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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14
by Robert Kerr
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After this I ordered three or four more musquets to be fired. This was the signal for the ship to fire a few great guns, which presently dispersed them; and then we landed, and marked out the limits, on the right and left, by a line. Our old friend stood his ground, though deserted by his two companions, and I rewarded his confidence with a present. The natives came gradually to us, seemingly in a more friendly manner; some even without their weapons, but by far the greatest part brought them; and when we made signs to lay them down, they gave us to understand that we must lay down ours first. Thus all parties stood armed. The presents I made to the old people, and to such as seemed to be of consequence, had little effect on their conduct. They indeed climbed the cocoa-nut trees, and threw us down the nuts, without requiring any thing for them; but I took care that they should always have somewhat in return. I observed that many were afraid to touch what belonged to us; and they seemed to have no notion of exchanging one thing for another. I took the old man (whose name we now found to be Paowang) to the woods, and made him understand, I wanted to cut down some trees to take on board the ship; cutting some down at the same time, which we put into one of our boats, together with a few small casks of water, with a view of letting the people see what it was we chiefly wanted. Paowang very readily gave his consent to cut wood; nor was there any one who made the least objection. He only desired the cocoa-nut trees might not be cut down. Matters being thus settled, we embarked and returned on board to dinner, and, immediately after, they all dispersed. I never learnt that any one was hurt by our shot, either on this or the preceding day; which was a very happy circumstance. In the afternoon having landed again, we loaded the launch with water, and having made three hauls with the seine, caught upwards of three hundred pounds of mullet and other fish. It was some time before any of the natives appeared, and not above twenty or thirty at last, amongst whom was our trusty friend Paowang, who made us a present of a small pig, which was the only one we got at this isle, or that was offered to us.

During the night the volcano, which was about four miles to the west of us, vomited up vast quantities of fire and smoke, as it had also done the night before; and the flames were seen to rise above the hill which lay between us and it. At every eruption it made a long rumbling noise like that of thunder, or the blowing up of large mines. A heavy shower of rain, which fell at this time, seemed to increase it; and the wind blowing from the same quarter, the air was loaded with its ashes, which fell so thick that every thing was covered with the dust. It was a kind of fine sand, or stone, ground or burnt to powder, and was exceedingly troublesome to the eyes.

Early in the morning of the 7th, the natives began again to assemble near the watering-place, armed as usual, but not in such numbers as at first. After breakfast, we landed, in order to cut wood and fill water. I found many of the islanders much inclined to be friends with us, especially the old people; on the other hand, most of the younger were daring and insolent, and obliged us to keep to our arms. I staid till I saw no disturbance was like to happen, and then returned to the ship, leaving the party under the command of Lieutenants Clerke and Edgcumbe. When they came on board to dinner, they informed me that the people continued to behave in the same inconsistent manner as in the morning; but more especially one man, whom Mr Edgcumbe was obliged to fire at, and believed he had struck with a swan shot. After that the others behaved with more discretion; and as soon as our people embarked they all retired. While we were sitting at dinner an old man came on board, looked into many parts of the ship, and then went ashore again.

In the afternoon, only a few of those who lived in the neighbourhood, with whom we were now upon a tolerable footing, made their appearance at the watering-place. Paowang brought us an axe which had been left by our people, either in the woods or on the beach, and found by some of the natives. A few other articles were afterwards returned to us, which either they had stolen, or we had lost by our negligence, so careful were they now not to offend us in this respect.

Early the next morning, I sent the launch, protected by a party of marines in another boat, to take in ballast, which was wanted. This work was done before breakfast; and after it, she was sent for wood and water, and with her the people employed in this service, under the protection of a serjeant's guard, which was now thought sufficient, as the natives seemed to be pretty well reconciled to us. I was told, that they asked our people to go home with them, on condition they stripped naked as they were. This shews that they had no design to rob them, whatever other they might have.[2]

On the 9th, I sent the launch for more ballast, and the guard and wooders to the usual place. With these I went myself, and found a good many of the natives collected together, whose behaviour, though armed, was courteous and obliging; so that there was no longer any occasion to mark out the limits by a line; they observed them without this precaution. As it was necessary for Mr Wales's instruments to remain on shore all the middle of the day, the guard did not return to dinner, as they had done before, till relieved by others. When I came off, I prevailed on a young man, whose name was Wha-a-gou, to accompany me. Before dinner I shewed him every part of the ship; but did not observe that any thing fixed his attention a moment, or caused in him the least surprise. He had no knowledge of goats, dogs, or cats, calling them all hogs (Booga or Boogas). I made him a present of a dog and a bitch, as he shewed a liking to that kind of animal. Soon after he came on board, some of his friends followed in a canoe, and enquired for him, probably doubtful of his safety. He looked out of the quarter gallery, and having spoken to them, they went ashore, and quickly returned with a cock, a little sugar-cane, and a few cocoa-nuts, as a present to me. Though he sat down with us, he did but just taste our salt pork, but eat pretty heartily of yam, and drank a glass of wine. After dinner I made him presents, and then conducted him, ashore.[3]

As soon as we landed, the youth and some of his friends took me by the hand, with a view, as I understood, to conduct me to their habitations. We had not gone far, before some of them, for what reason I know not, were unwilling I should proceed; in consequence of which the whole company stopped; and, if I was not mistaken, a person was dispatched for something or other to give me; for I was desired to sit down and wait, which I accordingly did. During this interval, several of our gentlemen passed us, at which they shewed great uneasiness, and importuned me so much to order them back, that I was at last obliged to comply. They were jealous of our going up the country, or even along the shore of the harbour. While I was waiting here, our friend Paowang came with a present of fruit and roots, carried by about twenty men; in order, as I supposed, to make it appear the greater. One had a small bunch of plantains, another a yam, a third a cocoa-nut, &c.; but two men might have carried the whole with ease. This present was in return for something I had given him in the morning; however, I thought the least I could do now, was to pay the porters.

After I had dispatched Paowang, I returned to Wha-a-gou and his friends, who were still for detaining me. They seemed to wait with great impatience for something, and to be unwilling and ashamed to take away the two dogs, without making me a return. As night was approaching, I pressed to be gone; with which they complied, and so we parted.

The preceding day, Mr Forster learnt from the people the proper name of the island, which they call Tanna; and this day I learnt from them the names of those in the neighbourhood. The one we touched at last is called Erromango; the small isle, which we discovered the morning we landed here, Immer; the Table island to the east, discovered at the same time, Erronan or Footoona; and an island which lies to the S.E. Annattom. All these islands are to be seen from Tanna.

They gave us to understand, in a manner which I thought admitted of no doubt, that they eat human flesh, and that circumcision was practised among them. They began the subject of eating human flesh, of their own accord, by asking us if we did; otherwise I should never have thought of asking them such a question. I have heard people argue, that no nation could be cannibals, if they had other flesh to eat, or did not want food; thus deriving the custom from necessity. The people of this island can be under no such necessity; they have fine pork and fowls, and plenty of roots and fruits. But since we have not actually seen them eat human flesh, it will admit of doubt with some, whether they are cannibals.[4]

When I got on board, I learnt that, when the launch was on the west side of the harbour taking in ballast, one of the men employed in this work, had scalded his fingers in taking a stone up out of some water. This circumstance produced the discovery of several hot springs, at the foot of the cliff, and rather below high-water mark.

This day Mr Wales, and two or three of the officers advanced a little, for the first time, into the island. They met with a small straggling village, the inhabitants of which treated them with great civility; and the next morning Mr Forster and his party made another excursion inland. They met with several fine plantations of plantains, sugar-canes, yams, &C.; and the natives were courteous and civil. Indeed, by this time, the people, especially those in our neighbourhood, were so well reconciled to us, that they shewed not the least dislike at our rambling about in the skirts of the woods, shooting, &c. In the afternoon some boys having got behind thickets, and having thrown two or three stones at our people who were cutting wood, they were fired at by the petty officers present on duty. Being ashore at that time, I was alarmed at hearing the report of the musquets, and seeing two or three boys run out of the wood. When I knew the cause I was much displeased at so wanton an use being made of our fire- arms, and took measures to prevent it for the future. Wind southerly, with heavy showers of rain.[5]

During the night, and also all the 11th, the volcano was exceedingly troublesome, and made a terrible noise, throwing up prodigious columns of fire and smoke at each explosion, which happened every three or four minutes; and, at one time, great stones were seen high in the air. Besides the necessary work of wooding and watering, we struck the main-top-mast to fix new trestle-trees and back-stays. Mr Forster and his party went up the hill on the west side of the harbour, where he found three places from whence smoke of a sulphureous smell issued, through cracks and fissures in the earth. The ground about these was exceedingly hot, and parched or burnt, and they seemed to keep pace with the volcano; for, at every explosion of the latter, the quantity of smoke or steam in these was greatly increased, and forced out so as to rise in small columns, which we saw from the ship, and had taken for common fires made by the natives. At the foot of this hill are the hot-springs before mentioned.

In the afternoon, Mr Forster having begun his botanical researches on the other side of the harbour, fell in with our friend Paowang's house, where he saw most of the articles I had given him, hanging on the adjoining trees and bushes, as if they were not worthy of being under his roof.

On the 12th, some of the officers accompanied Mr Forster to the hot places he had been at the preceding day. A thermometer placed in a little hole made in one of them, rose from 80, at which it stood in the open air, to 170. Several other parts of the hill emitted smoke or steam all the day, and the volcano was unusually furious, insomuch that the air was loaded with its ashes. The rain which fell at this time was a compound of water, sand, and earth; so that it properly might be called showers of mire. Whichever way the wind was, we were plagued with the ashes; unless it blew very strong indeed from the opposite direction. Notwithstanding the natives seemed well enough satisfied with the few expeditions we had made in the neighbourhood, they were unwilling we should extend them farther. As a proof of this, some undertook to guide the gentlemen when they were in the country, to a place where they might see the mouth of the volcano. They very readily embraced the offer; and were conducted down to the harbour, before they perceived the cheat.[6]

The 13th, wind at N.E., gloomy weather. The only thing worthy of note this day was, that Paowang being at dinner with us on board, I took the opportunity to shew him several parts of the ship, and various articles, in hopes of finding out something which they might value, and be induced to take from us in exchange for refreshments; for what we got of this kind was trifling. But he looked on every thing that was shewn him with the utmost indifference; nor did he take notice of any one thing, except a wooden sand-box, which he seemed to admire, and turned it two or three times over in his hand.

Next morning after breakfast, a party of us set out for the country, to try if we could not get a nearer and better view of the volcano. We went by the way of one of those hot smoking places before mentioned, and dug a hole in the hottest part, into which a thermometer of Fahrenheit's construction was put; and the mercury presently rose to 100 deg.. It remained in the hole two minutes and a half without either rising or falling. The earth about this place was a kind of white clay, had a sulphureous smell, and was soft and wet, the surface only excepted, over which was spread a thin dry crust, that had upon it some sulphur, and a vitriolic substance, tasting like alum. The place affected by the heat was not above eight or ten yards square; and near it were some fig-trees, which spread their branches over part of it, and seemed to like their situation. We thought that this extraordinary heat was caused by the steam of boiling water, strongly impregnated with sulphur. I was told that some of the other places were larger than this; though we did not go out of the road to look at them, but proceeded up the hill through a country so covered with trees, shrubs, and plants, that the bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees, which, seem to have been planted here by nature, were, in a manner, choaked up. Here and there we met with a house, some few people, and plantations. These latter we found in different states, some of long standing, others lately cleared, and some only clearing, and before any thing had been planted. The clearing of a piece of ground for plantation, seemed to be a work of much labour, considering the tools they had to work with, which, though much inferior to those at the Society Isles, are of the same kind. Their method is, however, judicious, and as expeditious as it can well be. They lop off the small branches of the large trees, dig under the roots, and there burn the branches and small shrubs and plants which they root up. The soil, in some parts, is a rich black mould; in other parts, it seemed to be composed of decayed vegetables, and of the ashes the volcano sends forth throughout all its neighbourhood. Happening to turn out of the common path, we came into a plantation where we found a man at work, who, either out of good-nature, or to get us the sooner out of his territories, undertook to be our guide. We followed him, accordingly, but had not gone far before we came to the junction of two roads, in one of which stood another man with a sling and a stone, which he thought proper to lay down when a musquet was pointed at him. The attitude in which we found him, the ferocity appearing in his looks, and his behaviour after, convinced us that he meant to defend the path he stood in. He, in some measure, gained his point, for our guide took the other road, and we followed, but not without suspecting he was leading us out of the common way. The other man went with us likewise, counting us several times over, and hallooing, as we judged, for assistance; for we were presently joined by two or three more, among whom was a young woman with a club in her hand. By these people we were conducted to the brow of a hill, and shewn a road leading down to the harbour, which they wanted us to take. Not choosing to comply, we returned to that we had left, which we pursued alone, our guide refusing to go with us. After ascending another ridge, as thickly covered with wood as those we had come over, we saw yet other hills between us and the volcano, which seemed as far off as at our first setting out. This discouraged us from proceeding farther, especially as we could get no one to be our guide. We therefore came to a resolution to return; and had but just put this in execution when we met between twenty and thirty people, whom the fellow before mentioned had collected together, with a design, as we judged, to oppose our advancing into the country; but as they saw us returning they suffered us to pass unmolested. Some of them put us into the right road, accompanied us down the hill, made us stop by the way, to entertain us with cocoa-nuts, plantains, and sugar- cane; and what we did not eat on the spot, they brought down the hill with us. Thus we found these people hospitable, civil, and good-natured, when not prompted to a contrary conduct by jealousy; a conduct I cannot tell how to blame them for, especially when I considered the light in which they must view us. It was impossible for them to know our real design; we enter their ports without their daring to oppose; we endeavour to land in their country as friends, and it is well if this succeeds; we land, nevertheless, and maintain the footing we have got, by the superiority of our fire-arms. Under such circumstances, what opinion are they to form of us? Is it not as reasonable for them to think that we are come to invade their country, as to pay them a friendly visit? Time, and some acquaintance with us, can only convince them of the latter. These people are yet in a rude state; and, if we may judge from circumstances and appearances, are frequently at war, not only with their neighbours, but among themselves; consequently must be jealous of every new face. I will allow there are some exceptions to this rule to be found in this sea; but there are few nations who would willingly suffer visitors like us to advance far into their country.

Before this excursion, some of us had been of opinion that these people were addicted to an unnatural passion, because they had endeavoured to entice some of our men into the woods; and, in particular, I was told, that one who had the care of Mr Forster's plant bag, had been once or twice attempted. As the carrying of bundles, &c. is the office of the women in this country, it had occurred to me, and I was not singular in this, that the natives might mistake him and some others for women. My conjecture was fully verified this day. For this man, who was one of the party, and carried the bag as usual, following me down the hill, by the words which I understood of the conversation of the natives, and by their actions, I was well assured that they considered him as a female; till, by some means, they discovered their mistake, on which they cried out, "Erramange! Erramange!" "It is a man! It is a man!" The thing was so palpable, that every one was obliged to acknowledge, that they had before mistaken his sex: and that, after they were undeceived, they seemed not to have the least notion of what we had suspected. This circumstance will shew how liable we are to form wrong conjectures of things, among people whose language we are ignorant of. Had it not been for this discovery, I make no doubt that these people would have been charged with this vile custom.

In the evening I took a walk with some of the gentlemen into the country on the other side of the harbour, where we had very different treatment from what we had met with in the morning. The people we now visited, among whom was our friend Paowang, being better acquainted with us, shewed a readiness to oblige us in every thing in their power. We came to the village which had been visited on the 9th. It consisted of about twenty houses, the most of which need no other description than comparing them to the roof of a thatched house in England, taken off the walls and placed on the ground. Some were open at both ends, others partly closed with reeds, and all were covered with palm thatch. A few of them were thirty or forty feet long, and fourteen or sixteen broad. Besides these, they have other mean hovels, which, I conceived, were only to sleep in. Some of these stood in a plantation, and I was given to understand, that in one of them lay a dead corpse. They made signs that described sleep, or death; and circumstances pointed out the latter. Curious to see all I could, I prevailed on an elderly man to go with me to the hut, which was separated from the others by a reed fence, built quite round it at the distance of four or five feet. The entrance was by a space in the fence, made so low as to admit one to step over. The two sides and one end of the hut were closed or built up in the same manner, and with the same materials, as the roof. The other end had been open, but was now well closed with mats, which I could not prevail on the man to remove, or suffer me to do it. There hung at this end of the hut a matted bag or basket, in which was a piece of roasted yam, and some sort of leaves, all quite fresh. I had a strong desire to see the inside of the hut but the man was peremptory in refusing this, and even shewed an unwillingness to permit me to look into the basket. He wore round his neck, fastened to a string, two or three locks of human hair; and a woman present had several about her neck. I offered something in exchange for them, but they gave me to understand they could not part with them, as it was the hair of the person who lay in the hut. Thus I was led to believe that these people dispose of their dead in a manner similar to that of Otaheite. The same custom of wearing the hair is observed by the people of that island, and also by the New Zealanders. The former make tamau of the hair of their deceased friends, and the latter make ear-rings and necklaces of their teeth.

Near most of their large houses were fixed, upright in the ground, the stems of four cocoa-nut trees, in a square position, about three feet from each other. Some of our gentlemen who first saw them, were inclined to believe they were thus placed on a religious account; but I was now satisfied that it was for no other purpose but to hang cocoa-nuts on to dry. For when I asked, as well as I could, the use of them, a man took me to one, loaded with cocoa-nuts from the bottom to the top; and no words could have informed me better. Their situation is well chosen for this use, as most of their large houses are built in an open airy place, or where the wind has a free passage, from whatever direction it blows. Near most, if not all of them, is a large tree or two, whose spreading branches afford an agreeable retreat from the scorching sun. This part of the island was well cultivated, open and airy; the plantations were laid out by line, abounding wilh plantains, sugar-canes, yams and other roots, and stocked with fruit- trees. In our walk we met with our old friend Paowang, who, with some others, accompanied us to the water side, and brought with them, as a present, a few yams and cocoa-nuts.

On the 15th, having finished wooding and watering, a few hands only were on shore making brooms, the rest being employed on board setting up the rigging, and putting the ship in a condition for sea. Mr Forster, in his botanical excursion this day, shot a pigeon, in the craw of which was a wild nutmeg. He took some pains to find the tree, but his endeavours were without success. In the evening a party of us walked to the eastern sea- shore, in order to take the bearing of Annattom, and Erronan or Footoona. The horizon proved so hazy that I could see neither; but one of the natives gave me, as I afterwards found, the true direction of them. We observed that in all, or most of their sugar plantations, were dug holes or pits, four feet deep, and five or six in diameter; and on our enquiring their use, we were given to understand that they caught rats in them. These animals, which are very destructive to the canes, are here in great plenty. The canes, I observed, were planted as thick as possible round the edge of these pits, so that the rats in coming at them are the more liable to tumble in.

Next morning we found the tiller sprung in the rudder head, and, by some strange neglect, we had not a spare one on board, which we were ignorant of till now it was wanting. I knew but of one tree in the neighbourhood fit for this purpose, which I sent the carpenter on shore to look at, and an officer, with a party of men, to cut it down, provided he could obtain leave of the natives; if not, he was ordered to acquaint me. He understood that no one had any objection, and set the people to work accordingly. But as the tree was large, this required some time; and, before it was down, word was brought me that our friend Paowang was not pleased. Upon this I gave orders to desist, as we found that, by scarfing a piece to the inner end of the tiller, and letting it farther into the rudder-head, it would still perform its office. But as it was necessary to have a spare one on board, I went on shore, sent for Paowang, made him a present of a dog and a piece of cloth, and then explained to him that our great steering paddle was broken, and that I wanted that tree to make a new one. It was easy to see how well pleased every one present was, with the means I took to obtain it. With one voice they gave their consent, Paowang joining his also, which he perhaps could not have done without the others; for I do not know that he had either more property, or more authority, than the rest. This point being obtained, I took our friend on board to dinner, and after it was over, went with him ashore, to pay a visit to an old chief, who was said to be king of the island; which was a doubt with me. Paowang took little or no notice of him. I made him a present, after which he immediately went away, as if he got all he came for. His name was Geogy, and they gave him the title of Areeke. He was very old, but had a merry open countenance. He wore round his waist a broad red-and-white chequered belt, the materials and manufacture of which seemed the same as that of Otaheite cloth; but this was hardly a mark of distinction. He had with him a son, not less than forty-five or fifty years of age. A great number of people were at this time at the landing-place, most of them from distant parts. The behaviour of many was friendly; while others were daring and insolent, which I thought proper to put up with, as our stay was nearly at an end.

On the 17th, about ten o'clock, I went ashore, and found in the crowd old Geogy and his son, who soon made me understand that they wanted to dine with me; and accordingly I brought them and two more on board. They all called them Areekees (or kings); but I doubt if any of them had the least pretensions to that title over the whole island. It had been remarked, that one of these kings had not authority enough to order one of the people up into a cocoa-nut tree, to bring him down some nuts. Although he spoke to several, he was at last obliged to go himself, and, by way of revenge, as it was thought, left not a nut on the tree, taking what he wanted himself, and giving the rest to some of our people.

When I got them on board, I went with them all over the ship, which they viewed with uncommon surprise and attention. We happened to have for their entertainment a kind of pie or pudding made of plantains, and some sort of greens which we had got from one of the natives. On this and on yams they made a hearty dinner; for, as to the salt beef and pork, they would hardly taste them. In the afternoon, having made each of them a present of a hatchet, a spike-nail, and some medals, I conducted them ashore.

Mr Forster and I then went over to the other side of the harbour, and, having tried, with Fahrenheit's thermometer, the head of one of the hot springs, we found that the mercury rose to 191 deg.. At this time the tide was up within two or three feet of the spring, so that we judged, it might, in some degree, be cooled by it. We were mistaken however, for on repeating the experiment next morning, when the tide was out, the mercury rose no higher than 187 deg.; but, at another spring, where the water bubbled out of the sand from under the rock at the S.W. corner of the harbour, the mercury in the same thermometer rose to 202 deg.-1/2, which is but little colder than boiling water. The hot places before mentioned are from about three to four hundred feet perpendicular above these springs, and on the slope of the same ridge with the volcano; that is, there are no vallies between them, but such as are formed in the ridge itself; nor is the volcano on the highest part of the ridge, but on the S.E. side of it. This is, I have been told, contrary to the general opinion of philosophers, who say that volcanos must be on the summits of the highest hills. So far is this from being the case on this island, that some of its hills are more than double the height of that on which the volcano is, and close to it. To these remarks I must add, that, in wet or moist weather, the volcano was most violent. There seems to be room for some philosophical reasoning on these phenomena of nature; but not having any talent that way, I must content myself with stating facts as I found them, and leave the causes to men of more abilities.[7]

The tiller was now finished; but, as the wind was unfavourable for sailing, the guard was sent on shore on the 19th as before, and a party of men to cut up and bring off the remainder of the tree from which we had got the tiller. Having nothing else to do, I went on shore with them, and finding a good number of the natives collected about the landing-place as usual, I distributed among them all the articles I had with me, and then went on board for more. In less than an hour I returned, just as our people were getting some large logs into the boat. At the same time four or five of the natives stepped forward to see what we were about, and as we did not allow them to come within certain limits, unless to pass along the beach, the centry ordered them, back, which they readily complied with. At this time, having my eyes fixed on them, I observed the sentry present his piece (as I thought at these men,) and was just going to reprove him for it, because I had observed that, whenever this was done, some of the natives would hold up their arms, to let us see they were equally ready. But I was astonished beyond measure when the sentry fired, for I saw not the least cause. At this outrage most of the people fled; it was only a few I could prevail on to remain. As they ran off, I observed one man to fall; and he was immediately lifted up by two others, who took him into the water, and washed his wound, and then led him off. Presently after, some came and described to me the nature of his wound; and as I found he was not carried far, I sent for the surgeon. As soon as he arrived, I went with him to the man, whom, we found expiring. The ball had struck his left arm, which was much shattered, and then entered his body by the short ribs, one of which was broken. The rascal who fired, pretended that a man had laid an arrow across his bow, and was going to shoot at him, so that he apprehended himself in danger. But this was no more than they had always done, and with no other view than to shew they were armed as well as we; at least I have reason to think so, as they never went farther. What made this incident the more unfortunate was, it not appearing to be the man who bent the bow, that was shot, but one who stood by him. This affair threw the natives into the utmost consternation; and a few that were prevailed on to stay, ran to the plantations and brought cocoa-nuts, &c. which they laid down at our feet. So soon, were those daring people humbled! When I went on board to dinner, they all retired, and only a few appeared in the afternoon, amongst whom were Paowang and Wha-a-gou. I had not seen this young man since the day he had dined on board. Both he and Paowang promised to bring me fruit, &c. the next morning, but our early departure put it out of their power.[8]

[1] "In order to make the sequel more intelligible, it will be necessary to give a slight sketch of the appearance of the country which encloses the harbour. The point which forms its eastern shore is very low and flat, but presently rises into a level hill, about fifteen or twenty yards high, which is wholly laid out in plantations. This encompasses the eastern and southern shore of the bay, being near three miles long, and extending several miles inland to the sea on the other side. Where this flat hill ends, a fine plain covered with plantations runs to the southward, bounded by several ranges of pleasant hills, of which the nearest are of easy ascent. To the west this plain, as well as the whole bay itself, is enclosed by a steep hill, three or four hundred yards high, which is nearly perpendicular in most places. A narrow beach of large broken shingles and stones runs along the western shore, but a perpendicular rock separates it from the southern beach. This last is very broad, and consists of a firm black sand; it bounds the plain, and is the same where we cut wood and filled our casks with water. A beach of coral rock and shell sand continues from thence along the foot of the flat hill quite to the eastern point of the harbour. The flat hill does not lie close to this beach, but a space of level land, thirty or forty yards wide, covered with groves of palms, extends to its foot. The whole south east corner of the bay is filled with a flat reef of coral, which is overflowed at low water."—G.F.

[2] "The women and children, though they brought us several dainties, were notwithstanding so extremely timorous, that if we only fixed our eyes upon them, they instantly ran away, to the great entertainment of the men. However, their coming so near us, was sufficient proof that we had made great progress towards gaining their confidence. We observed some of them who had a smile on their countenances, but in general they looked gloomy and melancholy. Whenever we presented a bead, a nail, or ribbon to any of the people, they refused to touch it, but desired us to lay it down, and then took it up in a leaf. Whether this was owing to some superstitious notions, or to a fancied idea of cleanliness, or of civility, must remain a matter of doubt."— G.F.

[3] "He, as well as all his countrymen, had not the same facility of pronunciation as the Mallecollese; we were therefore obliged to tell him our names, modified according to the softer organs of the Otaheitans. His features were rather handsome, his eyes large and very lively; and the whole countenance expressed good humour, sprightliness, and acuteness.

To mention only a single instance of his ingenuity; it happened that my father and Captain Cook, on comparing their vocabularies, discovered that each had collected a different word to signify the sky; they appealed to him to know which of the two expressions was right; he presently held out one hand, and applied it to one of the words, then moving the other hand under it, he pronounced the second word; intimating that the upper was properly the sky, and the lower the clouds which moved under it. His manners at table were extremely becoming and decent; and the only practice which did not appear quite cleanly in our eyes, was his making use of a stick, which he wore in his hair, instead of a fork, with which he occasionally scratched his head."—G.F.

[4] These people, according to Mr G.F., frequently alluded to this horrid practice, and threatened it indeed to those of the crew that, in opposition to their will, offered to go to certain spots on the island. Hence, that gentleman infers the existence of the practice among them, and perhaps with great justice, as there can be little or no doubt that it either has prevailed or now prevails in all the islands of the South Seas.—E.

[5] "We took a walk to the eastward along the shore of the bay, and looked into the groves which skirted the flat hill before spoken of. We found these groves to consist of coco-palms, and several species of shady fig-trees, with eatable fruits, nearly of the size of the common figs. We also observed several sheds, under which some of their canoes were secured from the sun and weather; but there were no habitations, except towards the eastern point. We found a path, which led through a variety of bushes upon the flat hills. In our way to it, we crossed some glades, or meadows, enclosed in woods on all sides, and covered with a very rich herbage of the most vivid green. We passed through a little airy grove, into several extensive plantations of bananos, yams, eddoes, and fig-trees, which were in some places enclosed in fences of stone two feet high."—G.F.

[6] "We took the opportunity of the absence of the natives, to walk out upon the plain, behind the watering-place. We met with several ponds of stagnant water, in which the natives had planted great quantities of eddoes. The coco-palms formed spacious groves, full of different shrubberies, where a great number of birds of different sorts, chiefly fly-catchers, creepers, and parroquets, resided. We saw likewise many lofty trees, covered with nuts, which are common at Otaheite, (isrocarpus Nov. Gen.). These trees were commonly the resort of pigeons of different kinds, and chiefly of the sort which are to be met with at the Friendly Islands, where the natives catch and tame them. We passed by some plantations of bananas and sugar- canes, but saw no houses, the greatest part of the ground being uncultivated, and covered with shady forests, or low shrubberies. At the east end of the plain we observed a long and spacious valley, from whence we saw a great number of smokes rising, and heard the promiscuous voices of many men, women and children. We stood in a path, on both sides of which were thick shrubberies; and the vale itself was so full of groves, that we neither saw the people, whose voices we heard, nor any of their dwellings. It being late in the evening, we proceeded no farther, and without discovering ourselves, retreated to the beach."—G.F.

[7] The elder Forster has some judicious and important remarks on volcanos, in his observations, but they are too long to be given here. "It may be remarked," says his son, "that the volcano and its productions seem to contribute greatly to that prodigious luxuriance of vegetation which is so remarkable on this island. Many plants here attain twice the height which they have in other countries; their leaves are broader, their flowers larger, and more richly scented. The same observation has been made in various volcanic countries. The soil of Vesuvius and Etna is reckoned the most fertile in Italy and Sicily; and some of the best flavoured wines which Italy produces are raised upon it. The volcanic ground on the Habichtswald in Hesse, though situated in a high, cold, and barren country, is surprisingly fertile, and covered with verdure. All kinds of plants, indigenous and foreign, thrive with luxuriance, and make this beautiful spot, on which the gardens of the landgrave are situated, the admiration of all beholders. Nay, to confine ourselves to our own voyage, the Society Islands, the Marquesas, and some of the Friendly Islands, where we found volcanic remains, as well as Ambrrym and Tanna, where we actually saw burning mountains, have a rich and fertile soil, in which nature displays the magnificence of the vegetable kingdom. Easter Island itself, wholly overturned by some volcanic eruption, produces different vegetables and useful roots, without any other soil than flags, cinders, and pumice-stones; though the burning heat of the sun, from which there is no shelter, should seem sufficient to shrivel and destroy every plant."—G.F.

[8] Mr G.F. has spoken of the atrocious deed above recited with much indignation, and the more so apparently, as it broke in on a very pleasing series of reflections he was indulging, on the felicity of these islanders and the friendly intercourse with them that had been at last effected. He concludes his account of it in the following manner.—"Thus one dark and detestable action effaced all the hopes with which I had flattered myself. The natives, instead of looking upon us in a more favourable light than upon other strangers, had reason to detest us much more, as we came to destroy under the specious mask of friendship; and some amongst us lamented that instead of making amends at this place for the many rash acts which we had perpetrated at almost every island in our course, we had wantonly made it the scene of the greatest cruelty. Captain Cook resolved to punish the marine with the utmost rigour for having transgressed his positive orders, according to which the choleric emotions of the savages were to be repressed with gentleness, and prudently suffered to cool. But the officer who commanded on shore, declared that he had not delivered these orders to the sentry, but given him others which imported, that the least threat was to be punished with immediate death. The soldier was therefore immediately cleared, and the officer's right to dispose of the lives of the natives remained uncontroverted." The reader must have long ago perceived in the sentiments and language of this certainly eloquent writer, very sufficient grounds for much of the offence which his account of this voyage gave in England at the time of its publication. Now perhaps we can bear to be told of past transgressions, with considerable tranquillity, because we pride ourselves on the conviction of increased moral feeling; but the man who should act the friendless part of a censor among us, would still be able to discover our iniquity, in the resentment we exhibited at his officiousness.—E.



SECTION VI.

Departure from Tanna; with some Account of its Inhabitants, their Manners and Arts.

During the night the wind had veered round to S.E. As this was favourable for getting out of the harbour, at four o'clock in the morning of the 20th, we began to unmoor, and at eight, having weighed our last anchor, put to sea. As soon as we were clear of the land, I brought-to, waiting for the launch, which was left behind to take up a kedge-anchor and hawser we had out, to cast by. About day-break a noise was heard in the woods, nearly abreast of us, on the east side of the harbour, not unlike singing of psalms. I was told that the like had been heard at the same time every morning, but it never came to my knowledge till now, when it was too late to learn the occasion of it. Some were of opinion, that at the east point of the harbour (where we observed, in coming in, some houses, boats, &c.) was something sacred to religion, because some of our people had attempted to go to this point, and were prevented by the natives. I thought, and do still think, it was owing to a desire they shewed on every occasion, of fixing bounds to our excursions. So far as we had once been, we might go again; but not farther with their consent. But by encroaching a little every time, our country expeditions were insensibly extended without giving the least umbrage. Besides, these morning ceremonies, whether religious or not, were not performed down at that point, but in a part where some of our people had been daily.[1]



I cannot say what might be the true cause of these people shewing such dislike to our going up into their country. It might be owing to a naturally jealous disposition, or perhaps to their being accustomed to hostile visits from their neighbours, or quarrels among themselves. Circumstances seemed to shew that such must frequently happen; for we observed them very expert in arms, and well accustomed to them; seldom or never travelling without them. It is possible all this might be on our account; but I hardly think it. We never gave them the least molestation, nor did we touch any part of their property, not even the wood and water, without first having obtained their consent. The very cocoa-nuts, hanging over the heads of the workmen, were as safe as those in the middle of the island. It happened rather fortunately, that there were so many cocoa-nut trees, near the skirts of the harbour, which seemed not to be private property; so that we could generally prevail on the natives to bring us some of these nuts, when nothing would induce them to bring any out of the country.

We were not wholly without refreshments; for besides the fish, which our seine now and then provided us with, we procured daily some fruits or roots from the natives, though but little in proportion to what we could consume. The reason why we got no more might be our having nothing to give them in exchange, which they thought valuable. They had not the least knowledge of iron; consequently, nails and iron tools, beads, &c. which had so great a run at the more eastern isles, were of no consideration here; and cloth can be of no use to people who go naked.

The produce of this island is bread-fruit, plantains, cocoa-nuts, a fruit like a nectarine, yams, tarra, a sort of potatoe, sugar-cane, wild figs, a fruit like an orange, which is not eatable, and some other fruit and nuts whose names I have not. Nor have I any doubt that the nutmeg before mentioned was the produce of this island. The bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, and plantains, are neither so plentiful nor so good as at Otaheite; on the other hand, sugar-canes and yams are not only in greater plenty, but of superior quality, and much larger. We got one of the latter which weighed fifty-six pounds, every ounce of which was good. Hogs did not seem to be scarce; but we saw not many fowls. These are the only domestic animals they have. Land-birds are not more numerous than at Otaheite, and the other islands; but we met with some small birds, with a very beautiful plumage, which we had never seen before. There is as great a variety of trees and plants here, as at any island we touched at, where our botanists had time to examine. I believe these people live chiefly on the produce of the land, and that the sea contributes but little to their subsistence. Whether this arises from the coast not abounding with fish, or from their being bad fishermen, I know not; both causes perhaps concur. I never saw any sort of fishing-tackle amongst them, nor any one out fishing, except on the shoals, or along the shores of the harbour, where they would watch to strike with a dart such fish as came within their reach; and in this they were expert. They seemed much to admire our catching fish with the seine; and, I believe, were not well pleased with it at last. I doubt not, they have other methods of catching fish besides striking them.[2]

We understood that the little isle of Immer was chiefly inhabited by fishermen, and that the canoes we frequently saw pass, to and from that isle and the east point of the harbour, were fishing canoes. These canoes were of unequal sizes, some thirty feet long, two broad, and three deep; and they are composed of several pieces of wood clumsily sewed together with bandages. The joints are covered on the outside by a thin batten champered off at the edges, over which the bandages pass. They are navigated either by paddles or sails. The sail is lateen, extended to a yard and boom, and hoisted to a short mast. Some of the large canoes have two sails, and all of them outriggers.

At first we thought the people of this island, as well as those of Erromango, were a race between the natives of the Friendly Islands and those of Mallicollo; but a little acquaintance with them convinced us that they had little or no affinity to either, except it be in their hair, which is much like what the people of the latter island have. The general colours of it are black and brown, growing to a tolerable length, and very crisp and curly. They separate it into small locks, which they woold or cue round with the rind of a slender plant, down to about an inch of the ends; and, as the hair grows, the woolding is continued. Each of these cues or locks is somewhat thicker than common whipcord; and they look like a parcel of small strings hanging down from the crown of their heads. Their beards, which are strong and bushy, are generally short. The women do not wear their hair so, but cropped; nor do the boys, till they approach manhood. Some few men, women, and children, were seen, who had hair like ours; but it was obvious that these were of another nation; and, I think, we understood they came from Erronan. It is to this island they ascribe one of the two languages which they speak, and which is nearly, if not exactly, the same as that spoken in the Friendly Islands. It is therefore more than probable that Erronan was peopled from that nation, and that by long intercourse with Tanna and the other neighbouring islands, each had learnt the other's language, which they use indiscriminately.

The other language which the people of Tanna speak, and, as we understood, those of Erromango and Annatom, is properly their own. It is different from any we had before met with, and bears no affinity to that of Mallicollo; so that, it should seem, the people of these islands are a distinct nation of themselves. Mallicollo, Apee, &c. were names entirely unknown to them; they even knew nothing of Sandwich Island, which is much nearer. I took no small pains to know how far their geographical knowledge extended; and did not find that it exceeded the limits of their horizon.[3]

These people are of the middle size, rather slender than otherwise; many are little, but few tall or stout; the most of them have good features, and agreeable countenances; are, like all the tropical race, active and nimble; and seem to excel in the use of arms, but not to be fond of labour. They never would put a hand to assist in any work we were carrying on, which the people of the other islands used to delight in. Bat what I judge most from, is their making the females do the most laborious work, as if they were pack-horses. I have seen a woman carrying a large bundle on her back, or a child on her back and a bundle under her arm, and a fellow strutting before her with nothing but a club or spear, or some such thing. We have frequently observed little troops of women pass, to and fro, along the beach, laden with fruit and roots, escorted by a party of men under arms; though, now and then, we have seen a man carry a burden at the same time, but not often. I know not on what account this was done, nor that an armed troop was necessary. At first, we thought they were moving out of the neighbourhood with their effects, but we afterwards saw them both carry out, and bring in, every day.

I cannot say the women are beauties, but I think them handsome enough for the men, and too handsome for the use that is made of them. Both sexes are of a very dark colour, but not black; nor have they the least characteristic of the negro about them. They make themselves blacker than they really are, by painting their faces with a pigment of the colour of black-lead. They also use another sort which is red, and a third sort brown, or a colour between red and black. All these, but especially the first, they lay on with a liberal hand, not only on the face, but on the neck, shoulders, and breast. The men wear nothing but a belt, and the wrapping leaf as at Mallicollo. The women have a kind of petticoat made of the filaments of the plantain-tree, flags, or some such thing, which reaches below the knee. Both sexes wear ornaments, such as bracelets, ear- rings, necklaces, and amulets. The bracelets are chiefly worn by the men; some made of sea-shells, and others of those of the cocoa-nut. The men also wear amulets; and those of most value being made of a greenish stone, the green stone of New Zealand is valued by them for this purpose. Necklaces are chiefly used by the women, and made mostly of shells. Ear-rings are common to both sexes, and those valued most are made of tortoise-shell. Some of our people having got some at the Friendly Islands, brought it to a good market here, where it was of more value than any thing we had besides; from which I conclude that these people catch but few turtle, though I saw one in the harbour, just as we were getting under sail. I observed that, towards the latter end of our stay, they began to ask for hatchets, and large nails, so that it is likely they had found that iron is more serviceable than stone, bone, or shells, of which all their tools I have seen are made. Their stone hatchets, at least all those I saw, are not in the shape of adzes, as at the other islands, but more like an axe. In the helve, which is pretty thick, is made a hole into which the stone is fixed.

These people, besides the cultivation of ground, have few other arts worth mentioning. They know how to make a coarse kind of matting, and a coarse cloth of the bark of a tree, which is used chiefly for belts. The workmanship of their canoes, I have before observed, is very rude; and their arms, with which they take the most pains in point of neatness, come far short of some others we have seen. Their weapons are clubs, spears or darts, bows and arrows, and stones. The clubs are of three or four kinds, and from three to five feet long. They seem to place most dependence on the darts, which are pointed with three bearded edges. In throwing them they make use of a becket, that is, a piece of stiff plaited cord about six inches long, with an eye in one end and a knot at the other. The eye is fixed on the fore-finger of the right hand, and the other end is hitched round the dart, where it is nearly on an equipoise. They hold the dart between the thumb and remaining fingers, which serve only to give it direction, the velocity being communicated by the becket and fore-finger. The former flies off from the dart the instant its velocity becomes greater than that of the hand. But it remains on the finger ready to be used again. With darts they kill both birds and fish, and are sure of hitting a mark, within the compass of the crown of a hat, at the distance of eight or ten yards; but, at double that distance, it is chance if they hit a mark the size of a man's body, though they will throw the weapon sixty or seventy yards. They always throw with all their might, let the distance be what it will. Darts, bows and arrows are to them what musquets are to us. The arrows are made of reeds pointed with hard wood; some are bearded and some not, and those for shooting birds have two, three, and sometimes four points. The stones they use are, in general, the branches of coral rocks from eight to fourteen inches long, and from an inch to an inch-and-half in diameter. I know not if they employ them as missive weapons; almost every one of them carries a club, and besides that, either darts, or a bow and arrows, but never both; those who had stones kept them generally in their belts.

I cannot conclude this account of their arms without adding an entire passage out of Mr Wales's journal. As this gentleman was continually on shore amongst them, he had a better opportunity of seeing what they could perform, than any of us. The passage is as follows: "I must confess I have been often led to think the feats which Homer represents his heroes as performing with their spears, a little too much of the marvellous to be admitted into an heroic poem; I mean when confined within the strait stays of Aristotle. Nay, even so great an advocate for him as Mr Pope, acknowledges them to be surprising. But since I have seen what these people can do with their wooden spears, and them badly pointed, and not of a very hard nature, I have not the least exception to any one passage in that great poet on this account. But, if I see fewer exceptions, I can find infinitely more beauties in him; as he has, I think, scarce an action, circumstance, or description of any kind whatever, relating to a spear, which I have not seen and recognised among these people; as their whirling motion, and whistling noise, as they fly; their quivering motion, as they stick in the ground when they fall; their meditating their aim, when they are going to throw, and their shaking them in their hand as they go along, &c. &c."

I know no more of their cookery, than that it consists of roasting and baking; for they have no vessel in which water can be boiled. Nor do I know that they have any other liquor but water and the juice of the cocoa- nut.[4]

We are utter strangers to their religion; and but little acquainted with their government. They seem to have chiefs among them; at least some were pointed out to us by that title; but, as I before observed, they appeared to have very little authority over the rest of the people. Old Geogy was the only one the people were ever seen to take the least notice of; but whether this was owing to high rank or old age, I cannot say. On several occasions I have seen the old men respected and obeyed. Our friend Paowang was so; and yet I never heard him called chief, and have many reasons to believe that he had not a right to any more authority than many of his neighbours, and few, if any, were bound to obey him, or any other person in our neighbourhood; for if there had been such a one, we certainly should, by some means, have known it. I named the harbour Port Resolution, after the ship, she being the first which ever entered it. It is situated on the north side of the most eastern point of the island, and about E.N.E. from the volcano; in the latitude of 19 deg. 32' 25" 1/2 S., and in the longitude of 169 deg. 44' 35" E. It is no more than a little creek running in S. by W. 1/2 W. three quarters of a mile, and is about half that in breadth. A shoal of sand and rocks, lying on the east side, makes it still narrower. The depth of water in the harbour is from six to three fathoms, and the bottom is sand and mud. No place can be more convenient for taking in wood and water; for both are close to the shore. The water stunk a little after it had been a few days on board, but it afterwards turned sweet; and even when it was at the worst, the tin machine would, in a few hours, recover a whole cask. This is an excellent contrivance for sweetening water at sea, and is well known in the navy.

Mr Wales, from whom I had the latitude and longitude, found the variation of the needle to be 7 deg. 14' 12" E., and the dip of its south end 45 deg. 2' 3/4. He also observed the time of high water, on the full and change days, to be about 5h 45m; and the tide to rise and fall three feet.

[1] According to Mr G.F. nothing, except this very dubious circumstance of the solemn song, could be discovered among these people, to indicate religion or superstitious notions. He mentions indeed, their practice of taking up the presents given them on a leaf, but properly enough remarks, that as even this was not general, and as it even ceased on the parties becoming better acquainted, no stress ought to be laid upon it. Obviously, the information is too scanty to warrant decided opinions on the subject; but reasoning from analogy and what is related of the conduct and enjoyments of these islanders, one could not readily embrace the notion that they were quite destitute of both religious ideas and practices.—E.

[2] Mr G.F. informs us that not less than forty different species of plants are cultivated in this island, and the nutmeg he conceives to be among its spontaneous ones. Of the fish found here he specifies mullet, Brasilian pike, garfish, dolphins, cavalhas, parrot-fish, sting-rays, toothless-rays, angel-fish, sharks, sinking-fish, and varieties of mackrel. Its birds are several sorts of pigeons, parroquets, fly-catchers, the Ceylonese owl, a species of creeper, a sort of duck, and a purple water-hen. The cock and hen are its only tame fowls; and there are but three quadrupeds, hogs, rats, and bats.—E.

[3] If I might venture a conjecture, founded upon the languages which we heard spoken in this island, I should suppose that several tribes of different nations have peopled it, and may have disputed the possession of the ground with each other. Besides the common language of the island, and a dialect of that of the Friendly Islands, we collected some words of a third language, chiefly current among the inhabitants of its western hills; and we particularly obtained the numerals of all the three tongues, which are indeed totally extinct. In the common language of Tanna we met with two or three words, which have a clear affinity with the language of Mallicollo, and about the same number corresponded with some words of the Malay; but in general they are wholly unlike each other, and related to no other language that I know of. There is a strong kind of aspiration, and a guttural sound, in many words at Tanna, which are however very sonorous and full of vowels, and therefore easily pronounced."—G.F.

[4] Captain Cook has neglected to notice the musical genius of these people. The following remarks on it are worthy of quotation.—"As I happened to hum a song one day, many of them very eagerly entreated me to sing to them, and though not one of us was properly acquainted with music, yet we ventured to gratify their curiosity, and offered them a great variety of airs. Some German and English songs, especially of the more lively kind, pleased them very much; but Dr Sparrman's Swedish tunes gained universal applause; from whence it appeared that their judgment in music was not influenced by the same rules which regulate the taste of other countries. When we had performed, we desired them in return to give us an opportunity of admiring their talents, and one of them immediately began a very simple tune; it was however harmonious, and, as for as we could judge, superior to the music of all the nations in the tropical part of the South Sea, which we had hitherto heard. It ran through a much more considerable compass of notes, than is employed at Otaheite, or even at Tonga-Tabboo; and had a serious turn which distinguished it very remarkably from the softer effeminate music of those islands. The words seemed to be naturally arranged, and flowed very currently from the tongue. When the first had finished his song, another began; his tune was different as to the composition, but had the same serious style which strongly marked the general turn of the people. They were indeed seldom seen to laugh so heartily, and jest so facetiously, as the more polished nations of the Friendly and Society Islands, who have already learnt to set a great value on these enjoyments. On the afternoon of this day, our friends importuned us to sing to them again. We readily complied with their request, and when they seemed to wonder at the difference in our songs, we endeavoured to make them comprehend that we were natives of different countries. Hearing this, they pointed out an elderly thin man in the circle of our hearers, and telling us that he was a native of Irromanga, desired him to sing to us. The man immediately stepped forward, and began a song, in the course of which he made a variety of gesticulations, not only to our entertainment, but to the great satisfaction of all the people about him. His song was to the full as musical as that of the people of Tanna, but it seemed to be of a droll or humorous nature, from his various ludicrous postures, and from the particular tone of the whole. The language was utterly distinct from that of Tanna, but not harsh or ill suited to music. It seemed likewise to have a certain metre, but very different from that slow and serious one which we heard this morning. It appeared to us when he had done singing, that the people of Tanna spoke to him in his own language, but that he was not acquainted with theirs. Whether he came as a visitor, or had been taken prisoner, we could not determine."—G.F.

According to this gentleman, these people had a musical instrument, which consisted of eight reeds like the syrin of Tonga-Tabbo, with this difference, that the reeds regularly decreased in size, and comprehended an octave, though the single reeds were not perfectly in tune. It is worth while noticing here, that one of these people having one day blown with great violence into his hand several times, as a signal, he was soon answered by the sounding of several conchs in different places.—E.



SECTION VII.

The Survey of the Islands continued, and a more particular Description of them.

As soon as the boats were hoisted in, we made sail, and stretched to the eastward, with a fresh gale at S.E., in order to have a nearer view of Erronan, and to see if there was any land in its neighbourhood. We stood on till midnight, when, having passed the island, we tacked, and spent the remainder of the night making two boards. At sun-rise on the 21st, we stood S.W., in order to get to the south of Tanna, and nearer to Annatom, to observe if any more land lay in that direction; for an extraordinary clear morning had produced no discovery of any to the east. At noon, having observed in latitude 20 deg. 33' 30", the situation of the lands around us was as follows: Port Resolution bore north 86 deg. W., distant six and a half leagues; the island of Tanna extended from S. 88 deg. W., to N. 64 deg. W.; Traitor's Head N. 58 deg. W., distant twenty leagues; the island of Erronan N. 80 deg. E., distant five leagues; and Annatom from S. 1/2 E. to S. 1/2 W., distant ten leagues. We continued to stretch to the south till two o'clock p.m. when, seeing no more land before us, we bore up round the S.E. end of Tanna; and, with a fine gale at E.S.E., ran along the south coast at one league from shore. It seemed a bold one, without the guard of any rocks; and the country full as fertile as in the neighbourhood of the harbour, and making a fine appearance. At six o'clock the high land of Erromango appeared over the west end of Tanna in the direction of 10 deg. W.; at eight o'clock we were past the island, and steered N.N.W. for Sandwich Island, in order to finish the survey[1] of it, and of the isles to the N.W. On the 22d, at four o'clock p.m., we drew near the S.E. end, and ranging the south coast, found it to trend in the direction of W. and W.N.W. for about nine leagues. Near the middle of this length, and close to the shore, are three or four small isles, behind which seemed to be a safe anchorage. But not thinking I had any time to spare to visit this fine island, I continued to range the coast to its western extremity, and then steered N.N.W, from the S.E. end of Mallicollo, which, at half past six o'clock next morning, bore N. 14 deg. E., distant seven or eight leagues, and Three-Hills Island S. 82 deg. E.[2] Soon after, we saw the islands Apee, Paom, and Ambrym. What we had comprehended under the name of Paom appeared now to be two isles, something like a separation being seen between the hill and the land to the west of it. We approached the S.W. side of Mallicollo to within half a league, and ranged it at that distance. From the S.E. point, the direction of the land is west, a little southerly, for six or seven leagues, and then N.W. by W. three leagues, to a pretty high point or head-land, situated in latitude 16 deg. 29', and which obtained the name of South-west Cape. The coast, which is low, seemed to be indented into creeks and projecting points; or else, these points were small isles lying under the shore. We were sure of one, which lies between two and three leagues east of the Cape. Close to the west side or point of the Cape, lies, connected with it by breakers, a round rock or islet, which helps to shelter a fine bay, formed by an elbow in the coast, from the reigning winds.[3]

The natives appeared in troops on many parts of the shore, and some seemed desirous to come off to us in canoes, but they did not; and, probably, our not shortening sail, was the reason. From the South-west Cape, the direction of the coast is N. by W.; but the most advanced land bore from it N.W. by N., at which the land seemed to terminate. Continuing to follow the direction of the coast, at noon it was two miles from us; and our latitude, by observation, was 16 deg. 22' 30" S. This is nearly the parallel to Port Sandwich, and our never-failing guide, the watch, shewed that we were 26' west of it; a distance which the breadth of Mallicollo cannot exceed in this parallel. The South-east Cape bore S. 26 deg. E., distant seven miles; and the most advanced point of land, for which we steered, bore N.W. by N. At three o'clock, we were the length of it, and found the land continued, and trending more and more to the north. We coasted it to its northern extremity, which we did not reach till after dark, at which time we were near enough to the shore to hear the voices of people, who were assembled round a fire they had made on the beach. There we sounded, and found twenty fathoms and a bottom of sand; but, on edging off from the shore, we soon got out of sounding, and then made a trip back to the south till the moon got up. After this we stood again to the north, hauled round the point, and spent the night in Bougainville's passage; being assured of our situation before sun-set, by seeing the land, on the north side of the passage, extending as far as N.W. 1/2 W.

The south coast of Mallicollo, from the S.E. end to the S.W. Cape, is luxuriantly clothed with wood, and other productions of nature, from the sea-shore to the very summits of the hills. To the N.W. of the Cape the country is less woody, but more agreeably interspersed with lawns, some of which appeared to be cultivated. The summits of the hills seemed barren; and the highest lies between Port Sandwich and the S.W. Cape. Farther north the land falls insensibly lower, and is less covered with wood. I believe it is a very fertile island, and well inhabited; for we saw smoke by day and fire by night, in all parts of it.[4]

Next morning at sun-rise, we found ourselves nearly in the middle of the passage, the N.W. end of Mallicollo extending from S. 30 deg. E., to S. 58 deg. W.; the land to the north from N. 70 deg. W. to N. 4 deg. E.; and the Isle of Lepers bearing N. 30 deg. E., distant eleven or twelve leagues. We now made sail, and steered N. by E., and afterwards north, along the east coast of the northern land, with a fine breeze at S.E. We found that this coast, which at first appeared to be continued, was composed of several low woody isles, the most of them of small extent, except the southernmost, which, on account of the day, I named St Bartholomew. It is six or seven leagues in circuit, and makes the N.E. point of Bougainville's Passage. At noon the breeze began to slacken. We were at this time between two and three miles from the land, and observed in latitude 15 deg. 23' the Isle of Lepers bearing from E. by N. to S., distance seven leagues; and a high bluff-head, at which the coast we were upon seemed to terminate, N.N.W. 1/2 W., distant ten or eleven leagues; but from the mast-head we could see land to the east. This we judged to be an island, and it bore N. by W. 1/2 W.

As we advanced to N.N.W., along a fine coast covered with woods, we perceived low land that extended off from the bluff-head towards the island above mentioned, but did not seem to join it. It was my intention to have gone through the channel, but the approach of night made me lay it aside, and steer without the island. During the afternoon, we passed some small isles lying under the shore; and observed some projecting points of unequal height, but were not able to determine whether or no they were connected with the main land. Behind them was a ridge of hills which terminated at the bluff-head. There were cliffs, in some places of the coast, and white patches, which we judged to be chalk. At ten o'clock, being the length of the isle which lies off the head, we shortened sail, and spent the night in making short boards.

At day-break on the 25th, we were on the north side of the island (which is of a moderate height, and three leagues in circuit,) and steered west for the bluff-head, along the low land under it. At sun-rise an elevated coast came in sight beyond the bluff-head, extending to the north as far N.W. by W. After doubling the head we found the land to trend south, a little easterly, and to form a large deep bay, bounded on the west by the coast just mentioned.

Every thing conspired to make us believe this was the Bay of St Philip and St Jago, discovered by Quiros in 1606. To determine this point, it was necessary to proceed farther up; for at this time we saw no end to it. The wind being at south, we were obliged to ply, and first stretched over for the west shore, from which we were three miles at noon, when our latitude was 14 deg. 55' 30" S., longitude 167 deg. 3' E.; the mouth of the bay extending from N. 64 deg. W., to S. 86 deg. E., which last direction was the bluff-head, distant three leagues. In the afternoon the wind veering to E.S.E., we could look up to the head of the bay; but as the breeze was faint, a N.E. swell hurtled us over to the west shore; so that, at half past four o'clock p.m., we were no more than two miles from it, and tacked in one hundred and twenty fathoms water, a soft muddy bottom. The bluff-head, or east point of the bay, bore north 53 deg. east.

We had no sooner tacked than it fell calm, and we were left to the mercy of the swell, which continued to hurtle us towards the shore, where large troops of people were assembled. Some ventured off in two canoes; but all the signs of friendship we could make, did not induce them to come along- side, or near enough to receive any present from us. At last they took sudden fright at something, and returned ashore. They were naked, except having some long grass, like flags, fastened to a belt, and hanging down before and behind, nearly as low as the knee. Their colour was very dark, and their hair woolly, or cut short, which made it seem so.[5] The canoes were small and had outriggers. The calm continued till near eight o'clock, in which time we drove into eighty-five fathoms water, and so near the shore that I expected we should be obliged to anchor. A breeze of wind sprung up at E.S.E., and first took us on the wrong side; but, contrary to all our expectations, and when we had hardly room to veer, the ship came about, and having filled on the starboard tack, we stood off N.E. Thus we were relieved from the apprehensions of being forced to anchor in a great depth, on a lee shore, and in a dark and obscure night.

We continued to ply upwards, with variable light breezes between E.S.E. and S., till ten next morning, when it fell calm. We were, at this time, about seven or eight miles from the head of the bay, which is terminated by a low beach; and behind that, is an extensive flat covered with wood, and bounded on each side by a ridge of mountains. At noon we found the latitude to be 15 deg. 5' S., and were detained here by the calm till one o'clock p.m., when we got a breeze at N. by W., with which we steered up to within two miles of the head of the bay; and then I sent Mr Cooper and Mr Gilbert to sound and reconnoitre the coast, while we stood to and fro with the ship. This gave time to three sailing canoes which had been following us some time, to come up. There were five or six men in each; and they approached near enough to receive such things as were thrown to them fastened to a rope, but would not advance alongside. They were the same sort of people as those we had seen the preceding evening; indeed we thought they came from the same place. They seemed to be stouter and better shaped men than those of Mallicollo; and several circumstances concurred to make us think they were of another nation. They named the numerals as far as five or six in the language of Anamocka, and understood us when we asked the names of the adjacent lands in that language. Some, indeed, had black short frizzled hair like the natives of Mallicollo, but others had it long, tied up on the crown of the head, and ornamented with feathers like the New Zealanders. Their other ornaments were bracelets and necklaces; one man had something like a white shell on his forehead, and some were painted with a blackish pigment. I did not see that they had any other weapon but darts and gigs, intended only for striking of fish. Their canoes were much like those of Tanna, and navigated in the same manner, or nearly so. They readily gave us the names of such parts as we pointed to; but we could not obtain from them the name of the island. At length, seeing our boats coming, they paddled in for the shore, notwithstanding all we could say or do to detain them.

When the boats returned, Mr Cooper informed me, that they had landed on the beach which is at the head of the bay, near a fine river, or stream of fresh water, so large and deep that they judged boats might enter it at high water. They found three fathoms depth close to the beach, and fifty- five and fifty, two cables' length off. Farther out they did not sound; and where we were with the ship, we had no soundings with a hundred and seventy fathoms line. Before the boats got on board, the wind had shifted to the S.S.E. As we were in want of nothing, and had no time to spare, I took the advantage of this shift of wind, and steered down the bay. During the fore- part of the night, the country was illuminated with fires, from the sea- shore to the summits of the mountains; but this was only on the west side of the shore. I cannot pretend to say what was the occasion of these fires, but have no idea of their being on our account. Probably, they were burning or clearing the ground for new plantations. At day-break on the 27th, we found ourselves two-thirds down the bay, and, as we had but little wind, it was noon before we were the length of the N.W. point, which at this time bore N. 82 deg. W., distant five miles. Latitude observed 14 deg. 39' 30".

Some of our gentlemen were doubtful of this being the bay of St Philip and St Jago, as there was no place which they thought could mean the port of Vera Cruz. For my part I found general points to agree so well with Quiros's description, that I had not the least doubt about it. As to what he calls the Port of Vera Cruz, I understand that to be the anchorage at the head of the bay, which in some places may extend farther off than where our boats landed. There is nothing in his account of the port which contradicts this supposition. It was but natural for his people to give a name to the place, independent of so large a bay, where they lay so long at anchor. A port is a vague term, like many others in geography, and has been very often applied to places far less sheltered than this.

Our officers observed that grass and other plants grew on the beach close to high water-mark, which is always a sure sign of pacific anchorage, and an undeniable proof that there never is a great surf on the shore. They judged that the tide rose about four or five feet, and that boats and such craft might, at high-water, enter the river, which seemed to be pretty deep and broad within; so that this, probably, is one of those mentioned by Quiros; and if we were not deceived, we saw the other.

The bay hath twenty leagues sea-coast, six on the east side, which lies in the direction of S. half W. and N. half E., two at the head, and twelve on the west side, the direction of which is S. by E. and N. by W., from the head down to two-thirds of its length, and then N.W. by N. to the N.W. point. The two points which form the entrance, lie in the direction of S. 53 deg. E., and N. 53 deg. W., from each other, distant ten leagues. The bay is every where free from danger, and of an unfathomable depth, except near the shores, which are for the most part low. This, however, is only a very narrow strip between the sea-shore and the foot of the hills; for the bay, as well as the flat land at the head of it, is bounded on each side by a ridge of hills, one of which, that to the west, is very high and double, extending the whole length of the island. An uncommonly luxuriant vegetation was every where to be seen; the sides of the hills were chequered with plantations; and every valley watered by a stream. Of all the productions of nature this country was adorned with, the cocoa-nut trees were the most conspicuous. The columns of smoke we saw by day, and fires by night all over the country, led us to believe that it is well inhabited and very fertile. The east point of this bay, which I name Cape Quiros, in memory of its first discoverer, is situated in latitude 14 deg. 56' S., longitude 167 deg. 13' E. The N.W. point, which I named Cape Cumberland, in honour of his Royal Highness the Duke, lies in the latitude of 14 deg. 38' 45" S., longitude 166 deg. 49' 1/2 E., and is the N.W. extremity of this archipelago; for, after doubling it, we found the coast to trend gradually round to the S. and S.S.E.[6]

On the 28th and 29th, we had light airs and calms, so that we advanced but little. In this time, we took every opportunity, when the horizon was clearer than usual, to look out for more land, but none was seen. By Quiros's track to the north, after leaving the bay above-mentioned, it seems probable that there is none nearer than Queen Charlotte's Island, discovered by Captain Carteret, which lies about ninety leagues N.N.W. from Cape Cumberland, and I take to be the same with Quiros's Santa Cruz.

On the 30th, the calm was succeeded by a fresh breeze at S.S.E. which enabled us to ply up the coast. At noon we observed in 15 deg. 20'; afterwards we stretched in east, to within a mile of the shore, and then tacked in seventy-five fathoms, before a sandy flat, on which several of the natives made their appearance. We observed on the sides of the hills, several plantations that were laid out by line, and fenced round.

On the 31st, at noon, the S. or S.W. point of the island bore N. 62 deg. E., distant four leagues. This forms the N.W. point of what I call Bougainville's Passage; the N.E. point at this time bore N. 85 deg. E., and the N.W. end of Mallicollo from S. 54 deg. E. to S. 72 deg. E. Latitude observed 15 deg. 45' S. In the afternoon, in stretching to the east, we weathered the S.S.W. point of the island, from which the coast trends east, northerly. It is low, and seemed to form some creeks or coves; and, as we got farther into the passage, we perceived some small low isles lying along it, which seemed to extend behind St Bartholomew Island.

Having now finished the survey of the whole archipelago, the season of the year made it necessary for me to return to the south, while I had yet some time left to explore any land I might meet with between this and New Zealand; where I intended to touch, that I might refresh my people, and recruit our stock of wood and water for another southern course. With this view, at five p.m. we tacked, and hauled to the southward with a fresh gale at S.E. At this time the N.W. point of the passage, or the S.W. point of the island Tierra del Espiritu Santo, the only remains of Quiros's continent, bore N. 82 deg. W., distant three leagues. I named it Cape Lisburne, and its situation is in latitude 15 deg. 40', longitude 165 deg. 59' E.

The foregoing account of these islands, in the order in which we explored them, not being particular enough either as to situation or description, it may not be improper now to give a more accurate view of them, which will convey to the reader a better idea of the whole groupe.

The northern islands of this archipelago were first discovered by that great navigator Quiros in 1606; and, not without reason, were considered as part of the southern continent, which, at that time, and until very lately, was supposed to exist. They were next visited by M. de Bougainville, in 1768; who, besides landing on the Isle of Lepers, did no more than discover that the land was not connected, but composed of islands, which he called the Great Cyclades. But as, besides ascertaining the extent and situation of these islands, we added to them several new ones which were not known before, and explored the whole, I think we have obtained a right to name them; and shall in future distinguish them by the name of the New Hebrides. They are situated between the latitude of 14 deg. 29' and 20 deg. 4' S., and between 166 deg. 41' and 170 deg. 21' E. longitude, and extend an hundred and twenty-five leagues in the direction of N.N.W. 1/2 W. and S.S.E. 1/2 E.

The most northern island is that called by M. de Bougainville, Peak of the Etoile; it is situated, according to his account, in latitude, 14 deg. 29', longitude 168 deg. 9'; and N. by W., eight leagues from Aurora.

The next island, which lies farthest north, is that of Tierra del Espiritu Santo. It is the most western and largest of all the Hebrides, being twenty-two leagues long, in the direction of N.N.W. 1/2 W. and S.S.E. 1/2 E., twelve in breadth, and sixty in circuit. We have obtained the true figure of this island very accurately. The land of it, especially the west side, is exceedingly high and mountainous; and, in many places the hills rise directly from the sea. Except the cliffs and beaches, every other part is covered with wood, or laid out in plantations. Besides the bay of St Philip and St Jago, the isles which lie along the south and east coast, cannot, in my opinion, fail of forming some good bays or harbours.

The next considerable island is that of Mallicollo. To the S.E. it extends N.W. and S.E., and is eighteen leagues long in that direction. Its greatest breadth, which is at the S.E, end, is eight leagues. The N.W. end is two- thirds this breadth, and near the middle, one-third. This contraction is occasioned by a wide and pretty deep bay on the S.W. side. To judge of this island from what we saw of it, it must be very fertile and well inhabited. The land on the sea-coast is rather low, and lies with a gentle slope from the hills which are in the middle of the island. Two-thirds of the N.E. coast was only seen at a great distance; therefore the delineations of it can have no pretensions to accuracy; but the other parts, I apprehend, are without any material errors.

St Bartholomew lies between the S.E. end of Tierra del Espiritu Santo, and the north end of Mallicollo; and the distance between it and the latter is eight miles. This is the passage through which M. de Bougainville went; and the middle of it is in latitude 15 deg. 48'.

The Isle of Lepers lies between Espiritu Santo and Aurora Island, eight leagues from the former, and three from the latter, in latitude 15 deg. 22', and nearly under the same meridian as the S.E.. end of Mallicollo. It is of an egg-like figure, very high, and eighteen or twenty leagues in circuit. Its limits were determined by several bearings; but the lines of the shore were traced out by guess, except the N.E. part where there is anchorage half a mile from the land.

Aurora, Whitsuntide, Ambrym, Paoom, and its neighbour Apee, Threehills, and Sandwich Islands, lie all nearly under the meridian of 167 deg. 29' or 30' E., extending from the latitude of 14 deg. 51' 30", to 17 deg. 53' 30".

The island of Aurora lies N. by W. and S. by E., and is eleven leagues long in that direction; but I believe, it hardly any where exceeds two or two and a half in breadth. It hath a good height, its surface hilly, and every where covered with wood, except where the natives have their dwellings and plantations.

Whitsuntide Isle, which is one league and a half to the south of Aurora, is of the same length, and lies in the direction of north and south, but is something broader than Aurora Island. It is considerably high, and clothed with wood, except such parts as seemed to be cultivated, which were pretty numerous.

From the south end of Whitsuntide Island to the north side of Ambrym is two leagues and a half. This is about seventeen leagues in circuit; its shores are rather low, but the land rises with an unequal ascent to a tolerably high mountain in the middle of the island, from which ascended great columns of smoke; but we were not able to determine whether this was occasioned by a volcano or not. That it is fertile and well inhabited, seems probable from the quantities of smoke which we saw rise out of the woods, in such parts of the island as came within the compass of our sight; for it must be observed, that we did not see the whole of it.

We saw still much less of Paoom and its neighbourhood. I can say no more of this island than that it towers up to a great height in the form of a round hay-stack; and the extent of it, and of the adjoining isle (if there are two), cannot exceed three or four leagues in any direction; for the distance between Ambrym and Apee is hardly five; and they lie in this space, and east from Port Sandwich, distant about seven or eight leagues.

The island of Apee is not less than twenty leagues in circuit; its longest direction is about eight leagues N.W. and S.E.; it is of considerable height; and hath a hilly surface diversified with woods and lawns, the west and south parts especially; for the others we did not see.

Shepherd's Isles are a group of small ones of unequal size, extending off from the S.E. point of Apee about five leagues in the direction of S.E.

The island Threehills lies south four leagues from the coast of Apee, and S.E. 1/2 S., distant seventeen leagues from Port Sandwich; to this, and what hath been already said of it, I shall only add, that W. by N., five miles from the west point, is a reef of rocks on which the sea continually breaks.

Nine leagues, in the direction of south, from Threehills, lies Sandwich Island. Twohills, the Monument, and Montagu Islands, lie to the east of this line, and Hinchinbrook to the west, as also two or three small isles which lie between it and Sandwich Island, to which they are connected by breakers.

Sandwich Island is twenty-five leagues in circuit; its greatest extent is ten leagues; and it lies in the direction of N.W. by W. and S.E. by E. The N.W. coast of this island we only viewed at a distance; therefore our chart of this part may be faulty so far as it regards the line of the coast, but no farther. The distance from the south end of Mallicollo to the N.W. end of Sandwich Island, is twenty-two leagues in the direction of S.S E. 1/2 E.

In the same direction lie Erromango, Tanna, and Annatom. The first is eighteen leagues from Sandwich Island, and is twenty-four or twenty-five leagues in circuit. The middle of it lies in the latitude of 18 deg. 54', longitude 169 deg. 19' E., and it is of a good height, as may be gathered from the distance we were off when we first saw it.

Tanna lies six leagues from the south side of Erromango, extending S.E. by S. and N.W. by N., about eight leagues long in that direction, and every where about three or four leagues broad.

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