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Hoisting the signals for triangulation. 









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


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

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

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

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

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

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

GBOSIEB (L'Abbe). " China, General Description of the Empire. 3 ' Paris, 

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

KENNEDY. " New Zealand." London, 1873. 

LABILLABDIEBE (T.). " Voyage in Search of La Perouse, 1791-93." Paris, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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







Hoisting the signals for triangulation Frontispiece 

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

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

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

Fight between the Centurion and a Spanish galleon 22 

" The council chose the latter alternative " 28 

" Most of them on horseback'' 34 

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

" They make a thousand grimaces " 46 

The natives waving palm-leaves as a sign of welcome . . . .52 
Head-dresses of natives of Otahiti ........ 56 

" Pursued by the arrows of the natives " 64 

A struggle between the Swallow and a Malay prah . . . . .68 
Portrait of Bougainville ...... k 72 

" We made them sing "... 80 

Lancers' Island . . . 83 

Pirogue of the Marquesas Islands 88 

Mdlle. Barrel adventure , . 91 

Captain James Cook 107 

" They were pursued so closely " Ill 

Otahitian flute-player .<.... 112 

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

Interior of a morai in Hawaii 121 

Tatooed head of a New Zealander , . 121 

An I-pah 121 

A New Zealand family . . .122 

" They were kangaroos " 130 

Otahitian fleet off Oparee 130 

" Three Indians emerged from the wood " 133 

Among the icebergs 139 

New Zealand war canoe . . . \ 140 

New Zea'and utensils and weapons ........ 147 

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



0-Too, KingofOtaheite . . 150 

Monuments in Easter Island 158 

Natives of Easter Island 161 

Natives of the Marquesas 162 

Typical natives of the Sandwich Islands 164 

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

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

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

Kerguelen Islands , 180 

Fete in Cook's honour at Tonga 187 

Human sacrifice at Otahiti 188 

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

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

Prince William's Sound 196 

" They gave him a little pig " 198 


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

" Picking up the enemies' weapons " 215 

" A lighted brand was also presented to them " 225 

" The only one who had escaped" 227 

" A man's skull was found " 229 

Island discovered by M. Marion du Fresnes in 1772, called Prince 

Edward's Island by Cook in 1776 235 

Portrait of La Perouse 242 

Costumes of the inhabitants of Conception 244 

Inhabitants of Easter Island 246 

Typical natives of the Port des Frangais 249 

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

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

He traced the coast of Tartary 261 

Typical Orotchys 263 

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

"They came upon four natives" 275 

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

Typical native of New Holland 287 

Natives of New Caledonia 289 

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

Native hut in Endracht Land 305 

King of the Island of Timor 306 

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

" A sail was seen on the horizon " 310 

" The sick were carried on shore " 311 

View of Sydney 311 

Water-carrier at Timor . 318 

" He received a cordial welcome " 321 

The Baobab M 



Portrait of Mungo Park ..... .329 

Natives of Senegal .... 330 

A Hottentot . . .343 

A Bosjeman 344 

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

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

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

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

Chinese magic-lantern . 365 

The Emperor of China 368 

The great wall of China .369 

Chinese Prime Minister 370 

"The famous bird Leutze" . 372 

Port Monterey .381 

Mackenzie's first view of the North Pacific Ocean 389 

Portrait of Condamine 390 

Celebrated Narrows of Manseriche 391 

Omagua Indians 393 

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

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


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

Map of the Eastern Hemisphere 36 

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

Polynesia 54 

Map of Queen Charlotte Islands 64 

New Zealand 79 

Louisiade Archipelago 101 

Map of Australia, after Perron's atlas 125 

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

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

Itinerary of the principal voyagers during the 18th century, after Cook . 202 
Map of Surville's discoveries, after Fleurieu 4 212 

Map of the journey of La Perouse, after the atlas published by General 

Millet-Mureau * 241 

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

Map of part of North Africa 320 

Map of part of Western Africa . 332 

M ap of the Empire of China ......... 362 

Map of North- West America 380 

Map of the two Americas 385 

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







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



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



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


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




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




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


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



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


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



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


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





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


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


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


Shaw in Algeria and Tunis Hornemann in the Fezzan Adanson in Senegal 


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



Tartary according to Witzen China according to the Jesuits and Du Halde 
Macartney in China Stay at Chu-Sang Arrival in Nankin Nego- 
tiations Reception of the Embassy by the Emperor Fetes and cere- 
monies at Zhe Hoi Return to Pekin, and Europe Volney Choiseul 
Gouffier Le Chevalier in the Troade Olivier in Persia A semi-Asiatic 
country Russia according to Pallas . . . . . . .361 



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


VOL. n, 



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

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

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

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

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

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

Richter noticed that the pendulum lost two minutes, twenty-eight 

B 2 


seconds at Cayenne, which proved that the momentum was less at 
this place than at Paris. From this fact, Newton and Huyghens de- 
duced the flatness of the Globe at the Poles. Shortly afterwards, how- 
ever, the computation of a terrestrial degree given by Abbe Picard, 
and the determination of the Meridional arc, arrived at by the Cas- 
sinis, father and son, led scientific men to an entirety different result, 
and induced them to consider the earth an elliptical figure, elon- 
gated towards the polar regions. Passionate discussions arose from 
this decision, and in them originated immense undertakings, from 
which astronomical and mathematical geography profited. 

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

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

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

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

Desborough Cooley in his " History of Voyages," says, " They 
deprived her (France) of several degrees of longitude in the length 
of her western coast, from Brittany to the Bay of Biscay. And in 


the same way retrenched about half a degree from Languedoc and 
La Provence. These alterations gave rise to a " bon-mot." Louis 
the XIV., in complimenting the Academicians upon their return, 
remarked, " I am sorry to see, gentlemen, that your journey has 
cost me a good part of my kingdom ! " 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

"It is difficult," says M. E. Desjardins, in his "Geographic 
de la Gaule Romaine," " to understand the slight importance 
which has been attributed to his works as a geographer, mathc- 

Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis. 

Page 7 


matician, and draughtsman/' The latter more especially do justice 
to his great merit. D'Anville was the first to construct a map by 
scientific methods, and that of itself is sufficient glory. In the 
department of historical geography, D'Anville exhibited unusual 
good sense in discussion, and a marvellous topographical instinct 
for identifications, but it is well to remember that he was neither 
a man of science, nor even well versed in classic authorities. His 
most beautiful work is his map of Italy, the dimensions of which, 
hitherto exaggerated, extended from the east to the west in accord- 
ance with the ideas of the ancients. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" If," said this scientific man, " the flatness of the earth be not 


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

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

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

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

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

Damiron in his Eulogy of Maupertuis, says, " The houses at 
Tornea, north of the Gulf of Bothnia, almost in the Arctic Circle, 
are hidden under the snow. When one goes out, the air seems to 
pierce the lungs, the increasing degrees of frost are proclaimed by 
the incessant crackling of the wood, of which most of the houses 
are built. From the solitude which reigns in the streets, one 
might fancy that the inhabitants of the town were dead. At every 
step one meets mutilated figures, people who have lost arms 


or legs from the terrible severity of the temperature. And yet, 
the travellers did not intend pausing at Tornea/' 

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

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

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

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

Voltaire somewhat maliciously said of it, 

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

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

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


M. A. Maury in his " History of the Academy of Sciences/' re- 

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

Meantime the mission despatched by the Academy to Peru pro- 
ceeded with analogous operations. It consisted of La Condamine, 
Bouguer, and Godin, three Academicians, Joseph de Jussieu, 
Governor of the Medical College, who undertook the botanical 
branch, Seniergues, a surgeon, Godin des Odonais, a clock-maker, 
and a draughtsman. They started from La Rochelle, on the 16th 
of May, 1635. 

Upon reaching St. Domingo, they took several astronomical 
observations, and continued by way of Porto Bello, and Carthagena. 
Crossing the Isthmus of Panama, they disembarked at Manta in 
Peru, upon the 9th of March, 17S6. 

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

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

The adventurers scaled the Pichincha, a mountain near Quito, 

I -. O 


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

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

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

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

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

After numerous obstacles, which it is impossible to give in 


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

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




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

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

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

" All the hills," he added, " with their well- wooded and gradually 
sloping sides, appeared fertile, and the shore is not wanting in 
good harbours/- 7 

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

After passing this archipelago the two vessels steered due 


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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor Selkirk provided for his wants as best he could, but during 
the first few months he had great difficulty in conquering the 
sadness and mastering the horror consequent upon his terrible 
loneliness. He built two huts of willow, which he covered with 
a sort of rush, and lined with the skins of the goats he killed to 

Selkirk falling over the precipice with his prey. 

Page 15- 


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

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

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

Upon the 14th of February, the Duke and Duchess left Juan 
Fernandez, and commenced their operations against the Spaniards. 
Rogers seized Guayaquil, for which he obtained a large ransom, 


and captured several vessels, which, however, provided him with 
more prisoners than money. 

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

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

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

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

" I plunged my pike into his breast. 

Fae 1 6. 


of glass. Their chief anxiety was to obtain knives and useful 

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

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

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

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

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

He was already well known as a clever and fortunate captain, 
when in 1739 he was offered the command of a squadron. It 
consisted of the Centurion, 60 guns, the Gloucester and Severe, 
each 50 guns, the Pearl, 40 guns, the Wager , 28 guns. To it were 
attached also the sloop Trial, and^two transports carrying food and 
ammunition. In addition to the crew of 1460, a reinforcement 
of 470 marines was added to the fleet. 

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

" Terrible," said the narrative, " as the aspect of Tierra del Fuego 
may be, that of Staten Island is more horrible still. It con- 
sists of a series of inaccessible rocks, crowned with sharp points. 



Prodigiously high, they are covered with eternal snow, and edged 
with precipices. In short, it is impossible to conceive anything 
more deserted, or more wild than this region." 

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

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

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

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

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

The Spaniards, eager to deprive their enemies of this valuable 
resource, had let loose a quantity of famished dogs upon the island, 


who chased the goats, and devoured so many of them, that, at the 
time of Anson's visit, scarcely two hundred remained. The Com- 
modore, for so Anson is always called in the narrative of this 
voyage, reconnoitered the Island of Mas a Fuero, which is only 
twenty-five leagues west of Juan Fernandez. Smaller than the 
latter, it is more wooded, better watered, and possessed more 

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

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

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

But this voyage, which he expected to accomplish in sixty days, 
took him fully four months. After a violent gale, the Gloucester, 
having all but foundered, and her crew being too reduced to work, 
her, was burnt. Her cargo of silver, and her supplies were 
trans-shipped to the Centurion, which alone remained of all that 

c 2 


magnificent fleet which two years earlier had set sail from 
England ! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Anson was forced to write an imperious letter to the Chinese 
Governor, before he could obtain permission to buy, even at high 
prices, the provisions and stores he required. He then publicly 
announced his intention of leaving for Batavia and set sail on the 
19th of April, 1743. But, instead of steering for the Dutch posses- 
sion, he directed his course towards the Philippine Islands, where, 
for several days, he awaited the arrival of the galleon returning from 
Acapulco, laden with the proceeds of the sale of her rich cargo. 
These vessels usually carried forty-four guns, and were manned 


by a crew of over 500 men. Anson had only 200 sailors, of whom 
thirty were but lads, but this disproportion did not deter him, for 
he had the expectation of rich booty, and the cupidity of his men 
was sufficient guarantee of their courage. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i A Spanish coin, so called, because it represents the eighth of a doubloon, it is 
worth about nine shillings English money. 

Fight between the Centurion and a Spanish galleon. 
( Fac-simile of early engraving. ) 

Page 22. 


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

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



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

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

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

Moreover, the narrative of the voyage was written not by 
Roggewein, but by a German named Behrens. We may, there- 
fore, with some justice, attribute the obscurities and contradic- 


tions of the particulars given, and their general want of accuracy, 
rather to the narrator than to the navigator. It even appears 
sometimes (and this is far from improbable), that Roggewein 
was ignorant of the voyages and discoveries of his predecessors 
and contemporaries. 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The squadron passed this island in the night, without touching 


at it, and was forced in the following night, by the wind and 
adverse currents, to the midst of a group of low islands, 
which were quite unexpectedly encountered. The African was 
dashed against a coral rock, and the two consorts narrowly es- 
caped the same fate. Only after five days of unceasing effort, of 
danger and anxiety, the crew succeeded in extricating the vessels 
and in regaining the open sea. 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The counsel chose the latter alternative. 

Page 28. 


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

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

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

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

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

The result was a trial, and the East India Company was com- 
pelled to restore all that it had appropriated, and to pay heavy 

We lose all sight of Roggewein after his arrival at Texel upon 


the llth July, 1723, and no details are to be obtained of the last 
years of his life. Grateful thanks are due to Fleurieu for having 
unravelled this " chaotic " narrative, and for having thrown some 
light upon an expedition which deserves to be better known. 

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

Upon what seaman would the choice of the English Govern- 
ment fall ? 

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

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

The vessel upon which Byron embarked was the Wager. It was 
wrecked in passing through the Straits of Magellan, and the 
crew being taken prisoners by the Spaniards, were sent to Chili. 
After a captivity which lasted at least three years, Byron effected his 
escape, and was rescued by a vessel from St. Malo, which took 


him to Europe. He returned at once to service, and distinguished 
himself in various encounters during the war with France. 
Doubtless it was the recollection of his first voyage round the 
world, so disastrously interrupted, which procured for him the 
distinction conferred upon him by the Admiralty. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

" It seemed to me/' says Byron, " that what had at first appeared 
to be an island, was really two steep mountains, but, upon looking 
windward, it was apparent that the land which belonged to these 
mountains stretched far to the south-east." Consequently, he 
steered south-west. I sent some officers to the masthead to watch 


the wind, and to verify the discovery. They unanimously asserted 
that they saw a great extent of country. We then went E.S.E. 
The land appeared to present entirely the same appearance. The 
mountains looked blue, as is often the case in dark and rainy 
weather, when one is near them. Shortly afterwards, several of 
our number fancied they could distinguish waves breaking upon 
a sandy shore, but after steering with the utmost caution for an 
hour, that which we had taken for land disappeared suddenly, and 
we were convinced to our amazement that it had been only a land of 
fog ! I have passed all my life at sea/' continues Byron, "since I was 
twenty-seven, but I never could have conceived so complete and 
sustained an illusion. 

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

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

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

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

Badly situated and badly sheltered, Port Desire offered the 
further inconvenience that only brackish water could be procured 
there. Not a trace of inhabitants was to be found ! A long stay 



in this place being useless and dangerous, Byron started in search 
of Pepys Island .on the 25th. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As soon as he had brought the Dauphin to the wind, Byron 
entered the Straits of Magellan with the tide. It was not his 

Most of them on horseback. 

Page 34 . 


intention to cross it, but merely to find a safe and commodious 
harbour, where he might secure wood and water before starting 
in his search for the Falkland Islands. 

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

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

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

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

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

First of all, Byron steered clear of them, fearing to be thrown 
upon a coast with which he was unacquainted, and after this 

D 2 


summary bearing, a detachment was selected to skirt the coast as 
closely as possible, and look for a safe and commodious harbour 
which was soon met with. It received the name of Port Egmont, 
in honour of Earl Egmont, First Lord of the Admiralty. 

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

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

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

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

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

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





Unknown regions 
i 1 Seas already explored 

I I Lands alreadj explored 

Engraved by E. Morieu, s3, r. de. Brea, Pans. 

a i 


1 -^T 

XM5^ 1 
H JvF 9 * .ml 

One of them tore the carrion with his teeth. 

Page 37. 


it was owing to this fact that Frezier called them the Malounies 

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

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

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

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

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

" Several of these miserable beings decided to come on board. 
Wishing to give them a pleasant reception, one of my petty officers 
played the violin and the sailors danced. This delighted them. 
Anxious to show their appreciation, one of their number hastened to 
his pirogue (small boat) and returned with a little bag of wolf-skin, 


containing a red ointment, with which he rubbed the face of the 
violinist. He was anxious to pay me the same attention, but I 
drew back. He then tried every means of overcoming my delicacy, 
and I had great difficulty in avoiding the mark of esteem he was so 
anxious to give me." 

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

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

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

During their stay in this port, a singular fact occurred. A 
violent surf broke over the shore, and prevented the shore-boats 
from reaching the strand. Although he was provided with a life- 
belt, one of the sailors, who could not swim, refused to jump into 
the sea to reach the boat. Threatened with being left alone on the 
island, he still persistently refused to venture, when one of his 
companions cleverly encircled his waist with a cord, in which he 
had made a running knot, and one end of which was made fast to 
the boat. When he reached the vessel, Hawksworth's narrative 
relates, that the unfortunate fellow had swallowed so much water 


that he appeared lifeless. He was accordingly hung up by the 
heels, whereupon he soon regained his senses, and the next day 
was completely restored. But in spite of this truly wonderful 
recovery, \ve can hardly venture to recommend this course of treat- 
ment to humane rescue societies. 

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

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

Fortunately land was perceived from the look-out on the 7th of 
June in 14 58' west longitude. 

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

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

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

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

The narrative says, 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

After a stay of nine weeks, the two ships, amply provisioned, left 
the port of Tinian. Byron continued his route to the north, 
after having passed Anatacan Island, already discovered by Anson. 
He hoped to meet the N.E. monsoon before reaching the Bashees, 


which form the extreme north of the Philippines. Upon the 22nd 
he perceived Grafton Island, the most northerly of this group, and 
upon the 3rd of November he arrived at Timoan, which had been 
mentioned by Dampier as a favourable place for procuring pro- 
visions. The natives, however, who are of Malay descent, refused 
the offer of hatchets, knives, and iron instruments in exchange for 
fowls they demanded rupees. Finally they accepted some hand- 
kerchiefs in payment of a dozen fowls, a goat and its kid. For- 
tunately fish was abundant, as it would have been impossible to 
procure fresh victuals. 

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

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

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

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

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

Cape Town furnished all that he could require. Provisions, 
water, medicines, were all shipped with a rapidity which suf- 


ficiently indicated their anxiety to return, and once more the prow 
of the vessel was directed homewards. 

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

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

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

Upon the 9th of May, 1766, the Dauphin anchored in the Downs, 
after a voyage round the world which had lasted for twent} T -three 

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

This officer, after attaining the highest rank in the military 
marine service, had been entrusted with an important command 
in Canada, and had assisted in the capture of Louisburgh. "We 
cannot tell what qualities commended him to the Admiralty in 
preference to his companions in arms, but in any case, the noble 
lords had no reason to regret their decision. Wallis hastened the 


needful preparations on board the Dauphin, and on the 21st of 
August (less than a month after receiving his commission), he 
joined the sloop Sicalloiv and the Prince Frederick in Plymouth 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Towards eight o'clock in the evening of the 19th of Novem- 
ber, the crews perceived in the N.E. a meteor of extraordinary 


appearance, moving in a straight line towards the S.W. with 
marvellous rapidity. It was visible for almost a minute, and left 
behind a trail of light, so bright that the deck was illuminated 
as if it were mid-day. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

They made a thousand grimaces. 

Page 46. 


signs of delight to their countrymen who awaited them on the 

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

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

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

Lastly, the provisions were divided between the Dauphin and 
the Sicalloic. The former taking sufficient for a year, the latter 
for ten months. 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

" Thus we quitted this savage and uninhabitable region, where 
for four months we had been in constant danger of shipwreck, 
where in the height of summer the weather is foggy, cold, and 


stormy, where almost all the valleys are without verdure, and the 
mountains without woods, in short where the land which one 
can see rather resembles the ruins of a world, than the abode of 
living creatures." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" The natives of this island were of moderate stature. Their 
skin was brown, and they had long black hair, straggling over 
the shoulders. The men were finely formed, and the women 



were beautiful. Some coarse material formed their garment, 
which was tied round the waist, and appeared to be intended to 
be raised round the shoulders. In the afternoon, "YVallis sent the 
lieutenant to procure water and to take possession of the island 
in the name of King George III. It was called Queen Charlotte's 
Island, in honour of the English queen." 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dauphin anchored next day at the mouth of a large river 

E 2 


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

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

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

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

All at once upon a given signal a storm of pebbles fell upon the 
ship. Wallis ordered a general discharge, and had two guns 

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

Page 52. 


loaded with fine shot. The natives, after some slight hesita- 
tion and disorder, returned to the attack with great bravery ; 
and the captain, noticing the constantly increasing numbers of 
the assailants, was not without anxiety as to the result, when an 
unexpected event put an end to the contest. 

Among the pirogues which attacked the Dauphin most ener- 
getically, was one which appeared to contain a chief, as from 
it the signal of atta<& was given. A well-directed shot cut this 
double pirogue in two. 

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

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

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

Peace was established, and from the morrow a regular and 
abundant traffic commenced, which supplied the ships with the 
fresh provisions needed by the crews. There was ground for 
hope that these amicable relations would continue during their 


stay in the island, now that the natives had once realized the 
power and effect of the strangers' weapons. Wallis, therefore, 
ordered a tent to be prepared near the water supply, and disem- 
barked all the sufferers from scurvy, whilst the healthy members of 
his company were engaged in repairing the rigging, mending the 
sails, and calking and repainting the vessel, putting her, in short, 
in a condition fitted for the long journey which was to take her 
to England. ^ 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Some days later, Wallis discovered that his sailors stole nails to 
give them to the native women. They even went so far as to 
raise the planks of the ship to obtain screws, nails, bolts, and 
all the bits of iron which united them to the timbers. Wallis 
treated the offence rigorously, but nothing availed, and in spite 


of the precaution he took, of allowing no one to leave the vessel 
without being searched, these robberies constantly occurred. 

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

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

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

Of Wallis' observations of the manners and customs of the 

Head-dresses of natives of Tahiti. 
( Fac-simile of early engraving ) 

Page 56. 


island, we shall only enumerate the few following, as we shall 
have occasion to return to them again in relating the voyages 
undertaken by Bougainville and Cook. 

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

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

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

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

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

"Winter was now to begin in the southern region. The vessel 
leaked in all directions, the stern especially was much strained 
by the rudder. Was it wise, under such circumstances, to sail 


for Cape Horn or the Straits of Magellan? "Would it not be 
running the risk of certain shipwreck ? "Would it not be better 
to reach Tinian or Batavia, where repairs were possible, and to 
return to Europe by the Cape of Good Hope ? 

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The fault lay with the Admiralty. 

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

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

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

The weather continued wretched. Upon the evening of the 
2Yth a sudden squall was followed by a rising wind, which carried 
the vessel straight to the Cape. The violence of the storm failed 
to carry away the masts or to founder the ship. The tempest 
continued in all its fury, and the sails being extremely wet, clung 
round the masts and rigging so closely, that it was impossible to 
work them. Next day a sudden wave broke the mizen-mast, just 
where there was a flaw in the sail, and submerged the vessels for 
a few moments. The storm only abated sufficiently to allow the 
crew of the Swallow time to recover a little, and to repair the 


worst damage; then recommenced, and continued with violent 
squalls until the 7th of May. The wind then became favourable, 
and three days later Juan Fernandez was reached. 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" We probably were close by land," he says, " which the fog 
prevented our seeing, for in these waters numbers of birds con- 
stantly flew round the ship. Commodore Byron in his last voyage 
had passed the northern limits of this portion of the ocean, in 
which the Solomon Islands are said to be situated, and as I have 


been myself beyond the southern limit without seeing them, I have 
good reasons for thinking, that if these islands exist they have been 
badly marked on all the charts." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what had happened. Landing the fifth in succession, in 
a spot where he had noticed huts, he entered into friendly traffic 
with the natives, The latter soon increased in numbers, and 


several large pirogues advanced towards his sloop, and lie was unable 
to rejoin it until the very moment when the attack commenced. 
Pursued by the arrows of the natives, who waded up to their 
shoulders into the water, chased by pirogues, he only succeeded in 
escaping after having killed several natives and foundered one of 
their boats. 

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

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

At this juncture, thirty of the crew became incapable of perform- 
ing their duty. The master died of his wounds. Lieutenant Grower 
was very ill. Carteret himself, attacked by a bilious and inflam- 
matory illness, was forced to keep his bed. 

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

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

" The inhabitants of Egmont Isle," he says, " are extremely 
agile, active, and vigorous. They appear to live as well in water as 

Pursued by the arrows of the natives. 

Page 64. 






on land, for they are continually jumping from their pirogues into 
the sea. One of the arrows which they sent passed through the 
planks of the boat, and dangerously wounded the officer at the 
poop in the thigh." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The commander profited by his stay in this place, by once 
more overhauling the Swallow, and attending to the leak, which 
the carpenters doctored as well as they could. The sheathing was 



greatly worn, and the keel quite gnawed away by worms ; they 
coated it with pitch and warm tar mixed together. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although all this portion of the narrative of his voyage, 
in countries unknown before his time, abounds in precious 


details, Carteret, a far more able and zealous navigator than his 
predecessors Byron and Wall is, makes excuses for not having col- 
lected more facts. 

" The description of the country," he says, " and of its productions 
and inhabitants, would have been far more complete and de- 
tailed had I not been so weakened and overcome by the illness to 
which I had succumbed through the duties which devolved upon 
me from want of officers. When I could scarcely drag myself 
along, I was obliged to take watch after watch and to share in other 
labours with my lieutenant, who was also in a bad state of health." 
After leaving St. George's Strait, the route was westward. 
Carteret discovered several other islands, but illness for several 
days prevented his coming on deck, and therefore he could not 
determine their position. He named them Admiralty Islands, 
and after two attacks, found himself forced to employ fire-arms to 
repulse the natives. 

He afterwards reconnoitred Durour and Matty Islands and the 
Cuedes, whose inhabitants were quite delighted at receivng bits of 
an iron hoop. Carteret affirms, that he might have bought all the 
productions of this country for a few iron instruments. Although 
they are the neighbours of New Guinea, and of the groups they had 
just explored, these natives were not black, but copper coloured. 
They had very long black hair, regular features, and brilliantly 
white teeth. Of medium height, strong and active, they were cheer- 
ful and friendly, and came on board fearlessly. One of them even 
asked permission to accompany Carteret upon his voyage, and in 
spite of all the representations of his countrymen and even of the 
captain, he refused to leave the SicaUoic. Carteret, meeting with 
so decided a will, consented, but the poor Indian, who had received 
the name of Joseph Freewill, soon faded away and died at Celebes. 
On the 29th October, the English reached the north-eastern 
portion of Mindanao. Always on the look-out for fresh water and 
provisions, Carteret in vain looked for the bay which Dampier had 
spoken of as abounding in game. A little farther off he found a 
watering-place, but the hostile demonstrations of the inhabitants 
forced him to re-embark. 

After leaving Mindanao, the captain sailed for the Straits of 
Macassar, between the islands of Borneo and Celebes. They 
entered it on the 14th of November. The vessel then proceeded 


with so much difficulty that she only accomplished twenty-eight 
leagues in fifteen days. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A struggle between the Swallow and a Malay prah. 


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

WHILST Wallis completed his voyage round the world, and Car- 
teret continued his long and hazardous circumnavigation, a fresh 
expedition was organized for the purpose of prosecuting new dis- 
coveries in the Southern Seas. 

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

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

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

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

First aide-de-camp to Chevret, then Secretary of the Embassy in 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was the year 1763. There is little reason to suppose, that 

Portrait of Bougainville. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 72. 


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

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

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

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

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

The colony was beginning to make a show, when the English 
settled themselves in Port Egmont, reconnoitred by Byron. 


At the same time Captain Macbride attempted to obtain possession 
of the colony, on the ground that the land belonged to the 
English king, although Byron had not recognized the Malouines 
in 1765, and the French had then been settled there two years. 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

" Commerce was far from flourishing, as no European mer- 
chandise was allowed to pass by land to Peru or Chili.'" 

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

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

These documents, which are a hundred years old, are curious 
when compared with those furnished by contemporary navigators, 
especially by M. Emile Daireaux, in his work on La Plata. In 


many respects this picture is still correct, but there are other 
details (such for instance as regards instruction, of which Bougain- 
ville could not speak, as it did not exist) in which it has made 
immense progress. When the victuals, the provision of water, 
and the cattle were embarked, the three vessels set sail on the 28th 
of February, 1767, for the Malouines. The voyage was not 
fortunate. Variable winds, heavy weather, and a running sea, 
caused much damage to the Boudeuse. On the 23rd of March 
she cast anchor in French Bay, where she was joined on the 
morrow by the two Spanish vessels, which had been much tried by 
the tempest. 

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

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

Bougainville decided at last, on the 2nd of June, to reach Eio 
Janeiro, which he had mentioned to M. de la Gerandais, the com- 
mander of the Etoile as a rendezvous, should unforeseen circum- 
stances prevent his reaching the Malouines. 

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

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

But the cordial relations with the viceroy were not lasting. 
Bougainville, who with the viceroy's permission had made some 


purchase, found the delivery of it refused for no reason. He was 
forbidden to take wood he needed from the royal timber-yard, 
although he had concluded a contract for it, and lastly, he was 
prevented from lodging with his staff, during the repairs of the 
Boudeme, in a house near the town, placed at his disposal by a 
friend. To avoid altercation, Bougainville hurried the prepara- 
tions for departure. 

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

" The mines called ' general,' " he says, " are the nearest to the 
town, although they are seventy-five leagues away from it. They 
yield the king a yearly revenue by his right to a fifth share of at 
least a hundred and twelve arobas of gold. In 1762, they brought 
him in a hundred and nineteen. Under the captaincy of the ' gene- 
ral ' mines, those of the ' Rio des Morts/ Sahara, and Sero Frio 
were included the last named, in addition to all the gold it pro- 
duces, yields all the diamonds which come from the Brazils. No 
precious stones, except diamonds, are contraband. They belonged 
to the speculators, who were obliged to keep an exact account of the 
diamonds they find and to restore them to the possession of an 
intendant named by the king for this purpose. He immediately 
places them in a casket bound with iron, and fastened with three 
locks. He retains one key, the king has another, and the ' Prove- 
dor de hacienda reale 3 the third. This casket is enclosed in a 
second, stamped with the seals of the three persons named, and 
containing the three keys of the smaller one." 

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

From Eio to Montevideo no incident occurred, but upon the 
Plata, during a storm, the Etoile was run down by a Spanish vessel, 
which broke her bowsprit, her beak head, and much of her rigging. 


The damages and the shock increased the leak of the ship, and 
forced her to return to Encenada de Baragan, where repairs were 
more easily managed than at Montevideo. It was impossible 
therefore to leave the river until the 14th of November. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Guyot-Duclos Bay provides an excellent anchorage, with six or 
eight fathoms of water and sound bottom. Bougainville remained 
there long enough to fill several casks, and endeavoured to pro- 
cure fresh meat, but he only met with a few wild animals. St. 
Anne's point was reached. At that place Sarmiento had founded 
the colony of Philippeville in 1581. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

"We made them sing." 

Page 80. 


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

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

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

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

On the 16th of January, in endeavouring to reach Rupert Isle, 
the Boudeuse was driven by the currents half a cable's length from 
the shore. The anchor which was then heaved, gave way, and with- 
out the least land-breeze the vessel stranded. 

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

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

" We took fifty-two days to accomplish it. In spite of the diffi- 
culties we met with in the passage of the Straits of Magellan" (and 
in this Bougainville entirely agrees with Byron), " I should advise 



this route, in preference to that by Cape Horn from September to 
the end of March, During the remaining months of the year I 
should prefer the open sea. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

"We need not refer to what we have already repeatedly said of 
the nature of these islands, the difficulty of access to them, their 

Lancer's Island. 



wild and inhospitable inhabitants. Cook calls this very Lancers 
Island, Thrum Cape, and the island of La Ilarpe, which Bougain- 
ville found on the 24th, is identical with Cook's Bow Island. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upon the morning of the 6th, after three days devoted to tacking 
about and reconnoitring the coast in search of a roadstead, 

G 2 


Bougainville decided to cast anchor in the bay he had seen the 
first day of his arrival. 

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

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

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

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

Before giving further extracts from Bougainville's narrative, 
it appears apropos to warn the reader not to accept these 
descriptions au pied de la lettre. The fertile imagination of the 
narrator embellished everything. Not content with the ravishing 
scenes under his eyes, the picturesque reality is not enough for 


him, and he adds new delights to the picture, which only overload 
it. He does this almost unconsciously. None the less, his de- 
scriptions should be received with great caution. We find a strange 
example of this tendency of the age, in the narrative of Cook's 
second voyage. Mr. Hodges, the painter who was attached to 
the expedition, wishing to reproduce the disembarkation of the 
English on the island of Middleburgh, paints personages who 
have not the smallest resemblance to the dwellers in the ocean 
regions, and whose togas give them the appearance of being con- 
temporaries of Caesar or of Augustus. Yet he had the originals 
before his eyes, and nothing could have been easier to him than to 
depict the scene as it really was. 

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

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

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

On the 10th, a native was killed by a gunshot. All Bougain- 
ville's inquiries failed to find out the perpetrator of this abominable 


assassination. Apparently the natives thought the victim in the 
wrong, for they continued to frequent the market with their former 

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

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

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

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

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


useful implements, grains, and cattle, which had been given to him 
by the French Government. 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

On the 3rd of May, Bougainville bore down towards a new land, 
which he had just discovered, and was not long in finding others 
on the same day. The coasts of the largest one were steep ; in 
point of fact, it was simply a mountain covered with trees to its 
summit, with neither valley nor sea coast. Some fires were seen 
there, cabins built under the shade of the cocoanut-trees, and some 
thirty men running on the shore. In the evening, several pirogues 
approached the vessels, and after a little natural hesitation, 
exchanges commenced. The natives demanded pieces of red cloth 
in exchange for cocoa-nuts, yams, and far less beautiful stuffs than 
those of the Tahitans ; they disdainfully refused iron, nails, and 
earrings, which had been so appreciated elsewhere in the Bourbon 
Archipelago, as Bougainville had named the Tahitan group. The 

Pirogue of the Marquesas islanders. 

Page 88. 


natives had their breasts and thighs painted dark blue ; they wore 
no beards ; their hair was drawn into tufts on the top of their 

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

" The longitude of these islands," says the narrative, " is pretty 
nearly similar to that which Abel Tasraan reckoned it when he 
discovered Amsterdam and Rotterdam Islands, the Pilstaars, 
Prince William Island, and the low lands of Fleemskerk. It is 
also approximate to that assigned for the Solomon Islands. Besides 
the pirogues which we have seen rowing in the open sea, and to 
the south, indicate other islands in this locality. Thus it appears 
likely that these lands form an extended chain in the same 
parallel. The islands comprising the Navigator Archipelago, lie 
below the fourteenth southern parallel, between 17 and 172 
west longitude from Paris/' 

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

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

A few days later, a boat seeking anchorage upon the coast of 
the Leper Islands, was in danger of attack. Two arrows aimed 
at them served as a pretext for the first discharge, which was 
speedily followed by a fire so well directed, that Bougainville 


believed his crew in danger. The number of -victims was very 
large, the natives uttered piercing cries as they fled to the woods. 
It was a regular massacre. The captain, uneasy at the prolonged 
firing, sent another boat to the help of the first, when he saw it 
doubling a point, He therefore signalled for their return. " I 
took measures," he said, " that we should never again be dis- 
honoured by such an abuse of our superior forces." 

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

Having obtained the commodities he needed, Bougainville re- 
gained the sea. 

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

The lands which the French now encountered, were no other 
than St. Esprit, Mallicolo, and St. Bartholomew, and the islets 
belonging to the latter. Although he was perfectly aware that 
these islands were identical with the Tierra del Espiritu Santo of 
Quiros, Bougainville could not refrain from bestowing a new name 
upon them, and called them the Archipelago des "Grandes 
Cyclades," to which however, the name of New Hebrides has 
been given in preference. " I readily believed," he says, " that 
it was its extreme southern point which Roggewein saw under the 
eleventh parallel, and which he named Tienhoven and Groningne. 
But when we arrived there everything led us to believe that 
we were in the southern land of Espiritu Santo. Every appear- 
ance seemed to coincide with Quiros's narrative, and the dis- 
coveries we made every day encouraged us in our search. It is 
singular that precisely in the same latitude and longitude as that 
which Quiros gives to his St. Philip and St. James' Bays, upon a 

Mdlle Barre's adventure. 

Page 91. 


shore which at first sight appeared like a continent, we found a 
passage equal in size to that which he gives to the opening of his 
bays. Did the Spanish navigator see badly, or did he wish to hide 
his discoveries ? 

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

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

" She will be the first woman who has been round the world/' 
says Bougainville, " and I must do her the justice to admit that 


she has conducted herself with the most scrupulous discretion. 
She is neither ugly nor pretty, and at most is only twenty-six or 
twenty- seven years old. It must be admitted that had the two 
vessels suffered shipwreck upon a desert island, it would have been 
a singular experience for Barre." 

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

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

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

But there is a wide difference between a wish and its fulfilment ! 


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

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

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

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

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

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

Upon the eastern coast a pretty bay was perceived, which promised 
good anchorage. Boats were told off to sound it. Whilst they 


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

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

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

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

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

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

" Four streams flowed into the harbour in a space measuring four 
hundred paces. We selected three, according to custom ; one to 
supply water for La Boudeuse, one for the Etoile, and one for 
washing purposes. Wood was plentiful on the shore, and there 


were various kinds of it, all good for burning, and several first- 
rate for carpentery, joinery, and even toy-making. 

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

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

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


slight earthquakes, the sea rose and fell several times in succes- 
sion, which greatly alarmed the sailors who were occupied in 

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

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

The Arimoa Islands, the largest of which is only four miles in 
length, were next seen, but the bad weather and the currents 
forced the two vessels to remain in the open sea and relinquish 
all exploration. It was necessary, however, to maintain a 
close watch in order to avoid misssing the outlet into the 


Indian Ocean. Mispulu and Waigiou, the last at the extreme 
north of New Guinea, were passed in succession. 

The " Canal des Fran9ais," the outlet for ships from this mass of 
little islands and rocks, was passed without mishap. From thence 
Bougainville penetrated to the Molucca Archipelago, where he 
reckoned upon finding the fresh provisions requisite for the forty- 
five sufferers from scurvy on board. 

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

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

" The charms of Boeton Island were enhanced by our wretched 

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

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

Scarcely had the Boudense and the Etoile cast anchor, than the 
resident governor sent two soldiers to inquire of the French 
captain what reason he could assign for stopping at this place, 
when he must be aware that entrance was permitted to the ships 
of the India Company only. Bougainville immediately sent an 
officer to explain that hunger and sickness forced him to enter 
the first port which presented itself in his route. Also, that he 
would leave Boeton as soon as he had received the aid of which 
he had urgent need. The resident at once sent him the order of 
the Governor of Amboyna, which expressly forbade his receiving 
any strange ship in his harbour, and begged Bougainville to make 




a written declaration of the reason for his putting into port, in 
order that he might prove to his superior that he had not infringed 
his orders except under paramount necessity. 

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

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

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

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

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

He took part in the American war, and in 1781 participated 
in an honourable combat before Port Royal off Martinique. Made 
Chief of the fleet in. 1780, he, ten years later, received a com- 
mission to re-establish order in the mutinous fleet of M. d' Albert 


de Rions. Created vice-admiral in 1792, he did not think it 
right to accept a high rank, which was, to use his own words, " a 
title without duties." 

Nominated first to the Bureau of Longitudes, and then to the 
Institute, raised to the rank of senator, created a count by Napo- 
leon I., Bougainville died full of years and honours, on the 31st 
of August, 1811. 

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

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

H 2 



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

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

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

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

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K *" haut des mat * Vuedllheuses du soi, 


Louisiade Archipelago. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving. ) 


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Whilst the Endeavour was being equipped, her crew of 
eighty-four men chosen, her store of eighteen months' pro- 
vision embarked, her ten guns and twelve swivel guns, with 
the needful ammunition, shipped, Captain Wallis arrived in 
England. He had accomplished his voyage round the world. He 
was consulted as to the best spot for the observation of the transit 
of Yenus, and he selected an island which he had discovered, 


and which was named by him after George III. It was later 
known by its native, name of Tahiti. From this spot therefore 
Cook was to take observations. 

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

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

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

From Madeira to Rio de Janeiro, where the expedition arrived 
on the 13th of November, no incident interrupted the voyage, but 
Cook's reception by the Portuguese was hardly what he expected. 
The whole time of his stay in port was spent in disputes with the 
viceroy, a man of little knowledge, and quite incapable of under- 
standing the scientific aspect of the expedition. However, he 
could not well refuse to supply the English with fresh provisions, 
of which they had absolutely none left. As, however, Cook was 
passing Fort Santa Cruz on leaving the bay, two shots were fired 
after him, whereupon he immediately cast anchor, and demanded 
the meaning of the insult. The viceroy replied that the com- 
mandant of the Fort had orders to allow no vessel to leave the 
bay without his having received notice, and although Captain 


Cook had notified his intention to the viceroy, it had, by pure 
neglect, not been communicated to the Commandant of the Fort. 
Was this an intentional act of discourtesy on the part of the 
viceroy ? or was it simple heedlessness ? 

If the viceroy was equally negligent in all the details of his 
administration, the Portuguese colony \nust have been well re- 
gulated ! 

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

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

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

James Cook was enabled to make some curious observations upon 
the savage inhabitants of those desolate regions. Destitute of the 
necessaries of life, without clothes, without efficient shelter from 
the almost perpetual severity of this glacial latitude, unarmed, 
and unlearned in any industrial art which would enable them to 
construct the more necessary utensils, they passed a miserable life, 
and could only exist with difficulty. In spite of these facts, of all 
the articles offered in exchange they invariably chose the least 


useful. They joyfully accepted bracelets and necklaces, and 
rejected hatchets, knives, and fish-hooks. Careless of what we 
consider valuables, our superfluities were their neccessaries. 

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

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

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


from his wages, but he would be punished in proportion to the 
exigency of the case. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The night preceding the observation passed with many fears 

Captain James Cook. 
(Fac-siniile of early engraving.) 

Page 107. 


of unfavourable weather, but on the 3rd of June, the sun rose in 
all its glory, and not a cloud troubled the observers throughout 
the day. 

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

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

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

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

Other incidents of this kind constantly occurred, but friendly 


relations were not seriously disturbed. The officers were free to 
make incursions into the interior of the island to prosecute 
scientific investigations, and to inquire into the manners of the 

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

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

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

One of their most delicate dishes was dog. Those intended for 
the table never ate meat, but were fed upon bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, 


yams, and other vegetables. The flesh" placed in a hole upon 
hot stones covered with green leaves, was stewed down in four 
hours. Cook, who partook of it, says it has a delicious flavour. 

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

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

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

When they came in sight of Huaheine, several pirogues approached 
the Endeavour, and it was only after they had recognized Tupia 
that the natives consented to come on board. King Orea, who 
was among the passengers, was greatly surprised at all the 
vessel contained. Soon reassured by the welcome of the English, 
he became so familiar as to wish to exchange names with Cook. 
During the entire stay in port, he always called himself " Cookee/' 


and gave his own name to the captain. Anchor was cast in a 
convenient harbour, and the officers of this vessel on landing found 
the manners, the language, and the productions of this island 
identical with those of Tahiti. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smoke was perceived at different points, and the details of 
the shore were soon mastered. The hills were covered with 
verdure, and large trees were distinguishable in the valleys. Then 
houses were perceived, then pirogues, then the natives assembled 
on the strand. And lastly, a pallisade, high and regularly 
built, surrounded the summit of the hill. Opinions varied as to 

''They were pursued so closely/' 

P age in. 


the nature of this object ; some declaring it to be a deer park, others 
a cattle enclosure, not to speak of many equally ingenious surmises, 
which were all proved false, when later it turned out to be a " pah." 
Towards four o'clock on the afternoon of the 8th of October, 
anchor was cast in a bay at the mouth of a little river. On 
either side were white rocks ; in the middle a brownish plain, 
rising by degrees, and joining by successive levels a chain of 
mountains, which appeared far in the interior. Such was the aspect 
of this portion of the shore. 

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

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

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

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

As soon as the marines landed, Cook and his companions 


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

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

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

" I cannot disguise from myself/' he says, " that all humane and 
sensible people will blame me for having fired upon these unfor- 
tunate Indians, and I should be forced to blame myself for such 
an act of violence if I thought of it in cold blood. They cer- 
tainly did not deserve death for refusing to trust to my promises, 
and to come on board, even if they suspected no danger ; but my 
commission by its nature obliged me to take observations of their 
country, and I could only do so by penetrating into the interior, 
either by open force or by gaining the confidence and good 
will of the natives. I had tried unsuccessfully by means of 
presents and my anxiety to avoid new hostilities led me to attempt 
having some of them on board, as the sole method of persuading 

Tahitian flute-player. 
( Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page ii2. 


them that far from wishing to hurt them, we were disposed to bo 
of use to them. So far, my intentions were certainly not criminal. 
It is true that during the struggle, which was unexpected by me, 
our victory might have been equally complete without taking the 
lives of four of these Indians, but it must also be remembered that 
in such a situation, the command to fire having once been given, 
one is no longer in a position to proscribe it, or to lighten its 

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

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

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

One day several pirogues surrounded the ship, and nails and 
glassware were exchanged for fish ; when the natives seized Tayeto, 
Tupia's servant, and quickly paddled off. 

As it was necessary to fire at the robbers, the little Tahitan 
profited by the confusion, and jumping into the sea was soon 
picked up by the pinnace of the Endeavour. 

On the 17th of October, Cook, not having been able to find a 
suitable harbour, and considering himself, as the sea became more 
and more rough, to be losing time which might be better employed 
in reconnoitring the northern coast, tacked round and returned 
the way -he had come. 



On the 23rd of October, the Endeavour reached a bay called 
Tedago, where no swell was perceptible. The water was excellent, 
and it was easy to procure provisions, the more so as the natives 
appeared friendly. 

After having arranged everything for the safety of the workers, 
Messrs. Banks and Solander landed and collected plants, and in 
their walk they found many things worthy of note. Below the 
valley, surrounded by steep mountains, arose a rock so perforated, 
that from one side the sea could be seen through it, and from the 
other the long range of hills. 

Returning on board, the excursionists were stopped by an old 
man, who insisted upon their taking part in the military exercises 
of the country with the lance and the patou-patou. 

In the course of another walk, Dr. Solander bought a top 
exactly resembling European tops, and the natives made signs to 
show him that he must whip it to make it go. 

Upon an island to the left of the bay, the English saw the 
largest pirogue they had yet met with. It was no less than sixty - 
eight feet long, five wide, and three feet six inches high. It had 
in front a sculpture in relief, of grotesque taste, in which the lines 
were spiral and the figures strangely contorted. 

On the 30th of October, as soon as he was supplied with wood 
and water, Cook set sail and continued along the coast towards 
the north. 

Near an island, to which Cook had given the name of Mayor, 
the natives behaved most insolently, and were greater thieves 
than any previously encountered. It was, however, necessary 
to make a stay of five or six days in this district, to observe 
the transit of Mercury. With a view to impressing upon the 
natives that the English were not to be illused with impunity, 
a robber who had taken a piece of cloth was fired upon with 
grape shot, but although he received the discharge in the back, it 
had no more effect upon him than a violent blow with a rattan. 
But a bullet which struck the water and returning to the surface 
passed several times over the pirogues, struck such terror into the 
hearts of the natives, that they hastily paddled to the shore. 

On the 9th of November, Cook and Green landed to observe the 
transit of Mercury. Green only observed the passing, while Cook 
took the altitude of the sun. 


It is not our intention to follow the navigators in their 
thorough exploration of New Zealand. 

The same incidents were endlessly repeated, and the recital of the 
similar struggles with the natives, with descriptions of natural 
beauty, however attractive in themselves, could not but pall upon the 
reader. It is better, therefore, to pass rapidly over the hydrographic 
portion of the voyage, in order to devote ourselves to our picture 
of the manners of the natives, now so widely modified. 

Mercury Bay is situated at the foot of the long divided peninsula 
which, running from the east to the north-east, forms the northern 
extremity of New Zealand. On the 15th of November, as the 
Endeavour left the bay, several boats advanced towards her. 

"Two of their number," says the narrative, "which carried 
about sixty armed men, approached within hearing, and the natives 
began their war-song, but seeing that this attracted little attention, 
they began throwing stones at the English, and paddled along the 
shore. Soon they returned to the charge, evidently determined 
to fight the navigators, and encouraging themselves with their 
war cry/' 

Without being incited to it, Tupia addressed them reproachfully, 
and told them that the English had arms, and were in a position 
to overpower them instantly. But they valiantly replied, 

" Come to land, and we will kill you all ! " 

" Directly," replied Tupia, " but why insult us as long as we 
are at sea ? We have no wish to fight, and we will not accept 
your challenge, because there is no quarrel between us. The sea 
does not belong to you any more than to our ship." 

Tupia had not been credited with so much simple and true 
eloquence, and it surprised Cook and the other English. 

Whilst he was in the bay of the islands, the captain reconnoitred 
a considerable river, which he named after the Thames. It was 
shaded with trees, of the same species as those on Povertv Island. 
One of them measured nineteen feet in circumference at the 
height of six feet above the ground, another was not less than 
ninety feet long from the root to the lowest branches. 

Although quarrels with the natives were frequent, the latter 
were not invariably in the wrong. 

Kippis relates as follows : 

" Some of the men on board, who, after the Indians had once 

i 2 


been found in fault, did not fail to exhibit a severity worthy of 
Lycurgus, thought fit to enter a New Zealand plantation, and to carry 
off a quantity of potatoes. Captain Cook condemned them to a dozen 
stripes each. Two of them received them peaceably, but the third 
persisted that it was no crime for an Englishman to pillage Indian 
plantations. Cook's method of dealing with this casuist was to 
send him to the bottom of the hold until he agreed to receive six 
additional stripes/' 

On the 30th of December the English doubled a cape which 
they took to be that of Maria Yan Diem en, discovered by Tasman, 
but they were so assailed by threatening winds, that Cook 
only accomplished ten leagues in three weeks. Fortunately they 
kept at a uniform distance from shore all the time, otherwise we 
should probably have been spared the recital of their further 

On the 16th of January, 1770, after naming various portions of 
the eastern shore, Cook arrived in sight of an imposing peak, which 
was covered with snow, and which he named Mount Egmont in 
honour of the earl of that name. 

Scarcely had he doubled the peak, when he found that the coast 
described the arc of a circle. It was split up into numberless 
roadsteads, which Cook determined to enter, in order to allow of 
his ship being repaired and keeled. 

He landed at the bottom of a creek where he found a fine river 
and plenty of trees, for the forest only ceased at the sea for want 
of soil. 

The amicable relations with the natives at this point enabled 
him to inquire if they had ever seen a vessel like the Endeavour. 
But he found that even the traditions of Tasman's visit were for- 
gotten, although he was only fifteen miles south of Assassin Bay. 

In one of the provision baskets of the Zealanders ten half 
gnawed bones were found. They did not look like a dog's bones, 
and on nearer inspection they turned out to be human remains. 
The natives in reply to the questions put to them, asserted that 
they were in the habit of eating their enemies. A few days later, 
they brought on board the Endeavour seven human heads, to 
which hair and flesh still adhered, but the brains as being 
delicate morsels, were already picked. The flesh was soft, and no 
doubt was preserved from decay by some ingredient, for it had no 


unpleasant odour. Banks bought one of these heads after some 
difficulty, but he could not induce the old man who brought it to 
part with a second, probably because the New Zealanders considered 
them as trophies, and testimonies to their bravery. 

The succeeding days were devoted to a visit to the environs, and 
to some walks in the neighbourhood. During one of these excursions 
Cook, having climbed a high hill, distinctly perceived the whole of 
the strait to which he had given the name of Queen Charlotte, and 
the opposite shore, which appeared to him about four leagues 

A fog made it impossible for him to see further to the south- 
east, but he had discerned enough to assure him that it was the final 
extent of the large island of which he had followed all the windings. 
He had now only to finish his discoveries in the south, which 
he proposed to do as soon as he had satisfied himself that 
Queen Charlotte's Sound was really a strait. 

Cook visited a pah in the neighbourhood. Built upon a little 
island or inaccessible rock, the pah was merely a fortified village. 
The natives most frequently add to the natural defences by forti- 
fications, which render the approach still more perilous. Many 
were defended by a double ditch, the inner one having 
a parapet and double palisade. The second ditch was at least 
eighty feet in depth. On the inside of the palisade, at the 
height of twenty feet, was a raised platform forty feet long by six 
wide. Supported on two large poles, it was intended to hold 
the defenders of the place, who from thence could easily over- 
whelm the attacking party with darts and stones, of which an 
enormous supply was always ready in case of need. 

These strongholds cannot be forced, unless by means of a long 
blockade the inmates should be compelled to surrender. 

"It is surprising," as Cook remarks, "that the industry and care 
employed by them in building places so well adapted for defence, 
almost without the use of instruments, should not by the same 
means, have led them to invent a single weapon of any importance, 
with the sole exception of the spear they throw with the hand. 
They do not understand the use of a bow to throw a dart, or of a sling 
to fling a stone, which is the more astonishing, as the invention of 
slings, and bows and arrows is far more simple than the construction 
of these works by the people, and moreover these two weapons 


are met with in almost all parts of the world, in the most savage 

On the 6th of February, Cook left the bay, and set sail for the 
east, in the hope of discovering the entrance to the strait before 
the ebb of the tide. At seven in the evening, the vessel was 
driven by the violence of the current to the close neighbourhood 
of a small island, outside Cape Koamaroo. Sharply pointed rocks 
rose from the sea. The danger increased momentarily, one only 
hope of saving the ship remained. It was attempted and suc- 
ceeded. A cable's length was the distance between the Endeavour 
and the rock when anchor was cast, in seventy -five fathoms of 
water. Fortunately the anchor found a hold, and the current 
changing its direction after touching the island, carried the vessel 
past the rock. But she was not yet in safety, for she was 
still in the midst of rocks, and the current made five miles an 

However, the current decreased, the vessel righted herself, and 
the wind becoming favourable, she was speedily carried to the nar- 
rowest part of the strait, which she crossed without difficulty. 

The most northerly island of New Zealand, which is named 
Eaheinomauwe, was, however, as yet only partially known, there 
still remained some fifteen leagues unexplored. 

A few officers affirmed from this that it was a continent, and not an 
island, which was contrary to Cook's view. But although his own 
mind was made up, the captain directed his navigation with a 
view to clear up any doubt which might remain in the minds of 
his officers. After two days' vogage, in which Cape Palliser was 
passed, he called them up on the quarter deck and asked if they were 
satisfied. As they replied in the affirmative, Cook gave up his idea 
of returning to the most southerly point he had reached on the 
eastern coast of Eaheinomauwe, and determined to prolong his 
cruise the entire length of the land which he had found, and which 
was named Tawai-Pounamow. 

The coast was more sterile, and appeared uninhabited. It 
was necessary to keep four or five leagues from the shore. 

On the night of the 9th of March the Endeavour passed over 
several rocks, and in the morning the crew discovered what dangers 
they had escaped. They named these reefs the Snares, as they 
appeared placed there to surprise unsuspecting navigators. 



Next day, Cook reconnoitred what appeared to him to be the 
extreme south of New Zealand, and called it South Cape. It was 
the point of Steward Island. Great waves from the south-west 
burst over the vessel as it doubled this cape, which convinced 
Captain Cook that there was no land in that quarter. He there- 
fore returned to the northern route, to complete the circumnavi- 
gation of New Zealand by the eastern coast. 

Almost at the southern extremity of this coast, a bay was dis- 
covered, which received the name of Dusky. This region was 
sterile, steep, covered with snow. Dusky Bay was three or four miles 
in width at its entrance, and appeared as deep as it was wide. 
Several islands were contained in it, behind which a vessel would 
have excellent shelter ; but Cook thought it prudent not to remain 
there, as he knew that the wind, which would enable him to leave 
the bay, blew only once a month in these latitudes. He differed 
upon this point with several of his officers, who thinking only of the 
present advantage, did not reflect upon the inconveniences of a 
stay in port, the duration of which would be uncertain. 

No incident occurred during the navigation of the eastern coast 
of Tawai-Pounamow. 

From Dusky Bay, according to Cook, to 44 20' latitude, there 
is a straight chain of hills which rise directly from the sea, and 
are covered with forests. Behind and close to these hills, are 
mountains which form another chain of prodigious height, 
composed of barren and jagged rocks, excepting in the parts 
where they are covered with snow, mostly in large masses. It is 
impossible to conceive a wilder prospect, or a more savage and 
frightful one than this country from the sea, because from every 
point of view nothing is visible but the summits of rocks ; so 
close to each other that in lieu of valleys there are only 
fissures between them. From 44 20' to 42 81' the aspect varies, 
the mountains are in the iuterior, hills and fruitful valleys border 
the coast. 

From 42 8' to the 41 30' the coast inclines vertically to the 
sea, and is covered with dark forests. The Endeavour, moreover, 
was too far from the shore, and the weather was too dark for 
it to be possible to distinguish minor details. After achieving 
the circumnavigation of the country, the vessel regained the 
entrance to Queen Charlotte Sound. 


Cook took in water and wood ; then he decided on returning to 
England, following the route which permitted him best to fulfil the 
object of his voyage. To his keen regret, for he had greatly 
wished to decide whether or no the southern continent existed, it 
was as impossible for him to return to Europe by Cape Horn as 
by the Cape of Good Hope. 

In the middle of winter, in an extreme southerly latitude his vessel 
was in no condition to bring the enterprise to a successful issue. 
He had no choice, therefore, but to take the route for the East 
Indies, and to this end to steer westward to the eastern shores of 
New Holland. 

But before proceeding to the narration of the incidents of the 
second part of the campaign, it will be better to glance backward and 
to summarize the information upon the situation, productions, and 
inhabitants of JSTew Zealand which the navigators had accumulated. 
We have already seen that this land had been discovered by 
Abel Tasman, and we have noted those incidents which were 
marked with traces of bloodshed when it was reconnoitred by the 
Dutch captain. With the exception of Tasman, in 1642, no 
European captain had ever visited its shores. It was so far 
unknown, that it was not even decided whether it formed a 
part of the southern continent, as Tasman supposed, when he 
named it Staten Island. To Cook belongs the credit of 
determining its position and of tracing the coasts of these two 
large islands, situated between 34 and 48 S. Lat. 180 and 
194 W. Long. 

Tawai-Pounamow was mountainous, sterile, and apparently 
very sparsely populated. Eaheinomauwe presented an attractive 
appearance, in its hills, mountains, and valleys covered with 
wood, and watered by bright flowing streams. Cook formed an 
opinion of the climate upon the remarks made by Banks and 
Solander, that, 

"If the English settled in this country, it would cost them 
but little care and work to cultivate all that they needed in great 

As for quadrupeds, New Zealand afforded an asylum for dogs 
and rats only, the former reserved for food. But if the fauna was 
poor, the flora was rich. Among the vegetable products which 
attracted the English most, was one of which the narrative says, 

Interior of a T morai in Hawai. 

Page i2t. 

Tatooed head of a New Zealander. 

(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 121. 

An i-pah. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 121. 


" The natives used as hemp and flax, a plant which surpasses 
all those used for the same purposes in other countries. The 
ordinary dress of the New Zealanders is composed of leaves of 
this plant, with very little preparation. They fabricate their 
cords, lines, and ropes from it, and they are much stronger than 
those made with hemp, and to which they can be compared. 
From the same plant, prepared in another way, they draw long 
thin fibres, lustrous as silk and white as snow. Their best stuffs 
are manufactured from these fibres, and are of extraordinary 
strength. Their nets, of an enormous size, are composed of these 
leaves, the work simply consists in cutting them into suitable 
lengths and fastening them together/' This wonderful plant, which 
was so enthusiastically described, in the lyrical account just 
quoted, and in the hardly less exuberant one which La Billadiere 
afterwards gave of it, is known in our day as phornium tenax. 

It was really necessary to subdue the expectations that 
these narratives excited ! According to the eminent chemist 
Ducharte, the prolonged action of the damp heat, and above all 
bleaching, disintegrates the cellular particles of this plant, and after 
one or two washings, the tissues which are fabricated from it, are 
reduced to tow. Still it forms a considerable article of commerce. 
Mr. Alfred Kennedy, in his very curious work on New Zealand, tells 
us that in 1685, only fifteen bales of phornium were exported, that 
four years later the export amounted to the almost incredible 
number of 12,162 bales, and in 1870 to 32,820 bales, valued at 

The inhabitants were tall and well proportioned, alert, vigorous, 
and intelligent. The women had not the delicate organization, and 
grace of form, which distinguish them in other countries ; dressed 
like the men, they were recognizable only by their sweetness 
of voice and liveliness of expression. Although the natives of 
the same tribe were affectionate in their relations to each other, 
they were implacable to their enemies, and they gave no quarter ; 
the dead bodies of their enemies afforded horrible festivities, 
which the want of other animal food explains, but can hardly 

"Perhaps/ 5 says Cook,"it appears strange that there were frequent 
wars in a country where so few advantages follow victor} 7 ." But 
besides the need of procuring meat, which led to the frequency of 


these wars, another cause for them, unknown to Cook, existed in 
the fact that the population consisted of two distinct races, natu- 
rally enemies of each other. 

Ancient tradition has it that the Maories came in the first in- 
stance, some thirteen hundred years ago, from the Sandwich 
Islands. There is reason for believing this to be correct, when one 
reflects that the beautiful Polynesian race peopled all the archipe- 
lago sprinkled throughout the Pacific Ocean.. 

Leaving Hao.uaikai, which must be identical with Hawai, of the 
Sandwich Islands, or Sanai of the Navigator Archipelago, the 
Maories had repelled or possibly driven back the aboriginal 
population. In truth, the earliest colonists noticed two distinctly 
separate types in the New Zealanders. The one, and most im- 
portant, unmistakably recalled the natives of Hawaii, the Mar- 
quisas, and Tonga Islands, whilst the other offered many resem- 
blances to the Melanesian races. 

These particulars, collected by Freycinet, and recently confirmed 
by Hochsetten, are in perfect accord with the singular fact, 
recorded by Cook, that Tupia, a native of Tahiti, made himself 
readily understood by the New Zealanders. 

The migrations of the Polynesian tribes are thoroughly under- 
stood in these days, thanks to the wider knowledge of languages 
and anthropology, but they were scarcely suspected in the time of 
Cook, who, indeed, was one of the first to collect legends on the 

" Every one of these tribes/' he says, " traditionally believes that 
his forefathers came years ago from another country, and they all 
assert from the same tradition, that the country was called Heawise." 
The country at this time produced only one quadruped, the dog, 
and that was an alien. Thus the New Zealanders had no means 
of subsistence, but vegetables and a few fowls unknown to 
the English. Fortunately the inhabitants were saved from death 
by starvation by the abundance of fish. Accustomed to war, 
and looking upon all strangers as enemies, possibly seeing in 
them merely an edible commodity, the natives naturally attacked 
the English. 

Once convinced, however, of the utter inadequacy of their wea- 
pons, and of the powers of their adversaries, once convinced 
that the new comers avoided using those instruments which 

A New Zealand family. 

Page 122. 


produced such terrific effects, they treated the navigators as 
friends, and conducted themselves towards them with surprising 

If the natives usually met with by the navigators had little 
idea of decency or modesty, the same was not true of the New 
Zealanders, and Cook gives a curious example of this fact. Al- 
though not so clean as the natives of Tahiti, whose climate is 
much warmer, and although they bathed less often, they took a 
pride in their persons, and showed a certain coquetry. For instance, 
they greased their hair with an oil or fat obtained from fishes or 
birds, which becoming rank after awhile, made them as disagreeable 
to a refined sense of smell as the Hottentots. 

They were in the habit of tatooing themselves, and some of 
their tatoo designs demonstrated wonderful skill, and taste 
certainly not to be expected among this primitive race. 

The English were greatly surprised to find that the women 
devoted less attention to their attire than the men. Their hair was 
cut short and without ornament, and they wore clothes similar to 
those of their husbands. Their sole attempt at coquetry consisted 
in fastening the most extraordinary things to their ears, stuffs, 
feathers, fish-bones, bits of wood, not to mention green talc needles, 
the nails and teeth of their deceased parents, and generally 
everything they could lay hands on, which they suspended by 
means of thread. 

This recalls an adventure related by Cook, which happened 
to a Tahitan woman. This woman, envious of all she saw, 
wanted to have a padlock attached to her ear. She was allowed to 
take it, and then the key was thrown into the sea before her. After 
a certain time, either because the weight of this singular ornament 
worried her, or because she wished to replace it by another, she 
begged to have it removed. The request was refused, upon the 
ground that her demand was foolish, and that as she had wished 
for this singular ear-ring, it was fair that she should put up with 
its inconveniences. 

The clothing of the New Zealanders consisted of one piece of 
stuff, something between reed or cloth, attached to the shoulders 
and falling to the knees, and of a second rolled round the waist, 
which reached to the ground. But the latter was not an invariable 
part of their dress. Thus, when they had on only the upper part 


of their costume, and they squatted, they presented the appear- 
ance of thatched roofs. 

Their coverings were sometimes trimmed in a most elegant 
manner, by means of various coloured fringes, and more rarely 
with dogskin cut into strips. But the industry of these people 
was especially shown in the construction of their pirogues. 

Their war-vessels contained from forty to fifty armed men, 
and one of them, measured at Ulaga, was no less than sixty-eight 
feet long. It was beautifully ornamented with open work and 
decorated with fringes of black feathers. The smaller ones generally 
had poles. Occasionally two pirogues were joined together. The 
fishing-boats were ornamented at the prow and the poop by the 
face of a grinning man with hideous features, lolling tongue 
and eyes made of white shells. Two pirogues were often coupled, 
and the very smallest carried only the poles needed to preserve their 

" The usual cause of illnesses," remarks Cook, " being intempe- 
rance and want of exercise, it is not surprising that these people 
rejoice in perfect health. Each time that we went to their settle- 
ments, men, women, and children surrounded us, excited by the 
same curiosity which caused us to look at them. We never saw 
one who appeared affected by illness, and amongst all that we 
saw naked we never remarked the smallest eruption on the skin, 
nor any trace of spots or sores." 




Reconnoitring the Eastern Coast of Australia Remarks on the natives and 
productions of the country The Endeavour stranded Perpetual dangers 
of navigation Crossing Torres Straits The natives of New Guinea 
Return to England. 

ON the 31st of March, Cook left Cape Farewell and New Zealand, 
steering westward. On the 19th of April, he perceived land 
which extended from north-east to west, in 37 58' S. Lat. and 
210 39' W. Long. 

In his opinion, judging by Tasman's chart, this was the country 
called Yan Diemen's Land. In any case, he was unable to 
ascertain whether the portion of the coast before him belonged 
to Tasmania. He named all the points on his northern voyage, 
Hick's Point, Ram Head, Cape Howe, Dromedary Mount, Upright 
Point, Pigeon House, &c. 

This part of Australia is mountainous, and covered with various 
kinds of trees. 

Smoke announced it to be inhabited, but the sparse population 
ran away as soon as the English prepared to land. 

The first natives seen were armed with long lances and a piece 
of wood shaped like a scimitar. This was the famous 
" boomerang/ ' so effective a weapon in the hands of the natives, 
so useless in that of Europeans. 

The faces of the natives were covered with white powder, their 
bodies were striped with lines of the same colour, which, passing 
obliquely across the chest, resembled the shoulder-belts of soldiers. 
On their thighs and legs they had circles of the same kind, 
which would have appeared like gaiters had not the natives been 
entirely naked. 

A little further on the English once more attempted to land. But 


two natives whom they had previously endeavoured to propitiate by 
throwing them nails, glassware, and other trifles, made such 
menacing demonstrations, that they were obliged to fire over their 
heads. At first they seemed stunned by the detonation, but as they 
found that they were not wounded, they commenced hostilities by 
throwing stones and javelins. A volley of bullets struck the 
oldest in his legs. The unfortunate native rushed at once to one 
of the cabins, but returned with a shield to continue the fight, 
which was shortly ended, when he was convinced of his power- 

The English seized the opportunity to land, and reach the houses, 
where they found several spears. In the same bay, they landed 
some casks for water, but communication with the natives was hope- 
less; they fled immediately on the advance of the English. 

During an excursion on land, Cook, Banks, and Solander found 
traces of various animals. The birds were plentiful, and re- 
markably beautiful. The great number of plants discovered by 
the naturalists in this part, induced Cook to give it the name of 
Botany Bay. " This bay is," he says, " large, safe, and convenient ; 
it is situated in 34 W. Lat., and 208 37' W. Long." Wood 
and water were easily procurable there. 

" The trees," according to Cook, " were at least as large as the 
oaks of England, and I saw one which somewhat resembled them. 
It is that one which distils a red gum like * Dragon's blood.'" 

No doubt this was a species of Eucalyptus. Among the various 
kinds of fishes which abound in these latitudes is the thorn-back 
skate, one of which, even after cleaning, weighed three hundred 
and thirty-six pounds. 

On the 6th of May, Cook left Botany Bay, and continued to coast 
to the north at two or three miles distance from the shore. The 
navigation along this coast was sufficiently monotonous. The 
only incidents which imparted a slight animation, were the 
sudden and unexpected differences in the depth of the sea, caused 
by the line of breakers which it was necessary to avoid. 

Landing a little further on, the navigators ascertained 
that the country was inferior to that surrounding Botany 

The soil was dry and sandy, the sides of the hills were sparsely 
covered with isolated trees and free from brush- wood. The sailors 

. MAP 

of the east coast 

L, A 
after Cook. 

A* C 3.p d a la Fu r lee ^=^^= 

^ CapD 


killed a bustard, which was pronounced to be the best game eaten 
since leaving England. Hence, this point was named Bustard Bay. 
Numbers of bivales were found there, especially small pearl 

On the 25th of May, the Endeavour being a mile from land, was 
opposite a point which exactly crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. The 
following day, it was ascertained that the sea rose and fell seven 
feet. The flow was westward, and the ebb eastward, just the 
reverse of the case in Botany Bay. In this spot islands were 
numerous, the channel narrow and very shallow. 

On the 29th, Cook landed with Banks and Solander in a large 
bay, in search of a spot where he could have the keel and bottom 
of his vessel repaired, but they were scarcely on terra firma, when 
they found their progress impeded by a thick shrub, prickly and 
studded with sharp seeds, no doubt a species of " spinifex" which 
clung to the clothes, pierced them, and penetrated the flesh. At 
the same time, myriads of gnats and mosquitoes attacked them, and 
covered them with painful bites. 

A suitable spot for repairs was found, but a watering- 
place was sought in vain. Gum-trees growing here and there 
were covered with enormous ants' nests, and soon deprived 
of gum by those insects. Numerous brilliantly-coloured butterflies 
hovered over the explorers. 

These were curious facts, interesting from more than one 
point of view, but they failed to satisfy the captain, who was 
eager to replenish his water supply. 

From the first, the great defect of this country was apparent. 
It consists in the absence of streams, springs, and rivers ! 

A second excursion made during the evening of the same day 
was equally barren of good results. Cook ascertained that the 
bay was very deep, and decided on making the circuit of it in the 

He soon discovered that the width of the channel by which he 
entered increased rapidly, and that it ultimately formed a vast lake 
communicating with the sea to the north-west. Another arm 
stretched eastwards, and it was conceivable that the lake had a 
second outlet into the sea at the bottom of the bay. 

Cook named this part of Australia New South Wales. Sterile, 
sandy, dry, it lacked all that was most necessary for the establishment 


of a colony. And the English could not ascertain from their cursory 
inspection or hydrographical examination that, mineralogically 
speaking, it was one of the richest countries of the New World . 

The navigation was monotonously continued from the 31st of 
May to the 10th of June. On this latter date the Endeavour, after 
passing safely along an unknown coast, in the midst of shallows 
and breakers, for a space of 22 or 1300 miles, was all at once 
exposed to a greater danger than any which had been appre- 

They were in 16 S. Lat. and 214 39' W. Long, when 
Cook, seeing two islets lying low and covered with trees, gave 
orders to keep well out to sea during the night, so as to look 
for the islands discovered by Quiros in these latitudes, an archi- 
pelago which some geographers had maintained was united to 
the mainland. 

Shortly after nine in the evening the soundings taken every 
quarter of an hour showed constantly decreasing depth. All 
crowded to the deck. The water became deeper. It was con- 
cluded that the vessel had passed over the extremity of the sand- 
banks seen at sunset, and all rejoiced at escape from danger. When 
the depth increased, Cook and all but the officers of the watch 
retired to their berths, but at eleven o'clock the sounding-line, 
after indicating twenty fathoms, suddenly recorded seventeen, and 
before it was possible to cast anchor, the Endeavour had touched, 
and beaten by the waves, struck upon a rock. 

The situation was a serious one. The Endeavour, raised by a 
wave over the ridge of a reef, had fallen again into a hollow in the 
rock, and by the moonlight, portions of the false keel and the 
sheathing could be seen floating. 

Unfortunately the accident happened at high water. It was 
useless therefore to count upon the assistance of the tide to release 
the ship. Without loss of time the guns, barrels, casks, ballast, and 
all that could lighten the vessel, were thrown overboard. The 
vessel still struck against the rock. The sloop was put to sea, the 
sails and topsails were lowered, the tow-lines were thrown to the 
starboard, and the captain was about to order the anchor to be cast 
on the same side, when it was discovered that the water was deeper 
at the stern. But although the capstan was vigorously worked, 
it was impossible to move the vessel. 


Daybreak disclosed the position in all its horrors. Land was 
eight leagues distant, not a single isle was visible between the 
ship and land where refuge might be found if, as was to be 
feared, the vessel broke up. Although she had been lightened of 
fifty tons weight, the sea only gained a foot and a half. 

Fortunately the wind fell, otherwise the Endeavour must soon 
have been a wreck. However, the leak increased rapidly, although 
the pumps were worked incessantly. A third was put into action. 
The alternative was dreadful ! If the vessel were freed, it must 
sink when no longer sustained by the rock, while if it remained 
fixed, it must be demolished by the waves which rent its planks 
asunder. The boats were too small to carry all the crew to land 
at one time. 

Under such circumstances was there not danger that discipline 
would be thrown to the winds ? Who could tell whether a fratricidal 
struggle might not ensue ? And even should some of the sailors 
reach land, what fate could be in store for them upon an in- 
hospitable shore, where nets and fire-arms would scarcely procure 
them nourishment ? 

"What would become of those who were obliged to remain on 
board ? Every one shared these fears, but so strong a sense 
of duty prevailed, so much was the captain beloved by his crew, 
that the terrors of the situation evoked no single cry, no disorder 
of any kind. The strength of the men not employed at the 
pumps was wisely harboured for the moment when their fate should 
be decided. 

Measures were so skilfully taken, that when the sea rose to its 
height, all the officers and crew worked the capstan, and as the 
vessel was disengaged from the rock, it was ascertained that she 
drew no more water than when on the reef. But the sailors were 
exhausted after twenty-four hours of such terrible anxiety. It 
was necessary to change the hands at the pumps every five 

A new disaster was now added. The man whose duty it 
was to measure the water in the hold, announced that it had 
increased to eighteen inches in a few moments. Fortunately 
the mistake of the measure taken was immediately ascertained, 
and the crew were so overjoyed that they fancied all danger 



An officer named Monkhouse conceived an excellent idea. He 
applied a sort of cap to the stern, which he filled in with wool, rope- 
yarn, and the intestines of the animals slaughtered, on board, and 
so effected a stoppage of the leak. From this time the men, who 
spoke of driving the vessel on a coast to reconstruct another from 
its ruins, which might take them to the East Indies, thought only 
of finding a suitable harbour for the purpose. 

The desirable harbour was reached on the 17th of June, at the 
mouth of a current which Cook called Endeavour River. 

The necessary labours for the careening of the vessel were at 
once begun and carried on with the utmost rapidity. 

The sick were landed, and the staff visited the land several times, 
in the hope of killing some game, and procuring fresh meat for the 
sufferers from scurvy. Tupia saw an animal which Banks, from 
his description, imagined to have been a wolf. But a few days 
later several others were seen, who jumped upon their fore feet, 
and took enormous leaps. They were kangaroos, marsupial 
animals, only met with in Australia, and which had never before 
seen a European. The natives in this spot appeared far less 
savage than on other parts of the coast. They not only allowed 
the English to approach, but treated them cordially, and remained 
several days with them. 
The narrative says, 

" They were usually of medium height, but their limbs were 
remarkably small. Their skin was the colour of soot, or rather, it 
might be described as of deep chocolate colour. Their hair was 
black and not woolly, and was cut short ; some wore it plaited, 
some curled. Various portions of their bodies were painted red, and 
one of them had white stripes on his lips and breast which he called 
' carbanda.' Their features were far from disagreeable ; they had 
very bright eyes, white and even teeth, and their voices were sweet 
and musical. Some among them wore a nose-ornament which 
Cook had not met with in New Zealand. It was a bone, as large 
as a finger, passed through the cartilage. 

" A little later a quarrel arose. The crew had taken possession 
of some tortoises which the natives claimed, without having in 
the least assisted in capturing them. When they found that their 
demand was not acceded to, they retired in fury, and set fire 
to the shrubs in the midst of which the English encampment was 

They were kangaroos. 

Page 130. 


situated. The latter lost all their combustible commodities in the 
conflagration, and the fire, leaping from hill to hill, afforded a 
magnificent spectacle during the night." 

Meantime Messrs. Banks, Solander, and others, enjoyed many 
successful hunts. They killed kangaroos, opossums, a species of 
pole -cat, wolves, and various kinds of serpents, some of which were 
venomous. They also saw numbers of birds, kites, hawks, cockatoos, 
orioles, paroquets, pigeons, and other unknown birds. 

After leaving Endeavour River, Cook had good opportunities 
of testing the difficulties of navigation in these latitudes. Rocks 
and shallows abounded. It was necessary to cast anchor in the 
evening, for it was impossible to proceed at night through this 
labyrinth of rocks without striking. The sea, as far as the eye 
could reach, appeared to dash upon one line of rocks more 
violently than upon the others ; this appeared to be the last. 

Upon arriving there, after five days' struggle with a contrary 
wind, Cook discovered three islands stretching four or five leagues 
to the north. But his difficulties were not over. The vessel 
was once more surrounded by reefs and chains of low islets, 
amongst which it was impossible to venture. 

Cook was inclined to think it would be more prudent to return 
and seek another passage. But such a detour would have con- 
sumed too much time, and have retarded his arrival in the East 
Indies. Moreover there was an insurmountable obstacle t& this 
course. Three months' provisions were all that remained. 

The situation appeared desperate, and Cook decided to steer as 
far as possible from the coast, and to try and pass the exterior 
line of rocks. He soon found a channel, which shortly brought 
them to the open sea. 

" So happy a change in the situation," says Kippis, " was 
received with delight. The English were full of it, and openly 
expressed their joy. For nearly three months they had been 
in perpetual danger. When at night they rested at anchor, 
the sound of an angry sea forced them to remember that they 
were surrounded by rocks, and that, should the cable break, 
shipwreck was inevitable. They had travelled over 360 miles, 
and were forced to keep a man incessantly throwing the line and 
sounding the rocks through which they navigated. Possibly no 
other vessel could furnish an example of such continued effort." 

K 2 


Had they not just escaped so terrible a danger, the English 
would have had cause for uneasiness in reflecting upon the length 
of way that remained to them across a sea but little known, 
upon a vessel which let in nine inches of water in an hour. 
"With pumps out of repair and provisions almost consumed, the 
navigators only escaped these terrible dangers to be exposed on 
the 16th of April to a peril of equal magnitude. 

Carried by the waves to a line of rocks above which the sea 
spray washed to a prodigious height, making it impossible to cast 
anchor ; without a breath of wind, they had but one resource, to 
lower boats to tow the vessel off. In spite of the sailors' efforts 
the Endeavour was still only 100 paces from the reef, when a light 
breeze, so slight that under better circumstances 110 one would 
have noticed it, arose and disengaged the vessel. But ten minutes 
later it fell, the currents strongly returned, and the Endeavour 
was once more carried within 200 feet of the breakers. 

After many unsuccessful attempts, a narrow opening was 

" The danger it offered was less imminent than that of remaining 
in so terrible a situation/' says the narrative. " A light breeze 
which fortunately sprang up, the efforts of the boats, and the tide, 
conveyed the ship to the opening, across which she passed with 
frightful rapidity. The strength of the current prevented the 
Endeavour from touching either shore of the channel, which, 
however, was but a mile in width, and extremely unequal in depth, 
giving now thirty fathoms, now only seven of foul bottom." 

If we have lingered somewhat over the incidents of this voyage, 
it is because it was accomplished in unknown seas, in the midst of 
breakers and currents, which, sufficiently dangerous for a sailor 
when they are marked on a map, become much more so when, as 
was the case with Cook, since leaving the coast of New Holland, 
the voyage is made in the face of unknown obstacles, which all 
the instinct and keen vision of the sailor cannot always successfully 

One last question remained to be solved, 
Were New Holland and New Guinea portions of one country ? 
"Were they divided by an arm of the sea, or by a strait ? 

In spite of the dangers of such a course, Cook approached the 
shore, and followed the coast of Australia towards the north. 

Three Indians emerged from the wood. 



On the 21st he doubled the most northerly cape of New Holland, 
to which he gave the name of Cape York, and entered a channel 
sprinkled with islands near the mainland, which inspired him 
with the hope of finding a passage to the Indian Ocean. 

Once more he landed, and planting the English flag, solemnly 
took possession in the name of King George, of the entire 
Eastern Coast from the eighteenth degree of latitude to this spot, 
situated in 107 south. He gave the name of New South Wales 
to this territory, and to fitly conclude the ceremony, he caused 
three salutes to be fired. 

Cook next penetrated Torres Strait, which he called Endeavour 
Strait, discovered and named the Wallis Islands, situated in the 
middle of the south-west entrance to Booby Island, and Prince of 
Wales Island, and steered for the southern coast of New Guinea, 
which he followed until the 3rd of September without being able to 

Upon that day Cook landed with about eleven well-armed men, 
amongst them Solander, Banks, and his servants. They were scarcely 
a quarter of a mile from their ship, when three Indians emerged 
from the wood, uttering piercing cries, and rushed at the English. 

" The one who came nearest," says the narrative, " threw some- 
thing which he carried at his side, with his hand, and it burned 
like gunpowder, but we heard no report."" 

Cook and his companions were obliged to fire upon the natives 
in order to regain their ship, from whence they could examine 
them at their leisure. They resembled the Australians entirely, and 
like them, wore their hair short, and were perfectly naked only 
their skin was less dark ; no doubt because they were less dirty. 

" Meantime the natives struck their fire at intervals, four or five 
at a time. We could not imagine what this fire could be, nor 
their object in throwing it. 

" They held in the hand a short stick, perhaps a hollow cane, 
which they flourished from side to side, and at the same instant 
we saw the fire and smoke exactly as it flashes from a gun, and 
it lasted no longer. We observed this astonishing phenomenon 
from the vessel, and the illusion was so great that those on board 
believed the Indians had fire-arms, and we ourselves should have 
imagined they fired guns, but that our ship was so close that in 
such a case we must have heard the explosion/' 


This fact remains unexplained, in spite of the many commen- 
taries it has occasioned, and which bear out the testimony of the 
great navigator. 

Many of the English officers demanded immediate permission to 
land in search of cocoa-nuts arid other fruits, but the captain was 
unwilling to risk his sailors' lives in so futile an attempt ; he was, 
besides, anxious to reach Batavia, to obtain repairs for his vessel. 
He thought it useless, moreover, to remain a longer time in 
these latitudes. They had been so often visited by the Spanish 
and Dutch, that there were no further discoveries to make. 

In passing Arrow and Wesel Islands he rectified their positions, 
and reaching Timor, put into port in Savu Island, where the 
Dutch had been settled for some time. There Cook re victualled, 
and by accurate observations settled its position at 10 35' southern 
latitude, and 237 30' west longitude. 

After a short interval the Endeavour arrived at Batavia, where 
she was repaired. 

But the stay in that unhealthy country was fatal after such 
severe fatigue. Endemic fevers raged there ; and Banks, 
Solander, and Cook, as well as the greater part of the crew, fell ill. 
Many died, amongst them Monkhouse, the surgeon, Tupia, and 
little Tayeto. Ten men only escaped the fever. 

The Endeavour set sail on the 27th of December, and on the 
15th of January, 1771, put into Prince of Wales Island for 

From that moment, sickness increased among the crew. Twenty- 
three men died, amongst them Green, the astronomer, who was 
much regretted. 

After a stay at the Cape of Good Hope, where he met with the 
welcome he so sorely needed, Cook re-embarked, touched at St. 
Helena, and anchored in the Downs on the llth of June, 1772, 
after an absence of nearly four years. 

"Thus," says Kippis, " ended Cook's first voyage, a voyage 
in which he had experienced such dangers, discovered so many 
countries, and so often evinced his superiority of character. He 
was well worthy of the dangerous enterprise and of the courageous 
efforts to which he had been called."" 





Search for the Southern Continent Seconl stay at New Zealand Pomontou 
Archipelago Second stay at Tahiti Eeconnoitring Tonga Isles Third 
stay at New Zealand Second crossing of the Southern Ocean Easter 
Island reconnoitred Yisit to the Marquesas Islands. 

HAD the government not been desirous of rewarding James Cook 
for the way in which he had fulfilled the mission entrusted to him, 
the unanimous voice of the public would have constrained them. 
On the 29th of August he received the rank of commander in the 
Royal Navy. But the great navigator, proud of the services 
he had rendered to England and to science, thought the reward 
less than his achievements merited. He would have delighted 
in an appointment as ship's captain, but Lord Sandwich, who was 
then at the head of the Admiralty, pointed out to him, that it 
was not possible to gratify him without upsetting all established 
customs, and injuring the discipline of the Royal Navy. 

However, Cook busied himself in putting together the necessary 
materials for the narration of his experiences ; but, being soon 
occupied with still more important matters, he placed them in the 
handsof Dr.Hawkesworth, who was to superintend their publication . 

At the same time, the observations he had taken on the transit 
of Mercury in concert with Mr. Green, his calculations and astro- 
nomical solutions, were submitted to the consideration of the Royal 
Society, and that learned body at once recognized his merit. 

In one respect, however, the important results obtained by Cook 
were incomplete. He had not perfectly proved the impossibility 
of an antarctic continent. This chimera was still dear to the 
hearts of scientific men. Although obliged to admit that neither 
New Zealand nor Australia made part of such a continent, and 
that the Endeavour had navigated in latitudes in which it 


might have been found, they still affirmed that it would be found 
still more south, and reiterated all those advantages which its 
discovery would entail. 

The government determined to settle a question which had been 
discussed for so many years, and to despatch an expedition for the 
purpose. Its commander was easily selected. The nature of 
the voyage demanded vessels of peculiar construction. As the 
Endeavour had been sent to the Falkland Islands, the Admiralty 
gave orders for the purchase of the two suitable vessels for the 

Cook was consulted, and insisted that the ships should be solidly 
built, draw little water, and possess capacity for carrying provisions 
and ammunition in proportion to the number of the crew and the 
length of the voyage. 

The Admiralty accordingly bought two vessels, constructed at 
Whitby, by the same ship-builder as the Endeavour. The larger 
was of 462 tons burden, and was named the Resolution, the second 
was only of 336 tons, and was called the Adventure. 

Cook received command of the Resolution, and Captain Tobias 
Furneaux, second lieutenant of the Wallis, was raised to the 
command of the Adventure. The second and third officers, and 
several of the crew had already served in the Endeavour. 

It may readily be imagined that every possible care was taken 
in the equipment of these ships. Lord Sandwich and Captain 
Palliser themselves superintended every detail. 

Each of the ships was stocked with provisions of every kind for 
two years and a half. 

Very extraordinary articles were provided at the instance of 
Captain Cook, who claimed them as anti-scorbutics, for instance, 
malt, sour krout, salted cabbages, soup-slabs, mustard and saloop, as 
well as carrot marmalade, and thickened and unfermented beer, 
which was tried at the suggestion of Baron S torch of Berlin, and 
Mr. Pelham, secretary to the Commissariat department. 

Equal care was taken to ship two small boats, each of twenty 
tons, intended to carry the crew in case of shipwreck. 

William Hodges, a landscape painter, two naturalists, John 
Eeinhold Forster and his son George ; two astronomers, W. Wales 
and W. Bayley, accompanied the expedition, provided with the 
best instruments for observation. 


Nothing that could conduce to the success of the adventure 
was neglected. It was to return with an immense amount of 
collected information, which was to contribute to the progress of 
the natural and physical sciences, and to the ethnology of navi- 
gation and geography. 

Cook says, " I received my instructions at Plymouth dated 25th 
June. They enjoined my immediate departure for the island of 
Madeira. To ship wine there, and thence to proceed to the Cape 
of Good Hope, where I was to let the crew have a spree on 
shore, and obtain the provisions and other stores I needed. To 
advance southwards and endeavour to find Circumcision Cape, 
which was said to have been discovered by M. Bouvet, in the 54 
southern parallel, and about 11 20' east longitude, reckoning 
from Greenwich. If I found this cape, to ascertain whether it 
was part of the continent or an island. Should it prove the 
former, to neglect no opportunity of investigating its possible 
extent. To collect facts of every kind which might be useful 
to navigation and commerce, or would tend to the progress of the 
natural sciences. I was desired to observe the spirit, tempera- 
ment, character, and means of the inhabitants, should there be 
any, and to use every fair means of forming friendly alliances 
with them. 

" My instructions proceeded to enjoin me to seek discoveries in 
the east or west, according to the position in which I might 
find myself, and advised my nearing the south pole as much as 
possible, and as long as the condition of the ships, the health 
of the crew, and the provisions allowed of my doing so. To be 
careful in any case to reserve sufficient provisions to reach some 
known port, where I might refit for my return to England. 

" In addition, I was ordered, if I found Circumcision Cape to 
be an island, or if I did not succeed in finding it, in the 
first case to take the necessary bearings, and in both to sail south- 
ward as long as I still hoped to find the continent. Then to 
proceed eastward, to look for this continent, and to discover the 
islands which might be situated in this part of the southern hemi- 
sphere. To remain in high latitudes and to prosecute my dis- 
coveries, as had been already said, as near the pole as possible, 
until I had completed the navigation of the world, and finally to 
repair to the Cape of Good Hope, and from thence to Spithead." 


Cook left Plymouth harbour on the 13th of July, and on the 
29th of the same month he arrived at Funchal, in Madeira. Here 
he took in provisions, and continued his route southwards. But 
being shortly convinced that his supply of water would not hold 
out until he reached the Cape of Good Hope, he determined to 
break the voyage by putting in at Cape Yerd Islands, and on the 
10th of August he anchored in Praya Port, which he left four 
days later. 

Cook availed himself of his stay in this port, as he usually did, 
to collect every fact which might be useful to navigators. His 
description is the more valuable now, as these parts have com- 
pletely changed in character, and the conditions of a stay in port 
have been greatly modified by the improvements accomplished there. 

On the 23rd of the same month, after violent squalls which 
had driven every one on deck, Cook, aware of the pernicious 
effect of the damp of warm climates, and always on the alert to 
keep his crew in good health, gave orders to aerate (renew the 
air) in the between decks. He even had a fire lighted in order 
to smoke it, and dry it quickly, and not only took the precautions 
advocated by Lord Sandwich, and Sir Hugh Palliser, but also 
those which the experience of his last voyage suggested to him. 

Thanks to all these efforts at prevention there was not a single 
sick case on board the Resolution when she arrived at the Cape 
of Good Hope on the 30th of October. Cook, in company with 
Captain Furneaux, and Messrs. Foster, went to pay a visit to the 
Dutch governor, Baron de Plettemberg, who placed all the 
resources of the colony at his disposal. There he found that 
two French ships, which had left the island of Mauritius in 
March, had touched at the Cape before proceeding to the southern 
seas where they were to prosecute discoveries, under command of 
Captain Marion. 

During this stay in port, which was longer than they ex- 
pected, Forster met the Swedish botanist Sparman, a pupil of 
Linnaeus, and engaged him to accompany him, by promising him 
large pay. It is difficult to praise Forster's disinterestedness 
under these circumstances too highly. He had no hesitation in 
admitting a rival, and even paid his expenses, in order to add 
completeness to the studies in natural history which he wished to 
make in the countries he was about to visit. 

Among the icebergs. 

Page 139. 


Anchor was weighed on the 22nd of December, and the two 
ships resumed their course southwards, in search of Cape Circum- 
cision, discovered by Captain Bouvet,-on the 1st of January, 1739. 
As the temperature would rapidly become colder, Cook distributed 
the warm clothes, furnished by the Admiralty, to his sailors. 
From the 29th of November till the 6th of December a frightful 
tempest prevailed. The ships, driven out of their course, were 
carried to the east, to such a degree that they were forced 
to resume the search for Circumcision Cape. Another consequence 
of the bad weather, and of the sudden change from heat to ex- 
treme cold was the death of all the animals embarked at the Cape. 
And lastly, the sailors suffered so much from the damp, that it 
was necessary to increase the rations of brandy to stimulate them 
to work. 

On the 10th of December, in 50 40' southern latitude the first 
ice was met with. Rain and snow succeeded each other uninter- 
ruptedly. The fog soon became so dense, that the crews did not 
perceive a floating iceberg, until they were a mile past it. " One 
of these/' says the narrative, " was not less than 200 feet high, 
400 wide, and 2000 long. 

" Taking it as probable, that this piece was of absolutely equal 
size, its depth beneath the water, would have been 1800 feet, and 
its height about 2000 feet, and from the dimensions just given its 
entire bulk must have contained 1600 million cubic feet of ice." 

As they proceeded further south the icebergs increased. The 
sea was so rough, that the waves climbed these glacial blocks, and 
fell on the other side in fine impalpable dust. The scene filled 
the observers with admiration. But this was soon succeeded by 
terror, upon the reflection that if the vessel struck one of these 
enormous masses, she must be dashed to pieces. The presence of 
danger soon, however, produced indifference, and more thought 
was bestowed upon the sublime beauty, than upon the strife with 
this terrible element. 

Upon the 14th of December, an enormous iceberg, which closed 
in the horizon, prevented the two vessels from proceeding south- 
wards, and it became absolutely necessary to skirt it. 

It did not present an unbroken surface, for hillocks were visible 
on it, similar to those met on the previous days. Some thought 
they distinguished land under the ice, even Cook for the moment 


was deceived, but as the fog lifted the mistake was easily recti- 

Next day the vessels were driven before a strong current. The 
elder Forster and Wales, the astronomer, embarked in a small 
boat to ascertain its swiftness. Whilst thus engaged, the fog 
became so dense, that they completely lost sight of the ship. In 
this miserable boat, without instruments or provisions, in the 
midst of the wide ocean, far from any coast, surrounded by ice, 
their situation was dreadful. They left off rowing, lest they 
should get farther from the ship. They were losing all hope 
when the sound of a distant bell fell upon their ears. They 
rowed swiftly in the direction of the sound. The Adventure 
replied to their shouts and picked them up after several hours 
of terrible suspense. 

The generally received opinion was, that the ice floats collected 
in the bays or mouths of rivers. The explorers, therefore, 
imagined themselves near land, which would prove to be situated 
in the south behind the vast iceberg. 

They were thirty leagues to the west of it, before they found 
an opening in the ice which might lead to the south. The cap- 
tain then determined to steer an equal distance to the east. Should 
he not find land, he at least hoped to double the iceberg, and 
penetrate in advance of it to the pole, and thereby settle the 
doubts of all the physicists. 

But although it was the middle of summer in this part of the 
world, the cold became daily more intense. The sailors com- 
plained of it, and symptoms of scurvy appeared on board. 

Warmer clothes were distributed, and recourse was had to the 
remedies usual in such cases, malt and lemon- juice, which soon over- 
came the malady, and enabled the crews to bear the severity of the 

On the 29th of December, Cook ascertained positively that the 
iceberg was joined to no land. He therefore decided to proceed 
eastward as far as the parallel of Cape Circumcision, that is, if no 
obstacle prevented him. 

He had scarcely put this resolve into execution when the wind 
became so violent, and the sea so rough, that navigation, in 
the midst of floating ice, which crashed with a fearful noise, 
became most perilous. 

New Zealand war canoe. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving. ) 

Page 140. 


The danger increased, when a field of ice extending beyond the 
range of vision was seen to the north. There seemed every pro- 
spect of the ships being imprisoned for many weeks, " hemmed 
in/' to use the expression of whalers, if indeed they did not 
run the risk of being crushed at once. 

Cook neither tried to run to the west or east, he steered straight 
for the south. He was now in the latitude attributed to Cape 
Circumcision, and seventy leagues south of the position assigned 
to it. Hence he concluded that if land existed as stated by 
Bouvet (which is now known to be a fact) it could only be an 
inconsiderable island, and not a large continent. 

The captain had no further reason for remaining in these lati- 
tudes. In 67 15' southern latitude a new ice barrier, running 
from east to west closed the passage for him, and he could find no 
opening in it. Prudence enjoined his remaining no longer in this 
region, for two-thirds of the summer were already passed. He 
therefore determined to seek, with no further delay, the land 
recently discovered by the French. 

On the 1st of February, 1773, the vessels were in 48 30' south 
latitude, and 38 7' west longitude, very nearly the parallel at- 
tributed to St. Maurice Island. 

After a fruitless cruise, productive of no results, they were forced 
to conclude, that if there really were land in these latitudes it 
could only be a small island, otherwise it could not have escaped 
their search. 

On the 8th of February, the captain found to his dismay that 
the Adventure was no longer sailing with him. He waited in vain 
for two days, firing at close intervals and keeping great fires 
upon the deck all night. The Resolution had to continue her 
voyage alone. 

On the morning of the 17th of February, between twelve and 
three o'clock, the crew witnessed a magnificent spectacle, then first 
seen by European eyes. It was an aurora borealis. " The officer 
of the watch," says the narrative, " noticed that from time to time 
rays left it in spiral and circular forms, and that then its bril- 
liancy increased, which gave it an extremely beautiful appear- 
ance. It appeared to have no particular bearing, but remained 
motionless in the heavens, which it filled entirely from time to 
time, by throwing its light to all parts." 


After another attempt to pass the arctic circle, an attempt, 
which the fogs, the rain, the snow, and the ice-blocks forced 
him to relinquish, Cook resumed his course to the north, convinced 
that he left no large land behind him, and regained New 
Zealand, which he had agreed upon with the Adventure as a 
rendezvous in the event of separation. 

On the 25th of March he cast anchor in Dusky Bay, after one 
hundred and seventy consecutive days of sea, in which he had not 
made less than three thousand six hundred and sixty leagues, 
without one sight of land. 

As soon as he could find suitable anchorage, the captain has- 
tened to avail himself of the resources for feeding his crew, which 
the country furnished in fowls, fish, and vegetables, whilst he 
himself, generally with the plumb-line in his hand, traversed the 
environs of the bay. He met only a few natives, with whom he 
had little intercourse. But one family becoming somewhat 
familiarized, established itself a hundred yards from the landing- 
place. Cook gave a concert for them, in which the fife and cornet 
were lavished on them in vain, the New Zealanders awarded the 
palm to the drum ! 

On the 18th of April, a chief came on board with his daughter. 
But before entering the ship he rapped her sides with a green 
wand he held in his hand, and addressed an harangue or invoca- 
tion in modulated accents, to the strangers, a very general custom 
with the islanders of the southern sea. Scarcely was his foot on 
deck, when he offered the captain a bit of cloth, and a green talc 
hatchet, an unprecedented act of generosity for a New Zealander. 

The chief visited every part of the ship. In order to testify his 
gratitude to the captain he plunged his fingers into a bag at his 
waist, and offered to anoint his hair with the tainted oil it con- 
tained. Cook had much difficulty in escaping from this proof 
of affection, which had not been very pleasing to Byron in the 
Strait of Magellan, but the painter Hodges was forced to submit 
to the operation, to the amusement of the entire crew. The 
chief then departed, to return no more, taking with him nine 
hatchets, and thirty pairs of carpenter's scissors, which the 
officers had given him. Richer than all the New Zealanders put 
together, he no doubt hastened to stow away his treasures, in the 
fear that some one would deprive him of them. 


Before leaving Cook landed five geese, the last of those he 
had brought from the Cape, thinking that they would multiply in 
this little inhabited spot, and he had a plot of land cleared in 
which ho planted kitchen garden seeds. Thus he worked at the 
same time for the natives and for the future navigators who should 
find precious resources here. 

"When Cook had completed the hydrographical survey of Dusky 
Bay, he started for Queen Charlotte's Sound, the rendezvous 
assigned to Captain Furneaux. 

On the 17th of May the crew witnessed a magnificent spec- 
tacle. Six water- spouts, one of them sixty feet wide at its base, 
were visible a hundred feet from the ship in succession, drawing 
the clouds and sea into communication by their powerful suction. 
This phenomenon lasted three quarters of an hour, and the first 
feeling of fear which it awakened in the breasts of the crew 
was soon merged in one of admiration, the greater as at this 
time such marvels were little known. 

Next day, just as the Resolution entered Queen Charlotte's Sound, 
the Adventure was seen, and proved to have been waiting for six 
weeks. Furneaux, after reaching Yan Diemen's Land on the 
1st of March, had coasted it for seventeen days, but he was 
forced to desist before ascertaining whether it was, as he sup- 
posed, a part of New Holland. The refutation of this error was 
reserved for the surgeon, Bass. On the 9th of April after 
reaching Queen's Charlotte's Sound, the captain of the Adventure 
had profited by his leisure to lay out a garden and to open 
relations with the natives, who had furnished him with irresistible 
proofs of their cannibalism. 

Before he continued his voyage of discovery, Cook followed 
the same line of conduct as at Dusky Bay. He landed a ram and 
a sheep, a goat and a she-goat, a pig and a sow. He also planted 
potatoes, which only existed upon the more southerly of the two 
islands which form New Zealand. 

The natives resembled those of Dusky Bay, but they appeared 
more thoughtless, ran from room to room during supper, and de- 
voured everything that was offered to them. It was impossible to 
induce them to taste wine or brandy, but they were very partial 
to sugar and water. Cook says, 

u They laid hands on all they saw, but they gave up anything 


so soon as we made them understand by signs that we could not, or 
would not give it to them. They particularly admired glass bottles, 
which they called Tawhaw, but when the durability and use of 
iron was explained to them they preferred it to. glass-ware, ribbons, 
or white paper. Amongst them were several women, whose lips 
were covered with little holes, painted a blueish black, whilst vivid 
red formed of chalk and oil, covered their cheeks. Like the natives 
of Dusky Bay, they had small legs and bodies, but thick knees, which 
proves that they take little exercise and sit cross-legged. The 
almost perpetual squatting in their pirogues no doubt also adds 
to these peculiarities. 

" The colour of their skin is clear brown, their hair is very black, 
their faces are round, their nose and lips are somewhat thick but not 
flat, their eyes are black and bright enough, and tolerably expressive. 

" Placed in a row, the natives took off their outer garments, and 
one of them sang a rough sort of song, the others accompanying 
him with gestures. They stretched out their hands, and alternately 
struck their feet against the ground with frantic contortions. 
The last words they repeated in chorus, and we easily distinguished 
a sort of metre, but I am not sure that there was any rhyme ; the 
music was wild and monotonous." 

Some of the New Zealanders begged for news of Tupia, and when 
they heard of his death, they expressed their grief by a kind of 
lamentation plainly artificial. 

Cook did not recognize a single native whom he had met on 
his first voyage. He naturally concluded that the natives who 
in 1770 inhabited the Sound had been chased out, or had gone 
elsewhere of their free will. The number of inhabitants, too, 
was reduced by a third, the (i pah " was deserted, as well as a 
number of cabins along the coast. 

The two ships being ready to return to sea, Cook gave instruc- 
tions to Captain Furneaux. He wished to advance southward 
between 41 to 46 S. lat. up to 140 west longitude, and if he 
found no land, to steer towards Tahiti, which was appointed as 
the place of rendezvous. He then proposed to return to New 
Zealand and survey all the unknown parts of the sea between that 
island and Cape Horn. 

Towards the end of July, after a few days' hot weather, scurvy 
again broke out on board the Adventure. The Resolution escaped 


the scourge, owing to the precautions from which Cook never 
departed for a single day, and the example which he himself 
set of constantly eating celery and scurvy grass. 

On the 1st of July, the two vessels were in S. lat. 25 1', and 
134 6' W. long., " the situation which Carteret attributed to 
Pitcairn Island. Cook endeavoured to find it, but, to his great 
regret, the illness on board the Adventure shortened his cruise. 

He was anxious to verify or rectify the longitude of this island, 
and by so doing, that of all the surrounding lands discovered by 
Carteret, which had not been confirmed by astronomical obser- 
vations. But having no longer any hope of finding an Antarctic 
continent, he set sail for the north-west, and soon reconnoitred 
several of the islands seen by Bougainville. 

" The outlying islands with which the Pacific Ocean abounds 
between the tropics/' he says, " are on a level with the waves in 
the low parts, and raised only a rood or two above them in the 
others. Their shape is often circular. In the centre they contain 
a basin of sea water, and the depth of water all round is not to 
be sounded. They produce little ; cocoa-nuts appear to be the best 
of their productions ; yet in spite of this sterility, and of their 
small extent, most of them are inhabited. It is not easy to con- 
ceive how these little settlements were peopled, and it is not less 
difficult to determine from whence the highest islands of the 
Southern Sea drew their inhabitants/' 

On the 15th of April, Cook reconnoitred Osnaburgh or 
Mairea Islands, discovered by Wallis, and set off for Otaiti-Piha, 
where he intended to embark as many provisions as possible before 
reaching Matavai. 

" At daybreak," says Forster, " we rejoiced in one of those 
beautiful mornings which poets of every country have tried to paint. 
A light breeze brought a delicious perfume from the land, and 
ruffled the surface of the water. The forest -capped mountains 
elevated their majestic heads, over which the rising sun shed his 
beams. Close to us we saw a ridge of hills, of gentler ascent, but 
wooded like the first, and pleasantly intermixed with green and 
brown tints ; below, a plain adorned with breadfruit-trees, and a 
quantity of palms in the background, overshadowing the delightful 
groves. All seemed still asleep. Dawn was but just breaking, 
and the country was wrapped in peaceful darkness. Yet we 

VOL. n. L 


could perceive the houses amid the trees, and the pirogues on 
the shore. Half a mile from the beach, the waves broke over a 
reach of rocks level with the sea, and nothing could equal the 
tranquillity of the interior flow of the harbour. The day-star shed 
its lustre on the plain ; the natives rose, and by degrees added 
life to this charming scene. At the sight of our vessels, several 
launched their pirogues in haste, and paddled towards us, as we 
were happily watching them. We little thought that we were 
going to run into great danger, and that destruction would soon 
threaten the vessels and their crews on this fortunate coast." 

Skilful the writer, happy the painter, who knew how to find 
such fresh and varied colours ! This enchanting picture is con- 
veyed in a few words. One regrets not having accompanied 
this bold sailor, this scientist who so well understood Dame 
Nature ! Unfortunately we could not visit these innocent and 
peaceable inhabitants in that age of gold to which our own 
century offers a painful comparison. 

The vessels were half a league from a reef, when the wind 
fell. In spite of every effort, the ships were driven upon the 
rocks, in the very sight of the much-coveted land, when a clever 
manoeuvre of the captain's, ably seconded by the tide and the land 
breeze, came to their rescue. They had, however, received some 
injuries, and the Adventure lost three anchors. 

The ships were surrounded by a crowd of pirogues, and every 
variety of fruit was exchanged for glass beads. Still the natives 
offered neither fowls nor pigs. Those that were seen near the 
cabins belonged to the king, and they had no right to sell them. 
Several of the Tahitans begged for news of Banks and the 
companions of Cook's earlier voyage. Some also inquired for 
news of Tupea, but they spoke no more of him when they had 
learned the circumstances of his death. 

Next day, the two vessels anchored in the roadstead of Otaiti- 
Piha, two cable-lengths from the shore, and were besieged by 
visitors and traffickers. 

Some profited by the crush to throw the merchandize they had 
already sold into their canoes, that they might sell it over again. 
To put a stop to this trick, Cook drove the perpetrators away, after 
having flogged them, a punishment which they accepted without 

In the afternoon the two captains landed, to examine the water- 

New Zealand utensils and weapons. 

Page 147 


ing place, which they found very convenient. During their 
absence a crowd of natives came on board, and amply confirmed 
the unenviable reputation they had acquired in the earlier records 
of Bougainville and Cook. 

" One of the officers, standing on the quarter-deck," says the 
narrative, " desiring to give a child six years old, in one of the 
pirogues, some glass beads, let them fall into the sea. The child 
at once jumped into the water and dived until he recovered them. 
To reward his skill, he threw other trifles to him, a generosity 
which tempted a crowd of men and women, who amused us by 
their surprising agility in the waves. Their easy attitudes in the 
water, and the suppleness of their limbs, made them like amphi- 
bious animals." 

But the Tahitans who came on board were detected in several 
acts of theft. One of them, who remained for the greater part 
of the day in Cook's bedroom, hastened to jump into the sea, 
and the captain, enraged by his conduct, had shots fired over 
his head. A boat, sent to take the pirogues of the robbers, was 
assailed with stones until it reached the shore, and it was only 
after a discharge of shot that the assailants determined to retreat- 
These hostilities led to no result, the natives came on board as if 
nothing had occurred. 

Cook learned from them that the greater part of his old friends 
from the neighbourhood of Matavai had fallen in a battle between 
the inhabitants of the two peninsulas. 

The officers made many excursions on land. Forster, animated 
by an ardour for botanical research, missed none of them. In one 
of these he witnessed the method employed by the Tahitans in 
preparing their stuffs. 

" We had gone but a few paces," he says, " when a noise from 
the forest struck upon our ears. Following the sounds, we reached 
a little tent, where five or six women sitting upon either side of 
a large square piece of wood, were thrashing the fibrous bark of 
mulberry-trees to fabricate their stuffs. For this purpose they 
used a bit of square wood, with long parallel grooves more or less 
hollowed, according to the different sides. They paused a moment 
to enable us to examine the bark, the hammer, and the beam 
which served them for a table. 

" They also showed us a kind of gum- water in a large cocoa-nut 

L 2 


which they used from time to time to join the various bits of bark 

" This glue, which appears to us to be obtained from the * Hibis- 
cus Esculentus/ is absolutely needful in the fabrication of the 
stuff, which being occasionally two or three yards wide and fifty 
long, are composed of small pieces of the bark. The women 
employed at this work wore very old and ragged clothes and 
their hands were hard and knotted." 

The same day Forster saw a man with very long nails, of 
which he was immensely proud, as proving that he was not 
obliged to work for his bread. In Annam, in China and other 
countries, this singular and ridiculous fashion is common. 
A single finger is kept with a shorter nail, being the one 
used to scratch with, a very frequent occupation in the extreme 

In another of his walks Forster saw a native, who passed his 
days in being fed by his wives, quietly lying upon a carpet of thick 
shrubs. This melancholy person, who fattened without rendering 
any service to society, recalled Sir John Mandeville's anger at 
seeing "such a glutton who passed his days without distinguishing 
himself by any feats of arms, and who lived in pleasure, as a pig 
which one fattens in a sty." 

On the 22nd of August, Cook having learned that King "Wahea- 
tua was in the neighbourhood, and being desirous of seeing him, 
landed with Captain Furneaux, the Forsters, and several natives. 
He met him advancing towards him with a numerous suite, and 
recognized him at once as he had seen him several times in 1769. 

This king was then a child, and was called Te Aree, but he had 
changed his name at the death of his father Waheatua. He made 
the captain sit down on his stool, and inquired solicitously for the 
various Englishmen he had known on the former voyage. Cook, 
after the usual compliments, presented him with a shirt, a hatchet, 
some nails, and other trifles. But of all his presents, that which 
appeared most precious to him, and which excited most cries of 
admiration from his followers, was a tuft of red feathers mounted 
upon iron wire. 

Waheatua, king of Little Tahiti, was about seventeen or eigh- 
teen years of age. Tall and well made, his appearance would have 
been majestic, but for a look of fear and distrust. 

\\ ho passed his clays in being fed by his wives. 

Page 148. 


He was surrounded by several chiefs and noble personages, re- 
markable for their height, and one of whom, tattooed in a peculiar 
manner, was enormously stout. The king, who showed him great 
deference, consulted him every moment. Cook then learned that 
a Spanish vessel had put into Tahiti a few months previously, and 
he afterwards ascertained that it was that of Domingo Buenechea, 
which came from Callao. 

Whilst Etee, the king's confidant, conversed with sjome officers 
upon religious subjects, and asked the English if they had a god, 
Waheatua atoused himself with the captain's watch. Astonished 
at the noise it made, and venting his surprise in the words, "It 
speaks ! " he inquired of what use it was. 

It was explained to him that it told the time, and in that respect 
resembled the sun. Waheatua gave it the name of the " little 
sun/' to show that he understood the explanation. 

The vessels sailed on the morning of the 24th, and were followed 
for a long time by numbers of pirogues bearing cocoa-nuts and 
fruit. Rather than lose this opportunity of obtaining European 
commodities, the natives parted with their wares very cheaply ; a 
dozen cocoa-nuts could be obtained for one glass bead. 

The abundant fresh provisions soon restored the health of all on 
board the vessels, and most of the sailors, who on reaching Osna- 
burgh could scarcely walk, could get about well when they left. 

The Resolution and Adventure reached Matavai Bay on the 26th. 
A crowd of Tahitians soon invaded the deck. Most of them were 
known to the captain, and Lieutenant Pickersgill, who had accom- 
panied Wallis in 1767, and Cook two years later, received a 
warm welcome from them. 

Cook had tents erected for the sick, the sail-menders, and the 
coopers, and then left with Captain Furneaux and the two Forsters 
for Oparree. The boat which took them soon passed a " moral " 
of stones, and a cemetery known as the " moral of Tootahah." 
When Cook called it by this name, one of the natives who accom- 
panied him interrupted him by saying that since Tootahah's death 
it was called Too. 

" A fine lesson for princes, who thus in their lives are reminded 
that they are mortal, and that after their death the earth which 
contains their corpse will not be their own. " The chief and his 
wife removed the upper garments from their shoulders as they 


passed, a mark of respect which natives of all ranks exhibit before 
a ' morai/ as they appear to attach a particular idea of sanctity to 
these places." 

Cook soon gained admittance to the presence of King 0-Too. 
After many compliments he offered him all that he thought he 
had which would please him, because he appreciated the advantage 
this man's friendship would he to him, for his every word showed 
timidity of disposition. 

Tall and well made, the king was about thirty years old. He 
inquired after Tupea and Cook's companions, although he had seen 
none of them. Many presents were distributed to those of his 
cortege who appeared the most influential. 

" The women sent their servants to find large pieces of their 
finest stuffs, tinted scarlet, rose, and straw colour, and perfumed 
with the most odoriferous oil. They placed them over our outer 
clothing, and so loaded us that we could scarcely move." 

-Too paid the captain a visit on the morrow. He only came on 
board after Cook had been enveloped in a considerable quantity of the 
most costly native stuff, and he dared not go below until bis brother 
had first done so. The king and his suite were seated for breakfast, 
at which the natives went into ecstasies over the usefulness of chairs. 
0-Too would not taste anything, but his companions were far from 
following his example. He greatly admired a beautiful spaniel be- 
longing to Forster and expressed a wish to possess it. It was at 
once given to him, and he had it carried behind him by one of his 
lords- in- waiting. After breakfast the captain himself conducted 
0-Too to his sloop, and Captain Furneaux gave him a pair of goats. 
Upon an excursion to the interior, Mr. Pickersgill met the 
aged Oberea, who appeared to have lost all her honours, and she 
was so poor that it was impossible for her to give a present to her 

When Cook left on the 1st of September, a young Tahitian, 
named Poreo, begged to accompany him. The captain consented, 
hoping that he might prove useful. The moment he lost sight 
of land poor Poreo could not restrain his tears. The officers 
comforted him by promising to be like fathers to him. 

Cook directed his course to Huaheine Island, which was only 
twenty-five leagues distant, and anchored there at three in the 
morning. The natives brought quantities of large fowls, which were 

O-Too, King of Otaheile. 
( Fac-simile of early engraving. ) 

Page 150. 


the more acceptable as it had been impossible to obtain any at 
Tahiti. Pigs, dogs, and fruit were in the market, and were ex- 
changed for hatchets, nails, and glass-ware. 

This island, like Tahiti, showed traces of earlier volcanic erup- 
tions, and the summit of one of its hills resembled a crater. 

The appearance of the country is similar to that of Tahiti, but is 
on a smaller scale, for Huaheine is only seven or eight leagues in 

Cook went to see his old friend Orea. The king, dispensing 
with all ceremony, threw himself on the captain's neck, and shed 
tears of joy ; then he presented him to his friends, to whom the 
captain gave presents. 

The king offered Cook all his most precious possessions, for he 
looked upon this man as a father. Orea promised to supply the 
English with all they needed and most loyally kept his word. 
However, on the morning of the 6th the sailors who presided over 
the traffic were insulted by a native covered with red, in war 
dress, and holding a club, who threatened every one. Cook, 
landing at this moment, threw himself on the native, struggled 
with him and finally possessed himself of his weapon, which he 

The same day another incident occurred. Sparrman had im- 
prudently penetrated to the interior of the island to make botanical 
researches. Some natives, taking advantage of the moment when 
he was examining a plant, snatched a dagger, which was the only 
weapon he carried, from his belt, gave him a blow on the 
head, and rushing upon him, tore some of his clothes. Sparrman; 
however, managed to rise and run towards the shore, but, hampered 
by the bushes and briars, he was captured by the natives, who cut 
his hands to possess themselves of his shirt, the sleeves of which 
were buttoned, until he tore the wristbands with his teeth. Others 
of the natives, seeing him naked and half dead, gave him their 
clothes, and conducted him to the market-place,, where there was a 
crowd assembled. When Sparrman appeared in this plight, they all 
took flight, without waiting to be told. Cook at first thought they 
intended to commit a theft. Undeceived by the appearance of the 
naturalist, he recalled the other natives, assured them that he would 
not revenge it upon the innocent, and carried his complaint straight 
to Orea. The latter, miserable and furious at what had occurred, 


loaded his people with vehement reproaches, and promised to do 
all in his power to find out the robbers and the stolen things. 

In spite of the prayers of the natives, the king embarked in 
the captain's vessel, and entered upon a search for the culprits 
with him. The latter had removed their clothes, and for a while it 
was impossible to recognize them. Orea therefore accompanied 
Cook on board, dined with him, and on his return to land was 
received by his people, who had not expected his return, with lively 
expressions of joy. 

"One of the most agreeable reflections suggested by this 
voyage," says Forster, " is that instead of finding the inhabitants 
of this island plunged in voluptuousness, as had been falsely 
affirmed by earlier navigators, we remarked the most humane and 
delicate sentiments among them. There are vicious characters in 
every society, but we could count fifty more sinners in England or 
any other civilized country than in these islands/' 

As the vessels were putting off, Orea came to announce that the 
robbers were taken, and to invite Cook to land and assist in their 
punishment. It was impossible. The king accompanied Cook 
half a league on his way, and left him with friendly farewells. 

This stay in port had been very productive. The two vessels 
brought away more than three hundred pigs, and quantities of 
fowls and fruits. Probably they would not have procured much 
more, even had their stay been prolonged. 

Captain Furneaux had agreed to take a young man named Omai 
on board. His conduct and intelligence gave a favourable idea 
of the inhabitants of the Society Islands. Upon his arrival in 
England this Tahitian was presented to the king by Earl Sand- 
wich, first lord of the Admiralty. At the same time he found 
protectors and friends in Banks and Solander. They arranged 
a friendly reception for him among the first families of Great 
Britain. He lived two years in this country, and upon Cook's 
third voyage he accompanied him, and returned to his native 

The captain afterwards visited Ulietea, where the natives gave 
him the most appreciative welcome. They inquired with interest 
about Tupea and the English they had seen in the Endeavour, 
King Oreo hastened to renew his acquaintance with the captain, 
and gave him all the provisions his island produced. During 


their stay, Poreo, who had embarked in the Resolution, landed 
with a young Tahitan girl, who had enchanted him, and would 
not return on board. lie was replaced by a young man of seven- 
teen or eighteen years of age, a native of Bolabola, named CEdidi, 
who announced his wish to go to England. The grief evinced by 
this native on leaving his native land spoke well for his good heart. 

The vessels, laden with more than four hundred pigs, and also 
with fowls, and fruit, left the Society Islands on the 17th of 
September, and steered for the west. Six days later, one of the 
Harvey Islands was sighted, and on the 1st of October anchor was 
cast off Eoa, called Middelbourg Island by Tasman and Cook. 

The welcome by the natives was cordial. A chief named Taione 
came on board, touched the captain's nose with a pinch of 
pepper, and sat down without speaking. The alliance was con- 
cluded and ratified by the gift of a few trifles. 

Tai-One guided the English into the interior. The new comers 
were surrounded by a dense crowd of natives, offering stuffs and 
mats in exchange for nails as long as the walk lasted. The natives 
often even carried their liberality so far as to decline any return 
for these presents. Tai-One conducted his new friends to his 
dwelling, agreeably situated in a beautiful valley, in the shade of 
some " sadhecks." He served them with a liquor extracted from the 
juice of the " eava" the use of which is common to the Polynesian 
islanders. It was prepared in the following manner : Pieces 
of a root, a species of pepper, were first chewed, and then 
placed in a large wooden vase, over which water was poured. 
As soon as this liquor was drinkable, the natives poured it 
out into cups made of green leaves, shaped into form, and holding 
about half a pint. Cook was the only one who tasted it. The 
method of preparing the liquor had quenched the thirst of his 
companions, but the natives were not fastidious, and the vase was 
soon emptied. 

The English afterwards visited several plantations or gardens, 
separated by intertwined hedges, which were connected by doors 
formed of planks and hung upon hinges. The perfection of 
culture, and the fully developed instinct of property, showed a 
degree of civilization superior to that of Tahiti. 

In spite of the reception he met with, Cook, who could procure 
neither pigs nor fowls, left this island to reach that of Amsterdam, 


called Tonga Tabou by the natives. Here he hoped to find the 
provisions he needed. The vessels soon anchored in the roadstead 
of Yan Dieman, in eighteen fathoms of water, a cable's length 
from the breakers which border the shore. The natives were 
friendly, and brought stuffs, mats, implements, arms, ornaments, 
and soon afterwards pigs and fowls. (Edidi bought some red 
feathers of them with much delight, declaring they would have a 
high value at Tahiti. Cook landed with a native named Attago, who 
had attached himself to him at once. During his excursion, he 
remarked a temple similar to a " moral/' and which was called by 
the generic name of Faitoka. Raised upon an artificial butt, sixteen 
or eighteen feet from the ground, the temple was in an oblong form, 
and was reached by two stone staircases. Built like the homes of 
the natives, with posts and joists, it was covered with palm leaves. 
Two wooden images coarsely carved, two feet in length, occupied 
the corners. 

" As I did not wish to offend either them or their gods," says 
the captain, " I dared not touch them, but I inquired of Attago 
if these were ' Eatuas/ or gods. I do not know if he under- 
stood me, but he instantly handled them, and turned them over 
as roughly as if he had merely touched a bit of wood, which con- 
vinced me that they did not represent a divine being." 

A few thefts were perpetrated, but they did not interrupt 
cordiality, and a quantity of provisions were procured. Before 
leaving, the captain had an interview with a person who was treated 
with extraordinary respect, to whom all the natives accorded the 
rank of king. Cook says, 

" I found him seated, with a gravity of deportment so stupid 
and so dull, that in spite of all they had told me, I took him for 
an idiot, whom the people adored from superstitious motives. I 
saluted him, and talked to him, but he made no reply, and paid 
no attention to me. I was about to leave him, when a native 
made me understand that it was without doubt the king. I 
offered him a shirt, a hatchet, a piece of red stuff, a looking- 
glass, some nails, medals, and glass-ware. He received them, or 
rather allowed them to be placed upon his person or beside him, 
losing nothing of his gravity, and speaking no word, not even 
moving his head to the right or left." 

However, next day, this chief sent baskets of bananas and a 


roast pig, saying that it was a present from the " ariki " of the 
island to the "ariki" of the ship. 

Cook called this archipelago the Friendly Islands. They had 
formerly received various names from Schouten and Tasman, as, 
Cocoa-nut Islands, Traitor Islands, Hope Islands, and Horn 

Cook not having been able to obtain fresh water, was obliged to 
leave Tonga sooner than he wished. He found time, however, 
to make a few observations as to the productions of the country, 
and the manners of the natives. We will mention the most 

Nature had showered its treasures with a liberal hand upon 
Tonga and Eoa Islands. Cocoa-nuts, palm-trees, breadfruit-trees, 
yams, and sugar-canes are most plentiful there. As for edible 
animals, pigs and fowls alone were met with, but dogs if not 
existing there, are known by name. The most delicate fish abounds 
on the coast. Of much the same form as Europeans, and equally 
white, the inhabitants of these islands are well-proportioned and of 
pleasant features. Their hair is originally black, but they are in the 
habit of tinting it with powder, so that white, red, and blue hair 
abounds, which produces a singular effect. Tattooing is a universal 
practice. Their clothes are very simple, consisting of one piece 
of stuff, rolled round the waist, and falling to the knees. The 
women, who at Tonga, as everywhere else, are more coquettish 
than men, make aprons of cocoa-nut fibres, which they ornament 
with shells, and bits of coloured stuffs and feathers. 

The natives have some singular customs, which the English 
had not noticed before. Thus they put everything that is given 
them on their heads, and conclude a bargain with this practice. 
When a friend or relation dies, they slash their limbs, and even 
some of their fingers. Their dwellings are not collected in villages, 
but are separate and dispersed among the plantations. Built 
in the same style as those of the Society Isles, they differ from 
them only in being raised higher above the ground. 

The Adventure and Resolution sailed on the 7th of October, and 
the following day reconnoitred Pylstart Island, discovered by Tas- 
man. On the 21st, anchor was cast in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. 
Cook landed a certain number of animals, which he wished to 
acclimatize, and set sail again to enter Queen Charlotte's Sound, 


but being caught in a great gale, he was separated from the 
Adventure, and did not meet her again until he reached 

On the 5th of November the captain repaired the damages of 
his vessel, and before undertaking a new voyage in the southern 
seas, he wished to ascertain the extent and quality of his pro- 
visions. He reckoned that four thousand five hundred pounds of 
biscuits had been entirely spoiled, and that more than three 
thousand pounds were in scarcely better condition. During his 
stay here, he obtained a new and still more convincing proof 
of the cannibalism of the natives of New Zealand. An officer 
had bought the head of a young man, who had been killed 
and eaten, and some natives seeing it, wished very much for 
a piece, Cook gave it up to them, and the avidity with which 
they threw themselves upon this revolting food, proved the plea- 
sure that these cannibals took in eating food which they have 
difficulty in procuring. 

The Resolution left New Zealand on the 26th of November, and 
entered the glacial regions which she had already traversed ; 
but the circumstances attending her second voyage were dis- 
tressing. The crew, though in good health, were overcome by 
fatigue, and less capable of resisting illness, the more so that they 
had no fresh food on board. 

The Resolution had lost her consort, and the world was con- 
vinced that no Antartic continent existed. It was, so to say, a 
"platonic" voyage. It was necessary to prove beyond the pos- 
sibility of doubt that no new land of any importance was to be 
discovered in these latitudes. 

The first ice was encountered on the 12th of December, and 
farther to the south than in the preceding year. From this date, 
the usual incidents of navigation in these latitudes were repeated 
day by day. (Edidi was quite astonished by the " white rain," as 
he called the snow which fell on his hand, but the sight of the first 
ice was a still greater marvel to him ; he called it " white earth." 

" His mind had been struck by a phenomenon in the torrid 
zone," says the narrative. " As long as the ships remained in 
these latitudes, we had had scarcely any night, and he had seen that 
we could write at midnight by the light of the sun. (Edidi could 
scarcely believe his eyes, and he assured us that his fellow country- 


men would put him down as a liar, if he talked to them of petri- 
fied rain, and of perpetual day." 

The young Tahitan had time to become accustomed to this 
phenomenon, for the ship advanced as far as 76 south, amidst 
floating ice. Then, convinced that if a continent existed the ice 
made access to it impossible, Cook determined to proceed to the 

General dissatisfaction prevailed ; no one on board was free from 
severe colds, or from an attack of scurvy. The captain himself 
was seriously affected by bilious sickness, which kept him in bed. 
For eight days his life was in danger, and his recovery was likely 
to be equally painful and slow. The same route was followed 
until the llth of March, when with the rising of the sun the 
joyful cry of " Land ! land ! " arose. 

It was the Easter Island, of Roggewein's Davis' Land. Upon 
nearing it, the navigators were struck with astonishment, as the 
Dutch had been, by the enormous statues erected on the shore. 
Cook says that the latitude of Easter Island answers very closely 
to that marked in Roggewein's MS. journal, and its longtitude is 
only one degree wrong. 

The shore, composed of black broken rock of ferruginous appear- 
ance, shows traces of violent subterranean eruption. A few 
scattered plantations were perceived in the centre of the island. 

Singular coincidence ! The first word spoken by the natives as 
the strangers approached the shore, was to ask in the Tahitan 
tongue for a rope. This again suggested that the origin of both 
races was the same. Like the Tahitans they were tattooed, and 
clothed in stuffs similar to those of the Society Islands. 

" The action of the sun on their heads/' says the narrative, " has 
forced them to find different means for protecting themselves. The 
greater number of the men wear a circular head-covering about two 
inches thick, twisted with grass from one side to the other, and 
covered with a great quantity of those long, black feathers 
which adorn the frigate bird. Others have enormous hats of 
brown gulls' feathers, almost as large as the wigs of European 
lawyers, and many have a simple wooden hoop, surrounded with 
white gulls' feathers, which wave in the air. The women wear large 
and wide hats of neat plaits, which come to a point in front, 
with a ridge along the top, and two great lobes on either side. 


"The country was a picture of desolation. It was surveyed 
by two detachments, -and was found to be covered with black and 
porous stones. The entire vegetation which could thrive on this 
mass of lava consisted of two or three kinds of rugose grass, which 
grew on the rocks, scanty bushes, especially the paper-mulberry, 
the ' hibiscus/ and the mimosa, and some plantains. . " Close to the 
landing-place is a perpendicular wall, constructed of square stones, 
compactly and durably joined in accordance with art rules, and 
fitting in a style of durability. Further on, in the centre of a well- 
paved area, a monolith is erected, representing a half-naked human 
figure, some twenty l feet high, and more than five wide, very 
roughly hewn. The head is badly designed, the eyes, nose, and 
mouth scarcely indicated, but the ears are very long, as is the 
fashion in this country, and are better finished than the rest." 

These monuments, which are numerous, do not appear to have 
been erected or hewn by the race the English found, or this race 
had degenerated ; for these natives paid no respect to the statues, 
although they treated them with a certain veneration, and objected 
to any one's walking on the pavement near them. 

It was not only on the sea-shore that these enormous sentinels 
were seen. Between the mountains, in the fissures of rocks, others 
existed, some erect or fallen to earth through some convulsion, others 
still imperfectly separated from the block from which they were 
being cut. What sudden catastrophe stopped the works ? 
What do these monoliths represent ? To what distant period do 
these testimonies of the industry of a race long disappeared, or the 
recollection of whom has perished, seem to point ? This problem 
must remain for ever insoluble. 

Traffic proceeded easily. It was only necessary to repress the 
marvellous dexterity of the natives in emptying pockets. The few 
possessions which had been obtained had been very useful, though 
the want of drinkable water prevented Cook remaining long in 
Easter Island. He directed his course to the archipelago of the 
Marquesas of Mendana, which had not been visited since 1595. 
But his vessel had no sooner been put to sea than he was again 

1 In the earlier editions of the French translation of Cook's Voyages (Paris, 
1878, seven 4to vols.), the height of this statue is given as two feet, evidently 
by a typographical error. We now correct this mistake, which has been repeated 
in all subsequent editions. 

Monuments in Easter Island. 
( Fac- simile of early engraving. 

Page 158. 


attacked by the bilious fever, from which he had suffered so severely. 
The sufferers from scurvy relapsed, and all who had undertaken 
long walks across Easter Island had their faces burnt by the sun. 

On the 7th of April, 1774, Cook sighted the Marquesas group, after 
seeking them in vain for five consecutive days in the different posi- 
tions assigned to them by geographers. Anchor was cast at Tao 
"Wati, the Santa Cristina of Mendana. 

The Resolution was soon surrounded by pirogues, the foremost of 
which was full of stones, every man on board having a sling round 
his hand. However, friendly relations were formed, followed by 

" These natives/' says Forster, " are well made, with handsome 
faces, yellowish or tanned complexions, and marks all over their 
bodies, which gives them an almost black appearance. The valleys 
of our harbour were filled with trees, and tallied in every particular 
with the description given by the Spaniards. We saw fire across 
the forests several times, very far from the shore, and concluded 
that the country was well populated." 

The difficulty of procuring food decided Cook upon a hasty 
departure. But he had time to collect some interesting facts 
about the people, whom he considered the handsomest in Oceania. 
These natives appear to surpass all others in the regularity of their 
features. The resemblance in their speech, however, to that of the 
Tahitans, appears to point to a common origin. 

The Marquesas are five in number, Magdalena, San Pedro, 
Dominica, Santa Cristina, and Hood Island, the latter so called 
after the volunteer who first discovered it. Santa Cristina is 
divided by a chain of mountains of considerable elevation, to 
which the hills that rise from the sea lead. Deep, narrow, and 
fertile valleys, filled with fruit-trees, and watered by streams 
of excellent water, intersect this mountain isle. Port Madre 
de Dios, called by Cook Resolution Harbour, is about the centre 
of the eastern coast of Santa Cristina. It contains two sandy 
creeks, into which two streams flow. 



A fresh visit to Tahiti and the Friendly Islands Exploration of New Hebrides 
Discovery of New Caledonia and Pine Island Stay in Queen Charlotte's 
Sound South Georgia^ Accident to the Adventure. 

AFTER leaving these islands, on the 12th of April, and sailing for 
Tahiti, Cook fell in, five days later, with the Pomotou archipelago. 
He landed on the Tioukea Island of Byron. The inhabitants, who 
had cause to complain of earlier navigators, received the advances 
of the English coldly. The latter could only obtain about two dozen 
cocoa-nuts and five pigs, which appeared plentiful in this island. 
In another settlement a more friendly reception was met with. 
The natives embraced the new-comers, and rubbed their noses in 
the same fashion as the New Zealanders. GEdidi bought several 
dogs, the long and white hair of whose skins serves as an ornament 
for cuirasses in his native land. 

Forster relates : 

" The natives told us that they broke up scurvy grass, mixed it 
with shell-fish, and threw it into the sea on the approach of a shoal 
of fish. This bait intoxicated the fish for a time, and when they 
came to the surface it was easy to take them. The captain after- 
wards saw several other islands of this immense archipelago, which 
were similar to those he had left, especially the Pernicious Islands, 
where Roggewein had lost his sloop, the African, and to which 
Cook gave the name of Palliser Islands," 

He then steered for Tahiti, which the sailors, certain of the good- 
will of the natives, regarded as a home. The Resolution cast 
anchor in Matavai Bay on the 22nd of April/* and their reception 
was as friendly as had been anticipated. A few days later, King 
O-Too and several other chiefs visited the English, and brought 
them a present of ten or a dozen large pigs and some fruit. 

Cook's first idea was to remain in this spot only just long enough 


for Mr. Wales, the astronomer, to take observations, but the 
abundance of provisions induced him to prolong his stay. 

On the morning of the 26th, the captain, who had been to 
Oparree with some of his officers, to make a formal visit to the 
king, observed a fleet of more than 300 pirogues, drawn up in 
order on the shore. They were all completely equipped. At the 
same time a number of warriors assembled on the beach. 

The officers' suspicions were excited by this formidable arma- 
ment, collected in one night, but they were reassured by the 
welcome they received. 

This fleet consisted of no less than sixty large double pirogues, 
decorated with flags and streamers, and 170 smaller ones, intended 
for the transport of provisions, and the flotilla was manned with no 
fewer than 7760 men, warriors or paddlers. 

" The sight of this fleet," says Forster, " increased our ideas of 
the power and wealth of this island. The entire crew was 
astonished. When we reflect upon the implements possessed by 
this people, we can but admire the patience and toil necessary 
to cut down these enormous trees, separate and polish the branches, 
and then to carry the heavy constructions to such perfection. 
These works are produced by them by means of a stone hatchet 
and saw, a piece of coral, and the hide of whales. The chiefs, 
and all who occupied a prominent fighting rank, were dressed in 
military style that is to say, in a quantity of stuffs, turbans, 
helmets, and breastplates. The height of some of the helmets was 
most embarrassing to the wearers. The entire equipment 
appeared more appropriate for scenic effect than suitable for a 
battlefield. But, in any case, it added to the grandeur of 
the display, and the warriors did not fail to show themselves with 
a view to the most striking effect. 

" Upon reaching Matavai, Cook learned that this formidable 
armament was destined for an attack upon Eimio, whose chief 
had revolted against the Tahitan yoke, and become inde- 

" During the following days the captain was visited by some 
of his old friends. All showed a desire to possess red feathers, 
which were of considerable value. One only attached more im- 
portance to a glass bead or a nail. The Tahitans were so 
impressed that they offered in exchange the strange mourning 



garments, which they had refused to sell during Cook's first 

" These garments are made of the rarest productions of the 
islands and the surrounding sea, and are worked with care and 
great skill, and no doubt are of great value to themselves. We 
bought no less than ten, which we brought to England." 

(Edidi, who had taken good care to procure some feathers for 
himself, could indulge in any caprice he liked. The natives 
looked upon him as a prodigy, and listened eagerly to his tales. 
The principal personages of the island, and even the king sought 
his society. He married a daughter of the chief of Matavai, and 
brought his wife on board. Every one was delighted to make him 
a present. Finally he decided to remain at Tahiti, where he had 
found his sister married to a powerful chief. 

In spite of the thefts, which more than once caused unpleasant- 
ness, the English procured more provisions on their stay in this 
port than ever before. The aged Oberea, who was like a queen in 
the island during the stay made by the Dauphin in 1767, herself 
brought pigs and fruits, in the secret hope of obtaining red feathers, 
which had so great a success. Presents were liberally given, 
and the Indians were amused with fireworks and military 

Just before he left, the captain witnessed a curious naval review. 
Otoo ordered a sham fight, but it lasted so short a time that it was 
impossible to observe the movements. The fleet was to commence 
hostilities five days after Cook's departure, and he would much 
have liked to have waited for it ; but, fearing the natives might 
suspect him of an attempt to overcome both conquered and 
victors, he determined to leave. 

The Resolution had scarcely left the bay, when one of the gunners, 
seduced by the delights of Tahiti, and possibly by the promises of 
King O-Too, who, no doubt, thought a European might be of use 
to him, threw himself into the sea, but he was soon retaken by a 
boat launched by Cook in his pursuit. 

Cook very much regretted the fact that discipline obliged him 
to act in this way. The man had no relations or friends in 
England, and, had he requested permission to remain in Tahiti, it 
would not have been refused. 

On the 15th, the Resolution anchored in Wharre harbour, in 

Natives of the Marquesas. 

Page 162. 


Huaheine Island. The old chief Orea was one of the first to 
congratulate the English upon their return, and to bring them 
presents. The captain presented him with red feathers, but the 
old chief appeared to prefer iron, hatchets, and nails. He seemed 
more indolent than upon the previous visit. His head was weaker, 
no doubt owing to his immoderate love for an intoxicating drink 
extracted from pepper by the natives. His authority was evidently 
depised, and Cook sent in pursuit of a band of robbers, who had 
not refrained from pillaging the old king himself, and who had 
taken refuge in the centre of the island. 

Orea showed himself grateful for the consideration the Eng- 
lish had always shown him. He was the last to leave the vessel 
before she sailed, on the 24th of April, and when Cook said 
that they should never meet again, he shed tears and replied, 

" Send your children here, we will treat them well/' 

On another occasion, Orea asked the captain where he should 
be buried. " At Stepney/' said Cook. Orea begged him to 
repeat the word until he could pronounce it. Then a hundred 
voices cried at once, " Stepney morai no Toote," " Stepney the 
grave of Cook/' In giving this reply the great navigator had no 
prevision of his fate, or of the difficulty his fellow-countrymen 
would have in finding his remains. 

(Edidi, who at the last moment had accompanied the English to 
Huaheine, had not met with so cordial a welcome as at Tahiti. 
His riches had strangely diminished and his credit suffered in 
consequence. The narrative says, 

" He soon proved the truth of the proverb, that a man is never 
a prophet in his own country. He left us with regrets, which 
proved his esteem for us, and when the moment of separation 
arrived, he ran from cabin to cabin embracing every one. It is 
impossible to describe the mental anguish of the young man when 
he left. He gazed at the vessel, burst into tears, and crouched 
in despair in the bottom of his pirogue. We saw him again, 
stretching out his arms to us, as we left the reefs." 

Cook reconnoitred Hove Island (so called by Wallis) on the 
6th of June. It is named Mohipa by the natives. A few days 
later he found several uninhabited islets, surrounded by a chain 
of breakers, to which he gave the name of Palmer ston, in honour 
of one of the Lords of the Admiralty. 

M 2 


Upon the 20th ' a steep and rocky island was discovered, 
crowned with large woods, and bushes ; the beach was narrow and 
sandy, and several natives of very dark complexion were seen 
upon it. 

They made menacing demonstrations, and were armed with 
lances and clubs. As soon as the English landed they retired. 
Champions, however, advanced, and endeavoured to provoke 
the strangers, assailing them with a storm of arrows and stones. 
Sparrman was wounded in the arm, and Cook just escaped being 
struck by a javelin. A general volley soon dispersed these 
inhospitable islanders, and the uncivil reception which was thus 
accorded well deserved the name bestowed upon their land of Savage 

Four days later Cook reached the Tonga archipelago once 
more. He stopped this time at Nomouka, called Rotterdam by 

He had scarcely cast anchor before the ship was surrounded by a 
crowd of pirogues, filled with bananas and every kind of fruit, 
which were exchanged for nails and old pieces of stuff. This 
friendly reception encouraged the naturalists to land and pene- 
trate to the interior, in search of new plants and unknown pro- 
ductions. Upon their return they enlarged upon the beauty of 
this picturesque and romantic country, and upon the affability 
and cordiality of the natives. 

In spite of it, however, various thefts continued to take place, 
until a more important larceny than usual obliged the captain to 
resort to severity. 

A native, who opposed the seizure of two pirogues by the 
English, as hostages until the stolen arms were restored, was 
wounded severely by a gunshot. During this second visit Cook 
bestowed the name of Friendly Islands upon this group, no doubt 
with a sarcastic meaning. Now-a-days they are better known by 
the native name of Tonga. 

The indefatigable navigator continued his route in a westward 
direction, passed in succession Lepreux, Aurora, Whitsunday and 
Mallicolo Islands, to which archipelago Bougainville had given 
the name of the Grandes Cyclades. 

Cook gave his usual order, to enter into friendly and commercial 
relations with the inhabitants. 

Typical natives of the Sandwich Island? 
( Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 164. 


The first day passed quietly, and the natives celebrated the 
visit of the English by games and dancing, but on the morrow 
an incident occurred which led to a general collision. 

A native, who was refused access to the ship, prepared to 
launch an arrow at one of the sailors. His fellow-countrymen 
at first prevented him. At the same moment Cook appeared on 
deck, his gun in his hand. His first step was to shout to the 
native, who again aimed at the sailor. "Without replying, the 
native was about to let his arrow fly at him, when a shot anticipated 
and wounded him. This was the signal for a general discharge of 
arrows, which struck on the vessel and did but little damage. Cook 
then ordered a gun to be fired over the natives' heads with a view 
to dispersing them. A few hours later the natives again sur- 
rounded the ship, and returned to their barter as if nothing had 

Cook took advantage of these friendly indications to land an 
armed detachment for wood and water. Four or five natives were 
collected on the beach. A chief, leaving the group, advanced to 
the captain, holding in his hand, as Cook also did, a green bough. 
The two branches were exchanged, and peace thus concluded, 
a few slight presents helped to cement it. Cook then obtained 
permission to take wood, but not to go far from the shore, and the 
naturalists, who were anxious to prosecute their investigations in 
the interior, were brought back to the beach, in spite of their 

Iron implements had no value for these people. This made it 
extremely difficult to obtain provisions. Only a few agreed to 
exchange arms for stuffs, and exhibited an honesty in their trans- 
actions to which the English were unaccustomed. 

The exchanges continued after the Resolution, had set sail, and 
the natives hurried in their pirogues to deliver the articles for 
which they had received the price. One of them, after vigorous 
efforts, succeeded in gaining the vessels, carrying his weapons 
to a sailor who had paid for them and forgotten it, it was 
so long ago. The native refused the recompense the sailor 
would have given, making him understand that he had been 
paid already. Cook gave the name of Port Sandwich to this 
harbour of refuge, which he left on the morning of the 23rd of 


He was most favourably impressed by the moral qualities of the 
natives of Mallicolo, but by no means so in regard to their 
physical powers. 

Small and badly proportioned, bronze in colour, with flat faces, 
they were hideous. Had Darwinian theories been in vogue in 
those days, no doubt Cook would have recognized in them that 
missing link between man and monkey, which is the despair 
of Darwin's followers. 

Their coarse, crinkly black hair was short, and their bushy 
beards did not add to their beauty. But the one thing which 
made them most grotesque was their habit of tying a cord tightly 
across the stomach, which made them appear like great emmets. 
Tortoise-shell ear-rings, bracelets made of hogs'-teeth, large tor- 
toise-shell rings, and a white flat stone which they passed through 
the cartilage of the nose, constituted their ornaments. Their 
weapons were bows and arrows, spears and clubs. The points 
of their arrows, which were occasionally two or three in number, 
were coated with a substance which the English thought was 
poisonous, from observing the care with which the natives drew 
them out of a kind of quiver. 

The Resolution had only just left Port Sandwich when all the 
crew were seized with colic, vomiting, and violent pains in the 
head and back. Two large fish had been caught and eaten by 
them, possibly whilst they were under the influence of the nar- 
cotic mentioned above. In every case, ten days elapsed before 
entire recovery. A parrot and dog which had also eaten of the fish 
died next day. Quiros' companions had suffered in the same way, 
and since Cook's voyage similar symptoms of poisoning have been 
noticed in these latitudes. 

After leaving Mallicolo, Cook steered for Ambrym Island, 
which appeared to contain a volcano, and shortly afterwards 
discovered a group of small islands, which he named Shep- 
herd Islands, in honour of the Cambridge Professor of Astro- 

He then visited the Islands of Two Hills, Montagu and Hinchin- 
brook Islands, and the largest of all, Sandwich Island, which 
must not be mistaken for the group of the same name. All the 
islands, lying among and protected by breakers, were covered 
with rich vegetation and were largely populated. 


Two slight accidents interrupted the calm on board. A fire 
broke out, which was soon extinguished, and one of the sailors 
falling overboard, was at once rescued. 

Koro Mango was discovered on the 3rd of August. Next day 
Cook reached its shore, hoping to find a watering-place, and 
facility for landing. The greater part of the sufferers from the 
poisonous fish had not yet recovered their health, and they looked 
forward to its speedy re-establishment on shore. But the reception 
accorded to them by the natives, who were armed with clubs, 
lances, and arrows, seemed wanting in sincerity. 

Cook was on his guard. Finding that they could not lure the 
English into landing, the natives endeavoured to force them. A 
chief and several men tried to snatch the oars from the sailors. 
Cook wished to fire his musket, but the priming would not go 
off. The English were immediately overwhelmed with stones and 
arrows. The captain at once ordered a general volley; fortu- 
nately half of the shots missed, or the slaughter would have been 

Forster says, " These natives appear to be of different race to 
those living in Mallicolo. They speak a different language. The}' 
are of medium height, but well-shaped, and their features are not 
disagreeable. They were bronze in complexion, and they paint 
their faces black or red ; their hair is somewhat woolly and 
curly. The few women I saw appeared very ugly. I have seen 
no pirogues on any part of the coast. They live in houses covered 
with palm-leaves, and their plantations are in straight lines and 
are surrounded by a hedge of reeds." 

It was useless to make a second attempt to land. Cook having 
bestowed the name of Cape Traitor upon the scene of the collision, 
reached an island, which he had seen the previous evening, and 
which the natives called Tanna, 

" The highest hill of the same range is of conical shape," says 
Forster, " with a crater in the centre. It is reddish brown, and 
composed of a mass of burnt stones, perfectly sterile. From time 
to time it emitted a thick column of smoke like a great tree, 
increasing in width as it ascended." 

The Resolution was at once surrounded by a score of pirogues, 
the largest of which contained twenty-five men. The latter 
sought to appropriate everything within their reach, buoys, flags, 


the hinges of the rudder, which they tried to knock off. They only 
returned to the shore after a four-pounder had been fired over 
their heads. 

The vessel made for the shore, but all the trifles that were dis- 
tributed could not induce the natives to relinquish their attitude 
of defiance and bravado. It was clear that the smallest misunder- 
standing would lead to bloodshed. 

Cook imagined these people to be cannibals, although pigs, fowls, 
roots, and fruits abounded. 

During the stay prudence prevented any one leaving the shore. 
Forster, however, ventured a little way and discovered a spring of 
water, so hot that he could not hold his finger in it longer than a 
second. In spite of all their wishes, the English found it impossible 
to reach the central volcano, which emitted torrents of fire and 
smoke as high as the clouds, and projected enormously large stones 
into the air. The number of extinct volcanoes in every direction 
was considerable,' and the soil was decidedly subject to volcanic 
eruptions. By degrees, though without losing their reserve, the 
Tannians became more at home with the strangers, and intercourse 
was less difficult. 

" These people," says Cook, " showed themselves hospitable, 
civil, and good-hearted, when we did not excite their jealousy. 
We cannot blame their conduct greatly, for after all, from what 
point of view can they have judged us ? They could not possibly 
know our real intentions. We entered their country, as they 
dared not oppose us ; we endeavoured to disembark as friends, 
but we landed and maintained our superiority by force of arms. 
Under such circumstances what opinion could the natives form 
of us ? It doubtless appeared far more plausible that we came to 
invade their country, than that we visited them as friends. Time 
only, and intimate relations, could teach them our good in- 

However that might be, the English were at a loss to guess 
why the natives prevented their penetrating to the interior of the 
country. Was it owing to a naturally shy nature ? or possibly 
because they were threatened with constant inroads from their 
neighbours. Their address in the use of arms and their bearing 
supported this idea, but it was impossible to know with any 

The natives had sufficient confidence 

Page 169. 


As the natives did not value anything the English offered, they 
didSiot bring any great quantity of the fruits and roots the latter 
longed for. They would not consent to part with their pigs even 
for hatchets, the utility of which they had proved. 

The productions of the island included bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, 
a fruit like a peach, called " parre/' yams, potatoes, wild pigs, 
nutmegs, and many others of which Forster did not know the 

On the 21st Cook left Tanna, discovered successively, Erro- 
mam and Annatom Islands, and coasted Sandwich Island. He 
passed Mallicolo and Quiros' Land of the Holy Spirit, where he 
easily recognized St. James and St. Philip Bays, and left this 
archipelago after having named it New Hebrides, by which ap- 
pellation it is now known. 

A new discovery was made on the 5th of September. "No 
European foot had ever trodden the soil he now sighted. It was 
the northern extremity of New Caledonia. The first point recog- 
nized was called Cape Colnett, after one of the volunteers who saw 
it first. The coast was bordered by a chain of breakers, behind 
which two or three pirogues appeared to be paddling, so as to 
reconnoitre the new-comers. But at sunrise they brailed their 
sails and were seen no more. 

Having cruised for two hours along the outer reefs, Cook per- 
ceived an opening which he thought would enable him to draw 
near. He steered for it and landed at Balade. 

The country appeared sterile, and uniformly covered with a 
whitish grass. Some trees with white trunks, like the willow in 
shape, were seen here and there. They were " niaoulis." At the 
same time several houses like bee-hives were perceived. 

No sooner was anchor cast than fifteen or more pirogues sur- 
rounded the vessel. The natives had sufficient confidence to 
approach and begin traffic. Some of them even entered the ship, 
and inspected all the various parts of it with extreme curiosity. 
They refused to touch the dishes offered them, stewed peas, 
beef, and salt pork, but they voluntarily tasted the yams. 
They were most surprised at the goats, pigs, dogs, and cats, 
which were so strange to them that they had no words to 
designate them. Nails, all iron implements, and red stuffs, 
appeared precious to them. Tall, strong, and well-proportioned, 


with, curly hair and beard, and of dark chocolate colour, they 
spoke a language which bore no resemblance to any which the 
English had hitherto heard. 

When the captain landed he was received with joyful demon- 
strations, and with the surprise natural to people who are brought 
face to face with objects of which they have had no previous idea. 
Some of the chiefs, enjoining silence, made short harangues, 
and Cook began the usual distribution of ironmongery and 
hardware. His officers mixed with the crowd to make observa- 

Many of the natives appeared afflicted with a kind of leprosy* 
and their arms and legs were greatly swollen. They were all but 
naked, wearing merely a cord tightened to the figure, from which 
hung scraps of stuff made from the fig-tree. A few wore 
enormous cylindrical hats, open on two sides, like the hats of the 
Hungarian hussars. They hung tortoiseshell earrings or rolls of 
the leaves of the sugar-cane in their ears, which were pulled out 
and split. 

The English soon perceived a little village above the man- 
groves which bordered the shore. It was surrounded by sugar-cane 
plantations, yams, and banana-trees, and watered by little canals, 
cleverly diverted from the large river. 

Cook soon discovered that he need expect nothing of this race 
but permission to survey the country. 

" These natives," he says, " taught us a few words of their lan- 
guage, which bore no resemblance to i hat of any other tribe. They 
were mild and peaceable in character, but extremely lazy. 
If we addressed them they replied, but if we continued our way 
seldom joined us in our excursions. If we passed their cabins 
without remark, they took no notice of us. The women were 
slightly more curious, and hid themselves in the bushes to look 
after us, but they would only approach in the company of the 
men. They appeared neither vexed nor alarmed when we shot 
birds. Indeed, if we were near their huts, the young people would 
point them out to us, for the pleasure of seeing us fire. They 
appeared to have very little to do at this time of vear. Having 
tilled the ground, and sown roots and bananas, they awaited 
their crops next summer. 

" Perhaps in this fact lay the explanation of their having no pro- 


visions to offer in traffic, for in other respects we found them fully 
alive to the hospitable instinct which more particularly commends 
the islanders of the southern seas to navigators."" 

Cook's assertion of the indolence of the New Caledonians is per- 
fectly true. But his stay amongst them was too short to enable 
him to appreciate their character thoroughly; and he certainly 
never suspected that they indulged in the horrible practice of 
cannibalism. He noticed no birds living in a wild state there 
excepting quails, turtle-doves, pigeons, turkeys, ducks, teal, and a 
few smaller ones. He could not ascertain the presence of any 
quadrupeds, and he entirely failed in his endeavours to procure 

At Balade the captain made several excursions into the interior, 
and climbed the mountains to gain a general view over the 
country. From the summit of a rock he clearly saw the two coasts 
and ascertained that New Caledonia in this part was only ten 
leagues in width. 

In its general features the country resembled various portions 
of New Holland, which is in the same latitude. The productions 
of both appear to be the same, and there is an absence of brushwood 
in the forests of both. 

Cook also observed the presence of minerals on the hills, and 
his discovery has been verified in late years by the proved 
existence of gold, iron, copper, coal, and nickel. 

A few of the crew met with a similar adventure here to that 
which had been almost fatal to some of them in the neighbourhood 
of Mallicolo. 

Cook relates it thus : " My secretary bought a fish which 
had been harpooned by a native, and sent it to me on board. This 
fish was of an entirely new species, and resembled that known as 
sun-fish, it was of the order called ' tetrodon ' by Linna3us. Its 
head was hideous, wide and long. Never suspecting that it might 
be poisonous, I ordered it to be served at table the same 
evening. Fortunately so much time was consumed in drawing and 
describing it that no time was left for the cooking, and only the 
liver was served. 

" The two Forsters and myself partook of it, and towards 
three in the morning we experienced a sensation of weakness and 
want of power in our limbs. I all but lost the sense of touch, 


and could no longer distinguish light from heavy objects when I 
desired to move them. A pot full of water and a feather appeared 
to me equally heavy. We first resorted to emetics, and afterwards 
we succeeded in inducing perspiration, which relieved us greatly. 
In the morning, a pig which had eaten the entrails of the fish 
was found dead. When the natives came on board, and saw the 
fish hanging up, they made us understand that it was unwholesome. 
They showed their disgust of it, but neither in selling it, or even 
after having been paid for it, had they given the slightest 
hint of such aversion." 

Cook next proceeded to the survey of the greater part of the 
eastern coast. During this excursion he met with a native as white 
as a European. His complexion was attributed to illness. This 
man was an Albino, like those already met with in Tahiti and the 
Society Islands. 

The captain was anxious to acclimatize pigs in New Caledonia, 
but he had the greatest difficulty in inducing the natives to 
accept a hog and a sow. He was forced to insist upon their use- 
fulness, the facility of breeding them, and to exaggerate their value 
before the natives would consent to their being landed. 

Cook describes the New Caledonians as tall, robust, active, 
polite, and peaceable. He gives them the rare character of 
honesty. But his successors in this country, more especially 
Entrecastreaux, discovered to their detriment that they did not 
preserve this quality. Some of them had the thick lips, flat 
nose, and general appearance of the negro. Their naturally curly 
hair added to the resemblance. 

" If I were to guess," says Cook, " at the origin of this people, 
I should take them to be an intermediate race between the 
people of Tanna and the Friendly Islands, or between those of 
Tanna and New Zealand, or possibly between all three, for their 
language is in some respects a sort of mixture of that of these 
different countries." 

The frequency of war amongst them is indicated by the number 
of their offensive weapons, clubs, spears, lances, slings, javelins, &c. 
The stones used for their slings are smooth and oval. Their 
houses are built on a circular plan, most of them being like bee- 
hives, with the roof of considerable height, and terminating in a 
point. They always have one or two fires alight, but as there is 

With the roof of considerable height. 

Page 172. 


only one outlet for the smoke, through the doorway, no Euro- 
pean could live in them. 

They subsisted entirely upon fish and roots, such as yams, and 
the bark of a tree, which was but little succulent. Bananas, sugar- 
canes, and bread-fruit were rare, and cocoa-nuts did not flourish so 
well as in the island previously visited by the English. The num- 
ber of inhabitants appeared considerable. But Cook justly 
remarked that his arrival had brought about a general reunion 
of all the tribes, and Lieutenant Pickersgill decided during his 
hydrographical excursions that the country was sparsely popu- 

The New Caledonians buried their dead. Many of the crew 
visited their cemeteries, and especially the tomb of a chief, which 
was a kind of mound, decorated with spears, javelins, arrows, and 
darts, which were stuck around it. 

Cook left the harbour of Balade, and continued to coast New 
Caledonia, without finding fresh provisions. The aspect of the 
country was universally sterile. But quite to the south of this 
large land a smaller one was discovered, to which the name 
of Pine Island was given, on account of the number of pine trees 
upon it. 

They were a species of Prussian pine, very appropriate for the 
spars needed for the Resolution. Cook accordingly sent a sloop 
and some men to choose and cut the trees he needed. Some of 
them were twenty inches in diameter, and seventy feet high, so 
that a mast could have been formed of one had it been needed. 
The discovery of this island had a certain value, as, with the excep- 
tion of New Zealand, it was the only one in the entire Pacific Ocean 
which produced wood fit for masts and poles. 

In steering southwards towards New Zealand, Cook sighted 
a small uninhabited island on the 10th of October, upon which the 
botanists reaped a plentiful harvest of unknown vegetables. It 
was Norfolk Island, so named in honour of the Howard family. 
It was afterwards colonized by a part of the mutineers of the 

The Resolution anchored again in Queen Charlotte's Sound. 
The gardens so anxiously planted by the English had been 
entirely neglected by the New Zealanders, but in spite of this 
several plants had grown marvellously. 


The natives were very shy of appearing at first, and seemed 
to care little for any intercourse with the strangers ; but when 
they recognized their old friends, they testified their delight 
most extravagantly. When asked why they had been so reserved 
at first, they evaded a reply, and there was no doubt that they 
were thinking of murder and combats. 

This aroused Cook's apprehensions for the fate of the Adven- 
ture, of which he had heard nothing since his last stay in this 
port, but he could obtain no reply to the questions he put. He 
was only to learn what had occurred in his absence, when he 
reached the Cape of Good Hope, and found letters from Captain 

After once more landing some pigs, with which he wished to 
endow New Zealand, the captain set sail for Cape Horn on the 10th 
of November. After a vain cruise, he at last sighted the eastern 
shore of Tierra del Fuego, near the entrance to the Straits of 

" The portion of America which now met our view," says Cook^ 
" was dreary enough. It seemed to be cut up into small islands, 
which though by no means high, were very black, and almost 
entirely barren. In the background, we saw high ground covered 
with snow, almost to the water's edge. It is the wildest shore 
I have ever seen, and appears entirely composed of mountains and 
rocks, without a" vestige of vegetation. The mountains overhang 
horrible precipices, the sharp peaks of which arise to great height. 
Probably there is nothing in nature which presents so wild an 
appearance. The interior mountains are covered with snoWj 
but those bordering the sea are not. We imagined the former to 
belong to Tierra del Fuego, and the latter to be ranged over the 
small islands in such a way as to present the appearance of an 
uninterrupted coast." 

The captain still thought it better to remain some time in this 
desolate region, to procure fresh victuals for his crew. He found 
safe anchorage in Christmas Sound, where as usual, he made a 
careful hydrographical survey. 

Several birds were shot, and Mr. Pickersgill brought three 
hundred sea-gull's eggs and fourteen geese on board. 

" I was thus enabled," says Cook, " to distribute them to the 
entire crew, a fact which gave the greater satisfaction as it was 

View of Christmas Sound. 

Page 174. 


near Christmas. Without this timely supply, they must have con- 
tented themselves with beef and salt pork/' 

Some of the natives, belonging to the nation called " Peche- 
rais" by Bougainville, came on board without any pressing. 
Cook's description of these savages recalls that of the French 
explorer. They preferred the oily portions of the flesh of the 
seals upon which they lived a taste which Cook attributed to 
the fact that the oil warmed their blood, and enabled them to 
resist the intense cold. 

" If/' he adds, " the superiority of a civilized to a savage life 
could ever be called in question, a single glance at one of these 
Indians would be sufficient to settle the question. Until it is 
proved that a man perpetually tortured by the rigour of a 
climate is happy, I shall never give in to the eloquent declamations 
of those philosophers who have never had the opportunity of 
observing human nature in all its phases, or who have not felt 
what they have seen." 

The Resolution at once set sail and doubled Cape Horn. The 
Strait of Lemaire was then crossed, and Staten Island recon- 
noitred. Here a good anchorage was found. Quantities of 
whales abound in these latitudes. It was now their pairing 
season, and seals and sea-lions, penguins and garnets appeared 
in shoals. 

" Dr. Sparman and myself," says Forster, " narrowly escaped 
being attacked by one of these sea-monsters, upon a rock where 
several of them were assembled, appearing to wait the upshot of 
the struggle. The doctor had fired at a bird, and stooped to pick 
it up, when the sea-lion growled, and showing his tusks, seemed 
disposed to attack my companion. From where I was posted I shot 
the animal stark dead, and at the report of my gun the herd, see- 
ing their companion fall, fled along the coast. Several of them 
threw themselves into the sea with such haste, that they jumped 
ten or fifteen roods, straight upon the pointed rocks. But I do not 
think they hurt themselves much, for their skin is very hard and 
their fat is so elastic that it is easily compressed/' 

After leaving Staten Island, Cook set sail on the 3rd of Januarv, 
for the south-east, to explore the only part of the ocean which 
had hitherto escaped him. He soon reached Southern Georgia, 
seen in 1675 by Laroche, and again by M. Guyot Duclos in 1756., 


when in command of the Spanish vessel the Leon. This discovery 
was made on the 14th of January, 1775. The captain landed in 
three places and took possession in the name of King George III. 
of England, bestowing his name upon the newly-found country. 
Possession Bay is bordered by pointed rocks of ice exactly similar 
to those which had been met with in the high southern latitudes. 

" The interior of the country," says the narrative, " is no less 
savage and frightful. The summits of the rocks are lost in the 
clouds and the valleys are covered with perpetual snow. Not a 
tree or even the smallest shrub is to be seen/' 

After leaving Georgia, Cook penetrated further to the south- 
east, amidst floating ice. The continual dangers of the voyage over- 
came the crew. Southern Thule, Saunder's Island, and Chandeleur 
Islands, and finally Sandwich Land were discovered. These 
sterile and deserted archipelagoes have no value for the 
merchant or geographer. Once certain of their existence, it 
was unnecessary to remain, for to do so was to risk in exploring 
them the valuable records the Resolution was taking to England. 

Cook was convinced by the discovery of these isolated islands 
" that near the pole there is a stretch of land, where the greater 
part of the floating ice spread over this vast southern ocean is 
formed." This ingenious theory has been confirmed in every 
particular by the explorers of the 19th century. 

After another fruitless search for Cape Circumcision, mentioned 
by Bouvet, Cook decided to regain the Cape of Good Hope, and 
he arrived there on the 22nd of March, 1775. 

The Adventure had put into this port, where Captain Furneaux 
had left a letter relating all that had happened in New Zealand. 
Captain Furneaux arrived in Queen Charlotte's Sound on the 13th 
of November, 1773, and took in wood and water. He then sent one 
of his boats under Lieutenant Eowe to gather edible plants. As 
the lieutenant did not return on board either in the evening or the 
next morning, Captain Furneaux, feeling sure that an accident had 
happened, sent in search of him. The following is a short 
account of what he learned. 

After various useless searchings, the officer in command of the 
sloop came upon some traces, as he landed upon the shore, near 
Grass Creek. Portions of a boat and some shoes, one of which 
had belonged to an officer of the watch, were found. A sailor, at 


the same time, noticed a piece of fresh meat, which was taken to be 
the flesh of a dog, for it was not known then that the people of the 
place were cannibals. " We opened." says Furneaux, " about 
eight baskets which we found on the beach, tightly corded. Some 
were full of roast flesh, and others of roots used by the natives for 
bread. Continuing our search, we found more shoes, and a hand, 
which we recognized as that of Thomas Hill, because T. H. was 
tatooed upon it in the Tahitan fashion. 

" At a short distance an officer perceived four pirogues and a 
number of natives, assembled round a large fire. The English 
landed and fired a regular volley, which put the Zealanders 
to flight, with the exception of two, who left with the greatest 
sang-froid. One of them was severely wounded, and the sailors 
advanced up the beach. 

"A frightful scene was soon presented before our eyes. 
"We saw the heads, hearts, and lungs of many of the crew upon 
the sands, and at a little distance dogs were devouring the 

The officer had not a sufficient force with him, being backed 
by only ten men, to meet this fearful massacre with fitting ven- 
geance. The weather, too, became bad, and the savages collected 
in large numbers. It was necessary to regain the Adventure. 

" I do not believe," says Captain Purneaux, " that this butchery 
was premeditated on the part of the natives, for in the morning 
Mr. Howe said that he observed two vessels pass us, and remain 
all the forenoon in sight of the ship. The bloodshed was most likely 
the result of a quarrel which was instantly fought out, or possibly as 
our men took no measures for their own safety, their want of caution 
tempted the Indians." 

The natives having heard one discharge, were encouraged by 
observing that a gun was not an infallible instrument, that it 
sometimes missed fire, and that once fired it was necessary to reload 
before firing again. 

In this fearful ambuscade the Adventure lost ten of her best 

Furneaux left New Zealand on the 23rd of December, 1773, 
doubled Cape Horn, put into the Cape of Good Hope, and reached 
England on the 14th of July, 1774. 

After Cook had taken in provisions and repaired his vessel, 
VOL. ii. N 


he left False Bay on the 27th of May, put into St. Helena, 
Ascension Island, and Fernando de Noronha, at Fayal, one 
of the Azores, and finally at Plymouth, on the 29th of July, 
1775. During his voyage of three years and eighteen days, he 
had only lost four men, that is to say, without reckoning the ten 
sailors who were massacred at New Zealand. 

No former expedition had reaped such a harvest of discoveries 
and hydrographical, physical, and ethnological observations. The 
learned and ingenious investigations pursued by Cook elucidated 
many of the difficulties of earlier navigators. He made various 
important discoveries, amongst others, that of New Caledonia and 
Easter Island. The non-existence of an antarctic continent was 
definitely ascertained. The great navigator received the fitting 
reward of his labours almost immediately. He was nominated 
ship's captain nine days after his landing, and was elected a member 
of the Royal Society of London on the 29th of February, 1776. 



Search for the lands discovered by the French Kerguelen Islands Stay at 
Van Diemen's Land^Queen Charlotte's Strait Palraerston Island Grand 
rejoicings in the Tonga Islands. 

AT this date the idea which had sent so many explorers to Green- 
land was in full force. The question of the existence of a northern 
passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific, by way of the 
Asiatic or American coasts, was eagerly discussed : and 
should such a passage exist, was it practicable for ships ? The 
attempt had quite lately been made, to discover this outlet in 
Hudson or Baffin Bays, and it was now determined to seek it in 
the Pacific. 

The task was an arduous one. The Lords of the Admiralty felt 
that it was essential to send out a navigator who had experience of 
the dangers of the Polar Seas, and one who had shown presence of 
mind in the face of danger ; one moreover, whose talents, ex- 
perience, and scientific knowledge might be of use in the powerful 
equipment then in course of preparation. 

In Captain Cook alone were all the requisite qualities to be found. 
The command was offered to him, and although he might have 
passed the remainder of his days in peace at his post in the Green- 
wich Observatory, in the full enjoyment of the honour and glory 
he had gained by his two voyages round the world, he did not 
hesitate for a moment. 

Two ships, the Resolution and the Discovery, were placed under 
his command. The latter was under the orders of Captain Clerke ; 
and the equipment of both was similar to that of the last expedi- 

The instructions given to the commander of the expedition, 

N 2 


enjoined his reaching the Cape of Good Hope, and steering south 
in search of the islands recently discovered by the French, in 48 
degrees of latitude, towards the meridian of the island of Mauri- 
tius. He was then to touch at New Zealand, if he thought well, 
to take in refreshments at the Society Islands, and to land the 
Tahitan Mai there ; then to proceed to 'New Albion, to avoid 
landing in any of the Spanish possessions in America, and from 
thence to make his way by the Arctic Ocean to Hudson and 
Baffin Bays. In other words he was to look in an easterly direc- 
tion for the north-west passage. This once effected, after a stay 
at Kamschatka, he was to make another attempt to reach 
England by the route he might judge most productive of good 
results for geography and navigation. 

The two vessels did not start together. The Resolution set sail 
from Plymouth on the 12th of July, 1776, and was rejoined at 
the Cape by the Discovery on the 10th of the following November, 
she having left England only on the 1st of August. 

The two ships were detained at the Cape until the 30th of 
November, by the repairs needed by the Discovery. Much damaged 
by tempest, she required calking. The captain profited by 
this long delay, to buy live stock, which he intended to land at 
Tahiti and New Zealand, and also to stock his vessels with the 
necessary stores for a two-years' voyage. 

After steering southwards for twelve days, two islands were 
discovered in 46 53' south latitude, and 37 46' east longitude. 
The strait which separates them was crossed, and it was found 
that their steep sterile coasts were uninhabited. They had been 
discovered with four others, from nine to twelve degrees further east, 
by the French Captains Marion-Dufresne and Crozet, in 1772. 

On the 24th of December, Cook found the islands which M. de 
Kerguelen had surveyed in his two voyages of 1772, 1773. 

We will not here relate the observations made by Cook upon 
this group. As they agree in every particular with those of M. 
de Kerguelen, we can reserve them until we relate the adventures 
of that navigator, and content ourselves with remarking that 
Cook surveyed the coasts carefully, and left them on the 31st of 
December. The vessels were enveloped in a thick fog, which 
accompanied them for more than 300 leagues. 

Anchor was cast in Adventure Bay, in Van Diemen's Land, on 

Kerguelen Islands. 

Page 180. 


the 26th of January. It was the same spot at which Captain 
Furneaux had touched four years earlier. The English were 
visited by a few natives, who received the presents offered to them, 
without showing any satisfaction. 

The narrative says, 

" They were of ordinary height, but rather slightly built. Their 
skin was black and their hair of the same colour, and as woolly as 
that of the negroes of New Guinea, but they had not the thick 
lips or flat noses of African negroes. There was nothing dis- 
agreeable in their features, and their eyes struck us as beautiful, 
so. did their teeth, but they were very dirty. Most of them 
anointed their hair and beards with a yellow ointment, and some 
even rubbed their faces with the same stuff." 

Concise as this account is, it is not the less valuable. The race 
of Tasmanians is extinct, the last of them died a few years ago. 

Cook weighed anchor on the 30th of January, and took up his 
station at his usual point in Queen Charlotte's Strait. The vessels 
were soon surrounded by pirogues, but not a single native ventured 
to go on board, they were so fully persuaded that the English had 
come to avenge their murdered comrades. Once convinced that 
the English had no such intention, they banished their mistrust and 
reserve. The captain soon found out by Mai's interpretation 
(he understanding the Zealand tongue) the right cause of this 
terrible catastrophe. 

It appeared that the English had been seated on the grass, taking 
their evening meal when the natives committed several thefts. 
One of them was caught and struck by a sailor. At his cry, his 
companions rushed upon the sailors of the Adventure, who killed two 
of them, but unfortunately succumbed to numbers. Several of 
the Zealanders pointed out to Cook the chief who had directed the 
carnage, and urged Cook to kill him. But to the great surprise of 
the natives and the stupefaction of Mai, the captain refused. 

Mai remarked, " In England they kill a man who assassinates 
another ; this fellow killed ten, and you take no revenge ! " 

Before he left, Cook landed pigs and goats, hoping that these 
animals might at length become acclimatized to New Zealand. 

Mai had a wish to take a New Zealander to Tahiti. Two 
offered to go, and Cook agreed to receive them, warning them at 
the same time that they would never see their native land again. 


But no sooner had the vessels lost sight of the shores of New Zea- 
land than they began to weep. Sea-sickness added to their distress. 
But as they recovered from it their sadness disappeared, and they 
soon attached themselves to their new friends. 

An island named Mangea was discovered on the 29th of March. 
At Mar's representations the inhabitants decided to come on board. 
Small, but vigorous and well-proportioned, they wore their hair 
knotted upon the top of the head. They wore long beards, and 
were tatooed in all parts of their bodies. Cook could not carry 
out his earnest wish to land, as the people were too hostile. 

A new island, similar to the last, was discovered four leagues 
further on. The natives appeared more friendly than those of 
Mangea, and Cook profited by this fact, and landed a detach- 
ment under Lieutenant Gore, with Mai as interpreter. Anderson, 
the naturalist, an officer named Ba'rnes, and Mai landed alone and 
unarmed, running the risk of being maltreated. 

They were received with solemnity, and conducted through a 
crowd of men, with clubs on their shoulders, to the presence of 
three chiefs, whose ears were adorned with red feathers. They 
soon perceived a score of women, who danced in a grave and 
serious fashion, paying no attention to their arrival. 

The officers were separated from each other, and observing that 
the natives hastened to empty their pockets, they began to enter- 
tain fears for their safety, when Mai reappeared. They were 
detained all day, and forced several times to take their clothes off, 
and allow the natives to examine the colour of their skin ; but 
night arrived at last, without the occurrence of any disagreeable 
incident. The visitors regained their sloop, and cocoa-nuts, 
bananas, and other provisions were brought to them. 

The English may have owed their safety to the description Mai 
had given of the power of their weapons, and the experiment he 
made before them of setting fire to a cartridge. 

Mai had recognized three of his fellow-countrymen in the crowd 
on the beach. 

These Tahitans had started in a pirogue to reach Ulitea Island, 
and had been driven out of their course by contrary winds. As 
they expected a short voyage, they had not provided themselves 
with food. Famine and fatigue had reduced their number to four 
men, all of them half dead, when the pirogue capsized. The un- 


fortunate wretches managed to seize the side of their boat and 
support themselves in the water until they were picked up by the 
inhabitants of this island, Wateroo. It was now twelve years 
since fate threw them upon this shore, more than two hundred 
leagues from their native island. They had contracted family 
ties and friendly alliances with these people, whose manners and 
language were not unlike their own. They refused to return to 

Cook says, " We may find in this incident a better explanation 
of the way in which detached portions of the globe, and particularly 
the islands of the Pacific, have been peopled, than in any theories ; 
especially in regard to those which are far from any other 
continent, and at a great distance from each other." 

Wateroo Island is situated in 20 1' south latitude, and 201 45' 
east longitude. 

The two vessels afterwards reached a neighbouring island called 
Wenooa, upon which M. Gore landed to get fodder. Although 
the ruins of houses and tents were seen, it was uninhabited. 

On the 5th of April, Cook arrived in sight of Harvey Island, 
which he had discovered during his second voyage in 1773. At 
that time it appeared to him deserted. He was, therefore, as- 
tonished to see several pirogues leave the shore and approach 
the ships. But the natives could not find courage to go on board. 

Their fierce appearance and noisy offers did not promise well 
for their friendly intentions. 

Their language was still more like that of Tahiti, than that of 
the last islands they had visited. 

Lieutenant King was sent in search of good anchorage, but 
could not succeed in finding a suitable harbour. The natives, 
armed with spears and clubs, appeared disposed to resent any 
attempt at landing. 

Cook, in his great need of wood and water, determined to reach 
the Friendly Islands. He was sure of finding refreshments for his 
men and forage for his beasts there. The season was too far 
advanced, and the distance between these latitudes and the pole 
too great to allow of anything being attempted in the southern 

The wind obliged him to relinquish his idea of reaching Middle- 
bourgh or Eoa, as he had at first intended. He therefore, directed 


his course towards Palmerston Island, where he arrived on the 
14th of April, and where he found birds in abundance, scurvy 
grass, and cocoa-nuts. This island was merely a collection of nine 
or ten islets, very slightly raised, appearing almost like the points 
of reefs, belonging to one coral bank. 

The English reached Komango Island on the 28th of April, and 
the natives brought them quantities of cocoa-nuts, bananas, and 
other stores. 

They then proceeded to Annamooka, which is also part of the 
Tonga, or Friendly archipelago. 

On the 6th of May, a chief of Tonga Tabou, named Finaou, 
visited Cook. He called himself king of all the Friendly Islands. 

" I received," says Cook, " a present from this great personage 
of two fish, which were brought to me by one of his servants. 
I paid him a visit after dinner. He came to meet me as soon as 
he saw me land. He appeared some thirty years of age, tall and 
of slender form, and I have met no countenance in these islands 
so European in ' type.' ' 

When all the provisions of this island were exhausted, Cook 
visited a group of islets called Hapaee, where his reception was 
friendly, owing to the orders given by Finaou, and where he 
procured pigs, water, fruits, and roots. Some of the native war- 
riors exhibited their skill in various singular combats, with clubs 
and boxing. 

" What most surprised us," says the narrative, " was to see two 
great women enter the lists, and attack each other with their fists, 
without the least ceremony, and with as much skill as the men. 
Their fight lasted about half a minute, when one of them declared 
herself beaten. The victorious heroine received as much applause 
from the assembled multitude as is usually accorded to a man 
who has overcome his rival by his skill and address." 

There was no cessation of the fetes and games. A dance was 
executed to the sound of two drums, or rather of two hollow trunks, 
by a hundred and five performers, supported by a vocal choir. 
Cook reciprocated these demonstrations by putting his soldiers 
through their artillery exercises, and letting off fireworks, which 
produced indescribable astonishment in the minds of the natives. 

Not wishing to be out-done in the attempt at display, the 
natives gave a concert, and then a dance, executed by twenty 


women crowned with China roses. This magnificent ballet was 
followed by another performance by fifteen men. But we shall 
never end, if we attempt to give an account of the wonders of this 
enthusiastic reception. It justly gained for the Tonga archipelago 
the name of Friendly Islands. 

On the 23rd, Finaou, who had represented himself as king of 
the entire archipelago, came to inform Cook of his departure for 
the neighbouring island of Vavaoo. He had excellent reasons for 
this, as he had just heard of the arrival of the real sovereign, 
named Futtafaih or Poulaho. 

Cook at first refused to recognize the new-comer in this cha- 
racter, but he soon had irrefutable proof that the title of king 
belonged to him. 

Poulaho was extremely stout, which with his short height made 
him look like a barrel. If rank is proportioned to size in these 
islands, he was without exception the greatest chief the English 
had met with. Intelligent, grave, and dignified, he examined the 
vessel and everything that was new to him in detail, put judicious 
questions, and inquired into the motives of the arrival of these 
vessels. His followers objected to his descending below decks, 
saying it was " tabu" and that it was not allowed for any one 
to walk over his head. Cook, however, promised through the 
interpreter Mai that no one should be allowed to walk over his 
cabin, and so Poulaho dined with the captain. He ate little and 
drank still less, and invited Cook to land with him. The marks 
of respect lavished upon Poulaho by all the natives, convinced 
Cook that he had been entertaining the real sovereign of the 

On the 29th of May, Cook set sail on his return to Annamooka, 
thence to Tonga Tabou, where a feast or " keiva," more magnificent 
than any he had seen, was given in his honour. 

" In the evening," he said, " we had the spectacle of a * bomai, 3 
that is to say, the dances of the night were performed in front 
of Finaou's house. We saw twelve dances during the time. 
They were executed by women, and in the midst of them we 
noticed the arrival of a number of men, who formed a ring within 
that of the dancing women. Twenty-four men, who executed a 
third, made a movement with the hands, which was greatly 
applauded, and which we had not previously seen. The orchestra 


was renewed once. Finaou appeared upon the scene at the head 
of fifty dancers, most magnificently apparelled. His garment 
consisted of cloth and a large piece of gauze, and round his neck 
small figures were suspended." 

Cook, after a stay of three months, thought it well to leave these 
enchanting islands, he distributed a share of the cattle he had 
bought at the Cape, and explained, through Mai, the way to feed 
them, and their utility. Before leaving, he visited a cemetery or 
" Fiatooka," belonging to the king, composed of three good-sized 
houses, placed on the edge of a sort of hill. The planks of these 
buildings, and the artificial hills which supported them, were 
covered with pretty movable pebbles, and flat stones, placed erect, 
surrounded the whole. 

" One thing which we had not previously seen, was that the 
buildings were open on one side, and within there were two 
wooden busts, roughly carved, one at the entrance, and the other 
a little within. The natives followed us to the door, but dared 
not pass the threshold. We asked them the meaning of the 
busts : they assured us that they did not represent any divinity, 
but were intended to recall two chiefs who were buried in the 
' Fiatooka.' " 

Leaving Tonga Tabou on the 10th of July, Cook repaired to 
the small of Eoa, where his old friend Tai-One received him 
cordially. The captain learned from him that the property of the 
various islands in the archipelago belonged to the chiefs of Tonga 
Tabou, which was known as the land of the chiefs. Thus Poulaho 
had a hundred and fifty islands under his rule. The most im- 
portant are Yavao and Hamao. As for the Yiti Islands, 
which are comprised in this number, they were inhabited by a 
warlike race, very superior in intelligence to those of the Friendly 

We can only refer to some of the many and interesting par- 
ticulars collected by the captain and the naturalist Anderson, 
which relate to the gentleness and docility of the natives. 

Cook could do nothing but praise the welcome accorded to him, 
each time he stayed in the archipelago. But then he did not 
guess the project entertained by Finaou, and the other chiefs, of 
assassinating him during the nocturnal feast of Hapaee, and of 
seizing his vessels. 

Fete in Cook's honour at Tonga. 



The navigators who succeeded him were not lavish in their 
praises, and if we did not know his sincerity, we should be tempted 
to think that the illustrious mariner gave the name of Friendly 
Islands to this group satirically. 

The inhabitants of Tonga Island always mourned the death 
of a relation, by hitting themselves on their cheeks, and by 
tearing them with whale's teeth, a custom which explains the 
many tumours and cicatrices they have on the face. If their 
friends are dangerously ill, they sacrifice one or two joints of 
their little finger, to propitiate the divinity, and Cook did not 
meet with one native in ten who was not mutilated. 

The expression " tabu/' he says, " which plays so great a part 
in the language of this people, has a very wide significance. When 
they are not allowed to touch anything they say it is tabu. They 
also told us that if the king enters a house belonging to one 
of his subjects, the house becomes 'tabu/ and the owner of it 
may not live in it any longer/' 

Cook fancied he had made out their religion. Their principal 
god was Kallafoutonga, and in his anger, he destroys plantations 
and scatters illness and death. The religious ideas of all the 
islands are not alike, but the immortality of the soul is una- 
nimously admitted. Although they do not offer fruit or other 
productions of the earth to their divinity, they sacrifice human 

Cook lost sight of the Tonga Islands on the 17th of July, and 
the expedition arrived in sight of an island called Tabouai by the 
inhabitants, upon the 8th of April, after a series of tempestuous 
winds which caused serious damage to the Discovery. All the 
eloquence of the English failed to bring the natives on board. 
Nothing would induce them to leave their boats, and they con- 
tented themselves with inviting the strangers to visit them. But 
as time pressed, and Cook had no need of provisions, he passed 
the island without stopping, although it appeared to him fertile, 
and the natives assured him that it abounded in pigs and fowls. 
Strong, tall, and active, the natives had a hardy and savage 
appearance. They spoke the Tahitan language, which made 
intercourse with them easy. 

Some days later, the verdant summits of Tahiti appeared on the 
horizon, and the two vessels were not slow in stopping opposite 


the peninsula of Tairabon, where the welcome Mai received from 
his compatriots was as indifferent as possible. His brother-in-law, 
chief Outi, would scarcely consent to recognize him, but when 
Mai showed him the treasures he brought back, amongst them all 
the famous red feathers, which had been so successful in Cook's 
last voyage, Oati changed his demeanour, treated Mai affably, and 
proposed to change names with him. 

Mai was overcome by these demonstrations of tenderness, and, 
but for Cook's interference, would have been robbed of all his 

The ships were well supplied with red feathers. Therefore 
fruits, pigs, and fowls appeared in great abundance during the stay 
in port. Cook, however, soon proceeded to Matavai Bay, where 
King Otoo left his residence at Pane, to pay his old friend a visit. 
Mai was disdainfully received by his friends there also, and although 
he threw himself at the king's feet, when he presented him with 
a tuft of red feathers, and three pieces of gold cloth, he was 
scarcely noticed. But as at Taqabou, the treatment changed 
suddenly upon the discovery of Mai's fortune, but he being only 
happy in the company of vagabonds, who laughed at him good- 
naturedly, even while they robbed him, was unable to acquire the 
influence over Otoo, and the principle chiefs, which was necessary 
to the development of civilization. 

Cook had long heard that human sacrifices were common in 
Tahiti, but he had always refused to believe it. A solemn ceremo- 
nial which he saw at Atahour, no longer allowed him to doubt 
the existence of the practice. In order to gain the favourable 
assistance of the Atoua or Godon in an expedition against the island 
of Eimeo, a man of the lowest social rank was killed by blows 
with clubs in the king's presence. As an offering the hair and 
one eye of the victim was placed before the king ; last signs of 
the cannibalism which formerly existed in this archipelago. 
At the end of this barbarous ceremony, which was a blot in 
the memoirs of so peaceable a people, a king-fisher alighted in 
the foliage. " It is Atoua ! " cried Otoo, delighted at the happy 

Next day the ceremony was to be continued by a holocaust of 
pigs. The priests, like the Roman augurs, sought to read the 
history of the expedition in the dying struggles of the victims. 

Human sacrifice at Tahiti. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 188. 


Cook, who had silently assisted at the ceremony, could not 
conceal the horror with which it inspired him. Mai interpreted 
for him, eloquently and forcibly. Towha could scarcely contain 
his anger. 

' ' If the king had killed a man in England," said Mai, " as he has 
done the unhappy and innocent victim he has offered to his gods, it 
would have been impossible to save him from hanging, a punishment 
reserved for murderers and assassins." Mai's severe reflection was 
a little out of place, Cook should have remembered that manners 
vary with countries. It is absurd to attempt to apply to Tahiti, 
as punishment for that which is their custom, a punishment 
reserved in London for what is considered a crime. " Every 
man's house is his cattle/' says a popular proverb, which European 
nations have too often forgotten. Under the pretext of civilization, 
they have often shed more blood than would have flowed if they 
had not interfered. 

Before he left Tahiti, Cook bestowed all the animals he had had 
so much difficulty in bringing from Europe upon Otoo. They were 
geese, ducks, turkeys, goats, sheep, horses, and cattle. Otoo was 
at a loss to express his gratitude to the " Areeke no Pretonne," 
(King of Britain) especially when he found that the English could 
not take a large pirogue on board which he had constructed as an 
offering for his friend the King of England, it being too large. 

The Resolution and the Discovery left Tahiti on the 30th of 
September, and anchored at Eimeo. 

In this place their stay was marked by a painful incident. 
Frequent thefts had occurred for several days, when a goat was 
stolen. To make an example, Cook burnt five or six cabins, and 
set fire to a large number of pirogues, threatening the king with 
his anger if the animal were not immediately produced. As soon 
as he had obtained satisfaction the captain started for Huaheine 
with Mai who was to settle on that island. 

A sufficiently large space of land was ceded by the chiefs of the 
Ouare settlement in return for such presents. Upon this Cook 
had a house built, and planted a garden, where he planted European 
cabbages. Mai was left with two houses, two goats, and fowls. At 
the same time he was presented with a present of a coat of mail, of 
a complete set of armour, powder, balls, and guns. A portable 
organ, an electrical machine, fireworks, and domestic and agricul- 


tural implements completed the collection of useful and ornamental 
presents intended to give the Tahitans an idea of European civiliza- 
tion. Mai had a sister married at Huaheine, but her husband 
occupied too humble a position for him to attempt to despoil him. 
Cook then solemnly declared that the native was his friend, and that 
in a short time he should return to ascertain how he had been 
treated, and that he should severely punish those who had acted 
badly to him. 

His threats were likely to be effective, as a few days earlier, some 
robbers, caught in the act by the English, had had their heads 
shaved and their ears cut. A little later at Raiatea, in order to 
force the natives to send back some deserters, Cook had carried off 
the entire family of the chief Oreo on one rope. 

The moderation exhibited by the captain in his first voyage, 
constantly diminished ; every day he became more severe and 
exacting. This change in his conduct was fatal to him. 

The two Zealanders who had asked to accompany Mai were 
landed with him. The elder readily consented to live at Huaheine, 
but the younger conceived such an affection for the English, that 
it was necessary to use force, as it were, to land him, amid the 
most touching demonstrations of affection. At the last moment 
as anchor was weighed Cook bid farewell to Mai, whose expression 
and tears testified to his comprehension of all he was to lose. 

Although Cook left satisfied with having loaded the young 
Tahitan who had trusted himself to him with benefits, he was 
also full of anxious fears as to his future. He knew his light and 
inconstant character, and he left him weapons with some regret, 
fearing that he might make a bad use of them. The King 
of Huaheine gave Mai his daughter in marriage and changed 
his name to Paori, by which he was afterwards known. Mai 
profited by his high station to show his cruelty and inhumanity. 
Always armed, he began to try his skill with pistol and gun upon 
his fellow-countrymen. His memory therefore is hated in 
Huaheine, and the memory of his crimes was for a long time 
associated with that of the English. 

Cook visited Raiatea before leaving the island. He found his 
friend Oree deprived of supreme authority. Then he went to 
Bolabole on the 8th of December, and bought of the King Pouni 
an anchor, which Bougainville had lost in the roadstead. 

Tree, from beneath which Cook observed the transit of Venus. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

a%e 190. 


During his long sojourns in the different islands of the Society 
archepelago, Cook completed his geographical, hydrographical, and 
ethnological investigations, as well as his studies of natural history. 

In this difficult task he was seconded by Anderson, and by his 
entire staff, who invariably showed the greatest zeal in their efforts 
for the advancement of science. 

On the 24th of December Cook discovered another low island. 
It was uninhabited and the crew obtained abundance of turtle 
there. It was named Christmas Island, in honour of the solemn 
anniversary of the morrow. 

Although seventeen months had passed since he left England, 
Cook considered his voyage as only begun. Indeed he had not as 
yet been able to put the part of his instructions relating to the 
exploration of the Southern Atlantic and the search for a north 
passage, into execution. 



Discovery of the Sandwich Islands Exploration of the Eastern shore of 
America From thence to Behring Straits Keturn to the Hawain Group 
History of Keno Death of Cook Keturn of the Expedition to England. 

ON the 18th of January, 1778, in longitude 160 and latitude 
20 north, the two vessels perceived the first islands of the Sand- 
wich or Hawain archipelago. 

It did not take long to convince the navigators that they were 
inhabited. A large number of pirogues left Atooi or Tava'i Island 
and surrounded the ships. 

The English were not a little surprised at hearing these natives 
speak in the Tahitan language. On this account the intercourse 
between them was soon friendly, and next day numbers of the 
islanders agreed to go on board. They showed their astonish- 
ment and admiration, at the sight of so many unknown objects, 
by their looks, gestures, and continual exclamations. Iron they 
were acquainted with, and called "hamaite." 

But their covetousness was soon excited by so many curiosities 
and precious things, and they tried to appropriate them both by 
honest and by illicit means. 

Their cleverness and their taste for thieving was as keen as is 
usual with the natives of the southern seas. It was necessary to 
take a thousand precautions, and they were often taken in vain, to 
guard against their larceny. The English, when they approached 
the shore, under charge of Lieutenant Williamson, to sound and 
search for anchorage, were forced to repulse the attempts of the 
natives by force. The death of one of them repressed their turbu- 
lence in a measure, and gave them an exalted opinion of the 
strength of the new arrivals. 

As soon, however, as the Resolution and Discovery had cast 
anchor in Ouai Mea Bay, Cook had himself taken on shore. He 

, - V . ' - .- '3$* 

Cook's reception by the natives. 


had scarcely touched land, when the natives assembled in a crowd 
upon the strand, prostrated themselves at his feet, and welcomed 
him with signs of the most profound respect. 

This extraordinary reception gave promise of a pleasant stay, 
for provisions appeared to be abundant ; fruits, pigs, fowls, began 
to arrive from all parts. At the same time a party of natives 
assisted the English sailors in filling the casks with water, and 
in carrying them on board. 

Anderson and the draughtsman Weller were encouraged by 
this friendly conduct to advance into the interior. They were 
not long in coming upon a moral', similar in every respect to the 
Tahitian moral's. This discovery confirmed the English in the 
ideas induced by the similarity of the language with that of 
Tahiti. An engraving in Cook's narrative represents the in- 
terior of this morai. In it two figures may be seen, standing, the 
top of the heads disappearing in high cylindrical hats, similar to 
those on the statues in Easter Island, In any case, the singular 
resemblance gives rise to reflection. 

Cook remained two days more in this anchorage and could only 
extol the traffic with the natives. He then explored the neigh- 
bouring Island of Oneeheow. In spite of his great wish to explore 
this interesting archipelago, he set sail, and from a distance 
perceived Ouahou Island, and the reef of Tahoora which he 
designated by the general appellation of Sandwich Archipelago. 
This name has been superseded by the native appellation of Hawai. 
Strong and vigorous, although of medium height, the Hawaians 
are represented by Anderson as being of frank and loyal character. 
Not so serious as the natives of the Friendly Isles, they are 
less frivolous than the Tahitans. 

Clever, industrious, and intelligent, their plantations showed a 
knowledge of rural economy, and an extensive taste for agriculture. 
They not only abstained from showing the childish and common 
curiosity which the English had so often noticed, but they in- 
quired into their customs and evinced a certain regret for their own 

The population appeared considerable, and was estimated at 
30,000 in Tavai Island alone. In their style of dress, their 
choice of food, their manner of preparing it, and their general 
habits, they conform to the customs of Tahiti. This identity of 

VOL. n. n 


two populations separated by a large stretch, of sea gave the Eng- 
lish much food for reflection. 

During his first stay Cook did not become acquainted with any 
chief, but Captain Clerke, of the Discovery, at last received a visit 
from one. He was a young and well-made man, wrapped up 
from head to foot. The natives testified their respect by 
kneeling before him. Clerke made him several presents, and in 
return received a vase decorated with two small figures, fairly well 
sculptured, which served for the " kava," a favourite drink of the 
Hawaians, as well as the natives of Tonga. Their weapons com- 
prise bows, clubs, and lances, the latter made of a strong and 
durable wood, and a sort of poignard called u paphoa," terminating 
in a point at both ends. The custom of "tabu" was just as uni- 
versally practised as in the Friendly Islands, and the natives were 
always careful to ask if things were " tabu " before they touched 

On the 27th of February, Cook continued his course to the north, 
and soon fell in with the sea wrack of the rocks mentioned by the 
narrator of Lord Anson's voyage. On the 1st of March he steered 
for the east, in order to approach the American coast, and five 
days later he recognized New Albion, so named by Francis Drake. 

The expedition, coasting at a distance, surveyed Cape Blanc, 
already seen by Martin d'Aguilar on the 19th of January, 1603, 
and near which the geographers placed a large opening, to the 
strait, the discovery of which they attributed to him. Shortly after- 
wards the latitude of Juan de Fuca was reached, but nothing 
resembling it was discovered, although this strait really exists, and 
divides the continent from Vancouver's Island. 

Cook soon reconnoitred a bay in latitude 49 15', to which he 
gave the name of Hope Bay. He anchored there to obtain water, 
and give a little rest to his worn out-crews. This coast was in- 
habited, and three boats approached the vessels. 

" One of the savages," he says, " rose up, and with many gesticu- 
lations made a long speech, which we understood as an invitation 
to land. In addition, he threw feathers towards us, and many of 
his companions threw us handfuls of dust or red powder. The 
native who usurped the post of orator was clothed in a skin, 
and in each hand he held something which he shook, and which 
emitted a sound like that of a child's rattle. 


" When he was tired of haranguing and exhorting, of which we 
did not understand a word, he rested, but two other men took up 
the speech in succession. Their speeches were not so long, and 
they did not declaim so vehemently. 

" Many of the natives had their faces painted in an extraordi- 
nary way, and feathers fixed in their heads. Although they ap- 
peared friendly, it was impossible to persuade any of them to come 
on board. However, as the vessels had cast anchor, the captain had 
the sails furled, took in the topmasts, and unrigged the mizzen 
mast of the Resolution, in order to allow of repairs. Barter 
with the Indians soon commenced, and the most rigorous honesty 
prevailed. The objects offered were bear and wolf skins, and 
those of foxes, deers, and polecats, weasels, and especially otters, 
which are found in the islands east of Kamschatka. Also clothes 
made of a kind of hemp, bows, lances, fish-hooks, monstrous 
figures, and a kind of stuff of hair or wool, bags filled with red 
ochre, bits of sculptured wood, trinkets of copper and iron shaped 
like horse-shoes, which they wore hung from the nose. 

"Human ears and hands, not yet free from flesh, struck us 
most among the things they offered us. They made us clearly 
understand that they had eaten the portions that were missing, 
and we indeed perceived that these hands and ears had been on 
the fire." 

The English were not long in ascertaining that these natives 
were as habitual robbers as any they had hitherto met with. 
They were even more dangerous, as, possessing iron implements, 
they could easily cut the cords. They combined their thefts with 
intelligence, and one of them amused the sentinel at one end of 
the boat, whilst another snatched the iron from the other end. 
They sold a quantity of very good oil, and a great deal of fish, 
especially sardines. 

When the numerous repairs needed by the ships were made, and 
the grass required for the few goats and sheep remaining on board 
had been shipped, Cook set sail on the 26th of April, 1778. 

He gave the name of King George's Sound to the spot where he 
had stayed, although it was called Nootka by the natives. 

The vessels had scarcely gained the open sea when a violent 
tempest overtook them, during which the Resolution sprung a leak 
on the starboard side below the water line. 

o 2 


Carried away by the storm, Cook passed the spot selected by 
geographers as the situation of the Strait of Admiral de Fonte, 
though he greatly wished to dispel all doubt on the subject. 

The captain therefore continued along the American coast, 
surveying and naming the principal points. During this cruise 
he had constant intercourse with the Indians, and was not slow in 
noticing that their canoes had been replaced by boats, of which only 
the framework was wood, and over which were spread seal-skins. 

After a stay at Prince William's Sound, where the leak of 
the Resolution was repaired, Cook resumed his voyage, reconnoitred 
and named Elizabeth and Saint Hermogene Capes, Bank's Point, 
Capes Douglas and Bede, Saint Augustine's Mount, the River 
Cook, Kodiak Island, Trinity Island, and the islands called 
Schumagin by Behring. Afterwards he passed Bristol Bay, 
Round Island, Calm Point, Newenham Cape, where Lieutenant 
Williamson landed, and Anderson Island, so called in honour of 
the naturalist, who died there of disease of the chest ; later, King 
Island, and Prince of Wales's Cape, the most western extremity of 
America. Cook then passed the Asiatic coast and entered into 
communication with the Tchouktchis, entered Behring Strait on 
the llth of April, and next week came in contact with ice. 

He tried in vain to survey in various directions. The iceberg 
presented an insuperable barrier. On the 17th of April, 1778, 
the expedition was in latitude 70 41'. During an entire month 
he coasted the iceberg, in the hope of finding an opening which 
might enable him to proceed to the north, but in vain. It was 
remarked that u the ice was clear and transparent except in . the 
upper part, which was slightly porous." 

" I supposed," says Cook, " that it was frozen snow, and it 
appeared to me that it must have been formed in the open sea, 
both because it is improbable, or rather impossible, that such enor- 
mous masses could float down rivers which contain too little water 
for a boat, and also because we perceived no produce of the earth, 
which we must have done if it was so formed." 

Up to this date the passage through Behring's Strait had been 
the least used to reach the northern latitudes. Cook's observation 
is valuable, as it proves that beyond this aperture a vast extent of 
aea without land must exist. It may possibly be (this was the 
view held by the lamented Gustave Lambert) that this sea is open. 

Prince William's Sound. 

Page 196. 


No greater distance north has ever been attained since Cook's 
time, except on the Siberian coast where Plover and Long 
Islands were discovered, and where at this moment, as we write, 
Professor Nordenskjold is exploring. 1 

After most careful exploration and repeated efforts to reach 
higher latitudes, Cook, seeing that the season was advanced, and 
encountering more icebergs daily, had no choice but to seek winter 
quarters in a more clement country, before continuing his expedition 
the following summer. He therefore retraced his route as far as 
Ounalaska Island, and on the 26th of October steered towards the 
Sandwich Islands, hoping to complete his survey of them during 
his wintering there. 

An island was discovered on the 26th of November. The natives 
sold a quantity of fruits, roots, bread-fruits, potatoes, " taro " and 
" eddy " roots, which they exchanged for nails and iron implements. 
It was Mo wee Island, which forms part of the Sandwich Archi- 
pelago. Shortly afterwards Owhyhee or Hawai was sighted, the 
summits of which were covered with snow. 

The captain says : 

"We never met savages so liberal as these in their views. 
They usually sent the different articles they wished to sell to the 
ships. They then came on board themselves, and finished their 
' trade* on the quarter-deck. The Tahitans, in spite of our constant 
stays there, have not the same confidence in us. I conclude from 
this that the inhabitants of Owhyhee are more accurate and true in 
their reciprocal trade than those of Tahiti, for the latter have no 
honour among themselves, and are thus not inclined to believe 
in the honour of others." 

On the 17th of January Cook and Clerke cast anchor in a bay, 
called by the natives Karakakooa. The sails were unbent from 
the yard, the yards and the top-mast struck. The vessels were 
crowded with visitors and surrounded by pirogues, and the shore 
was covered by a curious multitude. Cook had never previously 
seen so much excitement. Among the chiefs who came on board , 
the Resolution, a young man named Pareea was soon remarked. 

1 [On the 5th September, 1879, a telegram from Stockholm announced that the 
Swedish Arctic Expedition under Professor Nordenskjold had made the North- 
East Passage from Europe to Japan, and that the Swedish exploring vessel, 
the'^Vega, had arrived at Yokohama hy way of Behring's Strait*] Translator. 


He said he was "lakanee/' but it was not known that was 
his title of office, or if it suggested a degree of relationship or 
alliance with the king. However, he evidently had great 
authority over the common people. Some presents, opportunely 
given, attached him to the English, and he rendered them more 
than one service. 

If Cook on his first visit to Hawai pronounced that the natives 
were little disposed to robbery, he was not of the same opinion this 
time. Their large numbers gave them many facilities for thieving 
trifles,, and encouraged them to think that their larceny would not 
be punished. It became evident at last that they were encouraged 
by their chiefs, for several stolen objects were found in the posses- 
sion of the latter. 

Pareea and another chief named Kaneena brought an old man 
on board, whose name was Eoah. He was very thin and his body 
was covered with white scurf from immoderate use of " ava." He 
was a priest. When he was presented to Cook, he put a sort of red 
mantle which he had brought upon his shoulders, and gravely 
delivered a long discourse as he gave him a little pig. It was soon 
proved that it was intended as a form of adoration, for all the 
idols were clothed in similar stuff. The English were immensely 
astonished at the whimsical ceremonies of homage presented to 
Cook. They only understood them later, through the researches 
of the learned missionary Ellis. "We shall give a brief account of 
his interesting discovery. It will make the recital of the events 
that followed plainer. 

According to tradition, a certain Rono, who lived under 
one of the ancient kings of Hawai, had killed his wife, whom 
he tenderly loved, in a transport of jealousy. The grief and 
sorrow which followed upon his act, drove him mad ; he ran about 
the island, quarrelling with, and striking everybody. At last, tired 
out, but not satiated, with murder, he embarked, promising to 
return one day, upon a floating island, bringing cocoa-nuts, pigs, 
and dogs. 

This legend had been embodied in a national song, and became 
an article of faith with the priests, who added Eono to their list 
of deities. Confident in the fulfilment of the prediction, they 
awaited his coming every year, with a patience which nothing 
could exhaust. 

They gave him a little pig. 

Page 198. 


Is not there a strange resemblance between this legend and that 
relating to the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl, who, forced to fly from 
the wrath of a more powerful god, embarked upon a skiff of 
serpent skin, promising those who accompanied him to return at 
some later time, and visit the country with his descendants ? 

As soon as the English ships appeared, the high priest Koah 
and his son One-La declared that it was Kono himself, fulfilling 
his prediction. From that moment Cook was a divinity for the 
entire population. As he went about, the natives prostrated them- 
selves. The priests made him speeches or addressed prayers to 
him. They would have sprinkled him with incense had that been 
fashionable at Hawai. The captain felt that there was something 
extraordinary in these demonstrations, but, unable to understand 
it, he resigned himself for the sake of his crew and for the advance- 
ment of science to the mysterious circumstances he was unable to 

He was obliged to give himself up to all kinds of ceremonies, 
which appeared, to him at least, ridiculous. Thus he was taken 
to a moral, a solid construction of stone forty roods long and 
fourteen high. The summit was well built and was surrounded by 
a wooden balustrade, upon which were hung the ears of the 
captives sacrificed to the gods. At the opening of the platform 
were two large wooden figures with grinning faces, and bodies 
draped in red stuff, the heads surmounted by a large piece of 
sculptured wood, the shape of a reversed cone. There Koah 
mounted with Cook upon a sort of table, under which lay a rotten 
pig and a quantity of fruit. Some men brought a living pig in a 
procession, and some scarlet cloth in which it was wrapped. The 
priests then sang some religious hymns, while the assistants were 
devoutly prostrated at the entrance of the mora'i. After various 
ceremonies, which it would take too long to describe, a pig, cooked 
in the oven, was presented to the captain, with fruits and the 
roots which were used in the preparation of " ava." 

" The ava," says Cook, " was then handed round, and when we 
had tasted it, Koah and Pareea divided the flesh of the pig into 
several pieces, which they placed in our mouths." 

" I felt no repugnance when Pareea, who is very clean, gave me 
something to eat," says Lieutenant King, " but Cook, to whom 
Koah offered the same attention, could not swallow a morsel, as 


he thought of the putrid pig. The old man, wishing to redouble 
his politeness, tried to give him pieces already chewed, and one can 
easily imagine that the disgust of our captain increased/ ' 

After this ceremony Cook was conducted to his boat, by four men 
carrying sticks, who repeated the same words and phrases as at 
the landing, in the midst of a kneeling host of the natives. The 
same ceremonies were observed every time the captain landed. 
One of the priests always walked before him, announcing that 
Eono had landed, and ordering the people to prostrate themselves. 

If the English had reason to feel satisfied with the priests, who 
loaded them with attentions and presents, it was otherwise with 
the " carees," or warriors. The latter encouraged the robberies 
which were perpetrated daily, and in other ways exhibited 
disloyalty. Still, up to the 24th of January, 1779, no important 
event occurred. Upon that day the English were surprised to see 
that none of the pirogues left the river to trade with the ships. 
The arrival of " Terreoboo " had made the bay " tabu," and 
prevented any communication with the strangers. Upon the 
same day, the chief, or rather king, went without ceremony 
to the ships. He had but one pirogue, in which were his wife 
and children. On the 26th, Terreoboo paid a second visit, which 
was official. 

" Cook/' says the narrative, " noticing that the prince landed, 
followed him and arrived about the same time. He conducted 
them to the tent ; they were scarcely seated when the prince rose, 
and in a graceful manner threw his mantle over the captain's 
shoulders. He further placed a hat of feathers upon his head, and 
a curious fan in Cook's hands, at whose feet he also spread five or 
six very pretty mantles of great value." 

Terreoboo and the principal chiefs of his suite asked many 
questions of the English as to the time of their leaving. The 
captain wished to ascertain the opinion the Hawaians had formed 
of the English; but he could only learn that they supposed them to 
be the natives of a country where provisions were scarce, and that 
they had simply come there " to fill their stomachs." This con- 
viction arose from the emaciated appearance of some of the sailors, 
and from the desire to ship fresh victuals. 

There was no fear, however, of exhausting their provisions, in 
spite of the immense quantity which had been consumed since the 


English arrived. It is very likely that the king wished for time 
to prepare the present he intended to offer the strangers upon 
their leaving ; and, accordingly, the day before the one fixed 
upon, the king begged Captains Cook and Clerke to accompany 
him to his residence. Enormous heaps of every kind of vegetable, 
parcels of stuffs, yellow and red feathers, and a herd of pigs were 
collected together. 

All this was a gratuitous gift to the king from his subjects. 
Terreoboo chose about a third of these articles, and gave the rest 
to the two captains a more valuable present than they had ever 
received either at Tonga or Tahiti. 

On the 4th of February the vessels left the bay, but the damage 
received by the Resolution forced her to put in again in a few days. 
The vessels had scarcely cast anchor before the English noticed 
a change in the conduct of the natives. Still all went on peace- 
ably until the afternoon of the 13th. Upon that day several 
chiefs wished to prevent the natives from assisting the English in 
filling their casks. A tumult ensued. The natives armed them- 
selves with stones, and became threatening. 

The officer in command of the detachment was ordered by Cook 
to draw upon the natives, if they persisted in throwing stones, or 
became insolent. Under these circumstances, a pirogue was fired 
into, and it was soon apparent that a robbery had been committed 
by its crew. 

At the same time a still more serious dispute arose. A sloop 
belonging to Pareea was seized by an officer, who took it to the 
Discovery. The chief hastened to claim his belongings, and to 
protest his innocence. The discussion grew animated, and Pareea 
was overthrown by a blow from an oar. 

The natives, who had hitherto been peaceable observers, armed 
themselves with stones, forced the sailors to retire precipitately, 
and took possession of the pinnace which had brought them. 
Pareea, forgetful of his resentment at this moment, interposed, and 
restored the pinnace to the English, together with several things 
which had been stolen. 

" I am afraid the Indians will force me to violent measures,'* 
said Cook, upon learning what had passed. ""We must not 
allow them to believe that they have gained an advantage over 


The boat of the Discovery was stolen upon the 13th or 14th of 
February. The captain determined to possess himself of the 
person of Terreoboo, or some others of the leading persons, and to 
keep them as hostages until the stolen objects were restored to him. 

He therefore landed with a detachment of marines, and pursued 
his way to the king's residence. He was received with the usual 
marks of respect on the road, and perceiving Terreoboo and his 
two sons, to whom he said a few words on the theft of the 
sloop, he decided to pass the day on board the Resolution. 

The matter took a happy turn, and the two young princes em- 
barked upon the pinnace, when one of Terreoboo's wives begged 
him with tears not to go on board. Two other chiefs joined her, 
and the natives, frightened by the hostile preparations they saw, 
began to crowd round the king and captain. The latter hurried 
to embark, and the prince appeared willing to follow him, but the 
chiefs interposed, and used force to prevent his doing so. 

Cook, seeing that his project had failed, and that he could only 
put it into execution by bloodshed, gave it up, and walked quietly 
along the shore to regain his boat, when a rumour spread that 
one of the principal chiefs had been killed. The women and 
children were therefore sent away, and all directed their attention 
to the English. 

A native armed with a " pahooa " defied the captain, and as he 
would not cease his threats, Cook discharged his pistol. The 
native, protected by a thick mat, did not feel himself wounded, 
and so became more audacious. Several others advanced, and the 
captain discharged his gun at the nearest and killed him. This 
was the signal for a general attack. 

The last that was seen of Cook was his signing to the boats to 
cease firing, and to approach, that his small troop might embark. 
In vain ! The captain was struck and fell to the earth. 

" The natives/' says the narrative, " uttered cries of joy when 
they saw him fall. They at once dragged his body along the shore, 
and taking the poniard one after the other, they all attacked him 
with ferocious blows until he ceased to breathe. 

Thus perished this great navigator, assuredly the most illus- 
trious produced by England. The boldness of his undertakings, 
his perseverance in carrying them out, and the extent of his 
knowledge, all made him a type of the true sailor of discovery. 


What immense service he has rendered to geography ! In his 
first voyage he reconnoitred the Society Islands, proved that New 
Zealand is formed of two islands, explored the strait that separates 
them, and surveyed its coast, and lastly he visited the entire eastern 
coast of New Holland. 

In his second voyage he proved the chimerical character of the 
long-talked-of Antarctic continent, the dream of stay-at-home 
geographers. He discovered New Caledonia, Southern Georgia, 
the Sandwich Islands, and penetrated farther into the southern 
hemisphere than any one had done before him. 

In histhird expedition he discovered the Hawaian archipelago, and 
surveyed the eastern coast of America, to the forty-third degree, 
that is to say, an extent of 3500 miles. He passed through Behring 
Straits, and ventured into the Arctic Sea, which was the horror of 
navigators, until the icebergs opposed an impenetrable barrier to 
his progress. 

It is needless to praise his qualities as a seaman; his hydro- 
graphical works remain, but above all his careful treatment of his 
crews deserves to be remembered. To it was due their ability to 
bear the long and trying voyages, which he made with so little 
loss of life. 

After this fatal day the English folded their tents and returned 
on board. Their offers for the recovery of the body of their unfor- 
tunate captain were in vain. In their anger they were about 
to have recourse to arms, when two priests, friends of Lieutenant 
King, brought a piece of human flesh at the instance of the other 
chiefs, which weighed from nine to ten pounds. It was all, they 
said, that remained of Rono's body, which had been burnt accord- 
ing to custom. This sight of course made the English still more 
anxious for reprisals, and the natives on their side had to 
avenge the death of five chiefs and a score of men. Every time 
the English landed at their watering place they found a furious 
crowd armed with stones and sticks. In order to make an ex- 
ample, Captain Clerke, who had taken the command of the 
expedition, set fire to the abodes of the priests, and massacred 
those who opposed them. 

On the 19th of February, however, an interview was arranged, 
and the remains of Cook, his hands, recognizable by a large 
scar, his head, stripped of flesh, and various other debris, were 


made over to the English, who three days later paid them the 
last honours. 

After that, barter was resumed as' if nothing had happened, and 
no other incident occurred during the remainder of the stay in 
the Sandwich Islands. 

Captain Clerke had relinquished the command of the Discovery 
to Lieutenant Gore, and hoisted his flag upon the Resolution. 
After completing the survey of the Hawaian Islands, he set sail for 
the north, touched at Kamschatka, where the Russians made him 
heartily welcome, passed through Behring Strait, and advanced 
as far as latitude 69 50' north, where his further progress was 
barred by icebergs. 

On the 22nd of April, 1779, Captain Clerke died of pulmonary 
phthisis, aged thirty- eight. 

Captain Gore then assumed the command in chief, put in again 
at Kamschatka, again at Canton, and at the Cape of Good Hope, 
and anchored in the Thames on the 1st of October, 1780, after 
more than four years' absence. 

The death of Captain Cook caused a general mourning through- 
out England. The Royal Society of London, of which he was a 
member, struck a medal in his honour, the cost of which was 
covered by public subscription, to which persons of the highest 
rank subscribed. 

The Admiralty petitioned the king to provide for the family of 
the deceased captain. The king granted a pension of 200/. to his 
widow, and 25 /. to each of his three sons. The charts and drawings 
relating to his last voyage were engraved at the expense of the 
government, and the proceeds of their sale divided among 
Cook's family, and the heirs of Captain Clerke and Captain 

Although the family of the great navigator is extinct, a proof 
of the esteem in which his memory is held was given in the 
solemn meeting of the French Geographical Society on the 4th 
of February, 1879. 

A large number assembled to celebrate the centenary of Cook's 
death. Amongst them were many representatives of the Aus- 
tralian colonies, which are now so flourishing, and of the Hawaian 
Archipelago, where he met his death. A quantity of relics belong- 
ing to the great navigator, his charts, Webber's magnificent 


water-colours, and the instruments and weapons of the Oceanic 
islanders decorated the walls. 

This touching homage, after the lapse of a hundred years, was 
accorded by a people whoso king had bidden them not to thwart 
Cook's scientific and civilizing mission, and was well calculated 
to awake an echo in England, and to draw yet closer the bonds 
of that good fellowship which exists between England and France. 



Fiontisficce oj ?>/ d Pa>\'. 



Discoveries made by Bouvet de Lozier in the Southern Seas Surville The 
land of the Arsacides Incident during the stay at Port Praslin Arrival 
upon the coast of New Zealand Death of Surville Marion's discoveries in 
the Antarctic Ocean He is murdered at New Zealand Kerguelen in Iceland 
and the Antarctic regions The contest between the watches Fleurien and 
Verdun de la Crenne. 

IN the earlier half of the eighteenth century, a discovery had been 
made which was destined to exercise a favourable influence upon 
the progress of geographical science. Jean Baptiste Charles Bouvet 
de Lozier, a captain of one of the East India Company's ships, was 
so struck by the immensity of the space surrounding the Southern 
Pole, known to geographers as the Terra amtralis incognita, that 
he begged for the privilege of prosecuting discoveries in these un- 
known regions. His importunities were long disregarded, but at 
length, in 1738, the Company consented, in the hope of opening new 
facilities for trade. 

Two small frigates, the Aigle and the Marie, fully equipped, 
left Brest upon the 19th of July, 1738, under command of 
Bouvet de Lozier. After a stay of a month at St. Catherine's 
Island, upon the coast of Brazil, they put to sea again upon the 
13th of November, and steered for the south-east. 

On the 26th, heavy fog set in, so that the vessels could only 
keep in company by constant firing, and were obliged to tack 
about continually, at the risk of running foul of each other. 
Upon the 5th of December, although it would have appeared im- 
possible, the fog increased in density to such an extent that those 
on board the Aigle could hear the movement of the Marie, though 
they could not see her. The sea was covered with kelp, and sea- 



gulls, never found at a distance from land, were shortly afterwards 

" Upon the 15th of December/' says M. Favre, in his Memoir 
the Bouvets, in 48 50' S. lat. (Paris is in N. lat. 48 50') and in 
7 E. long, (the meridian of Teneriffe), an enormous iceberg 
was perceived towards five or six in the morning ; shortly 
afterwards many others were seen, surrounded by ice-floes of 
various sizes. 

The Marie, signalling danger, tacked about, but Bouvet, annoyed 
by this action, which was likely to affect the confidence of 
the crews, crowded sail on the Aigle, and, by passing the Marie, 
showed his determination to maintain his southern course. To 
reassure his men, he asserted that it was considered a lucky omen 
to meet with ice, as it was a certain indication of land at hand. 

The course was continued to the south, and Bouvet's perseverance 
was soon rewarded by the appearance of land, to which he gave 
the name of Cape Circumcision. It was steep, covered with snow, 
and so shut in by large icebergs, that it was impossible to 
approach to within seven or eight leagues. It appeared to measure 
from four to five leagues from north to south. 

" This land was supposed," says M. Favre, judging from 
Pietergos' charts, which were used by Bouvet, " to be situated in 
54 S. lat. and 26 and 27 east of the meridian of Teneriffe, or 
between 5 30' and 6 3' east of that of Paris/' 

Bouvet would much have liked to make closer acquaintance with 
this region, but the fogs and contrary winds prevented his reaching 
it, and he was obliged to satisfy himself with observing it from a 

" Upon the 3rd of January, 1739," says Bouvet, in his report to 
the Company, " we made up for what we had lost during the pre- 
ceding days, and about four in the afternoon, the fog clearing some- 
what, we distinctly saw land. The coast, broken throughout its 
entire length, formed several bays. The summits of the mountains 
were covered with snow ; the sides appeared wooded." 

After several fruitless attempts to near the coast, Bouvet was 
forced to relinquish the idea. His sailors were worn out with 
fatigue, discouraged, and enfeebled by scurvy. The Marie was sent 
to the Isle of France, and the Aigle directed her course to the 
Cape of Good Hope, which she reached upon the 28th of February. 


"We had penetrated," says Bouvet, in the report already 
cited, " twelve or fifteen hundred leagues into an unknown sea. 
For seventy days we had encountered almost continuous fog. "We 
had been for forty days in the midst of ice, and we had had snow 
and hail almost every da} r . Several times our decks and rigging 
were covered with them. Our shrouds and sails were frozen. On 
the 10th of January, it was impossible to work our fore-topsail. 
The cold was severe, for men accustomed to a warm climate, and 
who were lightly clad. Many had chilblains on the hands and 
feet. Still they were forced constantly to tack about, bring to, get 
under weigh, and take soundings at least once a day. One of the 
sailors belonging to the Aigk, having been sent to loosen the fore- 
topsail, became frozen in the fore-top. He had to be lowered by 
a whip, and circulation was with difficulty restored. I have seen 
others with tears gushing from their eyes as they handled the 
sounding-line. And all this was in the fine season, and I ame- 
liorated their condition by every means in my power." 

We can readily understand that such small results did not 
tempt the East India Company to continue their efforts in 
these latitudes. If they were productive of no good, they 
cost heavily in the loss of men and ships they entailed. Still 
Bouvet's discovery was a first blow to the existing belief in an 
Antarctic continent. He gave the start, and various navigators, 
amongst them two Frenchmen, followed it up. 

In our short record of this expedition, which is scarcely known, 
we have testified to an appreciation of our countryman, who was 
the pioneer of Antarctic navigation, and who deserves the credit 
of furnishing an example to the great English explorer, James 

Another of the East India Company's captains, who had distin- 
guished himself in various battles against the English, Jean 
Fran9ois Marie de Surville, was destined to make important dis- 
coveries in Oceania some thirty years later, and to re-discover, 
almost simultaneously with Cook, the lands first seen by Tasman, 
and which he called Staten Island. The following is an account of 
the circumstances. 

Messrs. Law and Chevalier, governors in French India, deter- 
mined to send a vessel at their own risk to trade in the southern 
seas. They admitted Surville to their schemes, and sent him to 

p 2 


France to obtain the needful authority from the Company, and 
to superintend the equipment of the vessel. 

The Saint- Jean Baptiste was made ready for sea at Nantes, 
and provisioned for three years, with every requisite for a distant 
expedition. Surville then reached India, where Law provided him 
with twenty-four native soldiers. 

Leaving Angley Bay on the 3rd of March, 1769, the Saint- 
Jean Baptiste put in successively at Masulipatam, Yanaon, and 
Pondicherry, where her equipment was completed. 

Surville left the last-named port on the 2nd of June, and steered 
his course for the Philippines. On the 20th of August, he cast 
anchor off the Bashees, or Baschy Islands. Dampier had so named 
them after an intoxicating drink, which the natives compounded 
from the juice of the sugar-cane, into which they infused a certain 
black seed. 

Several of Dampier's crew had formerly deserted in these 
islands ; they had received from the natives a field, agricultural 
instruments, and wives. The recollection of this fact incited 
three of the sailors belonging to the Saint- Jean Baptiste to follow 
their example. But Surville was not the man to allow his crew to 
melt away in such a manner. He seized twenty-six Indians, and 
signified his intention of keeping them as hostages until his men 
were brought back to him. 

" Among the Indians thus seized," says Crozet, in his narrative 
of Surville's voyage, " there were several courageous enough to 
throw themselves into the sea, and, much to the surprise of the 
crew, they had sufficient courage and skill to swim to one of their 
pirogues, which was far enough from the vessel to be secure from 

Pains were taken to make the savages understand that they had 
been treated in this way in order to make their comrades bring back 
the three deserters. They made signs that they understood, and were 
then released, with the exception of six, who had been taken on 
shore. The haste with which they left the ship, and flung them- 
selves into their pirogues, augured badly for their return. 
Much surprise was therefore felt when in a short time they were 
seen returning with joyful acclamations. Doubt was no longer 
possible, they could only be bringing the deserters back to the 
commander. They came on board, and proceeded to deposit on 


deck what? three magnificent pigs, tied and bound. Sur- 
ville did not appreciate, and he objurgated the natives so fiercely, 
that they jumped into their pirogues, and disappeared. Twenty- 
four hours later the Saint- Jean Baptiste left the Bashees, taking 
three captive Indians to replace the deserters. 

Upon the 7th of October, after a lengthened route to the south- 
east, land, to which the name of " Premiere Yue " was given, was 
sighted in 6 56' S. lat, and 157 30' long, east of Paris. 

The explorers coasted along it until the 13th October, upon 
which day an excellent port was discovered, sheltered from 
every wind, and formed by a number of small islands. M. de 
Surville cast anchor and named it Port Praslin. It is situated in 
7 25' S. lat. and 151 55' E. long, reckoning from the Paris 

Upon entering this port, the French saw several Indians, 
armed with spears, and carrying a sort of shield. The Saint- 
Jean Baptiste was very soon surrounded by pirogues, manned 
by a crowd of Indians, who were profuse in menacing gestures. 
However, they were pacified at last. About thirty of the 
boldest clambered on to the deck, and examined every- 
thing they saw with close attention. It soon became need- 
ful to check their advances, as there were many sick among 
the crew, and it was unwise to allow too many natives on 

In spite of the welcome they received, the natives were still 
doubtful, and their looks expressed distrust. The slightest 
movement on board the vessel was sufficient to make them 
jump into their pirogues, or the sea. One only showed a 
little more confidence, and Surville gave him several presents. 
The Indian acknowledged the attention, by saying he could 
point out a spot where good water was to be had. 

The captain gave orders to arm the boats, and entrusted the 
command to his lieutenant Labbe. 

"The savages appeared impatient for the departure of the 
boats from the ship," says Fleurien, in his " Decouvertes des 
Fran9ais," "and they were no sooner lowered than they were 
followed by all the pirogues. One of these appeared to lead the 
others; in it was the Indian who had offered his services to 
Surville. At the back of the pirogue, a man stood erect, 


holding in his hands a bunch of herbs, raising them above 
his head, with a rhythmical movement. In the centre of the same 
pirogue stood a young man, resting upon a spear, who gravely 
watched all that went on. Red flowers were in his ears, and 
passed through the cartilage of his nose, and his hair was powdered 
with white lime." 

Certain trifling symptoms aroused the suspicions of the French, 
who soon found themselves in a cul-de-sac, where the natives per- 
sisted in declaring that fresh water was to be found. Labbe, in spite 
of all the persuasions of the natives, did not wish to imperil his 
boats in two or three feet of water, with a muddy bottom, and 
therefore allowed only a corporal and four soldiers to disembark. 
They soon returned, asserting that they had seen on all sides 
nothing but marsh, in which the men would sink to the waist. 

It was evident that the natives had meditated treason. Labbe 
took good care not to let them suspect that he had detected their 
design, and asked them to point out a spring. 

The natives then led the boats some three leagues away, to a 
spot from whence it was impossible to see the ship. The corporal 
was again sent forward with some men, but he found only a very 
poor spring, barely affording sufficient water to slake the thirst 
of his party. During his absence, the natives did all in their 
power to induce Labbe to land, pointing out to him the abundant 
cocoa-nut and other fruit trees, and even attempting to possess 
themselves of the boat-hook. 

" More than two hundred and fifty of these natives/' says the 
narrative, " armed with spears, from seven to eight feet long, 
with swords, or wooden clubs, arrows and stones, and some carry- 
ing shields, were assembled on the shore, observing the movements 
of the boats. When the detachment, consisting of five men, pro- 
ceeded to re-embark, the natives fell upon them, wounding one 
soldier with a blow from a club, the corporal with a spear, and 
many others in different ways. M. Labbe himself was hit by two 
arrows in the thigh, and on the leg by a stone. The traitors 
were fired upon. The first volley so astonished them that they 
remained motionless. It was the more fatal, as, being fired 
only three or five fathoms from the boats, every shot took 
effect. The amazement of the natives gave the opportunity 
for a second discharge, which completely routed them, the 

Pirogues of the Admiralty Islands. 
(Fac-simiJe of early engraving.) 


Picking up the enemies' weapons. 

Page 21 


death of their chief greatly hastening their flight. M. Labbe, 
who had recognized him, apart from the others, with his hands 
raised to heaven, striking his breast, and encouraging the 
assailants by his voice, aimed at him and shot him dead. The 
natives carried off their wounded, leaving thirty or forty dead upon 
the field of battle. It was then possible to land, and, picking up 
such of the enemy's weapons as were scattered about, the 
victors contented themselves with towing away one of their 
pirogues and destroying the others." 

Surville was extremely anxious to capture an Indian, who 
might serve him as a guide, and who, convinced of the 
superiority of European weapons, might warn his countrymen 
against opposing the French. With this view, he hit upon a 
singular expedient. He ordered two negro sailors to be placed on 
board the pirogue he had seized, had their heads powdered, 
and disguised them so cleverly that the natives were likely to be 

In fact, a pirogue soon after approaching the Saint- Jean 
Baptist e, the men who were in it, seeing what they took to be 
two of their own people trafficking with the strangers, drew nearer. 
So soon as the French imagined they were at a fair distance, they 
launched two boats in pursuit. The natives gained ground ; it was 
then decided to fire, in order to stop them. One of the natives 
was killed at once, and, his boat capsizing, he fell into the sea, and 
the other, who was only fourteen or fifteen years of age, endea- 
voured to reach the shore by swimming. 

" He defended himself most courageously," says the narrative, 
" sometimes making believe to bite himself, but really biting those 
who held him. His hands and feet were tied, and he was taken 
on board. He counterfeited death for an hour, but when he was 
made to sit up, and he fell back on deck, he took good care to fall 
on his shoulders instead of his head. "When he was tired of playing 
this game he opened his eyes, and, seeing that the crew were eating, 
he asked for a biscuit, ate it with a good appetite, and made 
many expressive signs. He was bound securely, so that he might 
not throw himself overboard." 

During the night, it was necessary to resort to firing, to dis- 
perse the pirogues, which approached with a view to surprising 
the ship. Next day, the native was taken in a boat to a small 


islet, since called Aiguade Island. Scarcely had lie landed when 
it was perceived that he had almost cut through the ropes with 
a sharp shell. 

The young savage was taken by a different route to the shore ; 
when he perceived that he was to re- embark, he rolled upon the 
ground, shrieking, and biting the sand in his fury. 

The sailors succeeded at last in finding an abundant spring, and 
plenty of wood. One of the trees they cut appeared to have dyeing 
properties, for it tinged the sea with red. Some of the bark was 
boiled, and pieces of cotton steeped in the decoction turned 
deep red. 

Welcome refreshment was afforded to the crew by the palm 
cabbages, good oysters, and various shell-fish which abounded. 
There were indeed many sufferers from scurvy on board the Saint- 
Jean Baptiste. Surville had looked forward to this stay to cure 
them, but the rain, which fell ceaselessly for six days, aggravated 
their complaint to such a degree that three of them died before 
they left the anchorage. 

This port was named Praslin, and the large island or archipelago, 
to which it belonged, Arsacides, in reference to the deceitful nature 
of its inhabitants. 

" Port Praslin," says Fleurien, " would be one of the finest 
ports in the world, if the bottom were better. It is of circular 
shape, reckoning all the islands discovered from the spot 
where the Saint-Jean Baptiste cast anchor. The ferocity of the 
people inhabiting the islands of Port Praslin was such that it was 
impossible to penetrate into the interior, and it was only possible 
to examine the sea-coast. "We perceived no cultivated ground, 
either in the trip we made to the further end of the port, nor upon 
Aiguade Island, which was explored throughout." 

Such are the superficial particulars which Surville and his crew 
were able to collect. Fortunately, they were supplemented by 
those furnished by the captive native, whose name was Lova- 
Salega, and who possessed a great faculty for learning lan- 

According to his account, the island produced palms, cocoa-nut 
trees, various almond trees, wild coffee, the ebony tree, the 
tacamahac, as well as numerous resinous or gum trees, the banana, 
sugar-cane, yams, aniseed, and lastly a plant called "Binao/' 


which is used by the natives as bread. Cockatoos, wood pigeons, 
lories, and black-birds, somewhat larger than those of Europe, 
abounded in the woods. In the marshes the curlew, sea lark, 
a species of snipe, and ducks were to be found. The only 
quadrupeds the country produced were goats and half- wild 

" The natives of Port Praslin/' says Fleurien, quoting from the 
manuscripts in his possession, " are of ordinary height, but strong 
and muscular. They do not appear to be all of one origin (a valuable 
remark), for some are perfectly black, whilst others are copper- 
coloured. The former have woolly hair, which is very soft to the 
touch, their foreheads are small, their eyes slightly sunken, whilst 
the lower part of their face is pointed, and adorned with a small 
beard; their expression is fierce. Some of the copper-coloured 
natives have smooth hair. They usually cut it round the head as 
high as the ear. A few only retain a little, shaped like a cap, on 
the top of the head, shaving off the remainder with a sharp stone, 
and leaving only a circular fringe about an inch deep at the bottom. 
Their hair and eyebrows are powdered with lime, which gives 
them a yellowish hue. 

" Both men and women are stark naked ; but it must be 
allowed that their nudity is not so startling as would be that of 
an European without clothes, for the faces, arms, and generally 
every part of their bodies are tattooed. Sometimes the taste of 
these designs is really wonderful. They pierce their ears and 
the cartilage of their nose, and the nostrils often hang down, 
from the weight of the ornaments, to the upper lip." 

The commonest ornament worn by the natives of Port Praslin 
is a necklace made of men's teeth. It was at once concluded that 
they were cannibals, although the same customs had been met 
with among people who were not. Lova's confused replies, and 
the half-broiled head of a man, found by Bougainville in a pirogue 
in Choiseul Island, placed the existence of this barbarous practice 
beyond the possibility of doubt. 

On the 21st of October, after nine days' rest, the Saint- Jean 
Baptiste left Port Praslin. 

On the next and ensuing days, lofty and mountainous land was 
constantly in sight. Upon the 2nd of November Surville descried 
an island, which received the name of Contrarietes, from the con- 


trary winds which for three days checked the progress of the 

This island presented a delightful appearance. It was well cul- 
tivated, and, judging from the number of pirogues, which con- 
stantly surrounded the Saint- Jean Baptiste, it must have been well 

The natives could scarcely be persuaded to go on board. At 
last a chief sprang on deck. His first act was to possess him- 
self of a sailor's clothes. He next visited the poop and took the 
white flag, which he wished to appropriate. It was only after some 
difficulty that he was dissuaded from the attempt, Lastly, he 
climbed up the mizen mast, and from that elevated position 
observed all parts of the vessel. Then, coming down, he began 
to jump about, and, addressing himself to those he had left 
in the canoes, he invited them, by words and gestures, to join him 
on deck. 

About a dozen ventured. They resembled the natives of Port 
Praslin, but they spoke a different language, and could not make 
themselves understood by Lova-Salega. Their stay on board did not 
last long, for one of them having possessed himself of a bottle and 
thrown it into the sea, the captain showed some annoyance, which 
induced them to return to their pirogues. 

The land appeared so inviting, and the sufferers from scurvy were 
in such pressing need of green provisions, that Surville determined 
to send a boat to test the disposition of the natives. 

It had no sooner left the vessel than it was surrounded by 
pirogues, manned by a number of warriors. Hostilities were im- 
minent, but a few shots dispersed the assailants. During the 
night a flotilla advanced towards the Saint-Jean Baptist?, and 
Surville, from motives of humanity, did not wait until the natives 
were close, but at once fired several pieces charged with grape shot, 
which put them to flight. 

It was useless to think of landing, and Surville regained the open 
sea. He discovered successively the Three Sisters Island, and 
Gulf and Deliverance Islands, the last of the group. 

The archipelago, just explored by Surville, was no other than 
that of the Solomon Islands, which, as we have mentioned, was 
discovered in the first instance by Mendana. That skilful navi- 
gator had traced and surveyed a hundred and forty leagues, 


besides drawing a series of fourteen very curious views of this sea 

If Surville's crew were not to be decimated by death, it was 
necessary at all risks to reach land, where he might disembark the 
sick, and procure fresh provisions for them. 

He resolved to steer for New Zealand, which had not been visited 
since the time of Tasman. 

On the 12th of December, 1769, Surville descried land in 35 
37' S. lat., and five days later he cast anchor in a bay which he 
called Lauriston. At the extremity was a creek which received 
the name of Chevalier. Cook had been in search of this land since 
the beginning of October, and was fated to pass by Lauriston Bay 
a few days later without observing the French vessel. 

"Whilst anchored in Chevalier Creek, Surville was overtaken by 
a frightful tempest, which brought him within an ace of destruction, 
but his sailors had such confidence in his nautical ability that 
they felt no anxiety, and obeyed his orders with a sang froid of 
which, unfortunately, the Maoris were the sole spectators. 

The sloop which was conveying the sick to land had no time to 
reach the shore, before the storm broke in all its fury, and she was 
driven into Refuge Creek. The sailors and invalids were cordially 
welcomed by a chief called Naginoui, who received them into his 
cabin, and bestowed upon them all the green provisions which he 
could procure during their stay. 

One of the boats which was towed behind the Saint- Jean Baptiste 
was carried away by the waves. Surville saw it stranded in Refuge 
Creek. He sent in search of it, but only the rudder was found. 
The natives had carried it off. The river was searched in vain ; there 
was no trace of the boat. Surville would not allow this theft to go 
unpunished. He made signs to some Indians who were near their 
pirogues to approach him. One of them ran to him at once, and 
was immediately seized and carried on board. The others fled. 

" He seized one pirogue," says Crozet, " and burnt the other ; 
set fire to the huts and returned to the ship. The Indian who 
was taken was recognized by the surgeon as the chief who had so 
generously assisted them during the storm. It was the unfortu- 
nate Naginoui, who, after the services he had rendered the whites, 
could hardly have anticipated such treatment at their hands, when 
he obeyed Surville's signal." 


He died on the 24th of March, 1770, near the island of Juan 

We will pass over the observations made by the French 
navigator upon the natives, and the productions of New Zea- 
land, as they are merely a repetition of those of Captain 

Surville, convinced that he could not obtain the provisions he 
needed, put to sea a few days later, and steered between the 
parallels of 27 and 28 S. lat. ; but the ravages of the scurvy, 
which increased daily, decided him on steering for the coast of 
Peru without delay. 

He sighted it on the 5th of April, 1770, and three days later 
cast anchor off the Chilica Bar at the entrance of Callao. 

In his haste to reach the land, and seek help for his sick, Sur- 
ville was unwilling to allow any one else to visit the governor. 
Unfortunately his boat was capsized by the waves that break over 
the bar, and only one of the crew was saved. Surville and all the 
rest were drowned. 

Thus miserably perished this great navigator, too early for the 
services he might have rendered to his country and to science. As 
for the Saint- Jean Baptiste, she was detained "for three years'" 
before Lima by the interminable delays of the Spanish customs. 
Labbe assumed the command, and took her back to Lorient on 
the 23rd of August, 1773. 

As we have already related, M. de Bougainville had taken a 
Tahitan named Aoutourou to Europe. When this native expressed 
a desire to return to his native land, the French administration had 
sent him to Mauritius, with orders to the governor of that colony 
to facilitate his return to Tahiti. 

A naval officer, Marion Dufresne, availed himself of this oppor- 
tunity, and offered Poivre, the Governor of Mauritius and Bourbon, 
to send the young Aoutourou to Tahiti at his own expense and in 
a vessel belonging to him. He only required that a vessel belong- 
ing to the state might be assigned to him, and a small sum of 
money advanced to assist him in the preparations for the expe- 

Nicholas Thomas Marion Dufresne was born at St. Malo on the 
22nd of December, 1729, and had entered the naval service very 
young. On the 16th of October, 1746, he was made lieutenant of a 


frigate, and at the time of his offer was still only captain of a fire 
ship. Still he had served everywhere with distinction, and nowhere 
more successfully than in the Indian Seas. 

The mission for which he offered himself was merely a pretext 
for a voyage of discovery in the Southern Seas. 

Poivre, an intelligent governor and a friend to progress, approved 
of Dufresne's projects, and gave him detailed instructions for the 
enterprise he was about to undertake in the Southern Hemisphere. 
At this time Cook had not yet proved the non-existence of an An- 
tarctic Continent. 

Poivre would dearly have liked to have discovered the northern 
portion of the lands he imagined to lie near the French colonies, 
and where he hoped to meet with a more temperate climate. 
He calculated upon finding timber for masts, and many other 
necessaries there, such as provisions, which he was now obliged to 
obtain at heavy cost from the metropolis. Moreover, there might 
be a safe port, where vessels could find shelter from the storms 
which almost periodically ravaged the islands of Mauritius and 

The government had just sent a ship's lieutenant, M. Kergue- 
len, to make discoveries in these unknown seas. Marion's expedi- 
tion, which was to try a different route, could not fail to aid in the 
solution of the problem. 

On the 18th of October, 1771, the Mascarin y commanded by 
Marion, and the Marquis de Castries, under the Chevalier Du Cles- 
meur, midshipman, set sail. They put in first at Bourbon Island. 
There they took Aoutourou on board . He was unfortunately infected 
with small-pox, which he had caught in the Mauritius ; and the ill- 
ness soon declared itself, so that it was necessary to leave Bourbon 
lest he should communicate it to the inhabitants. The two vessels 
then made for Port Dauphin, on the coast of Madagascar, in order to 
allow the malady to run its course, before proceeding to the Cape, 
where they were to complete provisioning. Young Aoutourou 
soon died of the disease. 

Under these circumstances, was it necessary to return to 
Mauritius, disarm the ships, and give up the expedition ? 
Marion thought not. With greater freedom of action, he deter- 
mined to make himself famous by a new voyage, and he inspired 
his companions with enthusiasm like his own. 


He soon reached the Cape of Good Hope, where he completed 
in a few days the provisioning necessary for an eighteen months' 

A southerly route was chosen towards the land discovered in 
1739 by Bouvet de Lozier, and which was to be looked for east of 
the meridian of Madagascar. 

Nothing remarkable occurred from the 28th of December, 1771, 
the day upon which the vessels had left the Cape, until the 
llth of January. It was then discovered, by taking the latitude 
20 43' east of the Paris meridian, that they were in the parallel 
(40 to 41 south) of the islands named in Van Keulen's chart 
as Dina and Marvezen, and not marked at all upon French maps. 

Although the presence of land- birds induced Marion to suppose 
that he was not far from the islands, he left these latitudes on the 
9th of January, convinced that his search for the southern con- 
tinent ought to occupy his entire attention. The llth of January 
found him in 45 43' S. lat., and, although it was summer in 
these regions, the cold was severe, and snow fell without ceasing. 
Two days later, in a dense fog, which was succeeded by rain, 
Marion discerned land which extended a distance of five leagues 
from the "VV.S.W. to the E.N.E. The soundings gave a 
depth of eighty fathoms with a bottom of coarse sand mixed with 
coral. This land stretched away till it could be seen behind the 
vessels, that is to say, over a distance of six to seven leagues. It 
appeared to be very lofty and mountainous. It received the name 
of Hope, marking Marion's great desire to reach the southern 
continent. Four years later Cook called it Prince Edward's 

To the north lay another territory. 

Crozet, editor of Marion's voyage, says, 

" I noticed, in coasting along this island, that to the N.E. there 
existed a creek, opposite to what appeared to be a large cavern. 
All around this cavern he remarked a number of large white 
spots, which looked like a flock of sheep. Had time allowed, 
he might have found anchorage opposite the creek. I fancied 
I saw a cascade issuing from the mountains. In rounding 
the island we discovered three islets detached from it, two of 
them situated in the large bay formed by the coast, and the 
third on its northern extremity. The island itself was about 


seven or eight leagues in circumference, without verdure, and 
apparently barren. The coast was healthy and safe. M. Marion 
named it Cavern Island. 

" These two southern territories are situated in 45 45' S. lat. by 
34 31' east of the Paris meridian, half a degree east of the route 
pursued by Bouvet. Next day, about six leagues of the coast of 
the land of Hope was made out. It looked fertile. The 
mountains were lofty and covered with snow. The navigators 
were about to look for anchorage, when, during the sounding 
operations, the two ships ran foul of each other and were both 
damaged. Three days were occupied in repairs. The weather, 
which had hitherto been fine, broke up, and, the wind becoming 
violent, it was necessary to continue the course following the 
forty-sixth parallel. New lands were discovered on the 24th 
of January. 

" At first," says Crozet, " they appeared formed of two islands ; I 
took a sketch at a distance of eight leagues, and shortly afterwards 
we took them for two capes, imagining we could see in the far 
distance a stretch of land between them. They are situated in 
40 5' S. lat. and about 42 E. long, reckoning from the meridian 
of Paris. M. Marion named them Les lies Froides, or the Cold 

" Although little progress was made during the'night, the islands 
were invisible next morning. Upon this day the Castries sig- 
nalled land, which stretched some ten or twelve leagues E.S.E.; but 
a dense fog, lasting no less than twelve hours, continued rain, and 
cold, which was severe and trying to lightly-clad men, made any 
approach nearer than six or seven leagues impossible. 

" This coast was seen again upon the 24th, as well as new land, 
which received the name of the Arid Island, and is now known as 
Crozet Island. Marion was at length able to lower a boat, and 
ordered Crozet to take possession of the larger of the two islands 
in the name of the king. It is situated in 46 30' S. lat., and 43 
E. long., reckoning from the Paris meridian. M. Marion 
called this island La Prise de Possession (it is now known as Marion 
Island). This was the sixth island discovered by us in these 
southern waters. From a height I discerned snow in many of the 
valleys. The land appeared barren, and covered with very small 
grass. I found neither tree nor bush in the island. Exposed to 


the continual ravages of the stormy west winds which prevailed the 
entire year in these latitudes, it appeared uninhabitable. I found 
nothing there but seals, penguins, sea- gulls, Mother Carey's chickens, 
and every variety of aquatic birds, usually met with by naviga- 
tors in the open sea, when passing the Cape of Good Hope. These 
creatures, never having seen a man, were not wild, and allowed us 
to take them in the hand. The female birds sat tranquilly upon 
their eggs, others fed their young, whilst the seals continued their 
gambols in our presence, without appearing in the least alarmed." 
Marion continued to steer between 46 to 47 lat. in the midst of 
a fog so dense that it was impossible to see from one end of the 
deck to the other, and without constant firing the ships must have 
parted company. Upon the 2nd of February the two ships were in 
47 22' E. long., that is to say within 1 10' of the lands discovered 
upon the 13th of the same month by the king's vessels La Fortune 
and Le Gros Venire, commanded by MM. de Kerguelen and 
Saint Allouarn. Doubtless, but for the accident to the Castries, 
Marion would have fallen in with them. 

Having reached 90 east of the Paris meridian, Marion changed 
his route, and directed his course to Yan Diemen's Land. No 
incident occurred during the cruise, and the two vessels cast 
anchor in Frederick Henry Bay. 

Boats were at once lowered, and a strong detachment made its 
way to the shore, where some thirty natives were found ; and the 
country, judging from the fires and smoke, must have been well 

" The natives of the country," says Crozet, " came forward wil- 
lingly. They picked up wood and formed a sort of pile. They 
then presented the new comers with pieces of dried wood which 
they had lighted ; and appeared to invite them to set fire to the 
pile. No one knew what the ceremony might mean, and it was 
accordingly tried. The natives did not appear surprised. They 
remained about us, without making any demonstration either of 
hostility or friendship, and their wives and children were with 
them. Both men and women were of ordinary height, black in 
colour, with woolly hair, and all were naked. Some of the women 
carried their children tied on to their backs with rushes. All the 
men were armed with pointed sticks and stones, which appeared 
to us to be sharp, like hatchets. 

A lighted brand was also presented to them. 

Page 225. 


" We attempted to win them over by small presents. They 
disdainfully rejected all that we offered, even iron, looking-glasses, 
handkerchiefs, and pieces of cloth. Fowls and ducks which had 
been brought from the ship were shown to them ; as evidence 
that we wished to trade. They took them, looked at them as if 
they had never seen such things before, and threw them aside with 
an angry air." 

An hour had been spent in the attempt to gain the good-will 
of the savages, when Marion and Du Clesmeur landed. A lighted 
brand was also presented to them, and fully persuaded that it was 
a peaceful ceremony, they did not hesitate to light the pile which 
was prepared. They were mistaken, for the natives immediately 
retired and flung a volley of stones, which wounded the two captains. 
They retaliated by a few shots, and the whole party re- embarked. 

After another attempt at landing, which the natives opposed 
with great bravery, it was necessary to repulse them by a 
volley which wounded several and killed one. The crew then 
landed and pursued the natives, who made no attempt to resist 

Two detachments were sent in search of a watering place, and of 
trees suitable for repairing the masts of the Castries. Six days 
passed in fruitless search ; fortunately not wholly wasted, as many 
curious observations were made on behalf of science. 

" From the considerable number of shells which we found at short 
distances," says Crozet, " we concluded that the ordinary food of 
these savages was mussels, cockles, and various shell-fish." 

Is it not strange to find, among the New Zealanders, the remains 
of food similar to that with which we are familiar on the Scandi- 
navian coasts? Is not man everywhere the same, and incited by 
the same needs to the same actions ? 

Finding it waste of time to seek for water and wood with which 
to remast the Castries and repair the Mascarin, which leaked a 
good deal, Marion started on the 10th of March for New Zealand, 
and reached that island fourteen days later. 

New Zealand, discovered by Tasman in 1642, and visited by 
Cook and Saville in 1772, was now becoming known. 

The two vessels made for land at Mount Egmont, but the shore 
was so steep at this point, that Marion put back to sea and returned 
to reconnoitre the land upon the 31st of March in 36 30' latitude. 



He coasted along the shore, and, in spite of contrary winds, 
returned northward as far as the Three Kings Islands. He found it 
impossible to land there. It was therefore necessary to reach the 
mainland, and anchor was cast opposite Cape Maria- Van-Diemen, 
the most northerly extremity of New Zealand. The anchorage 
was soon perceived to be bad, and after many attempts Marion 
stopped at Cook's Island Bay on the llth of May. 

Tents were erected on one of the islands, where wood and 
water were found, and the sick were installed there under a strong 
guard. The natives came on board, some of them even slept 
there, and trade, facilitated by the use of a Tahitan vocabulary, 
was carried on in grand style. 

" I remarked with surprise," says Crozet, " that among the 
savages who came on board were three distinct species of men. 
One of these appeared to be the original native, and was of a yellow- 
ish white colour, taller than the others, the usual height being from 
five foot nine to five foot ten inches ; he had smooth black hair. 
The more swarthy and somewhat smaller men- had slightly curl- 
ing hair. And lastly, the genuine negro, with woolly hair and of 
smaller stature than the others, but usually broader chested. 
The first have very little beard, whilst the negroes have a great 

This curious observation was afterwards verified. It is unneces- 
sary to linger over the customs of the New Zealanders, or over 
Marion's minute description of their fortified villages, their arms, 
clothing and food ; these details are already known to our readers. 

The French pitched three camps on land. The first for the 
sick, upon Matuaro Island, the second upon the mainland, which 
served as a depot, and a means of communication with the third, 
which was the workshop of the carpenters, and was some two 
leagues away in the midst of a wood. The crew, persuaded 
by the friendliness of the natives, made long excursions into the 
interior, and received a hearty welcome everywhere. Confidence 
was at length so fully established that, in spite of Crozet's repre- 
sentations, Marion ordered the sloops' boats to be disarmed. This 
was unpardonable imprudence in a country where Tasinan had 
given the name of Assassin Bay to the first point on which he landed, 
where Cook had met with cannibals, and had been nearly massacred. 

On the 8th of June, Marion landed, and was received with even 

The only one who had escaped. 

Pa&e 227. 


greater demonstrations of friendship than usual. He was proclaimed 
head chief of the country, and the natives placed four white 
feathers in his hair, as insignia of royalty. 

Four days later he again landed with two young officers, 
MM. de Vaudricourt and Le Houx, a volunteer and captain of 
arms, and a few sailors, seventeen persons in all. Evening 
approached, but no one came back to the ship. At first no 
anxiety was felt, for the hospitable customs of the natives were well- 
known. It was supposed that Marion had slept on shore, to be 
ready to visit the workshops in the morning. 

On the 13th of June the Castries sent her boat for the daily 
supply of wood and water. At nine o'clock a man was seen 
swimming towards the ships. A boat was lowered to help him on 
board. It was one of the rowers, the only one who had escaped 
from the massacre of his comrades. He had received two lance 
thrusts in the side, and been much ill-treated. 

From his account, it appeared that the natives had at first 
shown their usual friendliness. They had even carried the sailors, 
who feared getting wet, ashore upon their shoulders. But, when the 
crew dispersed to pick up their cargo of wood, the natives reappeared, 
armed with spears, tomahawks, and clubs, and threw themselves 
in parties of six and seven upon each of the sailors. The survivor 
had been attacked by two men only, who had wounded him with 
two lance thrusts, and as, fortunately, he was not far from the sea, 
he had succeeded in reaching the shore, where he hid himself 
in some brushwood. From thence he had witnessed the massacre 
of all his companions, The savages had the bodies stripped, and 
commenced cutting them up, when he stole noiselessly from his 
concealment, and threw himself into the sea, hoping to reach the 
ship by swimming. Had all the sixteen men who accompanied 
Marion, and of whom no news was received, met a like fate? 
It seemed probable. In any case, it was needful to take imme- 
diate precautions for the safety of the three camps. Chevalier Du 
Clesmeur at once took the command, and, thanks to his energy, the 
disaster did not assume worse proportions. 

The sloop of the Mascarin was armed and sent in search of 
Marion's boat and sloop, with orders to warn all the camps, 
and curry help to the most distant, where masts and spars were 
being made. On the road, upon the shore, the two boats were dis- 


covered near the village of Tacoury. They were surrounded by 
natives, who had pillaged them after massacring the sailors. 

Without waiting to regain possession of the boats, the officer 
put on all speed in the hope of reaching the workshop in time. 
Fortunately, it had not yet been attacked by the natives. All work 
was immediately stopped, the utensils and weapons were collected, 
the guns were loaded, and such objects as could not be removed 
were buried beneath the ruins of the shed, which was set on fire. 

The retreat was accomplished amongst crowds of natives, crjdng 
in sinister tones, " Tacouri mate Marion," " Tacouri has killed 
Marion." Two leagues were traversed in this manner, during 
which no aggression was attempted against the sixty men who 
composed the detachment. Upon their arrival at the sloop, the 
natives approached them ; Crozet first sent all the sailors who 
carried loads on board, then, tracing a line on the ground, he made 
it understood that the first native who passed it would immediately 
be fired upon. An order was then given to the natives to seat 
themselves; and it must have been an imposing spectacle to see 
thousands obeying unresistingly, in spite of their desire to seize the 
prey which was escaping before their eyes. 

Crozet embarked last, and no sooner had he set foot in the 
sloop than the war-cry was uttered ; whilst javelins and stones 
were thrown from every direction. Hostilities had succeeded 
threats, and the savages rushed into the water the better to 
aim at their foes. Crozet found himself obliged to prove to these 
wretches the superiority of his weapons, and gave orders to fire. 
The New Zealanders, seeing their comrades fall wounded or dead, 
without their appearing to have been touched, were quite amazed. 
They would all have been killed had not Crozet stopped the 
firing. The sick were taken on board without accident, and 
the encampment, reinforced and put on guard, was not 

Next day, the natives, who had an important village upon 
Matuaro Island, endeavoured to prevent the sailors from fetching 
the water and wood they needed. The latter then marched 
against them, bayonet in hand, and followed them up to their 
village, where they shut themselves in. The voice of the chief 
inciting them to battle was heard. Firing was commenced 
as soon as the village was within range, and this was so well 

A man's skull was found. 

Page 229. 


directed that the chiefs were the first victims. As soon as they 
fell, the natives fled. Some fifty were killed, the rest were 
driven into the sea, and the village was burned. 

It was useless to dream of bringing to the shore the five masts, 
made with great difficulty from the cedars which had been cut down, 
and the carpenters were obliged to repair the mast with pieces 
of wood collected on the ships. The provisioning of the ships with 
the seven hundred barrels of water, and seventy loads of wood, neces- 
sary for the voyage, would infallibly occupy at least a month, for 
there remained only one sloop. 

The fate of Marion, and the men who had accompanied him, was 
still unknown. A well-armed detachment therefore started for the 
village of Tacouri. 

It was abandoned ! Only men too old to follow the flight of 
their companions remained, and were seated in the doors of their 
huts. An effort was made to take them. One of them, without 
any apparent effort, at once struck a soldier with a javelin 
he held in his hand. He was killed, but no injury was inflicted 
upon the others who were left in the village. All the houses were 
thoroughly searched. In Tacouri's kitchen a man's skull was found 
which had been cooked some days before. Some fleshy parts still 
remained which bore the impress of the cannibal's teeth. On a 
wooden spit, a piece of a human thigh, three parts eaten, was 
found. In another house, a shirt was recognized as having be- 
longed to the unfortunate Marion. The collar was soaked in blood, 
and two or three holes were found in the side, also blood-stained. 
In various other houses, portions of the clothes, and the pistols 
belonging to young Yaudricourt, who had accompanied the Cap- 
tain, were brought to light. The boat's arms, and quantities of 
scraps of the unfortunate sailors' clothing, were also discovered. 

Doubt was unfortunately no longer possible. An account of the 
death of the victims was drawn up, and Chevalier Du Clesmeur 
searched Marion's papers to discover his projects, and the plans for 
the prosecution of the voyage. He found only the instructions 
given by the Governor of Mauritius. 

A council was held with the ship's officers, and, bearing in mind 
the lamentable condition of the vessels, it was decided to abandon 
the search for new lands, and to make for Amsterdam or Rotterdam 
Island, then for the Mariana and Philippines, where there was 


a chance of disposing of the cargo, before returning to Mauri- 
tius. On the 14th of July, Du Clesmeur left Treason Port, as he 
named the bay of these islands, and the vessels steered towards 
Amsterdam and Rotterdam Islands, to the north of which they 
passed on the 6th of August. Navigation was aided by splendid 
weather, a fortunate circumstance, as scurvy had made such 
ravages among the sailors, that very few of them were in a con- 
dition to work. At length, on the 20th of September, Guaham 
Island, the largest of the Mariana group, was discovered. It was 
impossible to cast anchor until seven days later. 

The account published by Crozet contains very precise and cir- 
cumstantial details regarding this island, with its productions and 
inhabitants. We will only transcribe from it one phrase, as explicit 
as it is short. 

" Guaham Island,"" he says, te appeared to us a terrestrial para- 
dise. The air was excellent, the water good, the vegetables and fruits 
were perfect,, the herds of cattle, goats, and pigs, innumerable; 
every species of fowl abounded." Amongst the vegetable 
productions,, Crozet mentions "Bima," the fruit of which is 
good to eat, when it has attained its full growth and is still 

" In this condition/' he says, " the natives gather it for food. 
They remove the rough skin, and cut it in slices like bread. When 
they wish to preserve it, they cut it in round pieces, and dry it 
in the sun or in an oven, in the form of very small cakes. This 
natural biscuit preserves its bread-like qualities for several years, 
and far longer than our best ship's biscuits." 

From Port Agana, Crozet reached the Philippine Islands, and 
anchored off Cavite, in Manilla Bay. This was the spot where the 
Castries and Mascarin parted, to go back to Mauritius separately. 

Some years previously a gallant officer of the royal navy, Cheva- 
lier Jacques Raymond de Geron de Grenier, who was one of that 
group of distinguished men, the Chazelles, the Bordas, the 
Fleuriens, the Du Martz de Gormpy, the Chaberts, the Verduns 
de la Crenne, who contributed so zealously to the progress of navi- 
gation and geography had employed his leisure, during a stay in 
the Isle of France, in exploring the adjacent seas. 

He had made a very profitable cruise in the corvette, the Heure du 
Beryer t during which he rectified the position of Saint Brandon's rock, 


and of the Saya-de-Malha sandbank, examined separately Saint 
Michael, Rocque-pire, and Agalega in the Seychelles archipelago, 
and corrected the charts of Adu and Diego Garcia Islands. 
Convinced of the connexion of the currents with the monsoon, 
which he had thoroughly studied, he proposed a shortened route, 
always open, from the Isle of France to the Indies. It would be 
a saving of eight hundred leagues, and was well worth serious 

The minister of Marine, who had seen Grenier's proposition well 
received by the Naval Academy, decided to entrust its examination 
to a ship's officer, who was accustomed to work of the kind. 

He selected Yves-Joseph de Kerguelen. During two expedi- 
tions, undertaken in 1767 and 1768, for the encouragement and 
protection of the cod-fisheries on the coast of Iceland, this navigator 
had surveyed a great number of ports and roadsteads, collected 
astronomical observations, rectified the map of Iceland, and 
accumulated a mass of particulars concerning this little-known 
country. It was he, indeed, who gave the earliest authentic 
account of " geysers," those springs of warm water which occasion- 
ally reach to such great heights, and he also supplied curious details 
of the existence of fossil wood, which prove that at an early 
geological period, Iceland, now entirely devoid of trees, possessed 
enormous forests. 

Kerguelen had at the same time published novel details of the 
manrers and customs of the inhabitants. 

"The women," he said, " have dresses, jackets, and aprons made 
of a cloth called ' wadmal ' which is made in Iceland. They wear 
an ample' robe above their jackets, rather like that of the Jesuits, 
but not so long as the petticoats, which they allow to be seen. 
These robes are of different colours, but generally black ; they are 
called ' hempe.' They are trimmed with velvet or some other orna- 
ment. The head-dresses look like pyramids or sugar-loaves, two or 
three feet high. The women ornament the head with a large 
handkerchief of very coarse cloth, which stands upright, and they 
cover it with another finer one, which forms the shape of which I 
spoke." Lastly, Kerguelen had collected very interesting docu- 
ments, relating to Denmark, the Laplanders, the Samoyedes, the 
Faroe Islands, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, which he had 
thoroughly explored. 


Kerguelen, entrusted with the examination of the route pro- 
posed by Grenier, asked permission of the minister to employ his 
ship to explore all the southern lands discovered in 1739 by 
Bouvet de Lozier. The Abbe Terray, who had just succeeded the 
Duke of Praslin, gave him command of the ship Le Berryer, which 
brought 300 able-bodied seamen and provisions for fourteen 
months from Lorient, together with some ammunition for Mauri- 
tius. The Abbe Rochon was associated with Kerguelen, for making 
astronomical observations. Upon reaching Mauritius, on the 20th 
of August, 1771, Kerguelen exchanged the Berryer for the La 
Fortune, to which a small vessel, the Gros-ventre, with sixteen 
guns and a crew of a hundred men, was attached under command of 
M. de Saint Allouarn. 

As soon as the two vessels were equipped, Kerguelen set sail 
and steered northward in search of the Mahe Islands. During a 
great storm, the sounding lines of the Fortune gave an ever- 
decreasing depth, first thirty, then twenty, and at last only fourteen 
fathoms. Anchor was then cast, and it held fast throughout the 

" Daybreak at last relieved our anxieties," says Kerguelen ; " we 
perceived neither land nor rock. The Gros-ventre was three 
leagues distant ; her captain could not believe that I was at anchor, 
for the noise of the thunder, and the dazzling lightning, prevented 
his hearing or seeing my signals. This is the sole instance of a vessel 
anchoring in the night in the open sea upon an unknown coast. I 
set sail, and allowed the vessels to drift, taking constant soundings. 
I at first found fourteen, then twenty, then twenty-five, at last 
twenty-eight fathoms. Then I suddenly lost the bottom altogether, 
proving that we had passed above a submarine mountain. This 
new bank, which I called Fortune Bank, stretched, N.W. and S.E. 
It is situated in 7 16' S. lat. and 55 50' E. long." 

The Fortune and the Gros-ventre then made for 50 S. lat., 
which was the route recommended by the Chevalier de Grenier. 
The two captains were aware that the winds constantly blew from 
the east, at this season of the year, and therefore went to the 
Maldives, and coasted along Ceylon from Point de Galle, to 
Trincomalee. Upon their return the monsoon had changed. The 
prevailing winds were W. and S.W. as Grenier had predicted. 
The route suggested by him had undeniable advantages, and 


these have been so amply confirmed by experience that no other is 
now followed. 

Returning to Mauritius on the 8th of December, Kerguelen 
hurried his preparations for departure to such an extent that he 
was able to start upon the 12th of January, 1772. He steered 
southwards, for, supposing that he found land in that direction, the 
nearest would naturally be the most useful for the French colony. 

From the 1st of February, numbers of birds seemed to indicate 
the proximity of land. Hail succeeded snow. The vessels ex- 
perienced foul weather, boisterous winds, and a heavy sea. The 
first land was sighted upon the 12th. Next day a second was dis- 
covered, and shortly afterwards a very lofty and extensive cape. 
The following day at seven o'clock in the morning, the sun having 
dispelled the clouds, a line of coast extending some twenty-five 
leagues was clearly seen. The vessels were then in 49 40' S. lat. 
and 61 10' E. long. 

Unfortunately storm succeeded storm, and the two vessels with 
great difficulty escaped being cast ashore. Kerguelen was driven 
northward by currents, shortly after he had sent a boat to attempt 
a landing. 

" Finding myself so far from land/' says Kerguelen, " I reflected 
upon the best course to be pursued. I remembered that the state 
of my mast was too bad to allow me to crowd sail, and leave the 
coast, and that, having no sloop to carry my anchors, I was ex- 
posed to extreme danger whilst near the shore, that in the dense 
fog it was all but impossible to find the Gros-ventre, from which I 
had been separated for several days. It was the more difficult on 
account of the tempest we had experienced, and the variable winds 
that prevailed. These reflections and my conviction that the Gros- 
vcntre was an excellent sailer, and that she was provisioned for 
seven months, determined me to return to Mauritius, which I reached 
upon the 16th of March." Fortunately no accident had happened 
to the Gros- venire. Her boat had returned in time ; Boisgue- 
henneuc, who had landed, had taken possession of the land with 
all the usual formalities, and left some writing in a bottle, which 
was found by Captain Cook in 1776. 

Kerguelen returned to France, but his successful enterprise had 
gained him many enemies. When upon the 1st of January, 1772, the 
king nominated him captain, and Chevalier de Saint Louis, the 


attacks upon him increased. The most malignant slanders were circu- 
lated. They even went the length of accusing him of having scuttled 
the Gros-ventre in order to derive all the benefit accruing from the 
discovery which he had made in concert with M. de Saint Allouarn. 

The minister, however, was not influenced by these slanders, and 
decided to entrust the command of a second expedition to Ker- 
guelen. The Roland, and the frigate Oiseau, left Brest upon the 
26th of March, 1772, the latter under command of M. de Saux de 

Upon reaching the Cape, Kerguelen was obliged to put in for 
forty days. The entire crew was suffering from putrid fever, pro- 
bably owing to the dampness of the new vessel. 

"This appeared the more probable/' says the narrative, "because 
all the dried vegetables, such as peas, beans, lentils, &c., together 
with the rice, and a quantity of biscuits, were spoiled in the store- 
room. The vegetables emitted a kind of steam which was in- 
fectious, and the store-rooms became infested with numbers of white 
worms. The Holand left the Cape upon the llth of July, but she 
was almost immediately overtaken by a frightful tempest, which 
carried away two topsails, the jib, and the mizen mast. Finally 
Mauritius was reached by means of jury-masts." 

M M. de Roches and Poivre, who had contributed so essentially to 
the success of the first expedition, had been succeeded by M. de 
Ternay and the Intendant Maillard. They appeared determined 
to offer every possible obstacle to the execution of Kerguelen's 
orders. They gave him no fresh victuals, of which the crew had 
pressing need, and there were no means of replacing the masts 
destroyed by the tempest. In lieu of the thirty-four sailors who 
had to go to the hospital, he was provided only with disgraced or 
maimed soldiers, of whom he was glad to rid himself. An 
expedition to the southern seas, so equipped, could only come to a 
disastrous end ; and that was precisely what happened. 

On the 5th of January, Kerguelen sighted the lands he had 
discovered in his first voyage, and between that date and the 
16th he recognized various points, Croy Island, He-union Island, 
Roland Island, which in his estimation made more than eighty 
leagues of coast. The weather continued extremely severe ; thick 
fogs, snow, hail, and gales succeeded each other. On the 21st, 
the vessels could only keep in company by constant firing. Upon 


that day the cold was so severe that several of the sailors fainted 
on deck. 

"The officers/' says Kerguelen, "insisted that the ordinary 
ration of biscuit was not enough, and that without more the crew 
could not possibly resist the cold and fog. I increased each man's 
rations by four ounces of biscuit daily/' 

Upon the 8th of January, 1774, the Roland signalled the frigate 
at "Re-union Island. Communication with her was opened, and 
M. Rosnevet declared that he had found an anchorage in a bay 
behind Cape Fran9ais, that he had sent a boat on the 6th to take 
soundings, and that, upon landing to take possession, the men had 
killed a sea- lion and some penguins. 

Once again, the prostrate condition of the crew, the bad quality 
of the victuals, and the dilapidated state of the vessels, prevented 
Kerguelen from making a thorough investigation of this desolate 
archipelago. He was forced to return ; but, instead of returning 
to Mauritius, he landed in Antongil Bay, Madagascar, where he 
was sure of obtaining lemons, limes, custard apples, and other anti- 
scorbutics, as well as fresh meat. 

An adventurer named Beniowski, whose history is sufficiently 
curious, had just founded a French colony there. But he was in 
need of , everything. Kerguelen gave him ammunition, bricks, 
iron implements, shirts, blankets, &c., and finally ordered his car- 
penters to build a store-shed for him. 

Thirty-four of the crew of the Roland had died since leaving the 
southern regions, and if Kerguelen had remained another week in 
these latitudes, he would have lost a hundred men ! On his return 
to France, Kerguelen met with nothing but ill-will and calumny, 
in return for so much fatigue, so bravely born. The feeling 
against him was so strong that one of his officers was not ashamed 
to publish a memoir, in which all the facts were dressed up in the 
most unfavourable shape, and the failure of the enterprise thrown 
upon Kerguelen. We do not assert that he was entirely free from 
blame, but we consider the verdict of the council of war which 
deprived him of his rank, and condemned him to detention in the 
Chateau of Saumur, most unjust. No doubt the judgment was 
found to be excessive, and the government discerned more malice 
than justice in it, for a few months later Kerguelen was restored 
to liberty. The gravest charge against him was that of having 


abandoned his sloop and a portion of his crew, in the southern 
seas, who, but for the opportune arrival of the Fortune, must have 
perished. Probably, however, even this was much exaggerated, 
for a letter exists from the abandoned officer, M. de Rosily (after- 
wards vice-admiral), in which he begs to serve again under Ker- 
guelen. The account of these expeditions is an extract from the 
apology published by Kerguelen during his imprisonment, a work 
which was confiscated by government, and on that account is ex- 
tremely rare. 

We must now turn our attention to the account of expeditions 
which, although they did not result in discoveries, had an importance 
of their own. They contributed to the rectification of charts, to the 
progress of navigation and geography, but, above all, they solved 
a long-standing problem, the determination of longitude at sea. 

To decide upon the position of a locality it is first necessary to 
obtain its latitude, that is to say, its distance N. or S. from the 
equator, and its longitude, or in other words its distance E. or W. 
from some known meridian. 

At this period, no instrument for determining the position of a 
ship existed but the rope known as a log, which, thrown into the 
sea, measured the distance which the ship made every half minute ; 
the proportionate speed of the vessel per hour was deduced from it. 
But the log is far from immoveable, and the speed of a vessel is not 
always the same, hence arose two important sources of error. The 
direction of the route was determined by the mariner's needle or 
compass. But every one knows that the compass is subject to varia- 
tions, and that the vessel does not invariably follow the course it 
indicates, and it is no easy matter to determine the exact difference. 
These inconveniences once admitted, the question was to find a 
method exempt from them. 

With Hadley's quadrant, latitude could be determined within a 
minute, that is to say, to the third of a league. But such an ap- 
proximate exactitude was not possible in deciding longitudes. 
When once the different phenomena of the variations of the mag- 
netic needle, either of declination or inclination, should be fully 
understood, it would be easy ; but how to obtain this knowledge ? 
It was well known that in the Indian Sea, between Bourbon, 
Madagascar, and Rodriguez, a variation of four degrees in the 
declination of the needle was equivalent to a variation of five 


degrees in the longitude, but it was equally admitted that the 
declination of the magnetic needle was subject to variations, in the 
same localities, for which no cause could be assigned. 

Verdun de la Crenne, writing in 1778, says a declination of twelve 
degrees, from N. to W. twenty years ago, indicated a longitude of 
61 W. of Paris, in any given latitude. It is very probable that 
within the last twenty years the declination has varied two degrees, 
which makes the longitude deduced from it wrong by two and a 
half degrees, or nearly fifty nautical miles. 

If the right time is known on board, that is to say, the correct 
time by which the meridian could be computed at the moment of 
any given observation, and if at the same time, the exact time 
at the port from which the ship had started, or that if any 
known meridian could be ascertained, the difference of time would 
evidently give that of the meridians, at the rate of fifteen degrees 
per hour, or one degree per four minutes. The problem of the 
longitude could thus be reduced to a determination, at a given 
moment of the time at any given meridian. 

To achieve this it was necessary to have a watch or clock which 
should preserve a perfect isochronism, in defiance of the state of 
the sea or differences of temperature. 

Many attempts had been made. Besson in the sixteenth century, 
Huyghens in the seventeenth century, and again Sully, Harrison, 
Dutertre, Gallonde, Rivas, Le Roy, and Ferdinand Berthoud had 
attempted to solve the problem. 

The English and French Governments, moreover, convinced of 
the value of a perfect instrument, had offered a high reward for its 
invention. The Academy of Science had instituted a competition. 
In 1765 Le Roy sent in two watches for competition, whilst Ber- 
thould, who was in the king's service, was unable to do so. Le 
Roy's watches passed successfully through the various trials to 
which they were subjected on land. It remained to be proved 
whether they would be equally trustworthy at sea. 

The Marquis de Constanvaux had the frigate Aurora built at 
his own cost for this experiment. Le Roy, however, decided that 
a cruise, with constant stoppages, at Calais, Dunkirk, Rotterdam, 
Amsterdam and Boulogne, lasting only from the 25th of May to the 
29th of August, was far too short, and he demanded a second trial. 
This time his watches were sent on board the frigate, the Enjonee, 


which, leaving Havre, put in at St. Pierre near Teneriffe, at Salee 
in Africa, at Cadiz, and finally, after a voyage of four months 
and a half, at Brest. The trial had been a serious one, the 
latitudes and the state of the sea having both changed constantly. 
If the watch had neither lost or gained, it won the prize, which 
was in fact assigned to Le Roy. 

The Academy, however, knew that many other scientific men had 
bestowed their attention upon the subject, and for various causes 
had been unable to exhibit. They therefore proposed the same 
subject for the competition of 1771, and in 1773 they doubled the 

R Berthould imagined that he had reached perfection, but his 
watch had still to be tested by the trial of a long sea voyage. 

The Isis, a frigate of eighteen guns, was equipped at Rochefort 
at the latter end of 1768, and placed under command of Chevalier 
d'Eveux de Fleurien, known later as Caret-de Fleurien. Fleurien, 
then a midshipman, was already, though only thirty years of age, 
a well known savant. We have already mentioned his name, 
and shall find further occasion to do so. At this juncture, fasci- 
nated by mechanics, Fleurien had assisted Berthould in his under- 
taking, but that his disinterestedness might be above suspicion, 
he selected several officers to assist him in observing the motions 
of the watch which was entrusted to him. 

Starting in November, 1768, the Isis put in successively at 
Cadiz, the Canary Islands, Groree, the Cape Yerde Islands, 
Martinique, St. Domingo, Terra Nuova, the Canaries, Cadiz again, 
and reached Aix Island on the 31st of October, 1769. 

The watches, carried through climates alternately cold, hot, 
and temperate, had experienced every vicissitude of climate, and 
at the same time had been exposed to all the variations of the 
sea, in the roughest season of the year. 

After this trial, which had redounded so much to his honour, 
Berthould obtained the rank and pension of an inspector of 
nautical watches. 

This expedition had other results which concern us more par- 
ticularly. Fleurien took a number of astronomical observations, 
and hydrographical surve3 r s, which resulted in a well-founded con- 
demnation of the maps of his country. 

" For a long time," he says, in his account of his voyage, "I 


did not attempt criticism of the maps belonging to the Society ; I 
wished to limit myself to giving new details by which they might 
be rectified; but I found such numberless and dangerous mistakes, 
that I should have considered myself culpable towards mariners 
if I had neglected fully to point them out/' 

A little further on he justly criticizes the maps of a geographer 
who had at one time been famous. 

"I will not undertake," he says, "to enumerate all the errors 
which I have found in M. Bellin's maps. Their number is infinite. 
I shall content myself simply with proving the necessity for the 
work I did, by indicating the more glaring faults, either by com- 
paring the positions of various places upon his maps, with the 
positions they should have occupied if M. Bellin had been icilling to 
use the astronomical observations which have been published at various 
times; or by comparing other positions with those which we have 
determined by our own observations." 

Lastly, after giving a long list of errors in the situation of 
the most frequented places of Europe, of Africa and America, he 
winds up with these judicious words : 

" Upon glancing at a list of the various errors I have discovered 
in M. Belling maps, one is led to a reflection, sad but true and 
inevitable if the maps of the best known part of the globe, and 
on which the greater number of observations have been taken, are 
so far from correct, what exactitude can we hope to find in maps 
representing less frequented shores and islands, drawn and arranged 
by guess-work ? " 

Up to this time the watches had been examined separately and 
by different judges. Now arose the question of submitting them 
simultaneously to the same test, and of seeing which would come 
out victorious. 

For this purpose the frigate La Flore was equipped at Brest,* 
and the command was given to a most distinguished officer^ 
Yerdun de la Crenne, who was to become vice-admiral in 1786. 
The various stages of the expedition were Cadiz, Madeira, the 
Salvage Islands, Teneriffe, Goree, Martinique, Terra Nuova, Iceland 
which our explorers had some trouble to find the Faroe Islands, 
Denmark and Dunkerque. The narrative published by Yerdun 
de la Crenne, like that of Fleurien, abounds in rectifications of every 
kind. It is easy to see how carefully and exactly the soundings 


were taken, with what care the coasts were surveyed ; but not a 
little interesting also is that which is altogether wanting in 
Fleurien's .publication, descriptions of the countries and critical 
reflections upon the manners and customs of the different peoples 

Amongst the most interesting particulars contained in two large 
4to volumes, we must mention those relating to the Canary 
Islands and their ancient inhabitants the Sereres and Yolof, on 
Iceland, and the accurate remarks made by Verdun upon the 
subject of the meridian of Faroe Islands. 

" It was the most easterly meridian of these islands," he says, 
" that Ptolemy chose for the first meridian. It would doubtless have 
been easy for him to have selected Alexandria for the first meridian ; 
but this great man was aware that such a choice would bring no real 
honour to his country, that Rome and other ambitious towns might 
covet this imaginary glory, that every geographer, every narrator 
of voyages, arbitrarily choosing his own meridian, would engender 
confusion or at least embarrassment in the mind of the reader." 

Clearly Yerdun regarded the question of the first meridian 
from a high standpoint, as all really disinterested minds still do. 
It gives him yet another claim to our sympathy. 

Let us conclude with a quotation from this author : " The 
watches came out of the contest with honour. They had borne 
heat and cold, they had been becalmed, they had endured shocks 
as well as the vessel which carried them when it was wrecked at 
Antigua, and when it received charges of artillery. In a word, they 
fulfilled the hopes we had indulged, they deserve the confidence of 
navigators, and lastly they are of great service in the determination 
of longitude at sea." 

The solution of the problem was found ! 




The Expedition of La Perouse St. Catherine's Island Conception Island The 
Sandwich Islands Survey of the American coast French Port Loss of 
two boats Monterey and the Indians of California Stay at Macao Cavite 
and Manilla En route for China and Japan Formosa Quelpaert Island 
The coast of Tartary Ternay Bay The Tartars of Saghalien The Orot- 
chys Straits of La Perouse Ball at Kamtchatka Navigator Islands 
Massacre of M. de Langle and several of his companions Botany Bay No 
news of the Expedition D'Entrecastreux sent in search of La Perouse 
False News D'Entrecastreux Channel The coast of New Caledonia 
Land of the Arsacides The natives of Bouka Stay in Port Carteret 
Admiralty Islands Stay at Amboine Lewin Land Nuyts Archipelago 
Stay in Tasmania Fete in the Friendly Islands Particulars of the stay 
of La Perouse at Tonga Tabou Stay at Balado Traces of La Perouse in 
New Caledonia Vanikoro Sad fate of the Expedition. 

THE result of Cook's voyage, except the fact of his death, was 
still unknown, when the French government resolved to make 
use of the leisure which the peace just concluded had secured 
to the navy. The French officers, desirous of emulating the 
success of their old rivals the English, were fired with a noble 
emulation to excel them in some new field. The question arose 
as to the fittest person for the conduct of an important expe- 
dition. There was no lack of deserving candidates. Indeed, in 
the number lay the difficulty. 

The Minister's choice fell upon Jean Fra^ois Galaup de la 
Perouse, whose important military services had rapidly advanced 
him to the rank of captain. During the last war he had been in- 
trusted with the difficult mission of destroying the English posts in 
Hudson's Bay, and in this task he had proved himself not 
only an able soldier and sailor, but a man who could combine 
humanity with professional firmness. Second to him in the com- 
mand was M. de Langle, who had ably assisted him in the expedition 
to Hudson's Bay. 



A large staff embarked upon the two frigates La Boussole and 
L* Astrolabe. On board the Boussole were La Perouse ; Clenard, 
who was made captain during the expedition ; Monneron, an 
engineer ; Bernizet, a geographer ; Rollin, a surgeon ; Lepante 
Dagelet, an astronomer of the Academy of Sciences ; Lamanon, a 
physicist ; Duchede Yancy and Prevost the younger, draughtsmen; 
Collignon, a botanist ; and Guery, a clock maker. The Astrolabe, 
in addition to her commander, Captain de Langle, carried Lieutenant 
de Monte, who was made captain during the voyage, and the 
celebrated Monge, who, fortunately for the interests of science, 
landed at Teneriffe upon the 30th of August, 1785. 

The Academy of Sciences and the Society of Medicine had drawn 
up reports for the Minister of Marine, in which they called the 
attention of the navigators to certain points. Lastly, Fleurien, the 
superintendent of ports and naval arsenals, had himself drawn up 
the maps for the service of the expedition, and added to it an 
entire volume of learned notes and discussions upon the results 
of all known voyages since the time of Christopher Columbus. 

The two ships carried an enormous amount of merchandise 
for trade, as well as a vast quantity of provisions and stores, a 
twenty-ton boat, two sloops, masts, and reserve sets of sails and 

The two frigates sailed upon the 1st of August, 1785, and 
anchored off Madeira thirteen days later. 

The French were at once charmed and surprised at the kind and 
cordial welcome accorded them by the English residents. Upon 
the 19th La Perouse put into Teneriffe. 

" The various observations," he says, " made by MM. de 
Fleurien, Verdun, and Borda, upon Madeira, the Salvage Islands, 
and Teneriffe leave nothing to be wished for. Our attention was 
therefore confined to testing our instruments." 

This remark proves that La Perouse was capable of doing justice 
to his predecessors. And we shall have other opportunities of 
observing that quality in him. 

While the astronomers devoted themselves to estimating the 
regularity of the astronomical watches, the naturalists, with several 
officers, ascended the Peak, and collected some curious plants. 
Monneron succeeded in measuring this mountain with much 
greater accuracy than his predecessors, Herberdeen, Feuillee, 

Portrait of La Perouse. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 242. 


Bouguer, Verdun, and Borda, who calculated its height respectively 
at 2409, 2213, 2100, and 1904 fathoms. Unfortunately his work, 
which would have settled the discussion, never reached France. 

Upon the 16th of October, the isles, or rather rocks, of Marten 
Vas were seen. La Perouse ascertained their position, and after- 
wards made for the nearest, Trinity Island, which was only some 
nine leagues to the west. The commander of the expedition 
sent a sloop on shore in charge of an officer, in the hope of finding 
water, wood, and provisions. The officer had an interview with 
the Portuguese governor, whose garrison consisted of about two 
hundred men, fifteen of whom wore uniforms, and the rest merely 
shirts. The poverty of the land was obvious, and the French 
re-embarked without having obtained anything. 

After a vain search for Ascension Island, the expedition reached 
Saint Catherine's Island, off the coast of Brazil. 

" After ninety-six days' navigation," we read in the narrative of 
the voyage published by General Millet- Mureau, " we had not one 
case of illness on board. The health of the crew had remained un- 
impaired by change of climate, rain, and fog ; but our provisions 
were of first-class quality ; I neglected none of the precautions 
which experience and prudence suggested to me ; and above all, we 
kept up our spirits by encouraging dancing every evening among the 
crew, whenever the weather permitted, from eight o'clock till ten." 

Saint Catherine's Island, of which we have more than once had 
occasion to speak in the course of this narrative, extends from 
27 19' 10" S. lat. to 27 49'. It is only two leagues wide, and is 
divided in its narrowest part from the mainland by a channel 
of two hundred fathoms. The town of Nostra Senora del Desterra, 
the capital of the colony, where the governor resides, is built at 
the point of thjs narrow entrance. The population amounts, at the 
utmost, to three thousand, and there are about four hundred houses. 
The appearance of the town is very pleasant. According to 
Frezier's account, this island was a refuge in 1712 for the vagabonds 
who fled there from different parts of Brazil. They were Por- 
tuguese subjects in name only, and recognized no other authority. 
The country is so fertile that the inhabitants can live quite inde- 
pendently of any neighbouring colony. The ships in the harbour 
gave them shirts and coats, of which they had absolutely none, in 
exchange for provisions. 

R 2 


This island is extremely fertile, and the soil could easily be 
made to grow sugar-cane, but the inhabitants are so poor that 
they cannot buy the needful slaves for the labour. 

The French vessels found all that they needed in this spot, and 
their officers were cordially received by the Portuguese authorities. 

The following fact will give an idea of the hospitality of these 
people. " My boat/' says La Perouse, " having been upset in a 
creek where I was having wood cut, the inhabitants, after assisting 
in saving it, insisted on our shipwrecked sailors using their beds, 
and themselves slept on mats upon the floor of the room where 
they received" them so hospitably. A few days later they brought 
to my vessel the sails, mast, grapnel, and flag of the boat, which 
would have been of great use to them for their pirogues." 

The Bonssole and the Astrolabe weighed anchor upon the 19th 
of November, and directed their course to Cape Horn. After a 
violent storm, during which the frigates behaved very well, and 
after forty days' fruitless search for the large island discovered by 
a Frenchman, Antoine de la Roche, and called Georgia by Captain 
Cook, La Perouse crossed the Straits of Lemaire. Finding the 
winds favourable, he decided not to remain in Good Success Bay 
at this advanced season of the year, but immediately to double 
Cape Horn, in the hope of avoiding a possible delay that would 
have exposed his ships to injury and his crew to useless 

The friendly demonstrations of the Fuegians, the abundance of 
whales, which had never before been disturbed, the immense flocks 
of albatross and petrels, did not change his resolve. Cape Horn 
was rounded more easily than could have been expected. Upon 
the 9th of February the expedition was in the Straits of Magellan, 
and upon the 24th anchor was cast in Conception Harbour, 
which La Perouse preferred to that of Juan Fernandez, on account 
of the exhaustion of his provisions. The robust health of the crews 
astonished the Spanish governor. Possibly this was the first time 
a vessel had rounded Cape Horn and arrived in Chili without 
any sick on board. 

The town, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1757, 
had been rebuilt three leagues from the sea, upon the shore of 
the river Biobio. The houses are of one storey, and the town 
of La Concepcion contains ten thousand inhabitants. The bay 

Costumes of the inhabitants of Conception. 

Page 244. 


is one of the most commodious in the world ; the sea is smooth, and 
almost free from currents. This part of Chili is wonderfully 
fertile. One ear of corn reproduces sixty ; vines are equally pro- 
lific ; and the country teems with innumerable flocks, which 
multiply beyond all credence. 

In spite of these prosperous conditions the country made no 
progress, on account of the prohibitive system which at this time 
prevailed. Chili, with its productions, which might easily have 
fed the half of Europe ; its wool, which might have sufficed for the 
manufactures of France and England ; its meats, which might have 
been preserved had no commerce whatever. At the same time the 
duty upon imported goods was excessive, so that living was very 
dear. The middle class, as the " bourgeoisie " are^now called, did 
not exist ; the population consisted of two classes, the rich and the 
poor, as the following passage shows : 

" The dress of the women consists of a plaited skirt of the ancient 
gold or silver tissues which were formerly manufactured at Lyons. 
These petticoats, which are kept for grand occasions, are often in- 
herited like diamonds, and are handed down from generation to 
generation. They are only worn by a small number of the higher 
class ; the others have scarcely the means of clothing themselves at 

We will not follow La Perouse into his details of the enthu- 
siastic reception given to him, and we will pass over in silence 
his description of balls and toilettes, which never for a moment 
induced him to lose sight of the object of his voyage. So far 
the expedition had only passed through regions often before visited 
by Europeans. It was now about to penetrate to less-known 
realms. Anchor was raised upon the 1 5th of March, and, after a 
voyage entirely free from incident, the two frigates anchored upon 
the 9th of April in Cook's Bay, Easter Island. 

La Perouse affirms that Mr. Hodges, the painter, who accom- 
panied the celebrated English navigator, has given a very unjust 
representation of the inhabitants. Generally their physiognomies 
are pleasing, but they cannot be said to have much character. 

This is by no means the only point upon which the French navi- 
gator differs from Captain Cook. He believed the famous statues, of 
which one of the draughtsmen made an excellent sketch, to have 
been the work of the present generation, whose numbers he estimates 


at two thousand. It appeared to him also that the absolute lack 
of trees, and therefore of lakes and rivers, was due to the ex- 
travagant waste of wood by the earlier races. No disagreeable inci- 
dent occurred during the stay. Robberies, it is true, were frequent ; 
but as the French intended remaining only one day on the island, 
they thought it superfluous to give the population stricter ideas of 

After leaving Easter Island, upon the 10th of April, La Perouse 
followed much the same route as Cook had done in 1777, when he 
sailed from Tahiti to the American coast ; but he was a hundred 
leagues farther west. La Perouse indulged in the hope of making 
discoveries in this little-known region of the Pacific Ocean, and he 
promised to reward the sailor who should first sight land. Upon 
the 29th of May the Hawaian archipelago was reached. 

The naval watches proved of great assistance upon this occasion, 
and justified the opinion entertained of them. Upon reaching 
the Sandwich Islands La Perouse found a difference of five degrees 
between the longitude given and that obtained by him. Without 
the watches he would have placed this group five degrees too far 
east. This explains why the islands discovered by the Spanish 
Mendana, Queros, &c. are much too near the American coast, 
and also the non-existence of the group called by the Spaniards La 
Mesa, Los Majos, and La Disgraceada, which there is every reason 
to suppose was none other than the Sandwich archipelago, as Mesa 
in Spanish means "table/' and Captain King compares the 
mountain called Mauna Loa to a plateau or table-land. He did 
not, however, trust to conjecture ; he crossed the reputed site of 
Los Majos, and found not the slightest trace of land. 

" The aspect of Monee/' says La Perouse, " is delightful. We 
saw water tumbling in cascades from the summit of the moun- 
tains, and reaching the sea after watering the Indian plantations/ 
of which there are so many that each village extends over three 
or four leagues. All the huts are, however, on the sea-shore ; 
and the mountains are so close that the habitable portion of the 
land appeared to me to be less than half a league in depth. One 
must be a sailor, and, like us, have been reduced to a bottle of 
water per day in a burning climate, to realize the sensations we 
experienced. The trees which crowned the mountains, the green 
fields, the banana-trees which surrounded the dwellings, all com- 

Inhabitants of Easter Island. 

Page 246 


bined to charm our senses with an inexpressible delight ; but 
the sea broke violently on the shore, and, like Tantalus, we were 
obliged to devour with our eyes what was completely beyond our 

The two frigates had no sooner anchored than they were sur- 
rounded by pirogues, full of natives, offering pigs, potatoes, 
bananas, " taro," &c. Clever traders, they attached most value to 
bits of old iron rings. Their acquaintance with iron and its use, 
for which they were not indebted to Cook, is another proof that 
this people had known the Spaniards, to whom the discovery of 
the group is probably due. 

The welcome accorded to La Perouse was most cordial, in spite 
of the military force by which he had thought proper to protect 
himself. Although the French were the first to land on Monee 
Island, La Perouse didjiot think it his duty to take possession. 

" The usual European custom in such matters," he says, " is per- 
fectly ridiculous. Philosophers may well sigh when they see men, 
simply because they have guns and bayonets, thinking nothing of 
sixty thousand of their fellow-men, and, without the least respect 
for the most sacred rights, looking upon a land whose inhabitants 
have cultivated it in the sweat of the brow, and whose ancestors lie 
buried there, as an object fit for conquest/' 

La Perouse does not pause to give any details about the in- 
habitants of the Sandwich Islands. He only passed a few hours 
there, whilst the English remained for four months. He therefore 
rightly refers to Captain Cook's narrative. 

During their short stay the French bought more than a hundred 
pigs, mats, fruits, a pirogue, ornaments made of feathers and shells, 
and handsome helmets decorated with feathers. 

The instructions furnished La Perouse before his departure 
enjoined him to survey the American coast, of which a portion, 
extending to Mount Elias had, with the exception of Nootka port, 
been merely sighted by Captain Cook. 

On the 23rd of June he reached 60 N. lat., and, in the midst of 
a long chain of snow-covered mountains, recognized the Mount 
Elias of Behring. After skirting along the coast for some time, La 
Perouse sent three boats, under command of one of his officers, M. 
de Monte, who discovered a large bay, to which he gave his name. 

Following the coast at a short distance, surveys were taken, 


which were uninterrupted as far as an important river, which 
received the name of Behring. Apparently it was that to which 
Cook had given this name. 

Upon the 2nd of July, in 58 36' lat., and 140 3 ; long., what 
appeared to be a fine bay was discovered. Boats, under command 
of MM. de Pierrevert, de Flassan, and Boutevilliers, were sent to 
examine it. 

Their report being favourable, the two frigates arrived at the 
entrance of the bay, but the Astrolabe was driven back to the open 
sea by a strong current, and the Bomsole was forced to join her. 
At six o'clock in the morning, after a night passed under sail, the 
vessels again approached the bay. " But," says the narrative, " at 
seven in the morning, when we were close to it, the wind veered 
so suddenly to "W.N.W. and N.N.W., that we were forced to give 
way, and even to bring our ships to the wind. Fortunately 
the tide carried our frigates into the bay, and we escaped the 
rocks on the east by half a pistol's range. I anchored in three 
and a half fathoms, with a rocky bottom, half a cable's length from 
shore. The Astrolabe had anchored in the same depth, and 
upon a similar bottom. In all the thirty years I have spent at 
sea, I have never seen two vessels in greater danger. Our 
situation would have been safe had we not anchored upon a rocky 
bottom, which extended several cables' length around us, and which 
was different from what MM. de Flasson and Boutevilliers had 
reported. We had no time to make reflections ; it was above every- 
thing necessary to get out of our dangerous anchorage, to which 
the rapidity of the current was a great obstacle." However, by 
dint of much skilful tacking, La Perouse succeeded. 

Ever since their entry into the bay the vessels had been sur- 
rounded by pirogues swarming with savages. The natives showed 
a decided preference for iron, in exchange for fish and the skins of 
otters and other animals. After a few days' stay their number 
increased rapidly, and they became, if not dangerous, at least a 

La Perouse established an observatory upon one of the islands 
in the bay, and set up tents for the sail makers and smiths. 
Although these posts were most carefully watched, the natives, 
gliding along the ground like snakes, scarcely stirring a leaf, 
managed in spite of our sentinels to commit various thefts ; and one 

Typical native ol the Port des Franais. 

Page 249. 


night they were clever enough to enter the tent where MM. de 
Launston and Darbaud (who were in charge of the observatory) 
slept. They carried off a silver-mounted gun, as well as the 
clothes belonging to the two officers, who had placed them for 
safety under their pillows. They escaped the notice of a guard of 
twelve men, and the two officers were not even awakened. 

But now the stay of the expedition in this port drew to a close. 
The soundings, surveys, plans, and astronomical observations 
were completed ; but, before finally leaving the island, La Perouse 
wished thoroughly to explore the depths of the bay. He imagined 
that some large river must empty itself into it, which would 
enable him to penetrate into the interior ; but in all the openings 
he entered he found only vast glaciers, which extended to the 
very summit of Fair Weather Mount. 

No accident or sickness marred the success which had so far 
attended the expedition. 

" We thought ourselves," says La Perouse, " the most fortunate 
of navigators, for having reached so great a distance from Europe 
without having had one invalid or a single sufferer from scurvy. 
But the greatest misfortune, and one it was impossible to foresee, 
now awaited us/' 

Upon the chart of the Port des Fran9ais, drawn up by MM. 
Monneron and Bernizet, the soundings alone remained to be in- 
dicated. The naval officers were bound to accomplish the task, 
and three boats, under the orders of MM. d'Escures, de Marchain- 
ville, and Boutin, were selected for the undertaking. La Perouse, 
acquainted with the somewhat rash zeal of M. d'Escures, advised 
him on the eve of departure to act with most careful pru- 
dence, and only to attempt the soundings in the channel if the 
sea were smooth. 

The boats left at six o'clock in the morning. It was as much 
a party of pleasure as of duty, as the crews were to hunt, and 
breakfast under the trees. 

" At ten in the morning/' says La Perouse, " I saw our little 
boat return. Somewhat surprised, for I had not expected it so 
soon, I asked M. Boutin, before he came on deck, whether he 
had any news. At first I feared an attack from the natives, and 
M. Boutin's expression was not calculated to reassure me, for it was 
profoundly sad. 


" He soon related to me the terrible disaster he had just wit- 
nessed, and from which he had escaped by the presence of mind 
which enabled him to see the best course to pursue in the dreadful 
peril. Carried, whilst following his commander, into the midst of 
breakers caused by the tide rushing with a speed of three or four 
leagues per hour out of the channel, he thought he could place 
his boat stern on the breakers ; the boat yielding to their force, and 
being impelled by the tide, would not fill, but would be carried 
safely outside. 

" Soon, however, he saw breakers ahead of his boat, and found 
himself in the open sea. More concerned for the safety of his 
companions than for his own, he again approached the breakers, 
and in the hope of saving some life he again braved them, but 
was repulsed by the tide ; finally, he mounted on M. Mouton's 
shoulder, in the hope of finding a wider opening. All was in vain ; 
everything had been swallowed up, and M. Boutin returned with 
the ebb of the tide. 

" The sea becoming quieter, this officer had still some hope of 
finding the boat of the Astrolabe ; he had only witnessed the loss 
of ours. M. de Marchainville was now a quarter of a mile from 
the danger, that is to say, in a sea as still as the quietest harbour ; 
but, impelled by an imprudent generosity for all help was quite 
impossible under the circumstances this rash young officer, being 
too high-spirited and too courageous to pause in presence of 
his friends' danger, flew to their help, threw himself among the 
breakers, and, a victim to his imprudence and disregard of his 
chiefs orders, perished with him. 

" M. de Langle shortly after came on board my ship, as much 
overcome as myself, and informed me with tears that the misfortune 
was even greater than I had supposed. "We had always made a 
point, ever since leaving France, of never allowing the two brothers, 
M. la Borde Marchainville and M. la Borde Boutevilliers, to go 
on the same service, but on this one occasion he had yielded, 
as they desired to hunt together ; and it was almost wholly on this 
account that we had, both of us, directed our boats in the way we 
did, thinking there was as little danger as there is in Brest 
Harbour in fine weather. 

" Several boats were at once despatched in search of the ship- 
wrecked crew. Rewards were offered to the natives if they saved 

Shipwreck of French boats outside the Port des Frai^ais. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 251. 


any one ; but the return of the sloops destroyed all hope. All had 

Eighteen days after this catastrophe, the two frigates left the 
Port des Fran9ais. La Perouse erected a monument to the memory 
of his unfortunate countrymen, in the middle of the bay, on an island 
which he called the Cenotaph. It bore the following inscription : 

" At the entrance of this port, twenty-one brave sailors perished. 
Whoever you are, mingle your tears with ours." 

A bottle, containing an account of this deplorable accident, was 
buried at the foot of the monument. 

The Port des Francais, which is situated in 58 37' N. lat., and 
139 50' W. long., presents many advantages, but also many 
inconveniences foremost amongst them the currents of the chan- 
nel. The climate is much milder than in Hudson's Bay, which is 
in the same latitude. The vegetation is vigorous"; pines six feet 
in girth, and a hundred and forty in height, are not rare. 
Celery, sorrel, lupine, wild pea, chicory, and mimulus are met 
with in every direction, as well as many pot-herbs, the use of 
which helped to keep the crews in health. 

The sea supplied abundance of salmon, trout, cod, and plaice. 

In the woods are found black and brown bears, the lynx, ermine, 
weasel, minever, squirrel, marmot, beaver, fox, elk, and the wild 
goat. The most precious skins are those of the otter, wolf, and 

" But if the vegetable and animal productions of this country," 
says La Perouse, " are similar to those of many others, its aspect 
cannot be compared with them, and I doubt whether the deep 
valleys of the Alps and Pyrenees offer so terrible, and at the same 
time so picturesque, a prospect. Were it not at one of the ex- 
tremities of the world, it should be visited by every one." 

As to the inhabitants, La Perouse gives an account of them 
which is worth preserving. 

" The Indians in their pirogues surrounded our frigates, 
hovering about for three or four hours be*fore beginning to 
exchange a few fish, or two or three otter skins ; they seized every 
opportunity of robbing us ; they tore off all the iron which could be 
easily carried away, and they took every precaution to elude our 
vigilance at night. I invited some of the principal personages on 
board my frigate, and loaded them with presents ; and the very 


men I distinguished in this manner did not scruple to steal a nail 
or an old pair of trousers. Whenever they assumed a particularly 
lively and pleasant air, I was convinced that they had committed 
a theft, and I often pretended not to see it." 

The women make an opening in the thick part of the lower lip, 
the whole length of the jaw. They wear a sort of wooden bowl 
without a handle, which rests on the gums, "to which this split 
lip forms an outer cushion, in such a way that the lower part of 
the mouth protrudes some two or three inches." 

The forced stay which La Perouse had just made in Port des 
Fran9ais prevented his stopping elsewhere and reconnoitring 
the indentations of the coast, for at all hazards he was to reach 
China during the month of February, in order to secure the 
following summer for the survey of the coast of Tartary. 

He successively reconnoitred, upon this coast, Cross Sound, where 
the high snow-covered mountains cease, Cook's Island Bay, 
Engamio Cape, low land partly submerged and containing Mount 
Hyacinthine, Mount Edgecomb of Cook, Norfolk Sound, where 
the following year the English navigator Dixon was to anchor, 
ports Necker and Guibert, Cape Tschiri-Kow, Croyere Islands, 
so called after the brother of the famous geographer Delisle, 
companion of Tschiri-Kow, the San Carlos Islands, La Touche 
Bay, and Cape Hector. 

La Perouse imagined that these various coast lines were formed 
by a vast archipelago ; and in this he was correct. They con- 
tained George III.'s Island, Prince of Wales and Queen Charlotte's 
Islands Cape Hector forming the southern extremity of the 

The season was far advanced, and too short a time remained at 
La Pero use's disposal to allow of his making detailed observations 
of these countries ; but his instinct had justly led him to imagine 
that the series of points he had discovered indicated a group of 
islands, and not a continent. Beyond Cape Fleurien, which 
formed the extremity of an elevated island, he passed several 
groups, which he named Sartines, and then returning, he 
reached Nootka Sound on the 25th of August. He afterwards 
visited various parts of the continent which Cook had been unable 
to approach, and which had left a blank on his chart. This navi- 
gation was attended with a certain amount of danger, on account 

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

Page 253. 


of the currents, " which rendered it impossible to make more than 
three knots an hour at a distance of five leagues from land." 

Upon the 5th of September new islets were discovered, about a 
league from Cape Blanco, to which the captain gave the name 
of Necker Islands. The fog was very thick, and more than once 
the fear of running upon some islet or rock, the existence of which 
could not be suspected, obliged the vessels to deviate from the 
land. Until they reached Monterey Bay the weather continued 
bad. At that port La Perouse found two Spanish vessels. 

At this time Monterey Bay abounded in whales, and the sea 
was literally covered with pelicans, which were very common upon 
the Californian coast. 

A garrison of two hundred and eighty men was sufficient to keep 
in order a population of fifty thousand Indians, wandering about this 
part of America. It must be admitted that these Indians were 
usually small and insignificant, and not endowed with that love of 
independence which characterizes the northern tribes ; and, unlike 
them, they have no appreciation of art, and no industry. 

" These Indians," says the narrative, " are very expert in the 
use of the bow and arrow. They killed the smallest birds in our 
presence. It is true that they approach them with wonderful 
patience, hiding themselves, gliding, somehow, close to their prey, 
and aiming at them only when within fifteen paces. 

"Their skill in the capture of larger animals is even more 
wonderful. We saw an Indian with a stag's head over his own, 
walking on all fours, appearing to graze, and carrying out the 
pantomime with such truth to life that our hunters would have 
fired at him at thirty paces had they not been prevented. By this 
means the natives approach quite close to a herd of deer, and then 
kill them with arrows." 

La Perouse gave many details of the presidency of Loretto and 
of the Californian missions, but these are rather of historical 
interest, and are out of place in a work of this kind. His remarks 
upon the fertility of the country are more within our programme. 
" The harvest of maize, barley, corn, and peas/' he says, " is 
comparable only to that of Chili. Our European husbandmen 
could not conceive of such abundance. The most moderate yield 
of corn is at the rate of from seventy and eighty to one, and the 
largest from sixty to a hundred " 


Upon the 22nd of September the two frigates returned to sea, 
after a cordial welcome from the Spanish governor and the mis- 
sionaries. They carried with them a quantity of provisions of 
all sorts, which would be of the greatest value to them during the 
long trip to be taken before reaching Macao. 

The portion of the ocean now to be crossed by the French was 
almost unknown. The Spaniards had navigated it previously, 
but their political jealousy prevented their publishing the dis- 
coveries and observations they had made. La Perouse wished 
to steer S.W. as far as 28 lat., where some geographers had 
placed the island of Nuestra Senora-de-la-Gorta. 

But he looked for it in vain during a long and difficult cruise, 
with contrary winds, which sorely tried the patience of the navi- 

" We were daily reminded," he says, " by the condition of our 
sails and rigging, that we had been sixteen months at sea. Our 
ropes gave way, and the sail makers could not repair the sails, 
which were fairly worn out." 

Upon the 6th of November a small island, or rather rock, some 
five hundred fathoms long, upon which not a single tree grew, and 
which was thickly covered with guano, was discovered. It was 
named Necker Island, and is in 166 52' long. W. of Paris, and 23 
34' JST. lat. 

Never had the expedition seen a more lovely sea, or a more 
exquisite night, when suddenly, at about half -past one in the morn- 
ing, breakers were perceived two cable lengths ahead of the 
Bomsole. The sea, only broken here and there by a slight ripple, 
was so calm that it scarcely made any sound. The ship's course 
was altered immediately ; but the manoeuvre took time, and when it 
was accomplished the vessel was but a cable's length off the 

" We had just escaped one of the most imminent dangers 
to which navigators are subject," says La Perouse, " and I must 
do my crews the justice to say that less disorder and confusion in 
such a position would have been impossible. The slightest neglect 
in the execution of the manoeuvres which were necessary to carry 
us from the breakers would have been fatal." 

These rocks were unknown ; it was therefore needful to determine 
their exact position, for the safety of succeeding navigators. La 


Perouse, after fulfilling this duty, named them the " Reef of the 
French Frigates/' 

Upon the 14th of December the Astrolabe and the Boussole 
sighted the Mariana Islands. A landing was effected upon the 
volcanic island of Assumption. Here the lava had formed ravines 
and precipices, bordered by a few stunted cocoa-nut trees, alter- 
nately with tropical creepers and a few shrubs. It was almost 
impossible to advance a couple of hundred yards in an hour. 
Landing and re-embarkation were difficult, and the few cocoa-nut 
shells and bananas, of a new variety, which the naturalists obtained, 
were not worth the risk. 

It was impossible to remain longer in this archipelago if China 
were to be reached before the vessels returned to Europe. They 
were to take back an account of the results of the expedition upon 
the American coast, and of the crossing to Macao. 

After taking the position of the Bashees, without stopping, 
La Perouse sighted the coast of China, and next day cast anchor 
in the roadstead of Macao. 

Here La Perouse met with a small French cutter, commanded 
by M. de Richery, midshipman, whose business it was to cruise 
about the eastern coast, and protect French trade. 

The town of Macao is so well known that it is needless for us to 
give La Perouse's description of it. The constant outrages and 
humiliations to which Europeans were daily subjected under 
the most despotic and cowardly government in the world, aroused 
the indignation of the French captain, and made him heartily 
wish that an international expedition might put a stop to so in- 
tolerable a state of things. 

The furs which had been collected upon the American coasts 
were sold at Macao for ten thousand piastres. The sum pro- 
duced should have been divided among the crews, and the 
head of the Swedish company undertook to ship it at Mauri- 
tius ; but the unfortunate sailors themselves were never to receive 
the money. 

Leaving Macao on the 5th of February, the vessels directed their 
course to Manilla, and, after sighting the shoals of Pratas, Bulinao, 
Manseloq, and Marivelle, wrongly placed upon D'Apres' maps, 
they were forced to put into the port of Marivelle, to wait for 
better winds and more favourable currents. Although Marivelle 


is only one league to windward of Cavito, three days were con- 
sumed in reaching the latter port. 

" We found," says the narrative, " different houses where 
we could repair our sails, salt our provisions, construct two 
boats, lodge the naturalists and geographical engineers, and the 
governor kindly lent us his own for the establishment of our ob- 
servatory. We enjoyed as much liberty as if we had been in the 
country ; and in the market and arsenal we found the same re- 
sources as in the best European ports/' 

Cavito, the second town of the Philippine islands, and the capital 
of the province of the same name, was then but a miserable village, 
where only Spanish military and government officers resided ; but 
although the town was nothing but a mass of ruins, it was 
none the less a port, and afforded the French every possible re- 
source. Upon the morrow of his arrival La Perouse, accompanied 
by De Langle and his principal officers, paid a visit to the governor, 
reaching Manila by boat. 

" The environs of Manila are delightful/' he says. " A 
most beautiful river flows through it, separating into different 
canals, one of which leads to the famous Bay Lake, which is dis- 
tant seven leagues in the interior, surrounded by more than a 
hundred Indian settlements in the midst of a most fertile 

" Manila, built upon the shore of the bay of that name, which 
is more than twenty-five leagues in circumference, is at the mouth 
of a river navigable as far as the lake in which it rises. It 
is probably the most fortunately situated town in the whole 
world. Provisions are found there in the greatest profusion, and 
very cheap ; but clothing, European cutlery, and furniture fetch an 
enormous price. 

" Want of competition, the prohibitive tariffs, and commercial 
restrictions of every sort, tend to make the productions and manu- 
factured goods of India and China at least as dear as in Europe ; 
and although the various duties on imports bring to the 
treasury some eight hundred thousand piastres, the colony 
costs the Spanish government at least fifteen hundred thousand 
francs per annum, which are sent from Mexico. The immense 
possessions of the Spanish in America have prevented the govern- 
ment from bestowing much attention upon the Philippines. They 


are still like the possessions of great lords, which remain uncul- 
tivated, though they might provide fortunes for many families. 

" I do not hesitate to state, that a great nation with no colony 
but the Philippine Islands, supposing that colony to be as well 
governed as possible, need not envy all the European colonies in 
Africa and America." 

Upon the 9th of April after having heard of the arrival at 
Macao of M. d'Entrecastreux, who had come from Mauritius with 
the contrary monsoon, and received despatches from Europe by 
the frigate La Subtile, MM. Guyet, midshipman, and Le Gobien, 
naval officer, and a reinforcement of eight sailors the two vessels 
set out for the coast of China. 

Upon the 21st La Perouse sighted Formosa, and at once entered 
the channel which separates that island from China. He discovered 
a very dangerous bank unknown to navigators, and carefully ex- 
amined the soundings and approaches. Shortly afterwards he 
passed in front of the bay of the ancient Dutch fort of Zealand, 
where the capital of the island, Tai-wan, is situated. 

The monsoon was unfavourable for ascending the channel, 
and La Perouse therefore resolved to pass to the east of the 
island. He rectified the position of the Pescadores Islands, a 
mass of rocks which assume various shapes, reconnoitred the 
small island of Botol-Tabaco-Xima, where no navigator had 
landed, coasted Kinin Island, which forms part of the kingdom of 
Liken, whose inhabitants are neither Chinese nor Japanese, but 
appear to be of both races, and sighted Hoa-pinsu and Tiaoy-su 
Islands. The latter form part of the Liken Archipelago, known 
only through the letters of Father Goubil, a Jesuit. 

The frigates then entered the Eastern Sea, and directed their 
course to the channel which divides China and Japan. La Perouse 
there encountered fogs as thick as those which prevail upon 
the coast of Labrador, with variable and violent currents. 
The first point of interest before entering the Sea of Japan was 
Quelpaert Island, first made known to Europeans by the shipwreck 
of the Sparrow Hawk upon its coast in 1635. La Perouse deter- 
mined its southerly extremity, and surveyed it for a distance of 
twelve leagues. 

" It is scarcely possible/' he says, " to find an island of pleasanter 
aspect. A peak of about four thousand five hundred feet high, 



visible at a distance of eighteen or twenty leagues, rises in the 
centre of the island ; the land slopes gently from thence to the 
sea, so that the houses look like an amphitheatre. The soil 
seemed to be highly cultivated. By the aid of our glasses we 
clearly made out the divisions of the fields. They are in very 
small allotments, which augurs a large population. The different 
shades of the various cultivated patches give a very agreeable 
variety to the view." 

The explorers had ample opportunity for taking the longitude 
and latitude, which was the more important, as no European 
vessel had navigated these seas, which were only indicated upon 
the maps in accordance with the Chinese and Japanese maps 
published by the Jesuits. 

Upon the 25th of May the frigates entered the channel of 
Corea, which was minutely explored, and in which soundings were 
taken every half hour. 

As it was possible to keep close in shore, it was easy to observe 
some fortifications in the European style, and to note all their 

On the 27th an island was perceived which was not to be found 
upon any map, and which seemed to be about twenty leagues distant 
from the coast of Corea. It received the name of Dagelet 

The course was now directed towards Japan, but it was very 
slow, on account of the contrary winds that prevailed. 

On the 6th of June Cape Noto and the island of Tsus Sima 
were discovered. 

" Cape Noto, upon the Japanese coast/' says La Perouse, " is a 
point on which geographers may rely. Reckoning from it to 
Cape Kona on the eastern coast, the position of which was de- 
termined by Captain King, the width of the northern half of the 
empire may be ascertained. Our observations have the greater 
value for geographers as they determine the width of the Gulf of 
Tartary, to which I now directed my course." 

Upon the llth of June La Perouse sighted Tartary. He 
made land precisely at the boundary between the Corea and 
Manchuria. The mountains appeared to be six or seven thousand 
feet high. A small quantity of snow was visible on the sum- 
mits. No trace of inhabitants or cultivation could bo seen ; nor 


was any river's mouth found upon a length of coast extending for 
forty leagues. A halt would have been desirable, to enable the 
naturalists and lithologists to make observations. 

" Up to the 14th of June the coast had run to the N.E. by N. 
We were now in 44 lat., and had reached the degree which geo- 
graphers assign for the so-called Strait of Tessoy, but we were five 
degrees farther west than the longitude given for this spot. 
These five degrees should be taken from Tartary, and added to 
the channel which separates it from the islands north of Japan." 

Whilst coasting along this shore no sign of habitation had been 
perceived not a pirogue left the shore. The country, although 
covered with magnificent trees and luxuriant vegetation, appeared 
to be uninhabited. 

On the 23rd of June the Boussole and the Astrolabe cast anchor 
in a bay situated in 45 13' JS". lat. and 135 9' E. long. It was 
named Ternay Bay. 

" We burned with impatience," say La Perouse, " to reconnoitre 
this land, which had occupied our imagination ever since we left 
France. It was the only portion of the globe which had escaped 
the indefatigable activity of Captain Cook ; and perhaps we owe 
the small advantage of having first landed there to the sad event 
which ended his days. 

" This roadstead was formed of five little creeks, separated one 
from the other by hillocks covered with trees of a more delicate and 
varied green than is to be seen in France in the brightest spring. 
Before our boats reached the shore, our glasses had been directed 
to the coast, but we perceived nothing but stags and bears, quietly 
grazing. Our impatience to disembark increased at the sight. The 
ground was carpeted with plants similar to those of our climate, 
but more vigorous and green ; most of them were in flower. At 
every step we found roses, red and yellow lilies, lilies of the 
valley , and almost all our field flowers. The summits of the 
mountains were crowned with pines, and oak-trees grew half way 
up, decreasing in size and vigour as they neared the sea. The 
rivers and streams were planted with willows, birches, and maples ; . 
and skirting the larger woods we saw apple-trees and azaroles in 
full bloom, as well as clumps of nut-trees, the fruit of which was 
beginning to form." 

Upon returning from a fishing excursion the French met with a 

s 2 


Tartar tomb. Curiosity induced them to open it, and they found 
in it two skeletons, lying side by side. The heads were covered 
with stuff caps, the bodies were wrapped in bearskins, and from 
the waists hung several little Chinese coins and copper ornaments. 
They also found half- a- score of silver bracelets, an iron hatchet, a 
knife, and other things, amongst which was a small bag of blue 
nankeen filled with rice. 

Upon the morning of the 27th La Perouse left this solitary bay, 
after depositing there several medals, with an inscription giving 
the date of his arrival. 

A little further on, more than eight hundred cod, which were 
at once salted, were caught, and an immense quantity of O} r sters 
with superb mother of pearl were also obtained. 

After a stay in Saffren Bay, situated in 47 51' "N. lat. and 
137 25' E. long., La Perouse discovered, upon the 6th of July, 
an island, which was no other than Saghalien. The shore here was 
as wooded as that of Tartary. Lofty mountains arose in the in- 
terior, the highest of which was called Lamanon peak. As huts 
and smoke were seen, M. de Langle and several officers landed. 
The inhabitants had recently fled, for the ashes of their fires were 
scarcely cold. 

Just as the French were re-embarking, after leaving some pre- 
sents for the natives, a pirogue landed seven natives, who showed 
no signs of fear. 

" Amongst them/' says the narrative, " were two old men with 
long white beards, dressed in stuff made from the bark of trees, 
very like the cotton drawers worn in Madagascar. Two of the 
seven natives had coats of padded nankeen, differing little in shape 
from those of the Chinese. Others wore long gowns, which were 
fastened by means of a waist-belt and some little buttons, so that 
they had no need of drawers. Their heads were bare, but 
one or two of them wore bearskin bands. They had their fore- 
locks and faces shaven, but the back hair kept about eight or ten 
inches long, in a different fashion from the Chinese, however, who 
leave only a round tuft of hair, which they call ' pen-t-sec.' All 
had sealskin boots with e thf eet artistically worked a la Chinoise. 

" Their weapons were bows, spears, and arrows, tipped with 
iron. The oldest of the natives, to whom the others showed the 
most respect, had his eyes in a dreadful state ; he wore a shade 

He traced the coast of Tartary. 

Page 261. 


round his head, to protect them from the sun. These natives 
were grave in manner, and friendly." 

M. de Langle appointed a meeting for the morrow. La Perouse 
and most of his officers attended. The facts they learned about 
these Tartars were important, and decided La Perouse to pursue 
his discoveries further north. 

" We succeeded in making them understand," he says, " that 
we wished them to draw their country, and that of Manchuria. 
One of the old men then arose, and with the point of his spear 
traced the coast of Tartary westward, running nearly N. and S. 
To the east, vis-a-vis in the same direction, he represented his 
island, and, placing his hand upon his breast, made us understand 
that he had indicated his own country. He left an opening 
between his island and Tartary, and, pointing to our vessels, 
showed us by signs that they could pass through it. At the south 
island he delineated another, and left a second opening, indicating 
that this too was a route for our ships. 

" His quickness in understanding us was great, but not equal to 
that of another islander, about thirty years of age, who, seeing 
that the figures traced on sand were rubbed out, took one of our 
pencils and some paper. He traced out his island, which he called 
Tchoka, and made a line for the little river upon the shore of which 
we were placing it two-thirds of the length of the island from 
north to south. He then drew Manchuria, leaving, as the old 
man had done, a strait at the extreme end ; and to our surprise 
he added the river Saghalien, the name of which the natives 
pronounce like ourselves. He placed the mouth of this river a 
little to the south of the northerly point of his island. 

" We afterwards wished to ascertain whether this strait was very 
wide. We tried to make him understand our idea. He caught at it 
at once, and, placing his two hands upright at a distance of three 
inches one from the other, he made us understand that he meant 
to indicate the width of the little river which formed our watering 
place ; and then, holding them wider apart, he indicated that the 
second width was to represent that of the river Saghalien ; 
and, separating them still more, he gave the breadth of the strait 
which divides his country from Tartary. 

"M. de Langle and I thought it of the greatest importance to 
ascertain whether the island we were coasting was that to which 


geographers had given the name of Saghalien, without guessing 
its extension southwards. I ordered all hands on board, and 
prepared to sail in the morning. The bay in which we had 
anchored received the name of Langle, from the captain who 
discovered it, and was the first to put foot on land. 

" In another bay upon the same shore, called Estaing Bay, the 
boats landed close to ten or twelve huts. They were larger 
than those we before had seen, and were divided into two rooms. 
That at the back contained the stove, cooking utensils, and the 
bench running all round. That in front was absolutely bare, 
and probably destined for the reception of strangers. The women 
fled when they saw the French land. Two of them, however, 
were caught, and, whilst they were being re- assured, time was 
found to sketch them. Their faces were peculiar, but pleasant ; 
they had small eyes and thick lips, the upper one being painted 
or tattooed/' 

M. de Langle found the natives gathered about four boats, that 
were loaded with smoked fish, which they were helping to put in 
water. They were Manchurians, from the shores of Saghalien River. 
In the corner of the island was a kind of circus, planted with 
fifteen or twenty stakes, each surmounted by the head of a bear. 
It was supposed, not without some show of reason, that these 
trophies were intended to pepetuate the memory of a victory over 
this wild beast. 

Quantities of cod-fish were obtained upon this coast ; and at the 
mouth of the river a prodigious quantity of salmon was caught. 
After reconnoitring the bay of La Jonquiere, La Perouse cast 
anchor in Casters Bay. His water supply was nearly exhausted, 
and he had no more wood. The further he penetrated into the 
strait which separates Saghalien from the continent, the more the 
depth diminished. La Perouse, recognizing that he could not 
double the island of Saghalien by the north, and afraid of not 
being able to leave the defile in which he now found himself 
excepting by the strait of Sangaar, which was much further south, 
determined to remain only five days in Casters Bay, a period which 
he absolutely needed to take in provisions. 

The observatory was set up in a small island, while the carpenters 
cut down wood, and the sailors filled the water-barrels. 

" The huts of these islanders, who call themselves Orotchys/' 

Typical Orotchys. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

a%e 263. 


says the narrative, " are surrounded by a drying ground for 
salmon, which were exposed to the sun upon perches, after having 
been smoked for three or four days at the stove which is 
in the centre of the hut. The women who have charge of this 
operation take them, as soon as they are smoked through, into 
the open air, where they become as hard as wood. 

" The natives joined us in our fishing with nets or hooks, and we 
saw them voraciously devouring the head, gills, and sometimes 
the skin, of raw salmon, tearing it up very cleverly. They 
sucked out the mucilage, much as we eat oysters. Their fish 
seldom reach the shore without having first paid toll, unless 
the catch is very large ; and the women show the same eager- 
ness to seize upon the whole fish, and in the same ravenous way 
devour the mucilaginous parts, which appear to be their tid-bits. 

" These people are revoltingly dirty. It would be impossible to 
find a race farther removed from our ideas of beauty. In height 
they are less than four foot ten, their bodies are emaciated, their 
voices are weak and shrill like children's. They have project- 
ing cheek-bones, bleared and sunken eyes, large mouths, flat 
noses, short and almost beardless chins, and olive skins, shining 
with oil and smoke. They allow their hair to grow long, and 
dress it somewhat in the European style. The women wear it 
loose over their shoulders, and the description we have given 
applies to them as well as to the men, from whom they are 
scarcely to be distinguished, except for a slight difference in their 
apparel. The women are not subject to any labour, which, as in 
the case of the American Indians, might have accounted for the 
inelegance of their appearance. All their time is occupied in 
cutting out and making their clothes, in drying fish and nursing 
their children, whom they suckle to the age of three or four 
years. It rather astonished me to see a child of this age, who had 
been shooting with bow and arrows, beating a dog, &c., throw 
himself upon his mother's bosom, and take the place of an infant 
of five or six months who was lying asleep upon her knees." 

The Bitchys and the Orotchys confirmed much of the informa- 
tion which La Perouse had already obtained. From them he 
ascertained that the northern point of Saghalien was connected 
with the continent merely by a sand-bank, on which grew seaweed, 
and where there was but little water. 


This concurrence of testimony left no room for doubt, especially 
as he never found more than six fathoms in the canal. There 
remained but one point of interest to determine, and that was 
the survey of the southern point of Saghalien, which he had only 
explored as far as Langle Bay in 47 49'. 

Upon the 2nd of August the Astrolabe and the Boussoh left 
Casters Bay, and returned southwards, successively discovering 
and reconnoitring Monneron Island and Langle Peak, doubling 
the southern point of Sagh alien called Cape Crillon, which led 
to a strait between Oku- Jesso and Jesso ; this they named after 
La Perouse. Hitherto the geography of this part of the 
world had been most fanciful and imaginary. Sansen was of 
opinion that Corea was an island, and that Jesso, Oku-Jesso, and 
Kamtchatka existed only in imagination ; whilst Delisle insisted 
that Jesso and Oku-Jesso were merely an island, ending at 
Sangaar Strait ; and lastly, Buache, in his " Considerations 
Geographiques," page 105, says, " Jesso, after being placed first in 
the east, then in the south, and finally in the west, was at last 
found to be in the north." 

To this confusion the discoveries of the French expedition were 
destined to put an end. 

La Perouse had some intercourse with the natives of Crillon 
Cape, and stated that they were handsome men, far more in- 
dustrious than the Orotchys of Casters Bay, but less liberal in 
their dealings. 

" They have," he says, '< one most important article of commerce 
unknown in the channel of Tartary from which they derive 
their riches, namely, whale oil. Of this they collect considerable 
quantities. They extract it in a way which is far from economical. 
They cut the flesh into pieces, and dry it upon a slope in the open 
air, by exposing it to the sun. The oil which flows from it is 
caught in vessels made of bark, or into bottles of dried sealskin." 

After sighting the Cape Arniva of the Dutch, the vessels coasted 
along the barren, treeless, uninhabited country in possession of the 
Dutch Company, and shortly reached the Kurile Islands. They 
then passed between Marikon Island and the Island of the Four 
Brothers, calling the strait the finest amongst the Kurile Islands, 
through which they penetrated La Boudeuse. 

On the 3rd of September the coast of Kamtchatka was reached. 


This coast was uninviting enough. " There the eyes rest painfully, 
and often fearfully, upon enormous masses of rock, which are 
already covered with snow in the beginning of September, and which 
never appear to have had any vegetation." 

Three days later Avatscha Bay, or the Bay of Saint Peter and 
Saint Paul, was reached. The astronomers at once proceeded to 
take observations ; the naturalists made the perilous and arduous 
ascent of a volcano, some eight leagues inland ; whilst those of 
the crew who were not engaged upon the vessels gave themselves 
up to hunting and fishing. Thanks to the welcome accorded by 
the governor, their pleasures were varied. 

" We were invited/' says La Perouse, " to a ball which the 
governor wished to give to all the women, whether from Kamt- 
chatka or Russia. If the ball was not large, it was at least 
mixed. Thirteen females, clothed in silk, ten of whom were 
natives of Kamtchatka, with large faces, small eyes, and flat 
noses, were seated upon benches round the room. Both they and 
the Russians wore silk handkerchiefs wrapped round the head, in a 
way similar to those worn by mulattoes. The ball opened with 
Russian dances, the airs for which were very lively, and like those 
of the Cossack dances given a short time since in Paris. These 
were followed by Kamtchatka dances, which were comparable only 
to the convulsionists of the famous tomb of Saint Medard. The 
dancers of this part of Asia scarcely require legs, they make such 
vigorous use of the shoulders and arms. The impression made 
upon the spectators by the convulsive and contorted movements of 
the Kamtchatka dancers is painful, and is rendered more so by a 
pitiful cry which escapes them at intervals, and which is the sole 
music by which they measure their time. The exertions they made 
are so formidable that they are completely covered with sweat, and 
at the conclusion they lie upon the ground unable to move a 
limb. The exhalations from their bodies permeate the atmosphere 
with the smell of fish and oil, so strong as to be disagreeable ta 
the unaccustomed nostrils of Europeans/' 

The arrival of a courier from Okotsk interrupted the ball. The 
news he brought was pleasant for every one, but particularly for 
La Perouse, who learned that he was promoted. 

During their stay in this port, the navigators found the tomb of 
Louis Delisle de la Croyere, Member of the Academy of Sciences, 


who died in Kamtchatka in 1741, upon his return from an 
expedition undertaken by command of the Czar for the survey 
of the American coast. His fellow-countrymen honoured his 
memory by placing an engraved copper slab over his grave. They 
paid the same homage to Captain Clerke, Captain Cook's second 
in command, and successor. 

" Avatscha Bay/' says La Perouse, " is certainly the best, most 
commodious, and safest to be found in any part of the world. 
The entrance is narrow, and forts might easily be constructed 
to command vessels entering it. The anchorage is excellent, 
the bottom muddy ; and two large harbours, one on the eastern 
shore and one on the west, would hold all the vessels of the French 
and English navy/' 

The Boussole and the Astrolabe set sail upon the 29th of September, 
1787. M. de Lesseps, Yice-Consul for Russia, who had accompanied 
La Perouse thus far upon his expedition, was charged to return to 
France by land (at that time a most perilous journey), and to 
convey despatches from the expedition to the government. 

The question now arose of finding land discovered in 1620 by 
the Spaniards. The two frigates passed south of 37 30' some three 
hundred leagues, without finding any trace of it. Crossing the 
line for the third time, they passed the site given by Byron as that 
of the Dangerous Islands, without finding them ; and, upon the 6th 
of December, entered the Navigator Archipelago, the merit of 
discovering which belongs to Bougainville. The vessels were at 
once surrounded by pirogues. The natives who manned them did 
not give La Perouse a very favourable idea of the beauty of the 

"I saw but two women," he says, "and they had no delicacy of 
feature ; the younger, who may have been eighteen years of age, 
had a frightful ulcer upon her leg. Many of these islanders were 
covered with sores, w which may have been the commencement of 
leprosy ; for I noticed two men, whose ulcerated and swollen legs 
left no doubt as to their malady. They approached us fearlessly 
and unarmed, and appeared as peaceable as the natives of the 
Society or Friendly Islands/'' 

Upon the 9th of December anchor was cast off Maouna Island. 
Next day the weather was so promising that La Perouse resolved 
to land to take in water, and then set sail at once, as the anchorage 


was too bad to admit of a second night's stay. Every precaution 
having been taken, La Perouse landed, and proceeded to the spot 
where his sailors were obtaining water. Captain Langle penetrated 
to a small creek about a league from the watering place, "and this 
excursion, from which he returned delighted with the beauty of 
the village he had seen, was, as will be seen, the cause of our 

Upon the shore, meantime, a brisk trade was going on. Men 
and women sold hens, parrots, fruits, and pigs. At the same time 
a native, getting into one of the sloops, possessed himself of a 
hammer, and commenced dealing vigorous blows upon a sailor's 
back. He was speedily seized by four strong fellows, and thrown 
into the sea. 

La Perouse penetrated into the interior, accompanied by women, 
old men, and children. He enjoyed a delightful excursion through 
a charming country, which rejoiced in the double advantage of a 
soil which required no culture, and a climate in which clothing 
was superfluous. 

" Bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, bananas, guavas, and oranges 
afforded a wholesome and sufficient nourishment to the inhabi- 
tants ; while chickens, pigs, and dogs, which lived upon the sur- 
plus fruits, afforded the necessary change of diet. 

" The first visit passed over without serious danger. There 
were a few quarrels, it is true ; but, thanks to the prudence and 
reserve of the French, who kept on their guard, they did not 
amount to anything serious. La Perouse had given orders to re- 
embark, when M. de Langle insisted upon sending for a few more 
casks of water. 

" He had adopted Captain Cook's views : he thought fresh water 
preferable to all other things which he had on board; and as 
some of his crew showed signs of scurvy, he was right in thinking 
that every help should be given them." 

La Perouse from the first had a presentiment against consent- 
ing. But he yielded when M. de Langle persisted that a cap- 
tain is responsible for the health of his crew, that the spot 
which he named was perfectly safe, that he himself would com- 
mand the expedition, and that three hours would suffice for the 

" M. de Langle/' says the narrative, " was a man of so much 


judgment, that his representation influenced my decision more 
than anything else. 

"Next day two boats, under command of M. Boutin and 
M. Mouton, conveying all the sufferers from scurvy, under charge 
of six armed soldiers and a captain, in all twenty-eight men, left 
the Astrolabe, to be under M. de Langle's orders. M. de Langle 
was accompanied in his boat by M. de Lauranon and M. Collinet, 
who were invalids, and M. de Varignas, who was convalescent. 
M. de Gfobien commanded the sloop, M. de la Martiniere, M. Lavant, 
and the elder Receveur, were amongst the thirty-three persons sent 
by the Boussole. The entire force amounted to sixty-one, and those 
the picked men of the expedition. 

" M. de Langle ordered every one to be armed with guns, and 
six swivel-guns were placed in the sloop. M. de Langle and all 
his companions were greatly surprised when, instead of a large 
and commodious bay, they found a creek filled with coral, which 
it was only possible to reach through a tortuous channel, where the 
surf broke violently. M. de Langle had only seen this bay at high 
tide, and as soon as this new sight met his view his first idea was 
to regain the former watering-place. 

"But the friendly appearance of the natives, the number of 
women and children he observed among them, the quantities of pigs 
and fruit they offered for sale, put his prudent resolutions to flight. 

" The water-casks of the four boats were landed quietly, the 
soldiers keeping order upon the shore, and forming a barrier 
which left a free space for the workers. But this peaceful condition 
of affairs did not last long. Many of the pirogues, having disposed 
of their wares to our vessels, returned to the shore, and, landing in 
the bay of our watering-place, it was soon entirely filled by them. 
In place of the two hundred natives, counting women and children, 
whom De Langle had found an hour and a half previously, there 
were now, at the end of three hours, a thousand or twelve hundred. 

" M. de Langle's situation became more perilous every moment. 
He succeeded, however, seconded by M. de Varignas, M. Boutin, 
M. Collier, and Gobien, in embarking the water-casks. But the bay 
was almost dry, and he could not hope to get his boats off before 
four o'clock in the afternoon. However, followed by his detachment, 
he attempted it, and, leading the way with his gun and the soldiers, 
he forbade firing until he should give the order. 


" He felt that he would soon be forced to fire. Already stones 
were flying ; and the Indians who were in shallow water surrounded 
the sloops for a distance of at least two hundred yards. The soldiers 
who were already in the boats tried in vain to drive them back. 

te M. de Langle was anxious to avoid beginning hostilities, and 
fearful of being accused of barbarity ; otherwise he would, no doubt, 
have ordered a general discharge, which would effectually have 
scattered the multitude. But he believed he could subdue the 
natives without bloodshed, and he was the victim of his humanity. 

" Yery soon a storm of stones, thrown at short distances with 
the force of a sling, struck almost all who were in the sloop. M. 
de Langle had only time to discharge his gun. He was thrown 
over, and unfortunately fell outside the sloop. He was at once 
massacred by more than two hundred Indians, who assailed him 
with clubs and stones. As soon as he expired they fastened him by 
one arm to the sloop, no doubt with a view to despoiling the body. 

" The sloop of La Boussole, under M. Boutin, was run aground 
within four yards of that of the Astrolabe, and parallel between 
them was a narrow channel not yet occupied by the Indians. By 
this outlet, all the wounded who were fortunate enough to avoid 
falling into the open sea, escaped by swimming. They reached 
our boats, which fortunately had remained afloat, and we 
succeeded in saving forty-nine out of the sixty-one men who had 
composed the expedition. 

" M. Boutin had imitated M. de Langle. He would not fire, 
and only gave orders for a discharge after his commander's shot. 
Naturally, at the short distance of four or five paces, every shot 
killed an Indian ; but there was no time to re-load. M. Boutin 
was knocked down by a stone, and fortunately fell between the two 
stranded boats. Those who had escaped by swimming towards 
the two boats had received many wounds, mostly on the head ; 
whilst those who, less fortunate, had fallen overboard upon the 
side near the Indians, were killed instantaneously. 

" The safety of forty-nine of the crew is due to the good order 
which M. de Yarignas was wise enough to maintain, and to the 
punctuality with which M. Mouton, who commanded the boats of 
the Boussole, carried out his orders. 

" The boat belonging to the Astrolabe was so overloaded that 
it grounded. The natives at once decided to harass the wounded 


in their retreat. They hastened in great numbers towards the 
reefs, within six feet of which the boats must necessarily pass. The 
little ammunition which remained was exhausted upon these 
savages, and the boats at last emerged from the creek." 

La Perouse's first idea was naturally to avenge the death of 
his unfortunate companions ; but M. de Boutin, who, although 
severely wounded, retained all his faculties, begged him to desist, 
representing to him that if by any mishap one of the boats ran 
aground, the creek was so situated, being bordered with trees which 
afforded secure shelter to the'' natives, that not a Frenchman 
would come back alive. La Perouse remained for two days upon 
the scene of this terrible disaster, without being able to gratify 
the vindictive desires of his crew. 

" No doubt," says La Perouse, " it will appear incredible that 
during this time five or six pirogues left the shore, bringing 
pigs, pigeons, and cocoa-nuts, and offering them in exchange. I 
was forced to control myself, or I should have disposed of these 
natives summarily enough/' 

It may readily be supposed that an event which deprived La 
Perouse of a large number of officers, and of thirty-two of his 
best sailors, was calculated to upset the plans of the expedition. 
At the slightest approach of danger it would now be necessary to 
destroy one frigate, in order to arm the other. But one course re- 
mained for La Perouse to set sail for Botany Bay, reconnoitring the 
various islands he passed, and taking their astronomical positions. 

Upon the 14th of December, Oyolava, another island belonging 
to the same group, and which Bougainville had seen from a 
distance, was sighted. It was larger than Tahiti, and exceeded 
that island in beauty, fertility, and in the number of its inhabitants. 

The natives resembled those of Maouna in every particular, 
and quickly surrounded the two frigates, offering the multifarious 
productions of their island. It appeared that the French must 
have been the first to trade with them, for they were quite un- 
acquainted with the use or value of iron, and preferred a single 
coloured bead to a hatchet, or a nail six inches long. 

Some of the women had pleasant features and elegant figures; 
their eyes were gentle, and their movements quiet, whilst the 
men were wild and fierce in appearance. 

Pola Island, also belonging to the Navigator Archipelago, was 


passed upon the 17th of December. Probably the news of the 
massacre of the French had already reached this people, for no 
pirogue approached the vessels. 

Cocoa-nut Island and Schouten's Traitor Island were recognized 
upon the 20th of December. The latter is divided by a strait, 
which the navigators would not have perceived, had they not 
coasted close in shore. About a score of natives appeared, bring- 
ing the finest cocoa-nuts La Perouse had ever seen, with a few 
bananas and one small pig. 

These islands, which Wallis calls Boscawen and Keppel Islands, 
and which he places 1 13' too far west, may also be considered 
part of the Navigator Archipelago. La Perouse considers the 
natives of this group as belonging to the finest Polynesian race. 
Tall, vigorous, and well- formed, they are of finer type than those 
of the Sandwich Islands, whose language is very similar to theirs. 
Under other circumstances, the captain would have proceeded to 
explore Oyolava and Pola Islands ; but the memory of the disaster 
at Maouna was too recent, and he dreaded another encounter 
which might end in massacre. 

" Painful associations/' he says, " met us with every succeeding 
island. In the Hecreation Islands, east of the Navigator Archi- 
pelago, Roggewein's crew had been attacked and stoned to death ; 
at Traitor Island, which was now in sight, Schouten's crew were 
the victims ; and in the south was Maouna Island, where we our- 
selves had met with so shocking a calamity. 

" These recollections affected our way of dealing with tho 
Indians. We now punished every little theft and injustice severely ; 
we demonstrated by force of arms that flight would not save 
them from our vengeance ; we refused to allow them to come on 
board, and threatened to punish all who did so without permission 
with death." 

These remarks prove that La Perouse was right in preventing 
all intercourse between his crews and the natives. We cannot 
sufficiently praise the prudence and humanity of the commander 
who, in the excited condition of his men's minds, knew how to 
curb the desire for vengeance. 

From the Navigator Islands the route was directed to the 
Friendly Archipelago, which Cook had been unable to explore 
entirely. Upon the 27th of December, Yavao Island was dis- 


covered, one of the largest of the group, which had not been 
visited by the English navigator. As large as Tonga Tabou, it is 
higher, and not wanting in fresh water. La Perouse reconnoitred 
many of these islands, and entered into relations with the natives, 
who, however, did not offer sufficient provisions to make it worth 
his while to trade. He therefore resolved upon the 1st of Feb- 
ruary, 1788, to go to Botany Bay, following a route not yet 
attempted by any navigator. 

Pilstaart Island, discovered by Tasman or rather, the rock of 
Pilstaart, for its entire length is but a quarter of a league pre- 
sents but a steep and broken appearance, and serves only as a 
resting-place for sea birds. On this account La Perouse, having 
no reason for remaining, wished to hasten on to New Holland ; 
but there was another power to be consulted the wind, and by it 
La Perouse was detained for three days before Pilstaart. 

Norfolk Island and its two islets were sighted upon the 13th 
of January. La Perouse cast anchor within easy distance of 
shore, intending to allow the naturalists to land, and inspect the 
productions of the island ; but the waves broke with such violence 
upon the beach that landing was impossible. Yet Cook had 
landed there with the greatest facility. 

An entire day was passed in vain attempts, and was quite 
unproductive of scientific results. 

Next day La Perouse started afresh, and upon entering the 
roadstead of Botany Bay encountered an English vessel, under 
command of Commodore Phillip, who was engaged in constructing 
Port Jackson, the embryo of that powerful colony which in our 
day, after only a quarter of a century 's growth, has attained to 
such a height of civilization and prosperity. 

Here the journal kept by La Perouse terminates. A letter, 
written by him from Botany Bay, upon the 5th of February, to 
the Naval Minister, informs us that he intended building two 
sloops, to replace those which had been destroyed at Maouna. 
All his wounded, amongst them M. Lavaux, the surgeon of the 
Astrolabe, who had been trepanned, were perfectly recovered. 
M. de Clenard had assumed command of the ^Astrolabe, and had 
been succeeded upon the Boussole by M. de Monti. 

In a letter of two days' later date, giving particulars of his 
intended route, La Perouse says, 


" I shall regain the Friendly Islands, and carry out the in- 
structions I have received with regard to the northern portion of 
New Caledonia, to Santa Cruz de Mendana, to the land south 
of the Arsacides of Surville, and to the Louisiade of Bougainville, 
and also ascertain, if possible, whether the latter constitutes a 
portion of New Guinea, or is a separate continent. At the 
end of July, 1788, I shall pass between New Guinea and New 
Holland by some other channel than the Endeavour ; that is to 
say, if there be another. During September, and the early part 
of October, I propose to visit the Gulf of Carpentaria, and the 
eastern coast of New Holland, as far as Yan Diemen's Land, so 
as to allow of my return to the north in time to arrive at Mauritius 
in the beginning of December, 1788." 

Not only did La Perouse fail to keep the rendezvous he himself 
appointed, but two entire years passed away, and no news whatever 
of his expedition were received. 

Although at that epoch France was passing through a terrible 
crisis, the interest of the public in the fate of La Perouse was so 
intense that it found vent in an appeal to the National Assembly 
from the members of the Society of Natural History in Paris. 
Upon the 9th of February, 1791, a decree was passed enjoining 
the fitting out of two or more armed vessels, to be sent in search 
of La Perouse. It was argued, that had shipwreck overtaken the 
expedition a number of the crews might still survive, and that it 
was only just to carry help to them as soon as possible. Men of 
science, naturalists, and draughtsmen, were to take part in the 
expedition, with the view to obtaining valuable information for 
navigation, geography, and commerce, as well as for the arts 
and sciences. Such were the terms of the decree to which we 
have alluded. 

The command of the expedition was entrusted to Yice-admiral 
Bruny d'Entrecastreux, who had attracted the attention of govern- 
ment by his conduct in India. Two vessels, the Recherche, and 
the Esperance, the latter under the orders of M. Huon de Kermadec, 
ship's captain, were placed at his command. The staff of these 
vessels comprised many officers who later attained to high 
military positions. Amongst them were, Rossei, Willaumez, 
Trobriand, La Grandiere, Laignel, and Jurien. Amongst the men 
of science on board were, La Billardiere, naturalist, Bertrand and 

VOL. n. T 


Pierson, astronomers. Ventenat and Riche, naturalists, Beautemps- 
Beaupre, hydrographer, and Jouveney, engineer. 

The vessels were stocked with provisions for eighteen months, 
and a quantity of merchandise, for trading purposes. Leaving 
Brest upon the 28th of September, they reached Teneriffe upon 
the 13th of October. An ascent of the famous Peak followed 
as a matter of course. La Billardiere noticed a phenomenon 
which had already been observed by him in Asia Minor: his 
figure was reflected upon the clouds below him, opposite to the 
sun, in every colour of the rainbow. 

Upon the 23rd of October, the necessary provisions having 
been shipped, anchor was weighed, and the start made for 
the Cape. During the cruise, La Billardiere discovered that 
the phosphorescent appearance of the sea is caused by minute 
globular animalculi, floating in the waves. The voyage to the 
Cape, where the vessels arrived upon the 18th of January, 1792, 
was barren of incident, if we except the unusual quantity of 
bonitos, or tunny, and other fish that were met with, and a small 
leakage which occurred, but was quickly remedied. 

At the Cape, D'Entrecastreux found a letter from M. de Saint 
Felix, commanding the French forces in India, which seemed 
likely to upset all his plans, and exercise an unfavourable influence 
upon the expedition. From this communication it appeared that 
two French captains, from Batavia, had stated that Commodore 
Hunter, in command of the English frigate Syrius, had seen, 
"near the Admiralty Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, men dressed in 
the European style, and in what he took to be French uniforms. 
" It is clear," wrote M. de Saint Felix, " that the commodore was 
convinced they were the remnants of La Perouse's company." 

When D'Entrecastreux arrived at the Cape, Hunter was still 
in the roadstead ; but within two hours of the arrival of the 
French vessels he weighed anchor. This conduct, appeared very 
strange. The commodore had had time to hear that the vessels just 
arrived were those sent in search of La Perouse, and yet he had made 
no communication to the commander upon the subject. But it was 
soon ascertained that Hunter had declared himself quite ignorant 
of the facts stated by M. de Saint Felix. Were they then to be 
regarded as unfounded ? Incredible as M. de Saint Felix's 
communication appeared, D'Entrecastreux could not suppose so. 

Portrait of D'Entrecasteaux. 
(Fnosimile of early engraving.) 

Page 274. 

They came upon four natives. 

Page 275. 


The naturalists had availed themselves of their stay at the Cape 
to make many excursions in the neighbourhood : La Billardiere 
had penetrated as far into the interior as the short stay of the 
frigates in the roadstead permitted. 

Anchor was weighed upon the 16th of February, and D'Entre- 
castreux decided upon reaching the southern seas by doubling 
Cape Horn, and steered for the passage between St. Paul and 
Amsterdam Islands. Captain Valming had discovered these 
islands in 1696, and they had been recognized by Cook in his 
last voyage. When the Recherche and the Esperance passed St. 
Paul Island it was enveloped in a thick smoke, through which the 
summits of the mountains were visible. The forests were on fire. 

Upon the 21st of April the two vessels entered a bay upon the 
coast of Van Diemen's Land, which was supposed to be Adventure 
Bay, but which in reality was Storm Bay. The extreme point of 
this bay was named after D'Entrecastreux. Wood was easily 
obtained there, and fish was very abundant. Amongst the 
magnificent trees of the country, La Billardiere mentions various 
species of the eucalyptus, the many uses of which were then 
unknown. The hunting-parties caught black swans and kangaroos, 
creatures also but little known. 

Upon the 16th of May the vessels left the port, and made for a 
strait, afterwards named after D'Entrecastreux. 

" M. Creton and M. Auribeau," says the narrative, " were 
encouraged to land by the sight of fires close to the shore. They 
had gone but a short distance when they came upon four natives, 
attending to three small fires, by which they were seated. They 
took to flight on seeing the strangers, in spite of every friendly 
demonstration, leaving the lobsters and shell-fish which they 
had been broiling. As many huts as there were fires were close 


" One of the natives, in his hurry, left a small basket, full of 
pieces of silica, behind him. He was not afraid to return in 
search of it, but approached Creton with a bold air, possibly owing 
to his confidence in his own strength. Some of these savages were 
naked, and others wore only a kangaroo skin upon the shoulders. 
In colour they were nearly black ; they had woolly hair, and 
allowed the beard to grow." 

Upon leaving D'Entrecastreux Strait, the vessels proceeded to 

T 2 


survey the south-western coast of New Caledonia, which La 
Perouse should have visited. A portion of Pine Island, which 
stretches to the north of that country, was the first to be recog- 

The Recherche narrowly escaped destruction upon the coral 
reefs which surround the coast, leaving only a narrow passage 
between them and the main land. At the northern extremity 
several mountainous islands and detached rocks were perceived, 
which rendered the navigation extremely dangerous. The. naviga- 
tors, grateful for their escape, named them the Entrecastreux Reefs 
and Huon Islands. 

The survey of this perilous coast lasted from the 16th of June 
to the 3rd of July. A true service was thus rendered to geo- 
graphers and navigators, though it was, perhaps, the least profitable 
part of the voyage of discovery. 

As the favourable season was now approaching, D'Entrecastreux 
determined to avail himself of it to reach the land of the Arsa- 
cides, which had been seen by Surville, and visited some years 
later by Shortland, who, imagining he was making a new discovery, 
named it New Georgia. 

"Upon the 9th of July/' says La Billardiere, "towards half- 
past four o'clock, we perceived, about ten miles to the N. W., a rock 
called Eddy stone. " We took it at first, as Short! and had done, 
for a sailing vessel. The illusion was the greater, as in colour it 
much resembles the sails of a ship ; a few shrubs crowned the 
summit. The land of the Arsacides, opposite this rock, is steep, 
and covered with large trees/' 

After rectifying the position of Eddystone rocks, and that of 
the Treasury Islands which are five in number, though so close 
together that Bougainville took them for one island D 'Entre- 
castreux coasted Bougainville Island. It is separated from 
Bouka Island by a narrow strait, and is covered with plantations 
It appeared to be well populated. Some trade was done with the 
natives, but nothing would induce them to venture on board the 

" The colour of their skins," says La Billardiere, ' l is nearly 
black. They are of medium height, and wear no clothes. They 
are muscular and strong. Although their featurss are not pleasant, 
they are very expressive. They have large heads, and broad fore- 


heads, Their faces, especially in the lower part, are flat ; they have 
thick chins, rather prominent cheek bones, flat noses, large mouths, 
and thin lips. 

" Their ugliness is increased by the colour with which the betel- 
nut stains their mouths. They appear very skilful in the use of 
bows and arrows. One of them brought a gannet which he had 
just killed, on board, and the hole made by the arrow could easily 
be seen. 

" These natives have bestowed particular attention upon their 
weapons, which are very well finished. We could not but admire 
the skill with which they coated the strings of their bows with 
resin, in such a way that at first sight they looked like catgut. 
The centre was protected with a piece of bark, to lessen the wear 
in projecting the arrows." 

The survey of the western coast of these two islands was com- 
pleted upon the 15th of July. Bougainville had already surveyed 
the eastern shore. 

Next day the French navigators sighted first the island to which 
Carteret had given the name of Sir Charles Hardy, and then the 
south eastern extremity of New Ireland. 

The two vessels cast anchor in Carteret Bay, and the crews were 
established upon Cocoa Island. This island is covered with ever- 
green trees, which, in spite of the volcanic nature of the soil, grow 

The cocoa-nuts from which it received its name were procured 
with difficulty. On the other hand, it afforded the naturalists 
so many varieties of plants and insects as to charm Billardiere. 

Rain fell abundantly during the stay ; it was like a ceaseless 
torrent of tepid water. 

After obtaining the necessary wood and water, the Recherche and 
Esperance set sail from Port Carteret upon the 24th of July, 1792. 
In so doing the Esperance unfortunately lost an anchor, the cable 
having been cut by the coral reefs. The two vessels then entered 
St. George's Strait, which at the southern extremity is only 
about forty-two miles in width, about half the extent assigned 
to it by Carteret. The currents were so rapid that the ships 
were carried past Man and Sandwich Islands, without being able 
to stop. 

After sighting Portland Islands, low lands, seven in number, 


which stretch from 2 39' 44" S. lat. to 147 15' E. long., 
D'Entrecastreux continued his route towards the Admiralty Islands, 
which he intended to visit. It was upon the most easterly of 
these islands that, according to the report received by Commodore 
Hunter, the natives wearing French naval uniforms had been 

" The natives appeared in crowds," says the narrative. " Some 
ran along the shore, others, fixing their eyes upon our vessels, 
invited us by signs to land. The cries they uttered were intended 
to express their joy. At half-past one the vessels anchored, and a 
boat was despatched from each, containing articles for distribution 
among the natives of this small island. The frigates were so 
placed as to protect the boats as they neared the land, in the event 
of any attack by the savages, for our recollection of the treachery 
of the natives of the islands south of the Admiralty made us dis- 

The coast abounded in reefs ; " the boats could only approach 
within a hundred yards of the shore. Numbers of the natives 
crowded to the beach, and invited the French by signs to land. 

" One of the savages, distinguished by a double row of small 
shells upon his forehead, appeared to exercise a good deal of 
authority. He ordered one of the natives to jump into the water, 
and bring us some cocoa-nuts. Fearing to approach strangers 
swimming and defenceless, he hesitated for a moment. The chief, 
evidently quite unaccustomed to resistance to his wishes, followed 
up his command by blows from his club, and compelled obedience. 

" As soon as the islander returned to land, curiosity brought the 
natives around him in crowds. Each wished to participate in our 
presents. Pirogues were immediately launched, and many natives 
swam to the boats, which were shortly surrounded by quite a 
crowd. We were surprised that the violence of the surf upon the 
breakers did not intimidate them." 

Perhaps the French may have attempted that which the Indians 
accomplished. It seems probable that they would never have 
observed these people if the vessels, or at least a small boat, had 
not been wrecked in the archipelago. 

The only remark made by them is to the effect that the natives 
understood and appreciated the use of iron. 

D'Entrecastreux then proceeded to reconnoitre the northern 
portion of the archipelago, and to trade with the natives. He did 


not land anywhere, and does not appear to have executed this 
part of his task with the minute care and attention which might 
have been expected of him. 

The Recherche and the Esperance afterwards visited the Hermit 
Islands, discovered in 1781 by a Spanish frigate, La Princesa. 
The natives, like all those they had encountered, showed a great 
desire to induce the strangers to land, but did not succeed in 
persuading them to do so. 

The Exchequer Islands, discovered by Bougainville, several un- 
known low islands, covered with luxuriant vegetation, Schouten 
Island, and the coast of New Guinea, were successively sighted. In 
the interior of the last-named a large chain of mountains was 
distinguished, the loftiest of which appeared at least three thousand 
five hundred feet high. 

After coasting this large island, the Recherche and the Espe- 
rance entered Pitt Strait to reach the Moluccas. 

Upon the 5th of September, 1792, the French joyfully anchored 
in the roadstead of Amboyna. There were many sufferers from 
scurvy on board, and officers and crew alike needed a lengthened 
rest. The naturalists, astronomers, and other scientific men 
immediately landed, and took the necessary steps for the prosecu- 
tion of their various observations. The naturalists were particularly 
successful in acquiring new facts. La Billardiere congratulates 
himself upon the multiplicity of new plants and animals that he 
was able to obtain. 

" Once when upon the shore/' he says, " I heard what appeared 
to be wind instruments, the tones now harmonious, now discordant, 
yet never un pleasing. These harmonious and distinct sounds 
appeared to come from a distance, and I imagined the natives were 
making music some six or seven miles beyond the roadstead. But 
my ear deceived me, for I found that I was not a hundred yards 
from the instrument. A bamboo cane, at least sixty feet high, was 
fixed vertically upon the shore. At each notch a slit had been made, 
about two and a half inches long and one and a quarter broad. 
These slits made so many openings for the wind, which, passing 
through them, produced varied and pleasant sounds. As the notches 
in this cane were very numerous, the slits had been made all round, 
so that whichever way the wind blew it went through some of 
them. I can only compare the sound of this instrument to that 
of an harmonium/' 


During this long stay of a month in one place the vessels were 
well caulked, the sails and rigging attended to, and every pre- 
caution taken for a voyage in tropical and damp climates. 

A few details on the roadstead of Amhoyna, and the manners 
and customs of the native population, will not be out of place. 

" Amboyna roadstead," says La Billardiere, " forms a channel 
some thirteen or fourteen miles in length, and about two and a 
half miles in breadth. It affords good anchorage, although the 
bottom is partly of coral. 

" The fort, called Victory Fort, is built of bricks ; the 
governor and some of the members of government reside there. 
It was at this time falling into ruins, and every discharge of cannon 
did evident damage. 

" The garrison consisted of about two hundred men, of which 
the natives of the island composed a considerable part ; the 
remainder consisted of a few retired European soldiers and a small 
detachment of a Wurtemberg regiment. 

The mortality amongst officers living in the Indies makes the 
lives of those who have been some time in the climate precious ; 
the Dutch Company is therefore seldom true to its promise to 
allow them to return to Europe at the expiration of their time of 
service. I met with several of these unfortunate men who had been 
detained for more than twenty years, when, according to agree- 
ment, they ought to have been freed long before. 

" The language of the natives of Amboyna is Malay. It is very 
soft and musical. The country produces spices, coffee, which is 
inferior to that of Eeunion Island, and sago ; the latter is largely 
cultivated in the marshy districts. 

" The rice consumed at Amboyna is not indigenous to the soil, 
but still it might be successfully cultivated in the low lands. The 
Dutch Company, however, prohibit the growth of this article of 
commerce, because its sale enables them to keep back a part of the 
sum which they are obliged to pay for cloves furnished by the 
blacks. They thus prevent the increase of pay, and obtain the 
fruits of native labour at a moderate price. 

"Thus the company, consulting their own interest only, dis- 
courage all industry in the population, by forcing them, as it were, 
to relinquish everything but the cultivation of spices. 

" The Dutch are careful to limit the cultivation of spices within 


the compass of ordinary consumption. Their efforts, which are 
destructive of all enterprise, chime in with the nonchalant character 
of the natives." 

On the 23rd of " Vendemiaire " ! of the year l,if we conform to 
the new style, as Bougainville does, the two vessels left Amboyna, 
amply provisioned with fowls, ducks, geese, pigs, goats, potatoes, 
yams, bananas, and pumpkins. Meat, however, they obtained in but 
small quantities, the flour was of a bad quality, and the sailors could 
never accustom themselves to the sago which was shipped in its 
stead ; bamboos, cloves, and arrack may be added to the list of 

" Young bamboo shoots, cut in slices, and preserved in vine- 
gar," says La Billardiere, "made an excellent store for along 
voyage. These young shoots are generally very tender. They are 
gathered early, and sold in the market as vegetables, for which 
they are a good substitute. They are often a yard long, and half 
an inch thick. 

"These young bamboo shoots are much appreciated by the 
Chinese, who think them similar to asparagus in flavour. 

" We were also provided with cloves and nutmegs preserved in 
sugar. The shell of the nutmeg is the only edible portion ; un- 
fortunately, ignorant preservers had chosen full-grown nutmegs. 
Cloves, when once as large as ordinary olives, retain too much 
flavour to be a pleasant sweetmeat. One must be endowed with 
an Indian palate to enjoy them. I might say the same of our 
ginger preserves. 

' ' The only spirituous liquor obtainable was arrack, several casks 
of which were bought. Many travellers have spoken in praise of 
this liquor, which is, in reality, not equal to the poorest brandy." 

Upon leaving Amboyna, the expedition sailed for the south-west 
coast of Australia. Shortly afterwards, Kisser Island, the north 
shore of Timor, Baton Island, and the delightful Sauva Island, 
were successively passed ; and finally, upon the 16th " Frimaire," 
the western extremity of the south-western coast of New Holland, 
which was discovered by Leu win in 1622, was sighted. 

The coast presented a succession of sandy dunes, in the midst 
of which arose pointed rocks, apparently utterly sterile. Navigation 
upon this unsheltered coast was extremely dangerous. The sea 
1 First month of the Republican calendar. 


ran high, the wind was boisterous, and it was necessary to steer 
amongst the breakers. During a strong gale the Esperance was 
nearly driven upon the coast, when one of the officers fortunately 
distinguished from the main-mast an anchorage, where, he declared, 
the ships would be in safety. 

" The safety of the two ships," says the narrative, " was due to 
this discovery, for the Recherche, after battling as long as she could 
against the storm, had been forced to tack about all night amidst 
these perilous breakers, hoping for a change of wind which would 
make it possible for her to reach the open sea, and must infallibty have 
perished. This bay, named Legrand, after the able seaman who 
first discovered it, will always recall his invaluable service to the 

The islets surrounding this coast were reconnoitred by the 
navigators. A geographical engineer, named Riche, belonging 
to the Recherche, landing upon the mainland to make observations, 
lost his way, and only reached the vessels after two days' absence, 
nearly dead of fatigue and hunger. 

This small archipelago concluded the discoveries of Nuyts. 

" We were surprised/' says La Billardiere, " at the exactitude 
with which the latitude had been determined by this navigator, at 
a time when instruments were very imperfect. The same remark 
applies to nearly all Leuwin's discoveries in this region." 

Upon the 15th Mvose 2 31 52' lat. and 129 16' E. long., 
Captain Huon de Kermadec informed D'Entrecastreux that his 
rudder was injured, that he was obliged to limit his crew to three 
quarters of a bottle of water per day, that he had been forced to 
discontinue the distribution of anti-scorbutic drinks, and that he 
had only thirty casks of water remaining. The Recherche was 
hardly in better case. D'Entrecastreux accordingly made for 
Cape Dieman, after navigating for about six hundred and seventy 
miles along a barren coast, which offered no object of interest or 

Upon the 3rd Pluviose, 3 the vessels anchored in the Bay of 
Rocks, in Tempest Bay, which they had visited the preceding 
year. This spot was very rich in points of interest. La 
Billardiere was amazed at the varied products of this portion of Van 

2 Fourth month of the Republican calendar, from 21st December to 21st January. 

3 Fifth month of the Republican calendar, from 20th January to 20th Febiuary 


Diemen's Land, and was never tired of admiring the vast forests of 
gigantic trees, and the many unknown shrubs and plants, through 
which he had to force his way. During one of his numerous 
excursions he picked up some fine pieces of beautiful bronze red 
haematite, and further on some earth containing ochre, of so bright 
a red as to denote the presence of iron. He soon encountered 
some natives, and his remarks upon this race, which is now quite 
extinct, are interesting enough for repetition ; moreover, they 
complete the particulars already given by Captain Cook. 

He says, " There were about forty-two natives ; seven 
grown men, and eight women, the others appeared to be their 
children ; many of them were girls already arrived at maturity, 
who were even more lightly clad than their mothers. They have 
woolly hair, and the men let their beards grow long. In the 
children the upper jaw projects, but in adults it is about even with 
the lower. No doubt these people consider it a beauty to be black ; 
for, not being very dark to begin with, they powder the upper 
part of the body with coal dust. 

"We noticed rows of spots on the skin, especially of the shoulders 
and breast, now in lines above three inches long, now in equi- 
distant dots. These people do not appear to observe the custom 
which many travellers have thought to be universal amongst their 
tribes, of extracting the incisor teeth, for we saw no native with 
any missing from the upper jaw, and they all had very fine, strong 
teeth. These people swarm with vermin. We could not but admire 
the patience of a woman, whom we watched freeing her child of 
them ; nor could we avoid feeling shocked when she crushed the 
disgusting insects with her teeth, and then swallowed them. 
Monkeys have the same habit ! 

"The young children greatly admired everything shining, and 
they did not hesitate to take the metal buttons off our coats. I 
must not omit to mention a trick played upon a sailor by a young 
savage. The man had collected a number of shells, and left them 
in a bag at the foot of a rock. The native furtively removed them, 
and allowed the sailor to search for them vainly for some time ; 
then quietly replacing them, he seemed much amused at the trick 
he had played." 

Early in the morning of the 26th Piuviose the two vessels 
weighed anchor, entered D'Entrecastreux Strait, and, on the 5th of 


Ventose, 4 anchored in Adventure Bay. After a stay of five days, 
spent in taking observations, D'Entrecastreux set sail for New 
Zealand, and reached its southern extremity. After an interview 
with the natives, too short to admit of additions being made to the 
many and precise observations of Captain Cook, D'Entrecastreux 
started for the Friendly Islands, which La Perouse had intended 
visiting. He anchored in Tonga Tabou Bay. The vessels were 
at once surrounded by a crowd of pirogues, and literally boarded 
by the natives, who came to sell pigs and every variety of fruit. 

One of the sons of Poulao, the king Cook had known, received 
the navigators cordially, and scrupulously superintended the trade 
with the islanders. This was no easy task, for they developed 
surprising talents for stealing everything which came in their 

La Billardiere describes rather a good joke of which he was the 
victim. He was followed to the provision tent by two natives, 
whom he took to be chiefs. 

" One of them," he says, " was very anxious to choose the best 
fruits for me. I had placed my hat on the ground, thinking 
it safe there ; but these two rogues understood their business. The 
one behind me was clever enough to hide my hat under his clothes, 
and was off before I perceived the theft ; the other speedily followed. 
I was the more surprised at this attempt, because I should have 
supposed they would not have had the courage to steal so large an 
object, running the risk of being caught, in the enclosure to 
which we had admitted them. Moreover, a hat could not be a 
very useful article to these people, who generally go bare-headed. 
Their dexterity in robbing me, convinced me that it was by no 
means their first attempt." 

The French entered into relations with a chief named Finau, 
probably the same who is mentioned as Finauo in Captain Cook's 
voyage, and who called him Toute. But he was only a secondary 
chief. The real king, supreme chief of Tonga Tabou, Yavao, 
and of Annamooka, was named Toubau. He visited the ships, and 
brought back a gun which had been stolen a day or two previously 
from a sentinel. He presented D'Entrecastreux with two pieces 
of stuff made from the bark of the mulberry-tree, so large that if 
opened out either would have covered the vessel. In exchange 
4 Fifth month of French Republican calendar. 

Fete in honour of D'Entrecasteaux at the Friendly Islands. 
(Fac-siniile of early engraving.) 

Page 285. 


for mats and pigs he received a fine hatchet and a general's red 
coat, which he immediately put on. 

Two days later, an extraordinarily stout female, at least fifty 
years of age, and to whom the natives paid great respect, came on 
board. This was Queen Tina. She tasted everything that was 
offered to her, but preferred preserved bananas. The steward 
stood behind her chair, and waited to clear away, but she saved 
him the trouble by appropriating the plate and napkin. 

King Toubau was anxious to give an entertainment to D'Entre- 
castreux. The admiral was received upon landing by two chiefs, 
Finau and Omalai, and conducted by them to an extensive 
esplanade. Toubau arrived with his two daughters. They had 
sprinkled a quantity of cocoa-nut oil upon their heads, and each 
wore a necklace made of the pretty seeds of the arbus peccatorius. 

" The natives," says the narrative, " arrived from all parts in 
great crowds ; we estimated that the number amounted to at least 
four thousand. 

" The seat of honour was evidently to the left of the king, for he 
invited D'Entrecastreux to take his place there. The captain then 
offered the presents he had brought for the king which were grate- 
fully accepted. A piece of crimson damask excited the most vivid 
admiration from all the assembled natives. (l Eho ! Eho ! " they 
exclaimed repeatedly, in accents of the greatest surprise. They 
uttered the same admiring cry when we unfolded some pieces of 
coloured ribbon, in which red predominated. The captain then 
presented a couple of goats, and a pair of rabbits, of which the king 
promised to take every care. D'Entrecastreux also bestowed 
various presents upon Toubau's son Omalai, and several other chiefs. 

"To our right, on the north-east, under a shady bread- 
fruit tree laden with fruit, thirteen musicians were seated, 
who sang together in different parts. Four of the musicians 
played the accompaniment by striking bamboo canes, a } r ard and 
a yard and a half long, upon the ground, the holder of the 
longest bamboo occasionally acting as conductor. These bamboo 
canes emitted a sound not unlike that of a tambourine, and 
they were arranged in the following order. The two medium- 
sized canes were in unison, the longest a tone and a half lower, 
and the shortest two tones and a half higher. The voice of the 
alto was heard far above all the others, although he was a little 


hoarse ; he accompanied himself by striking with two little sticks 
upon a bamboo cane, some six yards long, and split throughout 
its entire length. Three musicians stationed in front of the others 
appeared to explain the song by gestures, which had apparently 
been well studied, as they all acted in unison. Occasionally gracefully 
moving their arms, they turned towards the king ; whilst some- 
times they suddenly sunk their heads upon their breasts, and as 
suddenly tossed them back. 

" After these entertainments Toubau offered the captain several 
pieces of stuff made from the bark of the mulberry-tree. He had 
them unrolled with great ostentation, that we might fully appreciate 
the value of his gift. The minister seated upon his left ordered 
the preparation of ' kava,' which was soon brought in an oval- 
shaped wooden vase, about three feet long. 

" The musicians had reserved their best pieces for this moment, 
for at each succeeding effort we heard applauding cries of 'Mali, 
Mali ;' and it was evident that the music had an agreeable and 
inspiriting effect upon the natives. The ' kava ' was then offered 
to the various chiefs by those who had prepared it." 

This concert, it will be seen, was by no means equal to the 
splendid entertainment which had been given to Captain Cook. 

Queen Tina followed it up by giving a grand ball, which was 
preceded by a concert, fully attended by the natives, amongst 
whom, we may incidentally mention, were numbers of thieves, who 
became so bold that they ended by forcibly taking possession of a 
cutlas. As the blacksmith of the Recherche pursued the thieves, 
they turned, and seeing him alone, struck him on the head with a 
club. Fortunately his danger was perceived by those on board the 
Esperance, and a well-directed shot dispersed his assaillants. 
Several natives were killed upon this occasion by the officers and 
sailors, who, not seeing exactly what had happened, treated all the 
islanders they met as dangerous, Fortunately, concord was 
soon restored ; and the relations were so friendly when the time 
came for the French to leave, that many of the natives begged to 
accompany them to France, 

"The intelligent account which these islanders gave of the 
vessels which had anchored in this archipelago," says the narrative, 
convinced us that La Perouse had not visited any of these islands. 
They remembered perfectly every occasion upon which they had 

Typical native of New Holland. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 287. 


seen Captain Cook, and they indicated the intervals between his 
visits by the crops of yams, reckoning two in each year." 

It is true that their information, as far as it related to La 
Perouse, was in direct contradiction to the facts which Dumont- 
Durville collected thirty-six years later, when Tamaha was queen. 

"I was anxious to know/' he says, "if any Europeans had 
visited Tonga between Cook and D'Entrecastreux. After a few 
moments' reflection, she explained to me very clearly that a few 
years before D'Entrecastreux's visit, two large vessels, like his in 
every respect, carrying guns and many Europeans, had anchored 
off Annamooka, and remained there six days. They showed a 
white flag, quite unlike the English one. The strangers had been 
very friendly with the natives, and had had a house on the island 
and entered into trade. She related that a native who had agreed 
to exchange a wooden bolster for a knife, was shot by an officer be- 
cause he wanted to take back his merchandise when he had been 
paid for it. However, the incident had not broken the peace, 
because in that instance the native was in the wrong. " 

Although it is impossible to suspect Dumont-Durville of any 
attempt at imposition, many portions of this circumstantial account 
bear the impress of truth, more especially that relating to the 
flag, as being different to that of the English. Must we then 
charge D'Entrecastreux with want of thoroughness in his work ? 
This would be a very serious charge. Yet two circumstances, which 
we shall presently relate, appear to point to that conclusion. 

The natives witnessed the departure of the French with keen 
regret. The expedition left upon the 21st Germinal, 5 and six days 
later the Esperance signalled Erronan, the most easterly of the 
islands of Santo Espiritu, discovered by Quiros in 1660. Beyond 
this Annatom, Tanna, with its volcano in constant eruption, and 
the Beautemps-Beaupre Islands were passed. Carried onwards by 
the currents, the vessels were soon in sight of the mountains of 
NQW Caledonia, and anchored in Balade harbour, where Captain 
Cook had cast anchor in 1774. 

The natives were acquainted with the use of iron, but they did 
not appear to value it as highly as others had done, probably be- 
cause the stones they used instead were very hard and answered 
admirably for their purposes. Their first demand upon going on 

5 Seventh month of the Republican calendar, from 21st March to 19th April. 


board was for something to eat ; and their need was unmistak- 
able, for they pointed to their manifestly empty stomachs. 
Captain Cook had already remarked that they managed their 
pirogues, which were far less ingeniously constructed than those 
of the Friendly Islands, unskilfully. The greater number of these 
natives had woolly hair, and skins almost as black as those of 
the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land. Their weapons were 
assegais and clubs ; and in addition to these they carried at the 
waist a little bag, full of the oval stones which they throw from 
their slings. 

After a short excursion inland, during which they visited the 
huts of the natives, which were shaped like beehives, the officers 
and naturalists prepared to re-embark. 

" Upon returning to our boat," says the narrative, " we found 
more than seven hundred natives, who had assembled from all 
directions. They began by demanding stuffs and iron in exchange for 
their wares, and soon some of them proved themselves arrant thieves. 

(< I will mention one of their many manoeuvres. A man 
offered to sell me the little bag of stones which he carried at his 
waist. He unfastened it, and pretended to offer it to me in one 
hand, whilst he held out the other for the price upon which we had 
agreed. But at the same moment another native, who had taken 
up his stand behind me, uttered a shrill scream, which made me 
turn my head in his direction, whereupon the rogue made off with 
his bag, and hid himself in the crowd. We were unwilling to 
punish him, although most of us carried our guns. 

" Unfortunately our leniency might be regarded as a proof of 
our weakness, and so add to the native insolence ; and an incident 
which shortly occurred indicates this was so. 

" Some natives were bold enough to throw stones at an officer 
who was only about two hundred paces away from us. We were 
still unwilling to act harshly, as we had heard so much in their 
favour from Forster's narrative, and had such confidence in their 
good will that still more evidence was required to convince us of 
their real character. 

" One of them, who was enjoying a broiled bone, and busily 
devouring the meat which still clung to it, offered a share of his 
meal to a sailor named Piron. He, thinking it to be the bone of 
some animal, accepted it, but before eating it showed it to me. I 

Natives of New Caledonia. 

Page 21 


at once recognized that it had belonged to the body of a child, 
of probably fourteen or fifteen years of age. The natives crowding 
round us, showed us upon a living child the position of the bone, 
owning without hesitation that the man had been making his meal 
off it, and giving us to understand that it was a great delicacy. 

" Those of our company who had remained on board, could 
hardly credit our account of this disgusting fact. They refused 
to believe that a people who had been so differently described by 
Captain Cook and Captain Foster could be capable of so degrading 
a practice, but the most incredulous were soon convinced. I had 
retained possession of the gnawed bone, and our surgeon at once 
recognized it as that of a child. To make still more sure of the 
cannibalism of the natives, I offered it to one of them. He seized 
it eagerly, and tore the remaining flesh from it with his teeth ; 
after he had done with it, I passed it to another, who still found 
something upon it to relish/' 

The natives who visited the vessel, committed so many thefts, 
and became so impudent, that we were forced to drive them away. 
Upon landing next day, the French found the natives feasting. 

They immediately offered a share of their meal to the strangers. 
It proved to be human flesh recently cooked. 

Many of them even came close up to the French and felt the 
muscles of their arms and legs, uttering the word Karapek, with 
an expression of admiration and longing which was anything but 

Many of the officers were assaulted and robbed with the greatest 
effrontery. There remained no doubt of the intentions of the 
natives. They even attempted to possess themselves of the 
hatchets the sailors had brought on shore to cut wood, and were 
only made to desist by being fired upon. 

These constantly recurring hostilities always ended in the re- 
pulse of the natives, many of whom were killed or wounded. But 
in spite of the repulses they met with, they let no favourable 
opportunity pass of recommencing their attacks. 

La Billardiere was witness to a fact which has since been fre- 
quently observed, but was long disbelieved. He saw the natives 
eating steatite. This mineral substance serves to deaden the sense 
of hunger, by filling the stomach and sustaining the viscera of 
the diaphragm, and although it contains no nourishment whatever, 



it is useful to them, because they have long periods when food is 
scarcely procurable, as they bestow very little cultivation upon their 
land, which is naturally very sterile. Yet, one would scarcely have 
expected hungry cannibals to resort to such an expedient. 

No news of La Perouse had been obtained during the stay in 
New Caledonia. But M. Jules Gamier states that a tradition 
exists of the appearance of two large ships, which had sent boats 
on shore, near the northern extremity of Pine Island. 

" After the first alarm/'' says M. Jules Gamier, in a communi- 
cation which appeared in the " Bulletin de la Societe de Geo- 
graphie " for November, 1869, u the natives approached the 
strangers and fraternized with them ; they were quite astonished 
at their riches, and their cupidity induced them to oppose the depar- 
ture of the French sailors by force ; but their ardour was moderated 
by a volley which killed a few of them. Little pleased with 
their reception, the French vessels proceeded to the mainland, 
after letting off a cannon, which the natives took to be a clap 
of thunder/' 

It is strange that D'Entrecasteaux, who entered into communi- 
cations with the natives of Pine Island, should have heard nothing 
of these events. The island is small, and its population has always 
been scanty. The natives must have kept secret the fact of their 
dealings with La Perouse. 

Had D'Entrecasteaux, in his navigation among the coral reefs 
which protect the eastern coast of New Caledonia, succeeded 
in entering one of the many openings he met with, he might have 
found some trace of the course taken by La Perouse, who was a 
careful navigator, and anxious to emulate Cook, who had touched 
at several points of that coast. A whaler, whose account is quoted 
by Bienzi, declared that he had seen medals and a cross of St. 
Louis, relics of the French expedition, in possession of the natives 
of New Caledonia. 

M. Jules Gamier, during a voyage from Noumea to Canala, in 
March, 1865, observed in the hand of one of their native escort, 
" an old rusty sword, in the fashion of the last century," which bore 
the impression of the " fleur-de-lys." He could obtain no account 
of it from its possessor, except that he had had it a long time. 

There is no evidence that any member of the expedition gave a 
sword, still less a cross of the order of St. Louis, to a savage. No 


doubt an officer had fallen in some encounter, and thus these 
articles had come into native hands. 

This hypothesis accords with M. Garnier's explanation of the con- 
tradictory accounts given by Cook and D'Entrecasteaux of the 
people of Balade. According to the former, they are peaceable, 
honest, and friendly ; according to the latter, they are robbers, 
traitors, and cannibals. M. Jules Garnier suggests that some 
extraordinary event must have changed the disposition of the natives 
between the two visits. Most likely an encounter had taken place. 
The Europeans may have been driven to the use of arms : they 
may possibly have destroyed plantations and burnt huts. In 
such a case their hostile reception of D'Entrecasteaux would be 

La Billardiere, in his account of an excursion to the moun- 
tains forming the water-shed of the northern extremity of 
New Caledonia, and from which the sea can be seen on either 
side, says, 

" We were followed by three natives, who had no doubt seen us 
a year previously, when we coasted the eastern shores of their 
island, for before they left us they spoke of two ships which they 
had seen upon that coast." 

La Billardiere ought to have pressed the natives upon this 
subject. Were the vessels seen by them those of La Perouse or 
of D'Entrecasteaux : and was it really " a year previously " ? 

From these details we see how much it is to be regretted that 
D'Entrecasteaux did .not pursue his investigations more zealously. 
No doubt, had he done so, he would have found traces of his fellow- 
countrymen. We shall shortly see, that with a little perseverance 
he would have found some at least, if not all of them alive. 

During the stay in this port Captain Huon de Kermadec suc- 
cumbed to a hectic fever from which he had long been suffering. 
He was succeeded in the command of the Esperance by M. 
D'Hesminy d'Auribeau. 

Leaving New Caledonia upon the 21st Floreal, 6 D'Entrecasteaux 
sighted successively Moulin and Huon Islands, and Santa Cruz de 
Mendana, which is separated from New Jersey by a strait, in which 
the French vessels were attacked by the natives. 

To the south-east D'Entrecasteaux observed an island, which he 

6 Eighth month of the Republican calendar, from 18th April to 20th May. 

U 2 


named after the Recherche, and which he might have called Discovery 
if he had approached it. It was Yanikoro, an islet surrounded by 
coral reefs, upon which La Perouse' s vessels had been wrecked, 
and which at this time, in all probability, was inhabited by some 
of the unfortunate seamen. It was most unfortunate to be so near 
success, and yet to miss it ! But the veil which hid the fate of 
La Perouse and his companions was not destined to be removed 
for a long time yet. 

After surveying the northern extremities of Santa Cruz, with- 
out any result so far as the object of his expedition was concerned, 
D'Entrecasteaux directed his course to De Surville's Land of the 
Arsacides. He reconnoitred the northern coast, and thence 
reached the shores of Lousiade, which La Perouse had an- 
nounced his intention of visiting when he left Salomon Island, 
and surveyed Cape Deliverance. Bougainville was wrong in sup- 
posing that this cape belonged to New Guinea ; it is the extreme 
point of an island, called Eossel after one of the officers who has 
given an account of the expedition. 

After coasting along a series of low and rocky islands, 
which were named after the principal officers, the vessels reached 
Cape William, on the coast of New Guinea. They then directed their 
course to Dampier's Strait. After sailing along the northern coast 
of New Britain, several small and mountainous islands, hitherto 
unknown, were discovered. Upon the 17th of July a small island 
in the neighbourhood of the Anchorite Islands was sighted. 

D'Entrecasteaux had long been suffering from dysentery and 
scurvy, and was in extreme danger. Following the advice of his 
officers, he decided to take leave of the Esperance, and endeavoured 
to reach Waihoun more quickly. Upon the 20th of July he sunk 
under long and protracted sufferings. After a stay at Waihoun 
and Bouro Islands, at which latter place the President over- 
whelmed the French with civilities, and where Bougainville was 
still remembered by the natives, the expedition left, under com- 
mand of D'Auzibeau. He also unfortunately fell ill, and the 
command was transferred to Rossel, under whose orders the 
vessels passed first Boutong, and then Saleyer Straits, and 
reached Sourabaya upon the 19th of October. 

Sad news here awaited the members of the expedition. Louis 
XVI. had been beheaded. France was at war with Holland and 

View of the Island of Bouron. 

Page 292. 


all the European powers. Although both the Recherche and the 
Esperance needed many repairs, and the health of the crews 
needed repose, D'Auribeau was about to start for Mauritius, 
when he was detained by the Dutch governor. Fearing that 
the news from Europe, affecting as it did the various members of 
the expedition so differently, might lead to disaffection in his colony, 
he subjected his " prisoners," as he called the French, to most 
humiliating conditions, which they could not escape. Irritation 
and hatred were rampant, when it occurred to D'Auribeau to unfurl 
the white flag. However, the greater part of the officers and men 
of science, amongst them Billardiere, obstinately refused to respect 
the conditions imposed ; and being arrested by order of the Dutch 
authorities, were distributed throughout the different ports of the 

After the death of D'Auribeau, which occurred upon the 21st 
of Aug., 1794, Eossel became head of the expedition. He under- 
took to convey all documents of every kind collected during the 
voyage to France ; but being taken prisoner by an English frigate, 
he was deprived of his property, in defiance of justice ; and 
when France obtained the objects of natural history, of which 
she had been robbed the expression is not too strong when we 
recall the instructions given by the French government with regard 
to Captain Cook's expedition they were in so bad a condition that 
they had lost much of their value. 

Thus ended this unfortunate expedition. Although its principal 
object had not been attained, it had at least resulted in some 
geographical discoveries; it had completed or rectified those 
made by preceding navigators ; and to it, especially to the 
exertions of La Billardiere, are due the acquisition of an immense 
number of facts in natural history. 




Captain Marchand's voyage The Marquesas Discovery of Nouka-Hiva 
Manners and customs of the inhabitants Revolution Islands The coast 
of America and Tchinkitane Port Cox Strait Stay at the Sandwich Islands 
Macao Disappointment Return to France Discoveries made by Bass and 
Flinders upon the Australian coast-^Captain Baudin's expedition Endracht 
and De Witt Islands Stay at Timor Survey of Van Diemen's Land 
Separation between the G-eographe and the Naturaliste Stay at Port 
Jackson Convicts Agricultural wealth of New South Wales Return of 
the Naturaliste to France Cruise of the Geographe and of the Casuarina 
to the Islands of Nuyts, Edels, Endracht, and De Witt Second stay at 
Timor -Return to France. 

ETIENNE MARCHAND, a captain in the merchant service, returning 
to France from Bengal in 1788, met with the English Captain 
Portlock in the roadstead of St. Helena. Their conversation 
naturally fell upon commerce, and the value of various articles of 
trade. Like a sensible man, Marchand allowed his companion to 
talk, and only put in a few words himself now and again, and 
thus drew from Portlock the interesting information that furs, and 
more especially otter skins, which could be obtained for a mere 
trifle upon the eastern coast of North America, realized an 
enormous price in China; whilst at the same time a cargo 
brought from the Celestial Empire would return a large profit in 

Upon arriving in France, Marchand communicated what he had 
learned to his ship-owners, MM. Baux of Marseilles, and they at 
once resolved to act upon the knowledge he had obtained. Naviga- 
tion in the Pacific Ocean required a ship of special strength and 
excellence. MM. Baux ordered the construction of a vessel of 
300 tons' burden, plated with copper, and provided with every 
necessary for defence in case of attack, and for repairs in the event 
of accident, and also with every thing likely to promote trade and, to 
ensure the health of the crews during a voyage of three or four years. 


Two captains, MM. Masse and Prosper Chanal, were associated 
with Marchand in the command of the expedition, and the rest of 
the party consisted of three lieutenants, two surgeons, three 
volunteers, and a crew of thirty-nine seamen. Four cannon, two 
howitzers, four swivel guns, with the needful ammunition, &c., 
formed the equipment. 

Although the vessel was only to reach Cape Horn at the 
beginning of winter, the Solide left Marseilles upon the 14th of 
December, 1790. After a short stay at Praya, Cape Verde 
Islands, Marchand proceeded to Staten Island, which he reached 
upon the 1st of April, 1791. He then doubled Tierra del Fuego, 
and entered the Pacific. His intention was to proceed immediately 
to the north-western coast of America, but at the beginning of 
May the water on board was already so tainted that he required a 
fresh supply. 

Under these circumstances, the captain decided to reach the 
Marquesas Islands of Mendoza which are situated in S. lat. 6, 
and near 141 west of the Paris meridian. 

" The situation of these islands," says Fleurien, who published 
an interesting account of this voyage, " was the more suitable for 
his purpose, because with a view to escaping the calms often met 
with in too easterly a course, he had resolved to cross the line at 
142 west longitude. 

This group of islands had been discovered in 1595 by Mendoza, 
and visited by Cook in 1774. Magdalena Island, the most 
southerly of the group, was reached upon the 12th of June. 

The captain, and his associate Chanal, had calculated with such 
precision, that the Solide anchored off the Mendoza Islands, after 
a cruise of seventy-three days from the time of leaving Staten 
Island, without having noticed any land whatever. Constant 
astronomical observations alone ensured the safety of the 
vessel in a sea where the currents were unequal, and it was quite 
impossible to regulate the course of the ship by any ordinary 

Marchand made for San Pedro, which lay on the west. 
He soon recognized Dominica, Santa Cristina, and Hood Island, 
the most northerly of the group, and finally anchored in Madre- 
de-Dios Bay, where he was enthusiastically welcomed by the 
natives,iCrying " Tayo, Tayo." 


Finding it impossible to obtain the number of pigs he required 
at this port, the captain decided upon visiting the remaining bays 
of Santa Cristina Island, which he found better populated, more 
fertile, and more picturesque than that of Madre-de-Dios. 

The stay of the English in the Marquesas Islands had been too 
short to allow of accurate observations of the manners and customs 
of the inhabitants. We will therefore make a few extracts from 
the description given by Etienne Marchand. 

" These natives are tall, strong, and active. Their complexion is 
clear brown, but many differ little in this respect from the lower 
orders in Europe. The climate renders clothing unnecessary, but 
they tattoo their entire bodies so regularly (each arm and leg, for 
example, exactly like its fellow), that the effect is by no means bad. 
The way of arranging the hair varies, and fashion is as despotic in 
the Marquesas as in other countries. Some wear necklaces of red 
beads, others a string of small pieces of light wood. Although 
both men and women have their ears pierced, ear-rings are not 
usually worn. But a young native girl has been seen strutting 
about wearing as a neck ornament the rusty iron shaving-dish 
which she had stolen from the ship's barber, whilst a man was 
equally proud of sporting the ramrod of Captain Marchand's gun, 
which he had placed in the orifice of his ear, letting part of it hang 

Cook affirms that these islanders, like the Tahitans, were 
acquainted with "Kaba." Certain it is that they called the 
brandy, which was offered them on the Solide, by the name of 
the pepper-plant. It appeared that they did not indulge to 
excess in this liquor, for none of them were ever seen in a state of 

The English did not mention in their account of the natives an 
act of civility, which Captain Chanal thought worthy of special 
record. It consisted in offering to a friend a piece of food which 
had been already chewed, that he might have no trouble but that of 
swallowing it. We may easily imagine that the French, in spite 
of their appreciation of the good- will conveved in this action, 
were little likely to avail themselves of it. 

To Marchand we owe also the curious observation that their 
huts are raised upon flat stones, and that the stilts which they 
use indicate that Santa Cristina is subject to inundations. In the 


exhibition at the Trocadero, one of these stilts, extremely well 
made and carved, was exhibited ; and M. Hamy, whose thorough 
knowledge of everything relating to Oceania is well known, has 
written an essay upon this singular object. 

Beyond the usual occupations of fishing, the construction of 
their weapons, pirogues, and domestic implements, the natives of 
Santa Cristina pass their time in singing, dancing, and amusing 
themselves. The common expression of " killing the time " seems 
to have been invented to mark the uselessness of the actions which 
make up their lives. 

During the earlier da} r s of the stay in Madre-de-Dios Bay, 
Marchand had observed something which led him to the discovery 
of a group of islands hitherto unknown to the older navigators 
or to Cook. Upon a clear evening, at sunset, he noticed a spot 
upon the horizon, which had the appearance of a lofty peak. As 
this appeared several nights in succession, he concluded that 
it was land, and finding it not mentioned upon any of the charts, 
it seemed probable that it was some unknown island. 

Marchand determined to satisfy himself upon this point, and 
leaving Santa Cristina upon the 20th of June, he had the satisfac- 
tion of discovering a group of small islands in the north-west, 
which were situated in 7 south latitude. He gave his own name 
to the most important of them. The natives were evidently of 
the same race as that which peopled the Marquesas. Shortly 
afterwards several other islands were discovered ; including 
Baux Island, which is identical with Nouka-Hiva, the Deux 
Freres, and Masse and Chanal Islands. This group, since 
united by geographers to that of the Marquesas, received the 
name of He volution Islands. 

The course was then directed to the American coast. It was too 
late in the -season to attempt to reach William's Sound or Cook's 
River, on the sixth parallel. Marchand accordingly resolved upon 
making for Engano Cape and entering the Norfolk Bay of Dixon, 
which is identical with the Guadaloupe Bay of the Spaniards. 

Upon the 7th of August Engano Cape was sighted, and 
after five days of calm anchor was cast in Guadaloupe Bay. 
There had not been a single case of scurvy on board, after 
242 days' navigation, ten of which only were passed in port, 
at Praya and Madre-de Dios, and after traversing some 5800 


leagues of sea. This was certainly a wonderful fact, due to 
the prevision of the ship-owners, who had spared nothing that 
could conduce to the health of the crews, and also to the care 
with which the captains had observed the sanitary measures com- 
mended to them by experience. 

During his stay in this port, which the natives called Tchinkitane, 
Marchand bought a number of otter skins, one hundred of which 
were of the very first quality. 

The natives are ugly, stunted, but well proportioned. They 
have round, flat faces, small, sunken, bleared eyes, and prominent 
cheek-bones, which do not add to their beauty. 

It is difficult to define the colour of their skins, so care- 
fully is it disguised under a thick coating of grease, and the black 
and red substances which they rub in. Their hair is coarse, thick, 
and bushy, covered with ochre, down, and all the filth accumulated 
by time and neglect, and adds not a little to their unprepossessing 

The women, though not so black as the men, are even more 
ugly. They are short and thick-set; their feet turn inwards, 
and their incredibty filthy habits make them repulsive. The 
coquetry which is innate in the female mind, induces them to add 
to their natural charms by the use of a labial ornament, as ugly 
as it is inconvenient, of which we have already spoken in our 
account of Captain Cook's stay in these waters. 

By means of an incision just below the lower lip, they make an 
opening parallel to that of the mouth, into which they insert an 
iron or wooden skewer, and from time to time they gradually 
increase the size of the instrument, in accordance with advancing 

Finally, they introduce a piece of wood, made for the purpose, of 
the size and shape of the bowl of an ordinary table-spoon. This 
ornament, weighing upon the projecting part, naturally forces down 
the lower lip upon the chin, and developes the beauty of a large, 
gaping mouth, in shape not unlike an oven, revealing a row 
of dirty, yellow teeth. This bowl is removable at pleasure, and 
when it is absent the opening in the lower lip presents the 
appearance of a second mouth, which is little smaller than the 
natural one, and in some cases has been known to be three inches 
in length. 


The Sotidc left Tchinkitane upon the 21st of August, and 
steered to the south east, in the hope of coining upon Queen 
Charlotte's Islands, which had been discovered in 1786 by La 
Perouse. These islands extend over a distance of nearly seventy 
leagues. Upon the 23rd, Etienne Marchand sighted Manteau Bay 
(Dixon's Cloak Bay), which was carefully surveyed by Captain 
C banal. 

Next day the vessels entered Cox Strait, and began to trade 
with the Indians for furs. 

The navigators were immensely astonished at seeing two 
enormous paintings, evidently of great age, and some gigantic 
sculptures, which, although not bearing the very smallest 
comparison to the chef-d'ceuvres of Greece, testified none the less 
to artistic tastes little to be expected from the miserable popula- 

The lands which form Cox Strait and Bay are low and covered 
with firs. The soil, composed of the remains of plants and broken 
rocks, does not appear to have much depth, and the productions 
are similar to those of Tchinkitane. 

The population may be estimated at 400. Not unlike Euro- 
peans in height and figure, they are less hideous than the Tchinki- 

This stay in Cloak Bay was not as productive of trade in furs 
as Marchand had expected, and he therefore decided to send an 
expedition under Captain Chanal to the more southerly islands. 
The object of the expedition was the survey of the regions which had 
hitherto been unvisited. Dixon was the only navigator who had 
crossed these waters, and none of his crew had landed. It is 
therefore not astonishing that many of his assertions were either 
rectified or denied after this more careful exploration. 

After sighting Nootka Sound, Berkley Bay was reached, but 
just as the Solide was about to enter it, a three-masted ship 
was seen approaching the harbour from the south, which was 
precisely what Marchand had intended doing. This decided the 
French navigator to proceed immediately to the coast of China, 
and dispose of his merchandize before the vessel he now saw 
should have time to reach it and compete with him. 

The best route to follow was that of the Sandwich Islands, and 
upon the 5th of October, the heights of Mauna Loa, and Mauna- 


Koa were made out by the French. They seemed quite 
free from snow, which was contrary to the description given of 
them by Captain King. 

So soon as Owhyhee Island was in sight, March and wisely de- 
cided to conduct all his trade on board. He obtained pigs, fowls, 
cocoa-nuts, bananas, and various fruits from this island, and 
was delighted at finding amongst them pumpkins and water- 
melons, no doubt from the seeds sown by Captain Cook. 

Four days were passed in trade, then the route to China was 
resumed, and in due course Tinian Island, one of the Mariannas, 
was sighted. 

Commodore Anson's glowing description of this island will 
be recalled. Byron, as we have already mentioned, was quite 
astonished at the different aspect it presented to him. But the 
fact is, some fifty years earlier Tinian was flourishing and counted 
thirty thousand inhabitants, and the victorious Spaniards had since 
introduced an epidemic which had decimated the population, whilst 
the miserable survivors had been torn from their country and sent 
to Guaham as slaves. 

Marchand did not land at Tinian which according to the 
accounts of every navigator who had visited it since Byron, had 
relapsed into barbarism but made for the southern extremity 
of Formosa. 

Reaching Macao upon the 28th of November, he heard news 
which disconcerted him. The Chinese Government had just 
passed a law prohibiting the introduction of furs into the ports of 
the empire under most severe penalties. Was this the result of 
some unknown clause in a secret treaty with Russia, or was it due 
to the cupidity and avarice of a few mandarins ? In either case 
it was impossible to infringe the law. 

Marchand wrote to MM. Baux's agents in Canton ; but the same 
prohibition held good in that town also, and it was useless to think 
of reaching Whampoa, where he would have had to pay duty, 
amounting to at least six thousand piastres. 

The only course open to Marchand was to go to Mauritius, and 
thence return to Marseilles. It is unnecessary to describe the 
return voyage, which was accomplished without any unusual 

What were the scientific results of this expedition ? Nothing to 


speak of, from a geographical point of view. They may be 
enumerated as follows : The discovery of that portion of the 
Marquesas Islands which had escaped the notice of Captain Cook 
and his predecessors, a more thorough examination of the country, 
and the manners and customs of the natives of Santa Christina 
in the same group, of Tchinkitane and Cloak Bays, and of 
Queen Charlotte's Islands off the American coast. Small as these 
results might appear for an official expedition, they were not un- 
satisfactory for a vessel equipped by private enterprise ; moreover, 
Captain Marchand and his colleagues had turned new discoveries 
to such good account, and studied the narratives of earlier voyagers 
so carefully, that they carried out the plan of their expedition 
more precisely than many experienced navigators might have done. 
And, in their turn, they rendered valuable assistance to their suc- 
cessors by the accuracy of their charts and drawings. 

Circumstances were to prove less favourable for the publication 
of an account of a scientific expedition undertaken some years 
later, under the auspices of the French Government, having for 
its object the survey of the Australian coast. Although the 
results of the voyage made by Nicolas Baudin were most abun- 
dant, they seem up to this date to have been little recognized, and 
scientific dictionaries and biographies say as little as possible of 
his expedition. 

From the time of Tasman's discovery of the western coast of 
New Holland, much had been done towards exploring this 
immense continent. Cook had carefully surveyed the eastern coast, 
discovering Endeavour Strait, and had urged upon his government 
the great advantages which would accrue from the founding of a 
colony in Botany Bay. In 1788, Philip, with his band of convicts, 
had laid the foundation of Port Jackson and of English power in 
this fifth continent of the world. In 1795 and 1796, Flinders, a 
midshipman, and Surgeon Bass, with a small vessel called 
the Tom Thumb, had explored twenty miles of the River George, 
and made a careful survey of a long stretch of coast. 

In 1797, Bass discovered a large harbour, which he named 
"Western Port on account of its situation. 

" His provisions were now exhausted/* says Desborough Coolley, 
" and in spite of his earnest wish to make an accurate and minute 
survey of his new discoveries, he was obliged to retrace his steps. 


He was only provided with provisions for six weeks ; still, by aid 
of fish and sea-birds, which he obtained in abundance, he succeeded 
in extending his voyage for another five weeks, although he had 
taken on board two convicts, whom he had picked up. This 
voyage of six hundred miles in an open boat, is one of the most 
remarkable on record. It was not undertaken from necessity, but 
with the view to exploring unknown and dangerous shores. 

In 1798, Bass, accompanied by Flinders, discovered the strait 
which now bears his name, and which divides Tasmania from New 
Holland, and in a schooner of some twenty-five tons' burden, he 
made the tour of Van Diemen's land. These brave adventurers 
collected facts, and made observations of the rivers and ports of 
this country which were of great use in the future colonization of 
the continent. Bass and Jackson were both enthusiastically re- 
ceived at Port Jackson. 

Upon his return to England, Flinders received command of the 
Investigator, with the rank of naval lieutenant. This vessel was 
especially equipped for a voyage of discovery upon the Australian 
coast. The south and north-western shores, the Gulf of Carpen- 
taria, and Torres Straits, were to be explored. 

Public attention in France had been attracted to New Holland 
by the narratives published by Cook and D'Entrecasteaux. This 
wonderful continent, with its strange unknown animals, and forests 
of gigantic eucalyptus, alternating with barren plains producing 
nothing but prickly plants, was long to present all but invincible 
obstacles to the explorer. 

The French Institute was the mouthpiece of popular opinion, in 
demanding from the government the organization of an expedi- 
tion to the southern continent. As a result of their representations, 
twenty-four scientific men were selected to participate in the voyage. 

No previous expedition had been so fortunate in the number of 
scientific men attached to the staff. Astronomers, geographers, 
mineralogists, botanists, zoologists, draughtsmen, and gardeners, 
all mustered four or five strong. Foremost amongst them we may 
mention, Leschenaut de Latour, Francois Peron, and Borg de 
Saint Yincent. Officers and sailors had been carefully selected. 
Among the first were Fran9ois- Andre Baudin, Peureux de Melay, 
Hyacinthe de Bougainville, Charles Baudin, Emmanuel Hamelen, 
Pierre Milius, Mangin, Duval d'Ailly, Henri de Freycinet, all of 


whom in after-life rose to be admirals or vice-admirals ; Le Bas 
Sante-Croix, Pierre Gillaume Gicquel, Jacques-Philippe Montgery, 
Jacques de Saint Cricq, Louis de Freycinet, all future naval 

The narrative says, " The plans for the expedition were such 
as to guarantee its success, and the attainment of the results so 
eagerly desired. All the experiences of preceding navigators, 
in the latitudes through which we were to pass, all that theories 
and reasoning could suggest, had been called into requisition. 
Most accurate calculations of the variable winds, monsoons, and 
currents had been made, and the misfortunes which overtook us 
were in every case due to our deviation from our valuable instruc- 

A third vessel of lesser draught was equipped at the Mauritius. 
The navigators were then to proceed to Yan Diemen's Land, 
D'Entrecasteaux, Bass, and Banks Straits, and thence, having 
determined the situation of the Hunter Islands, to pass behind 
St. Peter and St. Francis Islands, and survey the country 
behind them, in the hope of finding the strait supposed to 
be connected with the Gulf of Carpentaria and to divide New 
Holland into two parts. 

This survey accomplished, Leuvin, Edels, andEndracht Islands 
were next to be visited,, Swan River to be followed as far as pos- 
sible, and a survey taken of Rottnest Island and the coast near it. 
From thence the expedition was to proceed to Shark Bay, to 
determine various points in De Witt Land, and, leaving the coast 
at North West Cape, to go to Timor, in the Moluccas, for a well- 
earned rest. 

After allowing sufficient time for the crews to recover from their 
fatigue, the coast of New Guinea was to be surveyed, with the 
view to ascertaining whether it was broken up into islands by 
various straits, the further portion of Gulf of Carpentaria was to 
be explored, various districts in Arnheim Land were to be 
reconnoitred, and from thence the expedition was to proceed to 
Mauritius, on its way to Europe. 

A more splendid programme was impossible, and it was clearly 
traceable to the able mind which had laid down the route taken 
by La Perouse and D'Entrecasteaux. If the expedition were 
skilfully conducted the results could not fail to be considerable. 


The Geographe, a corvette of thirty guns, and the Naturalistc, 
a large transport ship, were equipped at Havre for the expe- 

Nothing had been forgotten, the provisions were abundant 
and of good quality; each vessel was provided with all kinds of 
scientific instruments by the best makers, a library of the most trust- 
worthy authorities, passports couched in the most flattering terms 
and signed by every government in Europe, and unlimited credit 
in all the towns of Asia and Africa. In short, every possible mea- 
sure was taken to ensure the success of this important expedition. 

Upon the 19th of October, 1800, the two vessels left Havre 
amidst the acclamations of an immense multitude. A short stay 
was made at Port Santa Cruz in Teneriffe, and thence they 
proceeded without stopping to Mauritius, where several officers 
were left who were too ill to proceed when the expedition set 
sail upon the 25th of April, 1801. 

This was not an encouraging beginning, and discontent was rife 
when it was ascertained that the allowance of fresh bread was to be 
limited to half a pound weekly, and that the usual ration of wine 
was to be replaced by three-sixths of a bottle of the inferior tafia of 
Mauritius, whilst biscuits and salt meats were to be the staple food. 
This ill-advised economy resulted in the illnesses of the crew, and 
the discontent of many of the scientific staff. 

The length of the voyage from France to Mauritius, and the 
long stay in that island, had consumed much valuable time, and the 
favourable season was on the wane. Baudin, fearing to attempt to 
reach Van Diemen's Land, decided to commence his exploration 
upon the north-west coast of New Holland. He forgot that he 
would thus maintain a southerly course, so that his advance would 
coincide with that of the season. 

The coast of New Holland was discovered upon the 27th of May. 
It was low, barren, and sandy. Geography Bay, Naturalist Cape, 
Depuch Creek, and Piquet Point, were successively sighted and 
named. In the last-named spot the naturalists landed, and reaped 
a rich harvest of plants and shells. 

Meantime, however, the violence of the waves carried away the 
two vessels, and twenty-five of the crew were forced to spend several 
days on shore, unable to obtain any but brackish water. They 
could not succeed in killing any sort of game, and their only 

Native hut in Endrachtland. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 305. 


nourishment was a species of samphire, containing a quantity of 
carbonate of soda and acid juice. 

A sloop which had been driven on shore by the force of the 
waves had to be abandoned, together with guns, sabres, cartridges, 
cables, tackle, and many other valuable articles. 

" But the worst part of this last misfortune/' says the narrative, 
" was the loss of Vasse, of Dieppe, one of the most able of the crew 
of the Nafuraliste. Swept away by the waves three times in his 
efforts to re-embark, he was finally swallowed up without the pos- 
sibility of assistance being rendered to him, or even the fact of 
his death being ascertained so violent were the waves, and so 
dark the night ! " 

The foul weather continued, the wind blew in hurricanes, fine 
rain fell uninterruptedly, and the Naturalists was lost to view in a 
thick fog which prevailed until Timor was reached. 

Upon reaching Rottnest Island which he had named as a place 
of rendezvous to Captain Hamilton in case of separation ^Baudin, 
to the surprise of every one, gave orders to make for Shark's 
Bay, upon the coast of Endracht Island. 

The coast of this part of New Holland is a succession of low 
and almost level sandy barren lands, with grey or reddish soil, 
intercepted here and there by slight ravines. The coast is 
almost perpendicular, and is protected by inaccessible reefs ; it 
well deserves the name of " the iron coast," which was bestowed 
upon it by the able hydrographer, Boullanger. 

From Dirk Hartog Island (where Endracht Land commences), 
Doore Islands, Bernier Islands (where troops of kangaroos were 
met with), and Dampier roadstead, were successively sighted, as 
far as Shark's Bay, which was thoroughly explored. 

Upon leaving Endracht Land, which offers no attractions, De 
Witt Land extending from the North West Cape to Arnheim 
Land, over ten degrees of latitude and fifteen of longitude was 
thoroughly surveyed. Much the same incidents and dangers were 
met with by the explorers as they successively named Hermit and 
Forester islands, the latter with volcanic soil. The Basseterre, in 
Geography channel low lands, which were avoided with difficulty 
with Bedont and Lacepede Islands, Capes Borda and Mollien, 
Champagny d'Arcole, Freycinet, Lucas, and other islands, were 
seen and named. 



" Amidst these numberless islands," says the narrative, " there 
was little to please the navigators. The sun shines unprotected by 
any clouds, and, except during the nocturnal storms, there is no 
movement even of the water. Man appears to have fled from this 
ungrateful soil, for no trace of his presence is to be seen." 

It is difficult for the traveller, who turns in despair from the 
inhospitable islands of this forsaken coast, where dangers of every 
sort assail him, and no provisions are to be had, to reflect that this 
barren country adjoins groups of Asiatic islands upon which 
nature has lavished her treasures and delights with a liberal 

The discovery of the Buonaparte Archipelago completed the 
survey of this miserable region. It is situated between 13 15' S. 
lat. and 123 30' long. W. of Paris. 

" The wretched food upon which we had lived since we left 
.Mauritius had tried the strongest constitutions. The ravages of 
scurvy had been severely felt, our store of water was very low, 
and there was no possibility of replenishing it in this miserable 
region. The time approached for the return of the monsoon, 
and its accompanying storms must be avoided on this coast; 
above all, we must procure a boat to enable us to rejoin the 

Moved by all these considerations, the captain decided to direct 
his course to Timor Island, and he anchored there upon the 22nd 
of August, in the roadstead of Coupang. 

It is unnecessary to enter into details of the reception accorded 
to the navigators. Hospitality and kindness are ever valuable to 
the recipients, but there is a sameness in an account of them which 
is wearisome to the reader. "We need only dwell upon the sore need 
of rest for the suffering crew : ten of those who landed were in 
the worst stage of scurvy, and many others had the swollen and 
inflamed gums which precede the attack of this scourge of seamen. 

Unfortunately, although the scurvy yielded to the remedies 
applied, it was succeeded by dysentery, which in a few days laid 
low eighteen men. 

At length, upon the 21st of September, the Naturaliste appeared. 
Her captain had patiently awaited the arrival of the Geographe in 
Shark's Bay, that being the rendezvous appointed by Baudin, but 
which he had failed to keep. The officers availed themselves of 

King of the Island of Timor. 
(Fac-simile ot early engraving.) 

The Swan River. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 307. 


this stay thoroughly to survey the shores of Rottnest Island, and 
to explore the Swan River, and Albrolhos or Houtman Rocks. 

Two Dutch inscriptions, scratched upon tin plates, had been dis- 
covered by Captain Hamelin upon Dirk Hartog Island. One 
recorded the passage, upon the 25th of October, 1616, of the 
ship Eendraght, from Amsterdam; and the other, the stay of 
the Geelwinck in this port in 1697, under command of Captain 

" The result of the examinations made by the officers of the 
Natnraliste was as follows : The so-called Shark's Bay extends 
from Cape Cuvier on the north, to Freycinet Gulf; the eastern 
coast is all part of the mainland ; and the western consists of 
the islet of Koks, Bernier, Doore, and Dirk Hartog Islands, 
and a small portion of the mainland. The peninsula of Peron 
occupies the centre of this extensive bay, and to the east and west 
are the harbours of Hamelin and Henri Freycinet." 

Unfortunately even the sickness among their unfortunate 
crews did but restore temporary concord between Captain Baudin 
and his staff. He himself had been attacked by a fever, and for 
a few hours it was supposed that he was dead. 

Upon his recovery eight days later, however, he did not hesitate 
to place one of his officers, M. Picquet, ensign, under arrest. All 
the members of his staff disapproved of this action, and offered 
repeatedly many flattering tokens of their esteem and regard to 
the disgraced officer. As M. Picquet was made lieutenant upon 
his return to France, it would appear that he was not in fault. 

Captain Baudin had deviated from the instructions given him 
by the Institute. He now proceeded to Yan Diemen's Land, 
leaving Timor upon the 13th of November, 1801. The French 
found themselves in sight of the southern coast of this island 
exactly two months later; the ravages of disease continued on 
board, and the number of victims was considerable. 

The two ships at length reached D'Entrecasteaux Strait, which 
had escaped the notice of Tasman, Furneaux, Cook, Marion, 
Hunter and Bligh, and the discovery of which was the result of a 
mistake, which might have had dangerous consequences. The 
vessels had anchored in this spot for the sake of obtaining water, 
and several boats were sent in search of it. 

" At half-past nine," says Peron, "we were at the mouth of 

x 2 


Swan River. This spot appeared to me to exceed in beauty and 
picturesque effect anything that I had hitherto met with. Seven 
mountain ranges rise one above the other, forming the background 
of the harbour ; whilst on the right and left lofty hills shut it in, 
and present the appearance of a number of rounded capes and 
romantic creeks. Vegetation is most luxuriant, the shores abound 
in hardy trees, growing so densely that it is almost impossible to 
penetrate into the forest. Flocks of paroquets and cockatoos, of 
most brilliant plumage, hover above them, while the blue-ringed 
tomtits sport beneath their branches. The sea was almost calm, 
and scarcely ruffled by the passage of the innumerable black 
swans continuously passing to or fro." 

All who went in search of a watering-place were not equally 
pleased with their reception by the natives. 

Captain Hamelin, in company with MM. Leschenant and Petit, 
and several officers and sailors, had encountered some natives, to 
whom he offered various presents. As they were about to re-em- 
bark the French were assailed by a shower of stones, one of which 
wounded Captain Hamelin severely. The natives brandished 
their assegais, and made many threatening gestures, but could not 
provoke the strangers to retaliate by a single shot a most rare 
example of moderation and humanity ! 

" The geographical observations made by Admiral D'Entrecas- 
teaux in Yan Diemen's Land are so wonderfully correct/' says the 
narrative, " that it would be scarcely possible to imagine anything 
more perfect of their kind. Their principal author, M. Beautemps- 
Beaupre has indeed fully merited the esteem of his fellow country- 
men and the gratitude of all navigators. In every case where 
investigation was possible, this skilful engineer made sure of every 
point. His survey of the strait of D'Entrecasteaux, and the num- 
berless bays and channels comprised in it, was especially thorough. 
Unfortunately his explorations did not extend to that portion of 
Yan Diemen's Land which lies north-east of the strait, and which 
was only superficially examined by the French boats." 

It was to this portion of the coast that the hydrographers more 
particularly directed their attention, in the hope that by adding 
the results of their observations to that of their fellow-countrymen 
they might gain a thorough knowledge of the coast. This under- 
taking, which was to complete the results of D'Entrecasteaux's 


exertions, detained the navigators until the 6th of February. The 
details and incidents of such exploration are always alike, and offer 
little to interest the general reader. For this reason we shall not 
dwell upon them, in spite of their importance, except when they 
contain anecdotes of interest. 

The Naturaliste and Geographe next proceeded to the exploration 
of Banks' and Bass's straits. 

1 ' Upon the morning of the 6th of March we coasted the islets ot 
Taillefer and Schouten Island, at a good distance. Towards mid- 
day we found ourselves opposite Forester's Cape, and our skilful 
geographer, M. Boullanger, embarked in the long-boat, commanded 
by M. Maurouard, to survey the coast. The ship was to follow 
a route parallel with that of the boat, of which it was never to 
lose sight for a moment ; but M. Boullanger had scarcely been 
gone a quarter of an hour when Capt. Baudin, without any apparent 
reason, tacked round and gained the more open sea. The boat 
was lost to sight, and the coast was not neared again until night 
was approaching. A strong breeze had arisen, which, increasing 
every moment, added to the uncertainty of our movements. Night 
fell, and the coast upon which we had abandoned our unhappy 
comrades was hidden from our sight. The three following days 
were vainly spent in the endeavour to find the missing boats." 

This calm narration would appear to veil strong indignation 
against Captain Baudin. 

What can have been his motive for forsaking his sailors and 
two of his ablest officers? This is a problem which the most 
attentive perusal of Peron's narrative fails to elucidate. 

To enter the straits of Banks and Bass was to tread in the 
footsteps of the latter, and of Flinders, who had made these waters 
the special field of their discoveries ; but when, upon the 29th of 
March, 1802, the Geographe commenced coasting the south- 
western shore of New Holland, one portion of it only was known 
that which extends from Cape Leuwin to St. Peter and St. 
Francis Islands. The land stretching from the eastern boundary 
of Nuytsland to Port Western had never yet been trodden by an 
European foot. All the importance of this cruise is apparent 
when we reflect that it was undertaken to decide whether New 
Holland consisted of one island only, and whether any large 
rivers flowed into the sea from it. 


Latreille Island, Mount Tabor Cape, Cape Folard, Descartes Bay, 
Bouffler Cape, Estaing Bay, Eivoli Bay, Mongo Cape, were all 
successively sighted and named. An extraordinary take of dol- 
phins had delighted the crew, when a sail was seen upon the 
horizon. It was of course supposed that it was the Naturaliste, 
from which the Geographe had been separated by violent storms 
since the night of the 7-8 March. As the vessel was making 
rapid way, she was soon abreast of the Geographe. She carried 
the English colours. It was the Investigator, under command of 
Captain Flinders, eight months from Europe, sent for the completion 
of the survey of New Holland. Flinders had been engaged for 
three months in the exploration of the coast. He, too, had suffered 
from storms and tempest in Bass's Strait ; during one of the latter 
he had lost a boat, containing eight men and his chief officer. 

The Geographe visited in succession Cape Cretet, the Peninsula 
of Fleurien (which is about twenty miles in extent"), the Gulf of 
St. Yincent (so called by Flinders), Kangaroo Island, Althorp 
Islands, Spencer Gulf upon the western coast of which is Port 
Lincoln, the finest and safest harbour in New Holland and 
the islands of St. Francis and St. Peter. Certainly Captain 
Baudin, in order fo render this hydrographical survey complete, 
should have followed out his instructions, and penetrated beyond 
St. Peter and St. Francis Islands. The weather, however, was 
too unpropitious, and this exploration was reserved for a future 

Scurvy meantime made fearful ravages amongst the adven- 
turers. More than half the crew were incapable of service. Two 
only of the helmsmen were in a fit condition for duty. How could 
anything else be expected In .a vessel which was not provided with 
either wine or brandy, but was provisioned only with foetid water, 
biscuits infested with maggots, and putrid meats, the mere smell of 
which was injurious ? 

Winter, too, had set in in the southern hemisphere, and the crews 
were in sore need of rest. The nearest harbour was Port Jackson, 
and the shortest passage thither was by Bass's Strait. Baudin, who 
always appears to have disliked following a beaten track, thought 
differently, and gave orders for doubling the southern extremity of 
Yan Diemen's Land. 

Upon the 20th of May anchor was cast in Adventure Bay. The 

A sail was seen on the horizon. 

The sick were carried on shore. 

Page yi. 

View of Sydney. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 311. 


sick who could be moved were carried on shore, where water was 
plentiful. But the stormy waters were no longer passable ; a thick 
fog prevailed, and only the sound of the waves breaking upon the 
shore saved the vessels from running aground. The number of sick 
increased. The ocean claimed a fresh victim each succeeding day. 
Upon the 4th of June there were only six men equal to their work, 
and the tempest increased in fury, yet the Geographe escaped 
destruction once more ! 

Upon the 17th of June a vessel was signalled, and from her 
captain the navigators learned that the Naturaliste, after waiting 
vainly for her consort at Port Jackson, had gone in search of 
her that the abandoned boat had been rescued by an English 
vessel, and the crew had been received upon the Naturaliste. 

The Geographe was awaited with eager impatience at Port 
Jackson, where help of every kind was prepared for her. 

The Geographe was for three days within reach of Port Jackson, 
and yet unable to enter the harbour, for want of able-bodied seamen 
to work her. An English sloop, with a pilot, and the necessary 
men for working the vessel, was, however, sent to the rescue. 

The entrance to Port Jackson is only two miles in width, but it 
widens until it forms a large harbour containing water enough 
for the largest ships, and space enough to accommodate all comers 
in perfect safety. A thousand ships of the line might easily 
anchor there, according to Commodore Philips' report. 

"Towards the centre of this magnificent port, and upon its 
southern coast, the town of Sydney is situated. Built upon two 
adjacent hills, and watered by a small river which runs through 
it, this rising town presents a pleasant and picturesque appear- 

" The eye is at once struck by the fortifications, and the hospital, 
which is large enough to contain two or three hundred sick, 
and was brought from England in pieces by Commodore Philips. 
Immense warehouses, for the reception of the cargoes of the 
largest vessels, are built upon the shore. Ships of all kinds 
were being constructed in the yards from the wood of the 

"With a sentiment of respect, which almost amounts to venera- 
tion, the sloop in which M. Bass made the discovery of the strait 
which separates Tasmania from New Holland is preserved. Snuff- 


boxes made of the wood of her keel are valued as relics by their 
possessors ; and the governor of the forfc could think of no more 
acceptable present for Captain Baudin than a piece of the wood of 
this famous vessel, mounted in silver, upon which the chief details 
of the discovery of Bass's Straits were engraved. Equally worthy 
of admiration were the prison (capable of lodging two hundred 
prisoners), the wine and provision warehouses, the exercising 
ground (overlooked by the governor's house), the barracks, 
observatory, and the English church, of which the foundations 
were at this time but just laid. 

" The great change in the conduct and condition of the convicts 
was not less interesting . 

"We found new cause for surprise in the population of the 
colony. A more worthy sub] ect for the reflection of a philosopher or 
statesman never existed no brighter example of the influence of 
social institutions can be imagined than that afforded on the distant 
shores of which we are speaking. Here are to be found the formidable 
ruffians who in a civilized country were the terror of their govern- 
ment. Transported to these foreign shores, ejected from European 
society, and placed from their first arrival between the certainty 
of punishment on the one hand and the hope of a better fate in 
store for them upon the other, surrounded by a surveillance as 
benevolent as it is active, they are absolutely forced to relinquish 
their anti-social habits. 

" The majority, after expiating their crimes by hard labour, 
receive the rank of citizenship. Interested themselves in the 
maintenance of order and justice, for the sake of the preserva- 
tion of such property as they have accumulated, many of them 
having become husbands and fathers, the closest of all ties bind 
them to their present situation. 

" The same revolution, brought about by the same means, takes 
place in the lives of the women and wretched girls. By degrees 
accustomed to more correct principles of conduct, they in time 
become the mothers of hard-working and honest families." 

The welcome accorded to the French at Port Jackson was in the 
highest degree satisfactory. Every possible facility for the 
prosecution of their researches was afforded to the naturalists, 
whilst the military authorities and private inhabitants vied with 
each other in offering provisions and help of every kind. 


Many were the successful excursions in the neighbourhood, 
and the naturalists delighted in examining the famous vineyards 
of Rose Hill, to which the finest plants from the Cape, the 
Canary Islands, Madeira, Xeres, and Bordeaux had been trans- 

"When questioned, the vine-dressers said the plants sprout more 
vigorously here than anywhere else, but the first breath of wind 
from the north-west is enough to destroy everything; buds, 
flowers, and leaves alike withering beneath its scorching 

Somewhat later, the culture of the vine, transported to a more 
favourable locality, increased greatly ; and although it has as yet 
not attained to any remarkable growth, furnishes a wine which is 
pleasant to the taste and very alcoholic. 

The Blue Mountains, which for a long time bounded European 
research, are thirty miles beyond Sydney. Lieutenant Dawes 
and Captain Tench Paterson who explored Hawkesbury River, 
the Nile of New Holland Hacking, Bass, and Barraillier, had 
alike failed to scale them. 

Already, the thinning of the trees in the neighbouring forests, 
and the excellence of the grass, had rendered New South Wales 
an excellent pasturage. Cattle and sheep had been largely 

" They multiplied so quickly, that in State pastures alone there 
were no less than 1800 head of cattle within a short time of our 
stay at Port Jackson ; of these 514 were bulls, 121 oxen, and 
1165 cows. The increase and growth of these animals was so 
rapid, that in less than eleven months the number of oxen and 
cows had reached from 1856 to 2450, which would be at the rate 
of increase per annum of 650 head, or one third of the entire 

" Carrying this calculation on at the same rate for a period of 
thirty years, or even reducing the increase by one half, it is clear 
that New South Wales would be teeming throughout its length 
and breadth with cattle. 

" Sheep farming has had even greater success. The increase of 
flocks upon these distant shores is so prolific that Captain Mac- 
Arthur, one of the richest landowners of New South Wales, does 
not hesitate to assert, in a pamphlet published for that purpose, 


that in twenty years New Holland alone will be able to supply 
England with all the wool which is now imported from neighbour- 
ing countries, and the price of which amounts yearly to 1,800,000/. 

"We know now how very little exaggeration there was in these 
calculations, although at that time they appeared most won- 
derful. It is interesting to read of the growth of this industry, 
and the impression produced by it, in its earlier stages, upon the 
French navigators. 

The crew had many of them recovered their health, but the 
number of able sailors was still so small that it was necessary 
to send the Naturaliste back to France, after selecting the most 
healthy of the crew. She was replaced by a vessel of thirty tons 
burden, called the Casuarina, the command of which was entrusted 
to Louis de Freycinet. The slight build and low draught of this 
vessel made it valuable for coasting purposes. 

The Naturaliste, says Peron, with the records of the expedition, 
and the results of the observations made during the two voyages, 
also took away with it " more than 40,000 animals of different 
kinds, collected from the various countries which had been visited 
during the two years/' Thirty-two huge cases contained these 
collections, certainly the richest ever brought together in Europe, 
which when exhibited in the house occupied by myself and M. 
Bellefin, excited the admiration of all the English visitors, 
especially of the celebrated naturalist, Paterson. 

The Geoyraphe and the Casuarina left Port Jackson upon the 
18th of November, 1802. On this new trip the explorers surveyed 
King Island, Hunter Island, and the north-western portion of Van 
Diemen's Land, thus completing the geography of the coast of this 
huge island. From the 27th of December, 1802, till the 15th of 
February, 1803, Captain Baudin was engaged in reconnoitring the 
Kangaroo Islands, upon the south-western coast of Australia, with 
the two gulfs opposite to them. 

"It was indeed strange," says Peron, "to observe the monotonous 
and sterile character of the different portions of New Holland the 
greater on account of its contrast to that of the neighbouring 
countries. On the north-west we had been charmed by the fertile 
islands of the Timor Archipelago, with their lofty mountains, 
rivers, streams, and forests. Yet scarcely forty-eight hours had 


passed since we left the desert shores of De Witt Land. Again, 
on the south, the wonderful vegetation and smiling slopes of Van 
Diemen's Land had excited our admiration, and yet more recently 
we had been delighted with the verdure and fertility of King Island. 

" The scene changes ; we reach the shore of New Holland, and 
are once more face to face with the desolation, the description 
of which must already have wearied the reader as much as it 
surprised the philosopher and oppressed the explorer/' 

The engineers who accompanied the Casuarina for the survey 
of Spencer Gulf, and the peninsula which divides it from the 
Gulf of St. Yincent, were obliged to abridge the prosecution of 
their discoveries in Lincoln Port, and content themselves with the 
thorough survey which enabled them to decide positively that no 
great river discharges itself into the ocean in this region. The 
time for their return to Kangaroo Island had arrived. But in 
spite of their conviction that if they delayed they would be left 
behind, they did not hasten their movements sufficiently, and 
upon reaching the rendezvous found that the captain of the 
Geographe had already started, without concerning himself in the 
least about the Casuarina, although her stock of provisions was 
very inadequate. 

Baudin decided to continue the exploration of the coast and 
the survey of St. Francis Archipelago alone a most important 
undertaking, as no navigator had examined its islands separately 
since its first discovery by Peter Nuyts in 1627. 

Flinders had really just made this exploration; but Baudin 
was not aware of this, and fancied himself the first European 
who had entered these waters since their discovery. 

When the Geographe reached King George's Harbour upon 
the 6th of February, the Casuarina had already arrived there, but 
in such a damaged condition that her captain had been obliged 
to run her aground. 

King George's Sound, discovered in 1791 by Vancouver, is of 
great importance, as being the only point throughout an extent 
of coast equal to the distance between Paris and St. Petersburg 
where it is possible to rely upon obtaining sweet water at all 
seasons of the year. 

In spite of its advantages in this respect, the surrounding 
country is very barren. M. Boullanger in his " Journal " says, 


" The aspect of the country inland at this point is perfectly 
horrible ; even birds are scarce : it is a silent desert." 

In one of the recesses of this bay, known as Oyster Harbour, 
a naturalist, named M. Faure, discovered a large river, named 
after the French, the mouth of which was as wide as the Seine 
at Paris. He undertook to ascend it, and thus penetrated as 
far as possible into the interior of the country. About two 
leagues from the entrance of the river his further progress was 
arrested by two embankments, solidly constructed of stones, 
connected with a small island, and forming an impassable 

This barrier was pierced by several openings, most of them 
above the low tide level, and much wider upon the side facing 
the sea than upon the other. 

By these openings the fish which entered the river at high 
tide could easily pass through, but could not return, and were 
consequently imprisoned in a sort of reservoir, where the natives 
could catch them at their leisure. 

M. Faure found no less than five of these erections in the 
space of less than the third of a mile a most singular proof of 
the ingenuity of the barbarous natives of the country, who in 
other respects appear upon the level of brutes. 

In King George's Harbour one of the officers attached to the 
Geographe, named M. Ransonnet, more fortunate than Vancouver 
and D'Entreeasteaux, had an interview with the natives. This 
was the first time a European had been able to approach 

M. Eansonnet says, " We had scarcely appeared when eight 
natives, who, upon our first appearance on their coast, had vainly 
called to us by cries and gestures, appeared suddenly together. 
After awhile three of them, who were no doubt women, went 
away again. The remaining five, first throwing their assegais to 
a distance, to convince us, probably, of their pacific intentions, 
assisted us in landing. At my suggestion, the sailors offered 
them various presents, which they received with an air of satis- 
faction, but without enthusiasm. "Whether from apathy, or as a 
mark of confidence, they returned the presents to us with a pleased 
expression ; and upon our once more presenting them with the 
same things, they left them upon the ground or surrounding rocks. 


' ' They were accompanied by many large and handsome dogs. I 
did all I could to induce them to part with one. I offered them all 
I had, but their refusal was persistent. They probably employed 
them in hunting the kangaroo, which, with the fish that I had seen 
them pierce with their assegais, formed their staple food. They 
drank some coffee, and ate some salt beef and biscuits, but re- 
fused the bacon we offered, and left it behind them upon the 
stones without touching it. 

" These natives are tall, thin, and very active. They have long 
hair, black eyebrows, short flat noses, sunken eyes, large mouths, 
with projecting lips, and fine and very white teeth. The inside 
of their mouths seemed as black as the outside of their bodies. 

" The three who appeared the oldest among them, and who might 
have been from forty to fifty years of age, had large black beards. 
Their teeth appeared to have been filed, and the cartilage of the 
nose pierced. Their hair was trimmed, and curled naturally. 

" The other two, whose ages we took to be from sixteen to 
eighteen, were not tatooed at all. Their long hair was gathered 
into a chignon, powdered with red dust, similar to that which the 
elder ones had rubbed over their bodies. 

" They were all naked, and wore no ornament, excepting a large 
waistband, composed of a number of small fringed strips of 
kangaroo skin. They talked volubly, and sang in snatches, but 
always in the same key, and accompanied their song with the same 
gestures. In spite of the friendly feeling which continued to 
exist between us, they never allowed us to approach the spot where 
the other natives, probably their wives, were hidden." 

After a stay of twelve days in King George's Harbour, the 
explorers again put to sea. They rectified and completed the 
maps drawn by D'Entrecasteaux and Vancouver of Lecon, Edel, 
and Endrant Lands, which were in turn visited and surveyed, 
between the 7th and the 26th of March. Thence Baudin pro- 
ceeded to De Witt Land, which was almost unknown when he 
visited it the first time. He hoped to succeed better than De Witt, 
Yianen, Dampier, and St. Allouarn, who had all been unsuc- 
cessful in their efforts to explore it ; but the breakers, reefs, and 
sandbanks, rendered navigation extremely perilous. 

A new source of danger shortly afterwards arose, in the 
singular illusion of the mirage. " The effect," says the narra- 


tive, "was to make the Geographe appear to be surrounded by 
reefs, although at the time she was a full league away from 
them, and every one on board the Casuarina imagined her to 
be in the most imminent danger. Only when it became too 
exaggerated to be real was the magic of the illusion dispelled." 

Upon the 3rd of May the two vessels once more cast anchor 
in Coupang Port, Timor Island. One month later, after re- 
victualling, Captain Baudin set sail for De "Witt Land, where he 
now hoped to find the winds favourable for an advance to the 
east. From thence he proceeded to Mauritius, where he died 
upon the 16th of September, 1803. It appears probable that the 
precarious state of his health had some influence upon his conduct 
of this expedition, and possibly his staff would have had less 
reason to complain of him had he been in full possession of all 
his faculties. This, however, is a question for psychologists to 

The Geographe entered Lorient roadstead upon the 23rd of 
March, and three days later the vast collection of natural 
curiosities was landed. 

The narrative says, " Besides an immense number of cases, 
containing minerals, dried plants, fish, reptiles, and zoophytes, 
preserved in brandy, stuffed or dissected quadrupeds and birds, 
we had seventy large cases filled with vegetables in their natural 
state, comprising nearly two hundred species of useful plants, and 
about six hundred varieties of seeds. In addition to all this, at 
least a hundred living animals." 

We cannot better complete our account of the results of this 
expedition than by giving an extract from the report laid before 
the Government by the Institute, relating more particularly to the 
zoological collection made by MM. Peron and Lesueur. 

" It comprises more than 100,000 specimens of large and small 
animals. Many important new species are already recognized, 
and there still remain, according to the statement made by the 
professor at the museum, upwards of 2500 to be classified." 

"When we reflect that Cook's second voyage, the most successful 
undertaken up to this period, had produced only 250 specimens ; 
that the united voyages of Carteret, Wallis, Furneaux, Meares, 
and even Vancouver, had not accumulated so many, and when we 
admit that the same statement applies to all succeeding French 

Water-carrier at Timor. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 318 


expeditions, it is evident that MM. Peron and Lesueur introduced 
more new animals to Europe than all other modern travellers put 

Moreover, the geographical and hydrographical results were con- 
siderable. The English Government has always refused to acknow- 
ledge them, and Desborough Cooley, in his " History of Voyages," 
subordinates Baudin's discoveries to those of Flinders. It was 
even suggested that Flinders was detained prisoner at Mauritius 
for six years and a half, in order to allow French authors time 
to consult his maps, and arrange the details of their voyages 
accordingly. This accusation is too absurd to need refutation. 

The two navigators, French and English, have "each fairly 
earned a place in the history of the discovery of the Australian 
coasts, and it is unnecessary to praise one at the expense of the 

In the .preface to the second edition of his " Voyage de 
la Corvette Australis" which was revised and corrected by Louis 
de Freycinet, Peron has given each his due meed of praise ; 
and to his able work we refer all readers who are interested 
in the question. 




Shaw in Algeria and Tunis Hornemann in Fezzan Adamson at Senegal 
Houghton in Senegambia Mungo Park and his two voyages to the 
Djoliba, or Niger Sego Timbuctoo Sparinann and Lavaillant at the 
Cape, at Natal, and in the Interior Lacerda in Mozambique, and at 
Cazembe Bruce in Abyssinia Sources of the Blue Nile Tzana Lake 
Browne's journey in Darfur. 

AN Englishman named Thomas Shaw, a chaplain in Algeria, had 
profited by his twelve years' stay in Barbary to gather together a 
rich collection of natural curiosities, medals, inscriptions, and 
various objects of interest. Although he himself never visited 
the southern portion of Algeria, he availed himself of the facts 
he was able to obtain from well-informed travellers, who im- 
parted to him a mass of information concerning the little known 
and scarcely visited country. He published a book in two large 
quarto volumes, which embraced the whole of ancient Numidia. 

It was rather the work of a learned man than the account of a 
traveller, and it must be admitted that the learning is occasionally 
ill- directed. But in spite of its shortcomings as a geographical 
history, it had a large value at the time of its publication, and no 
one could have been better situated than Shaw for collecting such 
an enormous mass of material. 

The following extract may give an idea of the style of the 
work : 

" The chief manufacture of the Kabyles'and Arabs is the making 
' hykes/ as they call their blankets. The women alone are 
employed in this work; like Andromache and Penelope of old, 
they do not use the shuttle, but weave every thread of the 
woof with their fingers. The usual size of a hyke is six yards 
long and five or six feet broad, serving the Kabyle and 
Arab as a complete dress during the day, and as a covering 

"He received a cordial welcome." 


for the bed at night. It is a loose but troublesome garment, as it 
is often disarranged and slips down, so that the person who wears 
it is every moment obliged to tuck it up and rearrange it. 
This shows the great use there is of a girdle whenever men are 
in active employment, and explains the force of the Scripture in- 
junction of having our loins girded. The method of wearing this 
garment, with the use it is at other times put to as bed-covering, 
makes it probable that it is similar to if not identical with the peplus 
of the ancients. It is likewise probable that the loose garment 
flung over the shoulder, the toga of the Romans, was of this kind, 
as the drapery of statues is arranged very much in the same manner 
as the Arab hyke. 

It is unnecessary to linger over this work, which has little 
interest for us. We shall do better to turn our attention to the 
journey of Frederic Conrad Horneman to Fezzan. 

This young German offered his services to the African Society 
of London, and, having satisfied the authorities of his knowledge 
of medicine and acquaintance with the Arabic language, he was 
engaged, and furnished with letters of introduction, safe-conducts, 
and unlimited credit. 

Leaving London in July, 1797, he went first to Paris. Lalande 
introduced him to the Institute, and presented him with his 
" Memoire sur 1'Afrique," and Broussonet gave him an introduc- 
tion to a Turk from whom he obtained letters of recommendation 
to certain Cairo merchants who carried on business in the interior 
of Africa. 

During his stay at Cairo, Horneman devoted himself to per- 
fecting his knowledge of Arabic, and studying the manners and 
customs of the natives. AVe must not omit to mention that the 
traveller had been presented by Monge and Berthollet to Napoleon 
Buonaparte, who was then m^omraand of the French forces m 
Egypt. From him he received a cordial welcome, and Buonaparte 
placed all the resources of the country at his service. 

As the safer method of travelling, Horneman resolved to disguise 
himself as a Mohammedan merchant. He quickly learned a few 
prayers, and adopted a style of dress likely to impose upon unsus- 
pecting people. He then started, accompanied by a fellow-country- 
man named Joseph Frendenburg, who had been a Mussul- 
man for more than twelve years, had already made three pilgri- 



mages to Mecca, and was perfectly familiar with the various 
Turkish and Arabic dialects. He was to act as Horneman's 

On the 5th of September, 1798, the traveller left Cairo with a 
caravan, and visited the famous oasis of Jupiter Ammon or Siwah, 
situated in the desert on the east of Egypt. It is a small independent 
state, which acknowledges the Sultan, but is exempt from paying 
tribute. The town of Sivvah is surrounded by several villages, 
at distances of a mile or two. It is built upon a rock in which 
the inhabitants have hollowed recesses for their dwellings. The 
streets are so narrow and intricate that a stranger cannot possibly 
find his way among them. 

This oasis is of considerable extent. The most fertile portion 
comprises a well-watered valley, about fifty miles in circum- 
ference, which is productive of corn and edible vegetables. Dates 
of an excellent flavour are its most valuable export. 

Horneman was anxious to explore some ruins which he had 
noticed, for he could obtain little information from the natives. 
But every time he penetrated to any distance in the ruins, he was 
followed by a number of the inhabitants, who prevented him from 
examining anything in detail. One of the Arabs said to him, 
" You must still be a Christian at heart, or you would not so often 
visit the works of the infidels/' 

This remark put a speedy end to Horneman's further explora- 
tions. As far as his superficial examination enabled him to 
judge, it was really the oasis of Ammon, and the ruins appeared 
to him to be of Egyptian origin. 

The immense number of catacombs in the neighbourhood 
of the town, especially on the hill overlooking it, indicate a 
dense population in ancient times. The traveller endeavoured 
vainly to obtain a perfect head from one of these burial-places. 
Amongst the skulls he procured, he found no certain proof that 
they had been filled with resin. He met with many fragments of 
clothing, but they were all in such a state of decay that it was 
impossible to decide upon their origin or use. 

After a stay of eight days in this place, Horneman crossed the 
mountains which surrounded the oasis of Siwah, and directed his 
steps towards Schiatah. So far no misfortune had interrupted his 
progresa. But at Schiatah he was denounced as a Christian and a 


spy. Horneman cleverly saved his life by boldly reading out a 
passage in the Koran which he had in his possession. Unfortu- 
nately, his interpreter, expecting that his baggage would be 
searched, had burned the collection of fragments of mummies, 
the botanical specimens, the journal containing the account of the 
journey, and all the books. This loss was quite irreparable. 

A little further on, the caravan reached Augila, a town men- 
tioned by Herodotus, who places it some ten days' journey from 
the oasis of Aramon. This accords with the testimony given by 
Horneman, who reached it in nine days' forced march. At Augila 
a number of merchants from Bengasi, Merote, and Mokamba had 
joined the caravan, amounting altogether to no less than a hundred 
and twenty persons. After a long journey over a sandy desert, the 
caravan entered a country interspersed with hills and ravines, where 
they found trees and grass at intervals. This was the desert of 
Harutsch. It was necessary to cross it in order to reach Temissa, 
a town of little note, built upon a hill, and surrounded by a high 
wall. At Zuila the Fezzan country was entered. The usual 
ceremonies, with interminable compliments and congratulations, 
were repeated at the entrance to every town. The Arabs appear 
to lay great stress upon these salutations, little trustworthy as 
they are, and travellers constantly express surprise at their frequent 

Upon the 17th of November, the caravan halted at Murzuk, the 
capital of Fezzan. It was the end of the journey. Horneman 
says that the greatest length of the cultivated portion of Fezzan 
is about three hundred miles from north to south, but to this 
must be added the mountainous region of Harutsch on the east, 
and the various deserts north and west. The climate is never 
pleasant ; in summer the heat is terrible, and when the wind 
blows from the south, it is all but insupportable, even to the natives, 
and in winter the north wind is so cold that they are obliged to 
have recourse to fires. 

The produce of the country consists principally of dates and 
vegetables. Murzuk is the chief market ; there are collected the 
products of Cairo, B en gazi, Tripoli, Ghadames, Ghat, and the Soudan. 
Among the articles of commerce are male and female slaves, 
ostrich feathers, skins of wild beasts, and gold-dust or nuggets. 
Bornu produces copper; Cairo silks, calicoes, woollen garments, 

Y 2 


imitation cor&.J, bracelets, and Indian manufactures. Fire-arms, 
sabres, and knives are imported by the merchants of Tripoli and 

The Fezzan country is ruled by a sultan descended from the 
scherifs, whose power is limitless, but who, nevertheless, pays a 
tribute of four thousand dollars to the Bey of Tripoli. Horneman, 
without giving the grounds of his calculation, informs us that the 
population amounts to seventy-five thousand inhabitants, all of 
whom profess Mohammedanism. 

Horneman's narrative gives a few more details of the manners 
and customs of the people. He ends his report to the African 
Society by saying that he proposes visiting Fezzan again in the 
hope of obtaining new facts. 

We learn, further, that Frendenburg, Horneman's faithful 
associate, died at Murzuk. Attacked by a violent fever, Horne- 
man was forced to remain much -longer than he desired in that 
town. While still only partially recovered, he went to Tripoli 
for change and rest, hoping there to meet with Europeans. Upon 
the 1st of December, 1799, he returned to Murzuk, and left it 
finally with a caravan upon the 7th of April, 1800. He was 
irresistibly attracted towards Bornu, and perished in that country, 
which was to claim so many victims. 

During the eighteenth century, Africa was literally besieged by 
travellers. Explorers endeavoured to penetrate into it from every 
side. More than one succeeded in reaching the interior, only to 
meet with repulse or death. The discovery of the secrets of this 
mysterious continent was reserved for our own age, when the 
unexpected fertility of its resources has astonished the civilized 

The facts relating to the coast of Senegal needed confirma- 
tion, but the French superiority was no longer undisputed. 
The English, with their earnest and enterprising character, 
were convinced of its importance in the development of their 
commerce, and determined upon its exploration. But before 
proceeding to the narrative of the adventures of Major Houghton 
and Mungo Park, we will devote a small space to the record of 
the work done by the French naturalist, Michel Adanson. 

Devoted from early youth to the study of natural history, 
Adanson wished to become famous by the discovery of new species. 

The Baobab. 

Page 325. 


It was hopeless to dream of obtaining them in Europe, and, 
in spite of opposition, Adanson selected Senegal as the field of 
his labours. He says, in a manuscript letter, that he chose it 
because it was the most difficult to explore of all European 
settlements, and, being the hottest, most unhealthy, and most 
dangerous, was the least known by naturalists. Certainly a choice 
founded upon such reasoning gave proof of rare courage and 

It is true that Adanson was by no means the first naturalist 
to encounter similar dangers, but he was the first to undertake 
them, with so much enthusiasm, at his own cost, and without 
hope of reward. Upon his return, he had not sufficient money to 
pay for the publication of his account of the discoveries he had 

Embarking upon the 3rd of March, 1749, on board the Chevalier 
Marin, commanded by D'Apres de Mannevillette, he touched at 
Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, and disembarked at the mouth of the Senegal, 
which he took to be the Niger of ancient geographers. During 
nearly five years he was engaged in exploring the colony in every 
direction, visiting in turn Podor, Portudal, Albreda, and the mouth 
of the Gambia. With unceasing perseverance, he collected a 
rich harvest of facts in the animal, vegetable, and mineral king- 

To him is due the first exact account of a gigantic tree called 
the Baobab, which is often called Adansonia after him ; of the 
habits of the grasshoppers, which form the chief food of certain 
wild tribes ; of the white ants, and the dwellings they construct ; 
and of a certain kind of oyster, which attach themselves to trees 
at the mouth of the Gambia. He says, 

" The natives have not the difficulty one might anticipate in 
catching them ; they simply cut off the bough to which they 
cling. They often cluster to the number of over two hundred on one 
branch, and if there are several branches, they form a bunch, 
of oysters such as a man could scarcely carry." 

In spite of the interest of these and similar discoveries, there 
are few new facts for the geographer to glean. A few words about 
the Yolofs and Mandingoes comprise all there is to learn. If we 
followed Adanson throughout his explorations, we should gain little 
fresh information. 


The same cannot be said of the expedition of which we are 
about to give some account. Major Houghton, captain in the 
69th regiment, and English Governor of the Fort of Goree, had 
been familiar from his youth, part of which was passed with the 
English Embassy in Morocco, with the manners and customs of 
the Moors and the negroes of Senegambia. In 1790, he proposed 
to the African Society to explore the course of the Niger, penetrate 
as far as Timbuctoo and Houssa, and return by way of the Sahara. 
The carrying out of this bold plan met with but one obstacle, but 
that was almost sufficient to upset it. 

Houghton left England upon the 16th of October, 1790, and 
anchored in Jillifree harbour, at the mouth of the Gambia, upon* 
the 10th of November. Well received by the King of Barra, 
he followed the course of the Gambia to a distance of three 
hundred leagues, traversed the remainder of Senegambia, and 
reached Gonda Konda in Yanvi. 

Walknaer, in his "History of Yoyages," says, " He purchased a 
negro, a horse, and five asses, and prepared to proceed with the 
merchandise which was to pay his expenses to Mendana, the 
capital of the little kingdom of Woolli. Fortunately his slight 
knowledge of the Mandingo language enabled him to under- 
stand a negress who was speaking of a plot against him. The 
merchants trading on the river, imagining commerce to be his 
sole object, and fearing that he might compete with them, had 
determined upon his death. 

" In order to avoid the threatened danger, he thought it wise to 
deviate from the usual route, and, accordingly, crossed the river 
with his asses, and reached the northern shore in the kingdom 
of Cantor." 

Houghton then crossed the river a second time, and entered 
the kingdom of Woolli. He at once sent a messenger to the 
king, bearing presents, and asking for protection. He was cordially 
received, and the traveller was welcomed to Mendana, the capital, 
which he describes as an important town, situated in the midst 
of a fertile country, in which many herds of cattle graze. 

Houghton was justified in anticipating a successful issue to 
his voyage ; everything appeared to presage it, when an event 
occurred which was the first blow to his hopes. A hut next 
that in which he slept took fire, and the whole town was soon in 


flames. His interpreter, who had made several attempts to rob him, 
seized this opportunity, and fled with a horse and three asses. 

Still the King of Woolli continued his protection of the 
traveller, and loaded him with presents, precious not on account 
of their value, but as signs of the good-will which they demon- 
strated. This friend of the Europeans was named Djata. Humane, 
intelligent, and good-hearted, he wished the English to establish 
a factory in his kingdom. 

Houghton, in a letter to his wife, says, 

" Captain Littleton, during a stay of four years here, has amassed 
a considerable fortune. He possesses several ships which trade up 
and down the river. At any time one can obtain, for the merest 
trifle, gold, ivory, wax, and slaves. Poultry, sheep, eggs, butter, 
milk, honey, and fish are extremely abundant, and for ten pounds 
sterling a large family might be maintained in luxury. The soil 
is dry, the air very healthy ; and the King of Woolli told me that 
no white man had ever died at Fataconda." 

Houghton then followed the Faleme river as far as Cacullo, 
which in D'Anville's map is called Cacoulon, and whilst in Bambouk 
gleaned a few facts about the Djoliba river, which runs through 
the interior of the Soudan. The direction of this river he ascertained 
to be southward as far as Djeneh, then west by east to Timbuctoo 
facts which were later confirmed by Mungo Park. The traveller 
was cordially received by the King of Bambouk, who provided him 
with a guide to Timbuctoo, and with cowries to pay his expenses 
during the journey. It was hoped that Houghton would reach 
the Niger without accident, when a note, written in pencil and 
half effaced, reached Dr. Laidley. It was dated from Simbing, 
and stated that the traveller had been robbed of his baggage, 
but that he was prosecuting his journey to Timbuctoo. This was 
followed by accounts from various sources, which gave rise to a 
suspicion that Houghton had been assassinated in Bambara. 
His fate was uncertain until it was discovered by Mungo Park. 

Walknaer says, 

" Simbing, where Houghton wrote the last words ever received 
from him, is a little walled town on the frontier of the kingdom 
of Ludamar. Here he was abandoned by his negro servants, who 
were unwilling to accompany him to the country of the Moors. 
Still he continued his route, and, after surmounting many obstacles, 


he advanced to the north, and endeavoured to cross the kingdom 
of Ludamar. Finally he reached Yaouri, and made the ac- 
quaintance of several merchants, on their way to sell salt at 
Tischet, a town situated near the marshes of the great desert, 
and six days' journey north of Yaouri. Then, by bribing the 
merchants with a gun and a little tobacco, he persuaded them to 
conduct him to Tischet. All this would lead us to suppose that 
the Moors deceived him, either as to the route he should have 
followed, or as to the state of the country between Yaouri and 

" After two days' march, Houghton, finding himself deceived, 
wished to return to Yaouri. The Moors robbed him of all he 
possessed, and fled. He was forced to reach Yaouri on foot. Did 
he die of hunger, or was he assassinated by the Moors ? This 
has never been rightly determined, but the spot where he perished 
was pointed out to Mungo Park/' 

The loss of Hough ton's journals, containing the observations 
made during his journey, deprived science of the result of all his 
fatigue and devotion. To ascertain what he accomplished, one must 
have recourse to the Proceedings of the African Society. At this 
time Mungo Park, a young Scotch surgeon, who had just returned 
from a voyage to the East Indies on board the Worcester, learnt 
that the African Society were anxious to find an explorer willing 
to penetrate to the interior of the country watered by the Gambia. 
Mungo Park, who had long wished to acquaint himself with the 
productions of the country, and the manners and customs of the 
inhabitants, offered his services. He was not deterred by the 
apprehension that his predecessor, Houghton, had probably 

At once accepted by the Society, Mungo Park hastened his pre- 
parations, and left Portsmouth upon the 22nd of May, 1795. 
He was furnished with introductions to Dr. Laidley, and a credit 
of two hundred pounds sterling. Landing at Jillifree, at the mouth 
of the Gambia, in the kingdom of Barra, and following the river, 
he reached Pisania, an English factory belonging to Dr. Laidley. 
He directed his attention first to acquiring a knowledge of the 
Mandingo language, which was most generally used, and in collect- 
ing the facts most likely to be useful in the execution of his plans. 

His stay here enabled him to obtain more accurate information 

Portrait of Mungo Park. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 329. 


than his predecessors with regard to the Feloups, the Yolofs, the 
Foulahs, and the Mandingoes. The Feloups are morose, quarrel- 
some, and vindictive, but faithful and courageous. The Yolofs are 
a powerful and warlike nation, with very black skins. Except in 
colour and speech, they resemble the Mandingoes, who are gentle 
and sociable. Tall and well-made, their women are, comparatively 
speaking, pretty. Lastly, the Foulahs, who are the lightest in 
colour, seem much attached to a pastoral and agricultural life*. 
The greater part of these populations are Mohammedans, and 
practise polygamy. 

Upon the 2nd of December, Mungo Park, accompanied by two 
negro interpreters, and with a small quantity of baggage, started 
for the interior. He first reached the small kingdom of "VVoolli, 
the capital of which, Medina, comprises a thousand houses. He 
then proceeded to Kolor, a considerable town, and, after two days' 
march across a desert, entered the kingdom of Bondou. The 
natives are Foulahs, professing the Mohammedan religion ; they 
carry on a brisk trade in ivory, when they are not engaged in 

The traveller soon reached the Faleme river, the bed of which, 
near its source in the mountains of Dalaba, is very auriferous. He 
was received by the king at Fataconda, the capital of Bondou, and 
had great difficulty in convincing him that he travelled from 
curiosity. His interview with the wives of the monarch is thus 
described. Mungo Park says, 

" I had scarcely entered the court, when I was surrounded by 
the entire seraglio. Some begged me for physic, some for amber, 
and all were most desirous of trying the great African specific of 
blood-letting. They are ten or twelve in number, most of them 
young and handsome, wearing on their heads ornaments of gold 
or pieces of amber. They rallied me a good deal upon different 
subjects, particularly upon the whiteness of my skin and the 
length of my nose. They insisted that both were artificial. The 
first, they said, was produced, when I was an infant, by dipping me 
in milk, and they insisted that my nose had been pinched every 
day till it had acquired its present unsightly and unnatural con- 

Leaving Bondou by the north, Mungo Park entered Kajaaga, 
called by the French Galam. The climate of this picturesque 


country, watered by the Senegal, is far healthier than that of 
districts nearer the coast. The natives call themselves Serawoullis, 
and are called Seracolets by the French. The colour of their 
skin is jet black, and in this respect they are scarcely distinguish- 
able from the Yolofs. 

Mungo Park says, " The Serawoollis are habitually a trading 
people. They formerly carried on a great commerce with the 
French in gold-dust and slaves, and still often supply the British 
factories on the Gambia with slaves. They are famous for the 
skill and honesty with which they do business." 

At Joag, Mungo Park was relieved of half his property by 
the envoys of the king, under pretence of making him pay for the 
right to pass through his kingdom. Fortunately for him, the 
nephew of Demba-Jego-Jalla, King of Kasson, who was about to 
return to his country, took him under his protection. They 
reached Gongadi, where there are extensive date plantations, to- 
gether, and thence proceeded to Samia, on the shores of the 
Senegal, on the frontiers of Kasson. 

The first town met with in this kingdom was that of Tiesie, 
which was reached by Mungo Park on the 31st of December. 
Well received by the natives, who sold him the provisions he 
needed at a reasonable price, the traveller was subjected by the 
brother and nephew of the king to endless indignities. 

Leaving this town upon the 10th of January, 1796, Mungo 
Park reached Kouniakari, the capital of Kasson a fertile, rich, 
and well-populated country, which can place forty thousand men 
under arms. The king, full of kindly feeling for the traveller, 
wished him to remain in his kingdom as long as the wars between 
Kasson and Kajaaga lasted. It was more than probable that the 
countries of Kaarta and Bambara, which Mungo Park wished to 
visit, would be drawn into it. The advice of the king to remain 
was prudent, and Park had soon reason enough to regret not 
having followed it. 

But, impatient to reach the interior, the traveller would not 
listen, and entered the level and sandy plains of Kaarta. He met 
crowds of natives on the journey who were flying to Kasson to escape 
the horrors of war. But even this did not deter him ; he con- 
tinued his journey until he reached the capital of Kaarta, which is 
situated in a fertile and open plain. 

Natives of Senegal. 

Page 330. 


lie was kindly received by the king, Daiay Kourabari, who 
endeavoured to dissuade him from entering Bambara, and, find 
ing all his arguments useless, advised him to avoid passing 
through the midst of the fray, by entering the kingdom of Luda- 
mar, inhabited by Moors. From thence he could proceed to 

During his journey Mungo Park noticed negroes who fed 
principally upon a sort of bread made from the berries of the lotus, 
which tasted not unlike gingerbread. This plant, the rhamnus lotus, 
is indigenous in Senegambia, Nigritia, and Tunis. 

" So/' says Mungo Park, " there can be little doubt of this fruit 
being the lotus mentioned by Pliny as the food of the Lybian 
Lotophagi. I have tasted lotus bread, and think that an army 
may very easily have been fed with it, as is said by Pliny to have 
been done in Lybia. The taste of the bread is so sweet and 
agreeable, that the soldiers would not be likely to complain 
of it." 

On the 22nd February, Mungo Park reached Jarra, a consider- 
able town, with houses built of stone, inhabited by negroes from 
the south who had placed themselves under the protection of the 
Moors, to whom they paid considerable tribute. From Ali, King 
of Ludamar, the traveller obtained permission to travel in safety 
through his dominions. But, in spite of this safe-conduct, Park 
was almost entirely despoiled by the fanatical Moors of Djeneh. 
At Sampaka and Dalli, large towns, and at Samea, a small village 
pleasantly situated, he was so cordially welcomed that he already saw 
himself in fancy arrived in the interior of Africa, when a troop of 
soldiers appeared, who led him to Benown, the camp of King Ali. 

" Ali," says Mungo Park, " was sitting upon a black morocco 
cushion, clipping a few hairs on his upper lip a female atten- 
dant holding a looking-glass before him. He was an old man 
of Arab race, with a long white beard, and he looked sullen and 
augry. He surveyed me with attention, and inquired of the 
Moors if I could speak Arabic. Being answered in the nega- 
tive, he appeared surprised, and continued silent. The sur- 
rounding attendants, and especially ladies, were much more in- 
quisitive. They asked a thousand questions, inspected every 
part of my apparel, searched my pockets, and obliged me to un- 
button nay waistcoat to display the whiteness of my skin. They 


even counted my toes and fingers, as if they doubted whether I 
was in truth a human being." 

An unprotected stranger, a Christian, and accounted a spy, 
Mungo Park was a victim to the insolence, ferocity, and fanaticism 
of the Moors. He was spared neither insults, outrages, nor blows. 
They attempted to make a barber of him, but his awkwardness 
in cutting the hairy face of the king's son exempted him from 
this degrading occupation. During his captivity he collected 
many particulars regarding Timbuctoo, which is so difficult of 
access to Europeans, and was the bourne of all early African ex- 

" Houssa," a scherif told him, " is the largest town I have ever 
seen. "Walet is larger than Timbuctoo, but as it is farther from the 
Niger, and its principal trade is in salt, few strangers are met 
there. From Benown to Walet is a distance of six days' journey. 
No important town is passed between the two, and the traveller 
depends for sustenance upon the milk procurable from Arabs, 
whose flocks and herds graze about the wells and springs. The 
road leads for two days through a sandy desert, where not a drop 
of water is to be had." 

It takes eleven days to go from Walet to Timbuctoo, but water 
is not so scarce on this journey, which is generally made upon 
oxen. At Timbuctoo there are a number of Jews who speak Arabic, 
and use the same forms of prayer as the Moors. 

The events of the war decided Ali to proceed to Jarra. Mungo 
Park, who had succeeded in making friends with the sultan's 
favourite, Fatima, obtained permission to accompany the king. 
The traveller hoped, by nearing the scene of action, to manage to 
escape. As it happened, the King of Kaarta, Daisy Kourabari, 
soon after marched against the town of Jarra. The larger num- 
ber of inhabitants fled, and Mungo Park did the same. 

He soon found means to get away, but his interpreter refused to 
accompany him. He was forced to start for Bambara alone, and 
destitute of resources. 

The first town he came to was Wawra, which properly be- 
longs to Kaarta, but was then paying tribute to Mansong, King 
of Bambara. Mungo Park says, 

" Upon the morning of the 7th of July, as I was about to depart, 
my landlord, with a great deal of diffidence, begged me to give 


him a lock of my hair. He had been told, he said, that white 
men's hair made a sap/tic (talisman) that would give the possessor 
all the knowledge of the white man. I had never before heard of 
so simple a mode of education, but I at once complied with the 
request ; and my landlord's thirst for learning was so great that 
he cut and pulled at my hair till he had cropped one side of my 
head pretty closely, and would have done the same with the other 
had I not signified my disapprobation, assuring him that I wished 
to reserve some of this precious material for a future occasion/' 

First Gallon and then Mourja, a large town, famous for its trade 
in salt, were passed, after fatigues and incredible privations. Upon 
nearing Sego, Mungo Park at last perceived the Djoliba. "Looking 
forward," he says, " I saw, with infinite pleasure, the great object 
of my mission the long-sought-for, majestic Xiger, glittering in 
the morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and 
flowing slowly to the eastward. I hastened to the brink, and, hav- 
ing drunk of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to 
the Great Ruler of all things for having thus far crowned my 
endeavours with success. 

" The fact of the Niger flowing towards the east did not, how- 
ever, excite my surprise ; for, although I had left Europe in great 
hesitation on this subject, and rather believed it ran in the contrary 
direction, I had made frequent inquiries during my progress, and 
had received from negroes of different nations such clear and decisive 
assurances that its course icas towards the rising sun as scarce left 
any doubt in my mind, more especially as I knew that Major 
Houghton had collected similar information in a similar manner. 

" Sego, the capital of Bambara, at which I had now arrived, 
consists, properly speaking, of four distinct towns ; two on the 
northern bank of the river, called Sego Korro and Sego Boo, and 
two on the southern bank, called Sego Sou Korro and Sego See 
Korro. They are all surrounded with high mud walls ; the houses 
are built of clay, of a square form, with flat roofs ; some of them 
have two stories, and many of them are whitewashed. Besides 
these buildings, Moorish mosques are seen in every quarter, and 
the streets, though narrow, are broad enough for every practical 
purpose in a country where wheel carriages are unknown. From 
the best information I could obtain, I have reason to believe that 
Sego contains altogether about thirty thousand inhabitants. The 


king of Bambara resides permanently at Sego See Korro ; he 
employs a great many slaves in conveying people over the 
river ; and the money they take, though the fare is only ten 
cowries for each person, furnishes a considerable revenue to the 
king in the course of a year." 

By advice of the Moors, the king refused to receive the traveller, 
and forbade him to remain in his capital, where he could not 
have protected him from ill-treatment. However, to divest his 
refusal of all appearance of ill-will, he sent him a bag containing 
5000 cowries, of the value of about a pound sterling, to buy 
provisions. The messenger sent by the king was to serve as 
guide as far as Sansanding. Protest and anger were alike im- 
possible ; Mungo Park could do nothing but follow the orders sent. 
Before reaching Sansanding, he was present at the harvest of 
vegetable butter, which is the produce of a tree called Shea. 

" These trees," says the narrative, " grow in great abundance all 
over this part of Bambara. They are not planted by the natives, 
but are found growing naturally in the woods ; and, in clearing 
land for cultivation, every tree is cut down but the shea. The 
tree itself very much resembles the American oak ; the fruit from 
the kernel of which, after it has been dried in the sun, the 
butter is prepared by boiling in water has somewhat the 
appearance of a Spanish olive. The kernel is imbedded in a 
sweet pulp, under a thin green rind, and the butter produced 
from it, besides the advantage of keeping a whole year without 
salt, is whiter, firmer, and, to my palate, of a richer flavour than 
the best butter I ever tasted from cows' milk. It is a chief 
article of the inland commerce of these districts." 

Sansanding, a town containing from eight to ten thousand in- 
habitants, is a market-place much frequented by the Moors, who 
bring glass-ware from the Mediterranean forts, which they ex- 
change for gold-dust and cotton. Mungo Park was not able to 
remain at this place, for the importunities of the natives and the 
perfidious insinuations of the Moors warned him to continue his 
route. His horse was so worn out by fatigue and privation that 
he felt obliged to embark on the river Djoliba or Niger. 

At Mourzan, a fishing village upon the northern bank of the 
river, everything combined to induce Park to relinquish his enter- 
prise. The further he advanced to the eastward down the river, 


the more he placed himself in the power of the Moors. The rainy 
season had commenced, and it would soon be impossible to travel 
otherwise than by boat. Mungo Park was now so poor that he 
could not even hire a boat; he was forced to rely upon public 

To advance further under these circumstances was not only to 
risk his life, but to place the results of all his fatigues and 
efforts in jeopardy. To return to Gambia was scarcely less perilous ; 
to do so he must traverse hundreds of miles on foot through hostile 
countries. Still the hope of returning home might sustain his 

" Before leaving Silla," says the traveller, " I thought it incum- 
bent on me to collect from the Moorish and negro traders all the 
information I could concerning the further course of the Niger east- 
ward, and the situation and extent of the kingdoms in its neigh- 

" Two days' journey eastward of Silla is the town of Djenneh, 
which is situated on a small island in the river, and is said to con- 
tain as many inhabitants as Sego itself, or any other town in 
Bambara. At a distance of two days' more, the river widens and 
forms a considerable lake, called Dibby (or the dark lake), con- 
cerning the extent of which, all I could learn was that, in crossing 
it from east to west, the canoes lose sight of land for one whole 
day. From this lake the water issues in many different streams, 
which finally become two branches, one flowing to the north-east, 
the other to the east ; but these branches join at Kabra, which is 
one day's journey to the south of Timbuctoo, and is the port or 
shipping-place of that city. The tract of land between the two 
streams is called Timbala, and is inhabited by negroes. The whole 
distance by land from Djenneh to Timbuctoo is twelve days' journey. 
North-east of Masena is the kingdom of Timbuctoo, the great object 
of European research, the capital of the kingdom being one of the 
principal marts for the extensive commerce which the Moors carry 
on with the negroes. The hope of acquiring wealth in this pur- 
suit, and zeal for propagating their religion, have filled this exten- 
sive city with Moors. The king himself and all the chief officers of 
his court are Moors, and are said to be more intolerant and 
severe in their principles than any other of the Moorish tribes 
in this part of Africa/' 


Mungo Park was then forced to retrace his steps, and that 
through a country devastated by inundation and heavy rains. 
He passed through Mourzan, Kea, and Modibon, where he re- 
gained his horse ; Nyara, Sansanding, Samea, and Sai, which is 
surrounded by a deep moat, and protected by high walls with 
square towers; Jabbea, a large town, from which he perceived high 
mountain ranges, and Taffara, where he was received with little 

At the village of Souha, Park begged a handful of grain of a 
"dooty," who answered that he had nothing to give away. 

"Whilst I was examining the face of this inhospitable old man, 
and endeavouring to find out the cause of the sullen discontent 
which was visible in his eye, he called to a slave who was work- 
ing in the corn-field at a little distance, and ordered him to bring 
his spade with him. The Dooty then told him to dig a hole in the 
ground, pointing to a spot at no great distance. The slave with his 
spade began to dig in the earth, and the Dooty, who appeared to be 
a man of very fretful disposition, kept muttering to himself until 
the pit was almost finished, when he repeatedly pronounced the word 
ankatod (good for nothing), jankra lemen (a regular plague), which 
expressions I thought applied to myself. As the pit had verv much 
the appearance of a grave, I thought it prudent to mount my horse, 
and was about to decamp when the slave, who had gone before to 
the village, returned with the corpse of a boy about nine or ten 
years of age, quite naked. The negro carried the body by an arm 
and leg, and threw it into the pit with a savage indifference such 
as I had never seen. As he covered the body with earth, the Dooty 
kept repeating napJmla alternate (money lost), whence I concluded 
the boy had been his slave." 

Mungo Park left Koulikorro, where he had obtained food by 
writing saphics or talismans for the natives, upon the 21st of 
August, and reached Bammakoa, where a large salt-market is held. 
From an eminence near the town he perceived a high mountain 
range in the kingdom of Kong, whose ruler had a more numerous 
army than the King of Bambara 

Once more robbed by brigands of all he possessed, the unfortunate 
traveller found himself, in the rainy season, alone in a vast desert, 
five leagues from the nearest European settlement, and for the 
moment gave way to despair. But his courage soon revived ; 


and reaching the town of Sibidoulou, his horse and clothes, which 
had been stolen from him by Foulah robbers, were restored to him 
by the mansa, or chief. Kamalia, or Karfa Taura advised him 
to await the cessation of the rainy season, and then to proceed to 
Gambia with a caravan of slaves. Worn out, destitute, attacked 
by fever, which for five months kept him prostrate, Mungo Park 
had no choice but to remain in this place. 

Upon the 19th of April the caravan set out. "We can readily 
imagine the joy experienced by Mungo Park when all was ready. 
Crossing the desert of Jallonka, and passing first the principal 
branch of the Senegal river, and then the Faleme, the caravan finally 
reached the shores of the Gambia, and on the 12th of June, 1797, 
Mungo Park once more arrived at Pisania, where he was warmly 
welcomed by Dr. Laidley, who had despaired of ever seeing him 

The traveller returned to England upon the 22nd of September. 
So great was the impatience with which an account of his dis- 
coveries, certainly the most important in this part of Africa, was 
awaited, that the African Society allowed him to publish for his 
own profit an abridged account of his adventures. 

He had collected more facts as to the geography, manners, and 
customs of the country than all preceding travellers ; he had de- 
termined the position of the sources of the Senegal and Gambia, and 
surveyed the course of the Niger or Djoliba which he proved to 
run eastwards, whilst the Gambia flowed to the west. 

Thus a point, which up to this time had been disputed by geogra- 
phers, was definitely settled. It was no longer possible to con- 
found the three rivers, as the French geographer Delisle had done, 
in 1707, when he represented the Niger as running eastward from 
Borou, and flowing into the river Senegal on the west. He 
himself, however, had admitted and corrected this error, in his 
later maps of 1722 and 1727, no doubt on account of the facts 
ascertained by Andre Brue, governor of Senegal. 

Houghton, indeed, had learned much from the natives of the 
course of the Niger through the Mandingo country, and of the 
relative positions of Sego, Djenneh, and Timbuctoo ; but it was re- 
served for Mungo Park to fix positively, from personal knowledge, 
the position of the two first-named towns, and to furnish circum- 
stantial details of the country, and the tribes who inhabit it. 
VOL. n. z 


Public opinion was unanimous as to the importance of the great 
traveller's exploration, and keenly appreciative of the courage, skill, 
and honesty exhibited by him. 

A short time later, the English government offered Mungo Park 
the conduct of an expedition to the interior of Australia ; but he 
refused it. 

In 1804, however, the African Society determined to complete 
the survey of the Niger, and proposed to Mungo Park the com- 
mand of a new expedition for its exploration. This time the great 
traveller did not refuse, and upon the 30th of January, 1805, he 
left England. Two months later he landed at Goree. 

He was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Anderson, a surgeon, 
by George Scott, a draughtsman, and by thirty-five artillery-men. 
He was authorized to enrol as many soldiers as he liked in his 
service, and was provided with a credit of five hundred pounds. 

" These resources/' says Walcknaer, " so vast in comparison with 
those furnished by the African Society, were, to our thinking, 
partly the cause of his loss. The rapacious demands of the African 
kings grew in proportion to the riches they supposed our traveller 
to possess ; and the effort to meet the enormous drain made upon 
him, was in great part the cause of the catastrophe which brought 
the expedition to an end." 

Four carpenters, one officer and thirty-five artillery-men, and a 
Mandingo merchant named Isaac, who was to act as guide, 
with the leaders of the expedition already mentioned, composed an 
imposing caravan. Mungo Park left Cayee upon the 27th of April, 
1805, and reached Pisania the next day. From this place, ten 
years earlier, he had started upon his first exploration. Taking an 
easterly direction, he followed his former route as far as Bambaku, 
upon the shores of the Niger. When he arrived at this place, 
the number of Europeans was already reduced to six soldiers 
and a carpenter ; the remainder had succumbed to fatigue, or the 
fevers incidental to the inundations. The exactions of the various 
petty chiefs through whose domains the expedition passed had 
considerably diminished the stock of merchandise. 

Mungo Park was now guilty of an act of grave imprudence. 
Remarking that trade was very active at San sanding, a town con- 
taining eleven thousand inhabitants, and that beads, indigo, 
antimony, rings, bracelets, and other articles not likely to be 


spoiled in the transit to England, were freely exhibited for sale, 
" he opened," says Walcknaer, " a large shop, which he stocked with 
European merchandise, for sale wholesale and retail ; and probably 
the large profits he made excited the envy of the merchants. 
The natives of Djenneh, the Moors, and merchants of Sansanding, 
joined with those of Sego in offering, in the presenceof Modibinne* 
to give the King of Mansong a larger and more valuable quantity 
of merchandise than he had received from the English traveller, 
if he would seize his baggage, and then kill him, or send him out 
of Bambarra. But in spite of his knowledge of this fact, Mungo 
Park still kept his shop open, and he received, as the proceeds of 
one single day's business, 25,756 pieces of money, or cowries." 

Upon the 28th of October Anderson expired, after four months' 
illness, and Mungo Park found himself once more alone in the 
heart of Africa. The King of Mansong had accorded him permis- 
sion to build a boat, which would enable him to explore the Niger. 
Naming his craft the DJoliba, he fixed upon the 16th of November 
for his departure. 

Here his journal ends, with details on the riverside populations, 
and on the geography of the countries he was the first to discover. 
This journal, when it reached Europe, was published, imperfect as 
it was, as soon as the sad fact was realized that the writer had 
perished in the waters of the Djoliba. It contained in reality no 
new discovery, but it was recognized as useful to geographical 
science. Mungo Park had determined the astronomical position 
of the more important towns, and thereby furnished material for a 
map of Senegambia. The perfecting of this map was entrusted to 
Arrowsmith, who stated in an advertisement, that, finding 
wide differences between the positions of the towns as shown in the 
journal by each day's travel and that furnished by the astronomi- 
cal observations, it was impossible to reconcile them ; but that, in 
accordance with the latter, he had been obliged to place the route 
followed by Mungo Park in his first voyage farther north. 

It was reserved for the Frenchman Walcknaer to discover a 
curious discrepancy in Mungo Park's journal. This was a singular 
error upon the part of the traveller, which neither the English editor 
nor the French translator (whose work was badly performed) had 
discovered. Mungo Park in his diary records events as happening 
upon the 31st of April. As every one knows that that month has 

z 2 


only thirty days, it followed that during the course of his journey 
the traveller had made a mistake of a whole day, reckoning in his 
calculations from the evening instead of the morning. Hence im- 
portant rectifications were necessary in Arrowsrnith's map ; but 
none the less, when once Mungo Park's error is recognized, it is 
evident that to him we owe the first faithful map of Sene- 

Although the facts that reached the English Government 
allowed no room for doubt as to the fate of the traveller, a rumour 
that white men had been seen in the interior of Africa induced 
the Governor of Senegal to fit out an expedition. The command 
was entrusted to the negro merchant Isaac, Mungo Park's guide, 
who had faithfully delivered the traveller's journal to the English 
authorities. We need not linger over the account of this 
expedition, but merely relate that which concerns the last days of 
Mungo Park. 

At Sansanding, Isaac encountered Amadi Fatouma, the native 
who was with Park on the Djoliba when he perished, and from him 
he obtained the following recital: 

" We embarked at Sansanding, and in two days reached Silla, 
the spot where Mungo Park completed his first journey. 

" After two days' navigation we reached Djenneh. In passing 
Dibby, three boats, filled with negroes armed with lances and 
arrows, but without fire-arms, approached us. We had passed suc- 
cessively Racbara and Timbuctoo, when we were pursued by these 
boats, which we repulsed with difficulty, and only after killing 
several natives. At Gourouma we were attacked by seven boats, 
but succeeded in repulsing them. Constant skirmishes ensued, 
with heavy loss to the blacks, until we reached Kaffo, where we 
remained for a day. We then proceeded down the river as far as 
Carmusse, and anchored off Gournou. Next day we perceived 
a Moorish detachment, who allowed us to pass. 

"We then entered the country of Houssa. Next day we 
reached Yaouri, and sent Amadi Fatouma into the town, with 
presents for the chief and to purchase food. The negro, before 
accepting the presents, enquired if the white traveller intended 
to revisit his country. Mungo Park, to whom the question was 
reported, replied that he should never return.' 1 ' 

It is supposed that these words brought about his death. The 


negro chief, once convinced that he should not see Mungo Park 
again, determined to keep the presents intended for his king. 

Meantime, Amadi Fatouma reached the king's residence, at 
some distance from the river. The prince, warned of the presence 
of the white men, sent an army next day to the small village of 
Boussa, on the river side. When the Djoliba appeared it was 
assailed by a shower of stones and arrows. Park threw his baggage 
into the river, and jumped in with his companions. All perished. 

Thus miserably died the first Englishman who had navigated 
the Djoliba and visited Timbuctoo. Many efforts were made in 
the same direction, but almost all were destined to fail. 

At the end of the eighteenth century, two of Linnaeus's best 
pupils explored the south of Africa in the interests of natural 
history. Sparrman undertook to search for animals, and Thunberg 
for plants. The account of Sparrman's expedition, which, as we 
have said, was interrupted by his voyage in Oceania, after Cook's 
expedition, was the first to appear. It was translated into French by 
Le Tourneur. In his preface, which is still allowed to stand, Le 
Tourneur deplored the loss of the learned explorer, who he said had 
died during a voyage to the Gold Coast. Just as the work was 
published, Sparrman reappeared, to the great astonishment of Le 

Sparrman had reached Africa upon the 30th of April, 1772, and 
landed at the Cape of Good Hope. At this time the town was only 
two miles across each way, including the gardens and plantations 
adjoining it on one side. The streets were wide, planted with oaks, 
and the houses were white, or, to Sparrman's surprise, painted green. 

His object in visiting the Cape was to act as tutor to the chil- 
dren of a M. Kerste ; but upon his arrival in Cape Town, he found 
that his employer was absent at his winter residence in False Bay. 
When the spring came round, Sparrman accompanied Kerste to 
Alphen, a property which he possessed near Constance. The 
naturalist availed himself of the opportunity to make many excur- 
sions in the neighbourhood, and attempt the somewhat dangerous 
ascent of the Table Mountain. By these means he became 
acquainted with the manners and customs of the Boers, and their 
treatment of their slaves. The violence of the latter was so great 
that the inhabitants of the town were obliged to sleep with locked 
doors, and provided with fire-arms close at hand. 


Nearly all over the colony a rough hospitality ensured a certain 
welcome for the traveller. Sparrman relates several curious experi- 
ences of his own. 

"I arrived one evening," he says, "at the dwelling of a 
farmer named Yan der Spooei, a widower, born in Africa, and 
father of the proprietor of the Red Constance, or the Old 

" Making believe not to see me approach, he remained stationary 
in the entry of his house. As I approached him, he offered his 
hand, still without attempting to come forward, and said, ' Good 
day ! You are welcome ! How are you ? Who are you ? A glass 
of wine perhaps ? or a pipe ? Will you partake of something ? ' 
I answered his questions laconically, and accepted his offers in the 
same style as they were offered. His daughter, a well-made girl 
of some fourteen or fifteen years of age, brought in dinner, which 
consisted of a fine breast of lamb, stewed with carrots. The meal 
over, she offered me tea so pleasantly that I was quite puzzled 
whether to admire the dinner or my charming hostess the most. 
Both father and daughter showed the greatest kindness and good 
will. I spoke to my host several times, in hopes of breaking his 
silence ; but his replies were brief; and I observed that he only 
once commenced a conversation himself, when he pressed me to 
remain over night in his house. I bid him farewell, deeply im- 
pressed with his hospitality." 

Sparrman undertook several similar expeditions, among others, 
one to Hout Bay and Paarl, in which he had frequent occasion to 
notice the exaggerations to be met with in the narrative of Kolbe, 
his predecessor. 

He intended to continue his explorations during the winter, and 
projected a journey into the interior, when the fine season should 
return. When the frigates commanded by Captain Cook, the 
Resolution and Adventure, arrived at the Cape, Forster invited the 
young Swedish naturalist to accompany him ; and Sparrman was 
thus enabled to visit New Zealand, Yan Diemen's Land, New 
Holland, Otaheite, Tierra del Fuego, the Antarctic Regions, and 
New Georgia, before his return to the Cape, where he landed on 
the 22nd of March, 1775. 

His first care upon his return was to organize his expedition to 
the interior ; and in order to add to his available resources he prac- 

A Hottentot. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 348. 


tised medicine and surgery during the winter. A cargo of corn, 
medicine, knives, tinder-boxes, and spirits for the preservation 
of specimens was collected, and packed in an immense waggon, 
drawn by five yoke of oxen. 

Sparrman says, 

" The conductor of this cart needs dexterity, not only in his 
management of the animals, but in the use of the whip of African 
drivers. These instruments are about fifteen feet long, with 
a thong of the same or greater length, and a tongue of white 
leather almost three feet long. The driver holds this formidable 
instrument in both hands, and from his seat in front of the waggon 
can reach the foremost oxen with it. He distributes his cuts 
unceasingly, well understanding how and where to distribute 
them in such a manner that the hide of the animals feels the 

Sparrman was to accompany the waggon on horseback, and was 
accompanied by a young colonist, named Immelman, who wished 
to penetrate into the interior for recreation. They started upon the 
25th of July, 1775. After passing Rent River, scaling the Hottentot 
Holland Kloof, and crossing the Palmite, they entered a desert 
country, interspersed with plains, mountains, and valleys, without 
water, but frequented by antelopes of various kinds, with zebras 
and ostriches. 

Sparrman soon readied the warm mineral baths at the foot of the 
Zwartberg, which, at that time, were much frequented, the company 
having built a house near the mountains. At this point the 
explorer was joined by young Immelman, and together they started 
for Zwellendam, which they reached upon the 2nd of September. 
We will give a few of the facts they collected about the inhabitants. 

The Hottentots are as tall as Europeans, their hands and feet 
are small, and their colour a brownish yellow. They have not the 
thick lips of the Kaffirs and natives of Mozambique. Their hair 
is black and woolly, curly, but not thick. They rub the entire 
body with fat and soot. A Hottentot who paints himself looks 
less naked, and more complete, so to say, than one who only rubs 
himself with grease. Hence the saying, " A Hottentot without 
paint, is like a shoe without blacking." 

These natives usually wear a cloak called karos, made of sheep's 
skin, with the wool turned inwards. The women arrange it with 


a long point, which forms a sort of hood, in which they place 
their children. Both men and women wear leather rings upon 
their arms and legs a custom, which gave rise to the fable that 
this race rolled puddings round their limbs, to feed on from time 
to time. They also wear copper and iron rings, but these orna- 
ments are less common. 

The kraal, or Hottentot village, is a collection of huts in a circle, 
all very similar, and of the shape of beehives. The doors, which 
are in the centre, are so low that they can only be entered on the 
knees. The hearth is in the middle of the hut, and the roof has 
no hole for the escape of the smoke. 

The Hottentots must not be confounded with the Bushmen. 
The latter live only for hunting and robbery ; their skill in throw- 
ing poisoned arrows, their courage, and the wildness of their lives, 
render them invincible. 

At Zwellendam, Sparrman saw the quagga, a species of horse, like 
a zebra in shape, but with shorter ears. 

The explorer next visited Mossel Bay, a harbour little used, as 
it is too much exposed to the west winds ; and thence he proceeded 
to the country of the Houtniquas, or, as Burchell's map calls them, 
the Antiniquas. This woody country appeared fertile, and the 
colonists established there are prosperous. Sparrman met with most 
of the quadrupeds of Africa in this district, such as elephants, 
leopards, lions, tiger cats, hyenas, monkeys, hares, antelopes, and 

We will not attempt to follow Sparrman to all the small settle- 
ments he visited. An enumeration of the streams, kraals, or 
villages he passed would convey no information to the reader. 
Rather let us gather from his narratives a few curious and novel 
details concerning two creatur s which he describes, the sheep of 
the Cape, and the " honey-guide." 

" When a sheep is to be killed," he says, " the very leanest of 
the flock is selected. It would be impossible to use the others for 
food. Their tails are of a triangular shape, and are often a foot 
and a half long, and occasionally six inches thick in the upper 
part. One of these tails will weigh eight or twelve pounds, and 
they consist principally of delicate fat, which some persons eat 
with bread instead of butter. It is used in the preparation of food, 
and sometimes to make candles." 

A LJosjeman. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

ge 344' 


After describing the two -horned rhinoceros, hitherto unknown, 
the gnu an animal in form something between the horse 
and the ox the gazelle, the baboon, and the hippopotamus, the 
habits of which were previously imperfectly known, Sparrman 
describes a curious bird, of great service to the natives, which he 
calls the honey-guide. 

" This bird," he says, " is remarkable neither in size nor colour. 
At first sight it would be taken for a common sparrow, but it is a 
little larger than that bird, of a somewhat lighter colour, with a 
small yellow spot on each shoulder, and dashes of white in the 
wings and tail. 

" In its own interests, this bird leads the natives to the bees' nests, 
for it is very fond of honey, and it knows that whenever a nest is 
destroyed, a little honey will be spilled, or left behind, as a recom- 
pense for its services. 

"It seems to grow hungry in the morning and evening. In 
any case, it is then that it leaves its nest, and by its piercing 
cries attracts the attention of the Hottentots or the colonists. 
The cries are almost always answered by the appearance of 
natives or settlers, when the bird, repeating its call unceasingly, 
slowly flies from place to place towards the spot where the 
bees have made their home. Arrived at the nest, whether it 
be in the cleft of a rock, in a hollow tree, or in some underground 
cavity, the guide hovers about it for a few seconds, and then 
perches hard by, and remains a silent and hidden spectator of the 
pillage, in which he hopes subsequently to have his share. Of this 
phenomenon I have myself twice been a witness." 

On the 12th of April, 1776, on his way back to the Cape, Sparr- 
man heard that a large lake, the only one in the colony, had been 
discovered to the north of the Schneuwberg district. A little later, 
the traveller got back to the Cape, and embarked for Europe with 
the numerous natural history collections he had made. 

About the same time, between 1772 1775, Thunberg, the Swede, 
whom Sparrman had met at the Cape, made three successive 
journeys in the interior of Africa. They were not, any more than 
Sparrman's, actual journeys of discovery ; and we owe the acquisi- 
tion of no new geographical fact to Thunberg. He did but make 
a vast number of interesting observations on the birds of the Cape, 
and he also ascertained a few interesting details respecting the 


various races of the interior, which turned out to be far more fertile 
than was at first supposed. 

Thunberg was followed in the same latitudes by an English 
officer, Lieutenant William Paterson, whose chief aim was to 
collect plants and other objects of natural history. He penetrated 
a little further north than the Orange River, and into Kaffraria a 
good deal further east than Fish River. To him we owe the first 
notice of the giraffe ; and his narrative is rich in important observa- 
tions on the natural history, structure, and inhabitants of the 

It is a curious fact that the Europeans attracted to South Africa 
by zeal for geographical discovery, were far less numerous than 
those whose motive was love of natural history. "We have already 
mentioned Sparrman, Thunberg, and Paterson. To this list we 
must now add the name of the ornithologist Le Yaillant. 

Born at Paramaribo, in Dutch Guiana, of French parents, who 
traded in birds, Le Yaillant visited Europe with them as a mere 
child, and traversed Holland, Germany, Lorraine, and the Yosges, 
on his \vay to Paris. It will readily be understood that this 
wandering life awoke in him a taste for travelling ; and his passion 
for birds, early excited by the examination of private and public 
collections, made him eager to enrich science by descriptions and 
drawings of unknown species. 

Now what country would afford the richest ornithological 
harvest ? The districts near the Cape had been explored by 
botanists, and by a scientific man who had made quadrupeds his 
chief study ; but no one had as yet traversed them to collect birds. 

Le Yaillant arrived at the Cape on the 29th of March, 1781, 
after the loss of his vessel in an explosion, with nothing but the 
clothes he wore, ten ducats, and his gun. 

Others would have been disheartened, but Le Yaillant did not 
despair of extricating himself from his painful position. Confident 
in his skill with the gun and the bow, in his strength and agility, as 
well as in his skill in preparing the skins of animals, and in stuffing 
birds so that their plumage should retain all its original gloss, the 
naturalist had soon opened relations with the wealthiest collectors 
of the Cape. 

One of these, an official named Boers, provided Le Yaillant with 
every requisite for a successful journey, including carts, oxen, 

Till Master Kees had given his verdict. 

ge 347 


provisions, objects for barter, and horses. Even servants and 
guides were appointed, free of cost, to the explorer. The kind of 
researches to which Le Yaillant intended to devote himself 
influenced his mode of travelling. Instead of seeking frequented 
and beaten tracks, he tried to avoid them, and to penetrate into 
districts neglected by Europeans, hoping in them to meet with birds 
unknown to science. As a result he may be said always to have 
taken nature by surprise, coming into contact with natives whose 
manners had not yet been modified by intercourse with whites ; so 
that the information he gives us brings savage life, as it really is, 
more vividly before us than anything told us by his predecessors 
or successors. The only mistake made by Le Yaillant was the 
entrusting of the translation of his notes to a young man who 
modified them to suit his own notions. Far from taking the 
scrupulous care to be exact which distinguishes modern editors, he 
exaggerated facts ; and, dwelling too much on the personal qualities 
of the traveller, he gave to the narrative of the journey a boastful 
tone very prejudicial to it. 

After three months' stay at the Cape and in its neighbourhood, 
Le Yaillant started, on the 18th December, 1781, for a first journey 
eastwards, and in Kaffraria. His equipment this time consisted 
of thirty oxen ten for each of his two waggons, and ten as 
reserve three horses, nine dogs, and five Hottentots. 

Le Yaillant first crossed the Dutch districts already explored by 
Sparrman, where he met with vast herds of zebras, antelopes, and 
ostriches, arriving in due course at Zwellendam, where he bought 
some oxen, a cart, and a cock the last serving as an alarm- 
clock throughout the journey. Another animal was also of great 
use to him. This was a monkey he had tamed, and promoted to the 
post, alike useful and honourable, of taster no one being allowed to 
touch any fruit or root unknown to the Hottentots till Master Rees 
had given his verdict upon it. 

Rees was also employed as a sentinel ; and his senses, sharpened 
by use and the struggle for life, exceeded in delicacy those of the 
most subtle Redskin. He it was who warned the dogs of the 
approach of danger. If a snake approached, or a troop of monkeys, 
were disporting themselves in a neighbouring thicket, Rees' terror 
and his shrieks quickly revealed the presence of a disturbing 


From Zwellendam, which he left on the 12th January, 1782, Le 
Vaillant made his way eastwards, at some little distance from the 
sea. He pitched his camp on the banks of the Columbia (Duywen 
Hock) river and made many very successful hunting excursions in a 
district rich in game, finally reaching Mossel Bay, where the howls 
of innumerable hyenas frightened the oxen. 

A little farther on he entered the country of the Houtniquas, 
a Hottentot name signifying men filled with honey. Here 
not a step could be taken without coming upon swarms of 
bees. Flowers sprang up beneath the feet of the travellers; the 
air was heavy with their perfume ; their varied colours lent such 
enchantment to the scene that some of the servants would have 
liked to halt. Le Yaillant however hastened to press on. The 
whole of this district, down to the sea, is occupied by colonists, who 
breed cattle, make butter, cultivate timber, and collect honey, 
sending their merchandise to the Cape for sale. 

A little beyond the last post of the company, Le Yaillant, having 
entered a district peopled by thousands of " turacos," and other 
rare birds, pitched his hunting camp ; but his plans were terribly 
upset by the continuous fall of heavy rains, the result of which 
was to reduce the travellers to great straits for want of 

After many a sudden change of fortune and many hunting ad- 
ventures, an account of which would be very amusing, though 
beyond the scope of our narrative, Le Yaillant reached Mossel 
Bay. Here, with what delight we can easily imagine, he found 
letters from France awaiting him. One excursion after another 
was now made in various directions, until Kaffraria was entered. 
It was difficult to open relations with its people, who sedulously 
avoided the whites, having suffered the loss of many men and 
much cattle at their hands. Moreover the Tamboukis had taken 
advantage of their critical position to invade Kaffraria and 
commit numerous depredations, whilst the Bosjemans hunted 
them down unmercifully. Without fire-arms, and attacked on so 
many sides at once, the Kaffirs were driven to hiding themselves, 
and were retiring northwards. 

As matters stood it was useless to attempt to penetrate into the 
mountainous districts of Kaffraria, and Le Yaillant retraced his 
steps. He then visited the Schneuwberg mountains, the Karroo 

A Kaffir woman. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 349. 


desert and the shores of the Buffalo River, returning to the Cape 
on the 2nd April, 1783. 

The results of this long campaign were important. Le Vaillant 
obtained some decided information about the Gonaquas, a nume- 
rous race which must not be confounded with the Hottentots 
properly so called, but are probably the offspring of their inter- 
marriage with the Kaffirs. With regard to the Hottentots them- 
selves, the information collected by Le Vaillant agrees on almost 
every point with that obtained by Sparrman. 

" The Kaffirs seen by Le Vaillant, "says Walcknaer, " were most of 
them taller than either the Hottentots or the Gonaquas. They have 
neither the retiring jaws nor prominent cheek bones which are so 
repulsive in the Hottentots, but are less noticeable in the Gonaquas, 
neither have they the broad flat faces and thick lips of their neigh- 
bours the negroes of Mozambique. Their faces, on the con- 
trary, are round, their noses fairly prominent, and their teeth the 
whitest and most regular of any people in the world. Their com- 
plexion is of a clear dark brown; and, but for this one characteristic, 
says Le Vaillant, any Kaffir woman would be considered very pretty, 
even beside a European." 

During Le Vaillant's sixteen months of absence, the aspect of 
the Cape had completely changed. When the traveller left he 
admired the modest bearing of the Dutch women ; on his return 
he found them thinking only of amusement and dress. Ostrich 
feathers were so much in vogue that they had to be imported from 
Europe and Asia. All those brought by our traveller were quickly 
bought up. The birds which he had sent to the colony on every 
possible opportunity now amounted to one thousand and twenty- 
four specimens ; and Mr. Boers' house, where they were kept, was 
converted into a regular natural history museum. 

Le Vaillant's journey had been so successful that he could 
not but wish to begin another. Although his friend Boers had 
returned to Europe, he was able, with the aid of the many other 
friends he had made, to collect the materials for a fresh trip. On 
the 15th June, 1783, he started at the head of a caravan numbering 
nineteen persons. He also took thirteen dogs, one he- and two 
she- goats, three cows, thirty-six draught and fourteen reserve 
oxen, with two for carrying the baggage of the Hottentot 


We shall not, of course,, follow the traveller in his hunting excur- 
sions ; all we need to know is that he succeeded in making a collec- 
tion of marvellous birds, that he introduced the first giraffe to 
Europe, aud that he traversed the whole of the vast space between 
the tropic of Capricorn on the west and the 14th meridian on the 
east. He returned to the Cape in 1784, he embarked for Europe, 
and arrived at Paris early in January, 1785. 

The first native people met with by Le Yaillant in his second 
voyage were the Little Namaquas, a race but very little known, 
and who soon died out -the more readily that they occupied a 
barren country, subject to constant attacks from the Bosjemans. 
Although of fair height, they are inferior in appearance to 
the Kaffirs and Namaquas, to whose customs theirs bear a great 

The Caminouquas, or Comeinacquas, of whom Le Yaillant gives 
many particulars, exceed them in height. He says, 

" They appear taller even than the Gonaquas, although possibly 
they are not so in reality ; but the illusion is sustained by their 
small bones, delicate and emaciated appearance, and slender 
limbs. The long mantle of light material which hangs from the 
shoulder to the ground adds to their height. They look like drawn 
out men. Lighter in colour than the Cape natives, they have better 
features than the other Hottentot tribes, owing to the fact that 
their noses are less flat and their cheek bones less prominent.'" 

Of all the races visited by Le Yaillant, the most peculiar and 
most ancient was that of the Houzonanas, a tribe which had not 
been met with by any other northern traveller ; but they appear 
identical with the Bechuanas, although the part of the country 
assigned to them does not coincide with that which they are known 
to have occupied for many years. 

" The Houzonanas," says the narrative, " are small in stature, the 
tallest being scarcely five feet four in height. These small beings 
are perfectly proportioned, and are surprisingly strong and active. 
They have an imposing air of boldness. Le Yaillant considers 
them the best endowed mentally, and the strongest physically, of 
all the savage races he had met with. In face they resemble the 
Hottentots, but they have rounder chins, and they are far less 
black. They have curly hair, so short that Le Yaillant at first 
imagined it to be shaven. 


One striking peculiarity of the Ilouzonanas is a large mass of 
flesh upon the back of the women, which forms a natural saddle, 
and oscillates strangely with every movement of the body. Le 
Vaillant describes a woman whom he saw with her child about 
three years old, who was perched upon his feet behind her, like a 
footman behind a cabriolet. 

We will pass over the traveller's description of the appearance 
and customs of these various races, many of which are now extinct, 
or incorporated in some more powerful tribe. Although by no means 
the least curious portion of his narrative, the details are so exag- 
gerated that we prefer to omit them. 

Upon the eastern coast of Africa, a Portuguese traveller, named 
Fransisco Jose de Lacerda y Almeida, left Mozambique in 1797, 
to explore the interior. The account of this expedition to a place 
which has only lately been revisited, would be of great interest; but 
unfortunately, so far as we know, his journal has not been pub- 
lished. His name is often quoted by geographers, and they appear 
to know what countries he visited ; but in France, at least, no 
lengthened notice of this geographer exists which would furnish 
the details of his exploration. A very few words will convey all 
that we have been able to collect of the history of a man who 
made most important discoveries, and whose name has most 
unfairly been forgotten. 

Lacerda, the date and place of whose birth are unknown, was 
an engineer, and he was professionally engaged in settling the 
boundary of the frontier between the Spanish and Portuguese pos- 
sessions in South America. Whilst thus employed, he collected a 
mass of interesting particulars of the province of JVIato Grosso, 
which are given in the Rivesta trimemal do Brazil. We cannot 
tell what circumstances led him, after this successful expedition, to 
the Portuguese possessions in Africa ; nor is it easy to imagine 
his motive for crossing South Africa from the eastern shore to 
the kingdom of Loanda. It is however certain that he left the 
well-known town of Tete in 1797, in command of an important 
caravan bound for the States of Cazembe. 

This country was governed by a king as renowned for his bene- 
volence and humanity as for his bravery. He inhabited a town 
called Lunda, which was two miles in extent, and situated upon the 
eastern shore of the lake called Mofo. It would have been 


interesting to compare these localities with those that we know 
of in the same parallels to-day ; but the lack of details obliges 
us to desist, merely observing that the word Lunda was well- 
known to Portuguese travellers. As regards Cazembe, there is 
no longer any question as to its position. 

Well received by the king, Lacerda remained some twelve days 
with him, and then proceeded upon his journey. Unfortunately, 
when a day or two's march from Lunda he succumbed to fatigue 
and the unhealthiness of the climate. 

The native king collected the traveller's notes and journals, 
and ordered them to be sent with his remains to Mozambique. 
But unfortunately the caravan entrusted with these precious me- 
morials was attacked, and the remains of the unfortunate Lacerda 
were left in the heart of Africa. His notes were brought to Europe 
by a nephew, who had accompanied the expedition. 

We now come to the account of the expeditions undertaken in 
the east of Africa, foremost amongst which is that of the well- 
known traveller Bruce. A Scotchman by birth, like so many 
other African explorers, James Bruce was brought up for the bar ; 
but the sedentary nature of his occupation had little charm for 
him, and he embraced an opportunity of entering commercial life. 
His wife died a few years after their marriage, and Bruce started 
for Spain, where he employed his leisure in studying Arabic 
monuments. He wished to publish a detailed account of those 
in the Escorial, but the Spanish Government refused him the 
necessary permission. 

Returning to England, Bruce began to study Eastern lan- 
guages, and more especially the Ethiopian, which at that time 
was known only through the imperfect works of Ludolf. One 
day Lord Halifax half jestingly proposed to him an exploration 
of the sources of the Nile. Bruce entered enthusiastically into 
the subject, and set to work to realize it. He overcame every 
objection, conquered every difficulty, and in June, 1768, left 
England for the shores of the Mediterranean. Bruce hurriedly 
visited some of the islands of the Archipelago, Syria, and Egypt. 
Leaving Djedda he proceeded to Mecca, Lobheia, and arrived at Mas- 
sowah upon the 19th September, 1769. He had taken care to obtain 
a firman from the Sultan, and also letters from the Bey of Cairo, and 
the Sheriff of Mecca. This was fortunate, for the Nawab, or governor 

Portrait of James Bruce. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 352. 


did all in his power to prevent his entering Abyssinia, and en- 
deavoured to make him pay heavily with presents. Abyssinia 
had been explored by Portuguese Missionaries, thanks to whose 
zeal some information about the country had been obtained, 
although far less accurate in detail than that which we owe to 
Bruce. Although his veracity has often been questioned, succeed- 
ing travellers have confirmed his assertions. 

FromMassowahto Adowa the road rises gradually, and passes over 
the mountains which separate Tigre from the shores of the Red Sea. 

Adowa was not originally the capital of Tigre. A manufacture 
of a coarse cotton cloth which circulates as current money in 
Abyssinia was established there. The soil in the neighbourhood is 
deep enough for the cultivation of corn. 

"In these districts/' says Bruce, "there are three harvests 
a year. The first seeds are sown in July and August, when the 
rain flows abundantly. In the same season they sow ' tocusso/ 
' teff/ and barley. About the 20th of November they reap the 
first barley, then the wheat, and last of all the ' teff. ' In some 
of these they sow immediately upon the same ground without any 
manure, barley, which they reap in February, and then often 
sow ' teff/ but more frequently a kind of vetch or pea, called 
Shimbra ; these are cut down before the first rains, which are in 
April ; yet with all the advantages of a triple harvest, which 
requires neither manure nor any expensive processes, the farmer 
in Abyssinia is always very poor." 

At Fremona, not far from Adowa, are the ruins of a Jesuit 
convent, resembling rather a fort than the abode of men of peace. 
Two days' journey further on, one comes to the ruins of Axum, 
the ancient capital of Abyssinia. " In one square," says Bruce, 
"which I apprehend to have been the centre of the town, there are 
forty obelisks, none of which have any hieroglyphics on them. 
The two first have fallen down, but a third a little smaller than 
them is st^ll standing. They are all hewn from one block of 
granite, and on the top of that which is standing there is a patera, 
exceedingly well engraved in the Greek style. 

" After passing the convent of Abba Pantaleon, called in Abys- 
sinia Mantillas, and the small obelisk on a rock above, we follow 
a path cut in a mountain of very red marble, having on the left 
a marble wall forming a parapet about five feet high. At intervals 

VOL. ii. A a 


solid pedestals rise from this wall, bearing every token of having 
served to support colossal statues of Sirius, the barking Anubis, 
or the Dog star. One hundred and thirty-three of these pedestals 
with the marks just mentioned are still in their places, but only 
two figures of the dog were recognizable when I was there; 
these, however, though much mutilated, were evidently Egyptian. 

" There are also pedestals supporting the figures of the Sphinx. 
Two magnificent flights of steps, several hundred feet long, all of 
granite, exceedingly well finished, and still in their places, are the 
only remains of a magnificent temple. In an angle of this plat- 
form where the temple stood, is the present small church of Axum. 
This church is a mean, small building, very ill kept and full of 
pigeons' dung/' It was near Axum that Bruce saw three soldiers 
cut from a living cow a steak for their midday meal. 

In his account of their method of cutting the steak Bruce says, 
" The skin which had covered the flesh that was cut away was left 
intact, and was fastened to the corresponding part by little 
wooden skewers serving as pins. Whether they put anything 
between the skin and the wounded flesh I do not know, but they 
soon covered the wound with mud. They then forced the animal 
to rise, and drove it on before them, to furnish them, no doubt, 
with another meal when they should join their companions in the 

From Tigre, Bruce passed into the province of Sire, which 
derives its name from its capital, a town considerably larger than 
Axum, but constantly a prey to putrid fevers. Near it flows the 
Takazze, the ancient Siris, with its poisonous waters bordered by 
majestic trees. 

In the province of Samen, situated amongst the unhealthy and 
broiling Waldubba Mountains, and where many monks had retired 
to pray and do penance, Bruce stayed only long enough to rest 
his beasts of burden, for the country was not only haunted by lions 
and hyenas, and infested by large black ants, which destroyed 
part of his baggage, but also torn with civil war; so that foreigners 
were anything but safe. This made him most anxious to reach 
Gondar, but when he arrived typhoid fever was raging fiercely. 
His knowledge of medicine was very useful to him, and procured 
him a situation under the governor, which was most advantageous 
to him, as it rendered him free to scour the country in all direc- 


tions, at the head of a body of soldiers. By these means he 
acquired a mass of valuable information upon the government, 
manners, and customs of the country, and the chief events of its 
history, which combined to make his work the most important 
hitherto published about Abyssinia. 

It was in the course of one of these excursions that Bruce dis- 
covered the sources of the Blue Nile, which he took to be the true 
Nile. Arrived at the church of St. Michael, at Geesh, where 
the river is only four paces wide, and some four inches deep, Bruce 
became convinced that its sources must be in the neighbourhood, 
although his guide assured him that he must cross a mountain 
before he found them. The traveller was not to be deceived. 

" ' Come ! come ! ' " said Bruce, " ' no more words. It is already 
late ; lead me to Geesh and the sources of the Nile, and show me 
the mountain that separates us from it,' He then made me go 
round to the south of the church, and coming out of the grove of 
cedars surrounding it, ' This is the mountain/ he said, looking 
maliciously up into my face, ' that when you were on the other 
side of it, was between you and the fountains of the Nile ; there is 
no other. Look at that green hillock in the centre of that marsh. 
It is there that the two fountains of the Nile are to be found. 
Geesh is at the top of the rock, where you see those very green 
trees. If you go to the fountains,, pull off your shoes as you did 
the other day, for these people are all Pagans, and they believe 
in nothing that you believe, but only in the Nile, to which they 
pray every day as if it were God, as you perhaps invoke it 
yourself.' I took off my shoes, and rushed down the hill towards 
the little green island, which was about two hundred yards distant. 
The whole of the side of the hill was carpeted with flowers, the 
large roots of which protruded above the surface of the ground; and 
as I was looking down, and noticing that the skin was peeling off 
the bulbs, I had two very severe falls before I reached the edge of 
the marsh ; but at last I approached the island with its green sod. 
It was in the form of an altar, and apparently of artificial con- 
struction. I was in rapture as I gazed upon the principal fountain 
which rises in the middle of it. It is easier to imagine than to 
describe what I felt at that moment, standing opposite the 
sources which had baffled the genius and courage of the most 
celebrated men for three thousand years." 

A a 2 


Bruce's narrative contains many other curious observations, but 
we must now pass on to his account of Lake Tzana. 

" Lake Tzana/' according to his narrative, " is by far the 
largest sheet of water known in these regions. Its extent, however, 
has been greatly exaggerated. Its greatest breadth from Dingleber 
to Lamgue, i. e. from east to west, is thirty-five miles, but it 
decreases greatly at each end, and in some parts is not above ten 
miles broad. Its greatest length is forty-nine miles from north to 
south, measured from Bab-Baha to a point a trifle to the S. W.JW. 
of the spot where the Nile, after flowing through the lake with 
an ever perceptible current, bends towards Dara in the Allata 
territory. In the dry season, from October to March,, the lake 
decreases greatly ; but when the rains have swollen the rivers, 
which unite at this place like the spokes of a wheel at the nave, 
the lake rises, and overflows a portion of the plain. If the 
Abyssinians, great liars at all times, are to be believed, there 
are forty-five islands in Lake Tzana ; but this number may be 
safely reduced to eleven. The largest is named Dek, Daka, 
or Daga ; the next in size are Halimoon, on the Gondar side 
of the lake, Briguida, on the Gorgora side, and Galila, beyond 
Briguida. All these islands were formerly used as prisons for 
Abyssinian chieftains, or as retreats by such as were dissatis- 
fied at court, or wished to secure their valuables in troubled 

And now having visited Abyssinia with Bruce, let us return to 
the north. 

Some light was now being thrown upon the ancient civilization 
of Egypt. The archaeological expedition of Pococke, Norden, 
Niebuhr, Yolney, and Savary had been published in succession, 
and the Egyptian Society was at work upon the publication of its 
large and magnificent work. The number of travellers increased 
daily, and amongst others W. G. Browne determined to visit the 
land of the Pharoahs. 

From his work we learn much alike of the monuments and 
/uins which make this country so interesting, and of the customs 
of its inhabitants. The portion of the work relating to Darfur is 
entirely new, no Europeans having previously explored it. Browne 
attained a high place among travellers by his discovery that the 
Bahr-el-Abiad is the true Nile, and because he endeavoured not 

" I found the monarch seated on his throne." 



indeed to discover its source, that he could scarcely hope to do, 
but to ascertain its latitude and course. 

Arriving in Egypt upon the 10th of January, 1792, Browne 
set out upon his first expedition to Siwah, and discovered, as 
Horneman did later, the oasis of Jupiter Ammon. He had little 
more opportunity than his successor for exploring the catacombs 
and ruins, where he saw many skulls and human remains. 

" The ruins of Siwah/' he says, " resembled too much those of 
Upper Egypt to leave any doubt that the buildings to which they 
belonged were built by the same race of men. The figures of Isis 
and Anubis are easily recognizable on them, and the proportions 
of their architectural works, though smaller, are the same as those 
of the Egyptian temples. 

" The rocks I noticed in the neighbourhood of Siwah were of the 
sandstone formation, bearing no relation whatever to the stones of 
these ruins ; so that I should think that the materials for these 
buildings cannot have been obtained on the spot. The people of 
Siwah have preserved no credible traditions respecting these 
objects. They merely imagined them to contain treasures, and to 
be frequented by demons." 

After leaving Siwah, Browne made various excursions in 
Egypt, and then settled in Cairo, where he studied Arabic. He 
left this town upon the 10th of September, 1792, and visited in 
succession Kaw, Achmin, Gergeh, Dendera, Kazr, Thebes, Assouan, 
Kosseir, Memphis, Suez, and Mount Sinai ; then wishing to enter 
Abyssinia, but convinced that he could not do so by way of 
Massowah, he left Assiut for Darfur, with a Soudan caravan, in 
May, 1793. The caravan halted upon its way to Darfur at the 
different towns of Aine, Dizeh, Charyeh, Bulak, Scheb, Selinceh, 
Leghea, and Ber-el-Malha. 

Being taken ill at Soueini, Browne was detained there, and only 
reached El-Fascher after a long delay. Here his annoyances 
and the exactions levied recommenced, and he could not succeed 
in obtaining an interview with the Sultan. He was forced to 
spend the winter at Cobbeh, awaiting his restoration to health, 
which only took place in the summer of 1794. This time of forced 
inaction was not, however, wasted by the traveller ; he acquainted 
himself with the manners and dialects of Darfur. Upon the return 
of summer, Browne repaired to El-Fascher, and recommenced his 


applications for admittance to the Sultan. They were attended 
with the same unsuccessful results, until a crowning act of injustice 
at length procured for him the interview he had so long solicited 
in vain. 

" I found," he says, " the monarch Abd-el-Raschman seated on 
his throne under a lofty wooden canopy, of Syrian and Indian 
stuffs indiscriminately mixed. The floor in front of the throne 
was spread with small Turkey carpets. The meleks (officers of the 
court) were seated at some little distance off on the right and 
left, and behind them stood a line of guards, wearing caps ornamented 
in front with a small copper plate and a black ostrich feather. Each 
bore a spear in his right hand, and a shield of hippopotamus-hide 
on the left arm. Their only clothing was a cotton shirt, of the 
manufacture of the country. Behind the throne were fourteen or 
fifteen eunuchs, clothed in rich stuffs of various kinds and all 
manner of colours. The space in front was filled with petitioners 
and spectators, to the number of more than fifteen hundred. A 
kind of hired eulogist stood on the monarch's left hand, crying 
out at the top of his voice during the whole ceremony, ' See the 
buffalo, the son of a buffalo, the powerful Sultan Abd-el-Raschman 
El-rashid. May God protect thy life, master, may God assist 
thee and render thee victorious/ ' 

The Sultan promised justice to Browne, and put the matter into 
the hands of the meleks, but he only obtained restitution of a 
sixth of that of which he had been robbed. 

The traveller had merely entered Darfur to cross it. He found it 
would be no easy task to leave it, and that in any case he must 
give up the idea of prosecuting his exploration ; he says, 

" On the llth of December, 1795, (after a delay of three months) 
I accompanied the chatib (one of the principal officers of the 
country) to the monarch's presence. I shortly stated what I 
required, and the chatib seconded me, though not with the zeal 
that I might have wished. To my demand for permission to travel 
no answer was returned, and the iniquitous despot, who had 
received from me no less than the value of about 750 piastres in 
goods, condescended to give me twenty meagre oxen, worth 
about 120 piastres. The state of my purse would not permit me 
to refuse even this mean return, and I bade adieu to El-Fascher 
as I hoped for ever." 


Browne was not able to leave Darfur till the spring of 1796, 
when he joined the caravan which was about to return to Egypt. 

The town of Cobbeh, although not the resort of the merchants, 
must be considered the capital of Darfur. It is more than two 
miles in length, but is extremely narrow, each house stands in a 
field surrounded by a palisade, and between each there is a plot of 
fallow land. 

The plain in which the town is situated runs W.S.W., to a 
distance of some twenty miles. Almost all the inhabitants are 
merchants, who trade with Egypt. Their number may be estimated 
at six thousand, the larger proportion being slaves. The entire 
population of Darfur cannot exceed two hundred thousand, but 
Browne only arrived at this calculation by estimating the number 
of recruits raised for the war with Kordofan. 

"The inhabitants of Darfur," says the narrative, "are of various 
races. Some, chiefly fakeers or priests and traders, come from the 
west, and there are a good many Arabs, none of whom are 
permanent residents. They are of various tribes ; the greater 
number lead a wandering life on the frontiers, where they pasture 
their camels, oxen, and horses. They are not in such complete 
dependence on the Sultan as always to contribute to his forces in 
war, or to pay him tribute in time of peace." 

After the Arabs come the people of Zeghawa, which once 
formed a distinct kingdom, whose chief could put a thousand 
horsemen in the field. The Zeghawas speak a different dialect from 
the people of Fiir. We must also include the people of Bego 
or Dageou, who are now subject to Darfur, but are the issue of a 
tribe which formerly ruled the country. 

The natives of Darfur are inured to hunger and thirst, but 
they indulge freely in an intoxicating liquor called Bouzza or 
Merisse. Thieving, lying, and dishonesty, with their accompanying 
vices, prevail largely among them. 

" In buying and selling the parent glories in deceiving the son, 
and the son the parent, and atrocious frauds are committed in 
the name of God and of the Prophet. 

" Polygamy, which it is well known is tolerated by their religion, 
is indulged in to excess by the people of Darfur. "When Sultan 
Teraub went to war with Korodofan, he took in his retinue five 
hundred women, leaving as many in his palace. This may at 


first sight seem ridiculous, but it must be remembered that these 
women had to grind corn, draw water, dress food, and perform all 
the domestic work for a large number of people, so that there was 
plenty for them to do." 

Browne's narrative contains many medical observations of 
interest, and gives valuable advice as to the mode of travelling in 
Africa, with particulars of the animals, fish, metals, and plants of 
Darfur. We do not give them here, because they do not contain 
anything of special interest for us. 




Witzen's account of Tartary China as described by the Jesuits and Father Da 
Halde Macartney in China Stay at Chu-Sang Arrival at Nankin 
Negotiations Reception of the Embassy by the Emperor Fetes and 
ceremonies at Zhe Hoi Return to Pekin and Europe Volney Choiseul 
Gouffier Le Chevalier in Troas Olivier in Persia A semi- Asiatic country 
Pallas's account of Russia. 

AT the end of the seventeenth century, a traveller named Nicolas 
Witzen had explored eastern and northern Tartary, and in 1692 
published a curious narrative of his journey. This work, which 
was in Dutch, and was not translated into any other European 
language, did not win for its author the recognition he deserved. 
A second edition, illustrated with engravings which were 
meritorious rather from their fidelity to nature than their artistic 
merit, was issued in 1705, and in 1785 the remaining copies of 
this issue were collected, and appeared under a new title. But it 
attracted little notice, as by this time further, and more curious 
particulars had been obtained. 

From the day that the Jesuits first entered the Celestial Empire, 
they had collected every possible fact with regard to the customs 
of this immense country, which previous to their stay there had been 
known only through the extravagant tales of Marco Polo. Al- 
though China is the country of stagnation, and customs and 
fashion always remain much the same in it, the many events which 
had takeji place made it desirable to obtain more exact particulars 
of a nation with whom Europeans might possibly enter into 
advantageous friendly relations. 

The Jesuits published the result of these investigations in the 
rare work entitled " Lettres Edifiantes," which was revised and 
supplemented by a zealous member of their order, Father Du Halde. 
It would be useless to attempt any reproduction of this immense 


work, for which a volume would be required, and it is the less 
necessary as at this day we have fuller and more complete details 
of the country than are to be found even in the learned father's 
book. To the Jesuits also belong the merit of many important 
astronomical observations, facts concerning natural history, and 
the compilation of maps, which were till quite lately authorities on 
remote districts of the country consulted with advantages. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Abbe Grosier, 
of the order of St. Louis du Louvre, published in an abridged 
form, a new description of China and Tartary. He made use of 
the work of his predecessor, Du Halde, and at the same time 
rectified and added to it. After an account of the fifteen provinces 
of China and Tartary, with the tributary States, such as Corea, 
Tonking, Cochin China, and Thibet, the author devotes several 
chapters to the population and natural history of China, whilst he 
reviews the government, religion, manners, literature, science, and 
art of the Chinese. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the English 
Government, being desirous of entering into commercial relations 
with China, sent an Envoy- extraordinary to that country named 
George Macartney. 

This diplomatist had already visited the courts of Europe and 
Bussia, had been governor of the English Antilles and Madras, 
and Governor- General of India. 

He had acquired in the course of his travels in such varied 
climates, and amid such diverse peoples, a profound knowledge of 
human nature. His narrative of his voyages is rich in facts and 
observations calculated to give Europeans a true idea of the 
Chinese character. 

Personal accounts of travel are always more interesting than 
anonymous ones. 

Although the great I is generally hateful, it is not so in travels, 
where the assertion / have been there, / have done such or such 
a thing, carries weight, and gives interest to the narrative. 

Macartney and his suite sailed in a squadron consisting of three 
vessels, the Lion, the Hindustan, and the Jackal, which left Ports- 
mouth on the 26th September, 1792. 

After a few necessary delays at Rio-de-Janeiro, St. Paul and 
Amsterdam Islands, where some seal-hunters were seen, at Batavia, 

Graze par Jfan^a. sd. r. de-J!r*u Fans. 


and Bantam, in Java, and at Poulo Condere, the vessels cast 
anchor offTuron (Han San) in Cochin China, a vast harbour, of 
which only a very bad chart was then in existence. 

The arrival of the English was at first a cause of uneasiness to 
the natives of Cochin China. But when they were once informed 
of the motives which had brought the English to their country, 
they sent an ambassador of high rank on board with presents for 
Macartney, who was shortly afterwards invited to a banquet at 
the governor's, followed by a dramatic entertainment. During 
the short stay many notes were taken of the manners and customs 
of the people, unfortunately too hurriedly to admit of accuracy. 

As soon as the sick had recovered and fresh provisions had 
been obtained the vessels set sail. A short stay was made at the 
Ladrone Islands, and the "squadron then entered the Strait of 
Formosa, where it encountered stormy weather, and took refuge 
in Chusan Harbour. During this stay the map of this archipe- 
lago was rectified and an opportunity was taken to visit Tinghai, 
where the English excited as much curiosity as they felt them- 
selves at the sight of the many things which were new to them. 

Many of the facts which surprised them are familiar to us, the 
appearance of the houses, the markets and dress of the Chinese, 
the small feet of the women, and many other particulars 
to which we need not refer. We will only allude to the 
account of the method employed by them in cultivating dwarf 

"This stunted vegetation/' says Macartney, "seems to be 
highly appreciated in China, for specimens of it are found in all 
the larger houses. It is an art peculiar to the Chinese, and the 
gardener's skill consists in knowing how to produce it. Indepen- 
dently of the satisfaction of triumphing over a difficulty, he has 
the advantage of introducing into rooms plants whose natural size 
would have precluded such a possibility. 

" The following is the method employed in China for the pro- 
duction of dwarfed trees. The trunk of a tree of which it is 
desired to obtain a dwarfed specimen, is covered as nearly as 
possible where it separates into branches with clay or mould, over 
which is placed a linen or cotton covering constantly kept damp. 
This mould is sometimes left on for a whole year, and throughout 
that time the wood it covers throws out tender, root-like fibres. 


Then the portions of the trunk from which issue these fibres, with 
the branch immediately above them, are carefully separated from 
the tree and placed in fresh mould, where the shoots soon develope 
into real roots, whilst the branch forms the stem of a plant which 
is in a manner metamorphosed. This operation neither destroys 
nor alters the productive faculties of the branch which is separated 
from the parent tree. When it bears fruit or flowers it does so 
as plentifully as when it was upon the original stem. The 
extremities of the branches intended to be dwarfed are always 
pulled off, which precludes the possibility of their growing tall, 
and forces them to throw out shoots and lateral branches. These 
shoots are tied with wire, and assume the form the gardener 
chooses. When it is desired to give an aged appearance to the 
tree, it is constantly moistened with theriaca or treacle, which 
attracts to it multitudes of ants, who not content with devouring 
the sweetmeat, attack the bark of the tree, and eat it away in such 
a manner as to produce the desired effect." 

Upon leaving Chusan, the squadron entered the Yellow Sea, never 
before navigated by an European vessel. The river Hoang-Ho 
flows into it, and it is from the immense quantity of yellow mud 
brought down by it in its long and tortuous course that the sea 
derives its name. 

The English vessels cast anchor in Ten-chou-Fou Bay, and 
thence entered the gulf of Pekin, and halted outside the bar of 
Pei-Ho. There being only three or four feet of water on this bar 
at low tide, the vessels could not cross it. 

The mandarins appointed by the government to receive the 
English ambassador, arrived shortly after, bringing numerous pre- 
sents; whilst the gifts intended for the emperor were placed in 
junks, and Macartney went on board a yacht which had been pre- 
pared for him. 

The first town reached was Takoo, where Macartney received a 
visit from the viceroy of the province and the principal mandarin. 
Both were men of venerable and dignified aspect, polite and 
attentive, and entirely free from obsequiousness. 

" It has been rightly said," remarks Macartney, tf that a people 
are as they are made, and the English had continual proof of 
this truth in the effect produced upon the Chinese character by 
the fear of the iron power that ruled them. Apart from this fear 

Chinese magic-lantern 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 365. 


they were cheerful and confiding, but in the presence of their rulers 
they appeared most timid and embarrassed." 

In ascending the Pei-Ho towards Pekin, the course was retarded 
by the many windings of the river. The country through which 
they passed was highly cultivated, with houses and villages at 
intervals upon the banks of the river or inland, alternating with 
cemeteries and pyramids 'of bags of salt, producing a charming 
and ever varying landscape. When night approached, lanterns 
of every hue, fastened to the masts and rigging of the yachts, 
produced the fantastic effect of many-coloured lights. 

Tieng Tsing signifies " heavenly spot/' and the town owes this 
name to its agreeable climate and clear blue sky, and the fertility 
of its neighbourhood. In this place, the ambassador was received 
by the viceroy and a legate sent by the emperor. From them 
Macartney learned that the emperor was at his summer palace 
in Tartary, and that the anniversary of his birthday was to be 
celebrated there upon the 13th of September. The ambassador 
and his suite were therefore to go up by water as far as Tong 
Schou, about a dozen miles from Pekin, and thence proceed by 
land to Zhe Hoi, where the emperor awaited them. The presents 
might be sent on afterwards. Although the first intimation was 
pleasant, the latter was singularly disagreeable to Macartney, for 
the presents consisted for the most part of delicate instruments, 
which had been taken to pieces for safety and packed separately. 
The legate would not consent to their being left where they would 
be free from danger of being disturbed. Macartney was obliged 
to obtain the intervention of the viceroy for the protection of these 
proofs of the genius and knowledge of Europe. 

The cortege reached Tien Tsing, a town which appeared as 
long as London, and contained not less than seven hundred 
thousand inhabitants. A vast crowd assembled on the banks of the 
river to see the English pass, and the river swarmed with junks 
teeming with natives. 

The houses in this city are built of blue with a few red bricks, 
some are two stories high, but that is unusual. Here the English 
saw the employment of those carriages with sails which had long 
been considered fabulous. They consist of two barrows made of 
bamboo, with one large wheel between them. 

When there is not sufficient wind to propel the carriage, says 


the narrative, it is drawn by one man, while another pushes behind 
and keeps it steady. When the wind is favourable, the sail, which 
is a mat attached to two sticks placed upon either side of the 
carriage, renders the help of the man in front unnecessary. 

The banks of the Pei-Ho are in many parts protected by breast- 
works of granite, to arrest inundation, and here and there dikes, 
also of granite, provided with a sluice, by means of which water is 
conveyed to the fields below. The country, although well culti- 
vated, was often devastated by famines, following upon inundations, 
or resulting from the ravages of locusts. 

Thus far, the cortege had been sailing through the immense 
alluvial plain of Pe-tche-Li. Not until the fourth day after leaving 
Tien Tsing was the blue outline of mountains perceived on the 
horizon. Pekin was now in sight ; and on the 6th of August, 
1793, the yachts anchored within two miles of the capital, and half 
a mile from Tong-Chow-Fow. 

In order to leave the presents which could not be taken to Zhe 
Hoi, at the palace, called "The garden of eternal spring," it was 
necessary to land. The inhabitants of Tong-Chow-Fow, who were 
already greatly excited by the appearance of the English, were still 
more amazed at the first sight of a negro servant. His skin, his jet 
black colour, his woolly hair, and all the distinguishing marks of his 
race, were absolutely novel in this part of China. The people could 
not remember seeing anything at all like him before. Some of 
them even doubted if he could be a human being at all, and the 
children cried out in fear that it was a black devil. But his good 
humour soon reconciled them to his appearance, and they became 
accustomed to look upon him without fear or displeasure. 

The English were especially surprised at seeing upon a wall the 
sketch of a lunar eclipse which was to take place in a few days. 
They ascertained among other facts, that silver is an article of 
commerce with the Chinese, for they have no coined money, but 
use ingots bearing only a sign, indicative of their weight. The 
English were struck with the extraordinary resemblance between 
the religious ceremonies of Fo and those of the Christians. 

Macartney states that certain authors maintain that the apostle 
Thomas visited China ; "while the Missionary Tremore contends, 
that this is merely a fiction palmed upon the Jesuits by the devil 


Ninety small carriages, forty-four wheelbarrows, more than two 
hundred horses, and over three thousand men, were employed in 
the transport of the presents of the British government to the 
emperor. Macartney and three of his suite accompanied the con- 
voy in palanquins. An enormous crowd followed them. The 
English ambassador was greeted at the gates of Pekin by volleys of 
artillery. Once beyond the fortifications, he found himself in a 
wide unpaved street, with houses on either side, one or two stories 
high. Across the street extended a wooden triumphal arch in 
three partitions, each with a lofty and highly decorated roof. 

The embassy afforded ample material for the tales which at this 
time filled the imagination of the people. It was declared that 
the presents brought for the emperor consisted of everything that 
was rare in other countries and unknown in China. It was 
gravely asserted that among the animals, there was an elephant 
not larger than a monkey, but as fierce as a lion, and a cock which 
was fed upon coal. Everything which came from England was 
supposed to differ from anything hitherto seen in Pekin, and to 
possess the very opposite qualities to those usual to it. 

The wall of the imperial palace was at once recognized by its 
yellow colour. Through the gate were seen artificial hills, lakes 
and rivers, with small islets, and fantastic buildings amidst the 

At the end of a street terminating at the northern wall of 
the city, was a vast edifice of considerable height, which contained 
an enormous bell. The English explored the town in various 
directions, and on the whole were not favourably impressed. They 
concluded that a Chinaman visiting London, with its bridges and 
innumerable ships, its squares and monuments, would carry 
away a better idea of the importance of the capital of Great Britain 
than they could do of Pekin. 

Upon their arrival at the palace, where the presents for the 
emperor were to be displayed, the governor discussed with 
Macartney the best way to arrange and display them. They were 
finally placed in a large and well-decorated hall, which at the time 
contained nothing but a throne and a few vases of old china. 

It is unnecessary to enter upon the interminable negotiations 
which arose out of the resolve of the Chinese, that Macartney 
should prostrate himself before the emperor ; which humiliating 


proposition they had prepared for by the inscription placed upon 
the yachts and carriages of the embassy, " Ambassador bringing 
tribute from England." 

It is in Pekin that the field is situated which the emperor, in 
accordance with ancient custom, sows every spring. Here, too, is 
to be found the " Temple of the Earth," to which the sovereign 
resorts at the summer solstice, to acknowledge the astral power 
which lightens the world, and to give thanks for its beneficent 

Pekin is merely the seat of the Imperial government in China, 
and has neither shipping, manufactures, nor trade. 

Macartney computes the number of inhabitants at three millions. 
The one-storied houses in the town appear insufficient for so large 
a population, but a single house accommodates three generations. 
This density of the population is the result of the early ages at 
which marriages are contracted. These hasty unions are often 
brought about from prudential motives by the Chinese, the children, 
and especially the sons, being responsible for the care of their 

The embassy left Pekin on the 2nd of September, 1793, 
Macartney, travelling in a post-chaise, probably the first carriage 
of the kind which ever entered Tartary. 

As the distance from Pekin increased, the road ascended 
and the soil became more sandy, and contained less and less 
clay and black earth. Shortly afterwards, vast plains, planted 
with tobacco, were crossed. Macartney imagines tobacco to be 
indigenous, and not imported from America, and thinks that the 
habit of smoking was spontaneous in Asia. 

The English soon noticed that as the soil became more and 
more barren, the population decreased. At the same time the 
Tartar element became larger and larger, and the difference 
between the manners of the Chinese and their conquerors was less 

Upon the fifth day of the journey, the far-famed Great Wall was 

" The first glance at this fortified wall/' says Macartney, " is 
enough to give an impression of an enterprise of surprising 
grandeur. It ascends the highest mountains to their very loftiest 
peaks, it goes down into the deepest valleys, crossing rivers on 

Emperor of China. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 363. 

The great wall of China. 



sustaining arches, and with its breadth often doubled and trebled 
to increase its strength, whilst at intervals of about a hundred 
paces rise towers or strong bastions. It is difficult to understand 
how the materials for this wall were brought to and used in places 
apparently inaccessible, and it is impossible sufficiently to admire 
the skill brought to bear upon the task. One of the loftiest 
mountains over which the wall passes has been ascertained to be 
no less than 5225 feet high. 

" This fortification for the simple word ' wall ' gives no just idea 
of the wonderful structure is said to be 1500 miles long, but it is 
not quite finished. The fifteen hundred miles was the extent 
of the frontier which separates colonized China from the various 
Tartar tribes. Such barriers as these would not suffice in modern 
times for nations at war. 

" Many of the lesser works in the interior of this grand rampart 
have yielded to the effect of time, and fallen into ruins ; others 
have been repaired ; but the principal wall appears throughout to 
have been built with such care and skill as never to have needed 
repairs. It has now been preserved more than two thousand years, 
and appears as little susceptible of injury as the rocks which nature 
herself has planted between China and Tartary." 

Beyond the wall nature seems to proclaim the entrance into a new 
country ; the temperature is colder, the roads are more rugged, and 
the mountains are less wooded. The number of sufferers from goitre 
in the Tartar valleys is very considerable, and, according to the 
estimate given by Dr. Gillan, physician to the embassy, comprises a 
sixth of the population. The portion of Tartary in which this 
malady rages is not unlike many of the cantons of Switzerland and 

The valley of Zhe Hoi, where the emperor possesses a summer 
palace and garden, was at length reached. This residence is called 
" The abode of pleasant freshness," and the park surrounding it is 
named the " Garden of innumerable trees." The embassy was re- 
ceived with military honours, amid an immense crowd of people, 
many of whom were dressed in yellow. These were inferior lamas 
or monks of the order of Fo, to which the emperor also belonged. 

The disputes as to prostration before the emperor begun in Pekin 
were continued here. At last Tchien Lung consented to content 
himself with the respectful salutation with which English nobles 

VOL. n. B b 


are accustomed to greet their own sovereign. The reception 
accordingly took place, with every imaginable pomp and ceremony. 

The narrative says, 

' ' Shortly after daybreak the sound of many instruments, and the 
confused voices of distant crowds, announced the approach of the 
emperor. He soon appeared, issuing from behind a high moun- 
tain, bordered with trees, as if from a sacred grove, and preceded 
by a number of men who proclaimed his virtues and power in 
loud voices. He was seated in a chair carried by sixteen men ; his 
guards, the officers of his household, standard and umbrella bearers, 
and musicians accompanied him. He was clothed in a robe of 
sombre-coloured silk, and wore a velvet cap, very similar in shape 
to that of Scotch mountaineers. A large pearl was conspicuous 
on his forehead, and was the only jewel or ornament he wore. 1 " 

Upon entering the tent, the emperor mounted the steps of the 
throne, which he alone is allowed to ascend. The first minister, 
Ho Choo-Tang, and two of the chief officers of his household, re- 
mained near, and never addressed him but in a kneeling position. 
When the princes of royal blood, the tributary princes, and state 
officers, were in their places, the president of the customs conducted 
Macartney within a foot of the left-hand side of the throne, which 
in the Chinese court is considered the place of honour. The 
ambassador was accompanied by the minister plenipotentiary, and 
followed by his page and interpreter. 

Macartney, in accordance with the instructions given him by the 
president, raised above his head the magnificent square golden box 
studded with diamonds, which contained the King of England's 
letter to the emperor. Then mounting the few steps leading to the 
throne, he bowed the knee, and, with a short prefatory compliment, 
presented the box to his Imperial Majesty. The Chinese monarch 
received it graciously, and said, as he placed it on one side, " that he 
experienced much satisfaction at the token of esteem and friendship 
offered by his Britannic Majesty in sending to him an embassy with 
a letter and rich gifts ; that, for his part, he had the like friendly 
feelings towards the King of Great Britain, and he hoped the same 
harmony would always continue between their respective sub- 

After a few moments of private conversation with the ambassador, 
the emperor presented gifts to him and to the minister plenopo- 

Chinese Prime Minister. 
(Fac- simile of early engraving.) 

Page 37 c 


tentiary. They were then conducted to cushions, in front of which 
were tables covered with a number of vessels containing meat and 
fruits. The emperor also partook of these, and continued to over- 
whelm the ambassadors with expressions of regard and esteem, 
which had a great effect in raising the English in the estimation of 
the Chinese public. Macartney and his suite were later invited to 
visit the gardens of Zhe Hoi. During their walk in the grounds, the 
English met the emperor, who stopped to receive their respectful 
salutations, and order his first minister, who was looked upon as 
little less than a vice-emperor, and several other grandees to accom- 
pany them. 

The Chinese conducted the English over a portion of the grounds 
laid out as pleasure-gardens, which formed only a small portion of 
the vast enclosure. The rest is sacred to the use of the women of 
the imperial family, and was as rigorously closed to the Chinese 
ministers as to the English embassy. 

Macartney was then led through a fertile valley, in which there 
were many trees, chiefly willows of enormous size. Grass 
grows abundantly between the trees, and its luxuriance is not 
diminished by cattle or interfered with by mowing. Arriving 
upon the shores of an irregular lake, of vast extent, the whole party 
embarked in yachts, and proceeded to a bridge which is thrown 
across the narrowest part of the lake, and beyond which it 
appeared to stretch away indefinitely. 

Upon the 17th of September Macartney and his suite were 
present at a ceremony which took place upon the anniversary of 
the emperor's birthday. Upon the morrow and following days 
splendid fetes succeeded each other, Tchien Lung participating 
in them with great zest. Dancers on the tight-rope, tumblers, 
conjurors (of unrivalled skill), and wrestlers, performed in suc- 
cession. The natives of various portions of the empire appeared 
in their distinctive costumes and exhibited the different productions 
of their provinces. Music and dancing were succeeded by fire- 
works, which were very effective, although they were let off in 

The narrative says, 

" Several of the designs were novel to the English. One of 
them I will describe. A large box was raised to a great height, 
and the bottom being removed as if by accident, an immense 


number of paper lamps fell from it. When they left the box they 
were all neatly folded ; but in falling they opened by degrees and 
sprung one out of the other. Each then assumed a regular form, 
and suddenly a beautifully coloured light appeared. The Chinese 
seemed to understand the art of shaping the fireworks at their 
fancy. On either side of the large boxes were smaller ones, which 
opened in a similar manner, letting fall burning torches, of dif- 
ferent shapes, as brilliant as burnished copper, and flashing like 
lightning at each movement of the wind. The display ended with 
the eruption of an artificial volcano." 

It is the usual custom for the Emperor of China to conclude his 
birthday festivities by hunting in the forests of Tartary ; but in 
the present case advancing age rendered that diversion unwise, and 
his Majesty decided to return to Pekin, the English embassy being 
invited to precede him thither. 

Macartney, however, felt that it was time to terminate his mission. 
In the first place, it was not customary for ambassadors to reside 
long at the Chinese court ; and in the second, the fact that the 
Chinese emperor defrayed the expenses of the embassy naturally 
induced him to curtail his stay. In a short time he received from 
Tchien Lung the reply to the letter of the King of England, and 
the presents intended for the English monarch, as well as a number 
for the members of his suite. This Macartney rightly interpreted 
as his conge ! 

The English went back to Tong Chou Fou by way of the 
imperial canal. Upon this trip they saw the famous bird "Leutze," 
fishing for its master. It is a species of cormorant, and is so well 
trained that it is unnecessary to place either a cord or ring round 
its neck to prevent it from swallowing any of its prey. 

<; Upon every boat or raft there are ten or twelve of these birds, 
ready to plunge the instant they receive a sign from their masters. 
It is curious to see them catch enormous fish, and carry them 
in their beaks. 

Macartney mentions a singular manner of catching wild ducks 
and other water-birds. Empty jars and calabashes are allowed to 
float upon the water for several days, until the birds are accustomed 
to the sight of them. A man then enters the water, places one of 
the jars upon his head, and advancing gently, seizes the feet of 
any bird which allows him to come near enough : he rapidly 

The famous bird Leutze. 

Page 372. 


immerses it in the water to choke it, and then noiselessly continues 
his search until his bag is full. 

The embassy visited Canton and Macao, and thence returned 
to England. We need not dwell upon the return voyage. 

We must now consider that portion of Asia which may be 
called the interior. The first traveller to be noticed is Volney. 

Every one knows, by repute at least, his book on Ruins ; but 
his account of his adventures in Egypt and Syria far surpasses it. 
There is nothing exaggerated in the latter ; it is written in a 
quiet, precise manner, and is one of the most instructive of books. 
The members of the Egyptian Expedition refer to it as containing 
exact statements as to climate, the productions of the soil, and the 
manners of the inhabitants. 

Volney prepared himself most carefully for the journey, which 
was a great undertaking for him. He determined to leave nothing 
to chance, and upon reaching Syria he realized that he could not 
possibly acquire the knowledge of the country he desired unless 
he first made himself acquainted with the language of the people. 
He therefore retired to the monastery of Mar-Hannd, in Libiya, 
and devoted himself to the study of Arabic. 

Later on, in order to learn something of the life led by the 
wandering tribes of the Arabian desert, he joined company with 
a sheik, and accustomed himself to the use of a lance, and to live 
on horseback, thus qualifying himself to accompany the tribes in 
their excursions. Under their protection he visited the ruins of 
Palmyra and Baalbec, cities of the dead, known to us only by name. 

"His style of writing," says La Beuve, "is free from exaggeration, 
and marked by singular exactness and propriety. When, for 
example, he wishes to illustrate the quality of the Egyptian soil, 
and in what respect it differs from that of Africa, he speaks of 
'this black, light, greasy earth/ which is brought up and 
deposited by the Nile. When he wishes to describe the warm 
winds of the desert, with their dry heat, he compares them ' to the 
impression which one receives upon opening a fierce oven to take 
out the bread ;' according to his description, speaking of the 
fitful winds, he says they are not merely laden with fog, but gritty 
and powdery, and in reality full of fine dust, which penetrates 
everything; and of the sun, he says it 'presents to view but an 
obscured disk/ " 


If such an expression may be used in speaking of a rigid state- 
ment of facts, Yolney attained to true beauty of expression to an 
actual physical beauty, so to speak, recalling the touch of 
Hippocrates in his "De Aere, Aquis et Locis." Although no 
geographical discoveries can be imputed to him, we must none 
the less recognize in him one of the first travellers who had 
a true conception of the importance of their task. His aim was 
always to give a true impression of the places he visited ; and 
this in itself was no small merit, at a time when other explorers 
did not hesitate to enliven their narratives with imaginary details, 
with no recognition whatever of their true responsibility. 

The Abbe Barthelemy, who in 1788 was to publish his " Yoyage 
du jeune Anacharsis," was already exercising a good deal of in- 
fluence on public taste, by his popularity in society and position as 
a man of science, and drawing special attention to Greece and the 
neighbouring countries. It was evidently whilst attending his 
lessons that De Choiseul imbibed his love for history and archaeology. 

Nominated ambassador at Constantinople, De Choiseul determined 
to profit by the leisure he enjoyed in travelling as an artist and 
archaeologist through the Greece of Homer and Herodotus. Such a 
journey was the very thing to complete the education of the young 
ambassador, who was only twenty-four years of age, and if he knew 
himself, could not be said to have any acquaintance with the 
ways of the world. 

Sensible of his shortcomings, he surrounded himself with learned 
and scientific men, amongst them the Abbe Barthelemy, the Greek 
scholar, Ansse de Villoison, the poet Delille, the sculptor Fauvel, 
and the painter Cassas. In fact, in his " Picturesque History of 
Greece " he himself merely plays the role of Maecenas. 

M. de Choiseul Gouffier engaged as private secretary a professor, 
the Abbe Jean-Baptiste Le Chevalier, who spoke Greek fluently. 
The latter, after a journey to London, where M. de Choiseul's 
business detained him long enough for him to learn English, went 
to Italy, and was detained at Venice by severe illness for seven 
months. After this he joined M. de Choiseul Gouffier at Con- 

Le Chevalier occupied himself principally with the site of 
Troy. Well versed in the Iliad, he sought for, and believed he 
identified, the various localities mentioned in the Homeric poem. 


His able geographical and historical book at once provoked 
plentiful criticism. Upon the one side learned men, such as 
Bryant, declared the discoveries made by Choiseul to be illusory, 
for the reason that Troy, and, as a matter of course, the Ten Years 
Siege, existed only in the imagination of the Greek poet ; whilst 
others, and principally the English portion of his critics, adopted 
his conclusions. The whole question was almost forgotten, when 
the discoveries made quite recently by Schliemann reopened the 

Guillaume-Antoine Olivier, who traversed the greater portion of 
the Western hemisphere, at the end of the last century, had a 
strange career. Employed by Berthier de Sauvigny to translate 
a statistical paper on Paris, he lost his patron and the payment 
for his labours in the first outburst of the Revolution. Wishing 
to employ his talent for natural history away from Paris, he 
was nominated, by the minister Roland, to a mission to the distant 
and little-known portions of the Ottoman Empire. A naturalist, 
named Bruguere, was associated with him. 

The two friends left Paris at the end of 1792, and were delayed 
for four months at Versailles, until a suitable ship was found for 

They only reached Constantinople at the end of the following 
May, carrying letters relating to their mission to M. de Semonville. 
But this ambassador had been recalled, and his successor, M. de 
Sainte Croix had heard nothing of their undertaking. What was 
the best thing to do whilst awaiting the reply to the inquiries 
sent to Paris by M. de Sainte Croix ? 

The two friends could not remain inactive. They therefore 
decided to visit the shores of Asia Minor, and some islands in the 
Egyptian Archipelago. 

The French minister had excellent reasons for not supplying 
them with much money, and their own resources being limited, 
they were unable to do more than make a flying visit to these 
interesting countries. 

Upon their return to Constantinople they found a new ambassa- 
dor, named Yerninac, who had received instructions to send them 
to Persia, where they were to endeavour to awaken the sympathy 
of the government for France, and to induce it to declare war 
against Russia. 


At this time the most deplorable anarchy reigned in Persia. 
Usurpers succeeded each other upon the throne, to the great detri- 
ment of the welfare of the inhabitants. War was going on in 
Khorassan at the time that Olivier and Bruguere arrived. An 
opportunity occurred for them to join the shah in a country as yet 
unvisited by any European ; but unfortunately Bruguere was in 
such bad health that they were not only forced to lose the 
chance, but were detained for four months in an obscure village 
buried amongst the mountains. 

In September, 1796, Mehemet returned to Teheran. His first 
act was to order a hundred Eussian sailors whom he had taken 
prisoners on the Caspian Sea, to be put to death, and their limbs 
to be nailed outside his palace walls a disgusting trophy worthy of 
the butcher tyrant. 

The following year Mehemet Ali was assassinated, and his nephew, 
Fehtah-Ali Shah, succeeded him, after a short struggle. 

It was difficult for Olivier to discharge his mission with this con- 
stant change of reigning sovereigns. He was forced to renew his 
negotiations with each succeeding prince. Finally, the travellers, 
realizing the impossibility of obtaining anything definite under 
such circumstances, returned to Europe, and left the question of 
alliance between France and Persia to a more favourable season. 
They stopped upon their homeward journey at Bagdad, Ispahan, 
Aleppo, Cyprus, and Constantinople. 

Although this journey had been fruitless as regarded diplomacy, 
and had contributed no new discovery to geography, Cuvier, in his 
eulogy of Olivier, assures us that, so far as natural history was 
concerned, much had been achieved. This may be the better 
credited, as Olivier was elected to the Institute as the successor to 

Cuvier, in academic style, says that the narrative of the 
voyage published, in three quarto volumes, was warmly received by 
the public. 

" It has been said," he continues, " that it might have been of 
greater interest if the censor had not eliminated certain portions ; 
but allusions were found throughout the whole volume, which were 
inadmissible, as it does not do to say all we know, especially of 
Thamas Kouli Khan. 

" M. Olivier had no greater regard for his assertions than for 


his fortune ; he quietly omitted all that he was told to leave out, 
and restricted himself to a quiet and simple account of what he 
had seen/' 

A journey from Persia to Russia is not difficult ; and was less so 
in the eighteenth century than to-day. As a matter of fact, Russia 
only became an European power in the days of Peter the Great. 
Until the reign of that monarch she had been in every particular 
manners, customs, and inhabitants Asiatic. With Peter the 
Great and Catherine II., however, commerce revived, high roads 
were made, the navy was created, and the various tribes became 
united into one nation. 

The empire was vast from the first, and conquest has added to its 
extent. Peter the Great ordered the compilation of charts, sent 
expeditions round the coast to collect particulars as to the climate, 
productions, and races of the different provinces of his empire ; and 
at length he sent Behring upon the voyage which resulted in the 
discovery of the straits bearing his name. 

The example of the great emperor was followed by his successor, 
Catherine II. She attracted learned men to her court, and corre- 
sponded with the savants of the whole world. She succeeded in 
impressing the nations with a favourable idea of her subjects, 
Interest and curiosity were awakened, and the eyes of Western 
Europe were fixed upon Russia. It became recognized that a great 
nation was arising, and many doubts were entertained as to the result 
upon European interests. Prussia had already changed the 
balance of power in Europe, by her victories under Frederick II. ; 
Russia possessed resources of her own, not only in men, but in 
silver and riches of every kind still unknown or untested. 

Thus it came to pass that publications concerning that country 
possessed an attraction for politicians, and those interested in the 
welfare of their country, as well as for the scientific men to whom 
descriptions of manners and customs foreign to their experience 
were always welcome. 

No work had hitherto excelled that of the naturalist Pallas, 
which was translated into French between 1788 1793. It was a 
narrative of a journey across several provinces of the Russian 
empire. The success of this publication was well deserved. 

Peter Simon Pallas was a German naturalist, who had been 
summoned to St. Petersburg by Catherine II. in 1668, and elected 


by her a member of the Academy of Sciences. She understood the 
art of enlisting him in her service by her favours. Pallas, in 
acknowledgment of them, published his account of fossil remains 
in Siberia. England and France had just sent expeditions to 
observe the transit of Yenus. Russia, not to be behindhand, 
despatched a party of learned men, of whom Pallas was one, to 

Seven astronomers and geometers, five naturalists, and a large 
number of pupils, made up the party, which was thoroughly to 
explore the whole of the vast territory. 

For six whole years Pallas devoted himself to the successive ex- 
plorations of Orenburg upon the Jaik, the rendezvous of the nomad 
tribes who wander upon the shores of the Caspian Sea ; Gouriel, 
which is situated upon the borders of the great lake which is now 
drj^ing up; the Ural Mountains, with their numberless iron-mines; 
Tobolsk, the capital of Siberia ; the province of Koliwan, upon the 
northern slopes of the Atlas ; Krasnojarsk, upon the Jenissei ; 
and the immense lake of Bakali, and Daouria, on the frontiers of 
China. He also visited Astrakan ; the Caucasus, with its varied 
and interesting inhabitants ; and finally, he explored the Don, 
returning to St. Petersburg on the 30th of July, 1774. 

It may well be believed that Pallas was no ordinary traveller. 
He was not merely a naturalist ; he was interested in everything 
that affects humanity ; geography, history, politics, commerce, 
religion, science, art, all occupied his attention ; and it is impossible 
to read his narrative without admiring his enlightened patriotism, 
or without recognizing the penetration of the sovereign who under- 
stood the art of securing his services. 

When his narrative was once arranged, written, and published, 
Pallas had no idea of contenting himself with the laurels he had 
gained. "Work was his recreation, and he found occupation in 
assisting in the compilation of a map of Russia, 

His natural inclinations led him to the study of botany, and by 
his works upon that subject he obtained a distinctive place among 
Russian naturalists. 

One of his later undertakings was a description of Southern 
Russia, a physical and topographical account of the province of 
Tauritis a work which, originally published in French, was after- 
wards translated into English and German. 


Delighted with this country, which he had visited in 1793-94, 
he desired to settle there. The empress bestowed some of the 
crown lands upon him, and he transported his family to Sim- 

Pallas profited by the opportunity to undertake a new journey in 
the northern provinces of the empire, the Steppes of the Volga, and 
the countries which border the Caspian Sea as far as the Caucasus. 
He then explored the Crimea. He had seen parts of the country 
twenty years before, and he now found great changes. Although 
he complains of the devastation of the forests, he commends the 
increase of agricultural districts, and the centres of industries 
which had been created. The Crimea is known to be considerably 
improved since that time it is impossible to foresee what it may 
yet become. 

Enthusiastic though he was at first in his admiration of this 
province, Pallas was exposed to every kind of treachery on the part 
of the Tartars. His wife died in the Crimea ; and finally, dis- 
gusted with the country and its inhabitants, he returned to Breton 
to end his days. He died there on the 8th of September, 1811. 

He left two important works, from which naturalists, geographers, 
statesmen, and merchants, were able to gather much trustworthy 
information upon countries then but little known, and the com- 
modities and resources of which were destined to have a large 
influence over European markets. 




The western coast of America Juan de Fuca and De Fonte The three voyages 
of Behring and Tschirikow Exploration of the straits of De Fuca Survey 
of the Archipelago of New Georgia and of part of the American coast 
Exploration of the interior of America Samuel Hearn Discovery of the 
Coppermine river Mackenzie, and the river named after him Fraser 
river South America Survey of the Amazon by Condamine Journey of 
Humboldt and Bonpland Teneriffe The Guachero cavern The 
" Llanos " The Electric eels The Amazon, Negro, and Orinoco rivers 
The earth-eaters Results of the journey Humboldt's second journey The 
" Volcanitos," or little volcanoes The cascade at Tequendama The bridge 
of Icononzo Crossing the Brindisi on men's backs Pinto and Pinchincha 
Ascent of Chimborazo The Andes Lima The transit of Mercury 
Exploration of Mexico Puebla and Cofre de Perote Keturn to Europe. 

WE Lave more than once had occasion to speak of expeditions for 
the survey of the coasts of America. We have told of the attempts 
of Fernando Cortes and of the voyages and explorations of Drake, 
Cook, La Perouse, and Marchand. It will be well now to go back 
for a time, and with Fleurieu sum up the series of voyages along the 
western coast of America, to the close of the eighteenth century. 

In 1537, Cortes with Francisco de Ulloa, discovered the huge 
peninsula of California, and sailed over the greater part of the long 
and narrow strait now known as the Vermilion Sea. 

He was succeeded by Yasquez Coronado and Francisco Alarcon, 
who the former by sea, and the latter by land devoted themselves 
to seeking the channel which was erroneously supposed to connect 
the Atlantic and Pacific. They did not, however, penetrate beyond 
36 N. lat. 

Two years later, in 1542, the Portuguese Rodrique de Cabrillo, 
reached 44 N. lat., where the intense cold, sickness, want of pro- 
visions, and the bad state of his vessel, compelled him to turn 
back. He made no actual discovery, but he ascertained that, from 
Port Natividad to the furthest point reached by him, the coast-line 

Port Monterey. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 


was unbroken. The channel of communication seemed to recede 
before all explorers. 

The little success met with appears to have discouraged the 
Spaniards, for at this time they retired from the ranks of the 
explorers. It was an Englishman, Drake, who, after having sailed 
along the western coast as far as the Straits of Magellan, and 
devastated the Spanish possessions, reached the forty-eighth degree, 
explored the whole coast, and, returning the same way, gave to the 
vast districts included within ten degrees the name of New Albion. 

Next came, in 1592, the greatly fabulous voyage of Juan de 
Fuca, who claimed to have found the long-sought Strait of Anian, 
when he had but found the channel dividing Vancouver's Island 
from the mainland. 

In 1602 Yiscaino laid the foundations of Port Monterey in 
California, and forty years later took place that much contested 
voyage of Admiral De Fuente, or De Fonte according as one 
reckons him a Spaniard or a Portuguese, which has been the text 
of so many learned discussions and ingenious suppositions. To 
him we owe the discovery of the Archipelago of St. Lazarus above 
Vancouver's Island ; but all that he says about the lakes and large 
towns he claims to have visited must be relegated to the realms of 
romance, as well as his assertion that he discovered a communi- 
cation between the two oceans. 

In the eighteenth century the assertions of travellers were no 
longer blindly accepted. They were examined and sifted, those 
parts only being believed which accorded with the well authenti- 
cated accounts of others. Buache, Delisle, and above all Fleurieu, 
inaugurated the prolific literature of historical criticism, and we 
have every reason to be grateful to them. 

The Russians, as we know, had greatly extended the field of 
their knowledge, and there was every reason to suppose that their 
hunters and Cossacks would soon reach America, if, as was then 
believed, the two continents were connected in the north. But 
from such unprofessional travellers no trustworthy scientific details 
could be expected. 

A few years before his death the Emperor Peter I. drew up, 
with his own hands, a plan of an expedition, with instructions to its 
members, which he had long had in view, for ascertaining whether 
Asia and America are united, or separated by a strait. 


The arsenal and forts of Kamtchatka being unable to supply 
the necessary men, stores, &c., captains, sailors, equipment, and 
provisions, had to be imported from Europe. 

Vitus Behring, a Dane, and Alexis Tsehirikow, a Russian, who 
had both given many a proof of skill and knowledge, were appointed 
to the command of the expedition, which consisted of two vessels 
built at Kamtchatka. They were not ready to put to sea until 
July 20th, 1720. Steering north-east along the coast of Asia, of 
which he never for a moment lost sight, Behring discovered, on the 
15th August, in 67 18' N. lat. a cape beyond which the coast 
stretched away westwards. 

In this first voyage Behring did not apparently see the coast of 
America, though he probably passed through the strait to which 
posterity has given his name. The fabulous strait of Anian gave 
place to Behring Straits. A second voyage made by the same 
explorers the following year was without results. 

Not until June 4th, 1741, were Behring and Tschirikow in a posi- 
tion to start again This time they meant to bear to the east after 
reaching 50 N. lat. till they should come to the coast of America ; 
but the two vessels were separated in a gale of wind on the 28th 
August, and were unable to find each other again throughout the 
trip. On the 18th July Behring discerned the American conti- 
nent in 58 28' N. lat. and the succeeding days were devoted to 
the survey of the vast bay between Capes St. Elias and St. Hermo- 

Behring spent the whole of August in sailing about the islands 
known as the Schumagin archipelago, off the peninsula of Alaska ; 
and after a struggle, lasting until the 24th September, with con- 
trary winds, he sighted the most southerly cape of the peninsula, 
and discovered part of the Aleutian group. 

Exhausted by long illness, however, the explorer was now no 
longer able to direct the course of his vessel, and could not prevent 
her from running aground on the little island bearing his name. 
There, on the 8th December, 1741, this brave man and skilful 
explorer perished miserably. 

The remnant of his crew who survived the fatigues and priva- 
tions of winter in this desolate spot, succeeded in making a large 
sloop of the remains of the vessel, in which they returned to Kam- 


Meanwhile Tschirikow, after waiting for his superior officer 
until the 25th June, made land between 55 56' N. lat., where he 
lost two boats with their crews, without being able to find out what 
had become of them. Unable after this catastrophe to open com- 
munication with the natives, he went back to Kamtchatka. 

The way was now open, and adventurers, merchants, and naval 
officers eagerly rushed in, directing their efforts carefully to the 
Aleutian Islands and the peninsula of Alaska. 

The expeditions sent out by the English, and the progress made 
by the Russians, had, however, aroused the jealousy and anxiety of 
the Spanish, who feared lest their rivals should establish them- 
selves in a country nominally belonging to Spain, though she owned 
not a single colony in it. 

The Viceroy of Mexico now remembered the discovery of an 
excellent port by Yiscaino, and resolved to found a " presidio " 
there. Two expeditions started simultaneously, the one by land, 
under Don Gaspar de Partola, the other by sea, consisting of two 
packets, the San Carlos and San Antonio, and after a year's search 
found again the harbour of Monterey, alluded to by Yiscaino. 

After this expedition the Spanish continued the exploration of 
the Californian coast. The most celebrated voyages were those 
of Don Juan de Ayala and of La Bodega, which took place in 
1775, and resulted in the discovery of Cape Engano and Guadalupe 
Bay t Next to these rank the expeditions of Arteaga and 

We have already related what was done by Cook, La Perouse, and 
Marchand, so we can pass on to say a few words on the expeditions 
of Vancouver. This officer, who had accompanied Cook on his 
second and third voyage, was naturally appointed to the command 
of the expedition sent out by the English government with a view 
to settling the disputes with the Spanish government as to Nootka 

George Vancouver was commissioned to obtain from the Spanish 
authorities the formal cession of this great harbour, of such vast 
importance to the fur trade. He was then to survey the whole of 
the north-west coast, from 30 K lat. to Cook's River in 61 N. 
lat. Lastly, he was to give special attention to the Straits of De 
Fuca and the bay explored in 1749 by the Washington. 

The two vessels, the Discovery of 340 tons, and the Chatham of 


135 the latter under the command of Captain Broughton left 
Falmouth on the 1st of April, 1791. After touching at Teneriffe, 
Simon Bay, and the Cape of Good Hope, Vancouver steered south- 
wards, sighted St. Paul's Island, and sailed towards New Holland, 
between the routes taken by Dampier and Marion, and through 
latitudes which had not yet been traversed. On the 27th Septem- 
ber was sighted part of the coast of New Holland, ending in abrupt 
and precipitous cliffs, to which the name of Cape Chatham was 
given. As many of his crew were down with dysentery, Vancouver 
decided to anchor in the first harbour he came to, to get water, 
wood, and above all provisions, of which he stood sorely in need. 
Port George III. was the first reached, where ducks, curlews, 
swans, fish, and oysters abounded ; but no communication could be 
opened with the natives, although a recently abandoned village of 
some twenty huts was seen. 

We need not follow Vancouver in his cruise along the south- 
west coast of Holland, as we shall learn nothing new from it. 

On the 28th November Van Diemen's Land was doubled, and 
on the 2nd December the coast of New Zealand was reached and 
anchor cast by the two vessels in Dusky Bay. Here Vancouver 
completed the survey left unfinished by Cook. A gale soon sepa- 
rated the Discovery from the Chatham, which was found again in 
Matavai Bay, Tahiti. During the voyage there from Dusky Bay, 
Vancouver discovered some rocky islands, which he called the 
Snares, and a large island named Oparra, whilst Captain Broughton 
had discovered Chatham Island, on the east of New Zealand. The 
incidents of the stay at Tahiti resemble those of Cook's story too 
closely for repetition. 

On the 24th January the two vessels started for the Sandwich 
Islands, and stopped for a short time off Owyhee, Waohoo, and 
Ottoway. Since the murder of Cook many changes had taken place 
in this archipelago. English and American vessels now sometimes 
visited it to take whales, or trade in furs, and their captains had 
given the natives a taste for brandy and fire-arms. Quarrels be- 
tween the petty chiefs had become more frequent, the most com- 
plete anarchy prevailed everywhere, and the number of inhabitants 
was already greatly diminished. 

On the 17th March, 1792, Vancouver left the Sandwich Islands 
and steered for America, of which he soon sighted the part 



A W^E R I 1C A 


called by Drake New Albion. Here he almost immediately met 
Captain Grey, who was supposed to have penetrated, in the Wash- 
ington, into De Fuca Strait, and discovered a vast sea. Grey at 
once disavowed the discoveries with which he was so generously 
credited, explaining that he had only sailed fifty miles up the strait, 
which runs from, east to west till it reaches a spot where, according 
to some natives, it veers to the north and disappears. 

Vancouver in his turn entered De Fuca Strait, and recognized 
Discovery Port, Admiralty Entry, Birch Bay, Desolation Sound, 
Johnston Strait, and Broughton Archipelago. Before reaching 
the northern extremity of this long arm of the sea, he met two 
small Spanish vessels under the command of Quadra. The two 
captains compared notes, and gave their names to the chief island 
of the large group known collectively as New Georgia. 

Vancouver next visited Nootka Sound and the Columbia River, 
whence he sailed to San Francisco, off which he anchored. It 
will be understood that it is impossible to follow the details of the 
minute survey of the vast stretch of coast between Cape Mendo- 
9mo and Port Conclusion, in N. lat. 56 37 ', which required no 
less than three successive trips. 

"Now," says the great navigator, "that we have achieved the chief 
aim of the king in ordering this voyage, I flatter myself that our 
very detailed survey of thenorth-west coast of America will dispel all 
doubts, and do away with all erroneous opinions as to a north- 
west passage ; surely no one will now believe in there being a com- 
munication between the North Pacific and the interior of the 
American continent in the part traversed by us." 

Leaving Nootka, to survey the coast of South America before 
returning to Europe, Vancouver touched at the small Cocoa-Nut 
Island which, as we have already observed, little deserves its 
name cast anchor off Valparaiso, doubled Cape Horn, took in 
water at St. Helena, and re-entered the Thames on the 12th Sep- 
tember, 1795. 

The fatigue incidental to this long expedition had so 
undermined the health of the explorer that he died in May, 
1798, leaving the account of his voyage to be finished by his 

Throughout the arduous survey, occupying four years, of 
900 miles of coast, the Discovert/ and Chatham lost but two 

VOL. ii. c c 


men. It will be seen from this how apt a pupil of Cook the great 
navigator was ; and we do not know whether most to admire in 
Vancouver his care for his sailors and humanity to the natives, or 
the wonderful nautical skill he displayed in this dangerous 

While explorers thus succeeded each other on the western 
coast of America, colonists were not idle inland. Already 
established on the borders of the Atlantic, where a series of states 
had been founded from Florida to Canada, the white men were now 
rapidly forcing their way westwards. Trappers, and coureurs des 
bois, as the French hunters were called, had discovered vast tracts of 
land suitable for cultivation, and many English squatters had 
already taken root, not, however, without numerous conflicts with 
the original owners of the soil, whom they daily tried to drive into 
the interior. Emigrants were soon attracted in large numbers by 
the fertility of a virgin soil, and the more liberal constitution of 
the various states. 

Their number increased to such an extent, that at the end of the 
seventeenth century the heirs of Lord Baltimore estimated the pro- 
duce of the sale of their lands at three thousand pounds ; and in 
the middle of the following century, 1750, the successors of 
William Penn also made a profit ten times as great as the original 
price of their property. Yet emigration was even then not suffi- 
ciently rapid, and convicts were introduced. Maryland numbered 
1981 in 1750. Many scandalous abuses also resulted from the 
compulsory signing by new comers of agreements they did not 

Although the lands bought of the Indians were far from being 
all occupied, the English colonists continued to push their way 
inland, at the risk of encounters with the legitimate owners of 
the soil. 

In the north the Hudson's Bay Company, holding a monopoly 
of the fur trade, were always on the look-out for new hunting- 
grounds, for those originally explored were soon exhausted. Their 
trappers made their way far into the western wilds, and gained 
valuable information from the Indians whom they pressed into 
their service, and taught to get drunk. By this means the exist- 
ence of a river flowing northwards, past some copper-mines, from 
which some natives brought fine specimens to Fort Prince of Wales, 


was ascertained. The company at once, i.e. in 1769, decided to 
send out an expedition, to the command of which they appointed 
Samuel Hearn. 

For a journey to the Arctic regions, where provisions are 
difficult to obtain, and the cold is intense, a few well-seasoned 
men are required, who can endure the fatigue of an arduous 
march over snow, and bear up against hunger. Hearn took 
with him only two whites, and a few Indians on whom he could 

In spite of the great skill of the guides, who knew the country, 
and were familiar with the habits of the game it contained, pro- 
visions soon failed. Two hundred miles from Fort Prince of Wales 
the Indians abandoned Hearn and his two companions, who were 
obliged to retrace their steps. 

The chief of the expedition, however, was a rough sailor, accus- 
tomed to privations, so he was not discouraged. If he had failed the 
first time, that was no reason why -a second attempt should not 

In March, 1770, Hearn started again to try and cross the 
unknown districts. This time he was alone with five Indians, for 
he had noticed that the inability of the whites to endure fatigue 
excited the contempt of the natives. He had penetrated 500 
miles when the severity of the weather compelled him to wait 
for a less severe temperature. He had had a terrible experience. 
At one time to have, indeed, more game than can be eaten ; but 
more often to have no food whatever, and be compelled for a week 
at a time to gnaw old leather, pick bones which had been thrown 
aside, or to seek, often in vain, for a few berries on the trees ; and 
lastly, to endure fearful cold such is the life of an explorer in 
these Arctic regions. 

Hearn started once more in April, wandered about the woods 
until August, and had arranged to spend the winter with an Indian 
tribe which had received him well, when an accident which 
deprived him of his quadrant compelled him to continue his 

Privations, miseries, and disappointments, had not quenched the 
ardour of Hearn's indomitable spirit. He started again on the 
7th December, and penetrating westwards below the 60th parallel 
N. lat. he came to a river. Here he built a canoe, and went in it 

c c 2 


down the stream, which flowed into an innumerable series of large 
and small lakes. Finally, on the 13th July, 1771, he reached the 
Coppermine River. The Indians with him now declared that they 
had been for some weeks in the country of the Esquimaux, and 
that they meant to massacre all they should meet of that hated race. 

An encounter very soon took place. 

" Coming," says Hearn, " upon a party of Esquimaux asleep in 
their tents, the Indians fell upon them suddenly, and I was com- 
pelled to witness the massacre of the poor creatures." 

Of twenty individuals, not one escaped the sanguinary rage of 
the Indians ; and they put to death with indescribable tortures an 
old woman who had in the first instance eluded them. 

" After this horrible carnage," says Hearn, " we sat down on the 
grass, and made a good dinner off fresh salmon/' 

Here the river widened considerably. Had Hearn arrived 
at its mouth ? The water was still quite sweet. There were, 
however, signs of a tide on the shores, and a number of seals were 
disporting themselves in the water. A quantity of whale blubber 
was found in the tents of the Esquimaux. Everything in fact 
combined to prove that the sea was near. Hearn seized his tele- 
scope, and saw stretching before him a huge sheet of water, dotted 
with islands. There was no longer any doubt ; it was the sea ! 

On the 30th June Hearn got back to the English posts, after an 
absence of no less than a year and five months. 

The company recognized the immense service just rendered by 
Hearn, by appointing him Governor of Fort Prince of Wales. 
During his expedition to Hudson's Bay, La Perouse visited this 
post, and there found the journal of Samuel Hearn's expedition. 
The French navigator returned it, on condition that he would 
publish it. We do not know why its appearance in accordance 
with the promise given by the English traveller to the French 
sailor was delayed until 1795. 

Not until the close of the eighteenth century did the immense 
chain of lakes, rivers, and portages become known, which, emanating 
from Lake Superior, receive all the waters flowing from the Rocky 
Mountains, and divert them to the Arctic Ocean. It was to the 
brothers Frobisher, fur traders, and to a Mr. Pond, who reached 
Athabasca, that their discovery is partially due. 

Thanks to their efforts, travelling in these parts became less 

Mackenzie's first view of the North Pacific Ocean. 

Page 389. 


difficult. One explorer succeeded another, posts were established, 
and the country was opened to all comers. Soon after a rumour 
was spread of the discovery of a large river flowing in a north- 
westerly direction. 

It was Alexander Mackenzie who gave his name to it. Starting 
on the 3rd June, 1789, from Fort Chippewyan, on the southern 
shores of the Lake of the Hills, accompanied by a few Canadians, 
and several Indians who had been with Samuel Hearn, he reached 
67 45' N. lat., where he heard that the sea was not far off on the 
east, but that he was even nearer to it on the west. It was evident 
that he was quite close to the north-western extremity of America. 

On the 12th July, Mackenzie reached a large sheet of shallow 
water covered with ice, which he could not believe to be the sea, 
though no land could be seen on the horizon. It was, however, the 
Northern Ocean, as he became assured when he saw the water 
rising, although the wind was not violent. The tide was coming 
in ! The traveller then gained an island at a little distance from 
the shore, from which he saw several whales gambolling in 
the water. He therefore named the island, which is situated in 
IS", lat. 69 11', Whale Island. On the 12th September the expe- 
dition safely returned to Fort Chippewyan. 

Three years later Mackenzie, whose thirst for discovery was 
unslaked, ascended Peace River, which rises in the Rocky Moun- 
tains. In 1793, after forcing his way across this rugged chain, he 
made out on the other side the Tacoutche-Tesse River, which flows 
in a south-westerly direction. In the midst of dangers and priva- 
tions more easily imagined than described, Mackenzie descended 
this river to its mouth, below Prince of Wales Islands. There, 
he wrote with a mixture of grease and vermilion, the following 
laconic but eloquent inscription on a wall of rock : tf Alexander 
Mackenzie, come from Canada overland, July 22nd, 1793." On the 
24th August he re-entered Fort Chippewyan. 

In South America no scientific expedition took place during the 
first half of the eighteenth century. We have now only to speak 
of Condamine. We have already told of his discoveries in America, 
explaining how when the work was done he had allowed Bougner 
to return to Europe, and left Jussieu to continue the collection of 
unknown plants and animals which was to enrich science, whilst he 
himself went down the Amazon to its Mouth. 


" Condamine," says Maury in his " Histoire de P Academic des 
Sciences," " may be called the Humboldt of the eighteenth century. 
An intellectual and scientific man, he gave proof in this memorable 
expedition of an heroic devotion to the progress of knowledge. 
The funds granted to him by the king for his expedition were not 
sufficient; he added 100,000 livres from his private purse; and 
the fatigue and suffering he underwent led to the loss of his ears 
and legs. The victim of his enthusiasm for science, on his 
return home he met with nothing but ridicule and sarcasm from a 
public who could not understand a martyr who aimed at 
winning anything but Heaven. In him was recognized, not the 
indefatigable explorer who had braved so many dangers, but the 
infirm and deaf M. de Condamine, who always held his ear- 
trumpet in his hand. Content, however, with the recognition of 
his fellow-savants, to which Buffon gave such eloquent ex- 
pression in his reply to the address at his reception at the French 
Academy, Condamine consoled himself by composing songs ; and 
maintained until his death, which was hastened by all he had under- 
gone, the zeal for information on all subjects, even torture, which 
led him to question the executioner on the scaffold of Damiens." 

Few travellers before Condamine had had an opportunity of 
penetrating into Brazil. The learned explorer hoped, therefore, to 
render his journey useful by making a map of the course of the 
river, and putting down all his observations on the singular 
costumes worn by the natives of that little frequented country. 

After Orellana, whose adventurous trip we have related, Pedro 
de Ursua was sent in 1559 by the Yiceroy of Peru to seek for Lake 
Parima and the El Dorado. He was murdered by a rebel soldier, 
who committed all manner of outrages on his way down the river, 
and finished his course by being abandoned on Trinity Island. 

Efforts of this kind did not throw much light on the course of 
the river. The Portuguese were more fortunate. In 1636 and 
1637 Pedro Texeira with forty- seven canoes, and a large number 
of Spaniards and Indians, followed the Amazon as far as the junc- 
tion of its tributary the Napo, and then ascended, first it, and after- 
wards the Coca, to within thirty miles of Quito, which he reached 
with a few men. 

The map drawn up by Sanson after this trip, and as a matter 
of course copied by all geographers, was extremely defective, and 

Portrait of Conclamine. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 390. 

Celebrated narrows of Manseriche. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 391. 


until 1717 there was no other. At that time the copy of a map 
drawn up by Father Fritz, a German missionary, came out in 
Vol. xii. of the " Lettres fidifiantes," a valuable publication, con- 
taining a multitude of interesting historical and geographical 
facts. In this map it was sho.wn that the Napo is not the true 
source of the Amazon, and that the latter, under the name of the 
Maraiion r issues from Lake Guanuco, thirty leagues east of Lima. 
The lower portion of the course of the river was badly drawn, as 
Father Fritz was too ill when he went down it to observe closely. 

Leaving Tarqui, five leagues from Cuenca, on the llth May, 
1743, Condamine passed Zaruma, a town once famous for its gold- 
mines, and having crossed several rivers on the hanging bridges, 
which look like huge hammocks slung from one side to the 
other, reached Loxa, four degrees from the line, and 400 
fathoms lower than Quito. Here he noticed a remarkable differ- 
ence of temperature, and found the mountains to be mere hills 
compared with those of Quito. 

Between Loxa and Jaen de Bracamoros the last buttresses of 
the Andes are crossed. In this district rain falls every day 
throughout the year, so that a long stay cannot be made there. 
The whole country has declined greatly from its former prosperity. 
Loyola, Yalladolid, Jaen, and the greater number of the Peruvian 
towns at a distance from the sea, and the main road between 
Carthagena and Lima, were in Condamine's time little more than 
hamlets. Yet forests of cocoa-nut trees grow all around Jaen, the 
natives thinking no more of them than they do of the gold dust 
brought down by their rivers. . 

Condamine embarked on the Chincipe, wider here than the Seine 
at Paris, and went down it as far as its junction with the Maranon, 
beyond which the latter river becomes navigable, although its 
course is broken by a number of falls and rapids, and in many 
places narrows till it is but twenty fathoms wide. The most cele- 
brated of these narrows is the pongo, or gate, of Manseriche, in the 
heart of the Cordillera, where the Amazon has hewn for itself a 
bed only fifty-five fathoms wide, with all but perpendicular sides. 
Condamine, attended only by a single negro, met with an almost 
unparalleled adventure on a raft in this pongo. 

" The stream," he says, " the height of which had diminished 
twenty- five feet in thirty-six hours, continued to decrease in volume 


In the middle of the night, part of a large branch of a tree caught 
between the woodwork of my boat, penetrating further and fur- 
ther as the latter sunk with the water, so that if I had not been 
awake and on guard at the time, I should have found myself hang- 
ing from a tree, on my raft. The least of the evils threatening me 
would have been the loss'of my journals and note-books, the fruit of 
eight years of work. Fortunately, I eventually found means to 
free my raft, and float it again." 

In the midst of the woods near the ruined town of Santiago, 
where Condamine arrived on the 10th July, lived the Xibaro 
Indians, who had been for a century in revolt against the Spaniards, 
who tried to force them to labour in the gold-mines. 

Beyond the pongo of Manseriche a new world was entered, a 
perfect ocean of fresh water a labyrinth of lakes, rivers, and 
channels, set in an impenetrable forest. Although he had lived in the 
open air for more than seven years, Condamine was struck dumb by 
this novel spectacle of water and trees only, with nothing else besides. 
Leaving Borja on the 14th July, the traveller soon passed the 
mouth of the Moron a, which comes down from the volcano of 
Sangay, the ashes from which are sometimes flung beyond Guaya- 
quil. He next passed the three mouths of the Pastaca, a river at 
this time so much swollen that the width of no one of its mouths 
could be estimated. 

On the 19th of the same month Condamine reached Laguna, 
where Pedro Maldonado, governor of the province of Esrneraldas, 
who had come down the Pastaca, had been waiting for him for six 
weeks. At this time Laguna was a large community, of some 
thousand Indians capable of bearing arms, who recognized the 
authority of the missionaries of the different tribes. 

" In making a map of the course of the Amazon," says Conda- 
mine, " I provided myself with a resource against the ennui of a 
quiet voyage with nothing to break the monotony of the scenery, 
though that scenery was new to me. My attention was continually 
on the strain as, compass and watch in hand, I noted the deflex- 
ions in the course of the river, the time occupied in passing from 
one bend to another, the variations in the breadth of its bed and 
in that of the mouths of its tributaries, the angle formed by the 
latter at the confluence, the position and size of the islands, and 
above all the rate of the current and that of the canoe. Now on 

Omaguas Indian.* 


land and now in the canoe, employing various modes of measure- 
ment, which it would be superfluous to explain here, every in- 
stant was occupied. I often sounded, and measured geometrically 
the breadth of the river and that of its tributaries. I took the 
height of the sun at the meridian every day, and I noted its am- 
plitude at its rising and setting, wherever I went/' 

On the 25th July, after having passed the Tigre River, Conda- 
mine came to a new mission station, that of a tribe called Yameos, 
recently rescued" from the woods by the Fathers. Their language 
is difficult to learn, and their mode of pronouncing it extraordinary. 
Some of their words are nine or ten syllables long, and yet they 
can only count up to three. They use a kind of pea-shooter with 
great skill, firing from it small arrows tipped with a' poison which 
causes instantaneous death. 

The following day the explorer passed the mouth oftheUcayale, 
one of the most important of the tributaries of the Maranon, and 
which might even be its source. Beyond it the main stream widens 

Condamine reached on the 27th the mission station of the 
Omaguas, formerly a powerful nation, whose dwelling extended 
along the banks of the Amazon for a distance of 200 leagues 
below the Napo. Originally strangers in the land, they are sup- 
posed to have come down some river rising in Granada, and to 
have fled from the Spanish yoke. The word Omagua means flat- 
head in Peruvian, and these people have the singular custom of 
squeezing the foreheads of new-born babies between two flat pieces 
of wood, to make them, as fchey say, resemble the full moon. They 
also use two curious plants, the floripondio and the curupa, which, 
makes them drunk for twenty- four hours, and causes very wonderful 
dreams. So that opium and hatchich have their counterparts in Peru. 

Cinchona, ipecacuanha, simaruba, sarsaparilla, guaiacum, cocoa, 
and vanilla grow on the banks of the Maranon, as does also a kind of 
india-rubber, of which the natives make bottles, boots, and syringes, 
which, according to Condamine, require no piston. They are of 
the shape of hollow pears, and are pierced at the end with a little 
hole, into which a pipe is fitted. This contrivance is much used 
by the Omaguas ; and when a fete is given, the host, as a matter 
of politeness, always presents one to each of his guests, who use them 
before any ceremonial banquet. 


Changing boats at San Joaquin, Condamine arrived at the 
mouth of Napo in time to witness, during the night of the 31st 
July or the 1st August, the emersion of the first satellite of 
Jupiter, so that he was able to determine exactly the latitude 
and longitude of the spot a valuable observation, from which all 
other positions on the journey could be calculated. 

Pevas, which was reached the next day, is the last of the 
Spanish missions on the Maranon. The Indians collected there 
were neither all of the same race nor all converts to Christianity. 
They still wore bone ornaments in the nostrils and the lips, and 
had their cheeks riddled with holes, in which were fixed the 
feathers of birds of every colour. 

St. Paul is the first Portuguese mission. There the river 
is no less than 900 fathoms wide, and often rises in violent 
storms. The traveller was agreeably surprised to find the Indian 
women possessed of pet birds, locks, iron keys, needles, looking- 
glasses, and other European utensils, procured at Para in exchange 
for cocoa. The native canoes are much more convenient than those 
used by the Indians of the Spanish possessions. They are in fact 
regular little brigantines, sixty feet long by seven wide, manned 
by forty oarsmen. 

Between St. Paul and Coari several large and beautiful rivers 
flow into the Amazon. On the south the Yutay, Yuruca, Tefe, 
and Coari; on the north the Putumayo and Yupura. On the 
shores of the last-named river lives a cannibal race. Here Texeira 
set up a barrier, on the 26th June, 1639, which was to mark the 
frontier between the district in which the Brazilian and Peruvian 
languages respectively were to be used in dealing with the 

Purus Eiver and the Rio Negro, connecting the Orinoco with the 
Amazon, the banks dotted with Portuguese missions under the direc- 
tion of the monks of Mount Carmel, were successively surveyed. 
The first reliable information on the important geographical fact 
of the communication between the two great rivers, is to be found 
in the works of Condamine, and his sagacious comments on the 
journeys of the missionaries who preceded him. It was in these 
latitudes that the golden lake of Parime and the fabulous town of 
Manoa del Dorado are said to have been situated. Here, too, 
lived the Manaos Indians, who so long resisted the Portuguese. 

Portrait of Alex, de Humboldt. 
(Fac-simile of early engraving.) 

Page 395- 


Now were passed successively the mouth of the Madera River 
so called on account of the quantity of timber which drifts down 
from it, the port of Pauxis beyond which the Marafion takes the 
name of the Amazon, and where the tide begins to be felt, although 
the sea is more than 200 miles distant and the fortress of Topayos, 
at the mouth of a river coming down from the mines of Brazil, 
on the borders of which live the Tupinambas. 

Not until September did the mountains come in sight on the 
north quite a novel spectacle, since for two months Condamine 
had not seen a single hill. They were the first buttresses of 
the Guiana chain. 

On the 6th September, opposite Fort Paru, Condamine left the 
Amazon, and passed by a natural canal to the Xingu River, called 
by Father D'Acunha the Paramaribo. The port of Curupa was 
then reached, and lastly Para, a large town, with regular streets 
and houses of rough or hewn stone. To complete his map, the 
explorer was obliged to visit the mouth of the Amazon, where he 
embarked for Cayenne, arriving there on the 20th February, 1774. 

This long voyage had the most important results. For the first 
time the course of the Amazon- had been laid down in a thoroughly 
scientific manner, and the connexion between it and the Orinoco 
ascertained. Moreover Condamine had collected a vast number of 
interesting observations on natural history, physical geography, 
astronomy, and the new science of anthropology, then in its earliest 

We have now to relate the travels of a man who recognized, better 
than any one else had done, the connexion between geography and 
the other physical sciences. We allude to Alexander von Humboldt. 
To him is due the credit of having opened to travellers this fertile 
source of knowledge. 

Born at Berlin, in 1759, Humboldt's earliest studies were carried 
on under Campe, the well-known editor of many volumes of travels. 
Endowed with a great taste for botany, Humboldt made friends at 
the university of of Gottingen with Forster the younger, who had 
just made the tour of the world with Captain Cook. This friend- 
ship, and the enthusiastic accounts given of his adventures by 
Forster, probably did much to rouse in Humboldt a longing to 
travel. He took the lead in the study of geology, botany, 
chemistry, and animal magnetism ; and to perfect himself in the 


various sciences, he visited England, Holland, Italy, and Switzer- 
land. In 1797, after the death of his mother, who objected to his 
leaving Europe, he went to Paris, where he became acquainted 
with Aime Bonpland, a young botanist, with whom he at once 
agreed to go on several exploring expeditions. 

It had been arranged that Humboldt should accompany Captain 
Baudin, but the delay in the starting of his expedition exhausted 
the young enthusiast's patience, and he went to Marseilles with 
the intention of joining the French army in Egypt. For two 
whole months he waited for the sailing of the frigate which was 
to take him ; and, weary of inaction, he went to Spain with his 
friend Bonpland, in the hope of obtaining permission to visit the 
Spanish possessions in America. 

This was no easy matter, but Humboldt was a man of rare 
perseverance. He was thoroughly well-informed, he had first-rate 
introductions, and he was, moreover, already becoming known. 
In spite, therefore, of the extreme reluctance of the government, 
he was at last authorized to explore the Spanish colonies, and 
take any astronomical or geodesic observations he chose. 

The two friends left Corunna on the 5th June, 1799, and reached 
the Canaries thirteen days later. Of course, as naturalists they 
were in duty bound not to land at Teneriffe without ascending 
the Peak. 

" Scarcely any naturalist," says Humboldt in a letter to La 
Metterie, " who, like myself, has passed through to the Indies, has 
had time to do more than go to the foot of this colossal volcano, 
and admire the delightful gardens of Orotava. Fortunately for 
me our frigate, the Pizarro, stopped for six days I examined in 
detail the layers of which the peak of Teyde is composed. We 
slept in the moonlight at a height of 1200 fathoms. At two 
o'clock in the morning we started for the summit, where we 
arrived at eight o'clock, in spite of the violent wind, the great 
heat of the ground, which burnt our boots, and the intense cold 
of the atmosphere. I will tell you nothing about the magnificent 
view, which included the volcanic islands of Lancerote, Can aria, 
and Gomera, at our feet ; the desert, twenty leagues square, strewn 
with pumice-stone and lava, and without insects or birds, separating 
us from thickets of laurel-trees and heaths ; or of the vineyards 
studded with palms, banana, and dragon-trees, the roots of which 


are washed by the waves. We went into the very crater itself. 
It is not more than forty or sixty feet deep. The summit is 1904 
fathoms above the sea-level, as estimated by Borda in a very 
careful geometric measurement. . . . The crater of the Peak that 
is to say, of the summit has been inactive for several centuries, 
lava flowing from the sides only. The crater, however, provides 
an enormous quantity of sulphur and sulphate of iron." 

In July, Humboldt and Bonpland arrived at Cumana, in that 
part of America known as Terra Firm a. Here they spent some 
weeks in examining the traces left by the great earthquake of 1797. 
They then determined the position of Cumana, which was placed 
a degree and a half too far north on all the maps an error due to 
the fact of the current bearing to the north near La Trinidad, 
having deceived all travellers. In December, 1799, Humboldt 
wrote from Caracas to the astronomer Lalande : 

"I have just completed an intensely interesting journey in the 
interior of Paria, in the Cordillera of Cocolar, Tumeri, and Guiri. 
I had two or three mules loaded with instruments, dried plants, &c. 
We penetrated to the Capuchin mission, which had never been 
visited by any naturalist. We discovered a great number of 
new plants, chiefly varieties of palms ; and we are about to start 
for the Orinoco, and propose pushing on from it perhaps to San 
Carlos on the Rio Negro, beyond the equator. We have dried 
more than 1600 plants, and described more than 500 birds, picked 
up numberless shells and insects, and I have made some fifty 
drawings. I think that is pretty well in four months, considering 
the broiling heat of this zone." 

During this first trip Humboldt visited the Chayma and 
Guarauno Missions. He also climbed to the summit of the 
Tumiriquiri, and went down into the Guacharo cavern, the entrance 
to which, framed as it is with the most luxuriant vegetation, is 
truly magnificent. From it issues a considerable river, and its 
dim recesses echo to the gloomy notes of birds. It is the 
Acheron of the Chayma Indians, for, according to their mythology 
and that of the natives of Orinoco, the souls of the dead go to this 
cavern. To go down into the Guacharo signifies in their language 
to die. 

The Indians go into the Guacharo cavern once a year, in the 
middle of summer, and destroy the greater number of the nests in 


it with long poles. At this time many thousands of birds die a 
violent death, and the old inhabitants of the cave hover above the 
heads of the Indians with piercing cries, as if they would defend 
their broods. 

The young birds which fall to the ground are opened on the 
spot. Their peritoneum is covered with a thick layer of fat, 
extending from the abdomen to the anus, and forming a kind of 
cushion between the legs. At the time called at Caripe the oil 
harvest, the Indians build themselves huts of palm leaves outside 
the cavern, and then light fires of brushwood, over which they 
hang clay pots filled with the fat of the young birds recently 
killed. This fat, known under the name of the Guacharo oil or 
butter, is half-liquid, transparent, without smell, and so pure 
that it can be kept a year without turning rancid. 

Humboldt continues : " We passed fifteen days in the Caripe 
valley, situated at a height of 952 Castilian varas above the sea- 
level, and inhabited by naked Indians. We saw some black 
monkeys with red beards. We had the satisfaction of being treated 
with the greatest kindness by the Capuchin monks and the 
missionaries living amongst these semi-barbarous people." 

From the Caripe valley the two travellers went back to Cumana 
by way of the Santa Maria Mountains and the Catuaro missions, 
and on the 21st November they arrived having come by sea at 
Caracas, a town situated in the midst of a valley rich in cocoa, 
cotton, and coffee, yet with a European climate. 

Humboldt turned his stay at Caracas to account by studying 
the light of the stars of the southern hemisphere, for he had 
noticed that several, notably the Altar, the Feet of the Centaur, 
and others, seemed to have changed since the time of La Caille. 

At the same time he put his collections in order, despatching 
part of them to Europe, and most thoroughly examined some rocks, 
with a view to ascertaining of what materials the earth's crust 
was here composed. 

After having explored the neighbourhood of Caracas, and 
ascended the Silla, which, although close to the town, had never 
been scaled by any native, Humboldt and Bonpland went to 
Valencia, along the shores of a lake called Tacarigua by the 
Indians, and exceeding in size that of JSTeufchatel in Switzerland. 
Nothing could give any idea of the richness and variety of the 


vegetation. But the interest of the lake consists not only in its 
picturesque and romantic beauty ; the gradual decrease in the 
volume of its waters attracted the attention of Humbolclt, who 
attributed it to the reckless cutting down of the forests in its 
neighbourhood, resulting in the exhaustion of its sources. 

Near this lake Humboldt received proof of the truth of the 
accounts he had heard of an extraordinary tree, the palo de la 
vaca, or cow-tree, which yields a balsamic and very nutritive milt, 
drawn off from incisions made in the bark. 

The most arduous part of the trip began at Porto Caballo, at the 
entrance to the llanos, or perfectly flat plains stretching between 
the hills of the coast and the Orinoco valley. 

" I am not sure/' says Humboldt, " that the first sight of the 
llanos is not as surprising as that of the Andes." 

Nothing in fact could be more striking than this sea of grass, 
from which whirls of dust rise up continually, although not a 
breath of wind is felt at Calabozo, in the centre of this vast plain. 
Humboldt first tested the power of the gymnotus, or electric eel, 
large numbers of which are met with in all the tributaries of the 
Orinoco. The Indians, who were afraid of exposing themselves to 
the electric discharge of these singular creatures, proposed sending 
some horses into the marsh containing them. 

4 'The extraordinary noise made by the shoes of the horses," 
says Humboldt, " made the eels come out of the ooze and prepare 
for battle. The yellowish livid gymnoti, resembling serpents, 
swam on the top of the water, and squeezed themselves under the 
bodies of the quadrupeds which had disturbed them. The struggle 
which ensued between animals so differently constituted presented 
a very striking spectacle. The Indians, armed with harpoons and 
long canes, surrounded the pond on every side, and even climbed 
into the trees, the branches of which stretched horizontally over 
the water. Their wild cries, as they brandished their long sticks, 
prevented the horses from running away and getting back to the 
shores of the pond ; whilst the eels, driven mad by the noise, 
defended themselves by repeated discharges from their electric 
batteries. For a long time they appeared victorious, and some 
horses succumbed to the violence of the repeated shocks which 
they received upon their vital organs from every side. They 
were stunned, and sank beneath the water. 


" Others, panting for breath, with manes erect, and wild eyes 
full of the keenest suffering, tried to fly from the scene, but the 
merciless Indians drove them back into the water. A very few, 
who succeeded in eluding the vigilance of the guards, regained 
the bank, stumbling at every step, and lay down upon the sand, 
exhausted with fatigue, every limb paralyzed from the electric 
shocks received from the eels. 

" I never remember receiving a more terrible shock from a 
Ley den jar than I did from a gymnotus on which I accidentally 
trod just after it came out of the water." 

The astronomic position of Calabozo having been determined, 
Humboldt and Bonpland resumed their journey to the Orinoco. 
The Uriticu, with its numerous and ferocious crocodiles, and the 
Apure, one of the tributaries of the Orinoco, the banks of which 
are covered with a luxuriant vegetation such as is only met with 
in the tropics, were successively crossed or descended. 

The latter stream is flanked on either side by thick hedges* 
with openings here and there, through which boars, tigers, and 
other wild animals, made their way to quench their thirst. "When 
the shades of night shut in the forest, so silent by day, it resounds 
with the cries of birds and the howling or roaring of beasts of 
prey, vying with each other as to which shall make the most 

While the Uriticu is inhabited by fierce crocodiles, the Apure 
is the home of a small fish called the " carabito," which attacks 
bathers with great fury, often biting out large pieces of flesh. 
It is only four or five inches long, but more formidable than the 
largest crocodile, and the waters it frequents are carefully 
avoided by the Indians, in spite of their fondness for bathing, and 
the relief it affords them, persecuted as they are by ants and 

Our travellers went down the Orinoco as far as the Temi, 
which is connected by a short portage with the Cano-Pimichino, a 
tributary of the Rio Negro. 

The banks of the Temi, and the adjacent forests, are often 
inundated, and then the Indians make waterways, two or three 
feet wide, between the trees. Nothing could be more quaint or im- 
posing than floating amongst the gigantic growths, beneath their 
green foliage. Sometimes, three or four hundred leagues inland, 

Gigantic vegetation on the banks of the Temi. 

Page 400. 


the traveller comes upon a troop of fresh-water dolphins, spout- 
ing up water and compressed air in the manner which has 
gained for them the name of blowers. 

It took four days to transport the canoes from the Tenir to 
the Cano-Pimichino, as a path had to be cleared with axes. 

The Pimichino flows into the Rio-Negro, which is in its turn a 
tributary of the Amazon. 

Humboldt and Bonpland went down the "Rio-Negro as far as 
San Carlos, and then up the Casiquiaro, an important branch of 
the Orinoco, which connects it with the Rio-Negro. The shores of 
the Casiquiaro are inhabited by the Ydapaminores, who live 
entirely on smoked ants. 

Lastly, the travellers went up che Orinoco nearly to its source, 
at the foot of the Duida volcano, where their further progress was 
stopped by the hostility of the Guaharibos and the Guaica 
Indians, who were skilful marksmen with the bow and arrow. 
Here was discovered the famous El Dorado lake, with its floating 
islets of talc. 

Thus was finally solved the problem of the junction of the 
Orinoco and the Maranon, which takes place on the borders of 
the Spanish and Portuguese territories, two degrees above the 

The two travellers then floated with the current down the 
Orinoco, traversing by this means five hundred leagues in twenty- 
five days, after which they halted for three weeks at Angostura, 
to tide over the time of the great heat, when fever is prevalent, 
regaining Cumana in October, 1800. 

"My health," says Humboldt, " was proof against the fatigue of 
a journey of more than 1300 leagues, but my poor comrade Bon- 
pland, was, immediately on his return, seized with fever and sick- 
ness, which nearly proved fatal. A constitution of exceptional 
vigour is necessary to enable a traveller to bear the fatigue, priva- 
tions, and interruptions of every kind with which he has to contend 
in these unhealthy districts, with impunity. We were constantly 
surrounded by voracious tigers and crocodiles, stung by venomous 
mosquitoes and ants, with no food for three months but water, 
bananas, fish, and tapioca, now crossing the territory of the earth- 
eating Otomaques, now wandering through the desolate regions 
below the equator, where not a human creature is seen for 130 

VOL. n. D d 


leagues. Few indeed are those who survive such perils and such 
exertions, fewer still are those who, having surmounted them, 
have sufficient courage and strength to encounter them a second 

We have seen what an important geographical discovery 
rewarded the perseverance of the explorers who had completed the 
examination of the whole of the district north of the Amazon, 
between Popayan and the mountains of French Guiana. The 
results obtained in other branches of science were no less novel and 

Humboldt had discovered that there exists amongst the Indians 
of the Upper Orinoco and the Rio Negro a race with extremely fair 
complexions, differing entirely from the natives of the coast. He 
also noticed the curious tribe of the Otomaques. 

" These people/' he says " who disfigure their bodies with 
hideous paintings, eat nothing but loam for some three months, when 
the height of the Orinico cuts them off from the turtles which form 
their ordinary food. Some monks say they mix earth with the fat 
of crocodiles' tails, but this is a very false assertion. We saw 
provisions made of unadulterated earth, prepared only by slow 
roasting and moistening with water." 

Amongst the most curious of the discoveries made by Hum- 
boldt, we must mention that of the " curare," the virulent poison 
which he saw manufactured by the Catarapeni and Maqui- 
ritare Indians, and a specimen of which he sent to the Institute 
with the " dapiche/' a variety of Indian rubber hitherto unknown, 
being the gum which exudes spontaneously from the roots of the 
trees known as "jacio" and " cucurma/' and dries underground. 

Humboldt concluded his first journey by the exploration of the 
southern districts of San Domingo and Jamaica, and by a short 
stay in Cuba, where he and his companions made several 
experiments with a view to facilitating the making of sugar, 
surveyed the coast of the island, and took some astronomical obser- 

These occupations were interrupted by the news of the starting 
of Captain Baudin, who, it was said, was to double Cape Horn and 
examine the coasts of Chili and Peru. Humboldt, who had pro- 
mised to join the expedition, at once left Cuba, and crossed South 
America, arriving on the coast of Peru in time, as he thought, to 


receive the French navigator. Although Humboldt had through- 
out his long journey worked with a view to timing his arrival in 
the Peruvian capital to meet Baudin, it was only when he reached 
Quito that he ascertained that the new expedition was making for 
the Pacific by way of the Cape of Good Hope. 

In May, 1801, Humboldt, still accompanied by the faithful 
Bonpland, embarked at Cartagena, whence he proposed going first 
to Santa Fe de Bogota, and then to the lofty plains of Quito. To 
avoid the great heat the travellers spent some time at the pretty 
village of Turbaco, situated on the heights overlooking the coast, 
where they made the necessary preparations for their journey. In 
one of their excursions in the neighbourhood they visited a very 
strange region, of which their Indian guides had often spoken 
under the name of Volcanitos. 

This is a volcanic district, set in a forest of palms, and of the tree 
called " tola," about two miles to the east of Turbaco. According 
to a legend, the country was at one time one vast collection of 
burning mountains, but the fire was quenched by a saint, who 
merely poured a few drops of holy water upon it. 

In the centre of an extensive plain Humboldt came upon some 
twenty cones of greyish clay, about twenty-five feet high, the 
mouths of which were full of water. As the travellers approached 
a hollow sound was heard, succeeded in a few minutes by the escape 
of a great quantity of gas. According to the Indians these pheno- 
mena had recurred for many years. 

Humboldt noticed that the gas which issues from these small 
volcanoes was a far purer azote than could then be obtained by 
chemical laboratories. 

Santa Fe is situated in a valley 8600 feet above the sea-level. 
Shut in on every side by lofty mountains, this valley appears to 
have been formerly a large lake. The Rio-Bogota which receives 
all the waters of the valley, has forced a passage for itself near 
the Tequendama farm, on the south-west of Santa-Fe, beyond 
which it leaves the plain by a narrow channel and flows into the 
Magdalena basin. As a natural consequence, were this passage 
blocked, the whole plain of Bogota would be inundated and the 
ancient lake restored. There exists amongst the Indians a legend 
similar to that connected with Roland's Pass in the Pyrenees, tell- 
ing how one of their heroes split open the rocks and drained dry 

D d 2 


the valley of Bogota, after which, content with his exploit, he 
retired to the sacred town of Eraca, where he did penance for 2000 
years, inflicting upon himself the greatest torture. 

The cataract of Tequendama, although not the largest in the 
world, yet affords a very beautiful sight. When swollen by the 
addition of all the waters of the valley, the river, a little above 
the Falls, is 175 feet wide, but on entering the defile which 
appears to have been made by an earthquake, it is not more 
than forty feet in breadth. The abyss into which it flings 
itself, is no less than 600 feet deep. Above this vast preci- 
pice constantly rises a dense cloud of foam, which, falling 
again almost immediately, is said to contribute greatly to the 
fertility of the valley. 

Nothing could be more striking than the contrast between the 
valley of the Rio Bogota and that of the Magdalena : the one 
with the climate and productions of Europe, the corn, the oaks and 
other trees of our native land ; the other with palms, sugar-canes, 
and all the growths of the tropics. 

One of the most interesting of the natural curiosities met with 
by our travellers on the trip, was the bridge of Jcononzo, which 
they crossed in September, 1801. At the bottom of one of the con- 
tracted ravines, known as " 'canons," peculiar to the Andes, a little 
stream, the Rio Suma Paz, has forced for itself a narrow channel. To 
cross this river would be impossible, had not nature herself provided 
two bridges, one above the other, which are justly considered 
marvels of the country. 

Three blocks of rock detached from one of the mountains by the 
earthquake which produced this mighty fissure, have so fallen as 
to balance each other and form a natural arch, to which access is 
obtained by a path along the precipice. In the centre of 
this bridge there is an opening through which the traveller may 
gaze down into the infinite depth of the abyss, at the bottom of 
which rolls the torrent, its terrible roar mingled with the incessant 
screaming of thousands of birds. Sixty feet above this bridge is a 
second, fifty feet long by forty wide, and not more than eight feet 
thick in the middle. To serve as a parapet, the natives have made 
a slender balustrade of reeds along the edges of this second bridge, 
from which the traveller can obtain a fine view of the magnificent 
scene beneath him. 


The heavy rain and bad roads made the journey to Quito very 
exhausting, but for all that Humboldt and Bonpland only halted 
there for an absolutely necessary rest, quickly pressing on for the 
Magdalena valley, and the magnificent forests clothing the sides 
of the Trinidiu in the Central Andes. 

This mountain is considered one of the most difficult to cross in 
the whole chain. Even when the weather is favourable, twelve 
days, at least, are necessary for traversing the forests, in which not 
a human creature is seen and no food can be obtained. The 
highest point is 1200 feet above the sea-level, and the path lead- 
ing up to it is in many parts only one foot wide. The traveller is 
generally carried, bound to a chair in a sitting posture, on the back 
of a native, as a porter carries a trunk. 

" We preferred to go on foot/' says Humboldt in a letter to his 
brother, " and the weather being very fine we were only seventeen 
days in these solitudes, where not a trace is to be seen of any in- 
habitant. The night is passed in temporary huts made of the 
leaves of the heliconia, brought on purpose. On the western 
slopes of the Andes marshes have to be crossed, into which one 
sinks up to the knees ; and the weather having changed when we 
reached them, it rained in torrents for the last few days. Our 
boots rotted on our feet, and we reached Carthago with naked 
and bleeding feet, but enriched with a fine collection of new 

"From Carthago we went to Popayan by way of Buga, crossing 
the fine Cauca valley, and skirting along the mountain of Choca, 
with the platina-mines for which it is famous. 

" We spent October, 1801, at Popayan, whence we made excur- 
sions to the basaltic mountains of Julusuito and the craters of the 
Purace volcano, which discharge hydro-sulphuric steam and por- 
phyritic granite with a terrible noise. . . . 

" The greatest difficulties were met with in going from Popayan 
to Quito. We had to pass the Pasto Paramos, and that in the 
rainy season, which had now set in. A ' paramo ' in the Andes 
is a district some 1700 or 2000 fathoms high, where vegetation 
beases, and the cold is piercing. 

" We went from Popayan to Almager and thence to Pasto, at. 
the foot of a terrible volcano, by way of the fearful precipices form- 
ing the ascent to the summit of the Cordillera, thus avoiding the 


heat of the Patia valley, where one night will often bring on the 
fever known as the Calentura de Patia, lasting three or four 

The province of Pasto consists entirely of a frozen plateau 
almost too lofty for any vegetation to thrive on it, surrounded by 
volcanoes and sulphur-mines from which spiral columns of smoke 
are perpetually issuing. The inhabitants have no food but bata- 
tas, and when they run short they are obliged to live upon a little 
tree called " achupalla," for which they have to contend with the 
bear of the Andes. After being wet through night and day for 
two months, and being all but drowned in a sudden flood, accom- 
panied by an earthquake near the town of Jbarra, Humboldt and 
Bonpland arrived on the 6th January, 1801, at Quito, where they 
were received in cordial and princely style by the Marquis of 

Quito is a fine town, but the intense cold and the barren 
mountains surrounding it make it a gloomy place to stay in. 
Since the great earthquake of the 4th February, 1797, the tem- 
perature has considerably decreased, and Bouguer, who registered 
it at an average of from 15 to 16 would be surprised to find it 
varying from 4 to 10 Reaumur. Cotopaxi and Pinchincha, 
Antisana and Illinaza, the various craters of one subterranean 
fire, were all examined by the travellers, a fortnight being 
devoted to each. 

Humboldt twice reached the edge of the Pinchincha crater, 
never before seen except by Condamine. 

" I made my first trip/' he says, " accompanied only by an 
Indian. Condamine had approached the crater by the lower part 
of its edge which was covered with snow, and in this first attempt 
I followed his example. But we nearly perished. The Indian 
sank to the breast in a crevasse, and we found to our horror that 
we were walking on a bridge of frozen snow, for a little in advance 
of us there were some holes through which we could see the light. 
Without knowing it we were in fact on the vaults belonging to 
the crater itself. Startled, but not discouraged, I changed my 
plan. From the outer rim of the crater, flung as it were upon 
the abyss, rise three peaks, three rocks, which are not covered with 
snow, because the steam from the volcano prevents the water from 
freezing. I climbed upon one of these rocks and on the top of it 


found a stone attached on one side only to the rock and undermined 
beneath, so as to protrude like a balcony over the precipice. This 
stone was but about twelve feet long by six broad, and is terribly 
shaken by the frequent earthquakes, of which we counted eighteen 
in less than thirty minutes. To examine the depths of the crater 
thoroughly we lay on our faces, and I do not think imagination could 
conceive anything drearier, more gloomy, or more awful than what 
we saw. The crater consists of a circular hole nearly a league in 
circumference, the jagged edges of which are surrounded by snow. 
The interior is of pitchy blackness, but so vast is the gulf that the 
summits of several mountains situated in it can be made out at a 
depth of some 300 fathoms, so only fancy where their bases must 

" I have no doubt that the bottom of the crater must be on a 
level with the town of Quito. Condamine found this volcano 
extinct and covered with snow, but we had to take the bad news 
to the inhabitants of the capital, that the neighbouring burning 
mountain is really active." 

Humboldt ascended the volcano of Antisana to a height of 
2773 fathoms, but could go no further, as the cold was so intense 
that the blood started from the lips, eyes, and gums of the tra- 
vellers. It was impossible to reach the crater of Cotopaxi. 

On the 9th June, 1802, Humboldt, accompanied by Bonpland, 
started from Quito to examine Chimborazo and Tungurunga. 
The peak of the latter fell in during the earthquake of 1797, and 
Humboldt found its height to be but 2531 fathoms, whilst in 
Condamine's time it was 2620 fathoms. 

From Quito the travellers went to the Amazon by way of 
Lactacunga, Ambato and Rlo-Bamba situated in the province laid 
waste by the earthquake of 1797, when 40,000 inhabitants 
were swallowed up by water and mud. Going down the Andes, 
Humboldt and his companions had an opportunity of admiring 
the remains of the Yega road, leading from Cusco to Assuay, and 
known as the Inca's road. It was built entirely of hewn stones, 
and was very straight. It might have been taken for one of the 
best Roman roads. In the same neighbourhood are the ruins of 
a palace of the Inca Fupayupangi, described by Condamine in the. 
minutes of the Berlin Academy. 

After a stay of ten days at Cuen9a, Humboldt entered the pro- 


vince of Jaen, surveyed the Maranon as far as the Eio Napo, and 
with the aid of the astronomical observations he was able to make, 
supplemented Condamine's map. On the 23rd October, 1802, 
Humboldt entered Lima, where he successfully observed the transit 
of Mercury. 

After spending a month in that capital he started for Guaya- 
quil, whence he went by sea to Acapulco in Spanish America. 

The vast number of notes collected by Humboldt during the 
year he spent in Mexico, and which led to the publication of his 
Essay on Spanish America, would, after what we have said of his 
previous proceedings, be enough to prove, if proof were needed, 
what a passion he had for knowledge, how indomitable was his 
energy and how immense his power of work. 

At one and the same time he was studying the antiquities and 
the history of Mexico, the character, customs, and language of its 
people, and taking observations in natural history, physical geo- 
graphy, chemistry, astronomy, and topography. 

The Tasco, Moran, and Guanajuato mines, which yield a profit 
of several million piastres per annum, first attracted the attention 
of Humboldt, who had early studied geology. He then examined 
the Jerullo volcano, which, although situated in the centre of an 
immense plain thirty-six leagues from the sea, and more than 
forty from any volcano, discharged earth on the 29th September, 
1759, and formed a mountain of cinders and clay 1700 feet 

In Mexico the travellers were able to obtain everything neces- 
sary to the arrangement of the immense collections they had 
accumulated, to classify and compare the observations each had 
taken, and to prepare their geographical map for publication. 

Finally, in January, 1804, they left Acapulco to examine the 
eastern slopes of the Cordilleras, and to take the dimensions of the 
two lofty Puebla volcanoes. 

tc Popocatepelt," says Desborough Cooley, " is always active, 
although nothing but smoke and ashes have issued from its crater 
for centuries. It is not only 2000 feet higher than the loftiest 
mountains of Europe, but is also the loftiest mountain in Spanish 
America." In spite of the great quantity of snow which had 
recently fallen, Humboldt accomplished the ascent of the Cofre, 
1300 feet higher than the peak of Tenerifle, obtaining from its 


summit, an extensive and varied view, embracing the Puebla 
plain and the eastern slopes of the Mexican Cordilleras, clothed 
with thick forests of " liquidambar," tree-ferns and sensitive 
plants. The travellers were able to make out the port of Vera 
Cruz, the castle of San Juan d'Ulloa and the sea-shore. 

This mountain owes its name of Cofre to a naked rock of 
pyramidal form which rises like a tower from its summit at a 
height of 500 feet. 

After this last trip Humboldt went down to Vera Cruz, and 
having fortunately escaped the yellow fever then decimating the 
population, he set sail for Cuba, where he had left the greater 
part of his collection, going thence to Philadelphia. There he re- 
mained a few weeks to make a cursory study of the political con- 
stitution of the United States, returning to Europe in August, 

The results of Humboldt's travels were such, that he may be 
justly called the discoverer of Equinoctial America, which before his 
time had been explored without becoming really known, while 
many of its innumerable riches were absolutely ignored. It must 
be fully acknowledged that no traveller ever before did so much 
as Humboldt for physical geography and its kindred sciences. He 
was the very ideal of a traveller, and the world is indebted to him 
for important generalizations concerning magnetism and climate ; 
whose results are plainly seen in the isothermal lines of modern 
maps. The writings of Humboldt mark an era in the science of 
geography, and have led to many further researches. 


VOL. II. D d 



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Verne, Jules 

80 The great navigators of 

V54-3 the eighteenth century