alegre.

Quito is a fine town, but the intense cold and the barren mountains
surrounding it make it a gloomy place to stay in. Since the great
earthquake of the 4th February, 1797, the temperature has considerably
decreased, and Bouguer, who registered it at an average of from 15
degrees to 16 degrees would be surprised to find it varying from 4
degrees to 10 degrees Reaumur. Cotopaxi and Pinchincha, Antisana and
Illinaza, the various craters of one subterranean fire, were all
examined by the travellers, a fortnight being devoted to each.

Humboldt twice reached the edge of the Pinchincha crater, never before
seen except by Condamine.

"I made my first trip," he says, "accompanied only by an Indian.
Condamine had approached the crater by the lower part of its edge
which was covered with snow, and in this first attempt I followed his
example. But we nearly perished. The Indian sank to the breast in a
crevasse, and we found to our horror that we were walking on a bridge
of frozen snow, for a little in advance of us there were some holes
through which we could see the light. Without knowing it we were in
fact on the vaults belonging to the crater itself. Startled, but not
discouraged, I changed my plan. From the outer rim of the crater,
flung as it were upon the abyss, rise three peaks, three rocks, which
are not covered with snow, because the steam from the volcano prevents
the water from freezing. I climbed upon one of these rocks and on the
top of it found a stone attached on one side only to the rock and
undermined beneath, so as to protrude like a balcony over the
precipice. This stone was but about twelve feet long by six broad, and
is terribly shaken by the frequent earthquakes, of which we counted
eighteen in less than thirty minutes. To examine the depths of the
crater thoroughly we lay on our faces, and I do not think imagination
could conceive anything drearier, more gloomy, or more awful than what
we saw. The crater consists of a circular hole nearly a league in
circumference, the jagged edges of which are surrounded by snow. The
interior is of pitchy blackness, but so vast is the gulf that the
summits of several mountains situated in it can be made out at a depth
of some 300 fathoms, so only fancy where their bases must be!

"I have no doubt that the bottom of the crater must be on a level with
the town of Quito. Condamine found this volcano extinct and covered
with snow, but we had to take the bad news to the inhabitants of the
capital, that the neighbouring burning mountain is really active."

Humboldt ascended the volcano of Antisana to a height of 2773 fathoms,
but could go no further, as the cold was so intense that the blood
started from the lips, eyes, and gums of the travellers. It was
impossible to reach the crater of Cotopaxi.

On the 9th June, 1802, Humboldt, accompanied by Bonpland, started from
Quito to examine Chimborazo and Tungurunga. The peak of the latter
fell in during the earthquake of 1797, and Humboldt found its height
to be but 2531 fathoms, whilst in Condamine's time it was 2620 fathoms.

From Quito the travellers went to the Amazon by way of Lactacunga,
Ambato and Rio-Bamba situated in the province laid waste by the
earthquake of 1797, when 40,000 inhabitants were swallowed up by water
and mud. Going down the Andes, Humboldt and his companions had an
opportunity of admiring the remains of the Yega road, leading from
Cusco to Assuay, and known as the Inca's road. It was built entirely
of hewn stones, and was very straight. It might have been taken for
one of the best Roman roads. In the same neighbourhood are the ruins
of a palace of the Inca Fupayupangi, described by Condamine in the
minutes of the Berlin Academy.

After a stay of ten days at Cuença, Humboldt entered the province of
Jaen, surveyed the Marañon as far as the Rio Napo, and with the aid of
the astronomical observations he was able to make, supplemented
Condamine's map. On the 23rd October, 1802, Humboldt entered Lima,
where he successfully observed the transit of Mercury.

After spending a month in that capital he started for Guayaquil,
whence he went by sea to Acapulco in Spanish America.

The vast number of notes collected by Humboldt during the year he
spent in Mexico, and which led to the publication of his Essay on
Spanish America, would, after what we have said of his previous
proceedings, be enough to prove, if proof were needed, what a passion
he had for knowledge, how indomitable was his energy and how immense
his power of work.

At one and the same time he was studying the antiquities and the
history of Mexico, the character, customs, and language of its people,
and taking observations in natural history, physical geography,
chemistry, astronomy, and topography.

The Tasco, Moran, and Guanajuato mines, which yield a profit of
several million piastres per annum, first attracted the attention of
Humboldt, who had early studied geology. He then examined the Jerullo
volcano, which, although situated in the centre of an immense plain
thirty-six leagues from the sea, and more than forty from any volcano,
discharged earth on the 29th September, 1759, and formed a mountain of
cinders and clay 1700 feet high.

In Mexico the travellers were able to obtain everything necessary to
the arrangement of the immense collections they had accumulated, to
classify and compare the observations each had taken, and to prepare
their geographical map for publication.

Finally, in January, 1804, they left Acapulco to examine the eastern
slopes of the Cordilleras, and to take the dimensions of the two lofty
Puebla volcanoes.

"Popocatepetl," says Desborough Cooley, "is always active, although
nothing but smoke and ashes have issued from its crater for centuries.
It is not only 2000 feet higher than the loftiest mountains of Europe,
but is also the loftiest mountain in Spanish America." In spite of the
great quantity of snow which had recently fallen, Humboldt
accomplished the ascent of the Cofre, 1300 feet higher than the peak
of Teneriffe, obtaining from its summit, an extensive and varied view,
embracing the Puebla plain and the eastern slopes of the Mexican
Cordilleras, clothed with thick forests of "liquidambar," tree-ferns
and sensitive plants. The travellers were able to make out the port of
Vera Cruz, the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa and the sea-shore.

This mountain owes its name of Cofre to a naked rock of pyramidal form
which rises like a tower from its summit at a height of 500 feet.

After this last trip Humboldt went down to Vera Cruz, and having
fortunately escaped the yellow fever then decimating the population,
he set sail for Cuba, where he had left the greater part of his
collection, going thence to Philadelphia. There he remained a few
weeks to make a cursory study of the political constitution of the
United States, returning to Europe in August, 1804.

The results of Humboldt's travels were such, that he may be justly
called the discoverer of Equinoctial America, which before his time
had been explored without becoming really known, while many of its
innumerable riches were absolutely ignored. It must be fully
acknowledged that no traveller ever before did so much as Humboldt for
physical geography and its kindred sciences. He was the very ideal of
a traveller, and the world is indebted to him for important
generalizations concerning magnetism and climate; whose results are
plainly seen in the isothermal lines of modern maps. The writings of
Humboldt mark an era in the science of geography, and have led to many
further researches.



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