« ZurückWeiter »
1769. part of what was given them as they did not eat January.
n they took away with them; but they would not Sunday 15. swallow a drop either of wine or spirits: they
put the glass to their lips, but, having tasted the liquor, they returned it, with strong expressions of disgust. Curiosity seems to be one of the few passions which distinguish men from brutes; and of this our guests appeared to have very little. They went from one part of the ship to another, and looked at the vast variety of new objects that every moment presented memselves, without any expression either of wonder or pleasure, for the vociferation of our exorcist seemed to be neither.
After having been on board about two hours, they expressed a desire to go ashore. A boat was immediately ordered, and Mr. Banks thought fit to accompany them: he landed them in safety, and conducted them to their companions, among whom he remarked the same vacant indifference, as in those who had been on board; for as on one side there appeared no eagerness to relate, so on the other there seemed
to be no curiofity' to hear, how they had been ' received, or what they had seen. In about
half an hour, Mr. Banks returned to the ship, and the Indians retired from the shore,
CH A P. IV.
a Mountain to search for Plants. O n the 16th, early in the morning, Mr. 1769.
Banks and Dr. Solander, with their at. Je tendants and servants, and two seamen to allist Monday 16. in carrying the baggage, accompanied by Mr. Monkhouse the surgeon, and Mr. Green the astronomer, set out from the ship, with a view to penetrate as far as they could into the country, and return at night. The hills, when viewed at a distance, seemed to be partly a wood, partly a plain, and above them a bare rock. Mr. Banks hoped to get through the wood, and made no doubt, but that, beyond it, he should, in a country which no botanist had ever yet visited, find alpine plants which would abundantly compensate his labour. They entered the wood at a small sandy beach, a little to the westward of the watering-place, and continued to ascend the hill, through the pathless wilderness, till three o'clock, before they got a near view of the places which they intended to visit. Soon after they reached what they had taken for a plain; but, to their great disappointment, found it a swamp, covered with low bushes of
1769. birch, about three feet high, interwoven with January.
e each other, and so stubborn that they could not Monday 16. be bent out of the way; it was therefore neces
sary to lift the leg over them, which at every step was buried, ancle deep, in the soil. To ag. gravate the pain and difficulty of such travelling, the weather, which had hitherto been very fine, much like one of our bright days in May, became gloomy and cold; with sudden blasts of a most piercing wind, accompanied with snow. They pushed forward, however, in good spirits, notwithstanding their fatigue, hoping the worst of the way was past, and that the bare rock which they had seen from the tops of the lower hills was not more than a mile before them; but when they had got about two thirds over this woody fwamp, Mr. Buchan, one of Mr. Banks's draughtsmen, was unhappily seized with a fit. This made it necessary for the whole company to halt, and as it was impossible that he should go any farther, a fire was kindled, and those who were most fatigued were left behind to take care of him. Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Mr. Green, and Mr. Monkhouse went on, and in a short time reached the summit. As botanists, their expectations were here abundantly grati. fied; for they found a great variety of plantsy which, with respect to the alpine plants in Europe, are exactly what those plants are with respect to such as grow in the plain.
The cold was now become more fevere, and 1769.
January, the snow-blasts more frequent; the day also was so far spent, that it was found inpoffible to get mor back to the ship, before the next morning: to pass the night upon such a mountain, in such a climate, was not only comfortless, but dreadful; it was impossible however to be avoided, and they were to provide for it as well as they could.
Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, while they were improving an opportunity which they had, with so much danger and difficulty, procured, by gathering the plants which they found upon the mountain, sent Mr. Green and Mr. Monkhouse back to Mr. Buchan and the people that were with him, with directions to bring them to a hill, which they thought lay in a better rout for returning to the wood, and which was therefore. appointed as a general rendezvous. It was proposed, that from this hill they should push through the swamp, which seemed by the new rout not to be more than half a mile over, into the shelter of the wood and there build their wigwam, and make a 'fire: this, as their way was all down hill, it seemned easy to accomplish. Their whole company assembled at the rendezvous, and, though pinched with the cold, were in health and spirits, Mr. Buchan himself hav ing recovered his strength in a much greater de. gree than could have been expected. It was now near eight o'clock in the evening, but still
good day-light, and they set forward for the