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Title: Pioneers in Australasia
Author: Johnston, Sir Harry Hamilton
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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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G.C.M.G., K.C.B.

With Eight Coloured Illustrations by Alec Ball

Blackie and Son Limited
London Glasgow Bombay

Printed and bound in Great Britain


I have been asked to write a series of works which should deal
with "real adventures", in parts of the world either wild and
uncontrolled by any civilized government, or at any rate regions
full of dangers, of wonderful discoveries; in which the daring
and heroism of white men (and sometimes of white women) stood out
clearly against backgrounds of unfamiliar landscapes, peopled with
strange nations, savage tribes, dangerous beasts, or wonderful
birds. These books would again and again illustrate the first coming
of the white race into regions inhabited by people of a different
type, with brown, black, or yellow skins; how the European was
received, and how he treated these races of the soil which gradually
came under his rule owing to his superior knowledge, weapons,
wealth, or powers of persuasion. The books were to tell the plain
truth, even if here and there they showed the white man to have
behaved badly, or if they revealed the fact that the American
Indian, the Negro, the Malay, the black Australian was sometimes
cruel and treacherous.

A request thus framed was almost equivalent to asking me to write
stories of those pioneers who founded the British Empire; in any
case, the volumes of this series do relate the adventures of those
who created the greater part of the British Dominions beyond the
Seas, by their perilous explorations of unknown lands and waters.
In many instances the travellers were all unconscious of their
destinies, of the results which would arise from their actions. In
some cases they would have bitterly railed at Fate had they known
that the result of their splendid efforts was to be the enlargement
of an empire under the British flag. Perhaps if they could know by
now that we are striving under that flag to be just and generous to
all types of men, and not to use our empire solely for the benefit
of English-speaking men and women, the French who founded the
Canadian nation, the Germans and Dutch who helped to create British
Africa, Malaysia, and Australia, the Spaniards who preceded us in
the West Indies and in New Guinea, and the Portuguese in West,
Central, and East Africa, in Newfoundland, Ceylon, and Malaysia,
might--if they have any consciousness or care for things in this
world--be not so sorry after all that we are reaping where they

It is (as you will see) impossible to tell the tale of these early
days in the British Dominions beyond the Seas, without describing
here and there the adventures of men of enterprise and daring who
were not of our own nationality. The majority, nevertheless, were
of British stock; that is to say, they were English, Welsh, Scots,
Irish, perhaps here and there a Channel Islander and a Manxman; or
Nova Scotians, Canadians, and New Englanders. The bulk of them were
good fellows, a few were saints, a few were ruffians with redeeming
features. Sometimes they were common men who blundered into great
discoveries which will for ever preserve their names from perishing;
occasionally they were men of Fate, predestined, one might say,
to change the history of the world by their revelations of new
peoples, new lands, new rivers, new lakes, snow mountains, and gold
mines. Here and there is a martyr like Marquette, or Livingstone,
or Gordon, dying for the cause of a race not his own. And others
again are mere boys, whose adventures come to them because they are
adventurous, and whose feats of arms, escapes, perils, and successes
are quite as wonderful as those attributed to the juvenile heroes of
Marryat, Stevenson, and the author of _The Swiss Family Robinson_.

I have tried, in describing these adventures, to give my readers
some idea of the scenery, animals, and vegetation of the new lands
through which these pioneers passed on their great and small
purposes; as well as of the people, native to the soil, with whom
they came in contact. And in treating of these subjects I have
thought it best to give the scientific names of the plant or animal
which was of importance in my story, so that any of my readers who
were really interested in natural history could at once ascertain
for themselves the exact type alluded to, and, if they wished, look
it up in a museum, a garden, or a natural history book.

I hope this attempt at scientific accuracy will not frighten away
readers young and old; and, if you can have patience with the
author, you will, by reading this series of books on the great
pioneers of British West Africa, Canada, Malaysia, West Indies,
South Africa, and Australasia, get a clear idea of how the British
Colonial Empire came to be founded.

You will find that I have often tried to tell the story in the words
of the pioneers, but in these quotations I have adopted the modern
spelling, not only in my transcript of the English original or
translation, but also in the place and tribal names, so as not to
puzzle or delay the reader. Otherwise, if you were to look out some
of the geographical names of the old writers, you might not be able
to recognize them on the modern atlas. The pronunciation of this
modern geographical spelling is very simple and clear: the vowels
are pronounced _a_ = ah, _e_ = eh, _i_ = ee, _o_ = o, _ô_ = oh, _ō_
= aw, _ö_ = u in 'hurt', and _u_ = oo, as in German, Italian, or
most other European languages; and the consonants as in English.



  Chap.                                                   Page



              TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN                          88

    IV. DUTCH DISCOVERIES                                  129

     V. DAMPIER'S VOYAGES                                  148

    VI. JAMES COOK'S FIRST VOYAGE                          178

   VII. NEW SOUTH WALES                                    225

  VIII. COOK'S SECOND AND THIRD VOYAGES                    252

    IX. BLIGH AND THE "BOUNTY"                             278

     X. THE RESULTS OF THE PIONEERS' WORK                  290


  Magellan visiting the King of Sebu                   _Frontispiece_

  An Australian Aborigine navigating a Raft                        48

  Tasman's Men attacked by Natives off the Coast of New Zealand   136

  Dampier and his Crew watching a Volcanic Eruption               174

  Captain Cook's Arrival at Tahiti (1769)                         192

  Captain Cook at Botany Bay                                      228

  Captain Bligh and his Men searching for Oysters off the Great
        Barrier Reef                                              282

  Whaling in the South Seas                                       298


  The Biggest of the Kangaroos                                     38

  Papuan of South-east New Guinea, near Port Moresby, and
    Oceanic Negro Type from the Northernmost Solomon Islands       60

  A Typical Polynesian, and an Australoid Type from Northern
    Queensland                                                     80

  The Two Dutch Ships under Tasman's Command (the _Heemskerk_
    and the _Zeehaen_) at Anchor in the Tonga Islands, Pacific    140

  The Island of Tahiti and its extraordinary Double Canoes: as
    seen by Captain Cook                                          206

  A View of Dusky Bay, on the Great South Island of New Zealand,
    with a Maori Family: as seen by Captain Cook                  222

  A Chief at St. Christina, in the Marquezas Archipelago, and a
    Man of Easter Island                                          266

  A Dancing Ground and Drums at Port Sandwich, Malekala
    (Mallicolo) Island, New Hebrides. Tambu House (Temple)
    in Background                                                 276

         *       *       *       *       *

  Map of the Malay Archipelago                                     26

  Map of Australasia                                              148

  Map of Australia and New Zealand                                300


=Magellan's Voyage Around the World.= By Antonio Pigafetta. Translated
and annotated by James Alexander Robertson. 2 Vols. Cleveland,
U.S.A. The Arthur H. Clark Company. 1906. (This is the best work
dealing with Magellan's voyage to the Philippines and the after
events of his expedition.)

=The First Voyage Round the World by Magellan.= Translated from
the accounts of Pigafetta, &c., by Lord Stanley of Alderley.
London. Hakluyt Society. 1874. (This work contains a great deal of
supplementary information regarding the doings of the Spaniards and
Portuguese in the Pacific and Malaysia.)

=Early Voyages to Australia.= By R.H. Major. London. Hakluyt Society.

=Tasman's Journal ... Facsimiles of the Original MS. with Life of
Tasman.= By J.E. Heeres. Amsterdam. 1898.

=Dampier's Voyages.= Edited by John Masefield. 2 Vols. London. E.
Grant Richards. 1906.

=The History of Mankind.= By Professor Friedrich Ratzel. Translated
from the second German edition by A.J. Butler, M.A. 3 Vols. London.
Macmillan & Co. 1896.

=The History of the Australian Colonies.= By Edward Jenks, M.A.
Cambridge University Press. 1896.

=Voyage Autour du Monde.= By De Bougainville. Paris. 1771.

=The Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo.= By H. Ling Roth.
London. 1896.

=Cook's Voyages.= (Original edition in 6 Vols., including plates.)
London. 1772, 1777, and 1784.

Captain Cook's Journal during his First Voyage Round the World.=
Edited by Captain W.J.L. Wharton, R.N., F.R.S. London. Elliot Stock.

=Journal of the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Banks.= Edited by Sir Joseph D.
Hooker. Macmillan & Co. 1896.

=Captain James Cook.= By Arthur Kitson. London. John Murray. 1907.
(This is the best life of Cook.)

=The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S.
"Bounty".= London. John Murray. 1831.

=Gonzalez's Voyage to Easter Island, 1770-1.= Translated by Bolton
Glanville Corney. Hakluyt Society. 1908.

=Terre Napoléon.= (The French attempts to explore Australia at the
beginning of the 19th Century.) By Ernest Scott. London. Methuen.

=Murihiku.= (A study of New Zealand history.) By the Hon. R. M'Nab.
New Zealand. 1907. (A most interesting, accurate, and comprehensive

=Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand, &c., in Company with the Rev.
Samuel Marsden.= By John Liddiard Nicholas. 2 Vols. London. 1817.

=New Zealand: being a Narrative of Travels and Adventures, &c.=
By J.S. Pollack. 2 Vols. London. Richard Bentley. 1838. (Gives
interesting information regarding the whale fishery round about New

=Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. "Fly".= By J.B. Jukes.
2 Vols. London. 1847. (Treats of the exploration of the coasts of
Torres Straits, South New Guinea, and Malaysia.)

=Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. "Rattlesnake".= By John
Macgillivray. 2 Vols. London. 1852. (This deals with the exploration
of South-east New Guinea, &c. Professor Huxley accompanied this
expedition as surgeon, and contributed illustrations to the book.)

=The Malay Archipelago, &c.= By Alfred Russel Wallace. 2 Vols. London.
Macmillan. 1869.

=A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago.= By H.O.
Forbes. London. 1885.

=Life of Sir James Brooke.= By Sir Spencer St. John. London. 1879.




The General Features of Australasia

In previous books of this series dealing with the achievements and
adventures of the pioneers whose journeys led to the foundation of
the British Empire beyond the seas, I have described the revelation
of West Africa, the exploration of British North America, and the
experiences of those who laid the foundations of our knowledge
concerning India and Further India. The scope of this last volume
brought us to Sumatra, Singapore, and Java: that is to say the
western part of Malaysia. I now propose to set before my readers
the more remarkable among the voyages and strange happenings which
led to the discovery of Australasia, and to the inclusion within
the British Empire of northern Borneo, south-eastern New Guinea,
the continent of Australia, the large islands of New Zealand, and a
good many islands and archipelagoes in the Pacific Ocean. The most
convenient general term for this region of innumerable islands,
large and small, is "Australasia", since it lies mostly in the
southern hemisphere and yet is more nearly connected by affinity or
proximity with Asia rather than any other continent.

Yet this title is not strictly correct, for Borneo, like Sumatra
and Java, is really part of Asia so far as its geological and
human history, animals, and plants are concerned; whereas the
Malay islands farthest to the east--such as Timor, the Moluccas,
and Jilolo--more correctly belong to a distinct region of the
world, of which New Guinea and Australia are the headquarters,
and New Zealand, Easter Island, the Marquezas Islands, and Hawaii
the farthest outlying portions. But in regard to the landing of
Europeans and the order of its exploration, Borneo, like the
Philippines, forms part of that "Australasia" which was first
reached (1521) from the direction of the Pacific Ocean.

Australasia (it is necessary, if wearisome, to repeat) consists of
islands, great, small, and very small; Australia being so large an
island that it ranks as the fifth and smallest of the continents.
The insular character of Australasia has caused most of the great
adventures connected with its discovery and colonization to be
extraordinary feats of ocean rather than of land travel. But when we
consider the size of the sailing ships, or of the mere junks, boats,
or canoes in which some of the journeys were made, and the fact that
the home of the explorers was not two, three, or four thousand miles
away across the sea (as in the discovery of America and the West
African coast), but more than treble that distance; that these hardy
adventurers had to reach the unknown islands of the Pacific either
round the stormy Cape of Good Hope or the still more stormy Cape
Horn in ships on which we might hesitate to embark in order to cross
the Bay of Biscay or the Irish Channel: the achievements of the
Australasian pioneers in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth,
and early nineteenth centuries become almost unbelievable in their
heroism and power of endurance. The _Victoria_ of Magellan's fleet
which sailed from Spain to the Pacific and back across the Atlantic
and Indian oceans was of 85 tons capacity! Matthew Flinders in 1803
crossed the Indian Ocean from North Australia to Mauritius in a
schooner of 29 tons! Sir James Brooke sailed in 1883 from the mouth
of the Thames to conquer North Borneo from the pirates in a sailing
yacht of 148 tons.

Think of the courage that must have been required by a Magellan,
a de Quiros, or even a Captain Cook, when they steered into the
Unknown from the coast of South America across the broad waters of
the Pacific! They had only a limited stock of fresh water: how long
would it be before an island or a continent was encountered whereon
they could land to replenish their supplies from some spring near
the seashore or some stream falling from the hills? They had very
little in the way of fresh provisions: when these were exhausted
might not their mariners develop that dread disease scurvy,[1] and
rot into madness or death? or before arriving at such an extremity
mutiny and murder their officers? Food of any kind might become
exhausted before fresh supplies could be obtained; and we know from
many instances how ready the ship's crew of famished, uneducated
sailors was, first to talk of cannibalism, and at last to lay
violent hands on an officer or a comrade, kill him, and eat him. Or
the undiscovered lands which would be their only resource against
a death from starvation, disease, or thirst might be populated by
ferocious man-eating savages (as indeed many of them were) and the
landing parties of seamen and officers be promptly massacred. Or it
might be a desert island, and the pleasing-looking herbs or fruits
be deadly poison, or the strange fish, mussels, oysters, clams,
whelks, or turtles prove to be so unwholesome that all who ate of
this new fare were prostrated with illness. The gallant little
sailing ship--little in our eyes whether its capacity were of 30
or even 400 tons--might be charged by a bull cachalot whale as big
as an islet, and then and there spring a leak and founder with all
on board. There might well be--and there were--treacherous coral
reefs just masked by two or three feet of water on which the vessel
would be driven at night-time and break her back. The crew would
take to their frail boats and then have a thousand or more sea miles
to cross, with oar and ineffective sail, before they could find a
landing place and sustenance. Perhaps on the way thither (the giant,
greedy sharks following in their wake) they died of sunstroke or
thirst, or went mad and jumped into the sea and the shark's maw. Or
they did reach some South Sea island--not to be discovered again
for a century or two--where they were received as demigods by the
astonished savages, but where they had to pass the rest of their
lives as savages too; consoling themselves as best they could with a
Polynesian wife or husband (for there were women sometimes in these
ventures, especially on the Spanish vessels) and the growing up of
a half-caste family; but never heard of again in their far-away
homes, and ever and anon weeping and crying in vain to Heaven to be
restored once more to the fair cities and romantic life of Spain or
Portugal, or to the comfort and the orderly beauty of a Norman or an
English homestead.

  [1] It has been computed that, during the years between 1510 and
  1530, the Spanish and Portuguese ships exploring the Atlantic,
  Pacific, and Indian oceans lost ten thousand seamen from scurvy.

After sailing, sailing, sailing across the equatorial belt of the
Pacific Ocean they at length reached--if no disaster arrested
their progress--the limits of the known: they came to some part of
Malaysia where the natives were no longer naked, black, unreasoning
cannibals, or crafty, yellow, naked thieves; some seaport in the
Philippines, Celebes, Timor, or Java where they met men of the
Muhammadan religion, or even other European Christians who had
reached Australasia round the Cape of Good Hope. But the Muhammadans
might out of jealousy or of revenge for wrongs they had suffered
from other Christians cause them to be imprisoned or murdered, while
more often than not the fellow Christians they were greeting after a
twelve-thousand miles' voyage half round the world belonged to some
nation in rivalry or at war with their own. Then they might be held
long years in captivity, or be executed (with or without torture)
outright. (Matthew Flinders was imprisoned in Mauritius for six and
a half years by the French not much more than a hundred years ago.)
At any rate they would probably be refused those sea stores and
materials necessary for repairing a crazy ship, and have to face the
return voyage across the Indian Ocean, round the stormy extremity of
Africa, and through the violent gales of the northern Atlantic with
but a slender hope of reaching home, or even of surviving the perils
of the sea, in a leaky, worm-eaten ship with splintered masts and
rotten sails.

       *       *       *       *       *

This fifth division of the earth's surface which they had come to
explore consisted of an almost uncountable number of islands ranging
in size from Australia, with an area of 2,946,691 square miles, New
Guinea, which has about 312,330, and Borneo, with another 290,000,
to tiny islets like the Fanning atoll, 9 miles by 4, or little
Pitcairn, 2 miles square, on which the mutineers of the _Bounty_
long hid themselves. The larger islands nearer to Asia were for
the most part fragments of a former extension of the Asiatic or
Australian continents; even New Zealand (104,000 square miles) must
once have formed part of a huge strip of continental land stretching
southwards from New Guinea and north-east Australia. But most of the
islands of Micronesia and Polynesia (as distinct from Melanesia[2]),
though they may have been larger than they are now and have risen
out of comparatively shallow seas, were nevertheless always oceanic,
that is to say, never connected with any great continent in recent

  [2] At this stage it may assist the reader if I give in a footnote
  the principal geographic divisions of Australasia.

Beginning on the west there is _Malaysia_, a term which comprises
all the islands of the Malay Archipelago up to the vicinity of
New Guinea. New Guinea and the islands and archipelagoes near
it constitute the region of _Papuasia_; south of Papuasia is
_Australia_ (including Tasmania, Lord Howe, and Norfolk Islands,
and perhaps New Caledonia); to the south-east of Australia lies
_New Zealand_, which dominion comprises naturally and politically
the Kermadec islets, the Chatham Islands and Macquarie Island;
_Melanesia_ is the domain of the dark-skinned people who are
half-Papuan and half-Polynesian, and is generally held to include
the Solomon Islands, the Santa Cruz, and New Hebrides archipelagoes,
and the Fiji group. All the foregoing (together with the Samoa and
Tonga Islands) were once connected by land with each other and with
the continent of Asia.

North of Papuasia is the division of small islands known as
_Micronesia_; it includes the Gilbert, Marshall, Caroline, and
Ladrone archipelagoes. Almost in the middle of the northern half
of the Pacific is the isolated ridge or shelf from which rises
the _Hawaii_ or Sandwich Islands, two of which are rather large
(for Pacific islands). The Hawaii group is quite distinct from
any other, and has never been joined to a continent. Finally,
there remains the division of _Polynesia_, which likewise, in all
probability, has never been continental, and which includes the
separate archipelagoes of Marquezas, Tuamotu, Tubuai, Tahiti (the
Society Islands), the Palmyra, Phœnix, and Malden groups, and the
remote Easter Island, only 2374 miles from South America. The
term "Polynesia" often covers the Samoa and the Tonga Islands,
because they are peopled by the Polynesian race; but these groups
are in other respects part of Melanesia. Finally, _Oceania_ is a
convenient term for all the islands, including New Guinea and New
Zealand, which lie to the east of Malaysia, to the north and east of

These small islands are divided into two classes: the mountainous
or volcanic and the coral or flat islands, also called "atolls",
from a word in a South Indian language. Atolls, or coral islands,
in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are made by the coral animals (a
polyp or minute jellyfish-like creature living in communities like
the cells of a human body), building upwards towards the surface
of the sea the lime structures in which they exist. They start, of
course, from some reef or submerged volcanic cone which is not far
below the surface of the water. The limestone rock which they make
out of secretions from the sea water gradually forms an irregular
circle of narrow islets, with a lagoon in the centre and one or
more deep openings to the sea. Vegetation--always coconuts--slowly
covers these coral islands, and at last they become habitable by
man. If the land beneath them is rising above the waves, the coral
fossilizes into coralline rock and the living coral animals go on
building and extending farther out to sea. If the land is sinking
faster than the coral animal can build, then by degrees the once
pleasant islets become a jumble of barren and crumbling rocks, only
haunted by sea birds (but sometimes valuable for their guano), and
finally a dangerous reef or shoal.

Of the smaller Pacific islands that are not mere coral reefs and
atolls the Hawaii group, the Marquezas, Tahiti, Easter Island,
Pitcairn, the Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji groups, the New Hebrides,
most of the Ladrones, and one or two of the Caroline Islands are
_volcanic_, high, and of recent formation, even though like the New
Hebrides and the Marquezas they may rest on submerged extensions
of sunken lands. The Solomon Islands are also mainly volcanic, but
with the Bismarck archipelago practically form an extension of New
Guinea; while New Caledonia is a very old fragment of unsubmerged
land, and so is tiny Norfolk Island between New Caledonia and New
Zealand. The southern island of New Zealand is, like New Caledonia,
a portion of an ancient continent which has never been submerged;
and the north island of that dominion is a very volcanic region.

The volcanic islands of the Pacific are always of more importance
than the coral, partly because they are larger, but still more
on account of their singularly fertile soil, high peaks, good
rainfall, and picturesque scenery. They are, in fact, the "summer
isles of Eden, set in dark purple spheres of sea", of Tennyson's
poem. The climate is almost invariably healthy, the temperature a
perpetual summer, with a never-absent invigorating sea breeze. The
only grim reminder that there is another side to Nature lies in the
occasional hurricane which drives great ships on to the coral or the
basalt rocks, which lays low many a dwelling and plantation, or the
earthquake followed by the still more alarming tidal wave. In Hawaii
there is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world, into the
seething crater of which victims used to be thrown as sacrifices to
the god of fire. In the New Hebrides and Santa Cruz Islands there
are other volcanoes, also active and occasionally emitting great
streams of molten lava. This is, or was, also the case in the little
islands--mere volcanic peaks rising above the waves--that form a
broken chain round the north coast of New Guinea. Here were the
"burning islets" so often noted in Tasman's and Dampier's voyages.
Weird was the sight of them at night--a great cone standing out of
the blue-black darkness, vomiting red fiery gas and red-hot ashes,
columns of dense smoke turned gold and orange by the incandescent
lava bubbling up and boiling over the crater's lips, and streaming
in blazing cascades down the mountain's sides. The thundering
discharges of gas, the crackling of electricity, added to the terror
of the scene; and yet one can realize that after a time and the
passing of many such small active volcanoes the Dutch, Spanish, and
English sailors became used to them, and even found the presence of
a burning mountain in the dark tropic night a cheering beacon in the
pathless seas.

Borneo, Celebes, Buru, Jilolo, and the Spice Islands, Timor, Ceram,
the eastern Sunda Islands were, of course, with Java and Sumatra
on the west, New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago on the east,
and the Philippines on the north, _continental_ islands; that is to
say, fragments of the former prolongation of Asia towards Australia:
old lands, large or small portions of which have always risen above
the very shallow sea which now separates them from one another.
Yet MALAYSIA, like Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia, is very
volcanic. Of all its islands Borneo is the least so at the present
day, in fact there is no active or recently active volcano in that
huge island; whereas the Philippines are occasionally racked with
earthquakes and have twelve active volcanoes. Java has a long range
of lofty craters--some hundred and twenty-five in all, of which at
least thirteen are active. The Lesser Sunda Islands, east of Java,
likewise contain many volcanoes: Lombok and Sumbawa are little more
than exceedingly large groups of craters, and when the Sumbawa
volcano (of which something like 6 cubic miles was blown away)
erupted in 1815, its red-hot lava and ashes killed forty thousand
of the inhabitants on its slopes. There are volcanoes in Celebes,
the Moluccas, Jilolo, and some of the islands off the west end of
New Guinea. Timor only shows traces of past volcanic activity. In
consequence of its being the most volcanic region in the world,
Malaysia is very subject to earthquakes; and these disturbances of
the earth's surface not only cause devastating tidal waves on the
seacoasts, but in some way affect the atmosphere, provoking fearful
cyclones of wind, followed by torrential rain. Similar disturbances
of the atmosphere, however, occur frequently before or after the
rainy season. Borneo is frightfully hot--perhaps hotter all the
year round than any other country--but it is less afflicted with
devastating winds. Nearly all Malaysia has a tremendous rainfall,
though one or two islands, such as Flores and parts of Timor, have
a rather drier climate, more suggestive of northern Australia. As
a rule, however, Malaysia, in consequence of its perpetual summer
under an equatorial sun, its rich alluvial soil--often of that
peculiar richness associated with volcanic materials--and its
plentiful rainfall, is clothed with a primeval forest which for
luxuriance can scarcely be matched in West Africa or Brazil. These
lands have been styled "the gardens of the sun"; "enormous forcing
houses crammed with vegetation"; "great zoological gardens, full of
rare and curious beasts". Here may be seen many species of palms:
the gloriously beautiful Cyrtostachys palm of Java, with vividly
red sheaths to the fronds and flower stalks, and bright yellow
inflorescence changing to scarlet fruit; the creeping, climbing
palms (the "rattan" or _Calamus_); stately Areca palms (which
produce the betel nut, and the smaller species the "cabbage", so
often described by travellers in Australia and the Pacific islands);
useful Sago palms (_Metroxylon_); the sugar-yielding _Arenga_; the
toddy or "rum" palm (_Caryota_); the Nipa, used for thatching; and,
of course, the Coconut. As one travels eastward into the Pacific,
this variety of palms thins out until at last only the Coconut
remains on the coral islands.

Of the other far-famed trees of the Malaysian forest there is the
tall Duriān, with its evil-smelling, delicious-tasting fruit;
there are stately, evergreen oaks, chestnuts, and mulberries;
many kinds of fig trees--some growing like the Indian Banyan,
with dependent roots that reach down from the far-spreading
branches and form a grove of trees in time; others that live like
grey, snaky parasites writhing about the trunks of victim trees,
which in time they strangle; there are giant laurels, cinnamon
laurels, huge myrtles, clove myrtles with their intensely aromatic
flowerbuds, caoutchouc trees producing indiarubber, nutmeg trees,
with their fragrant spice which so early drew traders to the most
eastern part of the Malay Archipelago; and there are trees of
sweet-smelling wood like the sandalwood and the _Aquilaria_ or
eaglewood, others like the damar-attam (_Hopea_), which produce a
valuable glass-like resin; there are two or more kinds of big-leaved
Bread-fruit trees (_Artocarpus_), yielding their farinaceous,
fig-like pods; and Artocarpi of a creeping habit whose branches are
covered with small fig-like fruits remarkable for their gorgeous
coloration--scarlet spotted with white, scarlet and purple, white
and orange. Bamboos, often of huge girth, grow everywhere; orchids
of incredible loveliness in colour and strangeness of form fringe
the great boughs of the forest trees, which also afford harbourage
to parasitic aroids of fantastic appearance; the glades are full
of pitcher plants, ground orchids, brilliantly-coloured Cannas,
"Grains-of-Paradise", calladiums with painted leaves, and wild
bananas, with their beautiful, glossy, emerald-green fronds, or in
some species with vividly coloured flower spikes. The marshy places
are thickly grown with rushes resembling the papyrus of Africa; the
shores of estuaries and low-lying coasts are the domain of tall
mangroves and of the pandanus or screw pine--a semi-aquatic tree
of the tropical parts of the Old World, which, with many aerial
roots, and long, pointed, sword-like leaves, is distantly akin to
the palms, and in Australasia produces fruit which is much eaten
by the natives, especially in the Pacific Islands. These dense
jungles of mangrove, pandanus, and other trees growing in the mud
and brackish water--the habitat of mud-hopping fish, and numbers of
large, brightly-coloured shore crabs, some so blue and so white and
glossy that they are called "porcelain" crabs--were often a great
barrier to the early explorers on the coasts of Borneo, Celebes,
and Timor, besides being a prime hiding place for the _praus_ of
the Malay pirates. In the dense forests the lianas and climbing
plants are a remarkable feature in the pictures of triumphant
vegetation--pictures of which my untravelled readers can gain some
faint idea by ascending the winding staircase in the great Palm
House at Kew Gardens and looking down on the complex assemblage
of tropical trees and plants. In these Malaysian woods there are
many species of wild vines, with small brightly-coloured grapes;
there are exquisite wreaths of the climbing asparagus--_Smilax_;
festoons of climbing ferns, of the various kinds of pepper that hang
their clusters of aromatic seeds from tree to tree, of the ipomœas
(convolvuluses), passion flowers, bignonias, jasmines, purple and
scarlet loranthus (a kind of mistletoe), and many climbing peas and
beans, remarkable for their delicate or brightly-coloured flowers,
which often exhale a delicious scent. In the higher parts of Java,
Borneo, the Philippines, and even of New Guinea there are jungles
of rhododendrons with vivid crimson blossoms. It is, however, a
common mistake to suppose that the entire surface of the Malay
islands is covered with primeval forest. Considerable spaces have
been cleared for cultivation, or after such clearing have relapsed
into jungle; and this jungle is either a second growth of poor and
scattered trees or more often a coarse and luxuriant grass. In the
hilly interior of Dutch Borneo there are dry moors, deep in sand and
sparsely covered with scrub. On the high plateaus and the mountain
ranges of Flores and Timor considerable areas are open, treeless
spaces, but covered instead with low-growing herbs, offering to the
eye spectacles of brilliant colour when they blossom during the
rainy season.

The splendid vegetation of Malaysia extends throughout New Guinea
and the adjacent archipelagos, but with a diminution of species
eastwards and a gradual infiltration of Australian forms, such
as the _Eucalyptus_ (a relation of the Myrtle family), the
Casuarinas,[3] and the Araucaria conifers. More and more attenuated,
the Malaysian flora spreads out over the tropical Pacific islands,
wearing itself out finally in Hawaii, to which the sandalwood and a
few other Malayan trees extend; and Pitcairn Island, where, however,
the few Malayan species may have been anciently introduced by man.

  [3] A tree in appearance like a conifer, but in reality belonging
  to an isolated and very peculiar sub-class of flowering plants,
  distantly akin to oaks and catkin-bearing trees.

The larger and more western islands of the Malay Archipelago have
a fauna of beasts, birds, and reptiles, fish and insects, spiders
and land crabs as remarkable as the wealth of their flora, and next
to Africa the richest in the world. Here may still be seen--in
Borneo--the wild Indian elephant and a two-horned rhinoceros;
in Java there is a tiger and a small form of one-horned Indian
rhinoceros. In Borneo exists the large red-haired ape called
Orang-utan; in Java there are smaller anthropoid apes known as
Gibbons. Java and Borneo both have a handsome wild ox, the Banteng,
besides more or less wild long-horned Indian buffaloes. The smallest
and most remarkable of all the buffaloes is the Anoa, found only
on the island of Celebes, and a larger but similar short-horned
buffalo is found in the Philippines. Nearly all the islands have
wild swine--generally of a type near to the wild boar, but with a
very long head--the parent form of the domestic pig of Polynesia.
But the queer island of Celebes, and Buru, which lies to the east,
possess the strangest pig in the world: the Babirusa, a type
with--for pigs--a small and slender head and (in the male) tusks
which grow up and out through the cheeks. In Borneo there is a large
monkey with an immense drooping nose; in Celebes a creature called
the Black Ape--an intermediate form between baboons, macaques, and
the higher apes. The macaque monkeys--creatures with short tails and
bare faces, rather like small baboons (the Gibraltar monkey is a
macaque)--are very common throughout Malaysia, extending as near to
New Guinea and Australia as the islands of Buru and Timor. The other
monkeys belong to the _Semnopithecus_ genus, the long-tailed sacred
monkeys of India. One of these found in Borneo is a combination
in colouring of black, white, and chestnut red. The more northern
and western of the Malay Islands possess a few strange lemurs, a
large flying creature, the colugo, allied to lemurs and bats, and
the Tupaias or squirrel-tailed Insectivores. Deer, without any
white spots and related to the Sambar type of India, are found in
the Philippines, Borneo, Java, the eastern Sunda Islands as far as
Timor, Celebes, and the Moluccas; and in the Philippines there are
spotted deer like the hog deer of India. Carnivorous mammals are
represented more especially by a small tiger and a leopard in Java,
the Clouded tiger of Borneo (a kind of leopard), several small cats,
numerous civets, a small bear, and wild dogs. Cats and civets extend
their range to Timor and the Philippines, and a civet--probably
brought by the Malays--is found in Celebes. The fruit-eating bats or
flying foxes are very large, often attaining to 5 feet across the
wings. Their range extends eastwards beyond the Solomon Islands to
north-east Australia and the New Hebrides. Nearly all the Pacific
islands, including New Zealand and Hawaii, have bats of their
own, but they are insect-eating, and very often day-flying. In
the eastern islands of Malaysia begin to appear the marsupials of
Australia, but until New Guinea is reached there is only one type
to be seen, the Cuscus--a kind of phalanger akin to the "Opossum"
of Australia.[4] There are porcupines, squirrels, and many strange
rodents of the Rat family in western Malaysia. Peculiar genera and
species of rats penetrate not only to New Guinea and the Solomon
Islands, but also to Australia. The native rats of New Zealand
and the Polynesian islands, however, have been introduced by man,
chiefly for food.

  [4] The real opossums are only found in America. Phalangers are
  woolly haired lemur-like marsupials, living in trees, which have
  their thumb and big toe opposite the other digits for grasping,
  besides a tail with a prehensile tip. In the arrangement of their
  teeth they are distantly related to kangaroos, which are really only
  phalangers, whose far-back ancestors have taken to a life on the

The wealth in birds in Malaysia makes the naturalist's and
artist's mouth water! There are no vultures, but several types
of eagle--amongst them, in the Philippine Islands, a very large
monkey-eating eagle with a huge, narrow beak--and some very
handsomely coloured kites and hawks. Amongst the parrots are the
gorgeous crimson Eclectus, the lovely Lories, and those "white
parrots"--Cockatoos--which furnished so much amazement and delight
to the early Italian voyagers. But the strangest looking of all
the parrots are the black cockatoos, peculiar to New Guinea. The
peacock reaches to Java but not to Borneo, but in Borneo and Palawan
there are superb pheasants and peacock-pheasants, and most of the
Malaysian islands possess wild jungle fowl. Peculiar to Malaysia
and Australia are the Megapodes, a family of gallinaceous birds
allied to the Curassows of America, and which hatch their eggs
by depositing them in mounds of decaying vegetation. There are
very large cuckoos, the size of big pheasants; but perhaps the
most remarkable bird groups in their Malaysian developments are
the Hornbills and the Pigeons. The Fruit Pigeons of this region
transcend description in their exquisite tints of peach colour,
green of several shades, crimson, purple, and maize yellow. One
kind is jet-black and pale-cream colour. These fruit-eating pigeons
extend their range into New Guinea, Australia, and the Pacific
Islands. In New Guinea there is the celebrated Victoria Crowned
Pigeon, largest living of all the tribe; and in the Samoa Islands,
without any near relation, the _Didunculus_, or Little Dodo--a
ground-frequenting bird (which has since taken to the trees) that
shows us how the large Dodo of Mauritius developed from the ordinary
fruit-pigeon type. The Kingfishers of Malaysia are also very
wonderful, and reach their climax of development in the New Guinea
region. Some species are remarkable for their long storklike beaks,
their long racquet tails, and superb plumage of ultramarine blue,
purple, and white.

But the crown of glory which rests on eastern Malaysia and New
Guinea in regard to bird life has been bestowed on this region
because of the presence here--and here only together with the north
extremity of Australia--of the Paradise Birds. These marvels of
creation, which are fast becoming exterminated by the agents of the
wicked plumage trade, and without any opposition from the Dutch,
German, or British Australian Governments of these countries,
first make their appearance to a traveller coming from the west
when he reaches the island of Jilolo or the Aru Islands, neither
of which groups is very far from New Guinea. The Paradise Birds do
not extend their range to the Bismarck Archipelago. East of the
Solomon Islands there are fewer and fewer species of birds. Two
Lories and three or four Parrakeets are found in Fiji, a beautiful
blue and white lory inhabits Tahiti, together with a species of
parrakeet. An ultramarine-blue and purple lory is found in the
remote Marquezas archipelago, the farthest prolongation eastwards of
the Malayan fauna. The other land birds of the Polynesian islands
are pigeons, thrushes, flower-peckers, starlings, shrikes, babblers,
a screech-owl, one or two plovers and rails, a sea-eagle, and two
or three species of ducks. This seems to represent the totality of
the resident birds of the Pacific islands east of Fiji and the New
Hebrides. The birds of the Hawaii archipelago are very peculiar and
have come thither chiefly from America. They include a peculiar
family of starling-like birds--the _Drepanidæ_--celebrated for the
beauty of their plumage which, in fact, has led to the extinction of
several species.

The reptile life of Malaysia comprises many strange and remarkable
forms, but, like the beasts, birds, and freshwater fish, it thins
out in variety of species as the traveller crosses the boundary
line between the Malay islands of Asiatic affinities and those
belonging more to the Australian region; while, of course, in
Polynesia reptiles are very few, or absent altogether. One or two
species of harmless snakes are found as far eastwards as Fiji and
Samoa. No land reptile of any kind exists in Tahiti or in Hawaii.
Perhaps the biggest Crocodile in the world[5] (_Crocodilus porosus_)
is found in all the great Malay Islands, and its range extends
through New Guinea to the Solomon archipelago and Fiji, and to the
extreme north coast of Australia. A much smaller--barely 7 feet
long--crocodile with a long, narrow muzzle is found in northern
and north-eastern Australia, and is quite harmless. Borneo has a
peculiar gavial (fish-eating crocodile) with a very narrow snout.
Large Pythons--perhaps the biggest known to science--extend over
the same Austro-Malayan region, but do not reach lands to the east
of New Guinea and Australia. Their place in the Melanesian islands
of the Pacific is taken by small Boa snakes of a harmless nature. A
prominent reptile in the life of the aborigines in Austro-Malaysia
is the Monitor lizard, nearly always miscalled by Europeans
"Iguana". This Monitor is the largest of the lizards, with a long,
flexible tail, and sometimes as much as 8 feet in length in its
Melanesian types, and is not infrequently mistaken for a crocodile
by Europeans. It has very sharp teeth and can give a severe but not
a very dangerous bite, its most powerful weapon being its whip-like
tail. It is often eaten by the natives, and in its turn devours
their fowls. Curiously enough, there is a _real_ iguana in the Fiji
Islands--one of the puzzles of animal distribution, for the Iguana
family of vegetable-eating lizards is otherwise confined to Tropical
America and Madagaskar. The seas of Malaysia and of Polynesia (as
far south as the New Zealand coasts) swarm at times with different
types of real sea-serpents, that is to say, snakes that live
entirely in the water and resort only to the shore to give birth to
their young, which are born alive. These sea-snakes are of the Cobra
family and are very poisonous. They are sometimes brightly coloured
and marked in bold patterns.

  [5] A specimen 33 feet long has been recorded.

[Illustration: The MALAY ARCHIPELAGO Scale, 1:22,500,00]

Very different in climate, flora, and fauna to Malaysia and
Polynesia are the great southern lands of Australia and New Zealand,
together with New Caledonia and Norfolk Island. The northern,
eastern, and south-western coast regions of Australia have a fairly
abundant rainfall--quite as much as that which prevails in the more
southerly of the Malay islands. But the centre, south, west, and
north-west of Australia is much of it an almost hopeless desert,
though not such a complete sandy desert as may be seen in Mongolia
and northern Africa. The vegetation of this dry region of Australia
consists mainly of a close-growing, spiny-seeded grass--the
celebrated _Spinifex_. There are also gouty-looking Baobab trees
like those of Tropical Africa. In New Guinea, where the rich flora
contains not a few Australian elements, there are mountains rising
considerably above the line of perpetual snow[6] both in the
south-east and west, and many of the volcanoes, active and extinct,
of Malaysia attain altitudes of over ten and eleven thousand feet.
There are mountains nearly as lofty in the Solomon Islands, while
in New Zealand we have the superb Southern Alps (12,349 feet at
their highest), which give a magnificent display of snow peaks
and glaciers. But much of Australia is flat and undulating, and
the highest mountain in that continent is only 7328 feet. Another
thing which marks off Australia from the rest of Australasia is
the complete absence of active volcanoes. But this is only quite a
recent fact in its history, for at periods scarcely more distant
than fifty thousand or sixty thousand years ago there were still
volcanoes in the eastern part of the island continent vomiting out
boiling lava and red-hot ashes, even after the land was inhabited
by man. Still, as compared with Malaysia, Polynesia, and northern
New Zealand, Australia is a very stable region, not persecuted by
earthquakes or the present results of volcanic activity.

  [6] The New Guinea mountains are the highest in Australasia, higher
  than any land between the Himalayas and the Andes. They rise to over
  16,000 feet in the west of New Guinea, and nearly 14,000 feet in the
  east. High mountains are common features on the great Malay islands.
  They rise to over 10,000 feet in Celebes and the Philippines, to
  13,700 feet in North Borneo, and to altitudes of over 11,000 feet in
  Java and nearly as high in Timor.

Its flora, like its fauna, is so peculiar that it constitutes one
of the most distinct and separate regions of the world. There are
a few patches of forest in the far north-east which are almost
Malayan in their richness, and which contain quite a number of
Malay types; and in the extreme south-west the Araucaria pine
forests attain a certain luxuriance of growth. The predominant tree
throughout Australia is the Eucalyptus, a peculiar development of
the Myrtle order (anciently inhabiting Europe), which extends into
New Guinea but not into New Caledonia or New Zealand. The Eucalyptus
genus in Australia develops something like one hundred and fifty
species, some of these trees 200 feet high, like the splendid
Jarra timber, others--the Mallee scrub--making low thickets of 12
to 14 feet above the ground. The Australian "pines", important
in the timber trade, belong to the genus _Frenela_, (which is
akin to the African _Callitris_), to the cypresses, the yews,
junipers, and to the genus _Araucaria_, the "Monkey Puzzle" type
of conifer. These Araucarias are also met with in Norfolk Island,
New Caledonia, and on the mountains of New Guinea. They furnish
the Norfolk Island pine, 200 feet high and 30 feet in girth; but
the equally celebrated Kauri "pine" of New Zealand belongs to the
quite different genus _Agathis_. The "She-oaks", "swamp-oaks",
"beef-wood", "iron-wood" trees one reads about in the literature
of Australia, are all species of Casuarina trees. (The Casuarinas
form a separate sub-class of flowering plants. See note on p.
27.) There are no real oaks in Australia, but there is a kind of
beech tree in the south. A type of tree most characteristic of
Australia is the Acacia in various forms, but not looking at all
like the Acacia of Africa and India with its pinnate leaves. The
three hundred kinds of Australian acacias mostly develop a foliage
which consists of long, undivided leaves. They are famous for the
beauty and odour of their yellow blossoms, and under the incorrect
name of "Mimosa" are now widely grown all over the world where the
climate is sufficiently mild, just as the _Eucalyptus globulus_ or
Blue Gum tree of Australia has been spread by cultivation far and
wide through Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. But Australia has
comparatively few palms,[7] and those chiefly in the north-east,
and no bread-fruit tree (except where introduced). Conspicuous
objects in the landscape are the "Grass trees" (_Xanthorrhœa_ and
_Kingia_)--plants allied to lilies and rushes. The Grass tree has a
great bunch of wiry-looking leaves at its base, out of which rises a
straight smooth stem like a long walking-stick. This is surmounted
by a spike of white flowers. The _Doryanthis_ lily grows to a height
of 15 feet from the ground. Another conspicuous object in the
"bush" is the splendid Flame tree, with bunches of crimson flowers
(_Brachychiton_, a genus of the _Sterculiaceæ_, distant relations
of the Baobab and the Mallows). A common sight in the well-watered
regions is the Australian "tulip" (nearly everything in Australia is
mis-named)--the great red Waratah flower, really a kind of _Protea_.
To this same order (_Proteaceæ_), which is so well represented
in Australia and South Africa, belong the beautiful-foliaged
_Grevillea_ trees and the celebrated _Banksia_, a shrub named after
Sir Joseph Banks, and found in Australia and New Guinea. In the
marshes and creeks of Queensland there are superb water lilies with
leaves 18 inches in diameter. The gouty Baobab trees of the desert
have been already mentioned.

  [7] See p. 241.

Beautiful scenery is only to be met with in Australia in the
mountain ranges of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, and
in the vicinity of Perth (south-west Australia). Here there are
glades with superb tree-ferns, but the mountain peaks above the
tree zone are bare and desolate. A large proportion of the interior
is a dismal flat of scrub and stones, its monotony only broken by
6- to 20-feet-high mounds of the Termites or white ants. A good
deal of the north coast is obstructed by forests of mangroves--a
dismal-looking tree with its dull-green, leathery foliage,
grey-white stems and pendent air-roots.

An interesting feature, however, in Australian scenery is the
Great Barrier Reef. This is the remains of a former north-eastward
extension of Australia--an immense coral reef stretching out for
several hundred miles from the coast of Queensland in the direction
of New Caledonia and the New Hebrides. This reef of visible and
sunken rocks acted as a great barrier in the past, and prevented
timid navigators from finding the north-east coast of Australia
and establishing its separation from New Guinea. But the reef is
of importance to commerce, for it maintains enormous quantities
of the Trepang or Sea-slug, a creature which makes delicious soup
and is passionately liked by the Chinese. [It is not really a slug
but a relation of the star-fish, and is called scientifically a
Holothurian.] The Great Barrier Reef is famous for the variety
and almost incredible beauty of its corals and of the painted and
decorated fish, anemones, and crabs of these shallow waters. It is,
in fact, a region of such wonderful and strange beauty that one can
only hope it will some day be made a kind of national aquarium by
the Commonwealth of Australia, and constantly visited by those who
like to gaze on the marvellous animals of a tropical coral sea.

The rocky coasts of Australia and Tasmania (besides those of the
Philippines and the Pacific Islands) are remarkable for their
abundant supplies of oysters, clams, whelks, and other shell-fish,
which for ages have been a great food supply to savage man,[8] who
had in fact merely to take at low tide what nature offered to him,
at very little trouble to himself. Some of the clams (_Tridacna_)
are enormous, measuring 3 feet and even 5 feet across the upper

  [8] And since the discovery of Australasia began, a sustenance for
  shipwrecked mariners

The crocodiles, pythons, and monitor lizards of Australia have been
already alluded to in the description of Austro-Malaysia. There
should, however, be mentioned in addition the long-necked tortoises
of the continent and the turtles of the seacoasts. Australia once
produced immense horned and armoured tortoises, but they became
extinct soon after man entered this remote land. There are no
vipers or rattlesnakes in Australia; all the poisonous snakes (and
there are many) belong to the Cobra family. The most singular
in appearance of the living land reptiles is a very large Agama
lizard (the _Chlamydosaurus_), which is as much as 3 feet long,
runs or hops on its hind limbs, and when angry erects a huge frill
of leathery skin round the chest and shoulders. Another equally
strange form of the Agama family is the Moloch lizard, about 1 foot
long, with a very small mouth, but protected by the covering of its
skin--a mass of sharp spines, thorns, and knobs. Its skin is not
only very rough, but very absorbent, so that it will suck up water
like blotting paper.

The beasts and birds of Australia are, in most cases, peculiar
to that continent. The former belong almost entirely to the
marsupial sub-class, that is to say, they consist of creatures
like the Kangaru, Phalanger, and Thylacine (besides the Opossums
of America), which, after the young is born, place it in a pouch
on the outside of the mother's stomach, where it is kept until it
is able to forage for itself. In many respects these marsupials
evince a low organization, and really resemble, in their jaws and
teeth, primitive mammals of ancient times discovered in fossil in
Great Britain and North America. New Guinea also possesses some
of these marsupial types, derived probably from Australia. The
most widespread of these is the Spotted Cuscus, a phalanger with a
woolly coat, the male of which has large black or brown spots on
a cream-coloured ground, while the female is uniform brown. This
animal ranges through the easternmost Malay islands from Celebes to
New Guinea and north Australia, while another species, the Grey
Cuscus, is found as far east as the Bismarck Archipelago and the
northern Solomon islands. These outlying groups of islands to the
east of New Guinea also possess a flying Phalanger, but otherwise
no marsupials penetrate into the Pacific islands beyond New Guinea
and Australia. For the rest, New Guinea has Short-legged Kangarus
(_Dorcopsis_), Tree Kangaroos (_Dendrolagus_), Striped Phalangers,
Dormice Phalangers, Flying Phalangers, Feather-tailed Phalangers,
Ring-tailed Phalangers, a species of white-spotted Dasyure
("Marsupial Cat"), and several forms of insectivorous marsupials
("Bandicoots" of the genera _Phascologale_ and _Perameles_). But the
true Kangarus--especially the big species--the Banded Ant-eater,
the Wombats (which look like huge rabbits), the Koala or Tailless
Phalanger (the "native bear"), the striped marsupial wolf or
Thylacine, the Tasmanian Devil, the Marsupial Mole, most of the
Dasyures and Bandicoots, are confined in their distribution to
Australia and Tasmania, Tasmania being the richest part of Australia
in marsupial types.

But this region, in common with New Guinea, possesses mammals
still more primitive and interesting than the marsupials--the
egg-laying sub-class, which contains the two existing forms of
Echidna (Porcupine Ant-eater) and Duckbill. The Duckbill, a furry
creature the size of a large cat, with the jaws converted into a
leathery beak, is only found in the south-east of Australia and in
Tasmania. The Echidna and Duckbill do not produce their young alive,
but lay eggs from which the young are hatched. Apart from these
marsupials and egg-laying mammals, Australia possesses only a few
species of the higher mammals: a wild dog, a number of rats--aquatic
and terrestrial--and bats; besides, of course, seals on the coasts
and rivers, and the strange Dugong.[9] The bats are both of the
insect-eating and fruit-eating kinds, and have probably flown over
in recent times from New Guinea. From the same direction likewise
have travelled the Australian rats, some of which have taken to
a water life. As to the Dingo or Wild Dog, that may have been
introduced by the early human inhabitants who came to Australia from
Malaysia, but it has inhabited Australia for a very long period,
though it did not reach Tasmania. It is related to a wild dog of
Java. There is said to be a wild dingo in New Guinea.

  [9] The Dugong, very commonly met with in the early stories of
  Australasian adventure, is an aquatic mammal, the size of a large
  porpoise, which belongs to the order of the Sirenians. It frequents
  the shores of estuaries and seacoasts with plenty of seaweed. It is
  a vegetable feeder only. See p. 165.

Australian birds are very noteworthy. In the extreme north there
is the Cassowary, which elsewhere is only found in New Guinea, the
Bismarck Archipelago, and the Island of Ceram. Nearly the whole
of Australia, however, was at one time frequented by the Emu, a
large, flightless bird only second in size to the Ostrich. The
Emu once extended its range to Tasmania as well as to Kangaroo
Island, off the south coast of the continent. The Parrot order is
more abundantly represented in Australia than anywhere else. In
New Zealand and the tiny Norfolk Island there are species of a
remarkable type of Parrot--the Nestor--which has a very long beak,
not deep, like that of other parrots. The family of brush-tongued
Lories is represented in the island continent by many beautiful
forms. Here also developed originally the Cockatoos, which have
since spread to New Guinea and the eastern Malay islands. The True
Parrots and Parrakeets are well represented in New Guinea and
Australia, and assume in some cases the most lovely and delicate


(From a specimen sent from Australia to the New York Zoological

Amongst other noteworthy Australian birds is the Lyre Bird, in two
or three species. This is a distant connection of thrushes and
warblers, the size of a pheasant, and with very pheasantlike habits.
Although the colour of its body is simply brown of various tints,
the male bird has a most remarkable tail, the larger feathers of
which exactly reproduce the form of a lyre. This creature is one
of the minor wonders of the world, and it is therefore surprising
that the great Commonwealth of Australia should take no measures to
prevent its extermination at the hands of thoughtless and ignorant
settlers, for, unlike the cockatoos, it does no damage to crops.

Australia also possesses the Black Swan, and it has a
strange-looking, long-legged Goose, which has scarcely any web
between its toes. There are numerous Eagles and Hawks, but there
is no Vulture. There is also no True Crow, but there are Choughs
and many crow-like developments of the Shrike, Oriole, and
Starling groups, and in the extreme north of Australia, besides
one or two Birds of Paradise, there are the singular Bower Birds
(really belonging to the same family), who build little palaces
and ornamental gardens of sticks, shells, feathers, pebbles, and
other bright and attractive objects, as places in which they can go
through their courtship ceremonies. The mound-building Megapodes or
Brush Turkeys (which do not hatch their eggs by sitting on them,
but bury the egg in a mound of decaying vegetation) also inhabit
eastern and northern Australia, and are the only representatives
there of the gallinaceous order. Amongst Kingfishers is the
celebrated Laughing Jackass, which lives not on fish but on insects
and carrion. Australia has no Woodpeckers, no Hornbills, no Cuckoos,
and no True Pheasants, and a good many other bird families are
remarkable for their absence from this region.

The scenery of New Zealand, in contrast to that of Australia,
is nearly everywhere beautiful--as nature made it--though the
modern settlers have robbed the island of much of its loveliness
by cutting down the forests recklessly, destroying the ferns,
and shooting the song birds. In the North Island of New Zealand
are the most remarkable examples of volcanic activity, and this
region has, or had--for they sometimes disappear in earthquake
convulsions--beautiful crater lakes of deep blue or emerald green
and terraces of congealed lava or pumicestone that assume lovely
tints of pink, pale yellow, green or bluish grey.

The trees and plants of New Zealand have a character quite as
peculiar and distinct as those of Australia. Amongst them grow beech
trees similar to those of South Australia, and allied to the beeches
of South America. There are only two species of a single genus of
palm (_Rhopalostylis_), but there are many conifers allied to those
of New Guinea and South America rather than to the conifers of
Australia. The Kauri "pine" (_Agathis_) has been already mentioned.
None of the conifers of Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and
New Caledonia are "pines", "cedars", or "firs". The members of the
pine family are entirely restricted to the Northern Hemisphere.
The magnificent "pines" of New Caledonia and its adjacent islands
are Araucarias ("monkey puzzles"). Besides an abundance of ferns
(including the bracken), the undergrowth of New Zealand is chiefly
composed of Veronica bushes, of fuchsias, and calceolarias. New
Zealand has no deserts, and is blessed with a constant and a fairly
abundant rainfall. It is as unlike Australia in appearance as it
could well be, and much more resembles in general appearance our own
country of England or the southernmost parts of South America.

New Zealand and New Caledonia were evidently cut off from their
ancient connection with the New Hebrides and New Guinea before
mammals had spread in that direction. New Zealand was entirely
without any form of beast, except bats and seals, when first
colonized by the Maoris; but this Polynesian people brought with
them in their canoes a rat which they bred for eating, and a small,
foxy-looking, domestic dog. Of the bats there are two kinds:
one a small nocturnal bat, allied to the European Pipistrelle;
and the other a very remarkable and isolated form, a "day" bat
(_Mystacops_), which climbs about the trees, has very narrow
wings, and does not fly much. The seals on the coast, which made
New Zealand so attractive to the American and English whaling
ships, consisted of a "Sea Bear" (_Otaria_), the Sea Elephant (now
extinct), and four other large Antarctic species of true Seal. New
Zealand had no great variety in species of birds, which belonged
mainly to the Goose, Rail, Eagle, Parrot, Honeyeater, and Corvine
groups. Amongst the most noteworthy of modern New Zealand birds
are the Kaka Parrot of North Island and the handsome Kea Parrot
of the South Island (both of the genus _Nestor_). The last-named
has lately taken to attacking sheep. Another very interesting form
is the _Stringops_ or Tarapo Ground Parrot (sometimes called the
Owl Parrot). The Huia is a chough-like bird with orange wattles
and a beak which, though straight in the male is sickle-shaped in
the female. The Tui Honeyeater or parson bird has two delicate
white plumes below each cheek. But it is the extinct birds which
will always make New Zealand interesting. Amongst these was the
largest type of bird which has probably ever existed--the Moa. We
now know that besides Moas with long necks and small heads, which
stood about 12 feet high, and were bigger than ostriches, there
were other and much smaller types of the same order. One of these
still survives: it is the so-called wingless Apteryx, which comes
out at night, and with its long beak searches for worms. These Moas,
of many sorts and sizes, probably still lived in the three islands
of the New Zealand dominion when they were first discovered by the
Polynesians; but being without any adequate means of defence, and
quite unable to fly, they were soon exterminated, only the nocturnal
Apteryx remaining. It is possible that these great ostrich-like
birds reached New Zealand from the direction of Queensland and New
Caledonia. [New Caledonia possesses one bird, which is found nowhere
else in the world, though it has relations in South America. This
is the Kagu, a pretty, grey, heron-like creature, which is really a
sort of dwarf crane.] Two other remarkable bird developments once
existed in New Zealand: a large, flightless goose (_Cnemiornis_),
and a huge, thick-set Harpy Eagle (_Harpagornis_). This last no
doubt fed mainly on the Moas, and died out when they became extinct.

New Zealand has only one kind of frog, no snakes, no tortoises,
and only one true lizard (a Gecko), but it possesses all to itself
an indigenous reptile of the greatest possible interest. This is
the Tuatera (or _Sphenodon_), now restricted in its range to three
or four islets off the northernmost coasts of New Zealand. Once
this creature, which is about 3 to 4 feet long, ranged over the
whole of New Zealand. It has been killed out mainly by the white
settlers, and unless some effort is made will soon have disappeared
altogether. This would be a great pity, for it is one of the most
interesting of living things. It is the scarcely changed descendant
of a very early order of reptiles which came into being millions of
years ago and inhabited Europe and Asia.


The First Human Inhabitants of Australasia

At some date of unknown remoteness--it may be a hundred or two
hundred thousand years ago--a primitive type of man entered the
island continent of Australia, coming from New Guinea and the
islands of the Malay Archipelago. The period in human history was
perhaps so distant from our days that the geographical conditions
of the Malay Archipelago were not precisely what they are at the
present day; islands now separated by shallow seas may have been
joined one to the other, the southern projections of New Guinea
and the northern peninsulas of Australia may have been much
closer together, so that men, though living a life of absolute
savagery representing the lowest grade of human intelligence,
were nevertheless able, by making use of floating logs or roughly
fashioned rafts,[10] to enter the Australian continent and to
pass from New Guinea eastwards and southwards into the nearer
archipelagos of the Pacific. Although, doubtless, changes have
taken place during the last hundred thousand years in regard to
the distribution of land and water between south-eastern Asia and
Australia, and even over the surface of the Pacific Ocean; and
although islands or islets may have since subsided that once served
as stepping-stones for adventurous savages: nevertheless there
cannot have been within this period of time--which is scarcely a
second in the age of the planet on which we dwell--the rise of
any continuous land surface between the continent of Asia and the
great Malay islands, on the one hand; and New Guinea, Australia,
New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, and Fiji, on the other. Because
if there had been any such continuous land connection within the
last two hundred thousand years, sufficient to effect the peopling
of Australasia by the human species without the need of crossing
straits and narrow seas, there would have come into these regions
as well as Man many examples of the modern animals of Asia. But, as
we know, the south-eastern part of the Malay Archipelago and all
Australasia and the Pacific islands are singularly deficient in the
types of mammal now existing in Asia. In New Guinea, Australia,
and the Malay islands to the east of Celebes and Bali, there are
no monkeys, cats, wild oxen, or deer (excepting in the Moluccas
and Timor), no apes, bears, insectivores, squirrels, elephants,
rhinoceroses, or tapirs. Elephants, tapirs, apes, tigers, and
rhinoceroses got as far east as Java (though the two first are now
extinct there), and if there had been continuous land connection
from that region eastwards to New Guinea and Australia, which made
human emigration thither possible without crossing the sea, then
these other large mammals would have equally invaded Papuasia and
Australia. That they did not penetrate farther east than Java shows
that a broad sea strait must have intervened, and the fact that this
strait--or rather a succession of straits---did not prevent the
Tasmanians, the Negroes of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago,
and the aboriginal Australians from reaching the lands in which the
Europeans found them living three hundred years ago, shows that when
they set out on these migrations from Malaysia eastward they could
not have been without some knowledge of human arts and inventions,
since they must have been able to fashion and use forms of transport
across broad stretches of sea, such as logs or reeds fastened
together into rafts, or water-tight vessels made out of the bark
casing of fallen tree trunks.

  [10] Dr. W.E. Roth, writing to the Royal Anthropological Institute
  in 1908, describes the existing canoes on the northern and eastern
  coasts of Australia as being of two kinds: that which was made
  from a single sheet of bark, folded in its length and tied at the
  extremities (the sides being kept apart by primitive stretchers),
  and that which was hollowed by fire and stone axe from the trunk of
  a tree. But he implies by his further remarks that these "dug-out"
  canoes were originally obtained by the black Australians from the
  Melanesian or Negroid people of Papuasia, who are several degrees
  higher in mental development than the Australoids. He also alludes
  to rafts possessed by the northern and eastern Australians (the
  Tasmanians had somewhat similar ones), made of logs of white
  mangrove tied together at both ends, but in such a way that the
  rafts were narrower at one end than at the other. On top was placed
  some seaweed to form a cushion to sit on. These are propelled either
  like punts by means of a long pole, or are paddled with flattened
  stumps of mangrove or similar trees from the water side. In the
  tropical regions natives will make a rough-and-ready raft out of
  three trunks of the wild banana tied together with rattans or
  flexible canes.


Nevertheless, though of the same human species as ourselves, the
Australoids[11] and Tasmanians[12] belonged to the lowliest living
types of mankind, both physically and mentally. We know from various
researches and evidence of cave deposits, bone and shell heaps, that
these races had inhabited Australia and Tasmania for a very long
period, that they did not originate in the southern continent, but
evidently came from Asia; and that their nearest relations at the
present day are the savage forest tribes of India and Ceylon, and in
the past--most wonderful to relate--the ancient races of Britain and
the continent of Europe. In his skull features and his very simple
handicraft the Tasmanian resembled closely the people who lived in
Kent and north-eastern France one to two hundred thousand years
ago, in the warm intervals of the Great Ice Age. When races of
superior intellect and bodily strength were developed in Europe and
northern Asia, the ancestors of the Tasmanians and the Australoids
were driven forth into the forests of Africa and southern Asia. From
out of the Tasmanian type was specialized the Negro of Africa and
southern Asia. But the unspecialized Tasmanian meantime was either
extinguished by stronger races or was pushed on, ever farther and
farther eastwards and southwards, until first Australia, and lastly
what was once the southernmost peninsula of Australia--Tasmania--was
his last refuge. The Australoids followed in the Tasmanian's
footsteps, and became the native race of the Australian continent,
prevented or discouraged from crossing over into Tasmania by the sea
passage--Bass's Straits--which had been formed between Tasmania and
the mainland. Other Australoids and Tasmanians no doubt populated
New Guinea and the great Melanesian islands (as they had done all
Malaysia). Here, however, they were followed up by the Negro, and in
course of time Papuasia (as New Guinea and its surrounding islands
is called) became almost as much a domain of the Negro as Africa.
Primitive Negroes (mixed in blood with Australoids, and forming thus
the Melanesian type) travelled as far eastwards and south as Fiji,
the New Hebrides, and New Caledonia. They may even have reached New
Zealand before the Polynesian Maoris came, and in a half-breed with
the Polynesian they extended their ocean range as far as the Hawaii
archipelago. They populated the Philippine Islands,[13] and all the
other islands of the Malay Archipelago, even as far out at sea as
Micronesia, except--curiously enough--Borneo, and perhaps Java.

  [11] It is more convenient to give this name to the dark-skinned
  Australian aborigines, inasmuch as the term "Australian" now means a
  white man of European ancestry.

  [12] The Tasmanians have been extinct since 1876 or 1877.

  [13] Here being dwarfish in stature they are styled Negrito, a
  Spanish diminutive of Negro. The pigmy negro type is not confined
  to the Philippine archipelago, but reappears in some of the
  south-eastern Malay islands and in New Guinea.

The Negroes or Melanesians improved on the rafts and bark canoes
of the Tasmanians and Australoids by inventing and perfecting the
"dug-out" canoe. This is made of a single tree trunk, hollowed out
by the use of fire and the chipping of stone axes.

In Micronesia and Malaysia these Negroids soon became mixed with or
exterminated by the early Mongolian type of man which, originating
somewhere in High Asia, invaded Europe, America, south-east Asia,
and Malaysia, assisting in time to form that race of mysterious
origin and affinities, the Indonesian or Polynesian, whose invasion
of the Malay Archipelago and Pacific islands occurred long after
the coming of Tasmanian, Australoid, Negro, and Mongol, yet may
have been as far back as five or six thousand years ago. The
Polynesian's ancestors produced very considerable effects on these
regions by bringing to them the first fruits of the white man's
civilization which we associate in Europe and western Asia with
the New Stone Age, or the period beginning perhaps twenty thousand
years ago, in which men began to make beautifully finished stone and
bone implements and set themselves to domesticate animals and to
cultivate plants.

Among the Maoris of New Zealand, the people of Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti,
one or two islands off the west and the north-east of New Guinea,
and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), there are, or rather were, types
amongst the Polynesians, strikingly European in form, feature,
and mental characteristics. I write "were" with the intention of
alluding to the days when there were no European settlers in these
regions who could have modified the population by intermarriage. The
languages spoken at the present day by all more or less pure-blood
Polynesians betray a resemblance and affinity with the Malay
dialects and languages of Java, Sumatra, and the Malay Peninsula.
It would seem, therefore, as though Malaysia was the original home
of development of the Polynesian race, and that this remarkable
people, celebrated for their fearless navigation of the ocean in
well-constructed canoes, with masts, sails, and outriggers,[14]
arose from some southward migration of the White Man (Caucasian)
when he was emerging from the condition of the savage into the
beginnings of civilization; a stage which is understood by the use
of the term Neolithic, or the stage of perfected stone implements.
Here in Malaysia the Caucasian type (which in ancient times
populated much of northern and eastern Asia) mixed with the Mongol
or Yellow Man, with the Negro or Black Man, and perhaps even with
what remained of the generalized Australoid stock; and the result
was the Polynesian as he is seen to-day: a tall, well-developed
specimen of humanity with a reddish or yellow skin, large eyes set
horizontally in the head, a well-formed nose and chin, straight hair
(finer than that of the Mongol and with some tendency to curl or
undulate), slight beards in the men, and a good brain development.
In some respects these Polynesians recall in appearance, in mind,
and in culture the aboriginal inhabitants of the three Americas,
North, Central, and South. Indeed, if natives from the Upper Amazon,
Southern Chili, or California were put alongside Polynesians
from New Zealand, Tahiti, or Samoa it would not always be easy
to pick them out at a glance. Where the Amerindian differs from
the Polynesian is in being absolutely straight-haired and having
features slightly more Mongolian, so that there is a still greater
resemblance in body and mind between the Amerindian of South America
and the Micronesians of the Ladrone Islands, the Dayaks of Borneo,
or the Malays of the Malay Peninsula. The indigenes of North America
obviously contain a great deal of Caucasian blood, from ancient
migrations coming from north-east Asia, and therefore sometimes
resemble Polynesians more than they do the Mongols of northern Asia.

  [14] The seafaring vessels of the Polynesians were as much of an
  advance on the dug-out canoes of the negroid Papuans as these last
  were superior to the rafts and bark coracles of the Australoids. The
  chief feature in the Polynesian canoe was the outrigger, sometimes
  double. This was a long piece of wood floating on the water parallel
  to the canoe and fastened to two poles or sticks projecting
  horizontally from the side of the canoe.

Many students of the unwritten history of the human past are now
inclined to believe that by the aid of islands since submerged
individuals of the Malay and the Polynesian races must have
penetrated in ancient times into Central and South America,
carrying with them the beginnings of Neolithic culture and many
new ideas in religion. Such theories derive some support from a
comparison between the arts of Borneo and other islands of the Malay
Archipelago, and of the Pacific islands and those of Central and
South America.

Amongst the many problems of the past which we are unable at present
to solve is why, if the Polynesians could colonize every island
or islet in the vast Pacific, including New Zealand and Easter
Island, they should have had so little effect on the development
of Australia. In travelling east and south from their original
homes in Sumatra, Jilolo, and the islands north of New Guinea,
the Polynesians might just as easily have landed on the coasts of
Australia as on those of New Zealand. But though such landings
almost certainly took place, nearly all record of them is lost, and
they had very little effect on the physical and mental character
of the dark-skinned Australian aborigines. As a matter of fact, for
some reasons connected with ocean currents and prevailing winds,
the line of Polynesian migration seems to have been from west to
east across the more equatorial regions of the Pacific, north of New
Guinea, and afterwards from east to west, north-west, south-west,
and due north. New Zealand was colonized by the Polynesians, not
from the direction of New Caledonia, but from Samoa and Tonga.
These Maoris (as they are now called) came at no very ancient
date--perhaps not more than six hundred years ago;[15] but there may
have been earlier Melanesian invasions from the direction of Fiji.

  [15] There are legends and evidence--such as shell heaps--in New
  Zealand indicating that the islands were first populated by a Papuan
  race akin to the peoples of New Caledonia and New Guinea. This is
  difficult of belief because of the isolated character of New Zealand
  and the exceedingly stormy seas which cut it off from other lands
  to the north and west. Yet the existence of a negroid element among
  the Maoris of New Zealand is undoubted. It may have been due to the
  earliest Polynesian invaders bringing with them slaves and captives
  from Fiji. That the Maoris kept slightly in touch with the world
  of Asia after their colonization of New Zealand is shown by the
  discovery some years ago in the interior of New Zealand of an Indian
  bronze bell dating from about the fourteenth century A.C., with an
  inscription on it in the Tamil language of southern India. It was a
  ship's bell belonging to a vessel presumably manned by Muhammadans,
  probably Malays. Either, therefore, a Malay ship or one from the
  south of India discovered New Zealand some six hundred years ago, or
  reached the Melanesian or Samoan islands of the western Pacific, and
  there left its bell to be carried off to New Zealand as a treasure.
  The Malays certainly traded to the New Hebrides. It should also
  be noted that in many other outlying Pacific islands besides New
  Zealand, there are traditions and even the remains of implements to
  suggest a former wide migration eastward of the Negroid type--even
  as far as Hawaii.

The aborigines of Australia at the present day are usually divided
into two main sections, based on language, affinities, and other
evidence. It is thought possible that the southern half of this
division is the more primitive, and that the northern half has
received here and there some modification by occasional attempts
on the part of Hindu adventurers from Java, or Malay, Polynesian
or Papuan seafarers, to settle on the inhospitable coasts of
north-western, northern, and eastern Australia.

It is in any case practically certain that the Malay people were
the first discoverers of Australia from the point of view of
civilized man and of definite human history. The Malays are mainly
of Mongol affinities. They belong to that great division of humanity
which includes the peoples of Indo-China, Tibet, China, Japan,
Mongolia, and Arctic Asia and America, and which is characterized
by narrow, somewhat slanting eyes; a small, straight, narrow nose;
high cheekbones; lank, coarse head hair, and a relative absence
or scarcity of hair on the face and body. But the word Malay must
be understood in two senses in this and other books treating of
Australasia. It means in a general sense the Mongolian race which
populates so much of the Malay Peninsula and the Malay Archipelago
(extending on the north-east to the Philippines and Formosa); and
in a more restricted sense a tribe and language which originated in
the Menañkabao district of central Sumatra. The Malay language is
a member of the great Malayo-Polynesian group which may have been
created by an ancient fusion, many thousand years ago, between the
early Caucasian (White men) invaders of Sumatra and the Mongolians
who followed them. At the present day the languages of this group
range from Madagaskar in the south-west to Hawaii in the north-east,
to Formosa in the north, and New Zealand in the south. An early
mingling of the Mongolian Malay and the Caucasian or Indonesian[16]
inhabitants of the Malay Archipelago produced probably not only
this widespread family of languages, but the remarkable Polynesian
peoples of the Pacific.

  [16] Indonesian is the name applied to the light-skinned people of
  Caucasian features found in Sumatra and Papuasia.

Yet although the Malays proper spoke this Polynesian type of
language (so very different from the Mongolian languages of
Indo-China) they remained chiefly Mongol in their physical features.
But their close association with the Indonesian or Caucasian type
of people in Sumatra seems to have inspired them with some of the
energy and culture--especially in the matter of navigation--which
was already carrying the hybrid Polynesians far ahead in the
colonization of the Pacific islands. At several epochs these Malays
left their native Sumatra on oversea adventure. They seem firstly
to have visited Ceylon, southern India, and the Maldiv Islands.
Then much bolder sea journeys, perhaps in outrigger canoes with mat
sails, took them, via the Seychelles, to Madagaskar--it may be more
than two thousand years ago. Later migrations eastward brought them
to the coasts of the Malay Peninsula and islands, where they became
the celebrated "Sea Gipsies"--the _Orang laut_, or Men of the Sea,
who lived almost entirely on board their canoes, and only came on
shore to trade or to plunder. Finally arose a warlike Malay tribe
of eastern Sumatra (Menañkabau), who, becoming converted to the
Muhammadan faith about six hundred and fifty years ago, left Sumatra
to become a conquering, colonizing, trading people, who in the
course of some four hundred years had settled on the coasts of the
Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Java, and the other Sunda islands, Celebes,
the Moluccas, Philippines, and the north-western parts of Papuasia,
and had founded kingdoms, spread everywhere their Muhammadan
faith, and everywhere between Sumatra and New Guinea imposed their
own Malay dialect as a medium of intercourse and commerce. In
these wonderful adventures--which may have carried them and their
civilization as far east as the New Hebrides, besides spreading
still farther products of the Indian world, such as the domestic
fowl,[17] the orange, lime, and betel pepper-vine--they undoubtedly
discovered the north coast of Australia about five hundred years
ago, and communicated their discovery to the Chinese, the Arabs, and
finally the Portuguese and Dutch.

  [17] The domestic fowl had even reached New Caledonia but not any
  part of Australia or New Zealand.

Assisted by Persians of the Persian Gulf, the Arabs of southern
and western Arabia revealed East Africa and Madagaskar about the
beginning of the Christian Era, and before this period had found
their way to western India, Ceylon, and even the Malay Peninsula.
After the convulsion and awakening caused by the promulgation of
the Muhammadan religion, Arab voyages to the Far East (largely
instigated by the merchants of Persia) increased to a remarkable
extent; and wherever the Arabs went they endeavoured to spread the
faith of Islam. Thus, as early as the thirteenth century, the Arab
religion, dress, and customs had been introduced into the Island
of Borneo, into the north of Sumatra, and the south of the Malay
Peninsula. By 1470 the whole of Java had been converted to the
Muhammadan religion, and the great mass of the Malay people became
ardent advocates of that faith.

The Arabs, of course, belong to the Caucasian sub-species: they
are emphatically White Men in body and mind, though their skin
colour may have been darkened by ages of exposure to a hot sun and
by occasional intermixture with the Negro. But they have gradually
grown to be distinct in cast of mind and sympathies from the
peoples of Europe; and the institution of the Muhammadan religion
separated them still more widely from the world of Greece, Rome,
Paris, Lisbon, and London. Until the fourteenth century of the
Christian Era they and their Persian allies monopolized the whole
of the trade which had grown up between Asia, Malaysia, and Africa
on the one hand, and Europe on the other. Then the movements of the
Mongols and Tatars in central and western Asia, and their temporary
respect for and curiosity concerning Christian Europe, enabled
Italian commercial travellers to penetrate to the farthest parts
of Asia. Thus there reached Europe not only more or less accurate
descriptions of Java and Sumatra, but vague hints as to a "great
Java" which lay to the south and was a whole continent in itself.
These hints became more precise at the beginning of the sixteenth
century, when not only had the Malay Archipelago been traversed
almost to the limits of New Guinea by adventurous Italians, but
French and Portuguese navigators may even have been driven out of
their course by storms, and obtained some glimpse of the Australian

  [18] In my volume on the Pioneers in India and Southern Asia I
  have referred to the story told to Ludovico di Varthema by a Malay
  captain of the vessel in which he travelled, according to which
  Malays had penetrated southwards into seas where the ice obstructed
  their passage, and the day in wintertime became shortened to a
  period of four hours. This would look as though the Malays had
  anticipated us in Antarctic discovery.

  The names of the French voyagers who may have sighted Australia
  in the first half of the sixteenth century were Binot Paulmier de
  Gonneville, who, sailing across the Indian Ocean after rounding
  the Cape of Good Hope, was blown out of his course and landed
  on the shores of a great island, which he believed to be Terra
  Australis (perhaps only Madagaskar); and Guillaume le Testu, who,
  starting apparently from Marseilles in 1530, also rounded the Cape
  of Good Hope, and in directing his course for the Spice Islands
  apparently stumbled on the coast of West Australia. The southern
  continent is certainly indicated on an old French map of 1542, now
  in the possession of the British Museum. But this discovery of the
  Provençal sailor is based on slender evidence.

The definite revelation of Australasia will be dealt with in
succeeding chapters. Meantime, before we begin to review the
historical discovery of the Australian continent and the islands
and islets of Malaysia, Papuasia, and of the Pacific, let us first
of all realize what were the conditions of life amongst the savage
or semi-savage inhabitants of these regions before they came into
contact with the men of strong minds and strong bodies who left
western Europe from the sixteenth century onwards to found colonies
in the new worlds of America and Australasia.

In the sixteenth century the distribution and condition of the
native races in Australasia and the Pacific islands stood thus:
Java was thickly populated, far more so than any other island
in Malaysia. This population consisted almost entirely of a
short, yellow-skinned people of MALAY speech and more or less of
Mongolian type, but with some ancient Hindu intermixture. In the
mountainous regions of the interior was a forest-dwelling race--the
Kalangs--(now extinct), a wild people, supposed to be negroid but in
reality more like the Australoids. Java, colonized some two to three
thousand years ago by the Hindus, and at a later date much visited
by Arabs and Chinese, had attained a high degree of civilization
(of a very Indian character) when first visited by Europeans in
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Under the Dutch from the
seventeenth century onwards it became the great centre of Malaysian

Borneo, on the other hand--a very much larger island--was in a
less advanced stage of culture, except on the north coast, along
which both Indian and Chinese--and, later, Arab--civilization
had come into play. North Borneo was a very old colony of the
Chinese, and under Arab influence after the thirteenth century had
become a region of considerable wealth and power. The Muhammadan
religion had spread over the North Bornean kingdom of Brunei and
thence to Palawan and the Sulu archipelago, between Borneo and
the Philippines. The Malays from Celebes wielded a considerable
influence over the south coast; but all this Eastern civilization
did not penetrate far into the interior, which was inhabited
mostly by a Mongolian people (like the Malays and Indo-Chinese
in appearance) generally known as Dayaks. Other tribes were
distinguished as Dusuns, Muruts, Bukits, Kanowit, Kayan, Sagai,
Madangs, Punans, Kennias, &c. All these interior peoples led a life
of relative savagery, though they were very artistic, and never
allowed complete nudity in either sex. They were not cannibals,
but they had a passion for head-hunting and for the collection
of skulls, which they preserved and decorated, and to which they
attached some religious significance. In their appearance, their
weapons (such as the blowpipe), arts, and industries, and this
practice of head-hunting they offered most striking resemblance to
the Amerindians of equatorial South America. Curiously enough, so
far, there has been no trace whatever found of pre-existing Negroids
or Negritos in Borneo, though this race once predominated in the
neighbouring Philippine Islands, and is found in the Malay Peninsula
and even eastern Sumatra. There are slight traces of Negroids in the
population of the great island of Celebes, to the east of Borneo,
and, with the exception of Java, in all the other parts of Malaysia.
The island of Celebes, like Java, was a region of considerable
Malay civilization when first reached by Europeans. The people here
(except the wild forest tribes) had elaborate dresses, steel weapons
and implements, were skilled in weaving, embroidery, gold and silver
jewellery work, and shipbuilding. On the whole, Java and Celebes
were the two most advanced of the Malay islands in the arts and
industries and the amenities of civilized existence when Europeans
first sailed amongst these wonderful islands of spices, of Malay
pirates, of cockatoos, hornbills, and buffaloes.

In Palawan (in which live the most exquisitely beautiful peacock
pheasants), and the Sulu archipelago--between Borneo and the
Philippines--the natives were all Muhammadans and much under Arab
influence; but in the rest of the Philippine Islands the Malays and
the older Mongolian peoples dwelling on the coasts were civilized
pagans, a good deal under Chinese and North Borneo influence, while
the interior was tenanted mainly by the wildest pigmy Negritos,
who were strong enough in numbers to keep the yellow-skinned,
straight-haired people from colonizing the forested mountains. After
the Spaniards came and put firearms into the hands of the Malays,
the Philippine Negritos soon got the worst of it, and at the present
day only number about twenty-four thousand in Luzon and Mindanao out
of a total population of nearly eight millions. Unfortunately the
arms and ammunition thus obtained by the Malays in the Philippines
and Borneo turned them into a bold race of pirates, who began after
the commencement of the seventeenth century to prey on the commerce
of Malaysia and the China Sea.

The eastern islands of the Malay Archipelago--Timor, Flores, Buru,
Jilolo, Ceram, and their adjacent groups of islets--were peopled
by mixed races, partly of Malay and partly of Negrito or Papuan
stock. In the mountainous interior of the larger islands the natives
were still wild and naked pagans, but little distinguishable from
the Papuans of New Guinea. But the coast population was mostly
Muhammadan, or about to become so, and more or less derived from
Malay settlers. In some cases, perhaps, they represented a Mongoloid
stock older than the Malay and related to the Micronesians farther
to the north-east.

These MICRONESIANS were the peoples of the Mariana or Ladrone, Palao
(Pelew), Caroline, Marshall, and Gilbert Islands. They were of
mixed elements, partly Polynesian (which is to say semi-Caucasian),
partly Mongolian, and in some degree Papuan, but many of them bear
a remarkable facial resemblance to the Amerindians of North and
South America. This may arise partly from the partial colonization
of these archipelagoes of small islands in the western Pacific
by immigrants from Japan and China, mostly shipwrecked mariners.
This intermixture has imparted a "Tatar" look to some of the
Micronesians, just as the same facial features in the Amerindian
are undoubtedly derived from ancient migrations taking place in
prehistoric times from Siberia and Japan into north-west America. On
the whole the Micronesians are most nearly allied to the Polynesian
group of peoples to the south of them, though their languages form
quite a separate group. Before Europeans discovered them they
ignored the use of metal; their implements were made of stone, of
sharks' and whales' teeth, of sharp-edged bivalve shells, of cane,
and wood. They had a great reverence for stones, both as objects
of worship and as money. This feeling would almost seem to be
due to the remembrance of more remote times, when there dwelt in
these and perhaps other Pacific archipelagoes a wonderful race of
stonebuilders, who may have been the Caucasian ancestors of the
modern Polynesians and akin to that European Neolithic race which
ranged across the Old World from Ireland to Korea, and over the
Australasian islands from Sumatra to Easter Island.

A section of these Neolithic stonebuilders seems to have sojourned
for a time in the Caroline Islands, one of the Micronesian
archipelagoes. Here they constructed forts, palaces, quays, out
of immense blocks of stone, shaped ready hewn, so to speak, by
the hand of Nature: for they were cubes and four-sided prisms of
basalt (like the formations at the Giant's Causeway in Ireland), the
remains of ancient volcanic eruptions on the larger islands of the
Caroline group. Besides the stone buildings (which were erected,
like all ancient stonework, by placing block on block, without any
binding mortar between) this vanished race constructed artificial
canals and harbours. Their prosperity and civilization seem to
have come to an end--perhaps they emigrated to America and founded
some of the prehistoric civilizations there--through the partial
subsidence of the Micronesian islands. Many of these ancient stone
buildings are now partly under water, and there is other evidence
which shows that these and other Pacific groups of islands were
larger in extent several thousand years ago than they are now. The
modern Micronesians may be in part descended from the great race of
stonebuilders, but they have much degenerated in civilization, as
has been the case with the people of Egypt and the Amerindians of
Peru and Mexico.

New Guinea, four hundred years ago, and its adjacent islands, large
and small, of Waigiu, Aru, Timor-laut, the Admiralty Islands, the
Bismarck Archipelago (once known as New Britain and New Ireland),
and the Solomon Islands were peopled almost entirely by NEGROIDS,
that is to say by Oceanic Negroes, Papuans, and Negritos, similar
to the inland populations of the eastern Malay islands. The Papuans
were a tall race, with abundant bushy hair of woolly texture and
with arched, almost Jewish noses. Their skins were very dark,
and their appearance (except for the high nose), their noisy
dispositions, love of excitement and laughter, reminded travellers
very much of African Negroes. The Oceanic Negroes of the Bismarck
Archipelago only differed from the Papuans in being more "negro",
with more tightly curled hair and flatter noses. The Negritos were
like the pigmy Negroes of Africa. But here and there on the coast
of New Guinea, or on the islands off it, were obvious Polynesian
settlements of old times, and even on some isolated island a people
quite pale skinned and Caucasian in appearance.

The inhabitants of the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, of New
Caledonia, and the Fiji archipelago are allied to the Papuans more
than to any other stock, but are usually known as MELANESIANS.[19]
Their characteristics when first discovered by Europeans (which for
purposes of accurate description was not much more than one hundred
years ago) were not quite so "negro" as those of the Papuans and the
Negritos. They had dark, almost black skins and broad noses, but the
head-hair was less tightly curled and grew to greater length. They
had often the very prominent brow ridges of the Australoid, and some
indications also of mixture with a higher race--the semi-Caucasian
Polynesian--and were no doubt the result of an early mixture of all
these types. The civilization of the Melanesians was somewhat higher
than that of the Papuans, but inferior to the arts and industries
and social life of the POLYNESIANS. They had developed agriculture
to some extent, and amongst cultivated plants had the taro yam (a
kind of Arum with tuberous roots), the Sweet potato (a Convolvulus),
the sugar cane, the Bread-fruit tree,[20] the banana, the coconut
palm, the sweet roots of a tree-lily (_Dracæna_), and the fruit
of a Pandanus; perhaps also the Kava pepper vine. They possessed
as domestic animals a pig of an east Asiatic species and a dog of
a type like the pariah dog of India or the Dingo of Australia.
They also had fowls of a game bantam type, which no doubt had been
brought eastward by Malay traders till they passed from island to
island into Melanesia, and even to most of the Polynesian islands
_except_ New Zealand. In New Caledonia there were fowls of a big
breed but there were no pigs or dogs. [The domestic fowl was even
found in the remote Easter Island when it was first visited by
Europeans, but had not got beyond that to South America; neither had
the American maize, tobacco, or other cultivated plants reached the
Pacific islands till they were brought there, from Asia or Europe in
recent times.]

  [19] This word is derived from two Greek roots meaning "Black
  Islanders". There is much difficulty in deciding what is Papuan and
  what Melanesian when classifying the peoples of the Solomon Islands
  and Bismarck Archipelago. There is a strong infusion of Melanesian
  blood in Hawaii.

  [20] The Bread-fruit, which will often be referred to in these
  pages, is a tree of moderate height (_Artocarpus incisa_). With its
  near relative, the Jack fruit, it is a member of the Mulberry order,
  and consequently a distant relation of the figs. Dampier gives the
  following description of the Bread-fruit of the Pacific Islands: "It
  grows on a large tree as big and as high as our largest apple trees.
  It has a spreading head full of branches, and dark leaves. The fruit
  grows on the boughs like apples; it is as big as a penny loaf ...
  of a round shape, and has a thick, tough rind. When the fruit is
  ripe it is yellow and soft, and the taste is sweet and pleasant.
  The natives of this island (Guam) use it for bread; they gather it
  when full grown, while it is green and hard; then they bake it in an
  oven, which scorches the rind and makes it black: they scrape off
  the outside black crust and there remains a tender thin crust, and
  the inside is soft, tender, and white, like the crumb of a penny
  loaf. There is neither seed nor stone in the inside, but it is of a
  pure white substance like bread. It must be eaten new, for if it is
  kept above twenty-four hours it becomes dry, harsh, and choky ...
  this fruit lasts in season for eight months in the year." Mr. John
  Masefield, who has edited the best and the most recent edition of
  Dampier, compares the flavour of Bread-fruit to "apple sauce".


(From a drawing by the late Professor T.H. Huxley)]


(From a photograph)]

Melanesians, like Polynesians and Papuans, lived much on a fish diet
if dwelling anywhere near the sea. The Papuans of New Guinea do not
seem to have known the Bread-fruit until modern times, though that
tree was the most important staple of life in so many Pacific
islands, and under another name appears anciently to have been a
favourite article of food in the Malay Archipelago. There was,
however, no Bread-fruit among the New Zealanders, though they had
sweet potatoes, taro yams, and gourds. Likewise the New Zealanders
omitted to take the pig with them from their original home in Samoa:
perhaps, however, the pig had not then reached those islands from
the west. The New Zealanders ate their dogs, and the domestic dog
throughout Oceania was bred for eating, and not merely as a hunting
companion. Like the Dingo of Australia, and the domestic dogs of
Negro Africa, the breeds of Malaysia and Polynesia could not bark.
In Melanesia and most parts of the Pacific, including New Zealand,
one or more species of rat were much in request as food, and were
introduced by these different races of men into almost all the
islands, including New Zealand.

All the Melanesians, like the Papuans of New Guinea, and the Negroes
of the Bismarck Archipelago, were thorough-going cannibals, and this
vice--the eating of human flesh--infected some of the Polynesian
peoples, especially the New Zealanders. Cannibalism probably existed
at one time in all the Polynesian islands, but had died out in most
by the time they were discovered by Europeans, only remaining as a
well-established custom in New Zealand and throughout Melanesia. The
New Zealand Maoris used after one of their inter-tribal battles to
collect the bodies of their slain enemies, cut off their scalps and
right ears, and offer these first as a sacrifice to the gods. Then
a row of cooking pits were dug on the right hand "for the gods" and
on the left for humans. The eyes and the brain were removed from a
dead warrior, and were eaten raw by the chief man of the victorious
party. When the cut-up bodies of the vanquished were cooked,
the chief's sons and relations first, and the whole of the army
afterwards, fell on the meat cooked on the left-hand row of pits and
devoured all they could at a sitting. The right-hand section of the
feast was presided over by the priests and the contents of the pits
partly consumed by them, and partly carried off to be stored against
future requirements. What was left over on the left-hand side was
packed up in baskets and sent to friendly tribes, who by accepting
and eating the remains of these slain men took the side in the
quarrel of the victorious force.

In Fiji human flesh was, above all, the food of chiefs, but everyone
partook who could. Slaves were captured in war or purchased from
other islands and were carefully fattened up for the table.

Cannibalism was partly an act of revenge, a desire more completely
to extinguish a fallen enemy, and in part a sacrifice to the gods
of the victorious tribe, or it began as an act of atonement or
propitiation to win the favour of a deity. In New Caledonia and New
Zealand--perhaps also in Fiji--it was often provoked by mere hunger
for meat, a hunger less easy to satisfy than in the large islands of
the Bismarck Archipelago and the mainland of New Guinea, where there
were the great Cassowary birds, large fruit bats, tree kangarus,
phalangers, and an immense variety of pigeons.

In religion there was mostly this difference between Melanesians,
Micronesians, and Polynesians: the two latter had castes of priests
who devoted themselves to the conduct of religious ceremonies, and
were often unmarried; whereas amongst the Melanesians and Papuans
there were no priests, anyone--usually the chief of the village or
tribe--being competent to sacrifice to the gods, or to conduct the
semi-religious ceremonies (so like those of Negro Africa) connected
with birth and death: most of all, the solemn rites observed in the
initiation of boys and girls into the duties of adult life on their
entering manhood or womanhood. The dwarf Negroes or Negritos of New
Guinea and the islands to the west had very little religious belief;
the Papuans more, but not so much as the Melanesians of the Pacific
archipelagoes. These last, no doubt, had been taught and influenced
for many hundred years by the Polynesians. All these peoples
believed in a variety of gods, devils, spirits, and fairies. (The
Fijians even believed in water-babies!) Sometimes the supernatural
being was the soul of a deceased hero or chief, canonized after his
death, and still working for or against the survivors in the form of
a shark, a turtle, a fish, snake, or lizard.

Stones and trees were worshipped as the form or the home of a god;
so were lizards, snakes, birds, the sea, a volcano, the sun, the
moon, stars, and vault of heaven. Nearly everything of fixed form
had a soul, was alive, was connected in some way with the spirit
world. A belief among Papuans, Melanesians, Micronesians, and
Polynesians in the immortality of human beings was almost universal.
Only perhaps among the Negritos was it absent or "not thought about".

As to the arts and industries, all this region lay outside the range
of metal-using countries, except where iron had been introduced
by the Malays, as on the north-west coasts of New Guinea and the
islands of the Malay Archipelago. Otherwise the races of Australasia
and the Pacific were still in the Stone Age. The Papuans and
Melanesians, however, had a great feeling for art and colour. They
carved wood most skilfully with chisels made of bivalve shells,
or stone adzes. There was a great tendency, derived from Malaysia,
especially in New Guinea and Melanesia, to build houses on piles,
with platforms rising high above the ground: a most convenient
architecture both for defending the dwelling against attack (by
drawing up the ladder of approach) and for raising sleeping places
above the range of mosquitoes, centipedes, snakes, and damp. In
some parts of New Guinea the people constructed their houses high
up in the forks of great trees, and used rope ladders to ascend and

But in Polynesia and those island groups to the east and north-east
of New Guinea much influenced by the Polynesians, the houses were
mostly built on the ground, sometimes with a stone floor, or were
raised on a mound of earth. They were usually oblong in shape, and
of considerable length, with a roof of thatch or palm leaves in
shape like a long boat turned upside down. In the Solomon Islands
the houses (occupied by several families) were occasionally as
much as 70 feet long and 40 wide. The thatched roof was in some
instances carried right down to the ground, in other cases it formed
a veranda supported on posts. But in parts of New Guinea and the
islands adjacent to its eastern half, in Fiji and New Caledonia
there were round or oval-shaped huts, looking like hayricks. The
houses of the New Zealanders had firm walls made of slabs of wood,
and one small window facing eastward. There was a porch over the
door. In the southern part of the great South Island, near the snowy
mountains, there were winter houses made by excavating a square or
oblong pit in the ground and roofing this over. In wintertime a fire
was lighted inside this underground dwelling, and the temperature
under the heavily thatched roof became very high, whilst it was
freezing outside; but as the dwelling was unventilated it was often
unwholesome for its occupants. Except among the wildest Negritos
and Papuans, there were in every village a club house and a guest
house, or the two uses combined in one large dwelling. And on this
club house the men of the village lavished their best ideas of art
and decoration. The beams and posts would be handsomely carved and
painted, or even inlaid with beautifully coloured sea shells; mats
woven of palm fibre or grass covered the walls, and the timbered
floor might be lacquered with some vegetable varnish. Similar
decorations were bestowed on their temples and their chiefs' houses.

The furniture consisted of little else than a rude bed made of
slabs of wood covered with matting; chairs or stools were carved
out of solid blocks of wood, or made from bamboo sections. The
fireplace was a thick cane basket covered with clay. Canes or reeds
and the invaluable bamboo equally made light but firm frames which
did duty as tables in Polynesian households, but the Melanesians
were usually content with mats and stools for all furniture.
Pottery--baked clay--was made by the Melanesians and by most Papuan
(but not Negrito) and Micronesian tribes; it was also known to the
Polynesians, but for some reason had in late centuries almost gone
out of use, its place being taken by wood vessels, gourds, the
halves of coconuts, and the shells of clams. Still, the manufacture
and use of clay pots were retained by the Polynesians of Easter
Island. Food was cooked by placing it between hot stones, which were
then sprinkled with water, and the whole thing covered over till the
food was steamed and cooked. Water was boiled in wooden vessels by
dropping in red-hot stones.

Sharp knives in New Guinea and Melanesia were made from splinters of
bamboo. The ground was tilled and prepared for cultivation all over
these Oceanic regions by wooden implements--pointed stakes, forked
branches made into hoes, flat slabs rubbed down into smooth spades.
Papuans (but not Negritos)--still more Melanesians, Micronesians,
and Polynesians--were industrious agriculturists, and besides food
plants they cultivated bright-coloured flowers (such as the crimson
Hibiscus) and the paper Mulberry tree, from the bast of which they
obtained the famous _tapa_ "bark cloth", as also from the bast of
fig trees and a relation of the Bread-fruit. There was no loom or
idea of weaving anywhere, except here and there on the coast of
New Guinea and in the Santa Cruz Islands (near the New Hebrides),
whither it may have been introduced by Malay seafarers. But the
plaiting of leaves, rushes, and fibre was carried to a fine art
by all these Oceanic peoples. In New Zealand the Maoris made much
use of the now-celebrated New Zealand flax, the fibre of _Phormium
tenax_, a liliaceous plant related to aloes.

Not having any metal (as already related), axes were made of
chipped flakes of obsidian (a glassy, flint-like volcanic stone)
or of other stones ground to a sharp edge, or of hard, sharp-edged
bivalve shells, or sharp-edged bones from the flattened spine of the
tortoise or turtle. Terrible instruments for slaying and beheading
were devised from the lower jawbones of large fishes, with saw-like
rows of recurved teeth; or by implanting razor-edged sharks' teeth
into the sides of wooden swords. Daggers with saw-like edges were
made from the spines of the ray or skate, as well as from very hard
wood rubbed down into a sharp cutting edge by sharks' skin. Spears
and pikes were also made from hard wood and sharpened by burning the
point in the fire. Or the point of the spear was made from the bony
spines in the tail of the great Ray fish, or the wooden haft of the
spear was fastened to a sharpened stone or obsidian blade by means
of resin. Bows and arrows were in use nearly throughout New Guinea
and most of the adjacent island groups; also in the New Hebrides.
But they had not been introduced into New Zealand, and had fallen
into disuse in most parts of Micronesia and Polynesia, though they
were originally used by all these Oceanic peoples. In the eastern
Melanesian islands slings were employed to hurl stones. Clubs and
throwing sticks were common Papuan and Melanesian weapons, some of
the former as executioners' weapons being fitted with stone heads.
Shields scarcely penetrated to Polynesia, but were much developed
and most fantastically carved and painted in New Guinea and some of
the western Melanesian islands. In the northern parts of Oceania
armour made of fibre, cord, or matting, and helmets of fibre, wood,
or basketwork were worn, but more for ornament than to shield the

The Negritos, Papuans, and most of the Melanesians went about in
complete, or almost complete, nudity before they were influenced
by the Malays or by Europeans. On the other hand, the Polynesians
were scarcely ever seen without some covering; they had, in fact, a
sense of decency which was almost entirely absent from the negroid
races of Oceania in their primitive condition. But whether or not
clothing was worn for a covering or for propriety, the men, and in a
lesser degree the women, of all the Oceanic races were passionately
fond of ornaments. The more highly developed Polynesians decorated
the face and body of men and also women by tatuing; that is to say,
by pricking the skin with a sharp implement and rubbing in some
colouring matter. The Melanesians and Papuans, however, were more
addicted to what is called "cicatrization", that is to say, slashing
the skin and raising permanent blobs or blisters by introducing
some irritant. The more or less bushy hair was dressed sometimes
with great elaborateness. Necklaces of teeth (human, dogs', pigs',
kangarus', phalangers', fishes', and whales'), of seeds, shells,
pebbles, bones, and pieces of wood were worn, together with armlets,
bracelets, and anklets; so also were girdles of plaited fibre. The
brightly coloured feathers of birds entered largely into personal
adornments--in breastplates, masks, headdresses, and robes.

All these Oceanic races possessed musical instruments, chiefly
drums, flutes, Pan pipes, and slabs of resonant wood. They loved
singing--especially the Melanesians--and dancing.

In both Melanesia and Polynesia--even also in Australia--there were
the rudiments of picture writing, which in Easter Island became
developed into regular hieroglyphics.

All the Oceanic peoples, except the dwarfish Negritos, were fond
of birds, partly owing to their love of colour and partly due to a
sense of the poetry of nature which thrilled them all, the handsome
Polynesians most of all. In Easter Island the pretty little terns,
or "sea-swallows", were tamed and trained to perch on the men's
shoulders. Some of the island pigeons were partially domesticated.
In New Guinea and the big islands near by a great admiration was
felt for the fantastic Hornbills, and to wear a hornbill's head
and casque was a privilege of brave men only. The New Zealanders
regarded their parrots as semi-sacred. They would seem, however, in
the earliest days of their settlements on these two great islands,
to have exterminated the gigantic Moas. Perhaps, however, Nature
had already begun the killing off of most of these flightless birds
before man came on the scene. Certainly some Moas survived to the
coming of the Polynesian New Zealanders from Samoa and Tonga;
for the legend goes that, when the earliest pioneers of these
adventurous people returned to Samoa with proofs of the discovery of
a vast New Land in the southern ocean, they brought with them the
bones and feathers of a gigantic bird.

Most of these Oceanic peoples had some idea of a currency, except
in the savage interior of New Guinea; that is to say, there were
objects used in trade which had a more or less fixed value, such
as, in some island groups, the red hair-tufts from the necks of
fruit bats, parrots' feathers, the feathers of the starling-like
_Drepanidæ_ (in Hawaii), brightly coloured shells--or, in others,
pieces of bark cloth, rolls of matting, beautiful seeds, disks,
pieces or points of shells strung on fibre (like the wampum of
America), or the teeth of dolphins, whales, dogs, phalangers, and
boars; also the vertebræ of the Dugong. (See p. 40.) In Micronesia
the currency was more in objects like stones, either large
"millstones" made of a yellowish limestone in Palao Island; or small
red stones, polished pebbles, enamelled beads of unknown age and
origin, prisms of polished, baked, red clay (known as _brak_), bits
of glass or porcelain (obviously from China).

How were the Oceanic peoples living, from a social point of view,
before the advent of the European? The Negritos of New Guinea and
those which lingered in the interior of Malayan islands like Buru
led an absolutely savage existence scarcely superior in intellectual
level to that of the ape. They were hunters dwelling in the dense
forest on grubs, termites, wild fruits, roots, and edible leaves; on
the flesh of such birds and beasts or monitor lizards as they could
snare or slay. They built rough shelters as temporary dwellings, and
wandered from one part of the forest to another in search of food.
They were expert at catching fish or climbing trees after birds'
nests or honey, but they had no canoes, no implements, no religion
(only a vague belief in a life beyond the grave), and no ceremonies
connected with birth, puberty (or the "coming of age"), marriage,
death, or burial. They belonged to the human species, but were
primitive human types who had degenerated rather than advanced, and
were almost drifting back into the life of the beast.

Then there were the jolly, ferocious, excitable, laughter-loving
vigorous Papuans, with their nearly black skins, their mops of
frizzled hair, their big arched noses and tall, well-made bodies.
The Papuans lived in small tribes and passed their lives raiding
other tribes, eating their captives, hunting ground kangarus, tree
kangarus, phalangers, cassowaries, Birds of Paradise, parrots, and
Crowned pigeons. They came to trade with the Malays on the coasts,
where sometimes they settled down under Malay sultans. As often as
not, however, they would turn treacherous, fall on some band of
traders (if they could take them at a disadvantage), slay, and eat

On parts of the north-west and north-east coasts of New Guinea,
as on some of the outlying islands of the Jilolo group and of the
Bismarck Archipelago, there were settlements of Caucasian-like
people, called by anthropologists INDONESIAN--a term scarcely
distinguishable from Polynesian. They were of the same stock as
the similar folk (with faces like dark-complexioned Europeans) to
be met with on the islands off western Sumatra. These Indonesians
had broadened out into Polynesians eastwards of New Guinea. They
had mingled in most of the Melanesian islands with the primitive
Negroes, and had introduced many new ideas in religion, warfare,
and art. They were a little less cruel, perhaps, than the Papuans.
In the extreme limits of their range to the north-east--Hawaii
archipelago--and to the south-east--Easter Island--they had
developed a considerable civilization, though it is by no means
certain whether they were the first inhabitants of those islands
(the existing Hawaiians, according to their traditions, came from
Samoa and had only been in the Hawaiian archipelago for about nine
hundred years when they were discovered or re-discovered by Captain
Cook). They may have been preceded in both groups by the ancient
race that built in huge blocks of stone, but which either passed on
to America or died out, leaving, however, its mixed and slightly
degenerate descendants in the Polynesians, who from some such centre
as the Marquezas Islands and Tahiti spread westwards to Samoa, and
thence to nearly all the Pacific islands.

Both in Easter Island and in Hawaii the development of religion
was a development of terror. The common people were especially
harassed by their belief in evil spirits waiting to torture them
cruelly after death (a belief engendered in the Hawaii archipelago
by the terrible earthquakes and the active volcanoes with their
seething craters). And at any moment they were liable to be seized
by the priests, the nobles, or the king to be offered up as human
sacrifices to the gods of sky, earth, mountains, and sea. The
priests and kings or chiefs (and in some islands a king or chief was
not merely a high priest as well, but was often worshipped as a god
during his lifetime) had immense power over the community by being
able to establish "tabu". To declare a thing or a person "tabu" was
equivalent to saying that it was sacred, under the protection of the
gods--might not be touched, drunk, eaten, smelt, or even looked at,
without risk of death, through the action of some supernatural force
or as a punishment administered for impiety by the human authority.
This practice penetrated to New Zealand and spread its influence
over much of Melanesia. It could be wielded with great benefit in
keeping the people in order, but it also checked their enterprise
in many directions, and was shockingly misused by both priests and
chiefs for their own advantage.

All the Oceanic peoples were immoral, and their numbers were slowly
decreasing in the Pacific islands as the result of superstition,
vice, and selfishness. In order that there should be no scarcity
of food in the smaller islands families were often limited to one
or two children, many infants being killed at birth. They were
particularly averse from daughters, so that in not a few tribes and
communities the women were much fewer than the men, perhaps only one
woman to four men; thus not a few of the men (priests, generally)
were unmarried. Women were very unfairly treated, as is frequently
the case among barbarous peoples. They were often forbidden to eat
the more nourishing forms of food, in case there should not be
enough for the men. In Hawaii, for example, they were put to death
if caught eating bananas, coconuts, or the flesh of pigs or turtles.
Their husbands (in Tahiti and Samoa) sometimes made them wean their
children and bring up instead young pigs or puppies. (A similar
practice is referred to in my book on the Pioneers of Canada in
regard to the rearing of young bears by Amerindian women.)

Wars were constantly being waged between island and island, tribe
and tribe--especially in the Melanesian division of Oceania. In
the western Pacific, indeed, the lives of the natives, before
the establishment of the White Man's rule, was one perpetual
acquaintance with terror. At any moment in the offing might appear
the war canoes of an enemy, and ensue the sudden invasion of a
village, the defeat of its fighting men, the cannibal feast on
the bodies of the slain, the carrying off of the young women and
children into captivity, there perhaps to be fattened up and killed
for more cannibal feasts. Or when bathing and swimming (which nearly
all these people delighted in) they might be seized and devoured by
sharks; or their islet or island coast was suddenly swamped by an
enormous tidal wave, or a mighty earthquake swallowed up the village
in an earthcrack or landslide; or red-hot ashes and burning lava
from a suddenly active volcano destroyed several communities; or
hurricanes devastated their settlements and swamped their fleets of
canoes. It is true that they never suffered from cold (except in New
Zealand), and seldom from famine; for the sea provided bountifully
fish and edible seaweed, there were the sea birds' eggs on the
rocks, innumerable oysters, clams, sea slugs[21], crabs, langoustes,
and prawns; there were pigeons, parrots, rails, plovers, ducks, on
most of the smaller islands, and a bewildering abundance of bird
life in New Guinea and the big islands. There was the Bread-fruit
tree, there were bananas, yams, the invaluable coconut--giving
food and a wholesome drink; and in New Zealand, where tropical
products were mostly lacking (though the Maoris introduced sweet
potatoes and taro yams), there was the bracken fern, which from root
stems yielded a palatable substance like that sago which in west
Melanesia and Fiji, as in Malaysia, was an important article of diet.

  [21] Holothurians, a starfish-like creature, called in commerce
  _bêche de mer_.

Yet in spite of an abundant food supply and a genial climate,
these Oceanic peoples suffered a good deal from disease before the
Europeans came. There was leprosy, which was a terrible plague in
some islands; there were various forms of germ fevers introduced
into the blood by mosquitoes; smallpox had come from the west,
spread by the Malays. Mostly these primitive Oceanians led short
lives; and if they were mainly merry and irresponsible, these spells
of light-heartedness, of dancing, immoderate feasting and drinking,
song-singing, lovemaking, gambling, and living the life of mermen
and mermaids in the foaming breakers of a warm sea, alternated
with heart-breaking struggles against the forces of nature, panics
in regard to new diseases, terrors of unseen devils, torturing
sacrifices to malevolent gods, murders, cannibal feasts, poisonings,
and enslavement.

In this description of the condition of man in Oceania I have made
no allusion to Australia and Tasmania, for the reason that the
natives of the southern continent (of which Tasmania recently formed
an outlying peninsula) differed so remarkably from the peoples of
the Malay islands, New Guinea, Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia
(including New Zealand) as to require separate treatment.

The aboriginal Australoids are the most primitive, the least
improved of existing human races: although peculiarly developed
in some points, they are the lowliest form of real mankind known
to us. They were considered at one time to be the descendants of
a brutish but big-brained type, a veritable "ogre" which dwelt in
Europe some hundred thousand years ago: the Man of Neanderthal. But
this impression was wrong; the Australoids more nearly resemble
the less specialised, ancestral human race of Europe. Australia was
originally peopled by two distinct types of men: the Australoids
and the negroid Tasmanians. These last had the curly black hair
and depressed noses of Negroes, though they were also akin to the
Australoids; which last people, except that they are dark-skinned
and brutish-looking, are remarkably like savage white men! They
have head-hair which is neither lank like that of the Mongolian
nor frizzly or tightly curled like the "wool" of Negroes and
Papuans. Unlike the Papuans, moreover, and still more unlike the
smooth-skinned Mongolian and Amerindian, the Australoid has much
hair growing on the face and body, as is often the case among
European and Indian peoples. But they also exhibit a feature present
both in primitive man and in the modern European--an exaggerated
projection of the brows, of the bones of the forehead which shade
the eyes. The stature is not much below the European mean, but the
lower limbs are usually short and rather slender. The forehead
is retreating, the large jaws prominent, and the teeth bigger in
proportion than in other races of modern men.

Considering the great area of the island-continent on which the
Australoids must have lived for many thousand years, there is
considerable uniformity of physical appearance amongst them, and a
general resemblance in the structure and sounds of their languages,
though these last are divisible into two main groups: those of the
north and north-west, and the speech of the remainder of Australia.
In considering their language, to some extent, and still more in
examining their rudimentary arts and religious ideas, it is obvious
that the people of the north-east of Australia have been visited for
centuries by Malays, Papuans, and even Polynesians, yet that none
of these superior races succeeded in getting a permanent foothold.

So far as any sense of shame was concerned, the Australoids of both
sexes went quite naked, or merely wore a girdle round the hips, to
which strings or strips of fur were attached; but in cold weather or
at night they put round their shoulders cloaks made from the skins
of marsupials, skins sewn together after being scraped, softened,
and dressed. Their own bodies they decorated or mutilated in various
ways, such as knocking out two of the upper front teeth, passing a
bone nose pin 5 or 6 inches long through the septum of the nose,
cutting off the end joints of their fingers, and marking the skin of
the upper arm, chest, and belly by terrific scars of raised skin.
This was "cicatrization", so often referred to in describing the
skin decoration of savages, especially the negroes of the Congo
basin. The Australoids did not tatu their bodies (with pin-pricks
and paint) like the Polynesians and Malays. They painted their skins
for warfare or for ceremonial dances with red and yellow ochre,
white and grey clay, and black mineral substances or charcoal. Also
the men would gum to their bodies the white down or fluff of certain
birds and beasts.


(A man of Tongatabu, Tonga Archipelago)]


(From photographs)]

They had no agriculture, and no domestic animals but the Dingo.
This dog they kept as much for eating as for hunting. Although
each tribe occupied a definite area, they had scarcely any settled
homes or permanent villages. They roamed about looking for food,
and living for days, weeks, or months alongside their food supply,
which consisted of the produce of the chase--kangarus, phalangers,
wombats, koalas (tailless phalangers), emus, bustards, swans,
parrots, and pigeons; fish, snakes, lizards, turtles (on the
coast), and shellfish. They ate a good many insects--fat-bodied
moths, beetle grubs, termites (white ants), the pupæ of real ants,
and the larvæ of bees. Honey was, of course, much liked and much
sought after, and from it they made with water a sweet drink which
sometimes became slightly fermented like mead. Their women obtained
from the ground wild yams, truffles, and the roots and tubers of
various plants or the seeds of others. They cooked their food by
broiling, by baking in the ashes, and by the use of hot stones.
Although they did not know tobacco till the Europeans introduced
it, they already possessed the idea of inhaling the smoke of other
dried leaves through a bamboo pipe, and chewed some leaves for their
soothing qualities.

When hard up for food, they occasionally became cannibals, and after
an inter-tribal fight the slain were generally eaten. They had a
vague sense of religion, believed that there was a life after the
grave, that men's spirits mostly went to a land beyond the visible
sky, and sometimes returned again in the bodies of newborn children.
But some of these men--famous chiefs in their day--stopped in the
sky and became gods. There was one principal God, who was sometimes
identified with the creator of all things, and who might be seen
at night time in the form of a very bright star. Much of their
religion was associated with the discipline of the community, and
was manifested in elaborate dances. Nearly every clan or tribe had
"medicine" men--individuals who were learned in the customs and
laws of the tribe, and who had some rough knowledge of medicine and
surgery. Their tribal organization was based on the association
for common purposes of defence of a number of groups, which last
were either united by family ties or formed a brotherhood because
they all inherited or adopted the same "totem"[22] or crest. It
was usually forbidden for a man to marry a woman who belonged to
the same clan or totem group as himself; he must secure a wife from
another coterie. Marriage was actually or generally pretended to be
an affair of capture, though frequently based on a bargain; and the
unwilling young woman was sometimes dragged to her new home by the
hair of her head, or knocked senseless by a club and then hoisted
on to her husband's shoulders. The women, in fact, were very badly
treated, and did all the hard work of the community.

  [22] The "totem" system is explained in my work on the _Pioneers of
  Canada_. The totem was some animal, plant, or natural object chosen
  as the imaginary ancestor or symbol of the clan.

The Australoids when first discovered were a degree or two farther
advanced than the "Eolithic"[23] Tasmanians. They were, in effect,
in a "Palæolithic" stage of culture, similar to that of Europe some
fifty thousand years ago. Their weapons and utensils were made of
wood, stone, and bone. They did not know the bow and arrow, but
used a rather elaborate wooden rest for throwing their spears with
greater force than by the unaided arm. The spearhead was either
of finely pointed hard wood, carved with notched barbs, or it was
a separate piece from the haft and made of stone, bone, or shell,
tied strongly on to the haft, and further fastened by resinous gum.
This gum from the Eucalyptus trees was very useful for attaching the
blades of stone axes and knives to their handles.

  [23] "Neolithic" means the age or stage of highly finished stone
  weapons and implements, "Palæolithic" refers to an earlier period
  when the stones were very roughly shaped, and "Eolithic" means the
  very dawn of culture, when the stones were merely broken fragments,
  not artificially shaped at all.

But the Australoids were specially celebrated for two things: their
"bull-roarers" and their "boomerangs". The bull-roarer was a carved
and flattened piece of wood or stone something in the shape of an
axe blade. At the narrow end of this implement (which had a sacred
character, as it was usually inscribed or painted with the "crest"
or device of the clan's totem) were indentations, to which a piece
of fibre string or strip of hide could be tied. The "churinga" (as
it was called in south-east Australia) was then whirled round and
round in the air till it made a loud booming noise. This the women
were persuaded was the voice of a spirit, and only youths after
their initiation, or full-grown men, were in the secret. [All over
the world of savagery in ancient times, and in the few places where
savages now remain, women have been very easily "gammoned", and have
been made to believe much nonsense which the men invented to scare
them and keep them in submission.]

The boomerang was a wooden throwing stick, very thin and flat, and
curved or crooked in the middle. Although more or less fiat in
surface, it nevertheless had a slight twist, a little like the plane
of a bird's wing. Hurled flat-wise through the air it was a very
effective weapon; and some kinds, if they did not hit the object
aimed at, would return and fall near the place from which they
had been thrown. But both boomerang and bull-roarer, though they
seemed very novel and unusual to the early pioneers in Australian
discovery, were really not peculiar to this savage people. They have
existed in many parts of Negro Africa, and even anciently in Europe,
India, and in Egypt.

The houses of the Australoids were rough shelters of sticks, fronds,
and grass. In warm weather the natives did not bother to put up
huts, but slept with their feet towards the fire and their heads
against a low wind screen of boughs and grass. The aborigines of
Australia had some gift for painting and drawing objects, and had
even invented a rough alphabet of symbolic signs or primitive
writing, with which they marked their "message sticks" or churingas.
These message sticks, in fact, were the germ of letters.

Finally, it might be mentioned that, even when first discovered,
Australia--an island continent of 2,946,691 square miles--was very
sparsely inhabited, and the bulk of the population was confined
to the districts near the seacoast. If there are, as is sometimes
computed, one hundred thousand aborigines still living in Australia
at the present day, there were probably not more than double that
number a hundred years ago. They did much to limit their own
increase by killing or abandoning their children; they were often
engaged in civil wars; in times of scarcity they turned cannibal.
What, however, is so remarkable about this isolated people is their
having gone on living with very little change or improvement in
the life which was that of our ancestors fifty thousand years ago.
While the races of Europe and northern Asia have tried so many
experiments, have achieved so many conquests over nature, have had
such a marvellous insight into the workings of the universe--have,
in fact, for ten thousand years or so, been leading the lives of
demigods, the Tasmanians and the Australoids have been content
just with the day's provision of food, a fairly dry sleeping place
at night, a little fighting and dancing, lovemaking of a more or
less brutal kind, and a span of life which, owing to its excessive
hardships and the callous if not cruel treatment of the men and
women past their prime, was seldom more than fifty years. They have,
it is true, seen God in the stars, and they have felt like us the
tragedy of death and the hope of a resurrection; but, unlike us
(their far-off cousins, whose "Tasmanian" and "Australoid" ancestors
stayed in Europe), they achieved no conquest over nature, their
lives were scarcely better than the lives of beasts.

The Tasmanians shared some of the physical features of the
Australoids. Like them they were dark-skinned--a very dark
brown--and of brutish appearance, especially in the women. The
men were usually better looking than the females, but both alike
represented perhaps the lowest type of humanity which has been known
to scientific men in a living state--for they just lived long enough
to be photographed. The Tasmanians were distinctly more negroid than
the Australoids. They were of medium height. The nose was broader,
shorter, and more depressed than that of the Australoid, and the
hair inclined to be tightly curled. They looked, in fact, with their
long and large upper lips, their receding chins, projecting brows
and jaws, big teeth, woolly hair, small, deepset eyes, and hairy
faces and bodies (even the women had slight whiskers) like the most
primitive form of _Homo sapiens_, and the joint ancestor of the
Negro and the European.

Probably they entered north-eastern Australia at a very remote
period, and were pushed down by the succeeding Australoids into the
south-easternmost extremity of the continent--first the peninsula,
then later the island of Tasmania. They were then (and they
remained) in the lowest stage of human culture, like the Negritos
or pigmy Negroes of Malaysia and Africa. They had no dwelling good
enough to be called a hut: merely a circle of sticks stuck in the
ground with their points converging. On to the top of these bent
wands was thrown a mass of fern or grass, which made a rough thatch.
Or the savages contented themselves in fine weather with a mere wind
shelter of branches and bark strips. Whenever there was a cave or
a cranny in the rocks handy to their hunting ground, they lived in
that. They had no agriculture and no domestic animals, not even the
Dingo or semi-wild dog of Australia. They lived much on shellfish,
on the cray-fish of the streams, and the flesh of kangarus and other
marsupial beasts, and such birds as they could bring down with
their throwing sticks; though they also ate roots, fungi, fruits,
gum, and the sweet sap of certain trees. This even they sometimes
allowed to collect in hollows at the base of the trunk till it
became slightly fermented. Their method of cooking was by broiling
over a fire or placing the dead beast to cook in its skin in the hot
ashes. Their only weapons and implements were heavy stones used as
hammers; flaked stones--big chunks of sand-stone with sharp edges,
held in the hand as scrapers or choppers; long stakes, their points
sharpened and hardened by being charred in the fire, and their stems
straightened by heat and pressure; stems of small trees fashioned
into rough clubs; and short, straight, thin but heavy sticks used as
missile weapons for hurling at birds or small mammals.

Their language was never properly written down by the Europeans.
It is described as being full of rough sounds and not possessing
a great number of words, but we really know very little on the
subject. They were without any sense of shame, and if they wore any
clothing it was for warmth or ornament. As a matter of fact, it was
limited in the men to strips of kangaru hide tied round the neck or
ankle, and other pieces of hide which were fastened round the legs
like gaiters when travelling through thorny bush country. The women
tied an undressed kangaru skin round the neck and waist, in which
they carried their babies. Both sexes wore necklaces of shells,
flowers, or seeds; and the men decorated their hair with kangaru
teeth. The bodies--especially of the men--were anointed with kangaru
fat and coloured with red ochre, and this red dust and fat were also
rubbed into the hair and beard.

They had no religion, other than a vague belief in a life after the
death of the body. Yet they were not cannibals, as was the case
with the Australoids and the Oceanians; and they treated their
women better than did the brutal Australoids. But their tribes or
clans were constantly at war with one another, and this fact rather
than any scarcity of food was the cause of their being in small
numbers after many thousands of years of settlement in this large
and fertile island. At the end of the eighteenth century--when
Tasmania was first explored by Europeans--it was estimated that
the aborigines numbered a total of between six and seven thousand.
Between 1800 and 1830 they were reduced to only two hundred by
warfare with the invading English settlers, by murder, by the
effects of alcohol, and the spread of European diseases. After 1830
the two hundred gradually died out, till in 1876 the last of the old
Tasmanian race expired.


Spanish and Portuguese Explorers lead the Way to the Pacific Ocean

It is remarkable what a bait to the European in discovery have
been both spices and strong perfumes, once so popular in cookery
and in the toilette. The Romans and Greeks were drawn through
Egypt to the Indian trade by the pepper and cinnamon of India and
Ceylon, by the sweet-smelling woods and gums of India and Further
India--sandalwood, eaglewood, benzoin, storax, dragon's blood
from the Calamus palm, rasamala--the resin from a liquid-amber
tree of Java. It was to reach pepper-and-spice-producing regions
that the Portuguese (and after them the English) were drawn into
the exploration of the Guinea coast; and that the Portuguese felt
impelled to circumnavigate Africa, so as to gain unfettered access
to the commerce of India. The search for an Atlantic route to India
and China impelled Spaniards and English, under Genoese and Venetian
leadership, to discover Tropical and North America. And having
reached India, Ceylon, Sumatra and Malacca, the Portuguese found
that the most precious of all spices (cloves and nutmeg) still lay
in undiscovered regions to the East--the Maluk or Muluk Islands,
as they were called by Arab seamen: a name afterwards corrupted to

When Malacca on the Malay peninsula had been conquered by the
Portuguese, the great viceroy Albuquerque dispatched in the same
year, 1511, one of his boldest captains--ANTONIO DE ABREU--to
search for the Molucca and the Banda Islands, whence the Malay
ships brought cloves and nutmegs. De Abreu touched at Java and the
Sunda Islands and reached first Amboina, a small island off the
south-west coast of Ceram; then passed on northwards till he again
anchored off Ternate, one of the smallest of the five small Spice
Islands lying close to the west coast of the big island of Jilolo.
Here he found the clove trees growing, and probably met Chinese
junks trading in cloves: for the Chinese had for several previous
centuries been accustomed to travel as far afield as Papuasia in
their quest of spices and perfumes. In 1512 de Abreu discovered the
little Banda archipelago, lying in the open sea to the south of
Ceram, and consisting of twelve islets, all very small, and one of
them containing a terrific volcano, Gunong Api--which occasionally
becomes active and devastates the neighbourhood of its cone. Just as
the original "Moluccas"[24] were five very small islands (Ternate,
Tidore, Mare, Mutir, and Makian), off the coast of Jilolo, and were
the only places, in those days (besides the not-far-distant island
of Bachian), where the right kind of clove tree grew; so the Banda
Islands--only 17 square miles in area altogether--were the only home
of the proper nutmeg, though inferior nutmegs grew on some of the
other islets off the coast of Ceram and the west end of New Guinea.

  [24] The geographical term, Moluccas, now includes the very large
  island of Jilolo, Bachian, Buru, Ceram, &c.

Cloves nowadays are cultivated on other equatorial islands far away
from eastern Malaysia; but in the sixteenth century they were only
to be obtained from the Moluccas. The clove tree is a member of the
great Myrtle family, and belongs to the genus _Eugenia_. It grows
in favourable places to a height of 40 feet, bears a rich evergreen
foliage of large oval leaves, and clusters of long, slender crimson
flowers growing at the extremity of the twigs. These flowers have
their petals concealed in the centre of the calyx opening, but the
sepals (false petals or petal-like leaves which often precede the
real petals in flowers) stick out in four projections round the
mouth of the calyx. These tubular flowers, with their four short
sepals at the ends, are in fact the cloves of commerce. They are
gathered when ripe, and are a bright crimson in colour, afterwards
turning brown or black. The nutmeg (the name is a mixture of English
and old French and means musk nut) is the fruit of a tree with the
Latin name of Myristica, which has a natural order all to itself,
_Myristicaceæ_. It is evergreen, grows to about 50 feet in height
in the Banda Islands, and bears male and female flowers without
petals, that are green in colour and inconspicuous. The female
flowers produce a quince-like downy fruit, which when mature and dry
splits and reveals inside a walnut-like nut surrounded by a network
of crimson fibre. This fibre is as precious as the actual kernel or
nut, for it is the spice known as mace, quite distinct in flavour
and use from the actual nutmeg. This last is, of course, the kernel
of the hard-shelled nut which is surrounded by the crimson fibre of
the mace, and the outer husk of the pear-like fruit.

The Portuguese--to put it vulgarly--soon knew they had got hold
of a good thing in these small islands of clove and nutmeg trees.
They established themselves more or less as the rulers of the
Moluccas, with their headquarters at Ternate. But they treated the
Malay subjects badly, and these were soon on the lookout for the
arrival of other foreigners whom they could play off against the
Portuguese. Yet for some ten years the Portuguese had no rivals in
Malaysia. Their conquests and discoveries spread far and wide. They
entered into relations with Celebes, reached the Island of Mindanao
(the southernmost of the Philippines), and even passed out into
the open Pacific, and sighted the Caroline islands of Micronesia.
They seem also to have been the first to discover the western
promontories of New Guinea, the Island of Timor, and to have had
news of a continental territory to the south--Australia--all of
which information soon afterwards reached the Spaniards, who put it
to practical use.

Among the Portuguese, who thus became acquainted with the Spice
Islands of eastern Malaysia, was Fernão de Magalhaẽs--stupidly
miscalled, in English literature, MAGELLAN. His earlier story has
already been told in a previous volume of this series.[25] Having
been very badly treated by the King of Portugal, Magellan and
several of his friends and relations passed over into the service
of the united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, which were about
to become the great kingdom of Spain. It will be remembered by
the reader that, in 1494, the King of Portugal and the King and
Queen of Aragon-Castile, to avoid quarrelling about the marvellous
discoveries their adventurers were making, had concluded the Treaty
of Tordesillas under the auspices of the Pope, a treaty which
practically divided between these kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula
all the non-Christian world outside Europe and the Turkish Empire.
Their boundaries were a meridian of longitude running from pole to
pole, and cutting the globe into two divisions. The meridian was
fixed at a distance of 1110 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands,
and more or less coincident with the fiftieth degree of longitude
west of Greenwich. Consequently, in the west it gave Portugal the
Brazilian part of the South American continent; while on the other
side of the globe the corresponding meridian (130° E. of Greenwich)
cut off the Portuguese from entering into possession of all
Australasia, and afforded Spain the pretext of attempting to reach
Malaysia from the east (across the Pacific), and thus of laying
claim to the Spice Islands which might be found to lie outside the
Portuguese sphere. [As a matter of fact, when the longitude was
correctly calculated, both Philippines and Moluccas lay in the
Portuguese domain.] The great Spanish adventurer, Nuñez de Balboa,
had in 1513, "from a peak in Darien" near the isthmus of Panama,
sighted the Pacific Ocean, which the Spaniards at first called the
Southern Sea. The Portuguese realization of the wide ocean which
lay to the east of Malaysia, combined with the news that Central
America had on the western side of it an ocean at least as vast as
the Atlantic, decided Magellan to propose to the new ruler of Spain,
the Emperor Charles V, the great project of finding a way round--or
a strait through--South America, and the complete fulfilment of the
original plan of Columbus--the reaching of the Indies by a western
route across the Atlantic. His proposals were accepted, and he was
given, in 1518, command over a little fleet of five ships,[26]
the largest of which (the _San Antonio_) was only 120 tons in
capacity and the smallest 75 tons. He left Spain on September 21,
1519, to search for this passage round or through South America
to the Southern Sea. His expedition included 190 Spaniards, and a
number of Portuguese, Genoese, and other Italians--including the
famous Lombard geographer of those days, ANTONIO PIGAFETTA--several
Frenchmen and Flemings, one Englishman (named Andres, a gunner from
Bristol), and one or two German gunners or artillerymen. The first
account given to the world of this first-recorded circumnavigation
of the globe was written by the accomplished Antonio Pigafetta, who
accompanied Magellan from mere love of knowledge, and was one of the
few who actually returned to Spain after voyaging right round the

  [25] _Pioneers in India, &c._

  [26] The _San Antonio_ (which deserted the expedition in South
  America), the _Trinidad_ (after a fruitless voyage out into the
  Pacific and back to the Moluccas, seized and dismantled by the
  Portuguese), the _Santiago_ (lost on the coast of Patagonia), the
  _Conception_ (broken up in the Philippines), and the _Victoria_,
  which ultimately returned to Seville in 1522.

Magellan explored the east coast of South America for an opening
which should lead into the other sea. At first he thought he had
found it in the estuary of the Rio de la Plata, but as soon as he
noticed the water was fresh he continued southward along the coast
of Patagonia, spending five months in that region to rest ships
and men, and quelling a dangerous mutiny, till at last he found a
likely opening between the mountains of Patagonia and the snowclad
peaks of Tierra del Fuego. He had already lost the smallest of his
ships on the Patagonian coast, and in the Straits of Magellan the
_San Antonio_ deserted and sailed back to Spain; but the crews of
the others remained faithful to Magellan after their captains had
taken anxious counsel together. At length these three little vessels
rounded "Cape Deseado"--the desired Cape--and found themselves
within sight of a mighty ocean at the end of November, 1520; an
ocean which seemed so calm after the stormy Atlantic that Magellan
called it the "Pacific Sea".

After emerging into the Pacific Ocean, Magellan's three ships
voyaged for ninety-six days without stopping at any land, and the
crews went for no days (from the Straits of Magellan to the Ladrone
Islands) without getting any kind of fresh food. "We ate", wrote
Antonio Pigafetta, "biscuit which was no longer biscuit, but powder
of biscuits swarming with worms and stinking terribly because it
had been befouled by rats. We drank yellow water which had been
putrid for many days. We also ate ox hides that covered the top of
the mainyard to prevent the mast from chafing the shrouds, which
had become exceedingly hard because of its exposure to sun, rain,
and wind. These pieces of hide were soaked in sea water for four
or five days and then placed for a few minutes on top of glowing
charcoal and afterwards eaten." But in their hunger the men often
ate sawdust, and as to the rats that were caught, they were sold
at a high price. Scurvy soon broke out, and the gums of the men's
jaws swelled so that some could not eat at all, and therefore died
of starvation--nineteen in all, amongst them a giant Patagonian
captured in South America to be carried back to Spain. And thus they
sailed some 12,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. "Truly it was
very pacific," wrote Pigafetta, "for during that time we suffered
no storm. We saw no land except two desert islands on which were
found nothing but birds and trees." The water round them swarmed
with sharks. But that they were favoured with such good weather,
and sailed a steady 180 to 210 miles a day, they "would all have
died of hunger in that exceeding vast sea". But Magellan held on
with a tenacity which leaves Columbus behind in resolution, for
Columbus reached land on his first voyage after only thirty-six days
of anxious expectancy, whereas it was the ninety-seventh day of
Magellan's long agony before a land was reached which was likely to
be of use as a place of refreshment.

They noted that the skies in this Southern Hemisphere were not so
full of stars as in the North, but they also observed the splendid
Southern Cross with five bright stars pointing straight towards the
west. They passed not far from the Marquezas Islands. Apparently
the only land they sighted on their way across the Pacific, except
the small islands frequented by birds, was St. Paul Island, of the
Paumotu group, and perhaps Malden Island. Magellan's voyage, amongst
other things, was remarkable for what he missed quite as much as for
what he attained. It is wonderful to think that he sailed across the
Pacific from the coast of Chili to Guam, which is well within the
Asiatic region, and only sighted land four times, and then only in
the form of small and desert islands. His chiefest desire, however,
was to get out of stormy latitudes into the peaceful equatorial
belt, and to reach as quickly as possible the comparative security
of the known, not liking to trust the fate of his crews to unknown
lands which might be without good supplies of fresh water and
food, and be peopled by savages incapable of understanding them.
For it must be remembered that his previous experience had given
him a great deal of insight into the islands of Malaysia, and he
had managed to obtain from Sumatra before he started on this great
voyage an interpreter named Henrique, who spoke Malay as his native

On the 6th March, 1521, the Spaniards sighted three islands, of
which one was higher and larger than the other two. Off this the
next day they came to a stop. It was afterwards known as the Island
of Guam. The inhabitants, without any fear, boarded the ships and
stole whatever they could lay their hands on, even wrenching off
and carrying away the small boat that was fastened to the poop of
the flagship. Thereupon Magellan in great anger went ashore with
forty armed men, burnt many houses and canoes, and killed seven
of the natives. He recovered his small boat and the expedition
immediately sailed away. Yet so terrible was the craving for fresh
food on board that when the sick men, dying of scurvy, realized that
the armed party were going on shore, they begged them to bring back
the entrails of any man or woman they might kill, the eating of
which these poor mad sailors believed would restore them to health!

It is noteworthy that the Spaniards when they landed fought with
crossbows and arrows, which were in those days much more effective
weapons than the guns of the period. The Micronesian people they met
on the Island of Guam they described as going naked, many of the men
being bearded and having black hair that reached to the waist. They
wore small palm-leaf hats, were as tall as the Spaniards, well-built
and of tawny skin, with teeth turned red and black by the chewing
of betel. The women, who were good-looking, delicately formed, and
much lighter in complexion than the men, had black hair which was
worn loose and reached almost to the ground. The women did not work
in the fields but stayed at home, weaving mats and baskets from
palm leaves. The mats were beautifully made and used to decorate
the walls and the floors of their houses. They slept on palm straw,
which was soft and fine. Their houses were built of planks and
thatched with banana fronds. The food of the people was chiefly
coconuts, sweet potatoes, fowls, bananas (really long plantains 1
foot in length), sugar cane, and flying-fish. The chief amusement
of both men and women was to plough the seas with their small boats,
which were usually painted black, white, or red. Pigafetta describes
the outriggers, and says the sails were made of palm leaves.[27]
Having no fixed rudder, but only using a long paddle for such a
purpose, and the boats being sharp at both ends, they could be sent
backwards or forwards without turning round.[28]

  [27] Magellan first gave to the Ladrone Islands the name of Islands
  of Sails, on account of the many vessels with sails which he
  observed in that neighbourhood, showing how firmly established among
  the Polynesians and Micronesians was the use of the sail in their
  navigation, a fact which explains the success of their voyages over
  enormous sea distances.

  [28] They were similar to the prahus or praus of Malaysia, which
  did not turn round, but sailed backwards and forwards, the sharp
  stem being exactly like the sharp stern. Most of the prahus had
  outriggers, and in all the leeside of the vessel was flat and
  perpendicular while the weatherside was rounded. The mast carried a
  large triangular-shaped sail.

At dawn on 16 March, 1521, the expedition sighted high land. This
was the Island of Samar, on the eastern side of the Philippine

Magellan's first thought was for his sick men, and to give them
some chance of recovering he landed them on an uninhabited islet,
put up tents there, and had a pig killed to provide fresh meat. Two
days afterwards they saw a boat coming towards them and nine men
in it. These were very different from the wild-natured barbarians
of Guam. They were evidently familiar with the idea of white men
and white men's ships, being of course Malays. They were described
by Pigafetta as "reasonable men". Presents were exchanged, the
Spaniards giving red caps, mirrors, combs, bells, ivory, and cotton
cloths of Turkish manufacture. The Philippine Islanders offered
fish, a jar of palm wine, a few coconuts, and bunches of long
bananas. They promised further supplies of fresh food in a few days,
but in the meantime the coconuts seemed to the Spaniards perfectly
delicious, and Pigafetta wrote a long description of the tree and
its many useful products, and of the nuts with their rich pulp and
pleasant-tasting milk.

The name of St. Lazarus, because of the saint's day on which
they were first discovered, was given to the islands of this
archipelago.[29] The people encountered in the coast regions of
these western and southern Philippine Islands do not seem to have
been negritos or little negroes like those of the great Island of
Luzon, but all more or less of the Malayan-Mongolian stock. They had
very black straight hair which fell to the waist; went nearly naked
except for cloths round the waist--but some of these cloths were
beautifully embroidered; and in the waistbelt the men thrust large
daggers ornamented with gold.

  [29] They were not called the Philippines until 1543, or thereabouts.

The expedition passed on between the islands of Samar, Leyte, and
Mindanao, and came to anchor off a small island named Masawa, now
not easily identified, but apparently between Leyte and Bohol,
arriving there on 7 April. The ruler of this islet, whom they
referred to as "the king", received them with some wonderment but
great friendliness, and expressed a wish to enter into brotherhood
with Magellan. The king understood the Malay spoken by the
interpreter on board, for, says Pigafetta, the kings of these
districts knew more languages than the common people. He presented
Magellan with a basketful of ginger and a large bar of gold, which
for some reason or other the great Portuguese would not accept.
The next day, Good Friday, the king came on board Magellan's ship,
embraced him, and gave him three porcelain jars full of raw rice,
two very large fish, and other things. He received in exchange a
Turkish dress and a fine red cap, while to his courtiers were given
knives and mirrors. The king and Magellan made brotherhood together.
In order to impress him, Magellan had one of his men put into
complete armour, and then placed this man in a group of three men
armed with swords and daggers, who forthwith struck him in all parts
of his body, but of course did him no harm; "thereby the king was
rendered almost speechless". Magellan went on to impress the monarch
with the fact that one of these armed men was worth a hundred naked
savages, and as there were 200 men in the ships armed with this
steel armour from head to foot, the expedition was invincible.

Magellan, and amongst other people Pigafetta, went on shore to
return the visit. They were received by the king on the stern deck
of a very large prau or native vessel[30] (about 70 feet long).
Here pork was brought to them, together with jars filled with palm
wine. Although it was Good Friday, they were obliged to sink their
religious scruples and feast with the king. Pigafetta then applied
himself to writing down a vocabulary in their language, with which
feat the natives were greatly astonished. Later on, when it was time
for the evening meal, two large porcelain dishes were brought, one
containing rice and the other pork and gravy. After this meal was
consumed the party of Europeans went to the king's palace, which was
raised up high from the ground on huge posts of wood, so that it
was necessary to ascend to it by means of ladders. There more food
was brought, a roast fish cut in pieces and freshly gathered ginger
and palm wine. As it grew dark, lights were furnished, a kind of
candle made of resin wrapped in palm or banana leaves. All the party
went to sleep where they were, and when day dawned Pigafetta and the
Spaniards returned to the ship.

  [30] See p. 97.

He relates that pieces of gold of the size of walnuts and eggs were
found by sifting the earth in the island of Masawa. All the dishes
of the king were of gold, and also some part of his furniture. The
king is described as being a fine-looking man, with glossy black
hair hanging down to his shoulders, a covering of silk on his head,
two large golden ear-rings, and a cotton cloth embroidered with
silk covering him from the waist to the knees. At his side hung
a dagger, the haft of which was of gold. Moreover, this king had
anticipated American fashions, and had three plugs of gold let into
each front tooth, while gold seems also to have been rammed in
between the teeth. He was perfumed with storax and benzoin, and his
skin was tatued all over. A brother king was apparently chief of the
northern part of the great Island of Mindanao, lying to the south.
On Easter Sunday Magellan decided to land with his chaplain and
have Mass celebrated on shore. He came with fifty men unarmed and
dressed in their best clothes. The two kings of Masawa and Mindanao
embraced Magellan and were placed with him in the procession.
Before the commencement of Mass Magellan sprinkled their bodies
with musk water. Apparently at that time all these Malay people of
the eastern Philippines were pagans, and had not been converted to
Muhammadanism.[31] They were favourably impressed with their first
experience of Christianity, and eagerly took part in the service
of the mass. They exactly imitated all the Spaniards did, kissing
the cross and remaining on their knees with clasped hands at the
elevation of the Host.

  [31] They told Magellan that they worshipped nothing, but that they
  believed in a god called Abba, who lived in the sky, and to him they
  raised their faces and their clasped hands when anxious to appeal to

When Mass was over, Magellan arranged a fencing tournament, at which
the kings were greatly pleased.

Magellan, becoming very friendly with the King of Masawa, asked if
he had any enemies whom he wished to be destroyed. The king replied
that there was indeed one island hostile to his rule.

After a cruise round the islands in the centre of the
archipelago--in the course of which they killed a very large
fruit-bat, "as big as an eagle", and ate it, finding it to resemble
chicken in taste; and also observed the mound-building megapodes
(see p. 30)--they reached the important Island of Sebu or Zubu
(Cebu). Here the king of the island asked them to pay tribute,
and pointed out a ship which had just arrived from Siam to fetch
gold and slaves, but which had paid tribute or customs duties to
him. But Magellan, through his interpreter, caused the king to be
told that he was the captain of so great a monarch that he did not
pay tribute to any other prince in the world; that if he wished
peace he could have peace, but that otherwise the Spaniards were
quite ready for war. The interpreter went on to point out that the
employer of Magellan was the great Emperor of the Christians and
the King of Spain, a much more powerful monarch than the King of
Portugal, though this last had conquered all the coast of India.
After consideration, the king decided to make blood brotherhood with
Magellan, and even desired to know if he should pay tribute to the
Spaniards. Magellan replied, No; it was sufficient that he should
give them liberty to trade. Magellan, in his conversations with
the notabilities, impressed on them the importance of the Christian
religion, promising them if they became Christians they would have
perpetual peace with the King of Spain.

Pigafetta accompanied Magellan and his party on shore to visit
the King of Sebu. They found this prince in his palace surrounded
by many people. He was seated on a palm mat on the ground, an
embroidered scarf round his head, and nothing but a cotton cloth
about his waist, in order, no doubt, that his elaborately tatued
skin might be duly exhibited. He wore, however, a necklace of great
value and two large gold ear-rings set with precious stones. In
person he was fat and short. At the time the visit took place he was
eating turtles' eggs out of porcelain dishes, and had four jars full
of palm wine in front of him, covered with sweet-smelling herbs and
arranged each with a small reed in the jar, through which he sucked
up the palm wine. The Spaniards, whilst joining him in his feast
of turtles' eggs and palm wine, renewed their exhortations to him
to adopt the Christian religion. He put the question aside for the
time whilst he treated them to a concert at which four young girls
played on instruments like gongs, "so harmoniously that one would
believe they possessed a good musical sense". They were nearly as
white skinned as Europeans, and as beautiful, with long black hair.
The gongs were made of brass, and apparently came from China. They
were, in fact, very like the musical dinner gongs from Japan so much
in vogue at the present day.

The king decided to adopt Christianity as his religion, but he
complained that some of his chiefs did not wish to follow his
example. However, they yielded apparently to Magellan's arguments
and agreed to the setting up of a cross. On 14 April, at a
ceremonial arranged with great splendour by the Spaniards, the King
of Sebu was baptized and given the name of Don Carlos, after the
Emperor Charles V. The heir apparent was called Don Fernando, the
friendly King of Masawa was named Juan, and all the leading chiefs
and notabilities, to the number of 500, were similarly baptized and
given Christian names. In the evening the chaplain of the fleet went
ashore and baptized the queen[32] and forty of her women. In all,
the Spaniards baptized 800 Filipinos. One village on an islet, which
refused baptism for its people, was burnt to the ground.

  [32] The queen was young and beautiful, and entirely covered with a
  white and black cloth. Her mouth and nails were stained very red,
  while on her head she wore a large hat of palm leaves, like a tiara.

On the following day the queen came with great pomp to hear Mass.
Three girls preceded her, carrying other specimens of her tiara hats
in their hands. The women who accompanied her were nearly naked, the
queen herself being again dressed in black and white, with a large
silk scarf crossed with gold stripes. Having made due reverence to
the altar she seated herself on a silk embroidered cushion. Magellan
then arose, and before the commencement of the Mass sprayed her and
her women with rose-water.

In spite of the natives telling Magellan at first that they
worshipped nothing but a god in the sky, they seem to have had a
number of fetishes to which they paid reverence, especially when
pleading for recovery from sickness. These idols were mostly made
of wood, were hollow, and were probably representations of wild
boars. Magellan incited the people to the destruction of their
idols in order that their conversion to Christianity might be better
affirmed. This they did, crying out: "Castilla, Castilla!" as they
threw the idols and the meat consecrated to them into the flames.

The islet on which a village had been burnt as punishment for
its refusing Christianity was called Maktan, and towards the end
of April the chief of Maktan sent messengers to Magellan with a
present of two goats, and a request that he would send soldiers to
assist him in fighting another chief on the islet who had refused
allegiance to the King of Spain. Magellan decided to go himself with
three boatloads of soldiers. Many of his officers entreated him not
to take such a risk, but he persisted, and reached Maktan three
hours before dawn with sixty armed men. He then sent messengers to
the refractory chief, calling on him to recognize the King of Sebu
as his immediate sovereign, and to give in his allegiance to the
Crown of Spain and pay the Spaniards tribute. The natives sent back
a warlike message. The Spaniards advanced, but found the people had
dug pit-holes before their houses in order that they might fall
into them. In the village the Spaniards were attacked by about
1500 people, who charged down on them with shouts and cries. The
musketeers and the crossbowmen discharged their pieces with little
effect on natives who leapt hither and thither incessantly, and
covered themselves nimbly with their shields, while at the same
time they shot so many arrows and iron-tipped bamboo spears at the
Spaniards (besides pointed stakes hardened with fire, stones, and
mud) that Magellan and his sixty soldiers despite their armour were
overwhelmed. Eight of the soldiers were killed, and Magellan was
shot in the leg with a poisoned arrow. [The steel armour of which
Magellan boasted seems to have been of little avail.] The order to
retreat was given, and as the small party waded back through the
water to the boats Magellan was killed by the impetuous assault of
the natives, who hurled themselves upon him and practically cut
him to pieces. He fought long for his life, and ever and again
turned his face seaward, to assure himself that his men were safely
retreating to their boats. Some of the Spaniards, it is true, stayed
to see what was happening to their captain, but their defence of him
seems to have been half-hearted, and as soon as he was down they
made the best of their way to the boats.

The King of Sebu is said to have wept on hearing of the death of
Magellan (on 27 April, 1521). Nevertheless, this death changed very
considerably the attitude of the king and his chiefs towards the
Spaniards. It was now realized that the armoured Europeans were
mortal like the Filipinos, and could be killed in battle. Therefore
a plot was laid to get rid of them altogether, a plot apparently
instigated by the Sumatra interpreter already referred to, who was
a slave and wished to regain his liberty. By means of fair words,
invitations to a banquet, and promises of a present of jewels for
the King of Spain, the King of Sebu lured on shore twenty-four
Spaniards, including "an astrologer" and the commanders of three
of the ships.[33] Pigafetta, fortunately for our records of this
voyage, could not go, as he was suffering from the wound of a
poisoned arrow in his face. The Spaniards, soon after they landed,
were set upon by the natives, and all of them killed except the
Malay interpreter. One commander, Juan Serrano, was seen running
down to the beach nearly naked and wounded, and crying out to the
Spaniards not to fire any more, as he too would be killed. He then
told them how the others had been massacred, and begged that he
might be redeemed with merchandise. He made a special appeal to his
boon companion, the pilot Joam Carvalho, but the latter would not
run the risk of sending any boat on shore, and poor Serrano was
left weeping on the strand and probably soon shared the fate of his

  [33] One of these was the celebrated Duarte Barbosa, commander of
  the _Trinidad_, whose book on his travels in India and Further India
  is much quoted by me in _Pioneers in India_, &c.

Off one of the islands near Sebu the survivors of Magellan's
expedition decided to burn the ship _Concepcion_, as too few men
were left to work it. There then remained 115 men for the working
of the two remaining ships of the squadron, the _Trinidad_ and
the _Victoria_. These two vessels forthwith sailed to the Island
of Panglao (off Bohol) where they noticed that the natives were
black-skinned and like negroes. Thence they passed to the large
southern island of Mindanao, whose principal chief at once made
friends with them. The abundance of gold in the possession of the
natives of Mindanao was duly noted. From Mindanao the expedition
sailed to the little Kagayan islands in the Sulu Sea, where the
people had blowpipes with tiny poisoned arrows, daggers with their
hafts adorned with gold and precious stones, and wore armour made
of buffalo hide. They were more or less Muhammadans, but called
the Spaniards "holy beings". The two ships next visited the long
island of Palawan, which seemed to their crews the Land of Promise,
because they had suffered great hunger before they found it, and
were even on the point of abandoning their ships and going on shore
that they might not be consumed with famine. Fortunately the king of
this country made peace with them quickly. After slashing himself
slightly in the breast with a Spanish knife, and touching the tip
of his tongue with it in token of truest peace, he invited them
to do the same. His people went naked, but they cultivated the
fields carefully. They were well armed with blowpipes and thick
wooden arrows tipped with fish bones and bamboo, and poisoned. They
possessed very remarkable poultry, large and very tame, which were
regarded with such veneration that they were seldom eaten, the cocks
being kept for fighting with one another. These Palawan people
distilled a wine or spirit from rice, which was very strong. They
possessed goats and pigs as well as fowls, and grew quantities of
rice, ginger, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, bananas, and different
kinds of edible roots. Passing from Palawan to the coast of North
Borneo, and stopping off the town of Brunei, the expedition was
greeted at one place by a chief who sent to meet the Spanish ships
a very beautiful prau, the bow and stern of which were illuminated
with gold, while it hoisted a white and blue banner surmounted
with peacocks' feathers. This prau contained a band of musicians
and eight old men who were chiefs. These came on board the Spanish
ships and took seats on a carpet, presenting the Spaniards with
a painted wooden jar full of betel paste, jasmine, and orange
blossoms, a covering of yellow silk cloth, two cages full of fowls,
a couple of goats, three jars of arrack (rice spirit), and bundles
of sugar cane. They gave some presents to the other ships, and,
after embracing the Spaniards, took their leave. Six days later the
king of this district sent three more praus with great pomp, which
encircled the ships whilst bands of music were played and drums
beaten. Amongst the food given to the Spaniards were "tarts made of
eggs and honey". The king and queen of this region--the sultanate
of Brunei--were sent green velvet robes, violet velvet chairs, a
good many yards of red cloth, writing-books of paper and a gilded
writing-case, needlecases, drinking-glasses, and caps.

The Spaniards, being invited to land, dispatched a party on shore,
who found elephants awaiting them, on which they rode to the house
of the governor of the port, where they slept on beds with cotton
mattresses and cotton sheets, and had an excellent supper. The next
day elephants were supplied to bring them to the king's palace,
where they found 300 foot soldiers with naked swords guarding the
king. A brocade curtain was drawn aside from a large window, and
through it they could see the Sultan of Brunei seated at a table
chewing betel. They were told they could not speak to the king, but
they could send their message through his courtiers. One of these
would communicate it to the brother of the governor, and this man
would send it by means of a speaking-tube through a hole in the wall
to another official who was in the king's chamber. They were taught
to make three obeisances to the king with their hands clasped above
their heads, raising first one foot and then the other, and then
kissing their hands towards him.

The king was graciously pleased from a distance to reply to their
greetings, that since the King of Spain desired to be his friend
he was willing that they should have food and water and permission
to trade. After they had returned to the governor's house nine
men arrived from the king carrying a splendid repast on large
wooden trays. Each tray contained ten or twelve porcelain dishes
full of veal, chickens, peacocks, and fish, in all thirty-two
different kinds of meat, besides fish and vegetables. After each
mouthful of food the visitors drank a small cupful of rice spirit
and ate sweetmeats with gold spoons. During the night their
sleeping quarters were lit with torches of white wax in tall silver
candlesticks, and also with oil lamps, each containing four wicks.
Two men sat by each lamp to snuff it continually during the night.
They were sent back the next morning on elephants to the seashore,
while native vessels conveyed them back to the ship.

The town of Brunei (now a miserable place) was a water city like
Venice, the houses being raised on poles rammed into the mud. The
king was a Muhammadan, and, as can be seen, his state enjoyed a very
large measure of Eastern civilization, derived from traffic with the
Arabs, from ancient Indian influence, and from direct trade with

A few days later, however, the Spaniards took fright at the approach
of a fleet of a hundred praus, cut their cables and hoisted their
sails. They were pursued by one or two of the native boats, but they
soon beat these off with their guns. In attacking these vessels
they captured a number of prisoners, some of whom they released;
retaining, however, nineteen Malays (three of them women) for the
purpose of taking them to Spain.[34]

  [34] Some of these (including the women) were set free in the
  Moluccas, others died on the voyage, but a few actually did reach
  Seville, and with one exception, after being carefully instructed
  in Christianity and the Spanish language, were sent back to the
  Philippines in 1527. The exception was a Malay who showed himself
  so extraordinarily clever about money matters and trade that the
  Spaniards feared if he returned to the Far East he might be a little
  too knowing in appraising the value of European trade goods. So he
  apparently ended his days in Spain.

As to the Malay junks or ships with which they had now come into
contact, Pigafetta writes an interesting description. The hull of
the vessel was built of planks fastened together with wooden pegs,
the carpentry being very clever and neat; but at a height of about
15 inches above the water level the construction was continued with
large bamboos. The masts were of bamboo and the sails were of bark
cloth, or palm-leaf matting.

North Borneo, like the Philippines, had long been semi-civilized by
intercourse with China. All well-to-do people possessed porcelain
dishes and cups, and the Muhammadan Malays used bronze money
impressed with Chinese characters. The Bornean Malays had a curious
habit of taking small doses of mercury (quicksilver), not only
to cure illnesses, but in the belief that it prevented sickness
by purging the body. Pigafetta also relates that the Sultan of
Brunei possessed two pearls as large as hens' eggs, so round,
however, that they would not stand still on a table. These pearls
came from the south-western islands of the Philippine archipelago.
They had belonged to the king of the principal island of the Sulu
archipelago, whose daughter had married the Sultan of Brunei, and
had unwisely boasted of her father's pearls as big as hens' eggs.
Her husband determined to get possession of them, by force if
necessary, so had assembled a fleet of 500 praus (or, as another
variant of the story puts it, 50), and sailing by night he surprised
the King of Zolo, or Sulu, and two of his sons, and carried them
off to Brunei, where he held them as captives until the pearls were
delivered to him.

Pigafetta realized the immense size of the Island of Borneo--the
second largest island in the world, only New Guinea being of greater
area if Australia be considered a continent--he was informed that
it took three months to sail round it in a Malay prau. It was a
region that produced camphor,[35] cinnamon, ginger, myrobalans,[35]
oranges, lemons, water-melons, cucumbers, gourds, and many other
vegetables and fruits; buffaloes, oxen, swine, goats, fowls, geese
(derived from China), deer, elephants, and horses.

  [35] The camphor of Malaysia is a crystalline secretion found in
  the crevices of the bark of a magnificent tree, the _Dryobalanops
  aromatica_. The camphor more commonly met with in commerce is
  derived from the bark of a kind of laurel growing in Japan and
  Formosa. Myrobalans are the fruit of a tall _Terminalia_ tree of
  the _Combretaceæ_ family. They are plum-like in appearance and very
  astringent. The kernels are eaten, but the rind is used for making
  ink and very dark dyes.

After leaving Brunei the two ships directed their course towards
the Sulu archipelago, which lies between North Borneo and Mindanao.
They seem to have made little scruple of behaving like pirates
towards any Malay prau which could not offer much resistance. In
this way they captured a vessel full of coconuts, which was a great
resource to them in the way of food. They found a perfect port
for repairing ships in Bungei, one of the Sulu Islands. Here they
stayed for forty-two days, everyone labouring hard, their greatest
fatigue, however, being the journey backwards and forwards to the
forest barefoot (probably because their shoes were worn out) to hew
timber for the ship's needs. On the island of Bungei they found
many wild boars (of the species _Sus longirostris_), with very long
heads 2½ feet in length, and with big tusks. There were also huge
crocodiles, and on the seashore immense Tridacna clam shells, the
actual flesh of one of these clams (a clam is something like an
oyster) weighing as much as 44 pounds. Here also they observed the
marvellous leaf-insects, which Pigafetta not unnaturally imagined to
be a miracle of nature, leaves which became alive and walked about
when they fell to the ground. He kept one of these in a box for nine
days, and at the end of that time the leaf-insect was still active,
though no doubt it soon died, since he believed it fed on nothing
but air.[36]

  [36] These were no doubt examples of the genus _Phyllum_, insects
  of the _Phasmidæ_ family (allied to Mantises). The resemblance to
  leaves in the _Phylli_ is extraordinary, especially in the female
  insect, even the egg capsules are just like seeds.

Stopping off the coast of the large island of Mindanao, the
southernmost part of the Philippines, they again captured a Malay
vessel (killing several of its seamen) apparently only for the
purpose of getting information about the right course to pursue in
order to reach the Spice Islands. From these captives they obtained,
besides other information, the story that in the southern parts of
Mindanao existed a race of _hairy_ men who were fierce fighters and
used bows and arrows with great effect. They also possessed swords
or daggers, and when they were successful in battle they cut out the
hearts of their slain enemies and ate them raw, seasoned with the
juice of oranges or lemons. These hairy people were called Benaian.

Sailing away from Mindanao the two Spanish ships encountered a
furious storm, and in their terror the crews lowered all the sails
and offered up fervent prayers to God for their safety. "Immediately
our three patron saints of San Nicolau, San Elmo, and Sta. Clara
appeared to us like torches of light on the maintop, mizentop, and
foretop.[37] We promised a slave each to St. Elmo, San Nicolau, and
Sta. Clara, and offered alms to each saint." After this the storm
abated and the ship found a welcome refuge in a harbour, where again
they captured forcibly Malay seamen to show them the way to the
Molucca Islands.

  [37] The appearances, of course, were nothing but the displays of
  electricity which in violent storms show themselves like white
  globes of flame or torches in the upper parts of the masts and
  rigging, and are known generally as "corposants" or St. Elmo's Fires.

At last, on 8 November, 1521, they reached the five islands known
as Maluk or Molucca, and on that date came to an anchor in a
harbour of Tidore, where they fired a tremendous salute with their
artillery. The next day the king of the island--evidently well used
to Europeans and their ways--came off in a prau, and a deputation of
Spaniards went in a small boat to meet him. They found him seated
under a silk awning which sheltered him on all sides, and in front
of him squatted one of his sons holding the royal sceptre, and on
either side were persons with jars ready to pour water over his
hands, while two others held gilded caskets filled with betel paste.
The king bade the white men welcome, and said that he had dreamt
some time ago that ships were coming to the Molucca Islands from
remote parts, and from that assurance he determined to consult the
moon, whereupon he had seen the ships coming. He then came on board;
all kissed his hand and led him to the stern, where he was honoured
with a red velvet chair and given a yellow velvet robe made after
the Turkish fashion. The king professed his desire to become the
most loyal friend and vassal of the King of Spain, and declared that
henceforth his island would no more be called "Tadore" (or Tidore),
but Castilla, because of the great love which he bore to the mighty
sovereign of Spain.

This Malay chief of Tidore was a Muhammadan, about forty-five years
old, well built, of royal presence, and much skilled in astrology.
He was clad in a shirt of delicate white muslin, the ends of the
sleeves embroidered in gold. Round his waist, and reaching to the
ground, was a coloured cloth, while a silk scarf was wrapped round
his head, and above it was placed a garland of flowers. He asked
for a royal banner and a signature of Charles V, and he would then
place his dominions, which included the Island of Ternate, under the
direction of Spain. He would also load up the ships with cloves, so
that they might return to Spain with good commerce.

Eight months previously a notable personage had died in the Island
of Ternate, poisoned by the orders of this same King of Tidore.
He was a Portuguese, Francesco Serr[~ao], who had been, curiously
enough, a most intimate friend of Magellan, and who was apparently
the brother of the Jo[~ao] Serr[~ao], or Juan Serrano, the commander
of the _Concepcion_, who had been left behind and perhaps killed at
Sebu. Francesco Serr[~ao] had been sent as captain of a Portuguese
ship to the Moluccas in 1511, and had remained in those islands
partly on account of disasters having happened to his ship. In
course of time he became a very great man, and the Prime Minister,
so to speak, of the King of Ternate. He had married a woman from
the Island of Java. It was he who had strongly incited Magellan
to attempt to reach the Moluccas by way of South America and the
Pacific. But Serrano, having excited great jealousy by his powerful
influence over the King of Ternate, was poisoned by this same
King of Tidore, now so friendly towards the _Trinidad_ and the
_Victoria_; and soon afterwards the King of Ternate was likewise
got rid of by means of poison, and so the monarch of Tidore was the
chief person then in the archipelago of the Moluccas.

Whilst remaining at Tidore to load up with cloves, Pigafetta
collected some information about the large island of Jilolo lying to
the east.[38] He describes it as being inhabited both by Muhammadan
Malays (on the coast) and by Papuan heathens (in the interior), and
says it was very rich in gold, and that it grew enormous bamboos
as thick round as a man's thigh, the segments of which were often
filled with water that was very good to drink.

  [38] He pronounced the name Jailolo. This large island, which in
  shape is an extraordinary repetition on a smaller scale of the still
  larger Celebes, is also known as Halmahera.

When the King of Tidore heard of their piracies, and of the number
of Malay seamen they had captured, he dealt with the question
humanely and diplomatically, suggesting that all these prisoners
should be returned by him to their island homes, where they could
make known the greatness and splendour of the kingdom of Spain.
This the Spaniards consented to do, reserving only the people from
Brunei, who, as already related, were brought to Seville. As the
king was a very zealous Muhammadan, they also killed all the swine
on board to please him, and he in return gave them a large number
of goats and fowls, besides quantities of vegetable food, including
sago derived from the sago palm, which was the principal nourishment
of these Molucca Malays.

In the Island of Ternate there arrived presently a Portuguese in a
Malay prau, who gave them very interesting information derived from
the visit a year previously of a Portuguese ship. The survivors
of Magellan's expedition learnt then that the main facts of their
voyage had become known to the King of Portugal some time after
their departure, and that ships had been sent to the Cape of Good
Hope and to other places to prevent their passage. When it was
learnt that they had rounded South America and made their way across
the Pacific, an attempt was made to dispatch a Portuguese fleet of
six ships to the Molucca Islands to capture Magellan's expedition.
But this fleet was prevented from accomplishing its purpose through
its being detained in the Red Sea by the necessity of fighting a
Turkish fleet.

Whilst the two ships stayed at Tidore many festivities took place
in connection with the visits of chiefs or kings of the other
Molucca Islands. These Malay princes came in their praus, some of
which had three tiers of rowers on each side, in all 120 rowers,
and they hoisted great banners made of white, yellow, and red
parrot feathers. Gongs of bronze and brass were sounded and timed
to the rowers' actions. Sometimes the praus would be filled with
young girls, female slaves (though not feeling any of the misery
of slavery), who were to be presented as household servants to
the daughters of chiefs betrothed to this and that heir apparent.
The kings of the islands sat on rich carpets, no doubt received
by indirect trade from Persia. They wore cloths of gold and silk
manufactured in China, and the women were clad in beautiful silk
garments from the waist to the knees. They brought with them,
amongst other presents for the King of Spain, "two extremely
beautiful dead birds". These were as large as thrushes, with a
small head and a long beak. They were of a tawny colour, but with
beautiful long plumes of a different tint.[39] The natives who
brought them called them the Birds of God, and said that they came
from the terrestrial Paradise. This was probably the first mention
in our European literature of Birds of Paradise.

  [39] They may have been the Standard-bearer Paradise Bird
  (_Semioptera_), from the Island of Jilolo, which is fawn colour,
  with blue and emerald gorget, and large waving plume feathers rising
  up from the quills of the wings.

At last the ships were ready to go, in December, 1521. JUAN DEL CANO
(or de Elcano, as it is sometimes written), an officer hitherto
scarcely mentioned, had been elected captain of the _Victoria_, and
the command of the _Trinidad_ had been given to Espinosa, replacing
Carvalho, the pilot, who had behaved very badly in regard to the
captured natives as well as towards the members of the expedition.
[It was Carvalho who refused to stay and ransom poor Juan Serrano.]
The _Victoria_ set sail on her way towards Timor and the Indian
Ocean, when her cruise was suddenly stopped by the news that her
consort the _Trinidad_ had suddenly developed a dangerous leak.
They found the water rushing in as through a pipe, and pumping was
useless. The kindly King of Tidore sent down divers, who remained
more than half an hour under water, endeavouring to find the leak.
Some of these even remained an hour under water (this no doubt
was a great exaggeration), and, by wearing their long hair loose,
attempted to find the leak by letting it be drawn by the suction
of the water towards the place. But it was decided at last that
the _Victoria_ should start for Spain and the _Trinidad_ remain
behind for repairs.[40] The _Victoria_ therefore left with a crew of
forty-seven Europeans and thirteen Malays, chiefly from Borneo.

  [40] Fifty-three Spaniards remained behind in Tidore with the
  _Trinidad_, but of these only five returned to Europe. These
  five included the captain, Gomez Espinosa, already mentioned,
  and a German gunner, Hans Warge. Many of the Spaniards died in
  Tidore from various diseases or were killed in quarrels with the
  natives. The _Trinidad_ attempted to sail for Spain back across the
  Pacific Ocean, but pursued a northern route which took her to the
  forty-second degree of north latitude, whence she was driven back
  by storms to some island near New Guinea. Here she was found by the
  Portuguese, who stripped and abandoned her, conveying the survivors
  of her crew as prisoners to the Moluccas, where they were treated
  with considerable harshness.

The _Victoria_ on her way to Timor passed the Shulla Islands
(Xulla), and heard from their Malay pilots that the inhabitants were
naked cannibals. In other islands there were pigmies (negritos);
others, again, were more civilized, producing rice, pigs, goats,
fowls, sugar cane, and a delicious food made of bananas, almonds,
and honey, wrapped in leaves and smoke-dried, then cut into long
pieces. Buru Island was noted (though they did not land there) as
inhabited by Muhammadan Malays on the coast and cannibal savages in
the interior; also the Banda Islands, producing mace and nutmeg.
After leaving the vicinity of Buru the _Victoria_ encountered a
fierce storm, which drove them to seek refuge in a harbour of a
lofty island[41] which was inhabited by savage, bestial people,
eating human flesh and going naked, except that their warriors wore
armour made of buffalo hide and goatskins. They dressed their hair
(like the New Zealanders) high up on the head, held in position by
long reed pins, which they passed from one side to the other. Their
beards were wrapped in leaves and thrust into small bamboo tubes.
They were the ugliest people Pigafetta had seen, and were armed with
bows and arrows of bamboo. Nevertheless they behaved in a friendly
way to these Spaniards and sold them quantities of provisions,
beeswax, and pepper.

  [41] Called, by Pigafetta, Malina, probably the Island of Ombay.

On 26 January, 1522, the _Victoria_ reached the Island of Timor,
where it laid in a great supply of buffaloes, pigs, and goats. The
people, though going almost naked, wore many gold and brass armlets
and ear-rings, and bamboo combs in their hair adorned with gold

On 11 February, 1522, the _Victoria_ sailed away from Timor into
the great Indian Ocean. She was only a little vessel of 85 tons,
and she had to buffet her way amidst various storms and high waves
across the southern Indian Ocean, as far as the forty-second degree
of south latitude before she could beat up north and round the Cape
of Good Hope. The sufferings on board were terrible, the ship leaked
badly and the pumps were always going, the provision of buffalo meat
had putrefied, as they had had no salt to preserve it. There was
little other food than rice. After rounding the Cape of Good Hope
it took them a further two months before they could land anywhere
to obtain fresh provisions, and twenty-one men died of scurvy and
starvation during this terrible period. At last, constrained by
their despairing condition, they stopped off the Island of Sant
Iago, in the Cape Verde archipelago, which for some time had been a
settlement of the Portuguese. Here they sent a boat ashore for food,
with a concocted story to deceive the Portuguese into believing that
the _Victoria_ was a ship coming from Spanish America and driven
out of her course by storms. But on its second voyage to the shore
the boat, containing thirteen men, was detained, because, having no
money, they offered cloves in payment of the things they purchased.
Seeing from a distance that the men had been arrested, the captain
of the _Victoria_ felt obliged to abandon them to their fate and
hastily sailed away.

At last, on 8 September, 1522, the _Victoria_, having sailed into
Spain up the Guadalquivir River, dropped anchor at the quay of
Seville and discharged all her artillery in crazy joy at this
return to the Motherland. On the following day all the survivors of
this wonderful expedition--eighteen in number--went in shirts and
barefooted, each man holding a candle, to visit the shrines of Santa
Maria de la Victoria and of St. Mary of Antiquity in two different
churches. As to the thirteen men left behind, they were not so ill
treated after all by the Portuguese, but were ultimately dispatched
to Seville, so that it may be said of the five ships which started
with Magellan in 1519 to reach the Moluccas by way of the Pacific
Ocean only one returned to Spain--the _Victoria_, the _Trinidad_
having been lost near the Spice Islands; while of the original
265 men (more or less) who left Spain in 1519 only 36 returned to
Spain after circumnavigating the globe--18 in the _Victoria_, 13 in
Portuguese ships from the Cape Verde Islands, and 5 survivors from
the _Trinidad_ sent back by the Portuguese from Malaysia.

In spite of all these disasters, however, the cargo of cloves and
spices brought back by the _Victoria_ sufficed, not only to pay
the whole cost of the equipment of the original expedition of five
ships, but left a profit of about £200 in value over and above.

This fact, as well as the information (no doubt much exaggerated)
about the Philippines and Borneo and the gold to be met with in
these islands, made a deep impression on the Court of Spain, and
not many years elapsed before further attempts were made to reach
Malaysia across the Pacific from Spanish America, the Spaniards
being precluded by their agreement with Portugal from adopting the
more convenient route round the Cape of Good Hope.

As already related, the Spaniards and Portuguese were out of their
reckoning in regard to longitude when they supposed that any part
of the Philippines or the Moluccas lay to the east of 130° of
E. longitude, and consequently within the domain of Spain. They
believed that the Moluccas did come within the Spanish sphere,
while the Philippines were, by the same reckoning, Portuguese.
After a good deal of wrangling the matter was settled in 1529. A
considerable sum of money was paid by Portugal to Spain, the Spanish
claim to the Spice Islands was withdrawn, and nothing was said about
the Philippines. This archipelago, a few years afterwards, was
tacitly recognized as within the Spanish sphere, which also included
the lands afterwards to be styled New Guinea.

Borneo thus became part of the Portuguese "sphere of influence" (as
it would now be called), though this large island had first been
visited by Magellan in Spanish ships. The Portuguese attempted to
enter into relations with the then powerful Muhammadan sultanate of
North Borneo (Brunei), but (according to the Portuguese chronicler,
Barros) their efforts came to nothing through a very curious
mischance. Realizing that the Sultan of Brunei was a very powerful
prince, a Muhammadan, and therefore much in touch, through Arab
and Persian traders, with the civilized world, it was resolved to
send him, by the embassy dispatched from Ternate to Brunei in 1528,
a selection of really superior and costly presents. Amongst these
was a large piece of tapestry illustrating in a most lifelike manner
the marriage of Catherine of Aragon (afterwards the unhappy wife of
Henry VIII) to Arthur, Prince of Wales--the first link, possibly,
in the long history of the relations between the British and North
Borneo. But the figures thus portrayed by the needles and wool of
industrious Spanish women seemed to the superstitious Malay sultan
a work of subtle magic. He believed them to be real persons sent to
sleep by the spell of a magician, and that some night they would be
released from their enchantment, come to life, and slay him as he
slept. So the Portuguese envoy was dismissed, the presents declined,
and no political relations entered into between North Borneo and
the Portuguese. This was one reason, probably, why the Dutch, not
having been preceded by the Portuguese, got no foothold in North
Borneo, and therefore left this side of the island open to British
administrative enterprise in the first half of the nineteenth

Spanish research in the Pacific was resumed five years after the
return of Sebastian de Elcano in the _Victoria_ in the autumn of
1522. In 1528 two Spanish ships, intending to sail from Mexico to
the Philippines, were blown out of their course in a storm and
accidentally discovered the Hawaii Islands. They were wrecked there,
and such of the crews as were saved from drowning--amongst them were
several Spanish women--could not get away from Hawaii, and settled
down there for the rest of their lives, marrying the people of the
country, and no doubt leaving a strain of Castilian blood in the
ruling classes of these cannibal islands.

Hawaii was, however, again visited by Spanish ships in the middle of
the sixteenth century; and when, long afterwards, the archipelago
was rediscovered by Captain Cook, the people were found to be
practising several Spanish customs. The real fact is that Spain knew
a good deal about the Oceanic islands in the sixteenth century, but
out of jealous dread that her monopoly of the Pacific Ocean might
be invaded by other European nations she kept this geographical
knowledge, set forth in her charts and logbooks, hidden in her State
archives, only to be revealed in the latter part of the eighteenth
century, when there was no longer anything to conceal from the
adventurous French and English.

In 1542 the Philippines were again visited by Spanish ships under
the command of LOPEZ DE VILLALOBOS, who penetrated to the large
northern island of Luzon. On his return to Mexico he named this
archipelago after Philip, the heir to the Spanish throne. In 1564 an
expedition under LOPEZ DE LEGASPI was dispatched from the west coast
of Mexico to the Philippines for their conquest and their conversion
to Christianity. Four ships conveyed 400 Spanish soldiers and a few
friars or missionaries. Between 1565 and his death in 1572 Legaspi
had actually achieved the wonderful feat of founding the city of
Manila in the large island of Luzon, and making the Spanish power
predominant over all this large archipelago. A number of the natives
became converted to Christianity, and only the Sulu Islands and
Palawan remained Muhammadan.

In 1579 a new portent appeared in the Far East. In the month of
November there arrived at the Island of Ternate, from nowhere,
as it seemed, an English ship, the _Golden Hinde_, commanded by
FRANCIS DRAKE. This most remarkable English adventurer--then
only thirty-four years old--had been purser to a ship trading to
the north of Spain when he was only eighteen, and by the age of
twenty-two had not only made a voyage to Guinea, but was commanding
a ship as captain in an attack on the Spaniards off the coast of
Mexico. In 1577 he had navigated the Straits of Magellan in the
_Golden Hinde_ (originally the _Pelican_, which he renamed thus as a
remembrance of the heraldic device of Sir Christopher Hatton and a
mark of joy at having safely reached the Pacific Ocean), had sailed
up the west coast of South America, attacking and plundering Spanish
ships and towns "till his men were satiated with plunder"; and,
failing to find another Magellan's Straits in North-west America to
take him back to the Atlantic, had boldly sailed from the coast of
New Albion (the modern State of Washington) aslant the Pacific Ocean
and steered a straight course for the Moluccas.

The Portuguese, of course, were then predominant in the Spice
Islands and elsewhere in Malaysia, and with them Drake had no
quarrel. He therefore sailed on to Java (after nearly coming to
grief by striking a rock off the coast of Celebes), and from Java
made his way round the Cape of Good Hope to the Guinea coast,
and thence to the Azores and England. He was knighted by Queen
Elizabeth on board the _Golden Hinde_ at Deptford, after the queen
had partaken of a banquet on board the famous ship which had sailed
round the world in two years and ten months.

His voyage was a splendid answer to the Spaniards, who believed
themselves perfectly safe from interference in the waters of the
"great Southern Ocean", and who forbade the rest of the world to
trade with America and Australasia. Within eighteen years it was to
be followed up by Dutch and British attacks, by way of the Cape of
Good Hope, on the Portuguese and Spanish monopoly of intercourse
with the East Indies and Malaysia. It is, however, only fair to
mention that in the matter of commercial morality the British,
French, and Dutch were no more enlightened than the Spaniards. Each
sought in turn to make their oversea dependencies regions closed to
the trade of other nations than themselves, and even to restrict
the commerce of their Asiatic, African, and American colonies to
privileged persons or companies.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Spaniards who sailed to the Moluccas in the two remaining ships
of Magellan's squadron had practically got into touch with Papuasia,
with the lands of New Guinea and its surrounding islands; and had
realized that in this direction there lay a new Negroland, a "New
Guinea", in fact. Exactly when the New Guinea coast was reached
from the west--whether by ALVARO DE SAAVEDRA the Spaniard in 1528,
or in 1511 and 1526 by the Portuguese who had taken possession of
the Moluccas--is not known; nor by whom this very appropriate name
was first given. Probably it was named "Nueva Guinéa" in 1546 by
a Spanish captain--ORTIZ DE RETEZ--who mapped a portion of its
northern coast. The impression that this vast island--the biggest in
the world--was first called "New Guinea" by Torres when he reached
its southern shores in 1607 is incorrect; he, seemingly, was only
recognizing a land already named thus for its great superficial
resemblance to West Africa. But the Spaniards had heard rumours from
the Malay sea captains of a vast land eastward of the Moluccas
where there was gold in abundance, besides beautiful birds and
curly-haired black people. They jumped to the fantastic conclusion
that here lay, not only the Earthly Paradise, but also the Ophir
from which Solomon had derived his gold. Mingled with these beliefs
was the ever-growing conviction that in this direction must lie a
great Southern Continent; and to search for this an expedition was
dispatched in 1567 from Callao, the principal port of Peru, under
the command of ALVARO DE MENDAÑA DE NEYRA, with the express purpose
of discovering the great Antarctic continent and the "Islas de
Salomon". Mendaña voyaged for eighty days across the Pacific, more
or less through the equatorial belt, and thus discovered and named
the Solomon Islands[42] to the east of New Guinea, believing that
they might prove to be the Ophir from which Solomon had derived
gold. His expedition surveyed the southern portion of the group,
giving to three of the large islands the Spanish names, which they
still bear, of San Cristoval, Guadalcanal, and Ysabel.

  [42] The Solomon Islands are now divided politically between Germany
  and Britain, Germany having annexed the large island of Bougainville
  and the smaller Buka on the north, and Great Britain the remainder.
  The islands are very mountainous and volcanic, and on the largest,
  Bougainville, one mountain rises to an altitude of over 10,000
  feet. In the British Island of Guadalcanal there is an altitude of
  8000 feet. The climate is very wet and unhealthy, and vegetation is
  luxurious, including magnificent forests of sandalwood, ebony, and
  "lignum vitæ" (a kind of Myrtle--_Metrosideron_). The inhabitants
  belong mainly to the Melanesian or Negroid stock, and are no doubt
  closely related to the Papuans of New Guinea. In some of the
  northern islands, such as Buka, the people often present a striking
  resemblance in their features, skin colour, and close-growing,
  woolly hair, to African Negroes. Some tribes in the islands,
  however, are akin to the Polynesians, and have long, straight
  hair. They were until quite recently the most ferocious cannibals
  of any part of the globe. In more remote periods this archipelago
  was connected with New Guinea, and thence derived the ancestors
  of its present wild animals, which include numerous Bats of very
  interesting types, some very large Rats the size of big rabbits, a
  Cuscus or marsupial Phalanger, and a large Frog about 8 inches long,
  besides some remarkable Parrots.

JUAN FERNANDEZ was a Spanish pilot who appears to have given some
study to the Straits of Magellan. About 1572 he was venturing
out some distance into the Pacific Ocean from the coast of South
America, and thus discovered the two little islands which have ever
since borne his name, and which proved for a time such an important
harbourage and resting place for the Dutch and English navigators
who flouted the prohibition of Spain to enter the great Southern
Ocean. Fernandez conceived the idea that there must be some large
extent of land in the southern half of the Pacific Ocean, and he may
have sighted Easter Island, or some other Pacific archipelago, and
have believed that it was an indication of the coast line of this
Terra Australis.

Mendaña de Neyra, who had returned to the coast of Peru in 1570, was
very anxious to organize at once another expedition to extend his
discoveries. He was not enabled to do so until the year 1595, when
he again started from the coast of Peru with a fleet and a number
of Spaniards who were to colonize the Solomon Islands. On his way
thither he discovered the Marquezas archipelago (which now belongs
to France). Sailing along a course which was more or less that of
the tenth degree of south latitude, his ship at last reached the
little island of Santa Cruz, the northernmost of an archipelago
which is now associated with the group of the New Hebrides. Here,
for some reason, his expedition came to a stop, and he landed and
attempted to establish a portion of his crew as settlers. But the
climate, or some other cause of ill health, brought about the death
of Mendaña and many of his companions. He had been accompanied on
this cruise by his young wife, who played a heroic part in rescuing
the remainder of the expedition. After Mendaña's death, one of
his pilots, PEDRO FERNANDEZ DE QUIROS (a Portuguese), brought the
remains of the Spanish fleet to Manila in the Philippines. Then in
one vessel he boldly sailed back across the Pacific to Peru, and
thence made his way to Madrid, where he revealed to the Spanish
Government the stories gathered from Malays regarding the existence
of a great Southern Continent. He obtained permission from the Court
to search for this Terra Australis, and for this purpose returned
to South America and started on his quest from Callao (Peru) in
1605. The Viceroy of Peru associated with him, practically as
admiral in command of the expedition, LUIS VAEZ DE TORRES, as well
as a second ship. Directing his voyage across the southern Tropics
instead of the northern, de Quiros discovered a small island, which
long afterwards was renamed Osnaburg by Cook. A few days afterwards
he passed one or more islands of the Tahiti archipelago, which he
named "Sagittaria", probably from the month (February, under the
zodiacal sign of Sagittarius) in which they were discovered. Sailing
on westwards he next reached the group of the New Hebrides. This he
believed to be a portion of the coast of the Southern Continent,
and he named its largest island[43] Australia del Espiritu Santo,
or Australia of the Holy Ghost, this being the first time that the
word Australia came into being. He did not pursue his investigations
any farther, because his ship's crew mutinied and forced him to sail
back again to Mexico.

  [43] Sometimes known as Marina. The name as given by de Quiros seems
  to have been spelt "Austrialia".

But his admiral, Luis Vaez de Torres, suddenly abandoned by the ship
which had de Quiros on board, was less certain about the actual
discovery of this continent, so in 1606-7 he pursued a westward
course and thus passed through that strait which separates northern
Australia from New Guinea, and thence sailed to the Philippines. He
was consequently the discoverer of what is now the British province
of Papua, and of the important Torres Straits.

For a long time the Spaniards kept these explorations as State
secrets, for they were becoming very much alarmed at the progress
in oversea exploration of the Dutch and English. The existence,
therefore, of Torres Straits, separating the Australian Continent
from the huge Island of New Guinea, remained practically unknown to
the world of Europe until the voyages of Captain Cook, more than
150 years later. In fact, Cook, when he rediscovered and mapped the
strait between North Australia and New Guinea, was not aware that he
had been preceded in that direction by Torres. When, however, this
fact was made clearly known through the archives of Spain, the name
of the bold Spanish seaman was very appropriately (in 1796) given to
a strait of water which is one of the most noteworthy passages from
the Pacific to the Indian Oceans, and which may some day become of
great importance in the world's history.


Dutch Discoveries

In the Malay Archipelago and the Spice Islands both Portuguese and
Spanish were attacked by the Dutch, and gradually dispossessed from
the end of the sixteenth century onwards. The Dutch had established
themselves in the Moluccas in place of the Portuguese between 1604
and 1609, in which year the Portuguese were driven from the Nutmeg
Islands of Banda. The Hollanders were followed almost immediately
by the English. The merchant adventurers of both nations (who were
seamen, soldiers, and pirates at will) soon penetrated to the
western peninsulas of New Guinea and ousted the Portuguese from
Java, Celebes, and southern Timor, but at first made little or no
attempt to pass beyond Malaysia in search of the southern continent.
By the conquest of Malacca in 1641 the Dutch had become practically
masters of the Malay Archipelago, the Spaniards being confined to
the possession of the Philippines (which they administered from the
west coast of America across the Pacific),[44] and the Portuguese
only lingering on in the islands of Timor and Flores, while the
English had been expelled from the Spice Islands and Java, and
merely retained a precarious foothold in Sumatra. Encouraged by
these successes to seek for further lands that might be conquered,
settled, or traded with, the Dutch began to take up the quest for
the Terra Australis as soon as they were established as the masters
of the Moluccas and Banda.

  [44] As a matter of fact, the Spanish really only acquired something
  like mastery over the Philippine Islands at the beginning of the
  eighteenth century. Up till that time the islands were mostly
  governed by native chiefs, who paid tribute to Spain, and submitted
  very willingly to the direction of the Spanish friars or missionary
  brethren, who acquired considerable influence over the northern part
  of the Philippine archipelago, where Muhammadanism was not in any
  way established. The Spaniards never succeeded in finally conquering
  the whole of the Philippines. This task has only been achieved by
  their successors, the people of the United States.

In 1615 a bold Dutch navigator, JACOB LE MAIRE (of French
extraction), determined, in spite of the prohibition of the Dutch
East India Company, to find his way independently to the seas and
lands of southern Asia by way of the extremity of South America. He
sailed in company with another sea captain, SCHOUTEN, and together
they discovered and named Staten Island and the celebrated Cape
Horn, the southernmost extremity (a little island) of South America,
and since famous as the stormiest cape in the world's seas. From
this point they followed closely the coast of South America till
they got into equatorial latitudes, and then steered boldly across
the Pacific Ocean, either not noticing or actually not seeing the
many islands or islets that must have been near their course.
Apparently the first land they sighted was the north-east coast of
New Guinea, after which they got among the Spice Islands and thus
eventually reached Batavia, where they were so severely punished by
their fellow countrymen for their splendid adventure that Le Maire
ultimately died before he could reach Holland. Previous to this
date, however, the Dutch had evidently known something about the
Australian Continent[45] (of which it was generally believed that
New Guinea was a portion), and they no doubt derived this knowledge
from information given to them by Malay pilots, and picked up
from the Portuguese; for in a work published in 1598 by the Dutch
historian, Cornelius Wytfliet, the following passage occurs: "The
Terra Australis is the most southern of all lands, and is separated
from New Guinea by a narrow strait.... It is ascertained by some
to be of so great an extent that if it were thoroughly explored
it would be regarded as a fifth part of the world." There is a
tradition also that in 1606 a Dutch ship, the _Duyfken_ or _Little
Dove_, which was on its way from Java to the western part of New
Guinea, was driven out of her course by a typhoon and sighted the
north-east coast of Australia (Cape York Peninsula) as far south
as Cape Turnagain. Some of the crew landed, but were repulsed by
the savage natives. In the year following the arrival of le Maire
at Batavia, a Dutch ship, the _Eendracht_, under the command of a
navigator called Hertoge, or Hartog, by a similar cause was blown
out of his course and touched the north-west coast of Australia
at points now known as Shark Bay and Hartog Island. In 1622-3 the
_Leeuwin_ (Lioness), another Dutch vessel, penetrated along the
west coast of Australia about as far south as Cape Leeuwin. In
1623 an expedition, under a captain named CARTENZ, set out for the
Southern Continent and explored and named the Gulf of Carpentaria,
in north Australia, the name being derived from Carpentar, who was
then the Governor of the Dutch East Indies (the authority says
"West" Indies). Between 1622 and 1628 other Dutch expeditions, one
of them under PIETER NUYTS, explored the South Australian coast
("Nuytsland") as far as the Eyre Peninsula. But from here to Cape
York the east coast of Australia remained absolutely unknown till
the coming of Captain Cook.

  [45] New Guinea (Nova Guinea) appears duly named on Mercator's first
  maps of the world, published in 1569. On the other side of a narrow
  strait (Torres Straits) is a jagged coastline obviously representing
  North Australia.

ABEL JANSZOON TASMAN, the greatest Dutch explorer of Australasia
(his middle name was equivalent in English to Johnson), was born
about 1603 at Lutjegast, near Groningen, in Friesland, not far from
the modern German boundary. He was married twice, first when a young
man (the second time when he was twenty-nine years old), and about
the age of twenty-one joined the service of the Dutch East India
Company and started for Java. He revisited Holland in 1637 and
returned to the Malay Archipelago in 1638. Although he had started
in life as a common sailor he must have acquired a good education
by some means or other, for his journals show him to have been
possessed of a singularly beautiful and even handwriting, he was a
clever draughtsman (assuming the many sketches in the logbook to be
by him), and he had thoroughly mastered the science of navigation,
so much so, that soon after his arrival in the East Indies in 1634
he was singled out for work of importance and responsibility. In
1638 he made, in company with another commander, a remarkable voyage
of exploration to Japan along the coasts of China, and in 1642
he was selected to command the expedition which was to make such
important discoveries in Australasia.

His principal vessel, the _Heemskerk_[46], described as a yacht, was
probably of only 150 tons capacity; the second of the two ships, the
_Zeehaen_ (Seahen) was a third smaller than the _Heemskerk_. With
these two small ships he left Batavia (Java) on 14 August, 1642, and
sailed right across the Indian Ocean to the Island of Mauritius (the
home of the Dodo), then occupied by the Dutch, wishing, no doubt,
to take as wide a scope as possible for the discovery of the great
Southern Continent. From Mauritius he sailed east and south, and
did not sight the West Australian coast at all, his course trending
so much to the south that instead he crossed the great Australian
Bight[47] and first saw land off the west coast of Tasmania, in
the vicinity of what is now known as Macquarie Harbour. He at
once conferred on this land the name of Anthonij Van Diemen, the
Governor-General of the Dutch Indies, and the principal promoter of
this exploring expedition. He overlooked the passage to the north
(Bass's Strait), and directed his course southwards. On 25 November,
1642, the two ships came to an anchor off the west coast of Tasmania
for consultations between the commanders. On the succeeding days
they sailed round the south coast of Tasmania, and on 2 December
stopped again and sent a pilot in a pinnace with four musketeers
and six rowers (all of them well armed) together with another boat
commanded by an officer, and containing six more musketeers, to the
shore of a large bay (probably Storm Bay) to see if fresh water,
vegetables, and timber could be obtained. On the return of these
boats the officers reported that they found the land covered with
vegetation, but with no signs of cultivation. They brought back with
them various wild vegetable products which seemed suited for use
as pot-herbs, besides a good supply of fresh water. They reported
that they had heard certain human sounds, and noises resembling the
music of a trumpet or small gong, but they saw no human beings,
though there were notched trees, the notches having been made
with implements of sharpened stone, to form steps enabling persons
to climb the trees and take the birds' nests. These notched steps
(very wide apart) were so fresh and new that they could only have
been cut a few days before. On the ground they saw the footprints
of clawed animals and other traces showing that there were beasts
in the forest. In the interior numerous trees were observed which
had deep holes burnt into them, as if to make of them fireplaces and
shelters. They also saw smoke rising in clouds from natives' fires.
On 3 December a flagstaff was set up on the shore of Frederick Henry
Bay, and possession of this new land was solemnly taken on behalf of
the Dutch East India Company.

  [46] The master of the _Heemskerk_ was Captain Yde Tjercxzoon
  Holman, a Frisian from the Grand duchy of Oldenburg; and the
  pilot-major, or principal steersman, was a very noteworthy person
  in the expedition--Frans Jacobszoon Visscher, a native of Flushing,
  who had made some very remarkable voyages round about Japan, and had
  resided a good deal in that country.

  [47] In crossing this bight Tasman was clever enough to surmise that
  they must be passing to the south of the land discovered by Pieter
  Nuyts in 1627 (the south coast of Australia); and owing to the
  tremendous swell setting in from the south he felt sure that there
  was no continent near him in that direction.

Then they sailed away from what they believed to be the southernmost
extremity of Australia, and on 13 December, 1642, they saw "a large
high-lying land bearing south-east ... at about 16 miles distance".
This was the great southern island of New Zealand,[48] but it was
encountered by Tasman at its northernmost extremity and close to
the North Island. He sailed, in fact, right into the gulf (then
named the _Zeehaen's_ Bight) between two islands, which finds its
outlet to the south in Cook's Strait. He overlooked this outlet
and believed the gulf to be only a great indentation. Ultimately
he sailed northwards past the west coast of the North Island to
its northernmost extremity, which he named Cape Maria Van Diemen.
At some distance from this were three tiny islets, the size of
which he exaggerated. He named them the Three Kings' Islands. On
18 December the two ships came to an anchor about a mile from the
shore, off the coast of what is now called Massacre or Golden Bay,
not far from the modern settlement of Waitapu. It was sunset, and
calm, and as the twilight faded they saw lights on shore and two
native boats coming towards them, the men in which began to call to
them in rough, "hollow" voices. This people also blew several times
on an instrument (probably a conch shell), the sound from which was
like that of a Moorish trumpet. The seamen from the ships trumpeted
back to them in reply, but when it was dark the native canoes
paddled back to the shore. Early the next morning a canoe manned by
fifteen natives approached to within a short distance of the ships
and called out several times. But the Dutchmen could not understand
their language, as it bore no resemblance to the vocabulary of words
used in the Solomon Islands, which had been collected through the
industry of Anthonij Van Diemen and supplied to Tasman with his
other instructions.[49] As far as they could observe, these New
Zealanders were of ordinary height, with rough voices and strong
bones, the colour of their skin being between brown and yellow.
They wore tufts of black hair right on the tops of their heads,
tied fast in the manner of the Japanese, but somewhat longer and
thicker, each topknot of hair being surmounted by a large white
feather. Each of their boats consisted of two long, narrow canoes
fastened side by side. Over these twin canoes were placed planks on
which the paddlers sat. The New Zealanders, though naked from the
shoulders to the waist, wore some kind of clothing (in contrast to
the nearly always naked Melanesians). This seemed to be made of a
stuff something like woven cotton, or else matting.

  [48] Any sensible person looking at the map of New Zealand would
  say that this Dominion was divided into two great islands, the
  North Island and the South Island. But, ridiculously enough, the
  great South Island is constantly referred to by writers on New
  Zealand as the Middle Island, the term South Island being applied
  to a (relatively) very small island just off the extremity of the
  southern half of the Dominion, while the South Island is called the
  Middle Island. It should really be known as the South Island and the
  small island beyond it as Stewart Island.

  [49] In noting this difference of speech Tasman unconsciously laid
  stress on the great distinction between the Melanesian tongues of
  the Oceanic Negroids and the Polynesian speech of New Zealand and
  nearly all the other Pacific islands and archipelagoes south of Fiji
  and New Caledonia and east of the Ladrones.

In spite of offered presents and friendly greetings these two boats
would not come alongside the ship. Later on, seven more canoes came
off from the shore, one of which was high and pointed in front. With
these nine canoes paddling round and round the two ships, and manned
by a number of able-bodied armed men, the Dutchmen became a little
uneasy, and the skipper of the _Zeehaen_ sent out his quartermaster
in a small boat with six seamen to advise the officers of the
_Heemskerk_ not to allow too many natives to come on board, if they
wished to do so. But suddenly the little boat of the _Zeehaen_ was
violently attacked by one of the New Zealand canoes, with the result
that one Dutch seamen was knocked overboard, four were killed,
while the remainder, thrown into the sea, swam back to their ship.
The natives then started for the shore, taking one of the dead
bodies with them (which they no doubt afterwards ate in a cannibal
feast). None of the shots fired from the _Zeehaen_ or _Heemskerk_
took effect. The small boat of the _Zeehaen_ was recovered, and
the two Dutch ships then set sail, despairing of entering into any
friendly relations with these people, or getting fresh water at this
place. As they sailed out of the bay they saw twenty-two canoes near
the shore, of which eleven, swarming with people, were making for
the ships. They kept quiet until some of the foremost canoes were
within reach of the guns, and then fired one or two shots without
doing much damage, though the natives at once turned their canoes
back, hoisted a kind of sail, and made with all speed for the
shore. "To this murderous spot we have accordingly given the name of
Moordenaers Bay."[50]

  [50] Murderer's Bay, a name subsequently changed to Massacre Bay, or
  Golden Bay--from the later discovery of gold in this region.


On this same day, 19 December, 1642, Tasman bestowed on this
new country the name of Staten Landt, "in honour of their high
mightinesses the States-General of Holland". This name seems
really to have been bestowed on account of the much earlier
discovery by the Dutch navigator, le Maire, of an island off the
south-easternmost extremity of South America (Tierra del Fuego),
which Tasman seems to have thought to be the beginning of an
Antarctic continent, of which New Zealand was the north-westernmost
extremity. But after Tasman's return to Java the Governor-General
considered that the two regions were too far separated and distinct
to be parts of the same land surface; so he changed the named to
Nieuw Zeeland (New Zealand), in honour of the Zeeland (Sealand)
province of south-west Holland.

On 5 January, 1643, they attempted to land on one of the Three
Kings' Islands to fill their water casks before directing their
course once more across a wide stretch of unknown ocean, but the
heavy surf and the rocks made such an attempt too dangerous. The
natives, moreover, were very threatening, standing about on the
high land armed with long sticks shaped like pikes, and shouting
every now and again what seemed to be hostile utterances. So it
was decided to do without the fresh water, in the hope that they
might reach other islands farther north where it could be obtained.
Accordingly, on 6 January the two ships once more set sail across
the Pacific Ocean, directing their course as nearly as possible for
the Solomon Islands. On 19 and 20 January they sighted Tropic Bird
Island, and two other small islands, which they named Amsterdam and
Middelburgh. These were the southernmost islands of the Tonga or
Friendly group, probably those which are now known by the names of
Tongatabu (Amsterdam, "because of the abundance of refreshments we
got there"), Eua (Middelburgh), and Cattow.

"About noon", wrote Tasman on 21 January, "a small canoe with three
men in it put off from land and came near our ship. These men were
naked, of a brown colour, and slightly above the ordinary stature;
two of them had long, thick hair on their heads." The Dutchmen
showed white linen to these Polynesians, throwing overboard a piece
of 2½ yards. Seeing this, the natives paddled towards it; but as it
had sunk to a considerable depth under the water the foremost man in
the canoe jumped out and dived for it. He remained under water for
a very long time, but at last reappeared with the linen, and when
back in the canoe put this several times on the top of his head in
sign of gratitude. The natives then came nearer and received from
the ships' crews a few more presents, amongst which was a small
looking-glass. The Dutchmen then showed them an old coconut and a
fowl, and attempted to make enquiries about water, pigs, &c. At last
they understood, to a certain extent, and after returning on shore
a canoe came back with a white flag, the occupants of which were
painted black from the waist to the thighs, and wore necklaces of
large leaves. A white flag was fastened to the stern of one of the
Dutch boats. The Dutchmen filled a rummer with wine, of which they
first drank a little themselves, to show that it was not poison. The
Polynesians, however, drank the wine without hesitation, and took
the cask back with them on shore. Soon afterwards a great number of
canoes came alongside with coconuts, which they bartered for old
nails. Other natives swam the whole way from the land to the ships
with coconuts for trade. At last an old man came on board one of
the Dutch ships who was thought to be a chief. He paid reverence
to the Dutchmen by bowing his head down to their feet. They showed
him a cup containing fresh water; the native chief implied by signs
that plenty of water could be obtained on shore. Meantime other
natives had come on board the ship, and exhibited the same shameless
thievishness as had angered Magellan. Among other things they stole
a pistol and a pair of slippers. The Dutchmen wisely took these
articles away from their dishonest visitors without any display of
anger. Towards evening twenty canoes came up to the ship, making a
great deal of noise and crying out repeatedly: "Wu, wu, wu!" They
had brought a present from the king consisting of a pig, a number
of coconuts, and some yams. The Dutchmen gave as a return present a
common dish and a piece of copper wire.

The next day a quantity of canoes came off with coconuts, yams,
bananas, plantains, pigs, and fowls. There also came on board a
leper and a bearded woman. The natives were at first frightened by
the discharge of the big guns, but soon reassured when they saw
that no harm came from this noise. They were entertained with Dutch
and German music, at which they were greatly astonished. At last
the Dutchmen decided to send a party on shore to get fresh water,
and, although the natives seemed to be so friendly, they took the
precaution of adding a number of musketeers to defend the watering
party. Nothing disagreeable happened, however. Wells were pointed
out to them, and they were most hospitably entertained in what
seemed to be pleasure houses, where they were invited to sit down on
handsome mats. However, the amount of water supplied was perfectly
trivial. The next day the chiefs set their men to work to dig larger
wells, and the Dutchmen got all the water they wanted. Tasman noted
in his journal that the natives here had no knowledge of tobacco or
smoking of any kind. Neither men nor women went completely naked
(a characteristic feature of the Melanesians), but wore clothing
round the waist, which in the case of the women extended to the
knees, and was made of the leaves of trees. The women wore their
hair shorter than the men, and the latter, as a rule, grew beards
about 4 inches long, with very short moustaches, the hair of which
was kept clipped. No arms were worn by these people, and all seemed
peace and amity in their lives (the "Friendly Isles"). Starting
away again on 24 January the two ships passed through the rest of
the Tonga Islands, one of which, Nanuka, was named by Tasman the
Island of Rotterdam. On one of the islands of the Haapai group the
Dutchmen again landed to get fresh water. The party sent to the
beach reported on landing that they had seen about seventy persons,
apparently the entire male population of the island; they had no
arms, and seemed kind and peaceable, and there were many women and
children. Nevertheless, these people were very thievish, for they
stole everything they could lay hands on--men and women alike. This
was a characteristic of nearly all the Pacific islanders when these
lands were first discovered, and was a trait which gave rise to many
troubles between them and the European explorers, who did not view
this practice--not regarded by the natives as being very wrong--with
sufficient patience.

At the watering place they saw numbers of wild duck swimming, not
at all shy or afraid of men. On this island were noticed many
enclosures or gardens, with plots elegantly squared and planted with
all sorts of fruits and vegetables. There were groves of bananas
and other fruit trees, most of them growing so straight that they
were a pleasure to look on (to a Dutch eye enamoured of tidiness),
while they gave forth a most agreeable odour and fragrance. Though
the natives of these Friendly Islands did not seem to have any
well-defined religion, they were very superstitious. Tasman noticed
one of them take up a water snake which came floating alongside his
canoe, lay it on his head with reverence, and put it back on the
water. Above all, they had a great dislike to killing flies, though
they were so abundant here as to cause considerable trouble. Whilst
the Dutchmen were at anchor one of them had the misfortune to kill
a fly in the presence of a native chief, who showed himself greatly
angered and upset.

On 2 February the voyage was continued, the ships being now
well supplied with fresh water and fresh provisions. A period
of rough winds followed, and although the outlying islands of
the north-eastern part of the Fiji group (which Tasman named
after Prince Willem of Orange) were sighted, the weather was too
dangerous for any attempt at landing or investigation. Desirous
of reaching New Guinea, the course of the vessels was directed to
the north-west. It was not until 15 March that they sailed into
smooth water and sunshine, after many days of rain, fog, and rough,
south-westerly wind. On 22 March they saw land straight ahead of
them at four miles distance--about thirty small islands surrounded
by reefs. These, and others farther west, were little archipelagos
of minute islands to the north of the Solomon group and near the
great island of Bougainville. Probably owing to the very stormy,
thick, rainy, and misty weather, Tasman's expedition saw nothing of
the islands or islets of the Santa Cruz and New Hebrides groups, or
the Solomon Islands, very near to which he must have passed.

On 25 March, 1643, the two vessels anchored off one of these islands
of Oceanic Negroes. A canoe came alongside with a number of men
whose skins were nearly black and who went quite naked. Some of
them had their hair cut short, or wore feathers arranged like horns
on the top of their heads. One had a ring through his nose. They
carried bows and arrows. From another island on the following day
came off more of these black people, "with curly hair like that of
the Kafirs", but not so woolly, nor were their noses quite so flat
as those of true Negroes. They wore white bracelets, probably of
pigs' tusks. Their faces were daubed with lime, and a small piece of
tree bark was worn on the forehead. For arms they had bows, arrows,
and javelins or stabbing spears. At last Tasman got one of the words
of his Melanesian vocabularies recognized; it was the word for
coconut (_lamas_).

By 1 April the Dutchmen were sailing along the coast of New
Mecklenburg (then thought to be part of New Guinea). Already Tasman
had recognized islands and capes seen and named by his predecessor,
le Maire. Every now and again they anchored to buy coconuts. The
people who came off from the shore were black skinned and naked.
They seemed already somewhat acquainted with Europeans and their
ways and to be afraid of guns. They had little or nothing to sell
except the pith of the sago palm. Some of these people at a later
date (from the island which we now know as New Hanover) came on
board and were rendered very dizzy--"intoxicated"--by the motion of
the ships, though they never suffered from seasickness in their own
canoes. They brought with them a shark and some small fish.

Turning southwards after rounding New Hanover the expedition sighted
the real north coast of New Guinea, ignorant, of course, of the
fact that hitherto they had only been following large and small
islands now known as the Bismarck Archipelago. Off the north coast
of what is now German New Guinea they noted a volcanic island with
an active volcano, round which there were clouds of smoke. As they
coasted along New Guinea, touching at the islands for fresh water
and provisions, they observed that the black Papuan natives could
imitate whatever words they heard the Dutchmen pronounce, and were
remarkable themselves for the number of "r's" which their own speech

Tasman overlooked the deep indentation of Geelvink Bay, which makes
a jagged peninsula of nearly half Dutch New Guinea; and rounding the
Island of Waigiu his ships passed through the Spice Islands to the
Island of Buru, where he found himself once more within the limits
of Dutch influence. The two vessels safely regained Batavia, where
their crews were received with much honour and rejoicing. "God be
praised and thanked for this happy voyage. Amen", wrote Tasman at
the end of his journal on 15 June, 1643.

In the opinion of the Dutch East India Company Tasman's wonderful
voyage was too imperfect in its results to merit their complete
approbation, though he and his companions received a reward in
money for their achievements as "Southland Navigators". But it
was realized by the Council of the Dutch East Indies that the
actual configuration and extent of the Southland was very little
known on the eastern side, though there remained above all things
the important fact that a passage well within the South Temperate
Zone existed between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. In 1644
Tasman and Visscher started on another great voyage of discovery
for the special purpose of surveying the regions between what was
known of New Guinea and what was already placed on the map as Nieuw
Holland, or Nieuw Nederland. This region (New Holland) was only
what we now call Western Australia, and was thought perhaps to
be an independent island. Eastern Australia, which terminated in
Tasmania, was called Zuidland or Southland. If there was a still
more easterly Australia it was thought to be united with New Zealand
under the name of Nieuw Zeeland, and it was conjectured there might
also be a separate island to the south, which in that case would be
called Nuytsland. Tasman's first expedition had thrown no light on
the products of the countries behind these strips of coast line.
All these lands in the south might be of great value, or they
might be valueless, consequently much more detailed exploration
was necessary. The vessels told off for this expedition "for the
true and complete discovery of the Southland" consisted of two
large schooners or yachts, the _Limmen_ and the _Zeemeeuw_ (Mew
or Seagull), and a much smaller boat, _Bracq_, called a galliot.
On 29 January, 1644, these vessels started, "in the name of God"
and under the command of Tasman, assisted by Visscher and other
officers, including a draughtsman to make maps of the coast and
drawings of any remarkable objects or peoples. Directing his course
to the little Banda Islands south of the big island of Ceram,
so as to commence his new venture from the westernmost limits of
New Guinea, Tasman skirted pretty closely the southern coast of
that enormous island, sailing eastwards with the express purpose of
finding if it was separated from the mainland of New Holland by a
strait of water. In fact--knowing nothing of the previous voyage of
Torres--he was in search of the celebrated Torres' Straits, and yet,
amazing to relate, though he pushed his ships into the beginning of
Torres' Straits he allowed himself to be deceived, by the somewhat
numerous islands and islets which dot the waters of this not
particularly narrow passage, into believing that the gulf before him
was land-locked and not worth further investigations. The strait
is in reality about 140 miles wide at its narrowest. Nor is it so
thickly covered with islands as to be devoid here and there of far
sea horizons, suggesting the existence of wider waters beyond. It is
therefore very difficult to understand how Tasman can have allowed
himself to be so easly misled. It recalls the similar blunder which
so long impeded access to Canada, when Jacques Cartier and others
overlooked the Cabot Straits between Cape Breton and Newfoundland,
and laboriously sailed all the way north of the last-named territory
in order to get into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

[Illustration: Double Canoe of the Polynesians Simple Outrigger Canoe


(From a drawing by Tasman)]

The rest of Tasman's voyage, consequently, is not of very great
interest to us as regards his pioneering work in Australasia. He
made a fairly accurate survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria and of the
northern coast of Australia (Arnhem Land), and passing to the west
connected this up with the West Australian coast, whence he sailed
due north to Java.

The rest of his active life was spent in voyages to the Philippine
Islands and Indo-China. He got into disgrace on one of these
expeditions by losing his temper and trying to hang several of
the seamen who had disobeyed orders. For this he was punished
in various ways, amongst others by being obliged to resign his
position as one of the elders of the Church. Eventually, however,
his affairs righted themselves, and he retained the respect of his
fellow countrymen in Java till the time of his death, which occurred
probably in the year 1659, at Batavia. In his will he remembered the
poor people of his native village, Lutjegast, in Friesland, and left
them out of his property a sum equivalent to about £10 each.

Why the Dutch should have discontinued their explorations of
Australasia after the return of Tasman in 1644 is not easily
understood, since their appetite for a colonial empire was
enormous. But, so far as records go, no further ships were sent for
a considerable time in that direction, and the Dutch interested
themselves a good deal more either in the settlement of South Africa
or attempts to secure a monopoly of the trade with China and Japan.
It should be mentioned, however, that in 1696 an expedition was sent
to search for a missing East India Company's ship which had sailed
twelve years previously from the Cape of Good Hope for Java, and
this expedition, under Commander WILLEM DE VLAMINGH, in examining
the West Australian coast for traces of the ship, made a far more
thorough survey of that region than had been effected by the chance
visits of Dutchmen in the early part of the seventeenth century.
It penetrated as far south as the Swan River (on which the West
Australian capital of Perth now stands); and de Vlamingh thus named
the river because on it he saw wonderful black swans, thought until
then to be such an impossibility that amongst Latin writers a black
swan was regarded as a symbol of improbability.

Previous to de Vlamingh's voyage, however, the West Australian coast
had been visited by an English ship in 1688, the _Cygnet_, a vessel
practically manned by pirates, though they bore the more polite
designation of buccaneers, and hailed from the coasts of Tropical
America, where they had been plundering the Spaniards. On board this
ship was a remarkable pioneer, WILLIAM DAMPIER, who held the post
of supercargo, and who spent all his spare time in examining the
natural history and native races of the regions he visited as an
associate of the pirates.


Dampier's Voyages

William Dampier--the surname, like so many in England, is of
French origin--was born, the son of a farmer, at East Coker, near
Yeovil, in the south of Somersetshire. His attention no doubt was
directed to a seafaring life by the constant intercourse which at
that time went on between Yeovil and Weymouth; and when Dampier was
about seventeen years old, at his own desire he was apprenticed to
the master of a ship at Weymouth, with whom he made a voyage to
Newfoundland. But the cold experienced in this voyage so disgusted
him that he managed to get his indentures cancelled, and in 1671
engaged himself as an able seaman on a great vessel of the East
India Company which was leaving England for Java. He soon returned
from the Malay Archipelago, however, and enlisted on board a ship
of the British navy, in which he took a small part in the naval
war with Holland. Then he was sent out to Jamaica as a plantation
manager by the lord of the manor of East Coker (the village in
which he was born). Except for a brief visit to England in 1678,
when his marriage took place, he lived chiefly in the West Indies
and on the coast of Central America. He had soon left the work on
a plantation to join the buccaneers, or English, French, and Dutch
pirates, who were attempting to break down the supremacy of Spain in
the waters of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. With a party
of these buccaneers he established himself on the coast of Yucatan
to cut log-wood, and after his return to and residence in England
between 1675-9 he came back to the neighbourhood of what is now
British Honduras. Together with a party of buccaneers he crossed
the Isthmus of Panama, and, reaching the Pacific littoral, embarked
in Indian canoes. And in these they ranged up and down the coast of
Central and South America, attacking Spanish towns and shipping.
Apparently they must have captured from the Spaniards something more
serviceable for ocean traffic than Indian dug-out canoes, because in
1680 they voyaged across the Pacific as far as the lonely island of
Juan Fernandez, on which Alexander Selkirk was afterwards stranded
by an English buccaneering captain. Some of his adventures in this
direction will be described in another volume of the present series
dealing with that region. The success of these bold pirates in
capturing Spanish treasure ships and seizing Spanish towns on the
coasts of Mexico and Peru, and holding them to ransom, was so great
that they decided to return in force and renew their operations to
the west coast of South America. Thus with bigger ships they passed
through the Straits of Magellan and navigated the Pacific Ocean

It is interesting to note that on these truly remarkable voyages,
which few living seamen would be heroic enough to undertake, their
chief means of sustenance were flour (probably from maize) and
chocolate mixed with sugar, besides the fish obtained for them by
their Indian companions. The buccaneers afterwards recrossed Central
America, and rested for a time in the English colony of Virginia.
From this region Dampier accompanied a captain, John Cook, in the
_Revenge_ (a privateer or buccaneering ship), on a voyage to the
Pacific. They sailed first to the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern

On one of the easternmost of this still-little-known archipelago
Dampier made some most interesting and truthful observations
regarding the nesting of flamingoes, though he jumped to a wrong
conclusion as to the attitude in which the female flamingo hatches
her eggs; but he observes that a dish of flamingoes' tongues is
fit for a prince's table, the tongue of this bird being very
large and fat. From the Cape Verde Islands they passed on to the
Sherboro River (near Sierra Leone), even in those days an English
trading settlement. Then, boldly leaving the West African coast,
they steered right across the Atlantic to the extremity of South
America, helped by a succession of tornadoes to cross the region
of equatorial calms till the trade winds blew them over to the
Falkland Islands and round Cape Horn. Soon after entering the
Pacific Ocean they fell in with other English ships, quite a number
of which were now being dispatched round the extremity of South
America to the Pacific Ocean, not so much to make discoveries in
that direction as to trade with or to plunder the west coast of
South America. To all such the Islands of Juan Fernandez[51] were a
favourite and safe rendevous for repairs and for obtaining supplies
of fresh water. But that the Spaniards became during the seventeenth
century perfectly inept in the matter of defending their monopolist
pretensions in seas which they attempted to forbid to the rest of
the world, they would have occupied and garrisoned at an early
date the principal island of the Juan Fernandez group.[52] On
this island--Mas-a-tierra--goats and pigs had been landed by the
Spanish pilot, Juan Fernandez himself, in the sixteenth century.
They had increased and multiplied, and furnished excellent mutton
and pork for ships that called there. There were only two bays in
Mas-a-tierra Island (which was about 36 miles in circumference and
of very broad, diversified surface, "high hills and small pleasant
valleys") wherein ships might anchor. In the vicinity of each
harbour there were rivulets of good fresh water. In course of time
the goats multiplied to such an extent that they began to destroy
the forests, which still in Dampier's time were a prominent feature
in the landscapes, and which included not only good timber trees
but an Areca cabbage-palm, the head of which formed an excellent
vegetable for seafaring people, badly in need of such an addition
to their diet. The sea round about Mas-a-tierra swarmed with fish,
and was thronged by seals and sea-lions, which came ashore to breed
or to bask in the sun. Dampier states that there were possibly
"millions of seals", "either sitting on the shore of the bays or
going and coming in the sea round the island". Both seals and
sea-lions provided the ships with quantities of train-oil, but the
flesh of these aquatic mammals was not liked. [Dampier notes with
correctness the abundance of seals along the coasts of North and
South America, but their relative absence from the seas washing the
East Indies, where indeed they only reappear in the far south along
the coasts of Australia and New Zealand.]

  [51] The largest of these islands was long associated in our minds
  with Alexander Selkirk and the story of _Robinson Crusoe_, though
  this wonderful piece of fiction was really concerned with the
  islands off the delta of the Orinoco River.

  [52] The group consisted of two islands and an islet. The largest
  of the three was called Mas-a-tierra ("more towards the mainland"),
  and was 425 miles from the coast of Chile; the next largest was 100
  miles farther west and called Mas-a-fuera ("farther away"). The
  islet near Mas-a-tierra was named Santa Clara. Mas-a-tierra was
  garrisoned by Spain in 1750.

From the Juan Fernandez Islands Dampier's ship made its way to the
Galapagos archipelago, where Dampier duly noted the large, fat, and
tame land-lizards--a species of iguana--and, above all, the enormous
tortoises "extraordinarily large and fat; so sweet that no pullet
eats more pleasantly". A very large tortoise might weigh as much as
200 pounds. He also observed the abundance of turtle of four kinds
in the sea round the coasts of this archipelago.[53]

  [53] The three species of real turtle belonged two to the genus
  _Chelone_ and one to _Thallassochelys_, viz. the Hawksbill Turtle,
  the shell of which is the tortoiseshell of commerce; the Green
  Turtle, which makes turtle soup, and is delicious to eat; and the
  musky-smelling useless Loggerhead Turtle. The fourth kind was the
  quite unrelated Leathery Turtle (_Sphargis_), which grows to a great
  size, 7 to 8 feet long.

After their stay at the Galapagos Islands Captain John Cook died,
and his place was taken by a commander named Davis. Two other
English buccaneering ships had joined Dampier's vessel at the
Galapagos, and the adventurers spent months which became years in
various piratical adventures up and down the west coast of Central
and South America from California to Peru. At last a Captain Swan,
to whose ship the _Cygnet_ Dampier had transferred himself on 25
August, 1685, decided, probably on Dampier's advice, to return
to England by way of the East Indies. Accordingly they steered
right across the Pacific from Cape Corrientes on the coast of
Mexico to Guam in the Ladrone Islands, a passage in which they had
been preceded by Francis Drake in 1580 and Sir Thomas Cavendish
in 1588. Of course the terrors of this voyage across some seven
thousand miles of sea was diminished by this time owing to the
frequent passages made by the Spanish ships between Mexico and the
Philippine Islands. Apparently this somewhat northern track across
the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean was relatively free from
violent tempests, and at the right season of the year provided with
continuously favourable winds in one direction or the other. At
any rate, the two ships of the expedition, under Captain Swan and
Captain Teat (Dampier being with Swan), set out from Cape Corrientes
on 31 March, 1686, and reached Guam on 21 May with only three days'
provisions left for the ships' crews. The somewhat strict allowance
of food and drink on which all were placed was thought by Dampier to
have cured him of a dropsy from which he was suffering at the time
of his departure from Cape Corrientes. Their sustenance consisted of
ten spoonfuls of boiled Indian corn a day, together with a little
water for those who were thirsty; but Dampier noticed that some of
the seamen did not drink for nine or ten days at a time, and one man
went without any liquid for seventeen days, declaring he was not
thirsty. For such as these the moisture in the boiled maize seems
to have sufficed. But the men had grimly resolved that they would
not long grow hungry if Captain Swan's estimate was at fault. It had
been decided that, as soon as victuals failed, Captain Swan should
be killed and eaten!

[Illustration: AUSTRALASIA

on Mercator's Projection]

Of course the arrival at the Island of Guam (or Guahan, as it was
called by the natives) did not mean necessarily that they would at
once obtain provisions, because the island, unlike Mas-a-tierra
(Juan Fernandez), was strongly fortified and garrisoned by the
Spaniards, who kept it, naturally, for the relief and refreshment
of Spanish ships alone, those engaged in the transit between the
Philippine Islands and the west coast of America. Guam produced in
those days rice, pineapples, melons, oranges, limes, bread-fruit,
and, above all, coconuts. Upon their first arrival Captain Swan
pretended that he and his men were Spaniards. By this means they
induced a Spanish priest with three natives of the island to
come on board. These they held as hostages, sending word, through
them, to the governor of the island of Guam that Captain Swan was
badly in want of provisions, was of peaceable intent, and prepared
to purchase the same on reasonable terms. Meantime the seamen,
including Dampier, landed with little ceremony and brought off
quantities of coconuts--as to which Dampier wrote in rapturous
terms, noting the delicious liquid preserved in the cavity of the
coconut, the flesh of the nut, and the sweet sap drawn from the tree
which made either a kind of wine "very sweet and pleasant if it is
to be drunk within twenty-four hours after being drawn" and capable
of becoming a very alcoholic liquid when fermented. "The kernel", he
writes, "is much used in making broth. When the nut is dry they take
off the husk, and giving two good blows on the middle of the nut it
breaks in two equal parts, letting the water fall on the ground;
then with a small iron rasp made for the purpose the kernel or nut
is rasped out clean, which being put into a little fresh water,
makes it become white as milk. In this milky water they boil a fowl
or any other sort of flesh, and it makes very savoury broth. English
seamen put this water into boiled rice, which they eat instead of
rice-milk, carrying nuts purposely to sea with them. This they learn
from the natives."

The Governor of Guam, partly through fear, but also pleased at the
presents sent to him by Captain Swan, furnished the two ships with
a variety and an abundance of provisions, so that they were able to
go on their way to the Philippine Islands, of which Dampier wrote an
excellent description, which may be read in his book.[54]

  [54] The best edition of Dampier's travels is that edited by John
  Masefield and published (in 1906) by E. Grant Richards.

The powerful chiefs of the large islands in the Philippine
archipelago in those days had not been subdued by the Spaniards,
and therefore considered themselves quite free to trade with the
English ships. But during the long stay off the island of Mindanao
the seamen got out of hand, and mutinied against Captain Swan's
projects of founding some establishment for trading purposes in the
Philippine Islands. A section of the expedition elected John Read, a
young navigator, with Captain Teat as sailing master of the ship, to
command them. With Dampier amongst them they then sailed away from
Mindanao leaving Swan[55] and thirty-six of his men behind. After
cruising about the rest of the Philippine Islands and visiting the
coasts of Tonquin, Siam, the Island of Formosa, and southern China,
they made for the Island of Timor, intending to pass out that way
from the Malay Archipelago into the Indian Ocean, and so return to
England by the way of the Cape of Good Hope. On their way thither
they anchored before the Dutch fort of Macassar on the remarkable
island of Celebes. Here an allusion is made to buffaloes[56] (which
they did not see), and to "crockadores" (cockatoos) "as big as a
parrot, shaped like it, and with a smaller bill, but as white as
milk, with a bunch of feathers on its head like a crown."

  [55] Swan was afterwards murdered by the natives.

  [56] Dampier also alludes to the wild oxen of the Philippine
  Islands, which were in reality the very interesting Tamarao
  buffalo. The only wild buffaloes in Celebes would be the still more
  interesting Anoa peculiar to that island. Both the Tamarao and the
  Anoa offer resemblances in the horns and skull to extinct buffaloes
  once living in northern India. The Anoa is the smallest of the Ox
  tribe, and the most generalized type of living oxen; that is to
  say, the type which most resembles antelopes. It is quite a small
  creature, not much bigger than a very large sheep, and the horns are
  perfectly straight and directed backwards in a line with the nasal
  bones of the skull. The Anoa generally shows two white spots on each
  side of the cheeks, and white markings on the throat and legs (which
  reappear also in the Tamarao of the Philippine Islands), similar to
  the white spots and stripes in the Tragelaphine antelopes, like the
  Bush-buck, Kudu, and Nilghai.

In the month of December, 1687, Dampier, with his companions, had
passed the Island of Timor, which he described as long, high, and
mountainous, and already a part of the Malay Archipelago specially
appropriated by the Portuguese. The commanders of the vessel (Read
and Teat) now proposed to "touch at New Holland, a part of Terra
Australis Incognita, to see what that country would afford us".
After avoiding with great care shoals and reefs, they anchored on
5 January, 1688, two miles from the shore, at the mouth, probably,
of King Sound on the north-west coast of Australia; an inlet in
which there were numerous islands, at that time somewhat densely
inhabited by the aborigines. Dampier must have landed with many of
his companions, otherwise he could not have given such a realistic
description of this part of Australia and its inhabitants. He
describes the land (which he, like the Dutch discoverers who had
preceded him, guessed at once to be of continental extent) as having
a dry, sandy soil, and being very destitute of water, though it was
possible to sink wells and obtain it not far from the surface, yet
this part of Tropical Australia produced various kinds of trees
growing separately and sparsely, and not in forests. The most
prominent tree in the region he visited was a species of Dracæna or
tree-lily, which was the biggest seen in that neighbourhood. He at
once saw the resemblance between these tree-lilies and the Dragon
tree of Tropical Asia, which produced the dark-coloured gum known
as dragons' blood. Under the trees grew long, thin grass, but both
animals and birds seem to have been scarce; in fact, Dampier and his
companions saw no beast, but only the track of one, which suggested
the existence of something as big as a "great mastiff dog". This may
have been the footprints of a dingo. On the beach there were turtle
and also dugongs.[57]

  [57] Called by Dampier _manati_, see pp. 40 and 165.

Dampier writes more about the natives of Australia rather than its
products or landscapes. He describes them as "the miserablest people
in the world", beside whom the Hodmadods (Hottentots) of South
Africa were gentlemen. These aboriginal Australians had no houses
or skin garments, no domestic animals, and no cultivated forms of
vegetable food. They had great bottle noses, pretty full lips and
wide mouths, from which the two middle incisor teeth of the upper
jaw were wanting, having been extracted from the people of both
sexes whilst they were still children. Their faces were long and
their heads disproportionately big, with very projecting brows.
The eyelids were kept half-closed because of the pest of flies for
ever trying to get into their eyes. The head-hair was black, short,
and curled, like that of Negroes, and (curiously enough) they had
no beards. (This is a strange remark on the part of Dampier, and
almost suggests that at this time that broad portion of north-west
Australia which he visited was inhabited by a Papuan race from New
Guinea, for if there is one thing for which the typical Australian
aborigine is noteworthy it is the abundance of the beard in the
men. Even the women of middle age frequently grow short whiskers
and a tuft of beard at the chin.) The colour of their skins was
coal black, like that of the Negroes of Guinea. They were tall,
slender people, with somewhat delicate limbs. They had no sort of
clothing, but round the waist was tied a girdle of bark, and into
this was thrust occasionally a handful of long grass or three or
four small green boughs full of leaves. There were no signs of any
houses, the people sleeping on the ground in the open air. But they
generally slept round about a fire, and would sometimes stick a few
branches in the ground as a shelter from the prevailing wind. From
his description they evidently possessed the wooden boomerang and
wooden lances or spears, the ends of which were hardened by heat.
They seemed to have no boats or even rafts, but they were good
swimmers, and were observed swimming from one island to another.
Their food seemed to consist almost entirely of fish, which they
caught by making weirs of stones across little inlets of the sea,
in such a way that the high tides brought the fish up these inlets
and left them stranded behind the weirs. They also sought diligently
for shellfish along the shore. They were acquainted with the use
of fire, and boiled the fish, the clams, the mussels, oysters,
and periwinkles which they obtained from the seashore, carefully
distributing all the food they thus acquired amongst the old people
and the children as well as the able-bodied who procured it. After
eating they would lie down and sleep until it was necessary to sally
out again at low water and obtain fresh supplies of fish food. Their
language seemed to be very guttural.

Dampier and his companions sailed away from north-west Australia
to the Cocos or Coconut Islands in the Indian Ocean, which long
afterwards were settled by enterprising Scotsmen, and have become
a British possession of some little value. From the Cocos Islands
they made their way back to Sumatra and the mainland of Indo-China.
By this time he had become thoroughly sick of the buccaneers and
their piratical ways, and, after making one or two vain attempts to
escape, he, with two companions, extorted an unwilling permission
from Captain Read to be left behind on the Nicobar Islands (between
Sumatra and the Andamans). One of the seamen who rowed them ashore
out of kindliness stole an axe and gave it to the party of three
Englishmen, "knowing it was a good commodity with the Indians".[58]

  [58] The after career of the _Cygnet_ and her crew, with her two
  captains, Read and Teat, was sufficiently remarkable to be briefly
  sketched. Some more of her men left her at the Philippines and
  entered the Royal Navy, wherein at least one of them rose to a very
  honourable command. Captain Teat, and thirty to forty stout seamen,
  quitted the _Cygnet_ on the Coromandel coast and made their way
  to Agra, where they entered the bodyguard of the Mughal emperor.
  Read, joined by some more adventurers, took the _Cygnet_, over to
  Madagaskar, where, in alliance with a Sakalava chief, he played
  the pirate successfully. Wearying of this, he and some of his men
  turned slavers, and joined a ship which had come from New York to
  convey slaves from Madagaskar and East Africa to America. Read and
  his men went to New York, and quite possibly became the ancestors
  of excellent citizens of the United States. Other adventurers then
  proposed patching up the old _Cygnet_, whose bottom was honeycombed
  with the attacks of the Teredo boring worm, and sailing her back
  to England. They were obliged, however, to abandon her in St.
  Augustine's Bay (Southern Madagaskar), where she foundered.

When they landed it was dark, so Dampier lighted a candle and
conducted his companions to one of the native houses, where they
hung up their hammocks. They were later joined by a Portuguese
interpreter and four Achin Malay seamen. "It was a fine, clear
moonlight night in which we were left ashore, therefore we walked
on the sandy bay to watch when the ship should weigh and be gone,
not thinking ourselves secure in our new gotten liberty till then."
However, at midnight the pirate vessel sailed away, and Dampier
and his companions went peacefully to sleep. The next day they
bought from their native landlord a canoe for the axe, and, putting
their chests and clothes in it, decided to go to the south of the
island and wait there till the monsoon had shifted and the wind was
favourable for a passage across to the north end of Sumatra. But no
sooner was their canoe launched, with all their goods and men in it,
than it capsized and the party were obliged to save their lives
by swimming. Their boxes and clothes were also saved, and Dampier
applied himself most assiduously to the drying of his precious
journal and drawings. During the next three days the Achinese
seamen of their party (who had been members of the crew of a native
vessel seized by the pirates) had arranged outriggers to the canoe,
fitted her with a good mast, and made a substantial sail of mats.
Their canoe thus steadied, they put off once more to sea, and so
sailed southwards to another island. Here, through an unfortunate
accident, they caused the natives to think that they came as
enemies. By a bold manœuvre, organized by Dampier, friendship was
concluded with them and "all very joyfully accepted of a peace.
This became universal over all the islands, to the great joy of the
inhabitants.... Gladness appeared in their countenances, and now
we could go out and fish again without fear of being taken. This
peace was not more welcome to them than to us.... They again brought
their mellory to us, which we bought for old rags." The loaves of
mellory, of which Dampier writes so much and so gratefully, for
it was sometimes the only sustenance he had in these adventures,
were derived from the local bread-fruit, either identical with the
species of the Pacific islands or belonging to an allied kind of

  [59] Several plants and animals which are found in Austro-Malaysia
  and the Western Pacific islands, but not in India or Further India,
  make their appearance in the Nicobars; amongst others the Megapode
  gallinaceous birds.

"On 15 May, 1688, about four o'clock in the afternoon, we left
Nicobar Island, directing our course towards Achin, being eight
men of us in company, namely, three Englishmen, four Malayans
(Achinese), and a mongrel Portuguese." Their vessel, the Nicobar
canoe, was about the size (he writes) of a London wherry, coming to
a sharp point at either end, rather narrower than a wherry, and so
thin and light that when empty four men could launch her or pull her
ashore. She would have easily capsized but for the outriggers made
of strong poles and lashed fast and firm on each side of the vessel.
The gunwale of the little vessel was not more than 3 inches above
the water when she was loaded.

In the middle of their passage from Nicobar to Achin a terrible
storm arose, with a violent wind. The sea rose higher and higher,
but at first did them no damage, for the steersman kept the little
vessel at right angles to the great waves and the crew baled
incessantly. What they feared most was that the violence of the
ups and downs would smash the outriggers; there would then be no
hope for them, as the canoe would promptly capsize. The evening of
18 May was very dismal, the sky looked black, being covered with
dark clouds, the wind blew hard and the seas ran high and roared
in a white foam about the canoe. The still darker night was coming
on, no land was in sight, and it seemed as though their little ark
must be swallowed up by each great wave in succession. "What was
worst of all, none of us thought ourselves prepared for another
world. I have been in many imminent dangers before now, but the
worst of them all was but a play game in comparison to this." In the
middle of the night heavy rain fell, which not only lessened the
wind but gave the wretched crew fresh water to drink. Then again
arose a fresh hurricane. It was again abated by another torrential
downpour, so that in addition to other miseries the occupants of
the canoe had not one dry patch in their clothing and were chilled
extremely. At length the day appeared, but with such dark, black
clouds near the horizon that it brought little comfort. However, the
weather began to improve, and on the second day after this violent
storm they landed safely at the mouth of a river in Achin. "The
gentlemen of Sumatra were extraordinarily kind to us", providing the
fever-stricken party with everything that they had need of--young
buffaloes, goats, coconuts, plantains, fowls, eggs, fish, and rice.
They were afterwards conveyed to the town of Achin and put up at
the English factory there. The Portuguese and one of the English
companions of Dampier died of the fever which afflicted all the
party, and which made Dampier himself so ill that he was long in
recovering his strength. After spending nearly three years with
the English traders in different parts of Sumatra and the Malay
Peninsula, he managed to smuggle himself on board a British East
Indiaman, and thus returned, after many adventures, round the Cape
of Good Hope to England.

He brought back with him to England, as the only asset of property
acquired after his tremendous adventures, a "painted prince" named
Jeoly. This was a man born on the little island of Meangis (north
of Jilolo), whom Dampier had purchased at the fort of Benkulen,
an English factory on the south-west coast of Sumatra, where he
(Dampier) had served for five months as a gunner. Jeoly claimed
to be the son of the chief of his island, and was most remarkably
tatued, or, as Dampier phrases it, "painted", all over his body, the
decoration being made by minute punctures of the skin into which
was rubbed the powdered gum of a tree. Jeoly and his relations had
been driven in their canoes by a strong wind on to the coast of
Mindanao (Philippine Islands), where they were sold as slaves, and,
having been bought by an Englishman, were transferred to Benkulen
in Sumatra. Here Dampier made the acquaintance of this man, whom
he seems to have treated with great kindness when he was ill. At
his own request he acquired a right over Jeoly by purchase. When he
reached England with Jeoly, whom he had managed to convey away on
the ship which had given him a return passage, he supported himself
for some time by exhibiting Jeoly at country fairs as a painted
prince. It is sad to relate, however, that, either because of his
necessity or for profit, he sold the faithful Jeoly to another
master, and then took up a sea life again. Jeoly--no doubt catching
cold by being constantly exhibited without clothes at English
fairs--died at Oxford about 1696.

Meantime Dampier was steadily working away at his journals, and in
1697 he published his first book on his truly remarkable adventures
and his circumnavigation of the globe. It met with a well-merited
success, being, indeed, superior to any work of travel published up
to that time in the English tongue; and apparently the excellence
of his book obtained for him a small position in the service of the
Customs House in London. Having by these means got into touch with
the Admiralty, he proposed that he should be put in command of an
expedition to explore the coasts of New Holland (Australia), and on
this voyage, commanding the _Roebuck_, he started on 14 January,

After touching at Brazil, which was almost obligatory as part of
the sailing voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, he sailed on a direct
course from South Africa to the west coast of Australia, which he
reached at the place christened by himself Sharks Bay. The land
everywhere appeared generally low, flat, and even, but with steep
cliffs to the sea--a desolate coast, without trees, shrubs, or
grass. After coming to an anchor in what is now called Dampier Bay
he went on shore with his men, carrying pickaxes and shovels to dig
for water, and axes to cut wood. They found no water, but the soil
was less sterile than had seemed at a distance, a reddish sand in
which grew grasses, plants, and shrubs. The grass grew in great
tufts as big as a bushel basket, and intermixed with much heather.
The low trees or shrubs were evidently some kind of Eucalyptus, with
reddish timber and strong-scented leaves. In the brackish water of
the coast lagoons there were quantities of water-fowl, pelicans,
cormorants, ducks, curlews, various kinds of oyster-catcher and
plover, and gulls. On the land were a few singing birds, some of
them no bigger than wrens, all singing with a great variety of
fine, shrill notes. Eagles soared in the blue heaven and apparently
preyed on the few beasts and reptiles which were to be seen in the
neighbourhood. Amongst these was a sort of racoon, "different from
those of America in that it had very short forelegs but powerful
hind limbs on which it jumped". This was probably one of the smaller
species of kangaru. Then there was a lizard (described wrongly as
an iguana) with a large and ugly head, and a very short, thick
tail, which seemed another head at the other end of the animal,
but without mouth or eyes. These were speckled black and yellow
like toads, with scales and knobs on their backs similar to those
of crocodiles. They were very slow in motion, but when a man came
near them they would stand still and hiss, and not endeavour to get

  [60] These were, perhaps, the Moloch lizards (_Moloch horridus_).

There was no river, lake, or pond of fresh water to be seen
here, but the sea water along the coast abounded with fish, and
especially with sharks and rays. On the beach were many kinds of
shellfish--mussels, periwinkles, limpets, cockles, oysters--both
edible and of the kind which produces pearls. The shore was lined
thick with many other sorts of strange and beautiful shells, most
finely spotted with red, black, or yellow. There were also green
turtle weighing about 200 pounds each, two of which the party caught
when they were stranded on shore by the ebbing tide, and which were
a most welcome sustenance to the crew, though he speaks of their
meat as only being indifferently good. On the other hand, his seamen
ate most heartily of the sharks. One of these was 11 feet long, and
its maw, or stomach, was like a leather sack, very thick, and so
tough that a sharp knife could scarcely cut it. In this they found
the head and bones of a "hippopotamus",[61] the hairy lips of which
were still sound and not putrefied, the jaw also firm, out of which
they plucked a great many teeth, two of them very large, as big as a
man's thumb, small at one end, and a little crooked.

  [61] It was not, of course, a hippopotamus, this creature never
  having penetrated, even in bygone ages, farther eastwards than
  India, but a dugong. The dugong is a near relation of the manati,
  which frequents the tropical rivers and estuaries of West Africa,
  the West Indies, and South America. The place of the manati is
  taken in the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans by the dugong,
  which differs from the manati chiefly in having retained in the
  upper jaw two of the incisor teeth. The manati has only molars,
  and no front teeth. These incisors of the male dugong develop
  sometimes into tusks of considerable size--an inferior kind of
  ivory in the commerce of the Pacific Ocean. The manati, the dugong,
  and the extinct rhytina of Kamchatka are surviving members of the
  Sirenian order of aquatic mammals, creatures distantly related to
  the Ungulate or Hoofed mammals, which adopted an existence in the
  water ages ago, and gradually lost their hind limbs from disuse.
  The Sirenians feed only on vegetable food, and the two surviving
  members of this order, the manati and the dugong, live chiefly on
  seaweed and the shore vegetation at the mouths of rivers. The manati
  frequents the coasts of the Atlantic and the dugong those of the
  Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

During Dampier's stay in the vicinity of Shark's Bay (in or about
which he anchored at three separate places searching in vain for
fresh water) his company were well refreshed with the flesh of
kangarus, turtle, shark, ducks, and plovers. Pursuing his course
farther he explored the waters of Freycinet Harbour and realized
that the great promontory to the west of it was really an island
(Dirk Hartog's Island), but finding no means of getting on shore to
search for water (owing to the dangers of the shoals and the rocks)
he sailed northwards, and was impressed by the noise made by the
whales (blowing through their nostrils, or even uttering sounds more
vocal) at night-time, and by the beautiful sea snakes during the
day. Of these they saw two different kinds, one was yellow, about
the bigness of a woman's wrist, and 4 feet long, with a flat tail,
and the other much smaller and shorter, and spotted black and yellow.

About the twentieth degree of south latitude they found themselves
sailing through an archipelago of islands, since named after
Dampier. Here again they landed in their eager search after fresh
water, but were once more disappointed. The islands were dry, rocky,
and barren, of a general rusty-yellow colour, yet supporting a fair
amount of vegetation, shrubs like rosemary, and others with blue
and yellow flowers, creeping peas and beans, some with beautiful
deep-red flowers. On these islands, besides the ordinary sea birds,
they beheld large flocks of white parrots (cockatoos). They also
enjoyed the abundance of small oysters, which were delicious eating.
Here and there smoke rose from the islands, showing that they were
inhabited by man, and this was the characteristic of the distant
mainland. But it was not until the vessel had sailed as far north
as the eighteenth degree of south latitude that Dampier was able
to approach near enough to the shore to land on it in his search
for water. Here at last they came into contact with the Australian
aborigines. As they neared the shore they saw three tall, black,
naked men, who fled at their approach. These they pursued with
amicable intentions till they reached something which looked like
a human settlement and was marked as such by its "haycocks" or
shelters, which were possibly adaptations of tall anthills. But
they found no water here, so they returned to the seashore and
there dug into the sand. The natives followed them at a distance,
making threatening noises and gestures. In the afternoon Dampier
made another attempt to get into touch with the people, and one of
his seamen, an active young man named Alexander Beal, outran them.
They turned and fought him with their wooden lances and wounded
him. In order to save his life Dampier was obliged to come to his
rescue and shoot one of the natives with his gun, after which the
rest ran away, carrying off their wounded companions. Amongst these
natives was one who by his appearance and carriage seemed to be a
chief amongst them. He was a brisk young man, not very tall, or
even as good-looking as some of the others, but more active and
courageous. He alone was painted, and his face was decorated with
a circle of white paste round his eyes, a white streak down his
forehead and nose, while white patterns were painted on his breast
and arms. He and his people had unpleasant looks, and seemed to
Dampier more savage than any human race he had ever met with. They
were rendered additionally ugly by their blinking eyes, due to the
flies which gathered round the eyelids in teasing numbers. Their
skins were black and the hair bushy and frizzled. It was found
that at their camps, when they did not use the shelter of anthills,
they would stick three or four leafy boughs into the ground against
the prevailing wind blowing off the sea. Near these they made
their fireplaces, and thus obtained shelter and warmth during the
night. At each fireplace were great heaps of the shells of oysters,
mussels, cockles, &c., the chief sustenance of these savages. Unlike
the natives whom Dampier had encountered farther north, in his
first glimpse of Australia, these people seemed to live entirely on
shellfish, and made no weirs to catch fish at the ebbing of the tide.

From this place they obtained only four hogsheads of brackish water
by digging wells in the sand, while engaged in which work they
were pestered with the flies, whose attentions they felt far more
than the blazing sun. Indeed, by inference, we may gather that
Dampier experienced on the tropical coast of West Australia the
same immunity from sunstroke as is characteristic of other parts of

The land of this region (which would be the southern part of the
vast Kimberley district) was level, and although terribly waterless
by no means devoid of vegetation, being more or less covered with
flowering shrubs and bushes and bright with red, white, blue, and
yellow flowers, most of them belonging to some kind of pea or bean,
which also bore ripened seeds in pods. He notes the number of
"rocks" in the vast plains, 5 or 6 feet high, round at the top, like
a haycock, red, or in some cases white. These were obviously the
anthills built by a termite or "white ant". Farther inland beyond
these plains was a thin forest, and along the creeks of the seashore
grew a few dwarf mangrove trees. Animals were scarce and consisted
chiefly of lizards, snakes, and a few marsupial mammals (probably
kangarus) and wandering dingoes "like hungry wolves". As to birds,
there were "crows just like ours in England" (see p. 41), small
hawks and kites, turtle-doves, and a variety of small birds about
the size of larks.

In despair of finding fresh water in this inhospitable country,
Dampier directed his course towards the Island of Timor. On their
way thither they saw more sea snakes, some of which were all black,
whilst another large one had a red head. At last, "to our great
joy", they saw the tops of the high mountains of Timor peeping
above the clouds, and came to an anchor on the south side of the
island about 200 yards from the shore.[62] The land by the sea was
full of tall, straight-bodied trees like pines (Casuarinas), but
they were again balked, for the approach to land which might yield
fresh water was hindered by a long mangrove creek. Much of the south
coast of Timor proved "barricaded with mangroves", though beyond
the land appeared pleasant enough to the eye, the sides and tops of
lofty mountains covered with large forests and meadows, and obvious
plantations in which they could see coconut palms growing. The weary
mariners, suffering terribly from scurvy, were obliged to turn the
ship about and sail to the west end of the island in order to get on
its north coast.

  [62] An admirable description of the Island of Timor is given by
  Dampier, much of which might be applicable to this region at the
  present day. This large island (some 12,500 square miles in area,
  300 miles long, and an average 40 miles broad) lies, as he remarks,
  nearly north-east and south-west, and consequently somewhat out
  of the general direction of the other Sunda Islands in the long
  string between Java on the west and Wetar on the east. Of all the
  islands of the Malay Archipelago (except the New Guinea group) it
  is the one which approaches nearest to the Australian continent.
  On its southern side are tremendously high mountains rising to a
  culminating altitude of more than 12,000 feet close to the seashore.
  But a great deal of the actual coastline is obstructed for the
  access of mariners, especially on the south, by an obstinate fringe
  of mangroves. The mangrove is a tree which grows out of the mud and
  shallow sea water, supporting itself by innumerable roots. It is
  practically impossible for anyone to make their way by land through
  the mangrove swamps. Beyond the mangroves, before the land rises
  into mountains, is a stretch of sandy country sparsely clothed with
  a tree which Dampier describes as a pine, which was more probably
  the Casuarina. The mountains form an almost continuous chain running
  through the middle of Timor from one extremity to the other, without
  outlying mountains of great height in the southern districts. The
  indigenous inhabitants of Timor are mainly of Papuan or Negroid
  stock, with a considerable intermixture of Mongolian Malay. As in
  Dampier's time, so at the present day, the island was practically
  divided between the Portuguese and the Dutch. What first drew the
  attention of Portuguese navigators to this out-of-the-way island
  of the Malay Archipelago is not known to us. They found their way
  to Timor in 1520, being followed soon afterwards by the ships of
  Magellan's expedition. The Portuguese have stuck to Timor through
  all the changing circumstances of their history, even after the
  Dutch had turned them out of all the other Malay islands. They now
  are admitted by Holland and the rest of Europe to be the rulers over
  nearly two-thirds of the island.

Here they found themselves approaching a Dutch fort--Concordia--and
a Dutch ship came to meet them, greatly surprised at the arrival of
Englishmen from such a direction, especially as they had found their
way between the islands at the south-west extremity of Timor. The
discourse between the two parties was in French, as there was no
one on board the English ship who could speak Dutch. The Hollanders
proved most inhospitable, as they suspected Dampier and his men of
being pirates. Grudgingly they were allowed to obtain water from
the Dutch fort at Kupang. Passing round the north coast (stopping
here and there to get fresh water, buffalo meat, and cockatoos)
they reached the region of the Portuguese settlements. Here they
were much more hospitably treated than they had been by the Dutch,
and the Deputy-Governor of Lifau sent them a most welcome present
of young buffaloes, goats, kids, coconuts, ripe mangoes, and
jack-fruit. The only pure-blooded Portuguese at this place were a
priest and a lieutenant; the rest were mostly Christianized natives
of Timor, "copper coloured, with black, lank hair". The Portuguese
lieutenant was named Alexis Mendoza. Dampier was informed that at
the east end of Timor (Dilli) there was a good harbour and a large
Portuguese town where he could get plenty refreshments for his men
and pitch for his ship, the Governor of the place (Capitão Môr)
being a very courteous gentlemen and glad to entertain English
ships. For some reason he turned back to the west and camped on
the coast in a region called Babao, near the Dutch settlement of
Kupang. Here he obtained the pitch with which he caulked the planks
of his leaking ship, and cleaned the sides of weed and shells,
giving them afterwards a coating of lime. Every now and again his
men went inland and hunted buffaloes, afterwards roasting, smoking,
or drying the flesh. The Dutch visited them here to find out what
they were doing. After some misunderstandings Dampier went to dine
with the Governors of the Dutch fort of Concordia in Kupang Bay.
Here he found plenty of very good victuals well dressed, the linen
being white and clean, the dishes and all plate being fine china.
Nowhere on this voyage did he meet with better entertainment or so
much decency and order. With their meals they drank wine, beer,
or rum and water. The Dutch Governor had formed an interesting
collection of beautiful shells. Still, their treatment by the Dutch
was grudging. They were denied stores, and though offered fresh
provisions, realized that these would be much dearer than the things
they could obtain at little cost to themselves by hunting.

From Timor Dampier sailed between the islands of Ombai and Wetar or
Vetta and past the small island of Gunong Api,[63] which consists
mainly of one huge, active volcano, sloping up from the sea towards
the top, where it is divided into two peaks, between which issued
more smoke than Dampier had ever seen from any other volcano. Most
of this island was burnt up and desolate from the devastating
effect of the streams of red-hot lava. Thence he sailed through
the Banda Sea till on New Year's Day, 1700, he first descried the
coast of New Guinea, probably the country of Baaik, the southern
part of that extraordinary western projection of New Guinea--the
Arfak Peninsula--which is nearly cut into two large islands by
M'Clure Inlet and Geelvink Bay. Here, nearly opposite the big
island of Ceram, his men landed to obtain fresh water. The country
was mountainous and well clothed with magnificent forests, which
appeared very green. The seamen brought back with them from the
shore a variety of wild fruits which they found in the forest, and
"a stately land fowl of a sky colour", with white and red spots on
the wings, and on the crown a large bunch of long feathers. The bill
was like that of a pigeon, but the red legs and feet resembled those
of fowls. The men had also discovered the nest of this bird with
one egg in it as large as that of a hen. It was the now well-known
Victoria Crowned Pigeon, sometimes styled the Goura. Some 150 years
afterwards it was rediscovered in what is now British New Guinea,
and named after Queen Victoria. From this point Dampier seems to
have shaped his course to a small island off M'Clure Inlet, which
he calls by its Malay name of Pulo Sabuda. Here he saw more of
these large Goura pigeons and enormous fruit-bats (of the genus
_Pteropus_), the bodies of which were as big as those of rabbits,
while in a general way they looked exactly what their name implies
"flying foxes", with a stretch of wing from tip to tip measuring 4
feet. The inhabitants of this island were of two distinct types--the
Malayan, with tawny skin and long, lank, black hair, and "curl-pated
New Guinea negroes", many of which were slaves to the people of
Malayan type. The Malays possessed large sailing boats with which
they visited the coasts of New Guinea, where they obtained Papuan
slaves, parrots, and Paradise-birds, which they carried over to the
Dutch settlements in Ceram and exchanged for European trade goods.

  [63] Quite distinct from the Gunong Api of the Banda Islands.

After stopping at Pulo Sabuda Dampier rounded the north-western
promontory of New Guinea, calling at some of the small islands for
wood and water and shellfish, some of which were "cockles" weighing
10 pounds each, and other huge bivalves, clams, weighing 78 pounds.
At most of these islands they saw the same large fruit-bats. One
of these islands off Waigiu (in what is still called the Dampier
Strait) he named after King William III. After that he continued to
sail round the north coast of New Guinea, past islands which he knew
to have been previously discovered by the Dutch.

At last he reached the vicinity of the two great islands now known
as New Mecklenburg and New Pomerania. He took them to be one island,
to which he gave the name of Nova Britannia (New Britain), a name
which it bore down to the days of Captain Cook, who christened the
northern portion, which was found to be a separate island, New
Ireland. Dampier, landing on the northern coast of New Ireland (now
New Mecklenburg), described it as high and mountainous, adorned with
tall, flourishing trees, possessing many plantations and patches
of cleared land. The natives, however, flung stones at them with
their slings, so Dampier renounced any attempt to obtain water
there. For this purpose he called at Gerrit Denys Island, one of an
archipelago lying to the north of New Ireland, and here the natives
were more friendly. The island was thickly populated, the people
being very black, strong, and stout-limbed. Their hair was short and
curly; besides being clipped into different patterns, it was dyed
or bleached a variety of colours, red, white, or yellow, besides
its original black. These people had broad, round faces, with big,
bottle noses, yet looked agreeable enough until they disfigured
themselves by tatuing[64] and by wearing things through the septum
of the nostrils as big as a man's thumb and 4 inches long. Sometimes
these objects were passed actually through the cheeks, and not
through the nostrils. They also made holes in their ears into which
they thrust pieces of bone or wood. They were very dexterous with
their canoes, which were fitted with outriggers on one side. The bow
and the stern rose high and were carved into extraordinary painted
devices resembling birds, fish, or a man's hand. Dampier, noticing
these people had no knowledge of metal utensils, and knowing nothing
of their stone weapons, wondered how they could carve this work
so elaborately. Their speech was clear and distinct, and for a
sign of friendship they would hold up the bow of a tree full of
leaves. Continuing his circumnavigation of "Nova Britannia", Dampier
discovered and named the entrance to St. George's Channel, but he
believed it to be only a deep indentation, and did not realize
it was a passage between New Ireland and New Britain. Calling at
Port Montague, off the south coast of New Britain, where the land
was mountainous, woody, full of rich valleys and pleasant water
brooks, Dampier found this part of the great island abounded in
food--coconuts, yams,[65] ginger; hogs, pigeons, and fish. The
natives proved to be friendly. The men were finely decked with
feathers of various colours. The women wore nothing but a bunch of
small green leaves. Pigs swarmed in their villages and ran wild in
the woods.

  [64] Really marking their faces and bodies with huge blobs of skin
  or scars.

  [65] Probably the Taro, the tuberous root of a species of Arum.

Reaching the western extremity of New Britain, Dampier sailed
through the strait which still bears his name, into the sea of the
Bismarck Archipelago. Off this part of the New Guinea coast there
are several small islands which still contain active volcanoes.
One of these amazed the crew of Dampier's ship by vomiting fire
and smoke with dreadful noises and explosions all through the
night at intervals of about half a minute. These convulsions were
alternately slight and tremendous, and when they were severe
great volumes of flame rose into the sky above the crater, while
red-hot streams of lava could be seen running down to the seashore.
Why Dampier should have turned to the north and rounded New
Britain, instead of pursuing his course southwards to discover
the connection--if any--between New Guinea and Australia, it is
difficult to understand. Perhaps he thought that the indentation
of Huon Gulf indicated the eastern extremity of New Guinea; but
even then one would have thought that he would have sailed in that
direction in order to circumnavigate this island, and so regain the
Malay Archipelago or the coast of Australia. But instead of this
he contented himself with once more sailing past the north of New
Guinea, till he regained the known regions about Ceram.

He landed on that large island and noticed how it abounded in
strange or beautiful birds: cassowaries, pigeons, parrots, and
cockatoos. One of the seamen killed two hornbills. From Ceram
they made their way back to Timor, calling again at the Dutch
settlements. He then thought of revisiting the coast of Australia,
but owing to contrary winds made his way instead to Java, from which
he voyaged back to the Cape of Good Hope and so towards England. But
when off the island of Ascension their ship sprang a leak and they
were obliged to abandon it. To their great thankfulness they found
a spring of fresh water on the high mountain of Ascension, while
plenty of turtle visited the beach. There was also an abundance of
goats running wild, and there were edible land-crabs. The hollow
rocks afforded a convenient lodging in the mild and equable climate,
and before they had spent more than a week on this refuge there
arrived a British ship which gave them a passage back to England.

On his return to England he was charged by his officers and men
with cruelty, and was found guilty of this charge by a court of
enquiry, who decided he was not a fit person to command a king's
ship, and fined him all his pay. There must have been some truth in
these charges, and friction between him and his men was probably
the reason why Dampier ceased his explorations after rounding New
Britain. But he soon afterwards obtained the command of a ship
belonging to a company of merchants, and in this he made his way
back to the Pacific Ocean round Cape Horn. This ship was little else
than a pirate vessel, which, under the guise of privateering in
the French wars, was sent out to prey on foreign commerce off the
west coast of South America. They met with varying fortunes after
calling at the island of Juan Fernandez, and Dampier quarrelled with
his officers and men, some of whom deserted him. Dampier eventually
made his way back across the Pacific Ocean to the Dutch East Indies,
where he was imprisoned for some months. But in 1707 he got back
to England and attempted to vindicate himself from the further
charges brought against him by members of his crew, who had reached
England after deserting him. In 1708 he obtained a position as pilot
on another privateer, and this voyage stands out in history
from the interesting fact that the captain under whom he sailed
(Woodes-Rogers) called at the island of Juan Fernandez, and there
took away the celebrated Alexander Selkirk, who had been landed on
that island more than four years previously, and had lived there,
like Robinson Crusoe, in solitude.


The two privateers, on one of which Dampier made this voyage, were
very successful in preying on Spanish shipping and plundering the
rich towns on the west coast of South America, so that when Dampier
returned to England, in 1711, he probably obtained, as an advance of
his share in the profits, enough money on which to subsist for the
remainder of his life, which terminated in London in 1715.

For the age in which he lived he was--as his most recent biographer
(Mr. John Masefield) points out--a very remarkable man. Although
his life was spent amongst pirates, semi-savage mahogany cutters,
drunken and ignorant sailors, he was temperate and refined, with
a passionate love of the wild nature around him, never failing to
observe the flowers, the fish, the birds, or the beasts of the
strange countries he visited. His descriptions of native manners
and customs are remarkably accurate, and he has been the first to
record the existence of many a strange beast and bird, such as the
Mountain Tapir of Tropical America (which he thought was a kind of
hippopotamus) and the Victoria Crowned Pigeon of New Guinea.


James Cook's First Voyage

In 1740 a naval commander, George Anson, was dispatched to the
Pacific to take part in that ocean in the naval war against Spain.
Apparently, after rounding the extremity of South America, he was
content at first to proceed up the coast of Peru and plunder the
Spanish towns on the western coast of Tropical Africa. He then
sailed across the Pacific with his Spanish prizes by way of the
Spanish route to the Philippines, making no new discoveries on his
way, but passing through the Malay Archipelago to the Cape of Good
Hope. Twenty-two years afterwards a British fleet, conveying 6000
soldiers, sailed across the Indian Ocean and took possession of
Manila, but failed to conquer the Philippine archipelago, owing
to the bravery of the small Spanish garrison of 600 men. But when
this war drew to a close, Vice-Admiral John Byron (the grandfather
of Lord Byron, the poet) was sent out in the _Dolphin_ in 1764
to explore the Pacific Ocean and make some search for the Great
Southern Continent. This journey, however, like that of Lord
Anson's, resulted in no gain to geographical knowledge, for he
simply sailed by the northern tropical route from Mexico to the
Ladrone Islands, and then came back along much the same course
to South America and the Atlantic. After his return his ship,
the _Dolphin_, together with a vessel called the _Swallow_, were
once more dispatched to the Pacific Ocean through the Straits of
Magellan, but this time under the command of Captain SAMUEL WALLIS.

The Tahiti archipelago, which was to play such an important part as
a basis for Cook's discoveries in the Pacific, had apparently been
seen by the Spanish navigator de Quiros, as early as 1606, and named
"Sagittaria". It was rediscovered in 1767 by Wallis on this voyage
of H.M.S. _Dolphin_. Wallis named Tahiti Island "King George III
Island", and stayed on its coasts for a month. On his north-westward
journey he discovered the Marshall Islands. In the following year
there arrived at Tahiti the great Bougainville, the first French
explorer of the Pacific Ocean.

France, through her enterprising Norman and Breton seamen, was not
slow to interest herself in Far Eastern discoveries, and in 1528
defied the Papal bull and worried the Portuguese in Malaysia, just
as she followed up Spaniards and Portuguese along the east coast of
the Americas. Early in the sixteenth century her mariners, following
the Portuguese, had rounded the Cape of Good Hope and adventured
themselves in the Indian Ocean to snatch a small share in the trade
which was so jealously monopolized by the Spaniards and Portuguese.
It is even said (see p. 57) that the first hint of the existence of
a Great Southern Continent is due to a French navigator, le Testu,
who returned in 1532 from the eastern seas with stories of a Greater
Java which lay to the south of the islands of the Malay Archipelago.

But for various reasons the French slackened in their exploration
of the Indian Ocean in the second half of the sixteenth century.
Their interest in this direction was only revived under the great
ministers of Henry IV and Louis XIII. In the first half of the
seventeenth century the French laid the foundation of their
future claims to Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands, and founded
repeatedly chartered companies to deal with the trade of the Indian
Ocean. But none of their adventurers seem to have penetrated to the
Spice Islands or the Pacific until the eighteenth century. Their
colonial ambitions in Africa and Asia were awakened in a great
measure through the most remarkable of their kings, Louis XIV. With
farsighted ambition this monarch strove to acquire special interests
for France in Abyssinia (in which direction he failed), in Siam,
and Cochin China; and he took advantage of his occasional alliances
or friendship with the Spanish monarch to send explorers and men of
science to examine the wonderful regions of South America, under
the jealous rule of Spain and Portugal. One of these explorers
was Frézier (Fraser), of Scottish descent, and the work which he
published on his return, dealing with the southern extremity of
South America, drew attention to the unoccupied Falkland Islands,
known to the French as Malouines, and the Spaniards as Malvinas.
This hint attracted the notice of a very remarkable Frenchman, LOUIS
ANTOINE DE BOUGAINVILLE, who had served in the French Embassy in
London, and had also been an officer of the French army in Canada.
In 1765 he persuaded the merchants of St. Malo, in Brittany, to fit
out an expedition which should colonize the Falkland Islands. But,
this archipelago being claimed by Spain, it was handed over to the
Spanish authorities by Bougainville, who afterwards proceeded in
command of a ship called the _Boudeuse_ (the Sulker) to navigate
the Straits of Magellan and explore the Pacific Ocean. In his
westward course he touched at the Tuamotu Islands, and rediscovered
the Island of Tahiti, which he called Cythère (the Island of
Venus). Sailing westwards, he was probably the first explorer to
discover the Samoa group, named by him the Navigators' Islands,
from the bold seamanship of its Polynesian people. From Samoa he
passed on to the New Hebrides, and, then directing his course due
west, with the deliberate intention of searching for the Great
Southern Continent, he was stopped in this search by encountering
the Great Barrier Reef, which guards so much of the approach to
the north-east coast of Australia from south latitude 23° to
15°. Turning off, therefore, to the north-west, he encountered
and named the Louisiade archipelago of islands and islets, which
is off the south-easternmost extremity of New Guinea. Instead,
however, of venturing through the Torres Straits (the existence of
which was then a geographical secret in possession of Spain), he
turned northwards to the Solomon Islands,[66] and thence sailed
past the coasts of the large island of New Ireland (now known as
New Mecklenburg), and so on along the north coast of New Guinea.
Rounding this great island, and directing his course southward, he
arrived at the island of Buru, between the Moluccas and Celebes.
Here he found himself within the sphere of Dutch influence, and
after calling in at Batavia, the capital of Java, he made his way
back, round the Cape of Good Hope, to St. Malo, only having lost
seven out of a crew of two hundred men in this remarkable sea
journey round the world.

  [66] The largest and nearly the most northern of the group is named
  after him.

Thus, before Cook set out on his famous journey in 1768, the
position of European knowledge in regard to the Pacific Ocean
and the continent and islands of Australasia was as follows: The
outline of the Australian continent had been roughly traced by the
Dutch (who called the land New Holland) from Cape York westwards
to the southernmost point of Tasmania (which was not known to be
an island); a portion of the west coast of New Zealand (the North
Island and a small part of the South) had been placed on the map by
Tasman, but it was not known whether this land of high mountains
consisted of one or more large islands, or whether it might not
even be another peninsula of a mighty southern continent; Tasman
had discovered the small Tonga Islands; New Guinea was known in
regard to its western and eastern extremities and a part of its
north coast, but, owing to secrecy having been kept as to the
existence of Torres Straits, it was also thought to be an outlying
part of New Holland (Australia); New Britain and New Ireland (now
Neu Pommern and New Mecklenburg) had been explored by Dampier in
1700; the Solomon Islands, Santa Cruz, and the islands of the New
Hebrides group had been rediscovered by Bougainville, who had also
first visited and named the Louisiade archipelago to the south-east
of New Guinea. [The Solomons and the New Hebrides had been known
for two centuries to the Spanish Government, and for a shorter
period to Dutch navigators]. Easter Island--the easternmost of the
Polynesian islands, not much more than 2000 miles from the coast
of South America--had been seen by the English pirate, Captain
Davis, in 1685, but was only definitely known and named, after its
discovery by the Dutch navigator, Roggeveen,[67] on Easter Sunday in
1722; and was considered by some geographers in Holland and France
to be an outlying point of the great southern continent: which, if
this were the case, would be almost as large as Asia, and would
occupy quite half the space actually covered by the Pacific Ocean.
The existence of Tahiti was fully known, inasmuch as it was pitched
upon by the British astronomers as being the best place in that
region of the globe from which to observe the transit of Venus. The
existence of the Marquezas Islands had long been established by
Spanish navigators, but it is doubtful whether, before Cook started,
news had been received of the sighting of the Tuamotu archipelago of
islets by Bougainville, or of the Samoa group (Navigators' Islands).
Most of the largest and most important of the Pacific islands
remained practically or completely undiscovered. These were the
Hawaii archipelago (see pp. 121-2), the Fiji Islands, the southern
islands of the New Hebrides, the large island of New Caledonia,
the Loyalty Islands, the groups of the Gilbert, Phoenix, and
Ellice Islands, the Hervey or Cook Islands, the Tubuai or Austral
Islands, besides the whole east coast and Alpine range of New
Zealand, and the little Norfolk Island midway between New Zealand
and New Caledonia. Finally, there were the undecided questions
of the supposed connection of New Guinea with the north coast of
the Australian continent, and the existence of a vast southern
continent occupying much of the area of the Pacific Ocean in the
South Temperate Zone. The whole of these blanks in Australasian
geography were filled up and more or less accurately mapped, the
vexed questions were set at rest and solved, by the great JAMES COOK
in the two voyages of discovery which he made in the years 1768-71,
1772-5, and 1776-9.

  [67] Admiral Roggeveen is also thought to have first realized the
  separate, insular character of New Britain in 1723.

Captain JAMES COOK, who will certainly be regarded in universal
history as the foremost hero of Australasian discovery, was born
on 27 October, 1728, at the little Yorkshire village of Marton,
in the Cleveland district of northern Yorkshire, in a two-roomed
wattle-and-clay cottage. He was the son of a farm labourer, also
named James Cook and said to have been of Scottish origin. In
time Cook's father rose to the position of a farm bailiff. The
great James Cook, his second son, was sent to school when he was
eight years old, and received the elements of a good education,
especially in arithmetic. At the age of sixteen or seventeen he was
bound apprentice to a grocer and haberdasher, or, more correctly, a
general-store dealer, a man, in fact, who kept the principal shop in
the pretty little village of Staithes, in a hollow of the cliffs 10
miles north of Whitby. This move brought Cook into close relations
with a sea-faring life, as most of the customers of the shop were
fishermen and smugglers. In fact, his place of business was only 300
yards from the sea waves (which now entirely cover the site of the
original shop).

Evidently he did not like his work as shop apprentice, and longed
to become a sailor, with the result that he was transferred as
an apprentice to the employment of a coal merchant who owned or
employed sailing ships to carry coals to and from Whitby. Earlier
accounts of Cook's boyhood assert that he ran away to sea from the
grocer-haberdasher's shop, stealing a shilling from the till as
something to sustain his enterprise. There certainly was trouble
about a shilling in his relations with the general-storekeeper, but
it seems to have been that he saw--prophetically enough--a new South
Sea shilling[68] in the till, and, fascinated with its appearance,
changed it for an ordinary shilling of his own. The new bright
shilling was found in his box, but his explanations apparently
convinced his employer of his innocence. However, by some friendly
arrangement he seems to have been relieved of his apprenticeship to
the general-store dealer of Staithes, and was transferred to the
employment of a Mr. John Walker, whom he served as apprentice on
his ships for about three years. In between his voyages he lived
at Mr. Walker's house, where he was treated very kindly and where
the housekeeper gave him a table and candles in a quiet corner so
that he might read and study in peace. From apprentice he became an
able seaman, and at last, in the year 1752 (always working hard to
acquire the science of navigation and to educate himself in every
way), he became mate of a collier vessel. He was now twenty-four
years of age. Three years afterwards--in 1755--Cook, as mate of the
collier _Friendship_, found himself in the Thames on the eve of
the outbreak of war between Britain and France, and determined to
join the Royal Navy, which he did first as an able seaman; but, his
qualities being soon discovered, he was not long afterwards rated
as master's mate on board H.M.S. _Eagle_. Between 1755 and 1762 he
was employed mainly in American waters, and distinguished himself
there, not only by his gallantry in action and his many hairbreadth
escapes, but by his careful surveying work round the coasts of

  [68] The original South Sea Company, which became so notorious
  through its connection with the first great speculative mania in
  England in 1720, came into existence in 1711 (partly promoted, it
  may be, by Dampier and Daniel Defoe), for the purpose of trading
  with the "South Sea", viz. the Pacific Ocean, and chiefly the west
  coast of South America and the vaguely known islands of Oceania.
  It received in course of time certain concessions from Spain,
  such as the sole right to supply Negro slaves to the Pacific
  coast of Spanish America, and from the British Government the
  exclusive monopoly of British trade with the "South Seas". Although
  fraudulently speculative, it did not smash in 1720, but continued an
  uncertain existence till 1807. Amongst other privileges it received
  permission to coin the silver it brought back from Peru into
  shillings, and these were the "South Sea" shillings--coined mostly
  in 1723--so often referred to in the history of the eighteenth

In 1762 he returned to England and married. His married life lasted
for sixteen years, but it is computed that of that sixteen he spent
only about four and a half in his wife's society, chiefly at a house
in Shadwell, in the eastern part of London, which he bought for her.
Nevertheless they were fond of one another, and a family of six
children was born to them in course of time.[69]

  [69] All of whom died young, from illnesses or accidents. Mrs. Cook,
  the widow, lived to the age of ninety-three, and died in 1835.

Between the time of his marriage and 1768 he began to make himself
noteworthy by his publications of sailing directions and his work
as a mathematician and astronomer; for he found the opportunity
of observing a solar eclipse off the coast of North America, and
described it very lucidly. Consequently, when at the instance of the
Committee of the Royal Society, who were desirous that the transit
of Venus across the disk of the sun should be carefully observed by
competent persons from some central part of the Pacific Ocean, the
British Admiralty decided to appoint James Cook to take charge of
this expedition, and at the same time to make a determined search
in the Central and Southern Pacific for the supposed vast southern
continent, stretching from the south tropic to the South Pole. Cook,
therefore, was given a commission as a lieutenant-commander, and
appointed to H.M.S. _Endeavour_.[70] The _Endeavour_ was a sailing
vessel of only 368 tons burden, which had been constructed at Whitby
and purchased by the Admiralty.

  [70] Originally the Royal Society had suggested a Mr. Dalrymple, a
  sort of merchant-adventurer, who had traded a good deal in the Malay
  Archipelago, and who had formed and promulgated theories about the
  immense size of the Australian continent, but apparently Dalrymple
  knew very little about astronomy, and the Admiralty wisely refused
  to allow him to command the king's ship.

The Government entrusted to the Royal Society the sum of £4000, to
spend on equipping this vessel and paying her officers and crew.
Cook apparently received a clear salary of £120 a year, in addition
to a special gratuity of £105 for his astronomical work, and a
sustenance allowance for himself and his assistant astronomer, Mr.
Green, of £120. He was also paid by the Admiralty a small "command"
allowance of five shillings a day.

Next in importance to Captain Cook in the history of this remarkable
voyage will rank (Sir) JOSEPH BANKS, described by the Royal Society
as a gentleman of large fortune, and said in other correspondence of
the period to have an estate bringing in £6000 a year. He was born
in London in 1743, the son of a wealthy physician who had become a
Member of Parliament for Peterborough. Educated at Oxford, he early
conceived an intense interest in botany and zoology; and having in
1764 inherited all his father's property, he soon afterwards made
at his own expense a scientific expedition to Newfoundland and
Labrador, where he made a famous collection of insects and plants.

A neighbouring landowner, Lord Sandwich, had become head of the
Admiralty, and Banks obtained through him leave to join Cook's
expedition. He then laid out about £10,000 on all the stores and
other preparations necessary for the conduct of an elaborate enquiry
into the natural history of the lands and seas through which the
expedition was to pass, and he engaged a Swedish naturalist, a pupil
of Linnæus--Dr. Daniel Solander--to accompany him, besides four
draughtsmen to make pictures, and nine servants to do all the rough
work of natural-history collecting, &c.

The diary which Mr.--afterwards Sir Joseph--Banks kept on this
voyage, between August, 1768, and July, 1771, is almost as
interesting and remarkable as the diary kept on H.M.S. _Beagle_
by his greater successor in the same studies, Charles Darwin. This
journal of Sir Joseph Banks really served to give the substance of
greatest interest to the volumes published on the First Voyage of
Cook, which were edited by Dr. Hawksworth; and although Hawksworth
in his introduction laid stress on the important part played in the
narrative by the incorporation of Banks's journals (most generously
placed at his disposal), nevertheless the mass of the reading public
has been too apt to ascribe to Captain James Cook observations
and descriptions which were entirely the work of Banks. Though
Cook's mighty achievements as a navigator, and as one who laid
the foundations of the British Empire in Australasia and British
Columbia, can never be lessened by the results of any research
into the history of his voyages, it is only fair to point out that
the records of his first great adventure would not have achieved
their world-wide popularity but for Banks's co-operation and his
munificent expenditure on the expedition. Banks, in fact, was a man
born out of due time. His was a nineteenth-century mind which made
its appearance in the middle of the eighteenth century, just as
Shakespeare was an intelligence of the twentieth century which made
its appearance three hundred years before its appropriate period.
In order not to interrupt the course of the narrative it might be
as well to give in a footnote final information as to Sir Joseph
Banks's career.[71]

  [71] The really scientific results of his expedition, largely the
  work of Solander, consisted of "five folio books of neat manuscript"
  (wrote the late Sir Joseph D. Hooker, the greatest botanist of the
  nineteenth century, who died at the end of 1911), and seven hundred
  engraved copperplates which are said still to repose in the hands
  of the trustees of the British Museum never published to the world
  up to the present day. The cause of this inexcusable negligence is
  not given, but the matter is one which calls for urgent enquiry. In
  1772, when Cook's Second Expedition was in course of preparation,
  Banks proposed once more to accompany the great navigator, and made
  such elaborate preparations for this purpose that he was obliged to
  embarrass his estate for the purpose of raising the necessary money.
  But the Board of Admiralty, which in those days regarded natural
  science with contempt, put so many vexatious obstacles in his way,
  amongst others, that Banks's principal assistant was not a member
  of the Church of England!--that Banks at the last moment withdrew
  and went off instead with Solander on a scientific expedition to
  Iceland. Once again he handed over his journal and observations to
  other people, who made free use of it in their works on Iceland. In
  1778 he was chosen President of the Royal Society, and until the day
  of his death in 1820 he was a true friend to science and discovery.
  He practically founded Kew Gardens as the great botanical gardens
  of the metropolis, he threw himself enthusiastically into what may
  be called economic botany, and was the first person who advocated
  the use of indiarubber in various industries, and the cultivation of
  rubber-bearing trees and plants. He proposed the cultivation of tea
  in India, and established botanical gardens in Jamaica, St. Vincent,
  Ceylon, and Calcutta, besides taking an immense and practical
  interest in British horticulture. He had much to do with the
  dispatch of Mungo Park, Clapperton, and other travellers to explore
  Africa; in fact, the full indebtedness of the world of science, and
  of the British Empire in particular, to Sir Joseph Banks is not
  yet fully known, and certainly not yet sufficiently appreciated.
  All young students should make a point of reading the biographical
  preface to the _Journal of the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks_ by an
  equally great man, Sir Joseph Hooker, born just about the time that
  Banks died, and a son of one of Banks's friends.

  To a great extent Banks was admired and appreciated by the political
  world of his day, but probably more because he was a wealthy landed
  proprietor who was enthusiastic for science than because of his
  own scientific achievements and deeds of great daring on behalf of
  science. He was made a baronet in 1781 and a Knight of the Bath in
  1795, and finally a member of the Privy Council in 1797.

The ship _Endeavour_ sailed from Plymouth on 26 August, 1768, with a
crew of officers, naturalists, seamen, and servants, of ninety-four
in all, with provisions for eighteen months, and an armament of
guns which would be quite sufficient to keep at bay any attack
by savages. Captain Cook, from the first, was resolved to combat
resolutely that foe of seamen-adventurers--scurvy--the disease
which is constantly alluded to in the earlier pages of this book,
and which I have described elsewhere as so seriously impeding the
first attempts of colonization on the part of the French in Canada.
In this resolve he was backed up by Banks, who had made special
enquiries on the subject of antiscorbutics. An attempt was made to
convey fresh cabbage from England to the Pacific, and casks of this
vegetable lasted out for nearly a year. The leaves and the heart of
the cabbage were preserved between layers of salt. But the greatest
benefit in checking scurvy was derived from lemon juice, of which
Banks himself took nearly 6 ounces a day. The juice of oranges and
lemons mixed with a little brandy had been evaporated till it was
very thick, and this essence was enclosed in small casks before the
_Endeavour_ left England. The expedition also took with it treacle,
turpentine, and "wort" (the unfermented infusion of malt), with
which they were to brew some kind of beer.

The _Endeavour's_ course towards the Pacific was via Brazil (where
she was mistaken by the Portuguese for a privateer or pirate and
received very badly) and the extremity of South America. Off the
coast of Patagonia Banks noticed "shoals of red lobsters", as
Dampier had done in the southern Pacific. These "sea crayfish", or
Langoustes as they really were (allied to the excellent Langouste
of the Mediterranean[72]), frequently astonished the pioneers of
the Pacific and south Indian Oceans by their immense numbers which
passed in shoals swimming on the surface, very often proving a
godsend to the crew by providing them with fresh and savoury food.
Unlike the lobster, which is only red when it is boiled, these
Langoustes (probably of the genera _Iasus_ or _Panulirus_) were
naturally of a bright crimson or scarlet colour.

  [72] The real lobster is limited in its range to the northern

Cook, Banks, and some of the seamen landed on Staten Island at the
extremity of the curly tail of South America. The Dutch had thought
in the previous century that Staten Island was a northern promontory
of a vast Antarctic continent, of which New Zealand might be another
projection (which was why Tasman had first called New Zealand
"Staten Island"). Banks was very anxious to examine its flora, and
found far more flowering plants at this season of Antarctic summer
than he thought possible of existence in such a cold bleak country;
yet, in the very searching for natural-history specimens, he and the
rest of the party were caught in a snowstorm and nearly frozen to
death. Two negro servants who had drunk too much grog and had lain
down to rest were killed by the cold.

After rounding Cape Horn, in January, 1769, the _Endeavour_ had
sailed as far to the south as the sixtieth degree of south latitude.
On her course north-westwards into the Pacific the ship was brought
to a standstill occasionally whilst Mr. Banks went out in a boat
to shoot sea birds, principally albatrosses. These were thought by
Cook to be larger than those of the Atlantic Ocean. One of them
measured 10 feet 2 inches from the tip of one wing to that of the
other. Their bodies, after being carefully skinned, were soaked in
salt water, parboiled also in sea water, and finally stood in a very
little fresh water (the phrase "very little" shows how necessary it
was in those days to be avaricious of the store of fresh water).
After this they were served up to table with a savoury sauce, and
the dish was universally commended. It was in any case a grateful
variation from the constant round of salt beef and salt pork.
Another inhabitant of these south Pacific seas which aroused great
interest was a large octopus or cuttlefish, apparently just killed
by albatrosses, and floating in a mangled condition upon the water.
Banks noticed that it was very different from the cuttlefishes found
in European seas, for its immense arms were furnished, instead of
suckers, with a double row of very sharp talons which resembled the
claws of a cat, and like them were retractable into a sheath, from
which they could be thrust out at pleasure. "Of this cuttlefish we
made one of the best soups we had ever tasted."

On 24 March, 1769, they noticed a log of wood passing by the ship,
and the sea, which was rough, became suddenly as smooth as a
millpond, so that they were probably passing by the vicinity of some
undiscovered island.

On 4 April, 1769, land was sighted and was discovered to be an
island of an oval form, with a lagoon in the middle, which occupied
much the larger part of it. The border of land circumscribing the
lagoon was in many places low and narrow, consisting chiefly of a
reef or beach of rocks; in other words, it was one of the coralline
atolls described on p. 21, and as usual possessed coconut palms. It
was inhabited by tall, copper-coloured natives, with long, black
hair, whose heads seemed to be remarkably large, probably because of
some cap or headdress. Eleven of them walked along the beach abreast
of the ship, with poles or pikes in their hands which reached twice
as high as themselves. As they so walked they were without clothing;
but after the ship had drawn off from the island it was seen that
they covered themselves with some light-coloured material. To Cook
and his mariners, who for a long time had seen nothing but water and
sky, except the cold hills of Tierra del Fuego, these coconut groves
of Lagoon Island in tropical latitudes seemed a terrestrial paradise.

The following day they passed another atoll, shaped exactly like a
bow, the arc and cord being land, and the space between them water,
that part answering to the arc of the bow being about 200 yards
wide, 12 or more miles long, and fairly well covered with trees,
while the straight, low beach answering to the bowstring was a long
strip of coral rocks, through which there were openings connecting
the lagoon with the sea. This island, like similar ones which
they sailed by in the succeeding days, was inhabited by Polynesians
of the usual type, brown-skinned, naked, tall, well-made, and with
abundance of black hair; but in some cases this bushed out from
the head, showing that the people were not without some Melanesian
blood. They seemed to be armed with wooden weapons, one of them a
slender pole with a knob at the end, and another a paddle, which
might be used for striking or stabbing or for navigating a canoe.
The canoes these people had possessed sails.


Passing by Osnaburg Island, already discovered by Captain Wallis,
Cook reached Tahiti (which at once struck them in its difference
from the atoll islands by being high and mountainous) on 12
April, 1769. Before even he could get near the shore his ship was
surrounded by canoes, in which there were bunches of bananas and
branches of a tree, which it was the custom of these people to wave
as a token of peace and amity. By signs they expressed the wish that
these branches should be stuck amongst the rigging of the ship as
a sign that they would be received with friendliness. This having
been done, the canoes approached the ship close enough to hand their
cargoes of coconuts, bananas, and other fruit on board, where it was
eagerly purchased by the sailors, being extremely acceptable after
their long privation from such additions to their diet. The next day
the ship came to an anchor in Port Royal Bay (Matavai). Here the
first thing that attracted their attention, when the natives came
off to trade, was the bread-fruit.[73]

  [73] See pp. 64 and 160.

Before anyone from the _Endeavour_ was allowed to land at Tahiti,
Cook wisely drew up rules to guide the relations of the seamen and
officers with the natives, in order as far as possible to avoid
provoking quarrels with them, or enabling the latter to acquire
weapons which might be turned against the white men. Landing
himself, with Banks and Dr. Solander, a party of armed seamen, and
a native of Tahiti, who had come off to the ship and constituted
himself their guide, he noticed that the Polynesian people were so
awestruck that the first who approached them almost came creeping
on his hands and knees. Leafy boughs having been offered in token
of peace, the Englishmen likewise broke off green branches and held
them in their hands, and, the whole party having marched to a place
where there was a freshwater spring and where the ground was clean
and bare, green boughs were dropped by both sides in a regular heap,
and after that relations between them became much less formal,
especially after Cook's party had distributed beads and other small
presents. They walked for about 5 miles through groves of trees
loaded with coconuts and bread-fruit, and offering the most grateful
shade. Under the trees were the houses of the natives, most of them
being only a roof without walls, and the whole scene realizing "the
poetical fables of Arcadia".

The next day canoes came out to the _Endeavour_ evidently filled
with people of superior rank. Two of these chiefs came on board
and selected Cook and Banks to be their special friends, carrying
out this ceremony by taking off most of their clothing and putting
it about the shoulders of the Englishmen. Return presents were
given to them, and after a long row in the boats of the _Endeavour_
the notabilities of that ship accompanying their Tahitian friends
landed and went to a house of much greater length and size than any
they had yet seen. Here was found a chief by the name of Tutaha,
who presented them with a cock and hen and pieces of perfumed
bark cloth. In other houses they met the women, who received them
with such extravagant demonstrations of affection that they were
embarrassed. Soon afterwards another chief gave them a meal, which
they ate with the greatest heartiness. It consisted of fish,
bread-fruit, coconut, and bananas, cooked after the native fashion.
They were enjoying this meal, though perhaps not quite so much the
affectionate attentions of the native ladies (who kept plying them
with coconut milk), when suddenly two of the officers complained
that their pockets had been picked--a complaint, one would think,
under the circumstances, they might have waived on such an occasion.
However, Dr. Solander lost an opera glass, and Mr. Monkhouse, a
surgeon, his snuff box.

Complaint was at once made to the chief, and Banks somewhat
aggressively jumped to his feet and struck the butt end of his gun
on the ground. Immediately all the natives fled in a panic, with
the exception of two or three chiefs and their wives. The principal
personage amongst these at once took Mr. Banks by the hand and led
him to a large quantity of cloth which lay at the other end of the
house, offering it to him piece by piece, and intimating by signs
that if that would atone for the wrong which had been done he might
take all he saw. But this compensation was refused, and eventually
the chief, after being absent for some time, returned with the
missing snuff box and the case of the opera glass. This, however,
upon being opened, was found to be empty. Whereupon the chief,
catching Mr. Banks by the hand, led him rapidly along the shore for
a mile or more, till he reached a house from which a woman came out
and gave him a piece of cloth, which he hastily took from her and
continued to press forward. Banks had been followed by Dr. Solander
and Surgeon Monkhouse, and at last the whole party came to a place
where they were received by a woman to whom the chief presented the
piece of cloth and to whom the Englishmen gave a few beads. The
beads and cloth being deposited on the floor, the woman went out,
and in about half an hour she returned with the opera glass, and
expressing the same joy as was now shown by the chief. She also
returned the beads and the cloth, refusing to accept them.

The next day the chiefs came off to the ship with pigs, bread-fruit,
and other provisions, for which they received suitable return
presents of hatchets and linen. Cook then established an encampment
on shore, but their pleasant relations with the natives were
temporarily spoilt by the petulance of a midshipman named Monkhouse
(not to be confused with the surgeon of that name) commanding one of
the landing parties. A Tahitian had snatched away the musket of one
of the marines. Whereupon this midshipman ordered his men to fire
into the thickest of the crowd, afterwards pursuing the thief and
shooting him dead. However, thanks to the chiefs Tuburai, Tamaide,
and Tutaha, peace was made and intercourse soon resumed without much
restraint. The body of the man who had been shot in the encampment
was found to be wrapped in cloth and placed on a bier supported
by stakes under a roof, where it would be allowed to decay with a
terrible stench until at last it was nothing but a dry skeleton.

Charming as life was in many respects on this Pacific island there
was one pest which at times proved almost unendurable--apparently
none other than the common house fly, which existed in such enormous
numbers that it was an incessant torment during daylight. If one
of the draughtsmen attached to the expedition attempted to make a
water-colour study of any object, the flies would settle on his
paper so thickly that no part of its surface could be seen, and eat
the colour up as fast as he could lay it on. [It will be remembered
that Tasman noted the same plague of flies in the Tonga archipelago.]

The principal personage of Tahiti seemed to be a queen, whose name
was Oberea, about forty years of age, almost white-skinned, but now
very stout, though with evidence of great beauty at an earlier age.
There were several men chiefs of importance in the main island, and
something like an aristocracy. This "nobility" had faces of a more
Caucasian character and a taller stature than the common people, who
were many of them in the position of serfs.

The Tahitians believed in numerous gods, one of which was supreme
over the rest. They also had priests called _tahawa_, who were the
"wise men" of the land, possessing more knowledge of navigation,
astronomy, and medicine than the others. They believed vaguely in a
life after death, and their dead were disposed of usually (in all
but cases of worthless slaves) in the following manner (I quote from

"I found the shed under which the body lay, close by the house in
which the man resided when he was alive, some other houses being not
more than 10 yards distant. The shed was about 15 feet long, and
11 broad, and of a proportionate height: one end was wholly open,
and the other end and the two sides, were partly enclosed with a
kind of wicker work. The bier on which the corpse was deposited,
was a frame of wood ... with a matted bottom, and supported by four
posts, at the height of about 5 feet from the ground. The body was
covered first with a mat, and then with white cloth; by the side
of it lay a wooden mace, one of their weapons of war, and near the
head of it, which lay next to the close end of the shed, lay two
coconut shells, such as are sometimes used to carry water in; at the
other end a bunch of green leaves, with some dried twigs, all tied
together, were stuck in the ground, by which lay a stone about as
big as a coconut: near these lay one of the young plantain trees,
which are used for emblems of peace, and close by it a stone axe.
At the open end of the shed also hung, in several strings, a great
number of palm nuts, and without the shed, was stuck upright in the
ground, the stem of a plantain tree about 5 feet high, upon the top
of which was placed a coconut shell full of fresh water; against the
side of one of the posts hung a small bag, containing a few pieces
of bread-fruit ready roasted."

The emotions of the Tahitians were easily excited. Both men and
women readily gave way to tears, and would fly into hysterical rages
in which they struck their heads several times with sharks' teeth,
so that a profusion of blood often followed. A woman who acted
thus owing to some trifling affair which had piqued her, after her
bleeding was over looked up with a smile, ceased her loud, doleful
talking, collected the pieces of blood-stained cloth with which she
had dabbed her head and neck, and threw them into the sea. Then she
plunged herself into a river, washed her whole body, and returned to
the encampment as gay and cheerful as if nothing had happened.

Cook was greatly struck with the stature of the men and with the
beautiful shape of their bodies. One man coming from a small
outlying island measured nearly 6 feet 4 inches. The women of
the better class were in general taller than English women. On
the other hand, those of the more serf-like people were not only
below the average stature of Europeans but even quite dwarf-like.
Occasionally albinos made their appearance with skins of a dead
white, red eyes, and white hair. As to their tatuing, the Tahitians
pricked the skin, so as just to fetch blood, with a small instrument
something in the form of a hoe, with a blade made of bone or shell
scraped very thin, and from ¼ inch to 1½ inches wide. The edge of
this was cut into sharp teeth, and when about to be used the teeth
of the hoe were dipped into a black paste made from the soot from an
oily nut--a nut which the natives burnt in lieu of candles. Having
been dipped into this mixture and pressed into the skin, the top
of the hoe would be struck a smart blow with a stick, so that it
punctured the skin and left behind an indelible black stain. The
operation was painful and it took some days before the wounds were

Cook expatiates on the personal cleanliness of the Tahitians, who
constantly washed the whole of the body in running water perhaps
three times a day. After every meal their mouth and hands were
washed, and their clothes as well as their persons were kept without
spot or stain, "so that in a large company of these people nothing
is suffered but heat, which, perhaps, is more than can be said of
the politest assembly in Europe". For in Cook's day--and, indeed,
for nearly one hundred years later--civilized Europeans (to say
nothing of the working classes, who were most uncleanly) very seldom
washed their bodies. Tahitian clothing consisted of bark cloth or
matting of different kinds. The bark cloth would not bear wetting,
so it was only worn in dry weather and exchanged for matting when it
came on to rain. None of the materials of their dress were sewn.
Their clothes consisted of long strips of bark cloth or matting,
which would be draped about the body, principaly round the waist.
Large pieces were worn loosely over the shoulders in the manner of
a cloak, or allowed to fall about the limbs like loose trousers.
In the heat of the day clothing was mostly reduced to a scanty
petticoat for the women and a sash for the men. To shade their
faces from the sun they sometimes wore bonnets made of matting or
coconut fronds. These they would plait together in a few minutes.
The women also wore little turbans of cloth, and sometimes a very
elaborate dress made of plaited human hair. Of this material Sir
Joseph Banks brought away with him pieces that were over a mile in
length, apparently without a knot. They would wind these strips
of hair (like silk) round and round the head, and thus produce a
very pretty effect. Amongst these threads they stuck flowers of
various kinds. The men would thrust the pinkish tail-feathers of the
Tropic-bird upright into the bunch of hair on the top of their head,
or wear whimsical garlands of flowers or scarlet seeds, or wigs made
of dogs' hair, or men's hair, or coconut matting. Ear-rings made of
shells, stones, berries, seeds, or small pearls were also worn.

The only domestic animals of Tahiti were pigs, dogs, and fowls, but
the natives also ate wild ducks, which were plentiful. Cannibalism
did not exist in this archipelago, though there were traces of it in
the religious customs.

Their manner of executing and cooking dogs, which they bred for
eating, was as follows: The man who performed the double office
of butcher and cook killed the dog by holding his hand over the
dog's mouth and nose. In about a quarter of an hour the animal was
stifled. Whilst this was being done someone else was digging a hole
in the ground about a foot deep, in which the fire was kindled. On
top of the fire were placed stones to be heated. The dog was then
singed by being held over the fire, and scraped with a shell. Thus
all the hair was taken off. The entrails were removed, and the body
was cut up with a sharp shell. The entrails, after being carefully
washed in sea water, were put into coconut shells, together with
all the blood which had been collected from the body. When the oven
in the ground had been sufficiently heated the fire was taken out,
and some of the stones which were not hot enough to burn anything
were placed at the bottom and covered with green leaves. The cut-up
dog, together with its entrails, was then placed on these leaves,
and other leaves were laid on top. The hole was afterwards covered
with the remainder of the hot stones, on which earth was heaped. In
about four hours this oven was opened, and the dog's meat taken out,
"excellently baked, so that we all agreed he made a very good dish".
The dogs which were bred in Tahiti for food were kept wholly on a
vegetable diet--bread-fruit, coconuts, and yams.

The principal vegetable foods of the natives of the island of Tahiti
were bread-fruit, coconuts, bananas of thirteen sorts, and the long
banana which is known by the name of plantain; then there were
a fruit not unlike an apple, which when ripe was very pleasant;
another resembling a nectarine, and called _ahiya_; sweet potatoes,
_dioscorea_ yams, koko or taro yams (an aroid); a fruit known by the
name of _jambu_, and reckoned most delicious; sugar cane; a root
called by the inhabitants _pea_; a plant called _ethe_, of which the
root only was eaten; a fruit like a large kidney-bean, grown in a
pod and tasting like a chestnut after being roasted, called by the
natives _ahi_; the fruits of the pandanus; the _morinda_ fruit; a
kind of bracken fern, of which not only the root but the leaves were
sometimes eaten; and a plant called _theve_, which had an edible
root. There was also in the island the paper-mulberry tree (the
range of which extends from China to Polynesia), and several fig
trees, some of which, with their enormously extended aerial roots
and branches, covered an area of 60 square feet. This mulberry and
most of the figs provided bast which was made into cloth.

Bread-fruit was sometimes turned into a delicious dish by mixing
its farinaceous pulp with coconut milk, with pounded bananas, or
with a paste made of the _mahi_ fruit. This _mahi_ was gathered just
before it became ripe, and, being laid in heaps, was closely covered
with leaves. In this state it fermented and became disagreeably
sweet. After pulling out the core from the rotten fruit the rest
was thrown into a hole neatly lined with grass. The hole having
been covered with stones, the fruit then underwent fermentation
and became sour. After that it was wrapped up in leaves and baked,
and, both cooked and uncooked, would keep for weeks. It was eaten
hot or cold, and the natives seldom made a meal without it, though
its taste to Europeans was "as disagreeable as that of a pickled
olive". Salt water was the universal sauce to their food, no meal
being eaten without it, so much so that the natives who lived at a
great distance from the seacoast had to keep sea water in segments
of bamboos like tubes. A kind of butter was also made of coconut
kernels flavoured with salt water, which at first tasted to the
Europeans nauseous and rancid, but afterwards grew so much in favour
with them that they preferred it to the sauces they had brought out
from England.

The Tahitians possessed no narcotic like opium, betel, or tobacco,
and at first Cook thought that they knew no intoxicant. But he
afterwards found that they were able to get drunk on the juice of a
plant called _ava ava_ (the well-known _kava_ pepper vine, referred
to on p. 64). But the vice of drunkenness was almost confined to the
chiefs and the nobility, and was forbidden to the women.

Banks gives the following interesting description of how a Tahitian
gentleman would eat a meal:--

"He sits down under the shade of a tree, or on the shady side
of his house, and a large quantity of leaves, either of the
bread-fruit or banana, are neatly spread before him upon the ground
as a tablecloth. A basket is then set by him that contains his
provision, which, if fish and flesh, is ready dressed and wrapped up
in leaves, and two coconut shells, one full of salt water and the
other of fresh. His attendants, who are not few, seat themselves
round him, and when all is ready he begins washing his hands and
his mouth thoroughly with the fresh water, and this he repeats
almost continually throughout the whole meal; he then takes part
of his provision out of the basket, which generally consists of a
small fish or two, two or three bread-fruits, fourteen or fifteen
ripe bananas, or six or seven 'apples'. He first takes half a
bread-fruit, peels off the rind, and takes out the core with his
nails; of this he puts as much into his mouth as it can hold, and
while he chews it takes the fish out of the leaves and breaks one
of them into the salt water, placing the other, and what remains
of the bread-fruit, upon the leaves that have been spread before
him. When this is done he takes up a small piece of the fish that
has been broken into the salt water, with all the fingers of one
hand, and sucks it into his mouth, so as to get with it as much of
the salt water as possible: in the same manner he takes the rest
by different morsels, and between them, at least very frequently,
takes a small sup of the salt water, either out of the coconut shell
or the palm of his hand: in the meantime one of his attendants has
prepared a young coconut, by peeling off the outer rind with his
teeth, an operation which to a European appears very surprising,
but it depends so much upon sleight that many of us were able to
do it before we left the island.... The master, when he chooses to
drink, takes the coconut thus prepared and, boring a hole through
the shell with his finger, or breaking it with a stone, he sucks out
the liquor. When he has eaten his bread-fruit and fish he begins
with his plantains, one of which makes but a mouthful, though it be
as big as a black pudding; if instead of plantains he has 'apples',
he never tastes them till they have been pared. To do this a shell
is picked up from the ground, where they are always in plenty,
and tossed to him by an attendant: he immediately begins to cut
or scrape off the rind, but so awkwardly that great part of the
fruit is wasted. If, instead of fish, he has flesh, he must have
something like a knife to divide it; and for this purpose a piece of
bamboo is tossed to him, of which he makes the necessary implement
by splitting it transversely with his nail. While all this has
been doing, some of his attendants have been employed in beating
bread-fruit with a stone pestle upon a block of wood; by being
beaten in this manner, and sprinkled from time to time with water,
it is reduced to the consistence of a soft paste, and is then put
into a vessel somewhat like a butcher's tray, and either made up
alone or mixed with banana or _mahi_ sauce, according to the taste
of the master, by pouring water upon it by degrees and squeezing
it often through the hand. Under this operation it acquires the
consistence of a thick custard, and, a large coconut shell full of
it being set before him, he sips it as we should do a jelly if we
had no spoon to take it from the glass. The meal is then finished
by again washing his hands and his mouth, after which the coconut
shells are cleaned, and everything that is left is replaced in the

The Tahitian dances were often of an elaborate character; but some
of them of an immodest nature. The people were very fond of music,
and had a great sense of rhythm. Their musical instruments were
chiefly drums and flutes.

The Tahiti drum was made of a hollow block of wood, solid at one end
and covered at the other with sharks' skin. This was beaten by the
hand and not with a stick. The flutes upon which the people played
had only two stops, and therefore could not sound more than four
notes by half-tones. They were not applied to the mouth, but were
blown into from one nostril whilst the other was stopped with the
performer's thumb. Nevertheless, to the music of these instruments
four people would sing in concert, keeping very good time. They
also had an expedient for bringing flutes that were played together
into unison by rolling a leaf over the end of the shortest, like
a sliding tube, moved up or down till they were certain that the
playing was in tune, a fact of which they judged with much nicety
of ear. They were very fond of singing couplets, especially after
dark, to amuse themselves before going to sleep. Their language was
a melodious Polynesian dialect, but, being deficient in several
consonants, the native rendering of the names of officers and men
of the _Endeavour_ was quaintly imperfect. Cook was called Toot.
The sailing-master, Mr. Molineux, had a name which they did not
attempt to pronounce, so in preference they called him Boba, from
his Christian name, Bob (Robert). Gore was turned into Toarro;
Solander became Torano; Banks, Tapane; and Petersgill, Petrodero.

The Tahitian houses of the better sort were usually built, on a
raised clay platform, of bamboo poles and palm thatch or matting.
The furniture inside was very simple--little else than mats on the
floor. No pottery was required, coconut shells and calabashes taking
its place. The houses, when necessary, were lit up at night-time by
the kernels of an oily nut, which they stuck on a wooden skewer one
over the other. These candles burnt a considerable time, and gave a
very tolerable light.

These Polynesians of Tahiti, as elsewhere in Oceania, were still
living in the "Stone Age" when Cook visited them, but they had
already learnt the value of iron from the previous visits of
Bougainville and Wallis, and were very keen to obtain iron from
the crew of the _Endeavour_. Previous to their intercourse with
Europeans, fish hooks were made of mother-of-pearl, or some other
hard shell, filed into shape with pieces of coral, drilled with
holes by sharp-pointed stones, fixed into the end of a piece of
bamboo, which was then rotated between the hands. Coral rock made
excellent files for this and other industries. Their axes and adzes
were derived chiefly from basaltic volcanic stone. The skin of a
sting-ray[74] with its rough tubercles, and used with coral sand,
made a fricative for polishing or rubbing down stone surfaces.
With their stone axes they were able to fell trees, and, what is
more, to split the trunk into planks from 3 to 4 inches thick, the
whole length and breadth of the tree, though some of these trees
were 8 feet thick and 40 feet long. They would smooth planks very
expeditiously with their adzes, and take off a thin shaving from a
plank without missing a stroke.

  [74] The sting-ray is so often referred to by Pacific voyagers
  that some description of it is necessary. This fish--probably of
  the genus _Urogymnus_ or _Pteroplatea_--belongs to the family of
  the _Trygonidæ_, the whip-tailed or sting-tailed rays, so called
  because the thin, pliable tail is armed with a series of bony
  spines, as much as 8 or 9 inches long, which have proved very useful
  to primitive man on the Pacific and Indian Ocean coasts (where the
  sting-rays are often stranded) as a ready-made lancehead or dagger
  point. The skin of some species of sting-ray is covered with bony
  tubercles. The rays or skates are distantly related to sharks, but
  are specially remarkable for being broad and flat--occasionally
  broader than they are long--owing to the immense development of the
  fin flaps at the sides.

Their small canoes for short excursions were flat-bottomed and with
upright sides, but the _pahi_, used for long voyages, was bowed
and with a sharp keel. The flat-bottomed boats, called _ivaha_,
were sometimes united at a distance of about 3 feet by a strong
pole of wood laid across them and lashed to the gunwales. On the
fore part of these double canoes a stage or platform was raised,
rather wider than the boat itself, and upon this stage would stand
the fighting men, whose missile weapons were slings and spears.
Below these stages sat the men who paddled the canoe, and who
furnished reinforcements to replace those who were wounded. Some
of the fighting canoes were 40 feet long, and their sterns might
be as much as 18 feet above the surface of the water. The _pahi_,
or long-distance boat, was sometimes as much as 60 feet long, but
very narrow. If intended for warfare it would be fitted with a stage
or platform, or for long-distance journeys contain a house. It was
steadied with one outrigger projecting 6 to 10 feet, and might have
one or even two masts carrying sails that were made of matting.

After discovering and exploring the rest of the Society Islands to
the north-west of Tahiti, which is an outlying member of the group,
Cook directed the course of the _Endeavour_ southwards in search
of land; but finding none, except the minute inhabited island of
Oheteroa (where the people were lusty and well made and clothed
in beautiful bark-cloths painted in stripes of different patterns
and colours, and armed with wooden weapons, sometimes pointed with
the sharp bone of the sting-ray), he turned his course more to the
west, and after sailing from 15 August, 1769, to 6 October, land
was sighted on the latter date and became the subject of much eager
conversation, it being believed that at last they had found "the
unknown Southern land" (Terra Australis Incognita).[75]

  [75] About the same day the _Endeavour_ was seen approaching New
  Zealand from the east and was taken by the natives to be a monstrous
  bird with beautiful white wings. When she came to an anchor and a
  boat was let down into the sea it was taken to be a fledgling whose
  wings were not grown. When, however, the boat was seen to contain
  people, the Maoris decided these must be gods, and probably evil

On Sunday, 8 October, 1769, the ship was at anchor in Poverty Bay,
off the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand; and Captain
Cook, accompanied by (Sir Joseph) Banks and Dr. Solander, and a
party of marines, landed--the first amongst Europeans--on the shores
of New Zealand. Their reception from the natives was not a friendly
one. When they had got some distance from the boat, four men armed
with long wooden lances rushed out of the woods and attempted to
attack the seamen who were left in the boat. The coxswain of the
small pinnace was obliged to fire in the air to scare them. This,
however, did not deter the Maoris, who renewed their attack, and
at last one of them was shot dead. At this the other three stood
motionless, as if petrified with astonishment; but as soon as
they recovered their senses they seized the body of their dead
companion to drag it after them, but abandoned it at last in a
panic flight. Cook and his party returned to the ship, and heard
the natives on shore discussing in loud voices what had happened.
The next morning Cook, accompanied by Banks, Solander, and the
interpreter, Tupia, landed and advanced slowly and quietly towards
a party of fifty natives who were seated on the ground, every man
of whom at their approach produced either a long wooden pike or a
small axe of green jade, about a foot long and thick enough to weigh
4 or 5 pounds. The interpreter, Tupia, called to them aloud in the
language of Tahiti, but they only answered by flourishing their
weapons. Then a musket was fired wide, so as to scare them whilst
the party retreated. A body of marines was landed, and marched with
a union jack carried before them to a little bank. The officers once
more approached the Maoris, and it was with great pleasure they
perceived that their Tahiti interpreter was actually understood when
he spoke, he and the Maoris only speaking different dialects of the
same language. (This was a very remarkable fact, that the Maoris
could understand the speech of other Polynesian natives from 1000 to
2000 miles distant, for the two peoples must have been separated in
time by about six or seven hundred years.)


The New Zealanders were told that all the white men wanted was
provisions and water, and that they would give them iron in
exchange. The properties of iron were then explained to them. The
Maoris replied they were willing to trade, but declined to lay
by their arms, and insisted on the white men coming into their
midst. However, after some further exchange of shouted messages
to and fro, one of the Maoris put down his weapons, stripped off
his clothing, and swam over the intervening river, and with great
bravery (considering all the circumstances of the case) walked into
the midst of the white men, and was soon followed by other Maoris to
the number of twenty or thirty. Some of them were armed. To all were
given presents of iron and beads. But they set very little value on
either, particularly of iron, of which they had not the least idea.
In exchange they gave a few birds' feathers, which they considered
ornaments. They then offered to exchange their weapons for those of
the white men, and, when the latter refused, made attempts to snatch
them from the hands of the officers and soldiers. They were plainly
told that if they did not desist the white men would be obliged to
kill them. However, a few minutes afterwards, one of the officers
happening to turn his back on the Maoris, one of them snatched away
his hanger (sword), and, retiring to a little distance, waved it
above his head with a shout of exultation. The rest of the savages
now became extremely insolent, and called to their friends across
the river to join them. The invitation being accepted, it was
necessary for the white men to defend themselves. Thereupon Banks
fired at the Maori, who was still waving the hanger above his head.
The gun was loaded with small shot, which peppered the man at a
distance of about 15 yards. He still continued to flourish the sword
about, but began slowly to retreat to a greater distance. Whereupon
the midshipman named Monkhouse, who figures prominently in Cook's
narrative as a person very ready to fire on natives, and who was
responsible for the death of the first Tahitian (see p. 196), fired
at the Maori with ball cartridge and killed him. The main body of
New Zealanders, who in their advance had halted on a rock in the
middle of the river when the first gun was fired, began to return
to the other shore, while two of those still remaining on the side
where the white men were snatched the weapon of green jade (see p.
215) from the dead man, and another endeavoured to secure the naval
officer's sword. This was prevented by Mr. Monkhouse. Once again
the whole body of Maoris attempted to cross the river and attack
the Englishmen, but they were met by a discharge of small shot,
whereupon they recrossed the river and retired slowly up country,
whilst Cook and his men returned in their boats to the _Endeavour_.

This river was probably the little Ormond River, which flows into
Poverty Bay. Near the sea it was salt, so that Cook and his party,
unable to furnish their ship with fresh water, made an expedition in
boats round the head of the bay to search for fresh water. On their
way they saw two canoes coming in from the sea, one under sail and
the other worked with paddles. It was decided to intercept these
canoes and seize the people in them, so that they might be conveyed
to the ship, given presents, and, as it were, forcibly made friends
with, and then return on shore to open up negotiations with their
fellow countrymen. The two canoes, however, escaped the cordon of
boats by desperate paddling. A musket was fired over their heads.
Upon the discharge of the piece the men of one of the canoes ceased
paddling, stripped off their garments, and actually tackled the boat
that came up to seize them, fighting, with their paddles, stones,
and other weapons which they had, so vigorously that Cook's party
was obliged to fire on them in their own defence. Four, unhappily,
were killed, and the other three--boys or youths--leaped into the
sea. With great difficulty they were seized and hauled into the

On reaching the ship they had already regained their composure,
and evinced a most intense curiosity as to everything they saw,
taking especial pleasure in eating bread and salt pork. During the
night, however, they gave way to sadness, and sighed very loudly,
but Tupia, the invaluable interpreter from Tahiti, came and talked
to them so soothingly that they regained their cheerfulness, and
to pass the time sang a song with a degree of taste that surprised
the crew. The tune was solemn and slow, like that of a psalm,
and contained many notes and semitones. The names of these three
young Maoris are recorded as Taurangi, Koikerange, and Maragovete.
Next morning, after eating another enormous meal, and having been
dressed in European clothes and adorned with bracelets, anklets,
and necklaces, they were taken on shore by Cook and his party,
but evinced great fear when they found they were to be landed at
the mouth of the little river, since at that spot the natives
were the enemies of their own tribe. However, amongst the large
party of Maoris which began to advance on the landing party the
boys discerned a relation. Eventually peace was made between the
white men and the Maoris, and the boys probably returned to their

As the result of this turn in events a canoe came off from Poverty
Bay before the _Endeavour_ left the vicinity, others from the
neighbourhood followed, and soon there were fifty Maoris on board,
who sold everything they had, even the clothes from their backs
and the paddles from their boats. Cook sailed southwards at first
as far as the point which he named Cape Turnagain. The rumours of
his kindly treatment of Maoris on board the _Endeavour_ having
fortunately spread in all directions, whenever the _Endeavour_ came
to an anchor canoes would come off to visit the ship and to bring
produce for trade, and although one or two disagreeable incidents
occurred, such as when the natives attempted to kidnap a Polynesian
boy on board for the purpose of eating him--for their cannibalism
began to be patent to Cook and his officers--the relations between
the Englishmen and the Maoris became so friendly that frequent
excursions were made on shore, the houses of chiefs were visited,
and meals were taken with them.

The food of these New Zealanders consisted mainly of fish, with
which they ate, as a kind of bread, the roots of a bracken fern.
These roots were scorched over a fire, beaten with a stick till the
bark fell off, and what remained was a soft substance, somewhat
clammy and sweet, though not unpleasing to the taste, but very
fibrous and stringy. The natives, being tidy in their eating, kept
baskets by them into which they spat out the fibrous refuse of the
bracken-fern roots. They had no domestic animals except dogs, which
were very small and ugly. (The black, bear-like skins which Cook saw
being worn occasionally were probably skins of sea-lions or seals.)
But they had plantations of sweet potatoes, taro yams, and gourds.
The surroundings of their houses were kept scrupulously clean, and
there were regular places in which all litter, offal, and refuse was
piled up in regular dunghills. The women were not so good-looking
as the men, and made themselves uglier by painting their faces with
red ochre and oil, an adornment which was very disagreeable to
Europeans, because they found out the favourite salutation of the
New Zealanders to be that of rubbing noses, so that any attempts
to get into friendly relations resulted in most of the officers
having their faces smeared with greasy red paint. As a rule, the
men confined their decorations to the elaborate tatuing, which has
since become so famous, yet there were some who liked to cover
their faces, bodies, and clothing with red ochre, and went about
carrying pieces of this earth with which to renew the colouring
wherever it was removed by contact. Each woman wore a girdle made
of sweet-smelling grasses and leaves, and over this a petticoat of
roughly plaited _Phormium_ fibre.

They found the country luxuriantly clothed with forest and
everywhere a beautiful verdure. The species of trees in the woods
were unknown to them. They specially noticed here and there
cabbage-palms, which they cut down for the cabbages.[76]

  [76] There is only one kind of palm in New Zealand (the North
  Island) and that is of the peculiar genus _Rhopalostylis_ of which
  there are two species. Most palms produce a "cabbage"--which is
  simply the mass of undeveloped fronds, the heart of the tree.

The woods abounded in birds of great variety, some of them
exquisitely beautiful, but all quite unknown to the Europeans.

Amongst the food supplies of the natives were observed occasionally
"lobsters" (which were probably langoustes, see p. 190), besides
various wild birds, which the Maoris either roasted by fastening
them upon a small stick stuck into the ground and inclined towards
the open fire, or baked by putting them into the ground with hot
stones. Like the other Polynesians, these Maoris were given to
displaying their sorrow, either for the death of a relation, or for
some matter of mere personal pique, not only by shedding quantities
of tears and singing mournful songs, but by cutting their arms,
faces, chests, and thighs with sharp-edged shells, so that in the
middle of their paroxysm of grief their bodies were covered with
blood. Many of the natives met with were scarred from head to foot
with old "grief marks".

Some of the promontories stretching out into the sea were noteworthy
for the fortified villages, called by the natives _eppah_ or _pah_.
"The best engineer in Europe could not have chosen a situation
better adapted to enable a small number to defend themselves
against a greater. The steepness of the cliffs renders it wholly
inaccessible from the water, which encloses it on three sides; and,
to the land, it is fortified by a ditch and a bank raised on the
inside: from the top of the bank to the bottom of the ditch is 22
feet; the ditch on the outside is 14 feet deep, and its breadth is
in proportion. The whole seemed to have been executed with great
judgment; and there had been a row of pickets or palisades, both on
the top of the bank and along the brink of the ditch on the outside;
those on the outside had been driven very deep into the ground, and
were inclined towards the ditch, so as to project over it; but of
these the thickest posts only were left, and upon them there were
evident marks of fire, so that the place had probably been taken and
destroyed by an enemy."

The weakness of these forts as regards standing a siege was that
in none of them did there seem to have been wells sunk or any
provision made for storing water in large quantities. And although
always built near a stream, the besieged would be obliged every now
and then to elude the vigilance of their enemies at night-time and
renew their supplies of water by fetching it up to the fort from
the stream below. But otherwise these forts were provisioned with
quantities of fern roots and dried fish. The people's only weapons
seemed to be lances, pikes, and halberds of wood, pointed sometimes
with jade[77] or bone, and heavy jade clubs and axes; but they had
no bows and arrows or slings, and very few weapons that they could

  [77] Jade, which is so often referred to (though sometimes miscalled
  "green talc") in the works of early Pacific explorers, is a
  beautiful green stone of several quite distinct species. The Jade of
  New Zealand is either a fibrous silicate called nephrite or a green
  serpentine silicate. The Maoris called these green stones _poenamu_
  or _poiinamu_, and because Jade of both kinds was specially abundant
  in the South Island this was called Tarai-poenamu=the Land of Jade.

On 20 November, 1769, Cook discovered a river at the head of a great
inlet, which he named the Thames, and in this region of the North
Island he noticed the splendid kauri pines.[78] One of these he
judged to be 89 feet from the root to the first branch, and perhaps
200 feet high altogether. Its girth near the ground was nearly 20
feet. In the most northern part of the North Island they met with
the paper-mulberry tree growing in the native plantations, and here
they frequently found a kind of celery, which was eagerly gathered
by the seamen as a vegetable addition to their diet.

  [78] See pp. 35 and 42.

In December, 1769, they rounded the northernmost promontory of New
Zealand, which Cook at once identified with Cape Maria Van Diemen
of Tasman's discovery, and perhaps realized then for the first time
that the Terra Australis along which he had been coasting was none
other than the New Zealand discovered by Tasman. The natives in this
northernmost part gave a very interesting description, through Tupia
the interpreter (when asked if they knew of any other land besides
New Zealand), and said that far away to the north-west there was a
country of great extent, which they called Ulimaroa, and which had
been reached by some of their people in a very large canoe after
a month's sail. The most striking feature to them in this distant
land was that its inhabitants possessed and ate pigs, and they
called these pigs by the widespread name, _bua_. It is probable that
the land to which they alluded was Fiji; for though New Caledonia
answers better to the description, the people possessed no pigs
when this large island was first visited by Cook.

After rounding Cape Maria Van Diemen, the _Endeavour_ sailed
southwards along the west coast of the North Island and sighted
Mount Egmont, which is 8340 feet high. The appearance of this
mountain rising straight up from the sea coast was superb, and even
although it was the middle of the New Zealand summer its summit was
covered with snow. They next entered the broad gulf between the
Taranaki Peninsula and the South Island. The ship came to an anchor
in Queen Charlotte Sound. On the waters of this beautiful inlet they
saw floating the dead body of a woman. Landing shortly afterwards,
and getting into friendly relations with a small family of Maoris,
they enquired about the dead body of the woman, and were told that
it was one of their relations who had died a natural death, and,
according to their custom, they had tied a stone to the body and had
thrown it into the sea.

"This family when we came on shore, was employed in dressing some
provisions: the body of a dog was at this time buried in their
oven, and many provision baskets stood near it. Having cast our
eyes carelessly into one of these as we passed it, we saw two bones
pretty cleanly picked, which did not seem to be the bones of a dog,
and which, upon a nearer examination, we discovered to be those of
a human body. At this sight we were struck with horror, though it
was only a confirmation of what we had heard many times since we
arrived upon this coast. As we could have no doubt but the bones
were human, neither could he have any doubt but that the flesh which
covered them had been eaten. They were found in a provision basket;
the flesh that remained appeared manifestly to have been dressed
by fire, and in the gristles at the end were the marks of the teeth
which had gnawed them. To put an end, however, to conjecture,
founded upon circumstances and appearances, we directed Tupia to ask
what bones they were; and the Indians, without the least hesitation,
answered: 'the bones of a man'. They were then asked what was become
of the flesh, and they replied that they had eaten it. 'But,' said
Tupia, 'why did you not eat the body of the woman which we saw
floating upon the water?' 'The woman', said they, 'died of disease;
besides, she was our relation, and we eat only the bodies of our
enemies who are killed in battle.'"

Upon enquiry who the man was whose bones had been found, they told
the party from the _Endeavour_ that about five days before a boat
belonging to their enemies came into the bay with many persons on
board, and that this man was one of seven whom they had killed.
"Though stronger evidence of this horrible practice prevailing among
the inhabitants of this coast will scarcely be required, we have
still stronger to give. One of us asked if they had any human bones
with the flesh remaining upon them, and upon their answering us
that all had been eaten, we affected to disbelieve that the bones
were human, and said that they were the bones of a dog; upon which
one of the Indians[79] with some eagerness took hold of his own
forearm, and, thrusting it towards us, said that the bone which Mr.
Banks held in his hand had belonged to that part of a human body.
At the same time, to convince us that the flesh had been eaten, he
took hold of his own arm with his teeth and made show of eating. He
also bit and gnawed the bone which Mr. Banks had taken, drawing it
through his mouth, and showing, by signs, that it had afforded a
delicious repast."

  [79] The natives of all these Australasian and Pacific islands were
  styled "Indians" in Cook's day--following the silly fashion started
  by Columbus. This practice lasted even to the early part of the
  nineteenth century and in some of the explorations of the Niger and
  Fernando Po in West Africa the natives are referred to as Indians.

Elsewhere along this coast human bones with the flesh on were often
offered to Cook and his men for sale.[80]

  [80] On one of his visits to New Zealand of his second voyage,
  Cook, to be quite certain of the cannibalism of the New Zealanders,
  steeled himself to seeing them cook and eat the flesh of a young
  man who had been killed on the beach (apparently for that purpose).
  Many of the seamen with him who witnessed this disgusting spectacle
  were literally sick at the sight, but the person most affected
  was Oedidi, a youth from Tahiti, who had come with Cook as an
  interpreter, and who nearly went out of his mind with disgust,
  horror, and rage, extending his indignation to the white men who had
  allowed such a spectacle to take place in order to satisfy their

On 30 January, 1770, on the shores of Queen Charlotte Sound,
Lieutenant James Cook hoisted the British flag and took possession
of the two great islands of New Zealand in the name of His Majesty,
King George III--of the two islands, for they had already learnt
from the natives the existence of Cook's Strait, which separated
the North Island from the South, and which would lead them back
into the eastern sea. The principal person to give this information
was an old man named Topaa. He was asked if he had ever seen such
a vessel before as the _Endeavour_, and whether white men had
ever visited the land in the memory of the people. Topaa replied
in the negative, but added that his ancestors had told him that
there had once arrived (probably on the North Island) four men who
had come in a small vessel from a distant country--Ulimaroa--but
upon the four men landing they were all killed. This additional
reference to Ulimaroa--which was either Fiji or the New Hebrides--is
very interesting, as it would show that it has been possible
for natives, probably of Melanesian type, to reach New Zealand
in bygone times, and, this being the case, it would explain why
succeeding French expeditions thought that in the Southern Island
they detected a negroid type of New Zealander, altogether uglier
and inferior in physique to the Polynesian Maori. It seems possible
that the Polynesian Maoris were preceded by a dark-skinned race,
who destroyed most of the Moas and other large flightless birds
which had apparently become nearly or quite extinct before the Maori
colonization took place.

Passing through the passage afterwards to be named Cook's Strait,
the _Endeavour_ turned to the north and once more sighted Cape
Turnagain, besides meeting Maori canoes, the occupants of which
recognized the _Endeavour_ and entered into friendly relations. From
Turnagain they sailed southwards in the early part of 1770, and
after zigzagging about in search of other islands which might lie to
the eastward of New Zealand, they at length reached South Cape, the
southernmost extremity of the Dominion, the promontory of Stewart
Island. They overlooked the passage between South Island and Stewart
Island, which was afterwards discovered by Captain FOVEAUX. Rounding
this, and following as well as they could the distant glimpses of
the coast, they reached the west coast of the great South Island at
Dusky Bay. Continuing their circumnavigation northwards they became
gradually aware that behind the hills of the coast was a ridge of
mountains "of a stupendous height, covered with snow in places".
Cook had, in fact, discovered the Southern Alps, the remarkable
snowy range of Southern New Zealand, of which the loftiest peak,
rising to an altitude of 12,349 feet, has been named after him. At
length, on 27 March, they were back again at Queen Charlotte Sound,
having completely circumnavigated New Zealand.

Before passing on with Cook to the discovery of eastern Australia,
it may be of interest to give here his first impressions of the
Maoris or indigenes of New Zealand--though the name of Maori did not
come into use till the early nineteenth century. The men were tall
and sometimes handsome (except for their frightful face-tatuing),
with the features of white men and a skin colour not much darker.
They usually wore short beards. The women were generally much
shorter in stature than the men, with darker skins and more negroid
features. [Even at the present day some of the Maori women are very
negroid in appearance. This was also the case with both men and
women of some of the tribes in the great South Island; and it would
really seem that New Zealand had at one time received a colonization
from the direction of Melanesia.]

The food of the Maoris has already been described in its main
elements--sweet potatoes, gourds, fern roots, and the flesh of
human beings, dogs, and wood-birds. Cook also mentions that they
ate penguins, albatrosses, and seals. They had no intoxicating
drink, and water was their only beverage. The Maoris seemed to Cook
singularly free of disease and to enjoy perfect and uninterrupted
health. The expedition never saw a single person who appeared to
have any bodily complaint or to suffer from any eruption of the
skin. Their wounds healed with remarkable facility, and in all large
assemblages of people were noticed the number of old men, who, by
the loss of their hair and teeth, appeared to be very ancient,
but who were not decrepit, and though not equal to the young in
muscular strength, exhibited great liveliness of disposition.

The Maori dress was of several kinds. The roughest was made from the
leaves of the Phormium[81]. These leaves were split into three or
four slips, which, when dried, were plaited into a material midway
between knitting and cloth, with the unwoven ends hanging out as a
fringe. Two or three pieces of this would serve as a complete dress,
one of them being tied over the shoulders with a string and reaching
down to the knees. At the end of this upper garment was fastened a
bodkin of bone, which served the purpose of raising a corner to the
shoulder or any other part of the dress. The second piece of cloth
was wrapped round the waist and reached nearly to the ground, but
both sexes wore a belt or girdle, which they scarcely ever removed.
The finer cloths were made from the fibre obtained by macerating
the Phormium leaves, and were roughly woven in a frame about 5
feet long and 4 broad, somewhat after the fashion of matting. This
beautiful, glistening, silky cloth was ornamented with borders
of different colours done with stitching, something like the old
English wool-work. Some of the chiefs wore dresses made entirely of
dogs' skin, but, this fur being very valuable, it was more often
cut into strips and sewn on to their clothes as an adornment.
Cloaks of sealskin were worn in the south. In both islands the men
and women trimmed their garments with birds' feathers, especially
those of parrots, penguins, and albatrosses. Dogs' teeth were
collected and strung into necklaces. The women wore bracelets and
anklets made of the bones of birds or of shells, while the men
preferred pieces of green jade or whalebone. Besides boring their
ears and wearing ornaments in the lobes, or decorating them with
the down of the albatross, which was as white as snow, they often
bored the septum or gristle of the nose between the nostrils and
thrust feathers through the hole. The chiefs would carry a staff of
distinction, generally the rib of a whale as white as snow, much
carved, and ornamented with dogs' hair and with feathers; or a
stick about 6 feet long, adorned in the same manner and inlaid with
mother-of-pearl. Chiefs and warriors also carried a great jade club,
called _patu-patu_. It was fastened to the wrist by a strong strap,
lest it should be wrenched from the owner in fight, but the chiefs
sometimes wore this handsome weapon stuck into the girdle round
their waists.

  [81] _Phormium tenax_, New Zealand "flax", which is so important a
  feature in the resources and development of New Zealand in earlier
  days, was an aloe-like plant with stiff, sword-shaped leaves like
  those of a flag in growth. From the centre of the mass of flag-like
  leaves rises a tall flower column, perhaps 10 feet high, bearing
  numerous orange-red tubular flowers like those of an aloe. Phormium,
  indeed, belongs to the Lily and Aloe order.

The Maoris were of course, like all the Polynesians, completely in
the Stone Age when first visited by Cook, and ignored the use of
any metal. Their adzes and axes were made of a hard basaltic stone;
and a jasper-like stone was very useful in its small fragments for
making a sharp, hard borer. These fragments were chipped off a
block as flints might be. They were used in finishing their nicest
work until they were blunt, and then they were thrown away. With
these splinters of jasper they were able in no time to drill a hole
through a piece of glass. Their canoes were long and narrow, and
the largest sort would carry as many as 100 armed men. One such war
canoe was 68 feet long, 5 feet broad, and 3½ feet deep, with a sharp
keel. It consisted of three lengths hollowed out to a thickness of
about 2 inches, and fastened together with strong plaiting. Each
side consisted of one entire plank, 63 feet long and nearly 1 foot
broad. Both the prow and the stern were decorated with wonderful
pieces of carved wood. Some of the canoes, however, were only
dug-outs, trunks hollowed by fire and axes. The Maoris were experts
at sailing of the simpler kind, but their canoes could only go
before the wind. The sail was made of netting or mats set up between
two poles that were fixed upright upon each gunwale and served both
as masts and yards.



New South Wales

On 31 March, 1770, the _Endeavour_ sailed from Cape Farewell on
the north coast of the South Island of New Zealand, and on 19
April sighted the coast of what Cook still knew as "New Holland",
which was, of course, the south-eastern extremity of Australia
near Cape Howe. Cook then sailed along the coast to the northward,
seeing smoke in several places, by which he knew the country to
be inhabited. A camel-like mountain was called Mount Dromedary, a
peaked hill, which resembled a square dovehouse with a dome at the
top, was called Pigeonhouse, names which seem to have disappeared
from the map of Australia. An attempt to land near the place now
called Sutherland[82] was defeated by the heavy surf which lashed
the white cliffs, while the natives on the beach, whose presence
had attracted them, ran away. They were therefore obliged to guess
at the landscape from a distance, and even then they observed that
although there were numerous trees there was no underwood.

  [82] Sutherland--really Cape Sutherland, at the entrance to Port
  Hacking--was named after Forby Sutherland, an English seaman, who
  died and was buried near here, the first white man, probably, and
  certainly the first Englishman, to lie in the soil of Australia. He
  was buried near the watering place.

At last a bay--the celebrated Botany Bay, as it was subsequently
named--opened before the _Endeavour_. The astonished natives
appeared again on the beach, gazing at the ship as she slowly made
her way into sheltered waters. They were absolutely naked, but their
faces were dusted over with a white powder, and their bodies were
painted in stripes of the same colour, which, passing obliquely over
their breasts and backs, appeared like the belts worn crosswise in
those days by British soldiers. Similar streaks were drawn round
their legs and thighs like broad garters. They were armed with long
wooden pikes, and "a wooden weapon shaped somewhat like a scimitar".
This was the celebrated boomerang, the curved or crooked flat
piece of wood which was one of Man's earliest weapons. Hurled by a
practised hand it will whirl through the air, and unless it strikes
the object aimed at with its sharp, flat edge, it returns almost to
the spot from which it has been thrown. The boomerang has been in
use at one time or another from West Africa to east Australia, and
was once used in ancient Egypt. Reproduced in metal it is the origin
of the throwing-knife of North Central Africa.

On Saturday, 28 April, 1770, the _Endeavour_ anchored in Botany
Bay, abreast of a small village consisting of six or eight houses.
As the sailors were preparing to hoist out the boat they saw an old
man, followed by three children, come out of the forest carrying
firewood, and each of the children had also its little burden. Other
children came out to meet them, and all alike gazed at the ship
without either fear or surprise. The women set to work to kindle a
fire, and four canoes came in from fishing. The men landed, and,
having hauled up their boats, began to dress their dinner, to all
appearance wholly unconcerned about this wonderful arrival, though
the _Endeavour_ was anchored within half a mile of them. As soon,
however, as Cook and his party landed, two men of the native
Australians came down to dispute their landing, whilst the others
ran away. Each of these men was armed with a wooden lance about 10
feet long, and a short stick. They called out to the white men in
a very loud tone in a hard, dissonant language, which neither the
Englishmen nor Tupia, their Polynesian interpreter, understood in
the least. They brandished their weapons and seemed resolved to
defend their coast to the uttermost, though they were but two and
the white men forty in number. Unwilling to provoke hostilities,
Cook ordered the boat to lie upon her oars, and commenced to parley
by signs, and to bespeak the goodwill of these stark-naked savages,
throwing them at the same time nails, beads, and other trifles,
which they took up and seemed to be well pleased with.

These overtures were of no use, however. As soon as the boat neared
the shore the men again opposed the landing. A musket, consequently,
was fired in the air, and upon hearing the report the younger of
the two men dropped a bundle of lances, then in an instant snatched
them up again and threw a stone, upon which a musket was fired with
small shot, which struck the elder man in the legs. He immediately
ran to one of the houses, which was distant about 100 yards, but
only to return with a shield for his defence. As soon as he came up
he threw a wooden lance, and his comrade another. Fortunately none
of the white men was struck. A third musket with small shot was then
fired at them, another lance was thrown, and at last the Australians
ran away sufficiently far into the woods to make it prudent for
the white men to venture into the village. Amongst these huts they
found the children, who had hidden themselves behind a shield and
some bark. They were left in their retreat, but beads, ribbons,
and pieces of cloth and other presents were thrown into the huts to
secure the goodwill of the inhabitants. Some of the lances lying
about were taken away. They were from 6 to 15 feet long, and all of
them had four prongs, each of which was armed with fish bone, and
very sharp. They were in reality a kind of fish harpoon. The canoes
are described as having been the worst that Cook had ever seen,
between 12 and 14 feet long, and simply made (as already described
in Chapter II) out of the bark of a tree removed in a single piece,
tied at each end, and the middle kept open by sticks used as thwarts
from gunwale to gunwale.

Crossing over to the north side of the bay, fresh water was found
trickling down from the top of the rocks. None of the presents
left in the huts were taken, nor were the natives inclined to
enter into friendly relations. The face of the country round about
Botany Bay was finely diversified by woods and grassy lawns. The
trees were tall and straight, and standing at such a distance from
each other that the whole country (wrote Cook) might be cultivated
without cutting down one of them. Between the trees the ground was
covered with grass, of which there was great abundance, growing
in tufts about as big as could be well grasped in the hand. They
had a transient view of an animal about as big as a rabbit, and
came upon traces of what was really a kangaru, together with the
footsteps of a beast like a wolf (a dingo or native dog), and the
tracks of a polecat or weasel (the small white-spotted native "cats"
or dasyures). The branches over their heads abounded with birds of
exquisite beauty, particularly parrakeets and cockatoos, which flew
in flocks of several scores together. Many of the trees had been
barked, and one or two had been felled by some blunt instrument.
Those that were standing, especially such as yielded gum, had had
steps cut into their trunks, about 3 feet distant from each other,
so that the natives could climb them. Some of the trees bore fruit
that in colour and shape resembled a cherry; the juice had an
agreeable tartness, but little flavour. About the head of the bay
they traversed natural lawns which seemed to Cook the finest meadows
in the world.

On the beach there was an abundance of mussels and oysters, some of
which latter had been already roasted by the natives, and were eaten
by Cook and his party. Banks shot a number of quails resembling
those of England. One of the midshipmen accompanying a party sent
to get into touch with the natives (who did nothing but run away
whenever they were approached) strayed from his companions and
suddenly found himself in the presence of a very old man and woman
and some little children. They showed no signs of fear, and did not
attempt to run away. The midshipman gave them a parrot which he
had just killed, but they refused to accept it. All these people
seemed a dark chocolate brown in colour. Both men and women were
grey-headed. The hair of the men was long and ragged, while the
women's hair was cropped short.

On the north shore of the bay there were no trees, and the ground
resembled an English moor, its surface being covered with a thin
scrub of plants about as high as the knees.

On Sunday, 6 May, 1770, the _Endeavour_ sailed out of Botany Bay
(as the place had been named, on account the abundance of wild
flowers), and as she passed northwards Cook noticed a harbour which
seemed to promise great things, and named it Port Jackson. This
was the celebrated harbour of SYDNEY, one of the most remarkable
inlets of the sea for beauty, extent, and the variety and number
of deep and sheltered anchorages, to be found anywhere in the
world. As the _Endeavour_ sailed northwards the land gradually
increased in height, so that it became actually mountainous, with
a pleasing variety of hills and plains all clothed with woods.
Cook sighted the large islands off the pleasant town of Brisbane
(the capital of Queensland), and named one of them Cape Moreton.
The coast of Queensland (as long afterwards it came to be called)
was less hilly than that of New South Wales. Rounding the great
promontory of Sandy Cape, the _Endeavour_ anchored in what was then
and there called Bustard Bay, from the killing and eating of a fine
large bustard as big as a turkey.[83] "We all agreed that this was
the best bird we had eaten since we left England." The landing
parties found innumerable oysters--some of them pearl-producing,
others hammer-shaped--on the mud banks under the mangroves. Upon
these mangroves also were swarms of small green caterpillars, the
bodies of which were thick-set with hairs. "They were ranged upon
the leaves side by side, like a file of soldiers, to the number
of twenty or thirty: when we touched them we found that the hair
of their bodies had the quality of a nettle, and gave us an acute
though less durable pain." Among the shoals and sandbanks were
many water birds, especially the large black-and-white pelicans,
but the country inland was not so attractive as the region round
Botany Bay, being dry and sandy, though the sides of the hills were
covered sparsely with trees, most of them eucalypti, yielding a
yellow gum. The natives seen in the distance from time to time were
few in numbers, and seemed to lead an even more barbarous life than
those of New South Wales, to be without houses as well as clothes,
and to sleep in the open air. But they made use of fire, and even
constructed rough drinking vessels out of bark, and made bark beds,
and shelters against which they slept.

  [83] Australia, like the drier parts of Africa or Asia, possesses
  several examples of the bustard family, though in the case of
  Australia there are at most two or three species of the one Asiatic
  genus, _Eupodotis_.

The _Endeavour_ again came to an anchor in the vicinity of Keppel
Bay (near Rockhampton). The water had become very shallow, and they
had to stop to find a channel. Banks took advantage of this halt
to fish from the cabin windows with hook and line, and in this
way managed to catch some of the crabs which swarmed over the sea
bottom. One of these was an exceedingly beautiful creature, adorned
with the finest blue that can be imagined, with a white under side,
and so exquisitely polished that its blue and white resembled old
china. Another crab was marked with vivid ultramarine upon his
joints and toes, and had on his back three large brown spots of
singular appearance. A landing was made in Shoalwater Bay, and they
found the ground covered with a kind of grass, the seeds of which
were very sharp and bearded backwards, so that when they stuck into
the clothes they worked inwards by means of the beard till they
got at the flesh.[84] There were also clouds of mosquitoes which
tormented the landing party with their bites. As usual the trees
seemed to be mainly gums of the eucalyptus type. On the branches of
some of these were large ant nests made of clay, as big as a bushel.
There were also an incredible number of butterflies: for the space
of 3 or 4 acres the air would be so crowded with them that millions
must have been visible in every direction, while the branches and
twigs of the trees were covered with those that were not in flight.
They also found a small fish (the _Periophthalmus_ or mud-skipper)
"about the size of a minnow", with two very strong breast-fins, in
places that were quite dry, where it might have been left by the
tide. It did not seem to feel the want of water, but leapt about by
means of the breast-fins as nimbly as a frog. Even when found in
the water it leapt out and pursued its way upon dry ground, and in
shallow water it liked to progress by leaping from stone to stone
above the surface.

  [84] The terrible _Spinifex_ grass so characteristic of Australia.

On the islands off this coast of northern Queensland they noted
that the natives were provided with outrigger canoes, showing that
Melanesian or Polynesian influence had once reached this part.

All this was a dangerous coast where the sea in many parts concealed
shoals which suddenly projected from the shore and rocks that rose
abruptly, like a pyramid, from the bottom to within a few inches
of the surface. For more than 1300 miles the navigation of the
_Endeavour_ had been a source of the utmost anxiety to Cook and to
her sailing-master. Anxiety was to be followed by actual misfortune
near Cape Tribulation, a point which lies to the north of a very
mountainous part of the north Queensland coast region, where the
peaks rise to altitudes of nearly 6000 feet. On this coast the
water shallowed suddenly, the ship struck, and remained immovable,
except for the heaving of the surge which beat her against the
rocks on which she lay. In a few moments everyone was on deck with
countenances fully expressing the horror of their situation. The
rock was evidently of coral, which is the most fatal kind owing to
its hardness and sharpness. Against these pinnacles the bottom of
the ship was being rubbed away by the rising and falling of the
swell. The sails were at once taken in, and it was found that the
_Endeavour_ had been lifted over a ledge of the rock by the surge
and lay in a hollow inside it, in about 18 to 24 feet of water.
For hours they strove by means of anchors and cables to warp her
off the rock into deeper water and so get her out to sea; but she
was immovable, and yet all this time continued to beat with great
violence against the rock, so that it was with the utmost difficulty
her crew could keep upon their legs. To add to their distress of
mind they saw by the light of the moon the shifting boards from the
bottom of the vessel floating around her, and at last her false
keel, so that every moment the time was coming nearer in which the
sea would rush into the ship and swallow her up. Land was actually
about 24 miles distant. However, the wind gradually died away. Had
it continued, the ship must inevitably have gone to pieces, and Cook
and all his party would probably never have been heard of again;
for the boats were insufficient to carry them all at once on shore,
and even if they had reached the land it is doubtful whether they
could have survived, for their northward march along the Cape York
Peninsula would have been dogged by hostile natives, who would in
the end have succeeded in killing and eating them. Even supposing
they had reached Torres Straits and managed by means of native
canoes to cross over to New Guinea, a similar fate awaited them
there, for that part of New Guinea was then quite out of touch with
the Dutch possessions.


However, the wind and swell having died down, everything that they
could possibly throw overboard was thrown out of the ship (now
heeling over dangerously to starboard). The pumps were incessantly
at work keeping at bay the appalling inrush of the sea through
the cracks and holes made by the injuries to the ship's sides
and bottom. At last with the rise of the tide the _Endeavour_
righted herself so that she rode on an even keel and was apparently
floating off. But even then they dreaded that when she was free of
the rocks she might founder with the inrush of water through the
leaks. "We well knew that our boats were not capable of carrying
us all on shore, and that when the dreadful crisis should arrive,
as all command and subordination would be at an end, a contest for
preference would probably ensue that would increase the horrors
even of shipwreck and terminate in the destruction of all of us at
the hands of each other.... To those only who have waited in such
a state of suspense, death has approached in all its terrors; and
as the dreadful moment that was to determine our fate came on,
everyone saw his own sensations pictured in the countenances of his

However, the capstan and windlass were manned with as many hands as
could be spared from the pumps, and the ship floating about twenty
minutes after ten o'clock, a great effort was made, and she was
warped and heaved into deep water. It was some comfort to find that
she did not now admit more water than she had done upon the rock;
and though, by the gaining of the leak upon the pumps, there was no
less than 3 feet 9 inches of water in the hold, yet the men did not
relinquish their labour, and held the water, as it were, at bay.
"But having now endured excessive fatigue of body and agitation of
mind for more than four-and-twenty hours, and having but little
hope of succeeding at last, they began to flag: none of them could
work at the pump more than five or six minutes together, and then,
being totally exhausted, they threw themselves down upon the deck,
though a stream of water was running over it from the pumps between
3 and 4 inches deep; when those who succeeded them had worked their
spell, and were exhausted in their turn, they threw themselves down
in the same manner, and the others started up again, and renewed
their labour; thus relieving each other, till an accident was very
near putting an end to their efforts at once. The planking which
lines the inside of the ship's bottom is called the ceiling, and
between this and the outside planking there is a space of about 18
inches: the man who till this time had attended the well to take
the depth of water, had taken it only to the ceiling, and gave the
measure accordingly; but he being now relieved, the person who
came in his stead reckoned the depth to the outside planking, by
which it appeared in a few minutes to have gained upon the pumps
18 inches, the difference between the planking without and within.
Upon this, even the bravest was upon the point of giving up his
labour with his hope, and in a few minutes everything would have
been involved in all the confusion of despair. But this accident,
however dreadful in its first consequences, was eventually the cause
of our preservation: the mistake was soon detected, and the sudden
joy which every man felt upon finding his situation better than his
fears had suggested, operated like a charm, and seemed to possess
him with a strong belief that scarcely any real danger remained."

The men now renewed their efforts with such alacrity and spirit,
that before eight o'clock in the morning the leak no longer gained
upon them, but the pumps gained considerably upon the leak. They cut
most of their cables with the consequent loss of anchors, but got
once more under sail and stood for the land.

It would, however, have been impossible to continue indefinitely the
frightful labour of pumping out the sea water as fast as it poured
in through the leaks, and the expedition would only have received a
miserable respite but for the ingenious suggestion made by the same
reckless midshipman, Monkhouse, who had been so ready to open fire
on boisterous natives. He approached his commander, and proposed
an expedient he had once seen used on board a merchant ship, which
sprung a leak that admitted more than 4 feet of water an hour, and
yet by this expedient had been brought safely from North America
to London.[85] To midshipman Monkhouse, therefore, the care of the
expedient, which is called "fothering" the ship, was immediately
committed, four or five of the people being appointed to assist him,
and he performed it in this manner: "He took the lower studding
sail, and having mixed together a large quantity of oakham and wool,
chopped pretty small, he stitched it down in handfuls upon the
sail, as lightly as possible, and over this he spread the dung of
our sheep and other filth. When the sail was thus prepared, it was
hauled under the ship's bottom by ropes, which kept it extended, and
when it came under the leak, the suction which carried in the water,
carried in with it the oakham and wool from the surface of the sail,
which in other parts the water was not sufficiently agitated to wash
off. By the success of this expedient our leak was so far reduced
that, instead of gaining upon three pumps, it was easily kept under
by one. This was a new source of confidence and comfort; the people
could scarcely have expressed more joy if they had been already
in port." Cook goes on to observe in his journal that even when
everything looked at its worst both officers and crew exhibited
perfect possession of mind, and that everyone exerted himself to the
uttermost, "with a quiet and patient perseverance, equally distant
from the tumultuous violence of terror, and the gloomy inactivity of

  [85] Admiral Sir W.J.L. Wharton, who edited Cook's original journal,
  points, out that the idea seems equally to have emanated from
  Captain Cook, its carrying out being merely entrusted to Monkhouse
  because he was familiar with the process.

Sailing away with this device, which reduced the leaking of the ship
to only about 15 inches of water an hour, easily kept at bay by the
pumps, Cook passed close to two small islands, which at one time had
seemed almost unattainable, and which out of gratitude he called
Hope Islands. "In all the joy of our unexpected deliverance we had
not forgotten that there was nothing but a lock of wool between us
and destruction." At last they managed to reach the right kind of
harbour at the place where the great town of Cooktown now stands.
Here the ship was run up against a steep part of the shore, the
stores, provisions, and the men were all transferred to the beach,
where a camp was made and tents were put up for the sick; for, in
addition to their other troubles, scurvy had broken out. Amongst
other people thus affected was Tupia, the invaluable Polynesian
interpreter, who, however, no sooner got on shore than he caught
plenty of fresh fish and obtained herbs which cured his scurvy.
Banks explored the country in all directions. There were many traces
of the natives, but none of these people were visible. In his walks
he met with vast flocks of pigeons and crows[86], and the pigeons
(the plumage of which was exceedingly beautiful) proved most welcome
as stores of fresh food.

  [86] These crows, so often referred to by Cook and the early
  Australian explorers, were not true crows of the sub-family Corvinæ
  (crows, ravens, or jackdaws), but belonged to genera like _Corcorax_
  and _Gymnorhina_, more nearly related to choughs and shrikes.

On examining the main leak of the ship it was found that the coral
rocks had pierced through four planks even into the timbers of her
construction. There was not a splinter to be seen, but all was as
smooth as though it had been cut by sharp instruments. The vessel
would have been inevitably swamped but that a portion of the leak
was filled up by fragments of rock broken off the spikes of coral.

On shore, palms yielding "cabbages" were found, which proved to be
a grateful supply of vegetable food, and they even met with clumps
of wild bananas yielding small fruit with nice-tasting pulp, but
full of hard black seeds. "As I was walking this morning at a little
distance from the ship", wrote Cook in his journal, "I saw myself
one of the animals which had been so often described. It was of
a light mouse colour, and in size and shape very much resembled
a greyhound. It had a long tail also.... I should have taken it
for a wild dog if instead of running it had not leapt like a hare
or bird." It was, in fact, a kangaru. They also saw two animals
like dogs (dingoes), of a straw colour. There were very large
fruit-eating bats, "as big as a partridge", with wide-stretching
black wings.

At last, after they had been many days on shore, they succeeded
in getting into touch with the natives, who were more amenable
to reason than the savages farther south. Their skin was dark
chocolate, the hair was black, in some cases lank and in others
curly, but never woolly like the Papuans. Their bodies were painted
with streaks of red and white, the features of their faces were
agreeable, and their voices were soft and tuneful. One of them wore
the bone of a bird 5 or 6 inches long thrust through the gristle
between the nostrils. However, the kindness shown them led these
people on to acts of great presumption. They began to pester the
party on land with requests for food, and, when this was denied
them, gave way to transports of rage, and finally, seizing brands
from a fire, set light to the dry grass. Having in this way nearly
succeeded in destroying the camp, it was necessary to shoot at
them with muskets. With great difficulty peace was made, which was
perhaps fortunate, for the seamen, straying out in all directions
in search of food, encountered parties of native Australians who
might otherwise have killed them had they not been reassured as
to the intentions of the white men. In one such instance a seaman
found himself alone in a little camp of four natives, who had
kindled a fire and were broiling a bird over it together with part
of a kangaru. The seaman, being unarmed, was very much alarmed, but
had the presence of mind to assume a placid demeanour. He sat down
with the people and offered them his knife, but after examining
it they returned it to him politely. They examined his hands and
face and clothes with the greatest attention, and then made signs
that he could go away if he wished, a leave which he hastened to
take. It was invariably found, however, that presents given to
these people, whether cloth, beads, trinkets, or iron, were thrown
away as useless lumber. The expedition also obtained a specimen of
phalanger, a marsupial often misnamed the Australian opossum.[87]
These phalangers or cuscuses had already been sent home to European
collections from the Dutch East Indies, and had been described and
named by Buffon, the great eighteenth-century French zoologist.
Among the birds seen at _Endeavour_ Harbour, where the ship was laid
up for repairs, and where the chief fresh food of the crew was the
green turtle, were Australian crows, kites, hawks, black cockatoos
and white cockatoos, many beautiful parrots and parrakeets, a
variety of pigeons, tree-ducks (noted for their whistling cry),
geese, and curlews. On the islands off the coast which they touched
at as they sailed northwards there were large Monitor lizards;
and the nests of great eagles could be seen, mostly built on the
ground. In their passage northward they were again and again within
a few yards of destruction amongst the shoals, the coral reefs, the
sudden storms, and the holes of unfathomable water. The dangers of
navigating the unknown parts of the vast Pacific Ocean were greatly
increased by having a crazy ship and by being short of provisions,
"yet the first adventures of a first discoverer made us cheerfully
encounter every danger".

  [87] See pp. 38, 39.

On Tuesday, 21 August, 1770, Cook rounded Cape York and realized
that he was quitting the shores of Australia and had found a passage
between that island continent and New Guinea--the straits through
which the Spaniard, Torres, had sailed in 1607, the existence of
which had been entirely overlooked or forgotten. Cook, believing
that he had at last found a passage into the Indian Ocean, landed on
a little islet, climbed its highest hill, and hoisted the British
flag, taking possession of the whole eastern coast of Australia (by
the name of "New South Wales") on behalf of His Majesty King George
III, "with all the bays, harbours, rivers, and islands situated upon

No clue is given in Cook's journals to his reason for giving the
very inappropriate name of New South Wales to the eastern side of
the Australian continent.

Almost unconsciously they rounded the northernmost extremity of
Australia, feeling their way between islands, sandbanks, and shoals.
On 23 August, 1770, they saw an open sea to the westward and
realized that they were passing Tasman's Gulf of Carpentaria, and
that they had discovered (in reality, rediscovered) the important
strait between New Guinea and Australia, proving that the last-named
(which they knew as "New Holland"), though continental in size, was
in reality a separate island, and not connected with New Guinea.

New South Wales and much of Queensland was found by Cook to be
fairly well watered, with innumerable small brooks and springs,
but no great rivers. Access to the coast was much obstructed by
the dense mangrove thickets. Eucalyptus was the most prominent
type of tree in the forests. Cook observed two sorts of this "gum
tree", with its "narrow leaves not much unlike those of a willow",
and its gum of a deep-red colour. The pine trees[88] he mentions
were probably species of _Araucaria_ and _Frenela_ (miscalled
_Callitris_). They found three different kinds of palm[89], that
which grew in the southern part of New South Wales had fan-shaped
fronds, and the heart of the palm (namely, the undeveloped
fronds--the cabbage, as it was called by the mariners in those days,
who depended on it so much for vegetable food) was exceedingly sweet
to the taste. The nuts which it bore in great abundance were good
food for pigs. The second palm, also producing an edible cabbage,
had large pinnated fronds like those of the coconut; and the third
kind, which, like the second, was found only in northern Queensland,
was seldom more than 10 feet high, with fronds resembling those
of a large fern. It bore no cabbage, but a plentiful crop of nuts
the size of a large chestnut only rounder, nuts that were probably
roasted and eaten by the aborigines. Nevertheless, when eaten by
Europeans, they proved almost poisonous, causing them to vomit and
to be purged with great violence.

  [88] The _Conifers_ or "pines" (they are not of the actual pine or
  fir family of the northern hemisphere) of Australia belong chiefly
  to the following types (I am informed by Doctor Otto Stapf of Kew
  Gardens): _Frenela_, resembling the South African _Callitris_;
  _Araucaria_ (Monkey-puzzle trees); _Podocarpus_ (related to
  the yews); _Phyllocladus_ (often miscalled a "spruce" fir);
  _Dacrydium_, _Dammara_ (a conifer producing much pitch or resin);
  _Arthotaxis_ (in growth like a cypress); _Actinostrobus_; _Diselma_;
  _Microcochys_; and _Pherosphæra_.

  [89] The palms of Australia, according to a list kindly drawn
  up by Dr. Stapf, belong to the following genera: _Calamus_ (the
  climbing rattan or "cane" palms of northern Australia); _Kentia_, a
  genus of six species of fan-shaped fronds, one of which was Cook's
  "cabbage palm" with "nuts that were good for pigs"; _Clinostigma_;
  _Ptychosperma_ (a genus extending to Tahiti and Fiji); _Areca_
  (probably Cook's "second cabbage palm"); _Arenga_; _Caryota_; and
  _Licuala_. This last genus of low-growing palms was probably the
  third kind described by Cook, with fronds like a fern and nuts like

The conclusions at which Cook arrived in regard to the aborigines
of Australia were singularly accurate, considering that he had
only landed about five times on the coast of New South Wales and
Queensland, and had in addition only the scanty records of Dampier
and the Dutch seamen regarding the western coast of Australia. He
argues from the utter savagery of these coast natives, and from
the Dutch accounts of the desolate, parched nature of the south
and west coasts of Australia, that the interior is probably mainly
desert and uninhabitable. Their houses, which were seen at their
best at Botany Bay, were just high enough for a man to sit upright
in, and not large enough for him to lie down at full length. They
were built with pliable rods as thick as a man's finger, in the form
of an oven, the two ends being stuck into the ground. These withes
were then covered with palm leaves and broad pieces of bark, and
the door was nothing but a large hole at one end. In other words,
they were precisely like the houses built by the pygmies in some
parts of the Congo Forest. Inside these huts they slept three or
four in number, coiled up. Their only implements seemed to be made
of bark or netted fibre. Pieces of bark were tied at the two ends
with some lithe twig which served as a handle, and these bark basins
or buckets would then hold water. In addition the natives roughly
knitted together long fibres into bags, which they slung by a string
over the head. But their fish hooks were very neatly made of shell,
and some exceedingly small. For striking turtle they had a barbed
wooden harpoon, the detachable end of which was fastened into a
staff of light wood, to which was tied a line of fibrous string,
while the other end of the bush rope was fastened to the harpoon.
After striking the turtle the barbed end of this weapon would become
detached in the animal's body, while the staff, being of light
wood, rose to the surface and served as a float by which the victim
could be traced, and also as a drag on his speed. They were able to
make string from some fibre which ranged from the thickness of a
half-inch rope to the fineness of a hair, and argued some skill on
their part. Their cooking was done by broiling on coals or baking in
a hole with the help of hot stones. They had no nets for catching
fish, though they used a hook and line and also the harpoon. The
boomerang was almost their only weapon for bringing down birds. They
produced fire by whirling a drilling-stick into a piece of soft
wood, getting a spark in less than two minutes. "We have often seen
one of them running along the shore, to all appearance with nothing
in his hand, who, stooping down for a moment at the distance of
every 50 or 100 yards, left fire behind him, as we could see first
by the smoke and then by the flame amongst the driftwood and other
litter. We had the curiosity to examine one of these planters of
fire when he set off, and we saw him wrap up a small spark in dry
grass, which when he had run a little way, having been fanned by the
air that his motion produced, began to blaze. He then laid it down
in a place convenient for his purpose, enclosing a spark of it in
another quantity of grass, and so continued his course."

By setting fire to the bush the natives managed to surround and kill
a number of animals--kangarus, emus, lizards, &c.

The lances of the Australians were of wood, sometimes with a shaft
made of cane or the stem of a bulrush. The actual weapon itself
was of hard wood, the point of which would be smeared with a resin
which gave it a polish and made it enter deeper into what it struck.
In the southern regions these lances usually had four prongs, each
pointed with bone or sharp shells, and barbed. All such insertions
of substances into the wood were held in their places by resin
(Eucalyptus or _Dammara_ gum). They could become terrible weapons,
for they were thrown with great force, and, owing to the smooth
resin, entered far into the flesh of the person aimed at, and could
never be drawn out without tearing the flesh or leaving sharp ragged
splinters of bone or shell behind. When fighting at close quarters
the lances were aimed with the hand, but at a greater distance were
thrown by an instrument which Cook calls a throwing-stick. This was
a plain, smooth piece of hard wood, highly polished, about 2 inches
broad, ½ inch thick, and 3 feet long, with a small knob or hook at
one end and a crosspiece about 3 or 4 inches long at the other.
The knob at one end caught into a small dent or hollow, which was
made for that purpose in the shaft of the lance near its point,
but was not made sufficiently deep or rough to detain the lance
when violently projected. When it was intended to hurl a lance by
this means it was laid along the machine, being held in position
by the knob entering the small hollow in the shaft, and the person
throwing it held both lance and throwing-stick over his shoulder.
He then, after a preliminary shake, hurled both the throwing-stick
and the lance with all his force, but the stick being stopped by the
cross-piece, which came against the shoulder with a sudden jerk, the
lance went forward with incredible swiftness and with so good an aim
that at a distance of 50 yards these black Australians were more
certain of their mark than the white men often were with their guns.
The only tools the people possessed seemed to be adzes with stone
blades, wooden mallets, sharp shells, and fragments of coral; but
for polishing their throwing-sticks and the points of their lances
they rubbed down the wood with a leaf of a kind of wild fig tree,
the underside of which had a very rough surface, which bit upon the
wood almost as keenly (remarks Cook) as the shaving grass of Europe
which was formerly used by English joiners.

       *       *       *       *       *

As the _Endeavour_ sailed along the south coast of New Guinea the
breezes from the shore would be strongly impregnated with the
trees, shrubs, and herbage, which was pleasantly aromatic. At some
point on the south coast of New Guinea about 130 miles to the east
of Valsche Cape (False Cape) the _Endeavour_ anchored for a short
time whilst Cook, Banks, and a small party of men went on shore,
in all twelve persons well armed. The coast was very low, and
covered with a luxuriance of wood and herbage that can scarcely be
conceived. They were obliged to wade 200 yards till they reached
the strand, where they saw the prints of human feet. Walking along
the outskirts of the forest they came to a grove of coconut trees
on the banks of a little brackish stream. They looked at the fruit
very wistfully, but, not thinking it safe to climb, were obliged to
leave without tasting a single nut. Suddenly three Papuans rushed
out of the forest with a hideous shout, and as they ran towards them
the foremost threw something out of his hand which burnt exactly
like gunpowder but made no report. The other two instantly threw
their lances, and as there was now no time to be lost the Eurupeans
fired their guns, which were loaded with small shot. Several still
came on. Bullets were used, and then they ran away, whilst the white
men retreated to the water and a boat. As they waded away from the
shore a number of Papuans came out to attack them, which they did by
discharging some flaming substance through a short piece of stick,
probably a hollow cane. "This wonderful phenomenon was observed from
the ship, and the deception was so great that the people on board
thought they had firearms." Having made this attack they retired,
and the people of Cook's party picked up the fire-producing weapons.
They were found to be light darts about 4 feet long, of reed or
bamboo, pointed with hard wood in which were many barbs. They were
apparently hurled with a throwing-stick like the lances of the

Passing by the south end of Timor they saw unexpectedly an island,
which they thought at first was a new discovery. It was Savu,
midway between Timor and Sumba, or Sandalwood Island. To their
great surprise they saw not only people dressed more or less after
the fashion of Europeans, but numerous flocks of sheep. The second
lieutenant landed and was received with great civility. Moving
round to a better anchorage they saw the Dutch colours. The raja
or chief of the island, who had with him a Portuguese interpreter,
explained that he would be delighted to afford them stores and other
assistance, if they could first obtain the permission of the Dutch
East India Company, without which he was not able to trade with any
other people. This Company was represented in Savu at that time
by a German named Lange. He came on board and behaved with great
civility, bringing with him the raja of the island. But in spite of
fine words it was with the utmost difficulty, and after many delays,
that Cook's party obtained any supply of fresh provisions, the
Dutch Company's agent pretending that he had received instructions
from his superior officers on the Island of Timor to render no
assistance. In fact, Cook would have fared very badly had it not
been for the inherent good nature of the Malay people of the island.
He pleaded with the raja for liberty to purchase one pig and some
rice, as they were so urgently in need of fresh provisions. The king
replied graciously that he would give them a dinner himself.

"About five o'clock dinner was ready; it was served in
six-and-thirty dishes, or rather baskets, containing alternately
rice and pork, and three bowls of earthenware, filled with the
liquor in which the pork had been boiled; these were ranged upon
the floor, and mats laid round them for us to sit upon. We were
then conducted by turns to a hole in the floor, near which stood a
man with water in a vessel made of the leaves of the fan-palm, who
assisted us in washing our hands. When this was done, we placed
ourselves round the victuals, and waited for the king. As he did
not come, we enquired for him, and were told that the custom of the
country did not permit the person who gave the entertainment to sit
down with his guests; but that, if we suspected the victuals to be
poisoned, he would come and taste it. We immediately declared that
we had no such suspicion, and desired that none of the rituals of
hospitality might be violated on our account. The Prime Minister
and Mr. Lange were of our party, and we made a most luxurious meal;
we thought the pork and rice excellent, and the broth not to be
despised; but the spoons, which were made of leaves, were so small
that few of us had patience to use them. After dinner, our wine
passed briskly about, and we again enquired for our royal host,
thinking that though the custom of his country would not allow
him to eat with us, he might at least share in the jollity of our
bottle; but he again excused himself, saying, that the master of a
feast should never be drunk, which there was no certain way to avoid
but by not tasting the liquor. We did not however drink our wine
where we had eaten our victuals; but as soon as we had dined made
room for the seamen and servants, who immediately took our places:
they could not despatch all that we had left, but the women who came
to clear away the bowls and baskets, obliged them to carry away with
them what they had not eaten."

At length the old man who was the king's Prime Minister, and who was
won over by the present of a spyglass and a broadsword, intervened
with a show of force, and the Dutch-German factor and his Portuguese
colleague had to give way. Cook purchased 9 buffaloes, 6 sheep,
3 pigs, 360 fowls, a few limes, some coconuts, dozens of eggs, a
little garlic, and several gallons of palm syrup--a most welcome
addition to the food supply of the ship, which by this time had been
reduced in the matter of fresh provisions to a single sheep, and
probably the saving of life for many invalids on board. The sheep
which he bought on the island were like those of Southern India,
with hair instead of wool, very long, pendent ears, and arched noses.

This small island of Savu was densely inhabited, and could raise
from out of the five principalities into which it was divided an
army of at least 7700 men armed with muskets, spears, lances, and
pole-axes. The people were somewhat elaborately dressed, and had a
great variety of food owing to the abundance of domestic animals and
of vegetables. They were made hideous by the abuse of the betelnut,
the chewing of which with lime darkened their teeth and wore them
down to the gums. But they were very proud of their pedigrees, which
they traced back for generations. Each raja set up in the principal
town of his province a large stone which served as a memorial of his
reign. Many of these stones were so large that it is difficult to
conceive by what means they were raised to their present position on
summits of hills. Muhammadanism had not yet reached them, nor had
Christianity. Their religion was described as "absurd", inasmuch as
each man chose his own god and determined for himself how he should
be worshipped. Nevertheless, their morals were irreproachable.
They were honest, and although warlike in disposition kept the
peace amongst one another. Their style of living was remarkable for
delicacy and cleanliness. They appeared to be healthy and long-lived.

From Savu the _Endeavour_ reached without difficulty Batavia, the
capital of Java and of the Dutch Indies. But her arrival at Batavia,
together with the facilities which were given to Cook by the Dutch
Government for repairing his ship--to say nothing of the pleasure
of finding oneself amongst Europeans and even Englishmen for the
first time after having sailed half round the globe--were of small
consolation in the presence of a terrible sickness which seized on
all of them owing to the unhealthy nature of the place. Tupia and
his boy Taito, who had come with them all the way from Tahiti, and
who had been through such wonderful adventures in New Zealand and
elsewhere, and who showed themselves so intensely delighted with the
varied aspect of civilization at Batavia, both succumbed to illness,
and died. Banks and Solander were so bad that they also nearly died;
Monkhouse, the surgeon, and several seamen perished. Cook himself
was very ill. Every individual, in fact, of the _Endeavour's_
crew was ill except the sailmaker, an old man between seventy and
eighty years of age. Five Englishmen out of the crew were buried at
Batavia, besides the two Tahitians.

From Java they sailed to the Cape of Good Hope, where they stayed
for rest and refreshment, and after calling at St. Helena the
_Endeavour_ anchored in the Downs off Deal, and at that place Cook
landed on 12 June, 1771, after his circumnavigation of the world,
which opened a new epoch in colonial history.

Cook was commended highly by the Admiralty for his services, and
he was made a Fellow by the Royal Society, very small rewards
for such a wonderful achievement. [To excuse their niggardliness
in this respect the Government of the day said, _after Cook was
dead_, that had he lived to return from his third voyage he might
have been made a baronet!] But perhaps the most striking evidence
of the insolent indifference to Cook's interests was displayed by
the Board of Admiralty in regard to Cook's Journals and Banks's
elaborate records of the ethnology, botany, and zoology observed in
the course of the wonderful voyage. All this material was placed in
the hands of a Dr. Hawkesworth by Lord Sandwich, the dissolute and
vicious Minister[90] at the head of the Admiralty, simply because
Hawkesworth had been introduced to him by the actor Garrick as a
writer of plays for the stage. Wishing to help Hawkesworth with
funds, without putting his hand in his pocket, Lord Sandwich handed
over to him Cook's Journals, and induced Banks to do the like with
his own work. Hawkesworth then sold the joint work of Cook and Banks
to publishers and booksellers for £6000, which he invested on his
own behalf, and which--for he died soon afterwards--passed to his
widow without benefiting Cook (Banks being rich did not need it) in
the least. Banks, it must be remembered, had spent something like
£8000 on the expedition.

  [90] As is well shown in Admiral Wharton's editions of Cook's


Cook's Second and Third Voyages

NOT long after Cook's return to England in July, 1771, he was
appointed to command a ship of 462 tons, built at Whitby by the
same person who had constructed the _Endeavour_.[91] She was named
the _Resolution_, and with her was associated a smaller vessel of
336 tons, called the _Adventure_. Almost immediately after Cook's
return it had been decided by the Admiralty to equip a still better
furnished expedition to complete the discovery of the Southern
Hemisphere. A lieutenant who had sailed with Captain Wallis in 1766,
TOBIAS FURNEAUX (no doubt a descendant of French Huguenots), had
been promoted to command the _Adventure_. At first it was thought
that the expedition should be accompanied by Mr. (afterwards Sir
Joseph) Banks and a number of assistants, who should make a careful
examination of the botany and zoology of the countries to be visited
by the ship under Cook's command. And Banks spent several thousand
pounds in getting his share of the expedition ready, the British
Government being then, as now, very loath to spend much money on
these branches of scientific research, in the value of which it is
only beginning to believe. But at the last moment difficulties were
put in Banks's way. He was offered so little accommodation on the
_Resolution_ that he decided not to accompany Captain Cook, and
went later on to Iceland instead.

  [91] The _Endeavour_, it might be mentioned, was sent out soon
  afterwards as a store-ship to the Falkland Islands, where she ended
  her days.

Still more determined to combat scurvy, Cook included amongst his
stores such things as malt and a concentrated extract of wort and
beer, which, diluted with water, might in fact make for the men
throughout the voyage a drink of a wholesome and a palatable nature.
They also took sour crout (cabbage cut up and pickled with salt,
juniper berries, and aniseed) and salted cabbage, orange and lemon
peel, mustard, and "marmalade of carrots". This was the juice of
yellow carrots evaporated until it was as thick as honey or treacle,
and it had been strongly recommended by a learned person of Berlin
as being a great remedy for scurvy, but when put to the test was not
found to be of much use.

A landscape painter, William Hodges, was appointed to this
expedition in order to make drawings and paintings of the scenery
and people of the countries which might be visited, and in place of
Joseph Banks and his party a naturalist of German extraction--John
Rheinhold Forster--and his son,[92] were both engaged to make
botanical and zoological researches. (At the Cape of Good Hope,
Cook also allowed Forster to engage in this department a Swedish
naturalist, Sparrman.) The expedition, which was to search, amongst
other things, for the South Pole, left England at the end of June,
1772, called at the Cape of Good Hope, and then directed its course
to the south-east, getting amongst icebergs, over which the terrific
waves of the Southern Ocean broke even when they were 60 feet high,
soon after it had passed the fortieth degree of south latitude. Cook
had been preceded in these waters nearly forty years before by the
French navigator Bouvet, who had reported the existence of land in
the far south. But Cook, on this voyage, though he penetrated as
far south as 64°, did not even encounter one or other of the island
groups which dot the surface of the ocean at rare intervals between
South Africa and Antarctica. Yet he must have been near these
islands, some of which he discovered on his next voyage, on account
of the abundance of sea birds which they saw, including penguins,
which never travel out into the ocean far from land.

  [92] They were poor creatures compared to Banks and Solander, and
  the elder Forster made himself so ridiculous that he became the butt
  of the seamen.

The expedition sighted the coast of the South Island of New Zealand
on 20 March, 1773, and anchored in Dusky Bay on the following day,
having been 117 days at sea, and sailed 10,980 miles without once
seeing land. Yet only one man had been seriously ill with scurvy on
this long voyage, and the excellent health of the ship's crew is
justly attributed to the antiscorbutics they had carried with them,
especially to the weak beer and to the portable broth. Immediately
after they came to an anchor in Dusky Bay one of the ship's officers
killed a seal (of which there were many lying about on the rocks),
the meat of which was most welcome to the messes. Cook had brought
with him numbers of domestic animals and birds from England to
introduce into these new lands, but a good many of them had been
killed by the stormy and cold weather through which the expedition
had passed, and had even suffered from a form of scurvy, so that
when the sheep, for example, were landed in New Zealand their teeth
were so loose and their gums so tender that they could not masticate
the grass of the country, and could only feed feebly on leaves.
The geese were landed on the South Island of New Zealand in the
hope that they might increase and multiply and so furnish this part
of the world with a valuable domestic bird. But apparently they
died out without leaving any issue, and about the only creature
that Cook's expedition succeeded in introducing permanently into
New Zealand was the pig. But this part of New Zealand was found to
abound in native ducks of five different kinds.

"The largest are as big as a Muscovy duck, with a very beautiful
variegated plumage, on which account we called it the painted duck:
both male and female have a large white spot on each wing; the head
and neck of the latter is white, but all the other feathers, as well
as those on the head and neck of the drake, are of a dark variegated
colour.[93] The second sort have a brown plumage, with bright-green
feathers in their wings, and are about the size of an English tame
duck. The third sort is the blue-grey duck or 'whistling duck', as
some called them from the whistling noise they made. What is most
remarkable in these is that the end of their beaks is soft, and of a
skinny, or more properly, cartilaginous substance. The fourth sort
is something bigger than teal, and all black except the drake, which
has some white feathers in his wing."[93]

  [93] There are at least nine species of duck-like birds in New
  Zealand. The four specially cited by Cook are probably classified
  as follows, in the order mentioned by him: _Fuligula novœzelandiæ_,
  the New Zealand scaup; _Anas superciliosa_, the New Zealand mallard;
  _Hymenolæma malacorhynchus_, the celebrated "Blue duck" of New
  Zealand (though it is not strictly speaking a duck but more related
  to the slender-billed merganser and smew); _Nyroca australis_,
  the Australian pochard. The remaining five species are the New
  Zealand ruddy sheldrake (_Casarca_), a tree duck (_Dendrocygna_), a
  shoveller (_Spatula_), and two teal (_Elasmonetta_ and _Nettion_).
  But New Zealand once possessed black swans like those of Australia,
  and a huge flightless goose (_Cnemiornis_) like the existing
  Cereornis goose of Australia, and a musk duck (_Bizuira_). But all
  these became extinct long before the white man came on the scene.

Cook also noticed the characteristic wingless rails of New Zealand,
which he called wood hens. "As they cannot fly they inhabit the
skirts of the woods, and feed on the seabeach; and are so very
tame or foolish as to stand and stare at us till we knocked them
down with a stick."[94] The natives were even then fast destroying
them. Amongst the small birds Cook particularizes the wattle-bird,
poë-bird, and fan-tail, on account of their singularities of form
and plumage.[95]

  [94] The Weka-rails, _Ocydromus_. There was also a monster
  Porphyrio, the _Notornis mantelli_, unable to fly, and consequently
  soon killed out by the colonists.

  [95] The Wattle-bird or Huia was so-called because it had two
  wattles under its beak as large as those of a bantam cock. It was
  larger and longer in body than an English blackbird. Its bill was
  short and thick, and its feathers of a dark lead colour; the colour
  of its wattles being a dull yellow, almost orange. This description
  of Cook's refers to the chough-like _Heterolocha_, in which the male
  has a short, sharp, straight beak, and the female one which is long
  and curved like a sickle. The Poë-bird or Tui was about the size of
  a starling, and belonged to the family of honey eaters. The feathers
  were (wrote Cook) "of a fine mazarin blue", except those of its
  neck, which are of a most beautiful silver grey, and two or three
  short white ones, which are on the pinion joint of the wing. Under
  its throat hang two little tufts of curled, snow-white feathers,
  called its "poes", which, being the Tahitian word for ear-rings,
  was the origin of the name given by Cook's people to the bird,
  which is not more remarkable for the beauty of its plumage than for
  the sweetness of its note. "The flesh is also most delicious, and
  was the greatest luxury the woods afforded us." Of the "fan-tail"
  warblers mentioned by Cook there were different sorts, but the body
  of the most remarkable one was scarcely larger than that of a wren,
  yet it spread a tail of beautiful plumes, "fully three-quarters of a
  semicircle, of at least of 4 or 5 in. radius". These fan-tails were
  probably flycatchers of the _Muscicapidæ_ family.

In Pickersgill Harbour, close by, the seamen thought that they
descried a small mammal about the size of a cat, mouse-coloured,
and with short legs and a bushy tail, "more like a jackal than any
animal they knew". This may have been a runaway dog, of degenerate
type, belonging to the natives; or just possibly some mammal
indigenous to New Zealand which soon afterwards became extinct.
Yet with the exception of bats (and the dogs and rats introduced
by the natives, and the seals which frequented the seacoasts), no
indigenous beast has ever been discovered in New Zealand, either
existing there in the past or at the time of its discovery.

During the stay of the expedition at Dusky Bay and elsewhere in the
South Island the small black sandflies were a serious pest. Wherever
they bit they caused a swelling and such intolerable itching that
many of the people who had landed were at last covered with ulcers
like smallpox. Nevertheless the whole crew soon became strong and
vigorous. A local conifer, styled a "spruce" by Cook, but in reality
a _Phyllocladus_, furnished an astringent beer in a decoction of
its leaves, the bitterness of which was tempered by using an equal
quantity of the tea plant.[96]

  [96] Cook describes this as a small tree or shrub with five white
  petals shaped like those of a rose. The leaves were like a myrtle,
  and made an agreeably bitter beverage. If this was strongly brewed
  it acted like an emetic.

On the way north from Dusky Bay towards Queen Charlotte Sound, six
or seven waterspouts were seen. According to Cook, they were caused
by whirlwinds which created a kind of funnel or tube of water, which
ascended in a spiral stream up to the clouds. In one of them a bird
had been enclosed, which the seamen saw being whirled round and
round as it was carried upwards. It appeared to Cook that, although
these spouts reached the clouds, it was not from the rainwater of
the clouds being drawn down to them, but by the column of whirling
water ascending from the sea to the clouds above.

When in the southern Indian Ocean Cook had arranged with Captain
Furneaux that if they should be separated by weather (as they were)
they should rendezvous at Queen Charlotte Sound. The _Adventure_
was separated from the _Resolution_, and after searching for her in
vain set out on a lonely voyage of 4200 miles through an utterly
unknown sea and reduced to an allowance of 1 quart of fresh water
a day. They steered for Tasmania, reached the south coast of
that island, and landed there on 10 March, 1773, finding the soil
very rich and the country well clothed with woods, and plenty of
water falling from the rocks in brilliant cascades 200 or 300 feet
perpendicularly into the sea. They were the second white men to
land in Tasmania. The _Adventure_ anchored for five days in the bay
since called after her. The trees of the forest they found mostly
burnt or scorched near the ground, owing to the natives setting fire
to the underwood, so as to make passage easy through the forest.
There seemed to be little variety of trees, which were mostly of the
eucalyptus kind; but there was an abundance of birds, Australian
"crows" with their sharp white beaks, several kinds of duck,
parakeets, and a large white bird about the size of a small eagle
and very like one.[97] As for beasts, they only saw one, which was a
kind of opossum (phalanger), but from the traces they saw of others
(kangarus) they believed the land to contain deer. There were many
signs of the natives--rough wigwams or huts,[98] in which there were
bags and nets made of grass, stones and tinder for striking fire,
spears sharpened at the end with a shell or stone--but the people
themselves kept out of the way of the Europeans and were not once

  [97] Probably _Haliœtus leucogaster_, a white and grey fish-eating

  [98] "The boughs of which their huts are made are either broken or
  split and tied together with grass in a circular form, the largest
  end stuck in the ground and the smaller parts meeting in a point
  at the top, after which they are covered with fern and bark, but
  so poorly done that they would hardly keep out a shower of rain.
  In the middle is the fireplace surrounded with heaps of mussel,
  scallop, and cray-fish shells, which I believe to be their chief
  food."--_Captain Furneaux_.

The _Adventure_ after this repose skirted the coast and islands of
Tasmania, as far as the opening of Bass's Strait and the string
of islands named after Captain Furneaux. The last-named did not
ascertain definitely that Tasmania was an island and not any longer
a peninsula of Australia. From a point very near the Australian
coast the _Adventure_ sailed straight across to New Zealand and duly
rejoined the _Resolution_ in Queen Charlotte Sound. The crews of
both ships felt "uncommon joy at their meeting" after a separation
of fourteen weeks.

From New Zealand the two ships made their way to Tahiti. On arriving
there the Tahitians enquired about Tupia, the invaluable interpreter
on the first voyage; but his friends and relations were quite
satisfied when an account of his death at Batavia was given to them.
Civil wars had brought about certain changes in the government
of the island, and one of the most prominent chiefs known to the
_Endeavour_ expedition was dead. This was Tutaha, and his mother
came to meet Cook, bursting into tears as she seized him by both
hands, and said: "Tutaha Tutayo no Tuti, matti!" (Tutaha, the friend
of Cook, is dead).

Goats were landed on this island to introduce a breed of valuable
domestic animals. The expedition then passed on to the adjoining
island of Huahine, and here they obtained another invaluable
interpreter for their further voyages--Omai, a native of the island
of Ulieta, and of rather negroid or Melanesian type, but a most
useful member of Cook's second and third expeditions.

In the interval between Cook's first and second visits to Tahiti a
Spanish ship had called at that island and had introduced several
noxious European diseases. The degeneration and depopulation of the
Society Islands was about to begin, and even their food supplies
were beginning to get short, owing to the demands made on them for
pigs and fowls by European ships, and by the civil wars which caused
much loss of live stock.

From the Society Islands the _Resolution_ and _Adventure_ sailed
westward, discovered Hervey's Island, and rediscovered the Tonga
archipelago already visited by Tasman. Here they met with such a
kindly reception, the natives coming out to meet them in canoes,[99]
and running along the shore displaying small white flags, that the
group was afterwards christened the "Friendly Isles". [The Tonga
archipelago under a native king is now a British protectorate.] The
people supplied them with abundance of fowls, pigs, bananas, and

  [99] Cook describes the sails used by the Polynesians of the Tonga
  archipelago as being lateen, extended to a lateen yard above and a
  boom at the foot. When they change tacks they throw the vessel up in
  the wind, ease off the sheet, and bring the tack end of the yard to
  the other end of the boat. There are notches or sockets at both ends
  of the vessel into which each end of the yard is put. He describes
  the sails as being exactly similar to those in use at the Ladrone

Cook gives the following description of a house of worship on
Tongatabu Island built on an artificial mound about 18 feet above
the level of the ground:--

It was of an oblong shape and enclosed by a wall or parapet of
stone about 3 feet in height. From this wall the mound rose with a
gentle slope and was covered with green turf, and on the top of it
stood the house.... Three elderly men came and seated themselves
between the Europeans and the temple and began a kind of prayer,
which lasted about ten minutes, then led the way so that the house
of worship might be examined. In front there were two stone steps
leading to the top of the wall. From this the ascent to the house
was easy. It was surrounded by a fine gravel walk and was built
in all respects like a dwelling-house of the country, with poles
and rafters, and covered with palm thatch, with eaves coming down
to within 3 feet of the ground, and sides or walls made of strong
matting. The floor of the house was laid with fine gravel, except
in the middle, where there was an oblong square of blue pebbles
raised about 6 inches higher than the floor. In two corners of the
house stood images rudely carved in wood, which did not seem to be
treated by the natives with much respect. The space of blue pebbles
was a sort of altar, and on this the Europeans laid their offerings
of things that the natives would be likely to prize.

Cook describes Tongatabu Island as a little paradise. There was not
an inch of wasted land. The beautifully made roads occupied no more
space than was absolutely necessary, the fences were only about 4
inches wide and mostly consisted of useful trees or plants, and the
ground round the houses and temples was planted with large and shady
fruit trees, which besides the customary bread-fruits, coconuts, and
the Tahiti _ahiya_, included shaddocks (a large kind of orange). The
people also grew sugar cane and made pottery. They were of the same
good-looking Polynesian type as those of Tahiti. The men applied
dyes to their abundant crops of head hair, which either bleached it
white or stained it red, or even blue. They had here the custom so
widespread in North America, and amongst the Bushmen of South Africa
and the people of Australia, of mutilating the fingers, especially
the little finger, by cutting off the two first joints to mark their
mourning for children, husbands, or wives.

Cook also noticed the lepers of the Tonga archipelago, some of
whom had the whole face and nose reduced to dreadful smooth scabs,
surrounding nearly embedded eyes, and emitting an intolerable stench.

From Tongatabu the two ships sailed to New Zealand, and on the
journey the _Adventure_ was lost sight of. Cook, unable to wait
(after searching for this ship along the coasts of New Zealand),
left messages behind in bottles, buried in the camps to which
they had most resorted, and then, on 26 November, 1773, sailed
once more into the Southern Pacific to search for Antarctica. He
reached ultimately to latitudes as high as 72°, where he found vast
mountains of ice or land covered with ice. He had, in fact, probably
reached the coast of Wilkes's Land. Some of the innumerable ice
islands they passed on this southern voyage could not have been less
than 200 feet in height, and terminated in peaks like cupolas or

Being now well satisfied that no land was to be found in this
direction, except unapproachable through icefields and quite
uninhabitable, Cook turned his vessel to the north to reach the
Tropics once again, and on 13 March, 1774, anchored off Easter
Island,[100] where the ship was at once met by a canoe paddled by
two men, who brought out a bunch of plantains. This gave the crew
of the _Resolution_ a good opinion of the Easter Islanders, who, as
we know, were not unfamiliar with Europeans, having been visited
already by Spaniards and Dutchmen. In fact, when they landed they
found one man with a good broad-brimmed European hat on, whilst
another wore a Spanish jacket, and a third a red silk handkerchief.
The people, though very friendly, were rather thievish, not only
towards the European, but each other. For instance, finding
that Cook's party was very willing to buy sweet potatoes, they
unhesitatingly raided a man's plantation near the landing place, and
sold them for what they could get.

  [100] For the convenience of the reader I might repeat the statement
  that Easter Island, in 27° S. latitude, is, as regards human
  inhabitants, the farthest prolongation eastwards of Polynesia, and
  is situated 2374 miles from the west coast of South America, and
  1326 miles from Pitcairn Island, the nearest land.

Cook, being ill himself at the time, sent a party of officers to
explore Easter Island thoroughly. They had not proceeded far on
their journey before a middle-aged man, tatued from head to foot,
and his face painted with a white pigment, appeared with a spear in
his hand, on which he hoisted a piece of white cloth as an emblem
of peace. He then drove away a crowd of natives that followed, and
constituted himself a guide. The surface of the island appeared to
be a barren, dried, hard clay covered with stones, except where
the natives had cleared the ground and made plantations of sweet
potatoes or had planted banana groves. On the highest part of the
south end of the island the soil was a fine red earth and more
fruitful, bearing a longer grass, and was not strewn with stones.
But the most remarkable feature in this somewhat desolate island,
which has an area of about 45 square miles, were the statues of
stone and ruins of masonry. These were mainly on the east side of
the island and near the sea. Here the officers of the _Resolution_
met with three platforms of stonework, and on each had stood four
large stone statues, mostly, however, now lying prone on the
ground and some broken. Each statue[101] had on its head a large
cylindrical stone of red colour, wrought into a perfectly circular
form. One of these stone statues was 27 feet long and 8 feet across
the breadth of the shoulders, yet there were others larger than
this still standing, one of them so big that its shade at two in
the afternoon was sufficient to shelter the whole party of twenty
persons from the rays of the sun.

  [101] Some of these figures are outside the British Museum.

Throughout the whole island there was scarcely any supply of really
fresh, sweet water. In fact this landing party only met with one
such pool or well, and this was very dirty, owing to the habit
of the natives going there to drink and at the same time washing
themselves all over. If a numerous party came up for this purpose
the first arrival leapt right into the middle of the hole, drank,
washed himself without the least ceremony, and then gave up his
place to another, so that the lastcomer had a very filthy liquid
to quench his thirst. But for the most part the wells or watering
places were brackish or even salt. The natives seemed to drink the
salt water without any reluctance.

In the course of this journey taken by the party from the
_Resolution_ the natives frequently came up with roasted potatoes,
sugar cane, and supplies of water. They distributed these supplies
of food and drink with great punctiliousness, being careful that
those in the rear should be as well served as those in front of the
expedition. Yet all the time they were taking trouble to minister to
the wants of the white men they endeavoured to steal from them by
snatching at their bags or any loose gear which they could easily
detach from their persons; so much so that at last it was necessary
to fire a musket loaded with small shot, which did not in the least
interrupt the otherwise friendly relations.

On the whole the natives of Easter Island (Rapanui, Hwaihu, and
Teapai, as it was sometimes called) were living in a somewhat
miserable condition when revisited by Cook, as though they had very
much degenerated. Their food supply was poor, not even fish being
abundant on the coasts. They had a few fowls and rats, and lived
chiefly on sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins or gourds, bananas, and
sugar cane. The speciality of the island was the sweet potato,
which Cook thought the best he had ever tasted. It seemed to Cook
as though there were not more than 700 natives left on this island
(probably there were then from 2000 to 3000). Their houses were
low, miserable huts, or a kind of vault built of stone partly
underground. Their fuel (as there were scarcely any trees left in
the island) consisted of grass, and, above all, the stalks of the
sugar cane. They had a few canoes made of boards, and it was a
mystery where they could have got the wood from which to build them,
unless it was driftwood.

But of course the greatest mystery of the island, then as now, were
the stone terraces and platforms and the gigantic stone statues.
The workmanship of the mortarless masonry appeared to the officers
of the _Resolution_ to be not inferior to the best stonebuilding
work then known in England. The stones were morticed and fitted
into one another in a very artful manner. The side walls were not
perpendicular, but inclined inwards. The statues were, as a rule,
erected on these stone platforms. It is noteworthy that the ears of
these stone figures had their lobes prolonged downwards out of all
proportion, but resembling closely the artificially elongated ears
of the living Easter Islanders. Another puzzle was how the red stone
cylinders could have been placed on the tops of the heads of these
statues when they stood sometimes 25 feet or more above the ground.
It must have required also considerable art to raise these immense
carved stones to a perpendicular position. The statues did not seem
to be regarded as idols by the people, but as the memorials of dead
chiefs, and to have been in some way connected with the burial
places of notabilities. The stonework on this island, nearly 1400
miles from the nearest land--Pitcairn--which has also remains of a
similar nature, remains one of the world's great unsolved mysteries
in the history of the human species, and it is remarkable that such
small effort has been made by excavation to find some clue as to the
origin and affinities of this vanished race of stonebuilders, whose
works stretch across the Pacific from the Ladrone Islands to Easter

From Easter Island, Cook proceeded to the Marquezas archipelago,
already known through the explorations of the Spaniards. Here the
natives were of the usual type of friendly, boisterous thieves, not
provoked to much dismay or anger if any of their companions were
killed or wounded by the muskets which Cook was obliged to order
to be fired at them, to stop their carrying off things of great
importance to the ship. All the islands and most of the ports bore
Spanish names. The people were Polynesians, but far better supplied
with food products than the miserable Easter Islanders. They had
pigs, fowls, bananas, yams, numerous edible roots, bread-fruit, and

From the Marquezas the _Resolution_ sailed back to Tahiti, and,
after another visit round most of the Society Islands [where Cook's
relations with the natives were so peculiarly cordial and intimate
that he left them with some shedding of tears on both sides and many
appeals and promises to return], once more sailed for New Zealand.
On the way thither, Howe Island and Savage Island (so called because
of the ferocious attack made on a landing party by the natives)
were discovered and named. The _Resolution_ visited the northern
islands of the Tonga group, but curiously missed seeing the large
islands of Fiji, though Cook discovered and named Turtle Island,
the southernmost of the group, on his voyage from the Friendly
Islands to the New Hebrides. In like manner Cook never visited the
Samoan archipelago, though, with these two exceptions, he was the
discoverer or rediscoverer of almost all the Pacific islands.

The _Resolution_ reached the New Hebrides archipelago in July,
1774. The first island at which any stay was made was the second
largest of the group, Mallikolo. The people of this island and of
the rest of the group Cook at once saw were markedly different from
the tall, handsome, European-like Polynesians. They seemed to their
discoverers the most ugly and ill-proportioned people they had ever
seen; very dark-coloured and rather diminutive, with long heads,
flat faces, and monkey countenances. Their hair, black or brown,
was short and curly, though not so tightly curled as that of a
negro. They had strong, crisp, and bushy beards. What added to their
deformity was a belt or cord which they wore round the waist, tied
so tightly that they were wasp-waisted. The men practically went
quite naked, but the women, who were not less ugly than the men,
and had their heads, faces, and shoulders painted red, wore a kind
of petticoat and a bag over their shoulders in which they carried
their infants. They had ear-rings and bracelets of tortoiseshell,
and armlets made of thread and studded with shells; the bridge of
the nose was pierced, and through it was thrust a circular piece of
white stone. They were armed with wooden clubs and spears, bows and
arrows, and the bow, which was about 4 feet long, was remarkable for
not being circular, but had a great bend in its lower half, so that
the bow and bowstring together in outline were like the half of a
pear cut lengthwise. The arrows were reeds pointed with hard wood or
bone, and the tips were covered with a poisonous substance. Their
language was utterly different from that of the Polynesians, and it
was noticed that they expressed their admiration by hissing like a
goose. They had no dogs or domestic animals of any kind apparently
(probably, however, they had fowls, like the New Caledonians).

At another of the islands, Efate, an attempt was made to lure them
on shore, no doubt believing that their weapons were ineffective,
and that they might be easily robbed, killed, and eaten. But at
Tanna Island, the southernmost of the group, pleasant relations were
entered into with the people, who were of a somewhat different race
and spoke a different language to those of Mallikolo. They were
taller, better shaped, and with more agreeable features, and were no
doubt mixed with Polynesian blood. Their skin colour was very dark,
their hair curly and crisp. They had pigs, but no knowledge of dogs,
goats, or cats, calling them all pigs. They were frankly cannibals,
and asked Cook and his people if they did not also eat human flesh.

There was an active volcano on this island which during the stay
of the _Resolution_ vomited up vast quantities of fire and smoke,
making at every eruption a long rumbling noise, like that of thunder
or the explosion of mines. The air was sometimes loaded with ashes
or a kind of fine sand, and it was exceedingly troublesome to the
eyes. The volcano also hurled huge masses of rock into the air,
and when it rained it rained mud, on account of the degree to
which the atmosphere was charged with sand and dust. Whichever way
the wind was the ship's crew were plagued with the fall of ashes.
Nevertheless the natives seemed quite indifferent to these volcanic
manifestations. Unfortunately, at the close of their stay at Tanna,
their relations with the natives ceased to be friendly, owing to the
inexcusable shooting of one of them by a sentry. Cook throughout
his books has to complain on several occasions of the frequency
with which the marines, or even the midshipmen, fired at the natives
without sufficient cause.

From Tanna the _Resolution_ sailed north to the large island
of Espiritu Santo, and stayed in St. Philip's Bay, the harbour
discovered by de Quiros. The natives of this island were very
dark-skinned, and their hair short and woolly, yet there were others
of more Polynesian appearance, with long hair tied up on the crown
of the head and ornamented with feathers like the headdresses of the
New Zealanders. These taller people spoke a language apparently of a
Polynesian type. Their canoes had outriggers.

Sailing away from the New Hebrides in the direction of New Zealand,
land was discovered to the south on 4 September (1774). This was
the large island named by Cook New Caledonia. The people were found
to be obliging and civil, and with little reluctance came off to
the ship to receive presents and to bring supplies of fresh food
for sale. They had not the least knowledge of pigs, goats, dogs, or
cats, and not even a name for one of them, but had apparently (so it
is stated in Cook's journal) domestic fowls of a large breed. The
men went naked, but were nevertheless much attracted by presents of
cloth, especially if it was red in colour. When Cook landed he was
received by a vast concourse of people almost entirely unarmed and
very attentive to the orders of their chief. But the country was not
so attractive in appearance as the beautiful Pacific archipelagos
farther north and east. Cook at once noted in his journal that
"it bore in general a great resemblance to parts of New Holland
(Australia) under the same latitude", the forest being without any
underwood and the trees being of much the same species [there are,
however, no Eucalypti in New Caledonia]. The mountains and other
high places seemed for the most part incapable of cultivation,
consisting chiefly of rocks, the little on them being scorched and
burnt up by the sun, though it bore tufts of coarse grass and a few
trees and shrubs.

Whilst anchored off New Caledonia Cook very nearly lost his life
from eating a fish of a poisonous nature. "It was of a new species
something like a sunfish, with a large, long, ugly head. Having no
suspicion of its being of a poisonous nature, we ordered it to be
dressed for supper; but very luckily the operation of drawing and
describing it (undertaken by Mr. Forster) took up so much time that
only the liver and the row were dressed", of which the two Forsters
and Cook merely tasted a little. But about three in the morning they
were seized with an extraordinary weakness and numbness, and almost
lost the sense of feeling. They could not distinguish between light
and heavy bodies, so far as they had the strength to move, a quart
pot and a feather seeming to be the same in weight. They immediately
took emetics, and afterwards recovered the full use of their senses;
but one of the pigs on board, who had eaten a portion of the inside
of the fish, died soon afterwards, and they learnt from the natives
that it was a deadly food.

Besides giving the chiefs dogs for breeding purposes, Cook landed
couples of pigs in order to supply this island with domestic animals.

These people of New Caledonia were very like negroes in appearance,
but their head hair grew much longer and the men had abundant
beards. The men went nearly naked, the women wore a short
petticoat. Their language seemed to be a mixture between that of
the Melanesians of the New Hebrides and the Polynesians of New
Zealand. As regards weapons, they had something like a boomerang,
and a wooden club shaped like a pickaxe. They used slings and
stones, harpoons for striking fish, spears and darts. Their houses
were circular, but kept full of smoke from the ever-burning fire in
order to drive away the mosquitoes. They had clumsy dug-out canoes,
generally used double, secured to each other by cross spars which
projected a foot over each side. On these spars would be laid a deck
or platform made of planks, on which they could even have a hearth
of clay with a fire burning on it. These canoes were navigated by
one or two lateen sails. Bananas and sugar cane were here, and also
bread-fruit and coconuts, but all such things very scarce, and the
natives lived chiefly on roots, the bark of a tree, which they
roasted and chewed, and on fish. They had no other drink but water.

The coasts of New Caledonia, however, were beset with reefs and
shoals, so that it was practically impossible for a sailing ship
like the _Resolution_ to make any close survey without running
risks of being lost altogether. Cook therefore sailed away from
New Caledonia, and discovered the Isle of Pines at its southern
extremity: a series of islets, really, on which grew very tall
conifers.[102] One little island, scarcely more than three-quarters
of a mile round, was covered with a forest of these tall pines 60
to 70 feet in height. The wood was white, close-grained, tough
and light, and exuded turpentine. On this southward cruise Cook,
curiously enough, missed seeing the Loyalty Islands, which lie at
no great distance to the east of New Caledonia, almost midway
between New Caledonia and New Zealand. But he discovered Norfolk
Island, which was uninhabited. Here his people noticed the aloe-like
"flax" plant of New Zealand and a great abundance of splendid pine
trees--the now celebrated Norfolk Island pine (_Araucaria excelsa_).
The woods were full of pigeons, parrots, rails, and small birds.
There were also "cabbage" palms, not thicker than a man's leg, and
from 10 to 20 feet high, probably of the _Areca_ genus, "with large
pinnated fronds".

  [102] There is an extraordinary development of southern conifers
  in New Caledonia and the adjacent islands and islets. They belong
  to the genera _Araucaria_ (eight species), _Podocarpus_ (seven
  species), _Agathis_, _Dacrydium_, _Libocedrus_ (five species),
  _Callitris_, and _Acmopyle_, a remarkable assemblance for a land
  area of about 6450 square miles.

New Zealand was once more reached on 11 October, 1774. There were
evident traces in Queen Charlotte Sound that the _Adventure_ had
been there. The natives received them with a certain reserve, though
at first very joyfully. They told a story, however, of a white man's
ship which some months ago had been beaten to pieces on the rocks.
The white men had landed, but after their muskets had ceased to be
of any use they had been attacked, killed, and eaten by the natives,
though not by the people of Queen Charlotte Sound.[103] There being
nothing now to detain Cook at New Zealand, he left Queen Charlotte
Sound in November, 1774, and, sailing across the Southern Pacific,
reached Tierra del Fuego, at the extremity of South America, and,
after visiting the Falkland (Natives of the remotest Pacific
Archipelagoes. From drawings by W. Hodges, who accompanied Captain
Cook's Second Expedition) Islands and discovering the large island
of South Georgia, he continued his journey round the southern waters
of the globe till he reached the Cape of Good Hope, from which he
made his way to England, having been absent three years and eighteen
days, during which voyage he had lost but four men, and only one of
them from sickness. "The nature of our voyage carried us into very
high latitudes, but the hardships and dangers inseparable from that
situation were in some degree compensated with the singular felicity
we enjoyed in extracting inexhaustible supplies of fresh water from
an ocean strewed with ice."

  [103] The actual truth of this story was that the _Adventure_,
  returning to New Zealand to keep her tryst with the _Resolution_,
  had sent a boat with a landing party to get wood and water. These
  had landed, and, for some reason not explained, had been attacked
  by the natives, who had killed them all but one, and eaten a good
  deal of their remains. Apparently a midshipman, Woodhouse, escaped
  slaughter, and afterwards managed in some way to get in a native
  canoe to other islands and return to England in a foreign ship. The
  _Adventure_ was obliged through shortage of supplies to give up the
  idea of meeting her consort and make the best of her way to England.
  Accordingly, she steered through the southern latitudes for South
  America and the Cape of Good Hope. With a continual wind blowing
  eastwards she was almost blown across the Pacific, and reached Cape
  Horn in only a month from New Zealand, and from here sailed onwards
  till she reached the Cape of Good Hope, and, eventually, England.
  Her gallant captain, Furneaux, afterwards died in the American war,
  at the early age of forty-six.


[Illustration: A MAN OF EASTER ISLAND]

       *       *       *       *       *

On Cook's return from his second voyage he received, from the hands
of King George III, his commission as a post captain in the navy,
and soon afterwards was appointed to be a fourth captain at the
Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, with a salary of £200 a
year, a residence, and certain allowances, subject, however, to
the right of the Admiralty to call on him for further sea service
should they require him. And the call--provoked by the eagerness of
Cook--was not long delayed, for in the following year (1776) he was
appointed to command once more the _Resolution_. To this ship was
added a smaller consort, the _Discovery_, which had a capacity of
only 300 tons, to be commanded by Lieutenant Clerke, formerly of the

In the Third Voyage, which began in the summer of 1776, the
exploration of the Pacific was to be continued, but more with the
intention that Cook should explore the western coast of North
America and find out conclusively if there was or was not any
sea way which would give a passage for ships across the North
American continent.[104] The new voyage to be undertaken by the
ships _Resolution_ and _Discovery_ was designed to proceed to
the Pacific by the Cape of Good Hope across the Indian Ocean in
southern latitudes, and past New Zealand and Tahiti to the west
coast of North America. Rumours had begun to reach England about
French discoveries in the South Indian Ocean, notably those by du
Fresne and Crozet and by de Kerguélen-Trémarec in 1772, which it was
desirable to investigate. An interesting member of Cook's crew was a
Tahitian--Omai--who had been brought to England by the _Adventure_,
and had not been spoilt by the kindliness of his reception. Omai
was to return with Cook to his native land, and proved himself as
useful, plucky, good-natured, and well-mannered an interpreter as
had done the unfortunate Tupia, whose bones lay buried at Batavia.
After the usual stay at the Cape of Good Hope, the _Resolution_
and _Discovery_ made their way into the Southern Indian Ocean
through mountainous seas and bitter cold weather, and discovered
or rediscovered Prince Edward's Island,[105] the Marion du Fresne
and the Crozet Islands, and came to an anchor off the large island
in 48° S. latitude, which had been already noted by the French sea
captain, de Kerguélen-Trémarec. This last-mentioned island now
bears Kerguélen's name. Captain Cook and the great French explorers
who had preceded him had found no vast southern continent in the
Southern Indian Ocean, but all unknowing they had found the last
remaining vestiges of such; for Kerguélen, St. Paul, and Amsterdam
Islands, the Crozets and Prince Edward's Islands, are the only
portions remaining above the sea of a great Antarctic land which
probably once united South America with Australia and New Zealand.
All these scattered oceanic islands rise from what is called the
Kerguélen Plateau, a region of the bed of the Indian Ocean in which
the depth does not much exceed 8000 feet.

  [104] This matter has been dealt with in my work on the _Pioneers in

  [105] After the father of Queen Victoria--the Duke of Kent.

Kerguélen is the largest of these islands--about 1400 square miles
in extent. Its mountains attain altitudes of 2400 to 6120 feet. One
of them is an active volcano, and the whole of Kerguélen has been
subjected in recent times to much volcanic activity, lava having
covered much of its surface. This eruption of plutonic forces seems
to have followed a severe glacial period, during which the island
was covered with ice. It is therefore not to be wondered at that
between them fire and ice destroyed a once abundant plant growth;
for Kerguélen, in Tertiary times, maintained great forests of trees
of South American affinities.

On this desolate wind-swept island of snow mountains and crumbling
lava the crews of the _Resolution_ and _Discovery_ spent Christmas,
partly to obtain fresh water ("every gully afforded a large stream")
and fresh meat--the flesh of penguins and other sea birds and seals.
The seals (chiefly sea elephants and sea leopards) also provided
quantities of fat or blubber, from which oil was obtained for the
ship's lamps. The principal feature in the vegetation (there were no
trees, except fossil ones) was a plant called the Kerguélen cabbage,
actually a kind of cabbage (_Pringlea antiscorbutica_). This was a
great boon to the ship's company, who ate it boiled and also raw in
their eagerness for vegetable food. Amongst the birds of the island
was a land bird, the sheathbill (_Chionis_), the size of a large
pigeon, with white plumage, black beak, and white feet, a bird which
is related both to the gulls and the plovers. There were also giant
petrels, king penguins, albatrosses, gulls, cormorant and a peculiar
species of teal.

On 24 January, 1777, the coast of Tasmania was sighted, and on the
27th the second party of Englishmen (the men of the _Adventure_
being the first) landed in that southernmost portion of Australia.
The following day a party of natives appeared, who approached them
unarmed without betraying fear. They were quite naked and wore
no ornaments, but their bodies were decorated by large weals or
ridges of skin in straight or curved lines. They were of average
size, rather slender, with black skins and black woolly hair. Their
features were not ugly. The language was wholly unintelligible, and
seemed even to be different from that of the natives of New South

After a further visit to New Zealand, and a long stay in the
Friendly Islands (the Tonga archipelago) and the Society Islands,
Cook turned the course of his expedition northwards, discovered
Christmas Island, and sailed across a stretch of open ocean till
at last, in January, 1778, he sighted a wonderful new land in the
archipelago of Hawaii. To this he gave the name by which they
were long afterwards known--the Sandwich Islands. After a stay
in this region of eight principal islands and many islets, with
its wonderful volcanoes (the highest of which is snow-crowned
and 13,823 feet in altitude), its peculiar vegetation, and its
Polynesian people, he passed on to the exploring of the western and
north-western coasts of North America, with the results which have
been described in my book on the _Pioneers in Canada_. Returning
again southwards to continue the explorations of the Pacific
archipelagos, he met his fate in a miserable skirmish on the west
coast of the large island of Hawaii, the easternmost of the Hawaii

  [106] The Hawaiians, though very friendly, were very thievish, and
  their robberies on the _Resolution_ and _Discovery_ and attempts to
  take away boats became so serious that Cook landed with a party of
  marines and attempted to secure the person of a king or chief as
  a hostage. In the struggle that followed he and four marines were
  killed. The flesh from Cook's body was afterwards sent back to the
  ship, but his bones were preserved by the priests as relics.

Cook's adventures and those of his officers, after reaching northern
latitudes such as the Hawaii archipelago, can scarcely be brought
within the limits of Australasia, so that Cook now passes from our
narrative. But he remains the most remarkable figure in the past
history of Australasia. He was perhaps the greatest of British
navigators, for he made not only all the most remarkable discoveries
of the Pacific Ocean between the ice fringe of the Southern
Continent and the Bering Straits; but he did so with singularly
little hardship to his men, whose health he studied with the utmost
care, while in his contact with the natives he has left behind him
an admirable reputation for kindliness and sympathy. From the point
of view of science he fully deserved the Fellowship of the Royal
Society. The books composed from his journals read like those of
modern travellers of the best type, so shrewd are his observations
and so accurate his descriptions. He stands in the first rank of
the world's heroes, and it is interesting to remember that, though
there are not many greater Englishmen in our national records, he
rose from being the son of a Yorkshire farm labourer, a boy serving
out groceries in a little shop, an apprentice on board a collier, to
command, as an officer in the king's navy, vessels which performed
voyages far more wonderful than that of Columbus, and which revealed
to the knowledge of science the coasts of the Arctic and Antarctic
Oceans, the Continent of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, and
most of the islands and archipelagos of the Pacific Ocean.


Bligh and the "Bounty"

COOK'S first and second expeditions had drawn special attention to
the bread-fruit as an article of food. The English planters in the
West Indies thought that the bread-fruit tree would be a valuable
addition to their food supply; for, owing to the foolish economics
of slave labour, periodical famines occurred in Jamaica and other
West India islands from one cause and another. Accordingly, in
1787 the British Admiralty dispatched WILLIAM BLIGH, in command of
a king's ship named the _Bounty_, to the Pacific Ocean to obtain
young bread-fruit trees, and then convey them to the West Indies.
Bligh had commenced his experiences in Australia by accompanying
Captain Cook on his second expedition in 1772 as sailing-master
or navigating officer of the _Resolution_. In 1772, and after
Cook had started on his third expedition, Bligh was promoted to
be a commander and sent out in H.M.S. _Providence_ to Tahiti in
connection with Cook's last voyage. On 23 December, 1787, he left
England in the _Bounty_, but owing to the frightful storms off the
extremity of South America his ship was unable to proceed direct
to the Pacific and obliged to cross the Southern Atlantic to the
Cape of Good Hope and remain there thirty-eight days to refit, to
replenish the provisions and refresh the crew. Starting again from
the Cape on 1 July, 1788, they reached Adventure Bay in Tasmania
on 20 August, after a remarkably swift passage across the southern
Indian Ocean. Another uneventful voyage of short duration took them
to Tahiti.

With him there sailed a Mr. Nelson, a horticulturist, who had been
with Cook in his third expedition and had planted shaddock trees
in Tahiti (now found to be, eleven years afterwards, well grown
and full of fruit). Nelson at once set to work with the assistance
of the natives to dig up quantities of young bread-fruit plants.
He obtained 1015, besides many specimens of other Tahitian plants.
The _Bounty_, on 4 April, 1789, sailed away from Tahiti, "where for
twenty-three weeks we had been treated with the utmost affection
and regard, which seemed to increase in proportion to our stay".
After calling at Anamuka in the Tonga archipelago the celebrated
mutiny occurred. In the early morning of 28 April, when Bligh had
just turned in for a sleep, he was suddenly awakened by Fletcher
Christian, the master's mate (one of the officers on board, and
probably a Manxman), who, accompanied by several gunners and seamen,
tied his hands behind his back and threatened him with instant death
if he spoke a word. In spite of his shoutings, however, he was
not hurt, but dragged up on deck, where he found that twenty-five
officers and men had mutinied against his command and had resolved
to put him and seventeen others into an open boat and cast them

The cause of this mutiny undoubtedly was Bligh's own behaviour to
officers and men, but above all to his officers, since leaving
England. He was obviously a man of the most violent temper and of
very coarse habits and mean disposition. Being purser as well as
commander, he evidently tried to make money out of the rations
issued to officers and men. He was perpetually charging his
officers with stealing coconuts or yams. He would subject the
midshipmen to the most cruel punishments, almost enough, one would
think, to have killed them; and it is obvious that mutiny was in the
hearts of many on board long before it actually broke out. Bligh
gave as his explanation that during the long stay at Tahiti most
of the men on board had contracted attachments towards the native
women and wished to return and settle down there permanently. But
it has been remarked that if this was the case they might have all
deserted in a body whilst on the island, or have mutinied before the
ship left these waters instead of doing so after leaving the Tonga
archipelago at a distance of three weeks' sailing from Tahiti. The
mutiny was undoubtedly precipitated by Bligh's complete loss of
temper whilst the ship was in the Tonga archipelago, and his threats
to make the life of all on board "a perfect hell" for the rest of
the voyage, which, by way of the Dutch Indies and the Cape of Good
Hope to Jamaica, would have been a tremendously long one.

Bligh, together with the sailing-master, the acting surgeon, the
botanist, and several other officers and petty officers, in all
nineteen persons, were thrust into a launch which, when loaded with
passengers and goods, was brought so near to the surface of the
water as to endanger her sinking with only a moderate swell of the
sea. Yet in this crazy boat Bligh and his companions sailed for a
distance of 4000 miles till they landed at Timor--one of the most
noteworthy sea adventures on record. Before they left the _Bounty_
they were given 150 pounds of bread, 32 pounds of pork, 6 quarts
of rum, 6 bottles of wine, 28 gallons of water, and four empty
barrels. Thus provisioned they sailed for the island of Tofoa,
intending to obtain bread-fruit and coconuts. When the natives met
them, Bligh, wisely or unwisely, accounted for his plight by telling
them that the _Bounty_ had capsized and that they alone were saved.
They were therefore regarded rather contemptuously as shipwrecked
sailors, and only received small quantities of bread-fruit,
bananas, and coconuts. Moreover, an attempt was made to seize the
boat, in which one of the seamen was killed. In terrible distress
they implored Bligh, who with all his faults had great force of
character, to get them back to England _somehow_. He told them
that their nearest hope of salvation was the Island of Timor, 4000
miles distant, more or less, and that if they were to reach that
they must obey his orders implicitly and maintain the most absolute
discipline. They agreed.


Soon after leaving the last islet of the Tonga archipelago a
terrible storm burst on them, and the sea curling over the stern
of the boat the fatigue of baling became very great, and some of
the provisions were spoilt. They would probably have succumbed to
their miseries but for the rum, which was served out to them in
teaspoonfuls. When the weather improved they suffered from want of
room, their limbs being fearfully cramped, for scarcely any man
could stretch out to his full length, and the nights were cold,
especially to men soaked with seawater. They passed near the Fiji
Islands, from which they were chased by cannibals in canoes. They
were soused with heavy rain, and, though it increased their stock of
fresh water, this added to their miseries.

In order to serve out allowances methodically Bligh made a pair of
scales with two coconut shells, using pistol balls as weights. He
also interested the crew by his description of what was known of
both New Guinea and Australia, giving all the information stored
in his mind, so that in the case of his death the survivors might
still reach Timor. Their rations sometimes consisted of a quarter of
a pint of coconut milk, a little decayed bread, and the kernels of
four coconuts. Occasionally half an ounce of salt pork was given to
each man. The storms and the rain continued, and Bligh proposed to
the men that when wet through with rainwater they should wring their
clothes out in salt water before putting them on again, a proceeding
from which, he says, they derived much warmth and refreshment,
though every man complained of violent pains in his bones. Incessant
baling had to be carried on, both because of the deluge of rain and
the waves breaking into the boat. They were sometimes so covered
with rain and saltwater that they could scarcely see, and suffered
extreme cold. Sleep fled from them in their misery.

One day about noon some noddies (terns, a kind of gull) came so near
the boat that one was caught by the hand. It was about the size of
a small pigeon. Bligh divided it with its entrails into eighteen
portions, which were impartially distributed amongst the crew, Bligh
himself, in drawing lots, having nothing but the beak and claws.
Later they caught a gannet, which was also divided into eighteen
portions, though its blood was given to the three people who were
most distressed for want of food. After that they caught more and
more gannets, and found their crops containing flying-fish and small
cuttlefish, all of which were welcome additions to their diet.

On 28 May they heard the sound of breakers on the Barrier Reef which
surrounds north-eastern Australia. With intense thankfulness they
found a break in the reef a quarter of a mile in width. Through
this the boat sailed to the westward and came immediately into
smooth water, so that all the past hardships seemed at once to be
forgotten, and on this account a short religious service was held on
board. Soon afterwards they landed on the sandy point of an island
off the Australian coast, and to their intense delight discovered
oysters on the rocks. By the help of a small magnifying glass a fire
was made. One of the men had managed to bring away with him a copper
pot, and into this put a mixture of oysters, bread, and pork, from
which a stew was made sufficient to give each person a full pint
of nourishing food. Moreover, they obtained berries or fruits on
this island, which out of gratitude Bligh named Restoration Island.
Calling soon afterwards at another island they discovered one of the
species of "cabbage" palms already referred to in this book, and
from the palm cabbages and oysters they made excellent meals, which
restored almost everyone to health.

On one of these islands they saw, just as they were embarking after
filling the boat with oysters, twenty naked savages running and
hallooing and beckoning the strangers to come to them; but as each
one was armed with either a spear or a lance it was thought better
to hold no communication with them. At one of these islands off the
north coast of Australia, to which was given the name of "Sunday",
a mutinous feeling began again, which Bligh allayed by inviting
the mutineer to fight a duel with him. In spite of this unpleasant
occurrence on Sunday Island they obtained oysters, clams, dogfish,
and wild beans. A party was sent out by night to catch birds, and
returned with only twelve of the noddy terns. The reason they
did not get more was that one of the men rushed amongst the birds
precipitately and disturbed them in order to secure for himself as
large a number as possible. In his frightful hunger he acknowledged
that he had eaten _nine_ of these little gulls! Nevertheless, after
again putting out into the open sea on their course to Timor, hunger
again attacked them, and there was a terrible decline in health. On
10 June Bligh noticed a visible alteration for the worse, his people
showing extreme weakness, with swelled legs, hollow and ghastly
countenances, a constant inclination to slumber, and a weakness of
understanding. He administered wine, and cheered them up by saying
that from his calculations he believed they were now close to Timor.

He proved to be correct, for on 12 June the coast of Timor was
discovered at a distance of only 6 miles, and two days afterwards
they came to an anchor at the Dutch settlement in Kupang Bay,
where they were received with every mark of kindness, hospitality,
and humanity. They stayed at Kupang for two months to recruit
their strength, and then obtaining a small schooner they sailed
to Batavia, from which island they were sent home in the ships of
the Dutch East India Company. Bligh himself was landed at the Isle
of Wight on 11 March, 1790. Nelson the botanist, however, died at
Kupang, and five of the other officers and men succumbed to disease
at Java or on the way home, so that besides the man who was killed
on the Island of Tofoa, six only out of the nineteen men set adrift
by the mutineers failed to reach a home which was some 14,000 miles
distant from the place at which they had been cast adrift.

After setting Bligh and his companions adrift, Christian took
command of the _Bounty_, and her course was directed, not to
Tahiti, but to the Tubuai archipelago farther south. The mutineers
threw overboard the greater part of the bread-fruit plants, but,
quarrelling with the natives of Tubuai, they sailed to Tahiti. Here
Otu, the principal chief, became very inquisitive about the fate of
Captain Bligh and the bread-fruit plants. They told him a garbled
story about meeting Captain Cook and handing the plants over to
him, and that Mr. Christian had now returned to Tahiti to obtain an
additional supply of pigs, goats, fowls, and more bread-fruit. So
overjoyed were the Tahitians to hear that their dear friend Captain
Cook was not dead, but alive (which of course was a lie) and about
to settle on an island so near to them, that in the course of a
very few days the _Bounty_ received on board 312 pigs, 38 goats
(derived of course from the animals landed by Cook originally), 96
fowls, a bull and a cow, and a large quantity of bread-fruit and
bananas. The _Bounty_ also received on board eight men, nine women,
and seven boys. They then returned to Tubuai, where they ran the
ship on shore, landed the live stock, and set about building a fort.
But they soon quarrelled with the natives, of whom they shot many
with their firearms. Their position became untenable; so once more
they returned to Tahiti, in September, 1789. Here sixteen of the
mutineers were landed at their own request, while the remaining nine
decided to continue their voyage in the _Bounty_, which once more
sailed away with seven Tahiti men and twelve women, intending to
discover some unknown or uninhabited island in which there was no
harbour for shipping.

British ships of war sent out after the return of Bligh to search
for the mutineers brought away fourteen out of the sixteen who had
been landed at Tahiti. All these were put on their trial: three
were executed and the remainder either pardoned or only received
short terms of imprisonment. But they were conveyed to England
under circumstances of great brutality, and, curiously enough, on
their way back, the _Pandora_ (the ship of war which conveyed them
under the command of Captain Edwardes) struck on the Barrier Reef
off north-east Australia, and the mutineers, like everyone else,
had in one of the ship's boats to perform a voyage to Timor almost
equally remarkable with that of Captain Bligh. Once more the Dutch
officials at Kupang (who must have got rather tired by this time
of shipwrecked mutinous British seafarers) received them with the
greatest kindness and sent them towards England in a vessel of the
Dutch East India Company.[107]

  [107] A midshipman on board the _Bounty_, Peter Heywood, who really
  took no part in the mutiny other than not offering to accompany
  Captain Bligh, and who surrendered himself to the _Pandora_ by
  swimming off to that ship when she arrived at Tahiti, was afterwards
  tried for his life in London under very affecting circumstances.
  He might quite easily have been sentenced to death but for the
  unflagging efforts of his sister Nessy, a young girl with some gifts
  as a poetess, who resided in the Isle of Man. The journey of Nessy
  Heywood to London, the way in which she petitioned and interviewed
  ministers and secretaries of state, and ultimately so worked on
  the feelings of the great people in the capital, that although her
  brother was convicted he was afterwards pardoned and restored to
  the naval service, is as much worthy to be made the subject of an
  historical novel as the conduct of Jeanie Deans in the _Heart of
  Midlothian_. Unhappily Nessy wore herself out in this struggle, and
  a few months after her brother's restoration to liberty died of
  consumption. Peter Heywood afterwards distinguished himself in the
  naval wars with France, became a post-captain, and died in 1831.

Meantime the people in England were still in ignorance of what
fate had attended the last of the mutineers. This was not revealed
until 1809. An American ship, the _Topaz_, of Boston, by a mere
chance approached the shores of desolate little Pitcairn Island,
and on landing there to obtain water they discovered, to their
astonishment, an old Englishman calling himself Alexander Smith,
and the only survivor of the nine mutineers who left Tahiti in 1789
in search of a distant and desert island, accompanied by twelve
Tahitian women, six men, and a number of boys. Smith stated to
the captain of the _Topaz_ that the _Bounty_ was run on shore at
Pitcairn and broken up in 1790, but about four years afterwards a
good deal of jealousy and ill humour arising between the Tahitians
and the English seamen, the former suddenly revolted and killed
every Englishman, except Alexander Smith, who was severely wounded.
[Alexander Smith had for some reason, then or earlier, changed his
name to that of John Adams, by which he is better known in history.]
The same night the Tahitian widows of the slain Englishmen rose up
and put to death the whole of the Tahitian men, leaving Smith the
only adult man alive on the island, together with eight or nine
women, and several children who were the offspring of the English
mutineers and the Tahitian women. These survivors now applied
themselves sedulously to tilling the ground, so that in course of
time it produced plenty of yams, coconuts and bananas, while they
bred hogs and poultry in abundance. The population at the time of
the _Topaz's_ visit amounted to thirty-five, who all acknowledged
Smith as their chief and "father". They all spoke English, and Smith
had done his best to educate them in a religious and a moral way. He
died in March, 1829.

The little colony had been joined before that time by a seaman from
a whaling ship, named John Buffet, who deliberately settled there
and constituted himself chaplain and schoolmaster. He certainly
contributed a good deal in course of time to the education and good
morals of this colony of handsome half-breeds, a colony which was
from time to time visited by British war vessels.

As to Christian, it was at first said that he had committed suicide
soon after arriving at Pitcairn Island, but the true story was that
he was killed by one of the Tahitians. But he left behind him a son
who grew up to be a handsome young fellow, and greatly astonished
the naval officers whose ship visited Pitcairn in 1814 by coming
off in Tahitian undress and saying in excellent English: "Won't you
heave us a rope, now?" He then sprang with alacrity up the side of
the ship and said, in reply to the question "Who are you?": "My
name is Thursday October Christian." He was fully 6 feet high,
with almost black hair, a handsome face, and wearing no clothes
except a straw hat and a piece of cloth round his waist. His manner
of speaking English was exceedingly correct both in grammar and
pronunciation, and he was accompanied by a fine handsome youth of
seventeen or eighteen, who called himself George Young, who was the
son of one of the midshipmen of the _Bounty_.

Pitcairn was named after a midshipman in the ship of Captain Philip
Carteret, who first sighted the island in 1767. It rises to 2000
feet in height, and its area is only 2 square miles. It is 100 miles
from the nearest island of the Paumotu group. It possesses the
remains of carved stone pillars similar to those of Easter Island,
together with stone axes, showing that at a remote period it was
inhabited. When first discovered its surface was clothed with rich
forest, the soil was very fertile, but the coast was rock-bound and
dangerous of approach.

There were no springs or streams in Pitcairn Island, and when the
forest began to be cut down by the settlers the rainfall decreased
and there was a scarcity of water. An attempt was made by the
mutineers' descendants to return to Tahiti in 1830, but it was given
up, and the Pitcairn Islanders continued to inhabit the little
island until 1856, when the whole of them--by this time 194 in
number--were landed on Norfolk Island, between New Zealand and New
Caledonia. There most of their descendants live to this day. But
in 1858 two families of these handsome hybrid people returned to
Pitcairn, which now has a population of 170, who no longer speak
English but an extraordinary mixture of Polynesian and English. They
have also a good deal degenerated from the high standard of morality
which was maintained in earlier days.


As to Bligh, he was sent back to Tahiti in command of the
_Providence_ in 1791, and promptly obtained another supply of
bread-fruit plants which he conveyed safely to Jamaica, thus
introducing the bread-fruit tree into the West Indies. After
distinguishing himself markedly in the British naval service he
was appointed Governor of New South Wales in 1805, but became so
intensely disliked there by the violence of his temper and his
arbitrary acts that another mutiny arose against him headed by
the principal military officer. Bligh was kept in prison by the
mutineers for two years, but returned to England in 1811, where he
was promoted to be an admiral. He died in London in 1817.


The Results of the Pioneers' Work

About the time that Bligh was dispatched in the _Bounty_ to obtain
bread-fruit plants great developments were instituted in regard to
Australia as the result of Cook's earlier voyages. The revolt of the
American colonies and other circumstances had deprived the British
Government of a region across the seas, to which convicted criminals
might be sent as a cheap and easy way of getting rid of them. It was
accordingly suggested to the British Government by various persons,
including Sir Joseph Banks, that New South Wales (as Cook had
called the eastern part of Australia) would be an excellent region
in which to found a penal settlement, as well as to take steps for
the ultimate founding of a free colony, a region to which British
emigrants might go.

       *       *       *       *       *

Australia and Tasmania need no longer take it to heart that their
foundation as nations dates from such a cause as the transportation
of convicts, since from a remote period in the history of civilized
peoples this is how many and many a new colony has been founded.
More especially was it so in the case of British America and the
oldest of the British West India Islands. These settlements were
chiefly valued for nearly 200 years by the British Government
because they were places to which persons convicted of felony or
of political crimes could be transported. Moreover, the free
emigrants of good character who colonized Australia and Tasmania
from the first considerably outnumbered the convicts who were
sent to Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, and West Australia.
Amongst these again the criminal convicts for the most part died
out without leaving issue. It was the political prisoners among the
transported persons who chiefly prospered and founded families. In
short, the colonization of Australia resembled in its processes
the colonization of the United States. The person appointed to
superintend the first settlement of Australia was Captain ARTHUR
PHILLIP, the son of a German teacher of languages in London, who
had entered the British Navy and served with great distinction.
He commanded the first expedition to New South Wales, and left
England in 1787 with a fleet of two men-of-war and six transports,
conveying 550 men and 200 women convicts, and three store ships.
There were also some free emigrants; in all about 1100 persons. The
ships sailed round the Cape of Good Hope and reached Botany Bay on
18 January, 1788. Less than a month afterwards Phillip had already
chosen and named the wonderful harbour of Sydney as the capital
of the future colony, and almost on that very day there arrived
at Botany Bay two French ships under the command of the Comte de
la Pérouse, who had been sent out from France on a scientific
expedition similar to those of Captain Cook. It is possible that but
for the punctual arrival of Governor Phillip the French flag would
have been hoisted over Australia. Though, as it would certainly have
been pulled down again a few years later by the British conquest of
the seas, the possibility is not one to give rise to sensational
writing. But Governor Phillip was a man of energy. He not only
asserted the British claim to all the coasts of eastern and
southern Australia, but sent a party to take possession of Norfolk
Island and its splendid sources of timber supply, and here a number
of convicts were set on shore.[108]

  [108] They were afterwards transferred to Tasmania.

       *       *       *       *       *

The interest of the French Government in the lands of the Pacific
Ocean did not cease with the remarkable voyage of Bougainville.
Albi in the south-west of France, who had done gallant service
for his country in Canada), took command of an expedition of two
vessels, _La Boussole_ and _L'Astrolabe_, which was to explore more
especially the northern parts of the Pacific. Although France had
recently been expelled from Canada by the success of the British
arms, and had transferred Louisiana to Spain, she still hoped in
some way to regain her position in North America; and in spite of
Cook's inability to find a navigable strait of water across the
vast breadth of the North American continent from the Atlantic to
the Pacific, the opinion still persisted in France that such a sea
route across the continent did exist.[109] De la Pérouse was also
directed to explore the coasts of north-eastern Asia, China, Japan,
New Guinea, and Australia. His explorations of north-east Asia were
very remarkable, but do not come within the scope of this narrative.
He reached the Samoa archipelago in the winter of 1787. Here the
officers and crew of the _Astrolabe_ quarrelled with the natives,
and as a result eleven of the Frenchmen were killed. From Samoa
the French expedition passed by way of Tonga and Norfolk Island to
the coast of New South Wales, and, as already related, arrived
at Botany Bay only a few days after the British expedition under
Governor Phillip. After a brief stay in Botany Bay the Comte de la
Pérouse sailed away northwards, and his expedition was heard of no
more, nor was his actual fate ever completely made known. Apparently
the two ships were wrecked on the coral reefs of Vanikoro, a small
island in the Santa Cruz group to the north of the New Hebrides. The
natives of the Santa Cruz Islands showed themselves very hostile to
strangers and white men in earlier times. It was here that Bishop
Patterson was murdered in 1871, and it is possible that after the
two French ships were driven on to the coral rocks by some storm
their crews perished at the hands of the savages.

  [109] We know that it does, but that it is very far north and
  perpetually obstructed by ice.

In 1791 another expedition, under the command of BRUNI
D'ENTRECASTEAUX, Governor of Mauritius, was dispatched from
Mauritius with two ships, _La Recherche_ and _L'Espérance_, to
search for de la Pérouse. D'Entrecasteaux obtained no information
about the fate of his predecessor's ships, but his voyage added
considerably to our knowledge of Australasia. He did much to
complete Cook's very imperfect outline of the coast of New
Caledonia, he surveyed a good deal of the Tasmanian coast (though
he failed to find out that this was after all an island), and
he explored the south coast of Australia, which, except for the
preceding voyage of Vancouver, had remained almost entirely unknown
since the hasty exploration of Pieter Nuyts in 1628.

GEORGE VANCOUVER (whose great work as a British pioneer is
associated more with the north-west coast of America) had in 1791
mapped a good deal of the south-west Australian coast and had
pointed out the value as a harbour of King George's Sound. He also
added to our knowledge of New Zealand, and then continued his route
across the Pacific towards what is now the coast of British Columbia.

The troubles which ensued in France, owing to the Revolution and
the uprise of Napoleon, diverted the attention of the French from
oversea discovery for something like eight years. The British took
advantage of this lull to increase their knowledge of the Australian
coast and their claims to this region, which even in 1788 were
defined as extending from Cape York on Torres Straits, round the
east coast of Australia to the southernmost point of Tasmania,
and to comprise all the adjacent islands of the Pacific Ocean. A
remarkable discovery of an outcrop of coal on the Australian coast
near Tasmania by shipwrecked sailors attracted the attention of
GEORGE BASS, the surgeon of a small Government vessel. This bold
man, embarking in a mere whaleboat, passed along the Australian
coast until he found the outcrop of coal. In the following year,
1798, his explorations of these regions convinced him that Tasmania
was an island. Bass was accompanied on his circumnavigation of
Tasmania by Lieutenant MATTHEW FLINDERS. This first circumnavigation
of Tasmania, which lasted for five months, was undertaken in a
little vessel which had been constructed in Australia from the
timber of the Norfolk Island pine, and was only of 25 tons burden.
In this same vessel the gallant Flinders[110]--one of the most
remarkable amongst Australian pioneers--in 1799 explored the coast
of what we now know as Queensland, which was then called the Moreton
Bay district. In 1802 Flinders had become the commander of H.M.S.
_Investigator_, a ship of 334 tons. He christened the continent for
the first time definitely with the name of AUSTRALIA; and having
already added to Cook's exploration of the Queensland coast, he
now turned his attention to that of South Australia, which at the
commencement of the nineteenth century was most imperfectly known,
being only vaguely delineated from the surmised outline put down in
the early part of the seventeenth century by the Dutch explorers,
together with a little work achieved by Captain Vancouver and the
Frenchman D'Entrecasteaux. Amongst other points Flinders discovered
Kangaru Island off the coast of South Australia.[111] The French
seem to have had some conception of the indentation of the South
Australian coast known as Spencer's Gulf, and from this hint arose
the theory put forward at the end of the eighteenth century that New
South Wales was one vast island and New Holland another, separated
by a strait of water uniting Spencer Gulf on the south with the Gulf
of Carpentaria on the north. Flinders's exploration of Spencer's
Gulf definitely proved the continuity of the whole Australian area.

  [110] Born at Dorrington, near Boston, in Lincolnshire, in 1774.

  [111] An island with an interesting fauna. It possessed a peculiar
  species of Emu, which has since become extinct.

With Flinders on board the _Investigator_ was a young midshipman
(his cousin) of the name of JOHN FRANKLIN, long afterwards to become
a governor of Tasmania and to achieve deathless fame as one of the
great Arctic pioneers.

In 1800 there was dispatched from France another scientific
expedition for the exploration of Australia. This was under the
command of Captain NICOLAS BAUDIN, and consisted of two ships,
_Le Géographie_ and _Le Naturaliste_, and contained twenty-three
geographers, zoologists, and draughtsmen; but owing to bad
arrangements in regard to her supplies of food the crews of the
two ships suffered to a horrible extent from scurvy before they
reached Australia, and indeed might have perished but for the
assistance they received from the British settlement at Port Jackson
(Sydney). This French expedition also explored the southern coast
of Australia, but, with the exception of about 160 miles of coast
which it was the first to examine, added little to geographical
knowledge as regards priority of discovery, though for a long time
Captain Louis de Freycinet, the mapmaker who accompanied Baudin,
posed as having been the first to map much of the Tasmanian and
South Australian coasts. It is evident that his commander, Baudin,
or Freycinet himself, had borrowed and copied the charts made by
Flinders, and had amused themselves by giving the names of French
personages to many a bay, promontory, and island already discovered
and named by the British.

In the autumn of 1802 Flinders, having completed his survey of the
whole south coast of Australia from Cape Leuwin to Sydney, started
once more in the _Investigator_ to complete his circumnavigation
of the island continent. He made a careful exploration of the
Great Barrier Reef, and then proceeded to explore the coast of the
Gulf of Carpentaria. After a brief rest at the Island of Timor the
_Investigator_ sailed round the west and south coasts of Australia
and once more reached Port Jackson in 1803. Flinders had thus been
the first commander to circumnavigate Australia and to prove that
it was an undivided area, and that there were no more surprises or
mysteries in its outline.


Flinders left Port Jackson again in August, 1803, to proceed to
England in H.M.S. _Porpoise_, which was accompanied by a merchant
vessel, the _Cato_. But both these vessels struck a coral reef about
800 miles north from Port Jackson and were completely wrecked.
The crews managed to land in safety on a small sand-bank only 4 feet
at most above high-water mark, and here they were obliged to camp
under a blazing sun with all that they could save in the way of
provisions and important papers. Flinders, getting into a six-oared
boat with a few seamen, actually rowed and sailed 800 miles across
the sea back to Port Jackson, obtained a small vessel there,
returned to the reef, and brought off safely all the officers and
men who had been left there. In this same vessel, the _Cumberland_,
a schooner of only 29 tons, he started for England with ten seamen
and a collection of papers, charts, and geological specimens. In
this little unseaworthy vessel he actually sailed across the stormy
Indian Ocean and reached Mauritius, where he put in for rest and

Mauritius at that time--December, 1803--was still in the possession
of the French. Although Flinders had been granted a French passport
when he left England in the _Investigator_, the Governor of
Mauritius refused to recognize this as he was no longer in that
ship. This Governor-General Decaen--on the contrary, put Flinders in
prison, charging him with being a spy, and seized all his papers and
charts. But although these last were kept from him until the close
of 1807, and one of his logbooks was never returned to him, it is
now shown that they were not made use of in compiling the atlas for
the report of Baudin's expedition. What the French had borrowed from
him was due to his friendly communications when the two expeditions
met on the south-east coast of Australia.

Nevertheless, Flinders was detained more or less as a prisoner in
Mauritius, eating his heart out, for nearly seven years. He reached
England in October, 1810, after Mauritius had been surrendered to
a British fleet. His treatment by the Government of his country on
his return to England staggers one with its heartless ingratitude.
The first circumnavigator of Australia--who had encountered perils
which only a heroic spirit could have overcome, who had nevertheless
taken the utmost care of the health of those serving under him, and
had consequently had little loss of life to report, who had really
by his presence on the Australian coasts at many points on different
occasions assured to his mother country undisputed possession of
that continent by forestalling the expeditions of France, who had
traversed the Indian Ocean from Torres Straits to Mauritius in a
little boat of 29 tons--was given no reward or honour, and was told
that his long imprisonment in that island had barred him from all
promotion. He settled down to work for the Admiralty at Portsmouth,
and he devoted himself with unceasing industry to the compilation
of a book describing his explorations and reproducing his original
charts of the Australian coastline. On the very day on which this
book was published--in July, 1814--Flinders died, only forty years
old. His constitution had been greatly impaired, not so much by the
incidents of his circumnavigation of the Australian coast as by the
long and unhealthy imprisonment in Mauritius; and his health was
undoubtedly further affected by the utter lack of recognition which
his great journey met with on the part of the British Government.

Soon after the fall of Napoleon, in 1815, the French Government
again sent out exploring expeditions to the Pacific, and each one
caused fresh British settlements on the Australian coasts and on
those of New Zealand. This last region had been visited at the
close of the eighteenth century not only by Captain Vancouver
but by Spanish and even Russian ships, while the infant marine of
the United States, chiefly interested in whaling enterprise, were
attracted to New Zealand on account of the abundance of seals and
whales on its coasts or in the adjacent waters of the Pacific. They
found in New Zealand (which in spite of occasional episodes of
savage anger against the white man, and cannibalism, was becoming
more and more used to trade and the settlement of the white man) a
useful base for their operations, and their attention was directed
not merely to the obtaining of oil from whales and seals, but to the
value of the New Zealand flax and timber.

It was, however, the foundation of the British colony of New South
Wales which most powerfully influenced the fate of New Zealand.
Communication rapidly sprang up from the beginning of the nineteenth
century onwards between Sydney and New Zealand. In 1814 there
arrived a party of English missionaries, under the leadership of
the Rev. SAMUEL MARSDEN, which settled in the North Island. In
spite of frequent disappointments and rebuffs these missionaries
actually succeeded in about twenty-five years in bringing the two
islands into something like a condition of peace by composing the
quarrels between native tribes, many of whom became converted to
Christianity. EDWARD GIBBON WAKEFIELD, who had already carried
out several successful colonizing experiments in South Australia,
desired to do the same in New Zealand, but was opposed by the
missionaries and by the British Government. He eventually succeeded
in his purpose, and may almost be called the creator of the New
Zealand Dominion, though he would have failed had it not been for
the co-operation of that great Governor, Sir George Grey. The
British Government hesitated to annex New Zealand, until forced
to do so by learning that a French colonial expedition was on its
way to take possession of these islands for France. New Zealand
was therefore added to the British empire on 11 August, 1840. The
French settlers arrived at Akaroa, in the South Island; but, in
spite of the British flag having been hoisted only two days before,
fifty-seven of them decided to remain, and their descendants at
Akaroa now number six hundred.

Between 1835 and 1853 the French obtained some small satisfaction
for their eighteenth-century explorations by establishing a
protectorate over the Tahiti archipelago and annexing the large
island of New Caledonia, to which possessions they subsequently
added the Marquezas, the Paumotu, and Tubuai archipelagos, and the
Loyalty Islands near New Caledonia. It was really French scientific
expeditions which definitely discovered the Fiji archipelago, so
curiously overlooked by the great British explorers. But when a
French expedition, under DUMONT D'URVILLE, examined these islands in
1827 it found them already under British influence; for from time
to time convicts had escaped from the Australian penal settlement
and had sought refuge in Fiji, where they had become in some cases
the advisers of the native chiefs. A better influence, however, came
among them in 1835, in the shape of the Wesleyan missionaries, who
migrated to the Fiji archipelago from the Tonga or Friendly Islands,
where they had met with complete success.

[Illustration: Map of Australia and New Zealand]

In 1813, three explorers--BLAXLAND, WENTWORTH, and LAWSON--had
succeeded in pushing their way through the difficult country of the
Blue Mountains in New South Wales, which although not excessively
lofty had nevertheless daunted even Bass, the companion of
Flinders, and discoverer of Bass's Straits. As the result of
the crossing of the Blue Mountains a road was made through this
mountainous region, and the pastoral interior of the eastern half of
Australia was forthwith opened up. A maritime surveyor, Lieutenant
JOHN OXLEY, R.N., in 1823, once more continued the exploration of
Queensland. A colony--Victoria--had grown up round the great harbour
of Port Phillip from 1803 onwards. Tasmania had been explored from
1803 onwards, Lieutenant BOWER being the pioneer, and had been
selected as a penal settlement in 1805. Hither had been removed
the convicts first stationed on Norfolk Island. In 1829 the first
settlement in West Australia was founded on the Swan River, where
Perth, the capital of that State, now stands.

In 1828-30 Captain CHARLES STURT made a remarkable overland journey
from New South Wales to what is now known as South Australia,
during which he discovered the Murrumbidgee, Darling, and Murray
Rivers, the most important streams in Australia (Sturt also, in
1845, travelled from the banks of the Darling to the very centre
of the stony, desert heart of Australia). One of the results of
Sturt's first journeys was the foundation of the colony of South
Australia, which began in 1836. In 1840 EDWARD JOHN EYRE (long
afterwards to be Governor of Jamaica under unhappy circumstances,
yet to survive triumphs and troubles alike, and to die in England in
1901) travelled overland the whole way from Spencer Gulf in South
Australia to King George's Sound in West Australia, and discovered
the salt Lake Torrens, and caught a glimpse of the larger Lake
Eyre--believing, indeed, that he had had a vision of a mighty inland
sea, instead of four separate, shallow, brackish lakes. In 1844-5
Dr. F.W.L. LEICHARDT, a German explorer, made a wonderful journey,
3000 miles in length, from near Brisbane, in Queensland, to the Gulf
of Carpentaria, and then across Arnhem land to Port Essington, in
the extreme north of the continent. In 1847 Leichardt attempted to
cross Australia from east to west, but got lost in the bush in the
interior of Queensland, and died, probably of thirst.

After these journeys, and the further explorations of the great JOHN
M'DOUALL STUART (Central Australia, and the crossing from south to
north) in 1858-62; R. O'HARA BURKE and W.J. WILLS (also Central
Australia) in 1860-1--they were the first explorers to traverse
Australia from south to north; A.H. HOWITT, 1861; J. M'KINLAY (South
and Central Australia), 1862; W.C. GOSSE (West Australia), 1873;
Major P. EGERTON WARBURTON (Central to West Australia), 1873; Sir
JOHN FORREST (Central to West Australia) in 1873-4; and ERNEST
GILES (West and South Australia) in 1875; the main features and
characteristics of the Australian continent became known to the
civilized world.

The first value attached to Australia was for its wheat-growing
and cattle-rearing possibilities. Next followed, early in the
nineteenth century, the introduction of merino sheep, and for forty
years or so the main interests of Australia were pastoral, while
the breeding of horses for the use of India ("Walers" they were
called, as an abbreviation of New South Wales) became an important
object of the settlers. The timber of Eucalyptus, Araucaria, and
Casuarina was good enough to export; and the capacity of southern
and south-eastern Australia as a vine-growing country soon became
apparent. But in the middle of the nineteenth century the discovery
on a large scale of gold threw all the other assets of this southern
continent into the shade. Australia proved, moreover, to be rich in
silver, copper, tin, precious stones, and coal, besides gold; and
happily the desert and stony regions, which were quite worthless
for agricultural or pastoral purposes, turned out to be better
endowed with minerals than the fertile land. In 1812 the total white
population in all Australia scarcely exceeded 12,000; in 1912 it
is not far off 4,500,000. A hundred years ago this continent of
2,947,000 square miles was a barely known and derelict land, the
coasts of which were roughly indicated on the map, the interior
being completely unknown. To-day it is the home of a young, white
nation, which may some day rival in power and resources the United
States of North America.

As regards New Guinea, no close attention was given to the geography
of that great island until the surveying expedition of H.M.S.
_Fly_, in 1842-6, commanded by Captain F.P. BLACKWOOD, R.N., and
that of H.M.S. _Rattlesnake_ under Captain OWEN STANLEY, R.N., in
1846-50. This last-named expedition included in its staff as surgeon
the great professor, Thomas Henry Huxley. Huxley named the high
mountains of south-east New Guinea after his commander, who died
before the expedition returned to England. South-east New Guinea
(Papua), the portion nearest to Australia, was annexed by Great
Britain in 1884.

In the settlement which followed the conclusion of the Napoleonic
wars Great Britain decided to restore to Holland the Island of Java,
which she had occupied since 1811. She also gave up all other Dutch
possessions in the Malay Archipelago, and compensated herself by the
establishment of Singapore and the elimination of Dutch rule from
the Malay Peninsula. Thenceforth--from 1818--the kingdom of Holland
extended its sway through the nineteenth century over all parts of
Malaysia, except the Philippine Islands (which belonged to Spain
down to 1898), the Portuguese portion of the Island of Timor, and
the northern parts of the great island of Borneo. It is difficult to
understand why the Dutch left North Borneo alone. That region had
been, however, for centuries, more or less under the dominion of a
once powerful Muhammadan prince, the Sultan of Brunei, and it may
be that he was too strong (possessing, as he did, in the early part
of the nineteenth century, a great fleet of pirate ships) for the
Dutch to tackle. This potentate occasionally entered into relations
with the East India Company, but was not infrequently called to
account for the piracies committed by his subjects or his allies
the "sea-gipsies" (see p. 55) in the narrow seas between Borneo and

The possibilities of North Borneo attracted the attention in 1830-2
of a notable pioneer of the British Empire, James Brooke, who had
been an officer in the service of the East India Company, but was
taking a journey to China on account of his health. Learning that
the Sultan of Brunei wished for assistance to enable him to put down
piracy and overcome rebellious chiefs, Brooke, having inherited
his father's fortune, fitted out an expedition at his own expense
in England and left the mouth of the Thames in 1838 for North
Borneo in a ship of his own, a sailing yacht of only 140 tons. It
would somewhat daunt the modern adventurer to embark on a little
sailing vessel of that size and voyage round the Cape of Good Hope
and across the stormy southern half of the Indian Ocean to the Sea
of China. Brooke found on his arrival at Brunei that the uncle of
the sultan was engaged in a difficult war with the Dayaks in the
western part of northern Borneo (Sarawak). On condition that he
subdued the rebels and pirates in the western part of his dominions
the Sultan of Brunei agreed to confer on Brooke the chieftainship
of this region; and this delegation of authority developed (not
altogether, however, to the liking of the Sultan of Brunei) into
the creation of the very remarkable State of Sarawak, which ever
since 1841 has been a sovereign state in Malaysia, under the
rule of an English raja. Indeed, although Sarawak was founded in
1841, it has only known, so far, two rulers, firstly, Sir James
Brooke, and secondly, his nephew Sir Charles Johnson Brooke. Ever
since 1888 Sarawak has been under British protection. The British
Government had annexed the Island of Labuan, near Brunei, in 1846,
as a basis from which they might attack the pirates who infested
the Malaysian seas. In 1881 a charter was granted to a company of
British merchants for the foundation of the State of North Borneo,
originating in concessions made by the sultans of Brunei and Sulu.
The historic Sultanate of Brunei itself was brought under British
protection in 1888, and finally under British administration in
1906, so that the whole of the northern third of Borneo is now
within the limits of the British Empire.

Germany first began to take an interest in Australasia about 1850,
when German steamers or sailing vessels from Hamburg and Bremen
found their way to the South Seas. Especially noteworthy was the
house of Godeffroy, founded originally by French Huguenots. Although
this firm eventually failed, it did much to lay the foundations of
German commerce in the Pacific, and took an especial interest in the
Samoa archipelago. As a result of its work the German Government
decided to acquire possessions in this direction where other
European nations were not already established. The Marshall Islands
were annexed in 1885; and the Caroline Islands, with the exception
of the island of Guam (which was ceded by Spain to the United
States), came under the German flag by purchase in 1899. The Dutch
had laid claim to the western half of New Guinea during the middle
of the nineteenth century, when all that region was being explored
with great advantage to science by ALFRED RUSSELL WALLACE; but at
the same period it was almost taken for granted that the eastern
half, and especially the parts of New Guinea nearest to Australia,
would eventually become British.

The Government of Queensland, indeed, annexed all the eastern half
of New Guinea in 1883; but their action was disavowed by the British
Government. Shortly afterwards, however (in 1884), seeing that other
European powers were considering the possibilities of New Guinea
as a suitable region for annexation, the British flag was raised
there, and eventually, by agreement with Germany, Great Britain
added to her empire the south-eastern parts of New Guinea, together
with nearly all the Solomon Islands and the Santa Cruz archipelago.
Germany, in the same year (1884), had annexed north-eastern New
Guinea (Kaiser Wilhelmsland) and the Bismarck Archipelago (New
Britain, New Ireland, the Admiralty Islands, &c.). She also acquired
Bougainville and Buka Islands in the Solomon archipelago. France
attempted about the same time to claim the New Hebrides, but
Australia objected, with the result that the New Hebrides are at
present administered jointly by Britain and France. In 1899 Germany
annexed the two principal islands of Samoa, the smallest of the
three falling to the United States, which, by its successful war
with Spain, had acquired the Philippine archipelago and the island
of Guam. Fiji had been ceded to the British Government in 1874 by
its chiefs and people. In 1899-1904 the Tonga or Friendly Islands
became a British protectorate; and at earlier and later dates many
small Pacific islands and groups not important enough to need
special mention were brought within the British Empire.

The people of Hawaii archipelago, where Cook lost his life, had
been converted early in the nineteenth century to Christianity
by missionaries, British and American. The islands were ruled in
a more or less civilized fashion by a native dynasty of kings,
but at the same time were increasingly settled by white men as
planters and merchants. The white population became too difficult
of government by these half-civilized Polynesians, a revolution was
brought about, for a few years Hawaii was an independent republic
administered by Americans, and finally was annexed by the United
States in 1898. Consequently there remains at the present day no
territory whatever in Australasia which is not under the flag
of some European or American power. In Australia--which became
a homogeneous state by the institution of federal government in
1900--we have the beginnings of a mighty nation; likewise in the
Dominion of New Zealand, which now has a white population of over
1,000,000. New Guinea is still a land mainly inhabited by savages,
and it is probable that owing to its unhealthiness it will remain
more or less a domain of the black man, and the same may be the
case with the Solomon Islands. But elsewhere, though the Polynesian
and Melanesian peoples are far from being exterminated, they are
diminishing in numbers from one cause and another, and those that
survive will probably fuse in blood with the white colonists. Many
of these Pacific islands are earthly paradises, so far as climate
and fertility of soil are concerned. They will doubtless some day
become densely inhabited, and their prosperity will justify the
efforts, the sufferings, and even the crimes and mistakes of the

_Printed and bound in Great Britain_

      *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected
without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have
been retained as printed.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs, thus the page number of the illustration might not match
the page number in the List of Illustrations.

Page 93: "along the coast of Patagonia (spending five months"--the
transcriber has removed the ( and inserted a comma: "along the coast
of Patagonia, spending five months".

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