Abbildungen der Seite

1768. formed, it is not perhaps very easy to conceive, but it j^^ is certain that the patient, must have lived some time without opening his mouth: what nourishment he received was conveyed through a hole which we discovered to have been made on the other side, by forcing out some of the teeth, in doing which- the jaw also seems to have been injured.

We visited the good Fathers of this convent on a Thursday evening, just before supper-time, and they received us with great politeness; " We will not ask "you (said they) tofup with us, because we are not pre"pared ; but it you will come to morrow, though it is a "fast with us, we will have a turkey roasted for you." This invitation, which shewed a liberality of sentiment rot to have been expected in a convent of Portuguese Friars at this place, gratified us much, though it was not in our power to accept it.

We visited also a convent of nuns, dedicated to Santa Clara, and the Ladies did us the honour to express a particular pleasure in seeing us there: they had heard that there were great philosophers among us, and not at all knowing what were the objects of philosophical knowlege, they asked us several questions that were absurd and extravagant in the highest degree; one was, when it would thunder? And another, whether a spring of fresh water was to be found any where within the walls of their convent? of which it seems they were in great want. It will naturally be supposed that our answers to such questions were neither satisfactory to the Ladies, nor, in their estimation, honourable to us; yet their disappointment did not in the least lessen their civility, and they talked, without ceasing, during the whole of our visit, which lasted about half an hour.

The hills .of this country are very high ; the highest, Pico Ruivo, rises 5,068 feet, near an English mile, perpendicularly from its base, which is much higher than any land that has been measured in Great-Britain. The sides of these hills are covered with vines to a certain height, above which there are woods of chestnut and pine of an immense extent, and above them forests of wild timber of various kinds not known in Europe; particularly two, called by the Portuguese ••- • • - . Mirmulana Mirmuhno and Paobranco, the leaves of which, parti- 1768. cularly the Paobranco, are so beautisul, that these trees September, would be a great ornament to the gardens of Europe. "-'~"-'

The number of inhabitants in this island is supposed to be about 80,000, and the custom-house duties produce a revenue to the king of Portugal of 20,000 pounds a year, clear of all expences, which might easily be doubled by the product of the island, exclusive of the vines, if advantage was taken of the excellence of the climate, and the amazing sertility of the foil; but this object is utterly neglected by the Portuguese. In the trade of the inhabitants of Madeira with Lisbon the balance is against them, so that all thePortuguse money naturally going thither, the currency of the island is Spanish; there are indeed a sew Portuguese pieces of copper, but they are so scarce that we did not see one .,. . of them: the Spanish coin is of three denominations: Pistereens, worth about a shilling; Bitts, worth about six pence; and Half-bitts, three pence.

The tides at this place flow, at the sull and change of the moon, north and south; the spring tides rise seven feet perpendicular, and the neap tides four. Ey Dr. Heberden's observation, the variation of the compass here is now 150 30' West, and decreasing; but I have some doubt whether he is not mistaken with respect to its decrease: we found that the North point of the dipping needle belonging to the Royal Society dipped 77° 18".

The refreshments to be had here, are water, wine, fruit of several sorts, onions in plenty, and some sweetmeats; fresh meat and poultry are not to be had without leave from the governor, and the payment of a very high price.

We took in 2 7olb. of fresh beef, and a live bullock, charged at 61 31b. 3^32 gallons of water, and ten tuns of wine; and in the night, between Sunday the iSth Sunday 18. and Monday the 19th of September, we set fail in Mondiy '9prosecution of our voyage.

When Funchiale bore North, 13 East, at the distance of 76 miles, the variation-appeared by several azimuths to be 16° 30' West,



The Passage from Madeira to Rio de "Janeiro, with some Account of the Country, and the Incidents that happened there.

1768. /*\N the 21 st of September we saw the islands called September, yj the Salvages, to the north of the Canaries; „,TTT' when the principal of these bore S. \ W. at the distance of about 5 leagues, we found the variation ot the compass by an azimuth to be 170 50'. I make these islands to lie in latitude 300 11' North, and distant 58 leagues from Funchiale in Madeira, in the direction of S. 16 E. Friday 23. Qn Friday the 23d we saw the Peak of Teneriffe, bearing W. by S. J S. and found the variation of the compass to be from 170 22' to 160 30'. The height of this mountain, from which I took a new departure, has been determined by Dr. Heberden, who has been upon it, to be 1 5,396 feet, which is but 148 yards less than three miles, reckoning the mile at 1760 yards. Its appearance at sunset was very striking; when the fun was below the horizon, and the rest of the island appeared of a deep black, the mountain still reslected - his rays, and glowed with a warmth of colour which no painting can express. There isnoeruption of visible fire from it, but a heat issues from the chinks near the top, too strong to be borne by the hand when it is held near them. We received from Dr. Heberden, among other favours, some salt which he collected on the top pf the mountain, where it is found in large quantities, and which he supposes to be the true natrum or nitrum of the antients: he gave us also some native sulphur exceedingly pure, which he had likewise found upon the surface in great plenty. Satur.24. On the next day, Saturday the 24th, we came into Friday 30. the north-east trade wind, and on Friday the 30th saw Bona Vista, one of the Cape de Verd Islands; we ranged the east fide of it, at the distance of three or four miles from the shore, till we were obliged to haul off to avoid a ledge of rocks which stretch out S W. by W. from the body, or S. E. point of the island, -v to to the extent of a league and an half. Bona Vista by <^^rs our observation lies in latitude 16 N. arid longitude 21° ^^m^^J 51'West.

On the first of October, in latitude 140 6' N. and Saturday 1. longitude 220 10' W. we found the variation by a very good azimuth to be io° 37' W. and the nexj: morningSunday 2. it appeared to be io°. This day we found the ship five miles a-head of the log, and the next day seven. On the third hoisted out the boat to discover whether Monday 33 there was a current, and found one to the eastward, at the rate of three quarters of a mile an hour.

During our course from Teneriffe to Bona Vista we faw great numbers of flying fi(h, which from the cabin windowsappear beautisul beyond imagination, their sides having the colour and brightness of burnished silver; when they are seen from the deck they do not appear to so much advantage, because their backs are of a dark colour. We also took a shark, which proved to be the Squalus Charearias of Linnæus.

Having lost the trade wind on the third, in latitude 12o 14' and longitude 22° lo', the wind became somewhat variable, and we had light airs and calms by turns.

On the seventh, Mr. Banks went out in the boat, Friday 7. and took what the seamen call a Portuguese man of war; it is the Holothuria Physalis of Linnæus, and a species of the Mellufca. It consisted of a small bladder about seven inches long, very much resembling the airbladder of fishes, from the bottom of which descended a number of strings, of a bright blue and red, some of them three or four seet in length, which upon being touched sting like a nettle, but with much more force. On the top of the bladder is a membrance which is used as a fail, and turned so as to receive the wind which way soever it blows: this membrane is marked in fine pink coloured veins, and the animal is in every respect an object exquisitely curious and beautisul.

We also took several of the shell-fishes, or testaceous animals which are always found floating upon the water, particularly the Helix Janthina and Violacea: they are about the size of a snail, and are supported upon the surface of the water by a small clusterof bubbles, which are filled with air, andconsist of a tenaceous slimy


» 768. substance, that will not easily part with its contents; ''*" the animal is oviparous, and these bubbles serve also as a

nidus for its eggs. ]t is probable that it never goes down to the bottom, nor willingly approaches any shore; for the shell is exceedingly brittle, and that of few fresh water snails is so thin: every shell contains about a teaspoonful of liquor, which it easily discharges upon being touched, and which is of the most beautiful red purple that can be conceived. It dies linnen cloth, and it may perhaps be worth enquiry, as the shell is certainly found in the Mediterranean, whetherit be not the Purpura of the ancients.

Saturday 8. On the 8th, in latitude 8<> 25' North, longitude 220 4' West, we found a current setting to the southward, which the next day in latitude 70 58' longitude 220 shifted to the N. K W. \ W. at the rate of one mile and a furlong an hour. The variation here, by ihe mean of several azimuths, appeared to be 8° 39' West.

Monday 10. On the tenth, Mr. Banks shot the black-toed gull,not yet described according to Linnæus's iystem; he gave it the name of Larus crepidatus: it is remarkable that the dung of this bird is of a lively red, somewhat like that of the liquor procured from the shells, only not so full; its principal food therefore is probably the Hells just mentioned. A current to the N. W.

Monday 14. prevailed more or less till Monday the 24th, when we were in latitude 1° 7' N. and longitude 280 50'.

Tuesday 15. On the 25th, we crossed the line with the usual ceremonies in longitude 290 30', when, by the result of several very good azimuths, the variation was 20 24'.

Friday 28. Qn tne 28th, at noon, being in the latitude of Ferdinand Noronha, and, by the mean of several observations by Mr. Green and myself, in longitude 320 5' 16" W. which is to the westward of it by some charts, and to the eastward by others, we expected to fee the island, or some of the shoals that are laid down in the charts between it and the main, but we saw neither one nor the other.

taturdayig. In the evening of the 29th, we observed that luminous appearance of the sea which has been so often mentioned by navigators, and of which such vatious


« ZurückWeiter »