A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11
by Robert Kerr
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Arrival in Brazil, with some Account of that Country.

Coming near the coast of Brazil, their design was to have anchored at the island Grande, but finding they had passed that island, they continued their course till off Porto, in lat. 24 deg. S. where they came to anchor. Some of the ship's company of the commodore then got into the boat in order to go shore, both for the purpose of procuring wood and water and other refreshments, and in order to bury one of their seamen who had died. Before they could get on shore, they descried a body of Portuguese well armed moving along the coast, who seemed to prevent them from landing, and beckoned the Dutch to keep off, threatening to fire if they attempted to land: But, on shewing them the dead body, they allowed them to land, and even shewed them a place in which to inter their dead companion. Being desirous of procuring some intelligence, the Dutch asked many questions about the country, but could only get for answer, that Porto was an advanced port to St Sebastian, not marked in the charts, and that they were inhabitants of Rio Janeiro, which lay at the distance of eight miles.[1] The Dutch endeavoured to persuade them to go on board the commodore, but they refused, fearing they might be pirates, which frequently used to come upon the coast, and, under pretence of getting fresh water, would land and pillage any of the little towns near the sea.

[Footnote 1: There must be a considerable mistake here in regard to the latitude of Porto, said to be in 21 deg. S. as Rio Janeiro is in lat. 22 deg. 54' S. and must therefore have been eighty leagues distant. Perhaps the eight miles in the text, as the distance to Rio Janeiro, ought to have been eighty leagues or Dutch miles.—E.]

About six months before the arrival of Roggewein at this place, a pirate had been there, and, while the crew were preparing to make a descent, a French ship of force arrived, which sent her to the bottom with one broadside. She sank in thirteen fathoms, and as she was supposed to have seven millions on board,[2] they had sent for divers from Portugal, in order to attempt recovering a part of her treasure. However, by dint of entreaties and the strongest possible assurance of safety, two of them were prevailed upon to go on board the commodore, where they were very kindly treated, and had clothes given them, by which they were induced to carry the squadron into a safe port, which was most serviceable to men in their condition, almost worn out with fatigues, and in a manner destroyed for want of water.

[Footnote 2: This is a most inconclusive mode of expression, perhaps meaning Dutch florins, and if so, about L636,363 sterling.—E.]

The harbour of Porto affords good anchorage in from six to eight fathoms. In entering it on the S.W. the main land is on the right, and a large island on the left, all the coast appearing very high land, consisting of mountains and intermediate vallies, overgrown with trees and shrubs. Porto is in a pleasant situation, but at this time had no inhabitants. They caught here both fish and tortoises of exquisite flavour, and so very nourishing, that about forty of the people who were ill of the scurvy, recovered very fast. Having remained there two days, in which time they supplied themselves with wood and water, they weighed anchor, and in six leagues sailing to the S.W. came into the road of St Sebastian. Just when entering the mouth of the river a violent storm arose, on which they had to drop their anchors, lest they had been driven on the rocks, and to wait the return of the tide in that situation. They entered the port next day, and came to anchor just before the town, which they saluted, but without being answered, either because the Portuguese guns were not in order, of because the inhabitants were not pleased, with their arrival, suspecting them of being pirates, though under the Dutch flag. In order to remove these apprehensions, Roggewein wrote to the governor, informing him what they were, and desiring to be furnished with cattle, vegetables, fruits, and other refreshments for payment, also requesting the use of a few huts on shore for the recovery of the sick men. The governor made answer, that these things were not in his power, as he was subordinate to the governor of Rio de Janeiro, to whom he should dispatch an express that evening, and hoped the commodore would give him time to receive the orders of his superior officer. But Roggewein was by no means satisfied with this answer, giving the governor to know, if he refused to deal with him by fair means and for ready money as offered, be should be obliged to have recourse to force, though much against his inclinations. Having learnt that there was a Franciscan monastery in the town, Roggewein sent also to inform the fathers of his arrival, accompanying his message by a present.

It happened fortunately for the Dutch, that a native of Utrecht, one Father Thomas, belonged to this monastery, who came immediately on board, accompanied by several other monks. He was so much delighted at the sight of his countrymen, that he declared he should now die in peace, having earnestly wished for twenty-two years to enjoy the satisfaction he was now gratified with. The commodore gave him a kind welcome, and presented him with whatever was deemed useful for the monastery. The prior, who was of the party on this occasion, begged the commodore to have patience till the return of the express from Rio de Janeiro, and promised to use his interest with the governor, to induce him to furnish the demanded refreshments, so that they parted well satisfied with each other. In the mean time, the Portuguese came down to the coast in large bodies well armed, posting themselves in such places as they judged the Dutch might attempt to put their men on shore; and at the approach of a Dutch pinnace, thought proper to fire at her, by which one of the Dutchmen was dangerously wounded in the shoulder. The boat's crew returned the fire by a general discharge of their fire-arms, by which two of the Portuguese were brought down, and the rest made a precipitate retreat. The Dutch then landed immediately, filling what water they had occasion for, and returned on board.

On the report of what had happened, which he deemed an act of hostility, Roggewein made immediate dispositions for attacking the town, ordering his smallest ship to go as near the place as possible, while the Teinhoven was ordered to watch the coast, and the commodore laid his own ship opposite the monastery, as if he had intended to batter it down. All this was merely to frighten the Portuguese into better behaviour, and it had the desired effect, as the deputy-governor came soon after on board, and entered into a treaty, granting every thing desired. He at the same time expressed considerable doubts of being paid for what they might furnish, as a French ship had been lately supplied with necessaries, and at its departure the French captain threatened to burn the town about their ears, if they insisted on payment according to agreement and his promises on first coming in. The sick were now landed on the island, and the whole of the ships companies were daily furnished by the Portuguese with beef, mutton, fowls, vegetables, fruits, and every thing else they wanted. The ships companies also had leave to go on shore, and soon contracted acquaintance among the Portuguese, from whom they obtained sugar, tobacco, brandy, and every thing else they wished for, in exchange for European goods, although the governor had strictly prohibited all commerce, under the strictest penalties. Thus, in a very short time the Portuguese became so well satisfied of the honesty and good intentions of the Dutch, that they brought back all their rich effects, formerly carried out of town when the ships first arrived. The Portuguese, however, complained loudly of the bad usage they met with from the French, who came frequently to this place with their ships, taking whatever they pleased by force, and plundering the houses in which they were permitted to lodge the sick; owing to which the Portuguese believed that all other Europeans would treat them in the same manner.

The town of St Sebastians is situated in lat. 24 deg. S. and long. 60 deg. W.[3] being a place of moderate extent, only indifferently fortified by an inclosure of palisades, with a few cannon for its defence. The church however is a beautiful building, and the palace of the governor is very magnificent; but the houses of the inhabitants are only such as are commonly met with among the Spanish and Portuguese colonists in America. The Franciscan monastery stands on the S. side of the town, and accommodates about thirty monks very conveniently. The prior shewed to the commodore and his officers a curious idol, which he said had been worshipped by the ancient natives of the place. It was the image of a creature half tiger half lion, about four feet high and a foot and a half round. Its feet resembled the paws of a lion, and the head was adorned with a double crown, in which were stuck twelve Indian darts, one of which on each side was broken. On each shoulder there was a large wing like that of a stork. In the inside was seen the statue of a man, completely armed in the manner of the country, having a quiver of arrows at his back, a bow in his left hand, and an arrow in his right. The tail of this strange idol was very long, and twisted three or four times round the body of the man. It had been called Nasil Lichma, by its worshippers, and the prior said that it was made of gold; but the author of this voyage suspected it was only gilded. The monks had also a numerous collection of European and American curiosities, which they exhibited at the same time.

[Footnote 3: It is impossible to reconcile this longitude with any of the first meridians mentioned in a former note, or indeed with any known geographical principles. It is 45 deg. 30' W. from Greenwich. If reckoned from the meridian of Teneriffe, said to be that used by the Dutch, this would place it 21 deg. 10' too far west, as Teneriffe is 16 deg. 40' W. from Greenwich. This place, in an island of the same name, has to be carefully distinguished from the city of St Sebastian, now more commonly known by the name of Rio de Janeiro.—E.]

The port, or river rather, of St Sebastian, is three or four leagues in length, and about one league broad, having a very fine island on the N.E. of about four miles round, and there are smaller islands on all the other sides of this haven. The country of Brazil is very large and rich, insomuch that the king of Portugal is said to draw as great a revenue from hence, as the king of Spain from all his vast possessions in America. Its capital is Bahia, or St Salvador, besides which there are many other towns, as Siara, Olinda, Rio de Janeiro, St Vincent, and others. The country was discovered in 1590; but even at this day the Portuguese have not penetrated above eighty leagues into the interior. The soil is good, and the country would doubtless produce abundance of corn and wine for the use of its inhabitants; but, from a principle of policy, the colonists are not permitted to cultivate these productions, and are consequently supplied with them from Portugal. It is the common opinion that the ancient inhabitants were anthropophagi, or cannibals, and it is even said that human flesh was sold in their markets, as commonly as beef and mutton, but of this there is no authentic proof.[4]

[Footnote 4: There is no doubt that at least some of the tribes roasted and eat their prisoners, like the Caribs of the West Indies. But certainly they had not arrived to that state of civilization as to have markets; and beef and mutton were unknown in America, till carried there from Europe.—E.]

Such of the natives as were seen were large dark-complexioned men, having thick lips, flat noses, and very white teeth. The Portuguese are numerous in Brazil, both Creoles, and such as come from time to time from Portugal, to repair their broken fortunes. A little time before the arrival of Roggewein, the Portuguese had discovered a diamond mine not far from St Sebastian, of which at that time they were not in full possession, but were meditating an expedition against the Indians, in order to become sole masters of so valuable a prize; and with this view they invited the Dutch to join them, promising them a share in the riches in the event of success. By these means, nine of our soldiers were tempted to desert. I know not the success of this expedition; but it is probable that it succeeded, as great quantities of diamonds have since been imported from Brazil into Europe. They are said to be found on the tops of mountains among a peculiar red earth containing a great deal of gold; and, being washed down by the great rains and torrents into the vallies, are there gathered in lavaderas by negroes employed for the purpose.

Brazil abounds with numerous sorts of beasts, birds, and fish, both wild and tame. They have tigers that do a great deal of mischief, also elephants in great abundance, the teeth of which are of great value.[5] There is no country on earth where serpents, and other venomous reptiles, are more frequent, or of larger size. So far as the Portuguese power and colonization extends, the popish religion is established; but vast numbers of the indigenous natives of the country remain unsubdued, and continue their original idolatry, being of such cruel and vindictive dispositions, that when a Christian falls into their hands, the best thing that can happen to him is to have his throat cut, as they are, for the most part, put to death by means of cruel tortures. The air of the country, though excessively hot at certain times of the year, is extremely wholesome, as we experienced by our speedy recovery from the scurvy and other distempers. About St Sebastian there are vast quantities of venomous musquetoes, which sting to such a degree that we were all covered over with blisters. Our pilot, having drank too freely of the country rum, and afterwards fallen asleep in the open air, had his head, face, arms, and legs so severely stung, that his life was in imminent danger, and he recovered after a long time, not without much care.

[Footnote 5: There are animals of the tyger kind in Brazil and other parts of America, and the Jaguar, Owza, or Brazilian tyger, is probably the one here meant. No elephants exist in America, and their teeth, mentioned in the text, must have come from some of the Portuguese African possessions.—E.]

While here, the commodore kept up a very strict discipline over his people; and some of his sailors being complained against as having maltreated some Indian women, he caused them to be severely punished, and would never afterwards allow them to go on shore. The Dutch and Portuguese agreed extremely well, but the governor was far from being pleased with his visitors, more especially because he had learnt from some of the deserters that the object of the expedition was to make discoveries in the south. For this reason he practised every art he could devise to hinder and distress them, and furnished them with provisions only from day to day, that they might not increase their sea-stores. He also frequently talked of there being five or six Portuguese men-of-war in Rio de Janeiro, in order to put the Dutch in fear of being attacked, and actually sent for the only ship that was there at the time, to come to St Sebastian. Roggewein perfectly understood the meaning of all this, of which he took no notice, and complied exactly with the terms of the agreement entered into with the deputy governor, saving part of the fresh provisions daily and salting them, cleaned and repaired his ship in succession, and took on board tobacco, sugar, and every thing else he wanted, till in a condition to continue the voyage. He then fully satisfied the governor for every thing procured at this place, making payment in fire-arms, hats, silk stockings, linen, stock-fish, and other European articles, and made him a considerable present besides. In return, the governor sent him some black cattle, and gave him a certificate of his honourable behaviour.


Incidents during the Voyage from Brazil to Juan Fernandez, with a Description of that Island.

Every thing being settled at St Sebastian, Roggewein set sail towards the S.W. and falling in with a desert island about three leagues from the coast, he set on shore the swabber who had attempted to murder the cook, pursuant to his sentence, as formerly related. Leaving the coast of Brazil, the commodore proposed to have visited an island called Aukes Magdeland, after the name of its supposed discoverer, who is said to have seen a light on that island about an hundred years before, but did not go on shore. This island was said to be situated in the latitude of 30 deg. S. and as being in the route of the navigation towards the South Sea, and in a good climate, he proposed to have settled a colony there for the service of such ships as might afterwards be bound for the Southern Indies, the object he was now in search of, where they might be supplied with wood, water, and other refreshments. But after much pains, he could neither discover that nor any other island in or near the latitude of 30 deg. S. He therefore altered his coarse, steering for those called the New Islands by the Dutch, and the Islands of St Lewis, by a French privateer who first discovered them. Keeping always within forty or fifty leagues of the American coast, the squadron prosecuted its course very happily, having always the advantage of the land and sea-breezes; whereas, if it had kept farther from land, it would infallibly have fallen in with the western trade-wind.

On the 21st December, being in lat. 40 deg.. S. they were assailed by a hurricane, attended with thunder and lightning, during which storm the Tienhoven parted company, and did not rejoin till three months afterwards. The extreme violence of this hurricane only lasted about four hours, during which they every moment expected to have been swallowed up by the waves, which ran mountain-high. These hurricanes are extremely dangerous, and are far more frequent in the American seas than in the East Indies. They usually happen at that season of the year when the west monsoon reigns, which is from the 20th July to the 15th October, for which reason ships usually remain then in port till they think the danger is over. Yet as storms of this kind are not exactly periodical, ships that trust to such calculations are often caught, as there are some years in which there are no hurricanes, and others in which they are more frequent and violent, and at unusual periods. The ordinary, or at least the surest sign of an approaching hurricane, is very fair weather, and so dead a calm that not even a wrinkle is to be seen on the surface of the sea. A very dark cloud is then seen to rise in the air, not larger than a man's hand, and in a very little time the whole sky becomes overcast. The wind then begins to blow from the west, and in a short space of time, whirls round the compass, swelling the sea to a dreadful height; and as the wind blows now on one side and then on the other, the contrary waves beat so forcibly on the ships that they seldom escape foundering or shipwreck. On first perceiving the before-mentioned small cloud, the best thing a ship can do is to stand out to sea. It is remarkable that the hurricanes are less frequent as we approach the higher latitudes in either hemisphere, so that they are not to be feared beyond the lat. of 55 deg. either S. or N. It is also remarked, that hurricanes rarely happen in the middle of the wide ocean, but chiefly on the coasts of such countries as abound with minerals, and off the mouths of large rivers. Another surprising phenomenon at sea is what is called a whirlwind water-spout, or syphon, which often carries up high into the air whatever comes within the circle of its force, as fish, grasshoppers, and other things, where they appear like a thick vapour or cloud. The English fire at a water-spout or whirlwind, and often succeed in stopping its progress; the circular motion ceasing, and all that it had taken up falling immediately down, when the sea becomes presently calm.

On the cessation of the hurricane, the commodore and his remaining consort, the African galley, continued their course to the S.S.W. till in the height of the Straits of Magellan. They here fell in with an island of near 200 leagues in circumference, and about 14 leagues from the mainland of America, and seeing no smoke, nor any boat, or other kind of embarkation, they concluded that it was uninhabited. The west coast of this island was discovered by a French privateer, and named the Island of St Lewis; but being seen afterwards by the Dutch, who fancied its many capes to be distinct islands, they called it New Islands. Considering that, if ever it should be inhabited, its inhabitants would be the antipodes of the Dutch, Roggewein gave it the name of Belgia Australis. It is in the lat. of 52 deg. S. and long. of 95 deg. W.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is not the smallest doubt that the text refers to the Falkland islands or Malouines, which consist of two principal islands, called West and East Islands, besides a number of islets, about 360 English miles from the continent of South America. The centre of the west, or principal island, is in lat. 51 deg. 25' S. and long. 60 deg. W. from Greenwich.—E.]

The land appeared extremely beautiful and very fertile, being chequered with mountains and vallies, all of which were cloathed with fine straight trees. The verdure of the meadows, and freshness of the woods, afforded a delightful prospect, insomuch that all the people believed they should have found abundance of excellent fruits. But the commodore would not delay by permitting them to land, being anxious to get round Cape Horn, and chose therefore to defer a thorough examination of this new country till his return from discovering the southern continent and islands: This, however reasonable, proved vain in the sequel, as he was forced to return with his squadron by the East Indies; and this fine island, therefore, is likely to continue in a great measure unknown.

Quitting this island, they made for the Straits of Magellan, in order to wait a wind favourable for their navigation, which took place in a few days: for, if it had continued to blow from the west, they could not possibly have got into the South Seas. They now resolved to attempt the Straits of Le Maire, as infinitely more commodious than the Strait of Magellan, in which latter the sea has but small depth, and the meeting of the north and south currents occasion continual rough seas. The bottom also of the Straits of Magellan is rocky, affording no good anchorage; and the flows of winds from the mountains on both sides are apt to endanger all ships that endeavour to pass through these perilous straits. Having now a fair wind, they continued their course to the south for the Straits of Le Maire, seeing on their way abundance of whales and other large fish of that kind. Among the rest, they were followed for a whole month by that kind of fish which is called the Sea Devil by the Dutch sailors, which they took the utmost pains to catch, but to no purpose. It has a large head, a thick short body, and a very long tail, like that which painters bestow on the dragon.

Arriving in the lat. of 55 deg. S. they soon after saw State Island, or Staten-land, which forms one side of the Straits of Luttaire. The fury of the waves, and the clashing of contending currents, gave such terrible shocks to their vessels, that they expected every moment their yards should have been broken, and their masts to come by the board. They would gladly have come to anchor, especially on finding the bottom to be good, but the weather and the sea were so rough that they durst not. They passed through the straits, which are about ten leagues long, by six over, with a swiftness not to be expressed, owing to the force and rapidity of the current. After getting through, this current, together with the westerly winds, carried them a great way from the coast of America; and, that they might be sure to sail free of Cape Horn, they sailed as high as the lat. of 62 deg. 30' S. For three weeks together, they sustained the most dreadful gusts of a furious west wind, accompanied with hail and snow, and the most piercing frost. While enveloped in thick mists, they were apprehensive of being driven by the extreme violence of the winds upon mountains of ice, where they must inevitably have perished.

Whenever the weather was in any degree clear or serene, they had scarcely any night; for, being in the middle of January, 1722, the summer was then in its height, and the days at their utmost length.

These mountains of ice, of which they were so much afraid, are certain proofs that the southern countries extend quite to the pole, as well as those under the north; for, without question, these vast hills of ice cannot be produced in the sea, nor formed by the common force of cold. It must therefore he concluded, that they are occasioned by the sharp piercing winds blowing out of the mouths of large rivers.[2] It is no less certain, that the currents discerned in this ocean must all proceed from the mouths of large rivers, which, rolling down from a high continent, fall with such impetuosity into the sea, as to preserve a great part of their force long after they have entered it.[3] The great quantity of birds seen here was an additional proof that land was not far off. It may be asked, whether this land be inhabited or not? For my part I believe it is. It may be again asked, How men should live in such a climate, in the lat. of 70 deg. S. where the winter is so very long, the summer so short, and where they must be involved for so great a portion of the year in perpetual night? To this I answer, That such as dwell there come only in the fine season in order to fish, and retire on the approach of winter, as is done by many of the inhabitants of Russia and of Davis Straits, who, when they have provided themselves with fish on the coasts of a frozen climate, retire farther inland, and eat in their cabins during the winter the fish they have caught in the summer. If the people who inhabit Greenland and Davis Straits are to be believed, the country is inhabited even as high as 70 deg. N. both winter and summer; and what is practicable in one country, cannot justly be reputed impracticable when supposed in another.[4]

[Footnote 2: This is quite erroneous, as it is now well known that the sea water freezes, when reduced to a sufficient degree of cold, considerably lower than what is requisite for freezing fresh water. On this occasion, the salt precipitates from the freezing water, and the ice of sea water is sufficiently fresh for use when melted, if the first running be thrown away, which often contains salt, either adhering to the surface, or contained in cells.—E.]

[Footnote 3: This is poor reasoning to support a preconceived theory of a southern continent, and might easily have been answered by themselves, as the prodigious current which set them through the Straits of Le Maire with such rapidity, could not have originated from any such cause. Currents are well known to be occasioned by the tides, the diurnal revolution of the earth, and by prevailing winds, influenced and directed by the bendings of coasts, the interposition of islands, and the position of straits. No such currents could possibly come from rivers in an austral land, locked up in ever-during frost, should any such land exist.—E.]

[Footnote 4: It might be asked, whence are these fishers to come? Not surely from among the miserable inhabitants of Terra del Fuego. A miserable hypothesis is thus often obstinately defended by wretched arguments.—E.]

Being driven 500 leagues from the continent by the contrary winds, the commodore now believed that he was beyond Cape Horn to the westwards, and steered therefore N.E. by N. in order to fall in with the coast of Chili. On the 10th March, being in lat. 37 deg. 30' S. they discovered the coast of Chili to their great joy, and anchored soon after on the coast of the island of Mocha, which is three leagues from the continent.[5] They were in hopes of finding on this island at least a part of the refreshments of which they were in want, especially fresh meat and vegetables, but were disappointed, by finding the island entirely abandoned, all its inhabitants having removed to the main land. They saw, however, in the island a multitude of horses and birds, and found some dogs in two cabins near the shore. They also discovered the wreck of a Spanish ship, from which they supposed the dogs had got on shore. The horses were supposed to have been left here to graze, and that the owners came at certain times from the main to take them, as wanted. They here killed abundance of geese and ducks; and finding the coast extremely rocky, and having no safe place of anchorage, they resolved to put to sea. In a council of the officers, it was determined to continue for some time longer on the coast of Chili, in hopes of meeting with some port in which they could safely anchor, in order to get some refreshments; but perceiving the Spaniards to be every where on their guard, they steered W.N.W. for the island of Juan Fernandez, which they reckoned to be at the distance of ninety leagues in that direction. Although the coast of Chili appears to be enormously high when seen from a distance, they discovered, by sailing along shore, that it was not higher than the coast of England, and that they had been deceived by the enormous height of the inland mountains, the tops of which are hid in the clouds, and cloathed in perpetual snow.

[Footnote 5: Mocha is in lat. 36 deg. 20' S. and about 20 miles from the coast of Chili.—E.]

Having a favourable wind, they made way at a great rate, and got sight of the island of Juan Fernandez, on the fourth day after leaving the coast of Chili, but could not get to anchor that day in the road, owing to its falling calm. Next day, when ready to go in, they were astonished by seeing a ship riding at anchor, which they conjectured to be either a Spanish ship of force or a French interloper, but at last concluded to be a pirate. While consulting what to do, they saw the boat belonging to the ship coming towards them, carrying a Spanish flag, on which they began to prepare for an engagement, but were astonished beyond measure, on its nearer approach, to find that it belonged to their consort the Tienhoven, which they concluded had foundered. Captain Bowman was himself on board the boat, and shewed how well he had followed his instructions, as, by the commodore's orders in case of separation, this was to be the first place of rendezvous; whence, after cruizing six weeks, they were to repair to lat. 28 deg. S. and cruize there a similar time: But, in case of not meeting the commodore in either of these places, they were then to open their sealed instructions, and follow them exactly. As soon as Captain Bowman was on board the commodore, he made a signal agreed on to his own ship, to acquaint them that the two ships were their consorts, After this, the Eagle and African entered the harbour.

When leisure permitted, Captain Bowman gave an account of the dangers he had encountered in passing the Straits of Magellan: That he had met with many storms on the coast of America, and that his ship was in a very bad condition, having only arrived at Juan Fernandez the evening before his consorts, both of which he believed had been lost in the hurricane at the time of their separation. The three captains afterwards dined together very cheerfully in the Tienhoven, where they recounted and reciprocally commiserated their past misfortunes, and rejoiced at their present happy meeting. As it still continued a dead calm, they were unable to come to anchor at the place intended, but they next day got close beside the Tienhoven, anchoring in forty fathoms, within musket-shot of the shore. The sick were now landed, and proper persons sent ashore along with them to construct cabins or huts for their accommodation; and to search for provisions and refreshments.

According to the author of this voyage, the island of Juan Fernandez is one of the finest and best situated in the world, having a pleasant, wholesome, and temperate climate, fit to restore health to the sick, and to give a constant flow of spirits to those who are in health, which this author personally experienced, having here recovered from a complication of disorders to perfect health. The hills are covered with tall trees of various kinds, fit for all kinds of uses; and the vallies are fertile, and able to produce all the necessaries of life with very little cultivation. It abounds with small streams and brooks, the banks of which are covered with wholesome giants; and the waters which run down from the mountains, though not in the least disagreeable to the taste, or injurious to health, are so impregnated with some mineral particles, that they never corrupt. On the east side of the bay in which the Dutch ships anchored, there are three mountains, the middlemost of which resembles the Table Mountains at the Cape of Good Hope. Behind these there are many other mountains which rise to a prodigious height, and are generally covered by very thick mist, especially in the mornings and evenings, whence I am apt to suspect that these mountains may contain rich mines. To give a just idea of the island in few words, it resembles in all respects the country at the Cape of Good Hope.

This author also mentions the sea-lions and seals of other writers, and adds, that there are sea-cows also of enormous size, some weighing near half a ton. He also mentions the abundance and excellence of the fish, of which the Dutch cured many thousands during their short stay, which proved extraordinarily good, and were of great service during the rest of the voyage. He mentions goats also on the island in abundance, but says the Dutch were unable to catch them, and at a loss how to get at their bodies when shot; but they were frightened from this sport by an unlucky accident which happened to the steward of one of the ships, soon after their arrival, who, rambling one evening in the mountains, fell suddenly from the top of a rock and was dashed to pieces. They found here the remains of a wreck, supposed by them to have been of a Spanish ship; but it was more probably the vestiges of the Speedwell, lost a year before, and from which, by diving, some of the sailors recovered several pieces of silver plate.

Having attentively considered the advantageous situation and many conveniences of this island, Roggewein conceived the design of settling on it, as the most proper place that could be thought of for ships bound, as he was, for the Terra Australis, or southern islands, and was the more encouraged in this design by considering the fertility of the island, which could not fail to afford sufficient subsistence for six hundred families at least. He postponed this, however, as also the settlement of Belgia Australis, or Falkland islands, till his proposed return, owing to which they never were settled. A settlement at the latter might have afforded a proper place for ships to careen and refit at, and to procure wood and water, after the long voyage from Europe, before entering the Straits of Magellan, and Juan Fernandez would have afforded every convenience for repairing any injuries that might have been sustained in passing through these straits, or going round Cape Horn. Whatever nation may revive and prosecute this plan, will certainly acquire in a few years as rich and profitable a commerce as is now possessed by the Spaniards with Mexico and Peru, or the Portuguese with Brazil.[6]

[Footnote 6: Britain once tried a settlement at Falkland islands, and had nearly gone to war with Spain on the occasion; and there can be no doubt that Spain could never have submitted to the settlement of Juan Fernandez by any other power. There is now a fort and small garrison kept in that island.—E]


Continuation of the Voyage from Juan Fernandez till the Shipwreck of the African Galley.

On leaving Juan Fernandez, Roggewein proposed to visit that part of the southern lands which was reported to have been discovered by Davis in 1680.[1] As the Dutch author of this voyage is rather dark on this subject, I shall here insert Mr Wafer's account of this discovery, as it is very short. Wafer was a man of sense and knowledge, who sailed along with Davis when this discovery was made.

[Footnote 1: We have omitted a long, inconclusive, and uninteresting discussion about the climate and productions of the proposed discovery, the Terra Australis, which still remains incognito, or rather has been clearly shewn to have no existence.—E.]

"We steered from the Gallapagos island S. by E. 1/2 E. until we came into the lat. of 27 deg. 20' S. when we fell in with a low sandy island, and heard a great roaring noise right a-head of the ship, like that of the sea beating on the shore. It being some hours before day, and fearing to fall foul of the shore, the ship put about, and plied off and on till next morning, and then stood in for the land, which proved to be a small flat island, not surrounded by any rocks. To the westwards, about twelve leagues by estimation, we saw a range of high land which we took to be islands, as there were several partitions in the prospect, and this land seemed to extend fourteen or sixteen leagues. There came great flocks of fowls from that direction; and I and more of the men would have made this land and gone on shore there, but the captain would not consent. The small island bears 500 leagues from Copaipo almost due W. and from the Gallapagos 600 leagues."[2]

[Footnote 2: There can be no doubt that the small low flat island was Easter island, in lat. 27 deg. 20' S. long. 110 deg. 10' W. Its distance from Copaipo, almost due W. is almost exactly 40 deg. or 800 marine leagues. The range of high land seen to the westwards, could be nothing but a fog bank, so that Roggewein set out from Juan Fernandez in search of a nonentity.—E.]

In prosecuting his voyage to the westwards, the first land seen by Roggewein was the lesser island of Juan Fernandez, otherwise called Massa-fuero, about ninety-five English miles direct west. This appeared lower and less fertile from a distance, but they had not an opportunity of landing. Having the benefit of a S.E. trade-wind, they soon arrived in lat. 28 deg. S. and the longitude of 251 deg. E. where they expected to have fallen in with the land seen by Davis, but no such land was to be found. Continuing their voyage to the westwards, and attended by a vast quantity of birds, they arrived on the coast of a small island about sixteen leagues in extent, which they fell in with on the 14th April, 1722, being Easter-day, and called it therefore Pascha, or Easter Island.

The African galley being the smallest ship, was sent in first to examine this new discovery, and reported that it seemed to be very fertile and well peopled, as abundance of smoke was to be seen in all parts of the island. Next day, while looking out for a port, and when about two miles from the shore, an Indian came off to the ships in a canoe, who came readily on board and was well received. Being naked, he was first presented with a piece of cloth to cover him, and they gave him afterwards pieces of coral, beads, and other toys, all of which he hung about his neck, together with a dried fish. His body was painted all over with a variety of figures, through which the natural colour of his skin appeared to be dark brown. His ears were excessively large and long, hanging down to his shoulders, occasioned doubtless by wearing large heavy ear-rings; a thing also practised by the natives of Malabar. He was tall, well-made, robust and of a pleasing countenance, and brisk and active in his manners, appearing to be very merry by his gestures and way of speaking. They gave him victuals, of which he eat heartily, but could not be prevailed on to use a knife and fork; and when offered a glass of wine threw it away to their great surprise, afraid of being poisoned, or offended by the smell of strong liquor, to which he was unaccustomed. He was then dressed from head to foot, and had a hat put on his head, with which he did not seem at all pleased, but cut a very awkward figure, and seemed uneasy. The music was then ordered to play, with which he seemed much pleased, and when taken by the hand would leap and dance. Finding it impossible to bring the ships to anchor that day, they sent off the Indian, allowing him to keep all he had got in order to encourage the rest to come on board. But, what was really surprising, he had no mind to go away, and looked at the Dutch with regret, held up his hands towards his native island, and cried in a loud voice several times Odorega! making appear by signs that he would much rather have staid, and they had much ado to get him into his canoe. They afterwards imagined he called upon his gods, as they saw abundance of idols erected on the coast when they landed.[3]

[Footnote 3: It will be afterwards seen in the modern circumnavigations, that there are several gigantic statues, having a distant resemblance to the human figure, on this island, which are perhaps alluded to in the text.—E.]

Next morning at day-break, the ships entered a cove or bay on the S.E. side of the island, when many thousands[4] of the inhabitants came down to meet them, bringing with them vast quantities of fowls and roots; and many of them brought these provisions on board, while the rest ran backwards and forwards on the shore, like so many wild beasts. As the ships drew near, the islanders crowded down to the shore to get a better view of them, and at the same time lighted fires, and made offerings to their idols, probably to implore their protection against the strangers. All that day the Dutch spent in getting into the bay and mooring their ships. Next morning very early, the islanders were observed prostrating themselves before their idols towards the rising sun, and making burnt offerings. While preparations were making for landing, the friendly native who had been before on board came a second time, accompanied by many others, who had their canoes loaded with living fowls and roots cooked after their manner, as if to make themselves welcome. Among this troop of islanders there was one man perfectly white, having round pendents in his ears as big as a man's fist. He had a grave decent air, and was supposed to be a priest. By some accident, one of the islanders was shot dead in his canoe by a musket, which threw the whole into prodigious confusion, most of them leaping into the sea in order to get the sooner ashore; while the rest who remained in their canoes paddled away with all their might.

[Footnote 4: This surely is a prodigious exaggeration, as the island is utterly incapable to have supported any considerable number of inhabitants, and there is not any other within 1500 miles.—E.]

The Dutch presently followed, and made a descent with 150 soldiers and seamen, at the head of whom was Commodore Roggewein, accompanied by the author of the voyage, who commanded the soldiers. The islanders crowded so close upon them while landing, that they thought it necessary to make their way by force, especially as some of the natives were so bold as to lay hold of their arms; and the Dutch accordingly fired, when a great number of the islanders were slain, among whom was the friendly native who had been twice aboard ship. This frightened and dispersed them; yet in a few minutes they rallied again, but did not come quite so near the strangers as before, keeping at the distance of about ten yards, as if they supposed that were sufficient to ensure their safety from the muskets. Their consternation was however very great, and they howled and lamented dismally. After all, as if to employ every possible means to mollify their invaders, the men, women, and children presented themselves in the most humble postures, carrying branches of palm in token of peace and submission, bringing plenty of provisions of all kinds, and even pointing to their women, giving the Dutch to understand by signs that these were entirely at their disposal, and that they might carry as many of them on board ship as they thought proper. Softened by these tokens of submission, the Dutch did them no farther harm, but made them presents of coral beads and small looking-glasses, and distributed among them sixty yards of painted cloth.

The natives now brought at once to the Dutch about 500 live fowls, every way the same with the ordinary poultry of Europe, together with a great quantity of red and white roots and potatoes, which these islanders use instead of bread. They brought also several hundred sugar-canes, and a great quantity of pisans, which are a sort of figs as large as gourds covered by a green rind, the pulp of which is as sweet as honey. The leaves of the tree on which these figs grow are six or eight feet long and three broad, and there are sometimes an hundred of these pisans on one bough. The Dutch saw no quadrupeds of any kind, yet supposed there might be cattle and other beasts in the interior, as on shewing some hogs to the islanders, they expressed by signs that they had seen such animals before. They used pots to dress their meat in; and it appeared that every family or tribe among them dwelt in a separate village. The huts or cabins composing these villages were from forty to sixty feet long, by six or eight feet broad, made of upright poles, having the interstices filled up with loam or fat earth, and covered at top with palm leaves. They drew most of their subsistence from the earth by cultivation, the land being portioned out into small plantations very neatly divided and staked out. While the Dutch were there, almost all the fruits and roots were in full maturity, and the island seemed to abound in good things. In their houses there were not many moveables, and those they had were of no value, except some red and white quilts or cloths, which served them in the day for mantles, and at night for coverlets. The stuff of which these were composed felt as soft as silk, and was probably of their own manufacture.

The natives of this island were in general a brisk, slender, active, well-made people, very swift of foot, and seemed of sweet tempers, and modest dispositions, but timorous and faint-hearted; for whenever they brought fowls or other provisions to the Dutch, they threw themselves on their knees, and immediately on delivering their presents retired in all haste. They were mostly as brown-complexioned as Spaniards, some among them being almost black, while others were white, and others again had their skins entirely red, as if sun-burnt. Their ears hung down to their shoulders, and some had large white bales hanging to them, which they seemed to consider as a great ornament. Their bodies were painted all over with the figures of birds and other animals, on some much better executed than on others.[5] All their women had artificial bloom on their cheeks, but of a much deeper crimson than is known in Europe, and the Dutch could not discover what this colour was composed of. They wore little hats on their heads made of straw or reeds, and had no other covering than the quilts or mantles formerly mentioned.[6] The women were by no means extremely modest, for they invited the Dutchmen into their houses by signs, and when they sat by them would throw off their mantles, as inviting familiarity. It is very singular of these islanders, that the Dutch saw no appearance whatever of arms among them; but, when attacked, they fled for refuge to their idols, numbers of which were erected all along the coast. These idols were all of stone, representing the figures of men with great ears, their heads covered by the representations of crowns; and all so nicely proportioned, and so highly finished, that the Dutch were much amazed. Many of the inhabitants seemed to be more frequent and more zealous worshippers of these images than the rest, which induced the Dutch to believe that these were priests; and that the more especially, as their heads were close shaven, on which they wore caps of black and white feathers,[7] and they had large white balls hanging at their ears.

[Footnote 5: Tatooed in all probability, a practice so common through the inhabitants of Polynesia, which will be minutely described in an after division of this collection. It may suffice to say at present, that this decoration is formed by pricking the skin with sharp instruments till it just bleeds, and afterwards rubbing some coloured powders into the punctures, which leave indelible stains.—E.]

[Footnote 6: It is left ambiguous whether these straw hats and mantles were worn by both sexes, or confined exclusively to the women.—E.]

[Footnote 7: A dissertation is here omitted on a fancied migration of storks annually from Europe to this island and others in the South-sea, as high as lat. 40 deg. and 50 deg. S. merely because the Dutch thought the feathers in these caps resembled those of storks.—E.]

No appearance of government or subordination was observed among these islanders, and consequently no prince or chief having dominion over the rest. The old people wore bonnets made of feathers resembling the down of ostriches, and had sticks in their hands. In some of the houses, the father of the family was observed to have rule over all its inhabitants, and was obeyed with the greatest readiness. In the opinion of the Dutch author of this voyage, this island might be settled to great advantage, as the air is very wholesome and the soil rich; being proper for producing corn in the low lands, and its higher grounds might be converted into vineyards. On the evening, after returning on board, Roggewein proposed to land again next morning with a force sufficient to make a strict survey of the whole island: But during the night there arose so strong a west wind as drove them from their anchors, and they were forced to put to sea, to avoid being shipwrecked. After this misfortune, they cruized for some time in the same latitude, seeking in vain for the land discovered by Davis, on which Roggewein determined to bear away for the Bad Sea of Schouten, keeping always a west course, in hopes of discovering some new land. In this coarse, they soon found themselves in the height of the island discovered by Schonten in 1615, to which he gave the name of Bad-water, because all its waters were brackish; but, by changing their course, they ran 300 leagues out of their way, and at least 150 leagues farther than Schonten.

In this wide sea, Roggewein sailed upwards of 800 leagues without seeing land, though he frequently varied his course. At length, when in lat. 15 deg. 30' S. they discovered a very low island, the coast of which was covered with a deep yellow-coloured sand, having in the middle of the island a kind of pond, lake, or lagoon. All the principal officers were of opinion that this was the island to which Schonten gave the name of Dog island, and did not therefore think it necessary to go on shore for more particular examination.[8] The author of this voyage was of a different opinion, conceiving it a new discovery, and calling it Carlshoff,[9] which he says is in lat. 15 deg. 45' S. and long. 280 deg.. He describes it as a low flat island of about three leagues in extent, having a lake in the middle.

[Footnote 8: In modern geography Dog island is placed in lat. 15 deg. 10' S. long. 137 deg. 45' W. from Greenwich.—E.]

[Footnote 9: Carlshoff is laid down by Arrowsmith in lat. 15 deg. 45' S. as in the text, and long. 145 deg. 28' W. The first meridian used for the longitude in the text is quite inexplicable, and was probably assumed on very erroneous computation. It is 190 marine leagues due west from Dog island.—E.]

Leaving this island, the wind came about to the S.W. a sign that they were near some coast, which had changed the current of the air; and by this alteration of wind they were driven among some small islands, where they found themselves considerably embarrassed. In this situation the African galley led the way for the rest, as sailing best and drawing least water; but she soon found herself in such danger, that they fired repeated guns of distress, on which the other two ships hastened to her assistance, when they found her stuck so fast between two rocks that it was impossible to get her of? and were only able to save her people. Roused by the noise of the signal guns, the natives of the surrounding islands kindled many fires on their hills, and flocked in crowds to the coasts; and the Dutch; not knowing what might be their designs in the darkness of the night and in the midst of their own confusion, fired upon them without ceremony, that they might have as few dangers as possible to deal with at one time. In the morning as soon as it was light, they had a clear view of the danger all the ships had been in during the darkness of the past night, finding themselves environed on all sides by four islands, with a continued chain of steep rocks, and so close together that they could hardly discern the channel by which they had got in, so that they had much reason to be thankful for having been so wonderfully preserved in the midst of so much danger. On this occasion only one seaman was lost, who belonged to the Tienhoven, and who, in his eagerness to go to succour his friends, dropt overboard and was drowned.

The danger was by no means over as soon as discovered, as it cost the Dutch no less than five days to extricate themselves from their perilous situation, during which time the commodore was separated from the Tienhoven, and remained ignorant of the fate of the African. At length, the boat of the Tienhoven, having sailed all round the group of islands, brought information that the crew of the African had got safe on shore; and that the natives, after being once fired on, had retired into the interior in all haste. Roggewein now sent his boat to bring off all those who had got on shore; and on mustering the crew of the African on board the Eagle, it appeared that a quarter-master and four seamen were missing. On enquiry, it was found that these men had chosen to remain on the island, as they had mutinied against their officers on getting ashore, because they had interposed to prevent them from killing each other with their knives, and Captain Rosenthall had threatened to have them all put to death when he got them aboard the commodore, wherefore they had fled to avoid punishment. Being unwilling to lose them, the commodore sent the author of this narrative with a detachment of soldiers to bring them away, but he was unable to succeed.

These islands are situated between the latitudes of 15 deg. and 16 deg. S. about twelve leagues west from Carlshoff,[10] each of them appearing to be four or five leagues in compass. That on which the African was shipwrecked was named Mischievous Island, the two next it the Brothers, and the fourth the Sister All four islands were beautifully verdant, and abounded in fine tall trees, especially cocoas; and the crews found material benefit while here by refreshing themselves on the vegetable productions of these islands, by which many of them were surprisingly recovered from the scurvy. The Dutch found here vast quantities of muscles, cockles, mother-of-pearls, and pearl-oysters, which gave reason to expect that a valuable pearl fishery might have been established here. These islands are extremely low, so that some parts of them must be frequently overflowed; but the inhabitants have plenty of stout canoes, as also stout barks provided with sails and cables; and the Dutch found several pieces of rope on the shore, that seemed made of hemp. The natives were of extraordinary size, all their bodies being painted [or tatooed] with many colours, and had mostly long black hair, though some had brown hair even inclined towards red. They were armed with pikes or lances eighteen or twenty feet long, and kept in bodies of fifty or an hundred together, endeavouring to entice the Dutch to follow them into the interior, as if to draw them into an ambuscade, on purpose to be revenged for the loss they had sustained by the firing on the night of the shipwreck.

[Footnote 10: Pernicious islands, almost certainly the Mischievous islands of the text, are placed in lat. 16 deg. 5' S. and long. 148 deg. 50' W. about 20 leagues W. by S. from Carlshoff by Arrowsmith.—E.]


Continuation of the Voyage after the Loss of the African, to the Arrival of Roggewein at New Britain.

The next morning after leaving Mischievous island, they saw a new island eight leagues to the west, to which they gave the name of Aurora island, because observed first at break of day. At this time the Tienhoven was so near, that if the sun had risen half an hour later, she must have shared the same fate with the African, as she was within cannon-shot of the shore when the danger was perceived, and she then tacked and escaped with considerable difficulty. The fright which this occasioned produced a mutiny, in which all the seamen insisted with the commodore either to return immediately, or to give them security for payment of their wages, in case they should be so unfortunate as to suffer shipwreck. This request seemed just and reasonable, being daily exposed to excessive fatigue in these stormy and unknown seas, and at the same time ran the hazard of losing all the reward of their labours, as it is the custom in Holland that the seamen lose their wages if the ship is lost in which they sail. The commodore listened to their complaints with much humanity, and immediately gave them assurance upon oath, that they should have their wages to the uttermost farthing, and kept his promise with the utmost exactness; for, though the African was lost before, and both the other ships were condemned at Batavia, yet every one of their respective crews received their full wages on their arrival at Amsterdam.

The island of Aurora was about four leagues in extent, the whole being covered with delightful verdure, and adorned with lofty trees interspersed with smaller wood. But, as the coast was found to be all foul and rocky, they left this island also without landing. Towards evening of the same day, they had sight of another island, to which therefore they gave the name of Vesper.[1] This was about twelve leagues in circuit, all low land, yet verdant and containing abundance of trees of various sorts. Continuing their course to the west in about the latitude of 15 deg. S. they next morning discovered another country; and, as it was covered with smoke, they concluded it was inhabited, and made there all sail to come to it, in hopes of procuring refreshments. On approaching nearer, some of the inhabitants were seen diverting themselves off the coast in their canoes. They also perceived by degrees, that what they had at first supposed to be one country or large island, was in reality abundance of islands standing close together, among which they had now entered so far, that they found it difficult to get out again. In this situation, a man was sent to the mast-head to look out for a passage, and as the weather was quite serene, they had the good fortune to get out once more into the open sea without injury; although in passing by several steep ranges of rocks, they had reason to consider this as a great deliverance. There were six of these islands, exceedingly beautiful and pleasant in appearance, which altogether could not be less than thirty leagues in circumference. They were about twenty-five leagues west from Mischievous island, and the Dutch called them the Labyrinth,[2] having difficultly got clear of them by numerous tacks.

[Footnote 1: Aurora and Vesper are called in modern geography Roggewein's or Palliser's Islands, in lat. 15 deg. 32' S, about 10 leagues N. by W. of Pernicious Islands.—E.]

[Footnote 2: Perhaps Prince of Wales' islands are here alluded to, in lat. 15 deg. 50' S. and long. 148 deg. 5' W. about 40 marine leagues W.N.W. from Pernicious islands.—E.]

As it was very dangerous to anchor on the coast, and as none of the inhabitants came off in their canoes, the Dutch did not think fit to make any stay, but continued still a western course, and in a few days discovered another island, which at a distance appeared very high and beautiful; but, on a nearer approach they found no ground for anchorage, and the coast appeared so rocky that they were afraid to venture near. Each ship therefore embarked twenty-five men in their boats, in order to make a descent. The natives no sooner perceived their design than they came down in crowds to the coast to oppose their landing, being armed with long spears, which they soon shewed they knew how to use to the best advantage. When the boats drew near, the shore was found to be so steep and rocky, that the boats could not come to land, on which most of the sailors went into the water with their arms in their hands, having some baubles fit for presents to the natives tied upon their heads; while those who remained in the boats kept up a continual fire to clear the shore. This expedient succeeded, and the seamen got ashore without much resistance from the natives; who were frightened by the fire of the musquetry, and retired up the mountains, but came down again as soon as the Dutch ceased firing.

On the return of the islanders, the Dutch who had landed shewed them small mirrors, beads, and other baubles, and the people came up to them without fear, took their presents, and suffered them to search where they pleased for herbs and sallading for the sick. They found abundance of these, and soon filled twelve sacks, six for the Eagle and six for the Tienhoven, the inhabitants even assisting them and shewing them the best sorts. They carried their cargo of greens immediately on board, which were more acceptable to the sick than if they had brought them as much gold and silver. Next morning a larger body of men were ordered on shore, both on purpose to gather herbs and to examine the island. The first thing they did was to make a present to the king or chief of a considerable assortment of trinkets, which he received with an air of indifference and disdain, which did not promise much good in their future intercourse, yet sent the Dutch a considerable quantity of cocoa nuts in return, which were very agreeable to them in their present circumstances. The chief was distinguished from the ordinary inhabitants by wearing various ornaments of pearls, as they judged to the value of 600 florins, or L. 55 sterling. The women of the island seemed to admire the white men much, and almost stifled them with caresses: But this was all employed to lull the Dutch into security, that the plot contrived by the men for their destruction might the more readily succeed.

When the Dutch had filled twenty sacks with greens, they advanced farther into the country, till they came to the top of some steep rocks, which hung over a large and deep valley, the natives going both before and behind them, quite unsuspected of any evil intention. At length, thinking they had the Dutch at an advantage, the natives suddenly quitted them, and soon after prodigious numbers came pouring out from caves and holes in the rocks, and surrounded the Dutch on all sides, while they immediately formed in close order for defence. The chief or king then made a signal for the Dutch to keep off, but as they continued to advance, the chief made a signal of battle, which was instantly followed by a prodigious shower of stones. The Dutch in return made a general discharge of their fire arms, which did great execution, and the chief was among the first who fell. Yet the islanders continued to throw stones with great fury, so that most of the Dutch were soon wounded and almost disabled, on which they retired under shelter of a rock, whence they fired with such success that great numbers of the islanders were slain. They still obstinately maintained their ground, and the Dutch were at last forced to retreat, having some of their number killed, and a great many wounded, most of whom died not long after, in consequence of their scorbutical habit of body, in spite of every care. As soon as they could disengage themselves from the enemy, the Dutch retired on board ship, carrying with them the sacks of greens which they had gathered. This rencounter had so great an effect on the Dutch, that when it was proposed to land again, not a man could be prevailed upon to make the dangerous attempt.

They had given to this island, before this unfortunate affair, the name of the Island of Recreation,[3] which is in lat. 16 deg. S. and long. 285 deg.. It is about twelve leagues in compass, with a fertile soil, producing a great number of trees, especially cocoa nuts, palms, and iron-wood. The Dutch conceived that there might be rich mines in the heart of the country, and other valuable things, but were not allowed to search. The natives were of middle size, but robust and active, having long black shining hair, which they anoint with cocoa-nut oil, a practice very common among the Indians. They were painted all over, like the inhabitants of Easter island; the men wearing a kind of net-work round their middles, which they stick up between their legs. The women were entirely covered by a kind of mantles of their own manufacture, the stuff of which to the sight and touch resembled silk;[4] and they wear long strings of pearls about their necks and wrists.

[Footnote 3: By Arrowsmith, this island is placed in lat. 16 deg. 32' S. and long. 148 deg. 50' W. The longitude in the text is inexplicable on any supposition.—E.]

[Footnote 4: The cloth of the South-sea islands is a substance in a great measure resembling paper, composed of the inner bark of the paper mulberry, the preparation of which will be afterwards detailed in the narratives of the modern circumnavigators—E.]

Roggewein thought proper to sail from this island without farther loss of time, and before his departure held a council of his officers, in which he stated his instructions, which were,—If no discovery of importance could be made in the latitude and longitude in which they then were, that he should return home. Some of the council were much astonished at this, and remonstrated, That having already gone so far, and met with such encouragement to hope for discoveries of great importance, they thought it would betray a great want of spirit not to proceed. To this Roggewein answered, That they had now been out ten months, having still a long voyage to make to the East Indies; that provisions began to grow scarce, and, above all, that the crews were already so much diminished in number, and the survivors in so weak a condition, that if twenty more were to die or fall sick, there would not be a sufficient number remaining to navigate both ships. The true reason, however, in the opinion of the author of this voyage, was the anxiety to get to the East Indies before the change of the monsoon, in which case they must have remained six months longer in these seas. Some of the officers opposed this motion to the last, earnestly entreating the commodore that he would rather winter at the land mentioned by Ferdinand de Quiros, from which they could not now be more than 150 leagues distant. They insisted that it was wrong to think of going to the East Indies, that being directly contrary to the design of their instructions: And that by continuing in the same western course, they could not fail to fall in with some island, where they might land and procure refreshments, remaining on shore till all their sick men were recovered, and erecting a fort to defend themselves against the natives. If this were complied with, they said they might afterwards return home by an eastern coarse; and, by taking time, might effectually complete the discoveries on which they were sent.

These reasons were listened to with patience and civility, but had not the weight they deserved; and a resolution was formed to continue their coarse for New Britain and New Guinea, and thence to the East Indies, by way of the Moluccas, being in hopes to procure there a supply of provisions and necessaries, together with a reinforcement of seamen, in case they should then be too weak for navigating their ships home to Europe. In consequence of this resolution, an end was put to all hope of visiting the land of Quiros, which the best seamen on board thought might have been easily discovered, called by him and Torres the Islands of Solomon, and reported to be beautiful and fertile, and abounding in gold, silver, precious stones, and spices.[5]

[Footnote 5: We have here omitted a long, uninteresting, and inconclusive disquisition on the supposed Terra Australis, as altogether founded on supposition and error.—E.]

Leaving the island of Recreation, Roggewein steered a coarse towards the N.W. pursuant to the resolution of the council, in order to get into the latitude of New Britain. On the third day, in lat. 12 deg. S. and long. 29 deg. they discovered several islands which appeared very beautiful at a distance, and, on a nearer approach, were seen to be well planted with all sorts of trees, and produced herbs, corn, and roots in great plenty, to which they gave the name of Bowman's Islands, after the captain of the Tienhoven, by whom they were first seen.[6] As soon as they were seen by the natives, they came off in their canoes to the ships, bringing fish, cocoa-nuts, Indian figs, and other refreshments, in return for which the Dutch gave them small mirrors, strings of beads, and other trifles. These islands were very fully peopled, as many thousands of men and women came down to the shore to view the ships, most of the men being armed with bows and arrows. Among the rest, they saw a majestic personage, who, from the peculiar dress he wore, and the honours that were paid him, evidently appeared to be chief or king of these islanders. This person soon afterwards went into a canoe, accompanied by a fair young woman, who sat close by his side, and his canoe was immediately surrounded by a vast number of others, which seemed intended for his guard.

[Footnote 6: These appear to have been the most northerly of the Society islands, about 70 marine leagues, or 3-1/2 degrees W. by N. from Recreation island, in lat. 15 deg. 20' S. long. 152 deg. W.]

All the inhabitants of these islands were white, differing only from Europeans in being sun-burnt, and they seemed a very harmless good sort of people, of brisk and lively dispositions, behaving to each other with much civility, and shewing no appearance of wildness or savageness in their behaviour. Their bodies were not painted like those of the islanders they had seen hitherto, but very handsomely cloathed from the waist downwards, with a sort of silk fringes very neatly arranged. On their heads they wore hats of a very neat-looking stuff, very large and wide spreading, in order to keep off the sun, and their necks were adorned with collars or garlands of beautiful odoriferous flowers. The islands appeared quite charming, being agreeably diversified with beautiful hills and intermediate vallies. Each family or tribe appeared to have its separate district, and to compose a separate government or community, all the land being regularly laid out into regular and fair plantations, as had formerly been observed at Pasch, or Easter island. In all respects, the natives were the most civilized and best disposed people they had seen in the South Seas. Instead of shewing any terror or apprehension at the arrival of the Dutch, the natives expressed the utmost joy and satisfaction, treating them with the utmost kindness and respect, and manifested the most sincere and deep concern at their departure. Many of the Dutch also felt a similar regret, and would have been well pleased to have made a longer stay in this delightful and plenteous country, among so kind a people, as, by the help of the excellent provisions in great abundance with which these good islands furnished them, all their sick people would have been perfectly recovered in a month. These islands had also one convenience greatly superior to those they had met with before, as there was good anchorage almost every where along their coasts, where they rode in the utmost safety, in from fifteen to twenty fathoms.

So many advantageous circumstances ought to have induced Roggewein and his officers to have remained here longer; but their heads were so full of proceeding for the East Indies, that they were fearful of missing the favourable monsoon, while they afterwards discovered, to their cost, that they were two months too early, instead of two months too late. By this indiscreet step, they sacrificed the health and strength of their crew to such a degree, that they were at length hardly able to navigate their ships, and at one time were on the point of burning one of their ships, that they might be better able to manage the other: All of which inconveniences might have been avoided, had they embraced this opportunity afforded them by Divine Providence, and been contented to remain in a place of safety, plenty, and pleasure, till their sick were recovered, instead of wilfully seeking new dangers which they were so little able to encounter.

Leaving Bowman's islands, and continuing their course towards the N.W. they came next morning in sight of two islands, which they took to be Coccos and Traitor's islands,[7] so called by Schouten, who discovered them. The island of Coccos, at a distance, for Roggewein would not stop to examine it, seemed very high land, and about eight leagues in circuit. The other seemed much lower, composed of a red soil, and destitute of trees. They soon after saw two other islands of large extent, one of which they named Tienhoven,[8] and the other Groninguen; which last many of their officers were of opinion was no island, but the great southern continent they were sent out to discover. The island of Tienhoven appeared a rich and beautiful country, moderately high, its meadows or low lands, by the sea, exceedingly green, and the interior well provided with trees. They coasted along this island for a whole day without reaching its extremity, yet noticed that it extended semi-circularly towards the island of Groninguen, so that those which they took for islands might be contiguous lands, and both of them parts of the Terra Australis incognita.

[Footnote 7: There must be here an enormous error in the text; Coccos and Traitor's islands are almost directly west from Recreation island, and the northermost of the Society islands, supposed to be the Bowman's islands of the text, and not less than 23 deg.10' farther west than these last, or 463 marine leagues, which could not well be run in less than a week or ten days.—E.]

[Footnote 8: These were probably the Fee-jee, or Bligh's islands, in lat. 17 deg. 20' S. long. 181 deg. 30' W. but the narrative is too incomplete to ascertain this and many other points with any tolerable certainty.—E.]

A great part of the company were for anchoring on this coast, and making a descent, but the officers were so intent on proceeding for India, that they alleged it might be very dangerous to attempt landing, lest any of the men might be cut off, and they should not have enough left to carry on the ships. They continued in their course, therefore, not doubting that they should soon see the coasts of New Britain or New Guinea: But, after sailing many days without seeing any land at all, they began to see the vanity of these calculations, and could not forbear murmuring at their effects, as the scurvy began to cut off three, four, or five of their best hands daily. At this time nothing was to be seen but sick people, struggling with inexpressible pains, or dead carcasses just relieved from their intolerable distress. From these there arose so abominable a stench, that even those who were yet sound often fainted away, unable to endure it. Cries and groans were incessantly heard in all parts of the ships, and the sight of the poor diseased wretches who were still able to crawl about, excited horror and compassion. Some were reduced to such mere skeletons that their skins seemed to cleave to their bones, and these had this consolation, that they gradually consumed away without pain. Others were swelled out to monstrous sizes, and were so tormented with excruciating pain, as to drive them to furious madness. Some were worn away by the dysentery, and others were racked with excruciating rheumatism, while others again dragged their dead limbs after them, having lost feeling through the palsy. To these numerous and complicated diseases of the body, many had superadded distemperature of the mind. An anabaptist of twenty-five years old called out continually to be baptized, and when told with a sneer that there was no parson on board, he became quiet, and died with great resignation. Two papists on board gave what little money they had to their friends, beseeching them, if they ever got back to Holland, to lay it out in masses to St Anthony of Padua for the repose of their souls. Others again would listen to nothing that had the smallest savour of religion, for some time before they died. Some refused meat and drink for twenty-four hours before death, while others were suddenly carried off in the midst of conversation.

All these various appearances of disease are attributed by the author of this voyage principally to the bad quality of their provisions; their salt meat being corrupted, their bread full of maggots, and their water intolerably putrid. Under these circumstances medicines were of no avail, being utterly unable to work a cure, and could at best only defer death for a little, and protract the sufferings of the sick. Though as well as any one in either ship, the author of this journal had the scurvy to such a degree that his teeth were all loose, his gums inflamed and ulcerated, and his body all over covered with livid spots. Even such as were reputed in best health, were low, weak, and much afflicted with the scurvy. Nothing could effectually relieve or even alleviate their sufferings, except fresh meat, vegetables, and sweet water. At length it pleased God to put a period to their miseries, by giving them sight of the coast of New Britain, the joy of which filled the sick with new spirits, and encouraged those who were still able to move, with the enlivening hope of once more revisiting their native land. Our author was fully of opinion, that if they had been many days longer at sea, they must all have perished by the continuance and necessary increase of the miseries which they endured, which no description can possibly express in any thing like adequate terms.


Description of New Britain, and farther Continuation of the Voyage till the Arrival of Roggewein at Java.

The country of New Britain, and all the islands in its neighbourhood, is composed of very high land, many of the mountains hiding their heads in the clouds. The sea coasts are however both pleasant and fertile, the low lands being cloathed in perpetual verdure, and the hills covered with a variety of trees, mostly bearing fruit. It is in lat. between 4 deg.and 7 deg. S.[1] and both in regard to situation and appearance, no country can promise better than this. After some consultation, it was resolved to go on shore here at all events, though now so much reduced by the long-continued sickness, that they could hardly muster a sufficient number of men from both ships to man a boat, and leave men enough, in case they were cut off, to navigate one ship home, supposing them even to sacrifice one of the ships. Yet such was the ardent desire of all to get on shore, and so urgent was the necessity for that measure, that it appeared indispensable to venture on landing, let the consequences be what they might. Accordingly, our author was ordered into the boat, with as many men as could be spared, with orders to get on shore at any rate, by fair means if possible, and with the consent of the inhabitants, for whom he carried a great number of baubles to distribute among them as presents. If, however, these had no effect, he was then to use force, as the circumstances to which they were reduced made it as eligible to die by the hands of barbarians as to perish gradually by disease and famine.

[Footnote 1: No account is given of this voyage from Bowman's islands, perhaps the Fee-jees, as already mentioned, to New Britain, neither indeed is it any way expressed on what part of New Britain they had now arrived. They probably steered a course N.W. or N.W. by W. from the Fee-jees, and fell in with the N.E. part of New Britain, now known to be a separate island, and called New Ireland; and by the lower latitude mentioned, in the text, they appear to come first to the eastern part of New Ireland; but it is impossible to say whether they went to the N. or S. of Solomon's island.—E.]

The nearer they drew towards the coast, the more they were delighted with its appearance, as giving them a nearer prospect of the wished-for refreshments. The inhabitants came down in multitudes to the coast, but in such guise as did not by any means increase their satisfaction, as they were all armed with bows and arrows and slings, and demonstrated sufficiently by their gestures that the Dutch were by no means welcome visitors, and that they were not to expect being permitted to land peaceably. As the boat approached the shore, the natives seemed to become frantic with despair, made frightful faces, tore their hair, and howled in a horrible manner; and at length, as borrowing courage from the increase of danger, they hurried into their canoes and put off from the shore, as if to meet that danger the sooner which was evidently unavoidable. As the Dutch continued their way towards the land, the natives discharged a flight of arrows at the boat, which they followed by throwing their spears or javelins, after which they threw in a shower of stones discharged from slings. Convinced now that there was nothing to be trusted to but force, the Dutch opened their fire, and kept it up with such effect, that many of the natives were slain, and the rest so terrified, that great numbers of them leapt into the water to swim ashore, and at last all the survivors followed the example, by turning their canoes towards the land. But such was their confusion and dismay, that they were now unable to distinguish the proper channels by which to get back to the coast, but ran them on the rocks and shoals. This circumstance almost deprived the Dutch of all hopes of being able to attain the coast.

While thus embarrassed, there arose a violent storm, of that kind which the Dutch call traffat, and which in the east is named a tuffoon, which usually arises suddenly in the midst of a calm, and when the air is perfectly clear and serene, and which, by its extreme violence, often brings the masts by the board, and whirls the sails into the air, if they are not furled in an instant. By this sudden tempest, the two ships were forced out to sea, and the poor people in the boat were left without relief, and almost devoid of hope. The boat was forced on a sand-bank, where she was for some time so beaten by the winds and waves, that there seemed no chance of escaping almost instant destruction. But despair often lends strength and spirits to men beyond their usual powers; and, by dint of great exertions, they dragged their boat clear of the bank, and got to land, where all got safe on shore without hurt, but almost exhausted by fatigue. The first thing they did was to look out for some place of retreat, where they might be safe from any sudden assault of the natives; but night came on before any such could be found, so that they were forced to rest contented with making a fire on the shore, in order to dry and warm themselves, which in some measure revived their spirits. The light of the fire enabled them to discover several huts or cabins of the natives in the neighbourhood of where they were, on which they felt inclined to examine them, but found neither inhabitants nor household goods of any kind, all that they met with worth taking away being a few nets of curious workmanship. They also saw abundance of cocoa-nut trees, but, having no hatchets, were unable to come at any of the fruit, and had to pass a most comfortless night, during which they were perpetually disturbed and alarmed by the frightful noise of the natives in the adjoining wood, whence they naturally concluded they were every moment about to attack them. About midnight they heard a signal from the ships, which had been able to come back to that part of the coast, on which they immediately hastened on board, and immediately continued their voyage along the coast of New Britain, making their way with considerable difficulty through among numerous islands. They named that part of the coast on which they landed, Stormland, which was probably the same called Slinger's bay by Dampier, on account of the dexterity of the natives in the management of that instrument.

This country of New Britain seems to be extremely fertile, and to abound in fruits of many sorts. The inhabitants are a tall well-made people, perfect mulattoes in their complexions, with long black hair hanging down to their waists, being extremely nimble and vigorous, and so dexterous in the management of their weapons, that in all probability they live in a state of continual warfare with their neighbours. The sea along the coast is studded with numerous islands, so that they had great difficulty in getting a passage through them.

Notwithstanding the dangers they had already experienced, they resolved to make another descent upon the coast on the first opportunity, though they had not now ten men in both vessels in perfect health, but their necessities admitted of no other remedy. The stock-fish, on which they had lived for some time past, was now so full of worms, and stunk so abominably, that, instead of eating it, they were unable to come near it. The officers were unable now to pacify the men with stories of relief in the East Indies, for they unanimously declared that immediate death on shore would be more welcome than living longer at sea in this dreadful condition. In this forlorn condition they arrived in the lat. of 2 deg. S. where they fortunately fell in with the islands of Moa and Arimoa, [2] formerly discovered by Schouten, and immediately determined upon endeavouring to procure relief from Arimoa, the larger of these islands. The natives, on perceiving the approach of the two ships, came immediately off to meet them in their canoes, of which they had prodigious numbers. All of these people were armed with bows and arrows, even their women and children; but they brought with them various refreshments, as cocoa-nuts, pisans, or Indian figs, with various other fruits, and different kinds of roots, rowing directly to the ships without any signs of fear or distrust. The Dutch gave them such kind of trifles as they had by way of presents, and in return for these refreshments; but on shewing more of these, and giving the islanders to understand, by signs, that such was the merchandize they had to give in barter for refreshments, they looked at them coolly, as if they had no desire to trade for such commodities. Next day, however, they returned with great quantities of similar articles of provision; and the Dutch having endeavoured to express by signs that they wished them to bring some hogs, the natives mistook their meaning, and brought two or three dogs the day following, to the great disappointment of the Dutch.

[Footnote 2: It is utterly impossible to ascertain what islands are here meant, as the indications of the voyage are so entirely vague. In the indicated latitude, off the mouth of the Great bay, in New Guinea, there are two considerable islands, named Mysory, or Schouten's island, and Jobie, or Long-island, which may possibly be Arimoa and Moa. Perhaps Jobie of our modern maps includes both, as in some more recent maps it is laid down as two contiguous islands, and it is more exactly in the indicated latitude, while Mysory is rather less than one degree from the line.]

These refreshments were very seasonable, and greatly amended the health of many of the sick people in the two ships; and our author is convinced that most of them would have perfectly recovered in a few days, if they could have ventured to live on shore. The islanders never failed to invite them ashore every time they came off; but being greatly weakened, as for some days they had thrown four or five of their people overboard, they did not think it prudent to run so great a hazard; more especially as, even in the midst of their civility, the air, look, and language of these people seemed to savour of perfidy, and besides the island was extremely populous. The Dutch noticed that these islanders, always on coming on board their ships, carried a piece of stick to which some white stuff was fixed, as if in the nature of a flag of truce, whence they supposed they were often at war with some neighbouring nation or tribe, and especially with the inhabitants of Moa, particularly as none of their canoes ever went ashore on that island, but always, on the contrary, passed it with evident precipitation. These remarks furnished the Dutch with a new project by which to acquire a considerable stock of provisions speedily, by a sudden descent on Moa, which appeared to be but thinly peopled, though as pleasant and fertile as the other, hoping to carry off at once enough of provisions to enable them to prosecute their voyage, without the risk of falling again into the distress they had so lately endured.

This bold scheme required much prudence, and it was thought expedient to land in different places at once, one party being directed to advance into the country, while the others should be at hand to support them, and to secure their retreat. This was accordingly very happily effected; for, although the natives formed an ambush behind the trees and bushes, and discharged their arrows at the principal party as soon as they began to cut down the cocoa-trees, the Dutch fortunately remained uninjured, and laid many of the natives dead by discharges of their fire-arms. This so frightened the rest that they took refuge in their canoes, whence they endeavoured by cries and shouts to alarm the rest of their countrymen to come to their assistance: But the Dutch were so judiciously posted as to constrain them to remain in the mountains, by which means the main party were enabled to carry off about 800 cocoa-nuts to their boats, with which booty they rejoined their ships.

The cocoa-tree is a species of palm, found in most parts of the East and West Indies. The trunk is large, straight, and lofty, tapering insensibly to the top, whence the fruit hangs in bunches united by a tendril, not unlike the twig of a vine, but stronger. The flowers are yellow, resembling those of the chesnut. As it produces new bunches every month, there are always some quite ripe, some green, some just beginning to button, and others in full flower. The fruit is three-lobed and of a greenish hue, of different sizes, from the size of an ordinary tennis-ball, to that of a man's head, and is composed of two rinds. The outer is composed of long tough fibres, between red and yellow colour, the second being a hard shell. Within this is a thick firm white substance or kernel, lining the shell, tasting like a sweet almond; and in a central hollow of this kernel there is a considerable quantity of a clear, bright, cool liquor, tasting like sugared water. The natives of the countries in which these trees grow, eat the kernel with their victuals instead of bread; and likewise extract from it, by pressure, a liquor resembling milk of almonds in taste and consistence. When this milk is exposed to the action of fire, it changes to a kind of oil, which they use as we do butter in dressing their victuals, and also burn in their lamps; and they likewise employ it for smearing their bodies. They also draw from the tree a liquor called sura by the Indians, and which the Europeans name toddy, or palm-wine. For this purpose, having cut one of the largest twigs about a foot from the body of the tree, they hang to this stump a bottle or calabash, into which the sap distils. This sura is of a very agreeable taste, little inferior to the Spanish white wine; but being strong and heady, is generally diluted with fresh clear water got from the nut It does not however keep, as it becomes sour in about two days; when, by exposure to the sun, it is converted into excellent vinegar. When boiled in its recent state, it is converted into another liquor, called orraqua by the Indians; from which they distil a spirituous liquor called arrack, which many people prefer to the other liquor of the same name distilled from rice in India, which is so well known and so much esteemed in Europe.

Besides cocoa-nuts, the Dutch found in Moa great plenty of pomegranates of exquisite taste, and abundance of pisans or Indian figs. These refreshments were of infinite service to them, as without them the whole of both ships companies must have inevitably perished; and immediately on returning to their ships, they began to prepare for resuming their voyage. While engaged in these preparations, the inhabitants of Moa came off to the ships in about 200 canoes, which they exchanged with the Dutch for various articles, apparently doing this to prevent the Dutch from making a second descent on their island: But on this occasion, though the Dutch received them kindly, and treated them with fairness in purchasing their provisions, they would only admit a few of them into the ships at once; and when the islanders attempted to rush on board in crowds, they fired upon them. On these occasions, the natives all ducked their heads, and when they raised them again broke out into loud laughter. This exchange was no sooner over than they weighed anchor and proceeded on their voyage. The author of this narrative remarks, that such of the sick as had any strength remaining recovered surprisingly at these islands, through the excellent refreshments they procured there, while those who were already quite exhausted soon died.

Leaving these islands of Moa and Arimoa, they continued their voyage through a part of the sea so very full of islands, that finding it difficult or impossible to count them, they gave them the name of Thousand Isles.[3] Their inhabitants were negroes, of a short squat make, and their heads covered with thick curled wool, being a bold, mischievous, and intractable race of savages. They were all naked, men, women, and children, having no other ornaments except a belt about two fingers broad, stuck fall of teeth, and bracelets of the same; and some of them wore light straw hats, adorned with the feathers of the Bird-of-Paradise. These birds are said to be found no where else but in these islands. Such of these islands as are situated near the west point of New Guinea are still called the Islands of the Popoes or Papuas, the continent itself being called the Land of Papua, till Schouten imposed upon it the name of New Guinea, chiefly because of its being in the same latitude with Old Guinea.[4]

[Footnote 3: These appear, by the sequel, to have been the islands at the N.W. extremity of Papua or New Guinea, and from thence to Celebes—E.]

[Footnote 4: More probably because of its inhabitants being negroes.—E.]

When the inhabitants of these islands go to Ternate, Banda, Amboina, or any of the Moluccas, in order to sell their salt pork, amber,[5] gold-dust, and other merchandise, they always carry some of these Birds-of-Paradise, which they constantly sell dead, affirming that they find them so, and that they know not whence they come or where they breed. This bird is always seen very high in the air. It is extremely light, as its bulk consists mostly of feathers, which are extremely beautiful, rendering it one of the greatest curiosities in the world. The plumage of the head is as bright as burnished gold; that of the neck resembles the neck of a drake; and those of the wings and tail are like those of a peacock. In beak and form, this bird comes nearest to a swallow, though considerably larger. Such as deal in them endeavour to persuade strangers that they have no feet, and that they hang themselves, when they sleep, to the boughs of trees by means of their feathers. But, in reality, these traders cut off their feet, to render them the more wonderful. They also pretend that the male has a cavity on his back, where the female lodges her young till they are able to fly. They always cut off the feet of these birds so close to the body, that the flesh dries in such a manner that the skin and feathers perfectly unite, making it impossible to perceive the smallest scar. They also assert, that these birds are perpetually on the wing, subsisting on birds and insects, which they catch in the air. The feathers of the male are much brighter than those of the female. In the east, this bird is usually called Mancodiata, or the Bird-of-God. Great numbers of them are sent to Batavia, where they generally sell for three crowns each. The Moors, Arabians, and Persians are anxious to procure these birds, with which they adorn their saddles and housings, often mixing with them pearls and diamonds. They wear them also in their turbans, especially on going to war, having a superstitious notion that they act as a charm or talisman, capable of preserving them from wounds. Formerly, the Shah and Mogul used to present their favourites with one of these birds, as a mark of esteem or favour.

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