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1764. and they all readily complied: there were among them December,
many women, who seemed to be proportionably large, and few of the men were less than the Chief who had come forward to meet me. I had heard their voices very loud at a distance, and when I came near, I perceived a good number of very old - men, who were chanting some unintelligible words in the most doleful cadence I ever heard, with an air of serious folemnity, which inclined me to think that it was a religious ceremony: they were all painted and cloathed nearly in the same manner; the circles round the two eyes were in no instance of one colour, but they were not universally black and white, some being white and red, and some red and black; their teeth were as white as ivory, remarkably even and well fet; but except the skins, which they wore with the hair inwards, most of them were naked, a few only having upon their legs a kind of boot, with a short pointed stick fastened to each heel, which served as a fpur. Having looked round upon these enormous goblins with no small astonishment, and with some difficulty made those that were still galloping up sit down with the rest, I took out a quantity of yellow and white beads, which I distributed among them, and which they received with very strong expressions of pleasure. I then took out a whole piece of green filk riband, and giving the end of it into the hands of one of them, I made the person that sat next take hold of it, and so on as far as it would reach : all this while they sat very quietly, nor did any of those that held the riband attempt to pull it from the rest, though I perceived that they were still more delighted with it than with the beads. While the riband was thus extended, I took out a pair of scissars, and cut it between each two of the Indians that held it, so that I left about a yard in the possession of every one, which I afterwards tied about their beads, where they suffered it to remain without so much as touching it while I was with them. Their peaceable and orderly behaviour on this occasion certainly did them honour, espes cially as my presents could not extend to the whole company : neither impatience to share the new finery, nor curiosity to gain a nearer view of me and what' I was doing, brought any one of them from the station
that I had allotted him. It would be very natural for 1764.
December. those who have read Gay's Fables, if they form an idea of an Indian almost naked returning to his fellows in the woods adorned with European trinkets, to think of the monkey that had seen the world; yet before we despise their fondness for glass, beads, ribands, and other things, which among us are held in no estimation, we should consider that, in themselves, the ornaments of savage and civil life are equal, and that those, who live nearly in a state of nature, have nothing that resembles glass, so much as glass resembles a dianiond ; the value which we fet upon a diamond, therefore, is more capricious than the value which they set upon glass. 'The love of ornament seems to be an universal principle in human nature, and the splendid transparency of glass, and the regular figure of a bead, are among the qualities that by the constitution of our nature excite pleasing ideas ; and although in one of these qualities the diamond excels glass, its value is much more than in proportion to the difference: the pleasure which it gives among us is, principally, by conferring distinction, and gratifying vanity, which is independent of natural taste, that is gratified by certain hues and figures, to which for that reason we give the name of beauty : it must be remembered also, that an Indian is more distinguished by a glass button or a bead, than any individual among us by a diamond, though perhaps the same facrifice is not made to his vanity, as the possession of his finery is rather a testimony of his good fortune, than of his influence or power in consequence of his having what, as the common medium of all earthly poffeffions, is supposed to conser virtual fuperiority, and intrinsic advantage. The people, lowever, whom I had now adorned, were not wholly strangers to Furopean commodities ; for upon a closer attention, I perceived among them one woman who had bracelets either of brass, or very pale gold, upon her arms, and some beads of blue gials, strung upon two long queues of hair, which being parted at the top, hung down over each shoulder before her : the was of a most enormous size, and her face was, if possible, more frightfully painted than the rest. I had a great desire to learn where she got her beads
and bracelets, and enquired by all the signs I could devise, but found it impossible to make myself understood. One of the men shewed me the bowl of a tobacco pipe, which was made of red earth, but I soon found that they had no tobacco among them; and this person made me understand that he wanted some : upon this I beckoned to my people, who remained upon the beach, drawn up as I had left them, and three or four of them ran forward, imagining that I wanted them. The Indians, who, as I had observed, kept their eyes almost continually upon them, no sooner saw some of them advance, than they all rose up with a great clamour, and were leaving the place as I supposed to get their arms, which were probably left at a little distance ; to prevent mischief, therefore, and put an end to the alarm, which had thus accidentally been spread among them, I ran to meet the people who were in consequence of my signal coming from the beach, and as soon as I was within hearing I hallowed to them, and told them that I would have only one come up with all the tobacco that he could collect from the rest. As soon as the Indians saw this, they recovered from their surprise, and every one returned to his station except a very old man, who came up to me, and sung a long song, which I much regretted my not being able to understand: before the song was well finished, Mr. Cumming came up with the tobacco, and I could not but smile at the astonishent which I saw expressed in his countenance, upon perceiving himself, though fix feet two inches high, become at once a pigmy among giants ; for these people may indeed more properly be called giants than tall men : of the few among us who are full fix feet high, scarcely any are broad and muscular in proportion to their stature, but look rather like men of the common bulk, run up accidentally to an unusual height; and a man who should measure only fix feet two inches, and equally exceed a stout well-fet man of the common ftature in breadth and muscle, would strike us rather as being of gigantic race, than as an individual accidentally anomalous ; our sensations therefore, upon seeing five hundred people, the shortest of whom were at least four inches taller, and bulky in proportion, may be easily imagined. After I
had presented the tobacco, four or five of the chief 1764.
December. men came up to me, and, as I understood by the figns they made, wanted me to mount one of the horses, and go
with them to their habitations, but as it would upon every account have been imprudent to comply, I made signs in return that I must go back to the ihip; at this they expressed great concern, and sat down in their stations again : During our pantomimical conference, an old man often laid his head down upon the stones, and shutting his eyes for about half a minute, afterwards pointed first to his mouth, and then to the hills, meaning, as I imagined, that if I would stay with them till the morning, they would furnish me with some provisions, but this offer I was obliged to decline. When I left them, not one of them offered to follow us, but as long as I could see them, continued to fit quietly in their places. I observed that they had with them a great number of dogs, with which I suppose they chase the wild animals which serve them for food. The horses were not large, nor in good case, yet they appeared to be nimble and well broken. The bridle was a leathern thong, with a small piece of wood that served for a bit, and the saddles resembled the pads that are in use among the country people in England. The women rode astride, and both men and women without stirrups ; yet they galloped fearlessly over the spit upon which we landed, the stones of which were large, loose, and flippery.
Pasage up the Streight of Magellan, to Port Famine ? ;
with some Account of that Harbour, and the adjacent
OON after I returned on board, I got under way,
and worked up the streight, which is here about nine leagues broad, with the flood, not with a view to pass through it, but in search of some place where I might get a supply of wood and water, not chusing to truit wholly to the finding of Falkland’s Islands, which I determined afterwards to seek. About eight in the evening, the tide of ebb beginning to make, I anchored
1764. in five and twenty fathom. Point Possession bore N. N. December,
E. at about three miles distance, and some remarkable hummocks on the north, which Bulkeley, from their appearance, has called the Alles Ears, W.; N.
At three in the morning, of the 22d, we weighed with the wind at E. and steered S. W. by W. about twelve miles. During this course we went over a bank, of which no notice has hitherto been taken : at one time we had but fix fathom and a half, but in two or ihree casts we had thirteen. When our water was Thallowest, the Afles Ears bore N. W. by W. įW. diftant three leagues, and the north point of the first Narrow W. by S. distant between five and six miles. We then steered S. W. by S. near fix miles to the entrance of the first Narrow, and afterwards S. S. W. about six miles, which brought us through: the tide here was so strong, that the passage was very rapid. During this course we saw a single Indian upon the south shore, who kept waving to us as long as we were in sight: we also saw some guanicoes, upon the hills, though Wood, in the account of his voyage, says there were none upon that shore. As soon as we had passed the first Narrow, we entered a little sea, for we did not come in sight of the entrance of the second Narrow till we had run two leagues. The distance from the first to the second Narrow is about eight leagues, and the course S. W. by W. The land is very high on the north side of the second Narrow, which continues for about five leagues, and we steered through it S. W. 1 W. with soundings from twenty to five and twenty fathom: we went out of the west end of this Narrow about noon, and steered south about three leagues for Elizabeth's Mand; but the wind then coming right against us, we anchored in seven fathom. The island bore S. S. E. distant about a mile, and Bartholomew's Illand bore E. S. E. In the evening, fix Indians upon the Island came down to the water side, and continued waving and hallooing to us for a long time; but as my people wanted rest, I was unwilling to employ them in hoisting out a boat, and the Indians seeing their Jabour fruitless, at length went away. While we were ftcering from Point Possession to the first Narrow, the Hood set to the southward, but as foon as we entered