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or rather song, for it had a musical cadence, which was by no means difagreeable. We regretted infinitely that we could not understand what he faid to us, and not less that he could not understand any thing which we should fay to him ; to shew our good-will, however, we threw him some trifling presents, while he was yet speaking, but he would neither touch them himself, nor suffer them to be touched by others till he had done: he then walked into the water, and threw our people the green branch, after which he took up the things, which had been thrown from the boasts. Every thing now having a friendly appearance, our people made signs that they should lay down their arms, and most of them having complied, one of the midshipmen, encouraged by this testimony of confidence aim friendship, leaped out of the boat with his clothes on, and swam through the surf to the shore. The Indians immediately gathered round him, and began to examine his clothes with great curiosity ; they seemed particularly to admire his waistcoat, and being willing to gratify his new friends, he took it off, and presented it to them; this courtesy, however, produced a difagreeable effect, for he had no sooner given away his waistcoat, than one of the Indians very ingeniously untied his cravat, and the next moment snatched it from his neck, and ran away with it. Our adventurer, therefore, to prevent his being stripped by piece-meal, made the best of his way back again to the boat; still, however, we were upon good terms, and several of the Indians swam off to our people* some of them bringing a cocoa-nut, and others a little fresh water in a cocoa-nut shell. But the principal object of our boats, was to obtain some pearls ; and men, to assist them in explaining their meaning, had taken with them some of the pearl oyster shells which they had found in great numbers upon the coast; but all their endeavours were ineffectual, for they could not, even . with this assistance, at all make themselves understood. . It is indeed probable that we should have succeeded better, if an intercourse of any kind could have been established between us, but it was our misfortune that no anchorage could be found for the ships. As all Indians are fond of beads, it can scarcely be supposed that
the the pearls, which the oysters at this plac,e contained, *765were overlooked by the native?, and it is more than '" , probable that if we could have continued here a sew weeks, we might have obtained some of great value & in exchange for nails, hatchets, and bill-hooks, upon which the natives, with more reason, set a much higher value. We observed, that in the lake, or lagoon, there were two or three very large vessels, one of which had two masts, and some cordage aloft to support them.
To these two islands, I gave the name of King King George's Islands, in honour of his Majesty.^r|se's That which we last visited, lies in latitude 14° 41'S. longitude 1490 15' W. the variation of the compass here was <° E.
The Run from King George's Jjlands to the I/lands of Saypan, Tinian, and Aiguigan; with an Account of several Islands that were discovered in that Track.
WE pursued our course to the westward theThurta.ti. fame day, and the next, about three o'clock i n the afternoon, we faw land again, bearing S. S. W. distant about six leagues. We immediately stood for it, and found it to be a low and very narrow island, lying east and west: we ran along the south side of it, 'which had a green and pleafant appearance, but a dreadsul surf breaks upon every part of it, with foul ground at some distance, and many rocks and small islands scattered at about three leagues from the shore. We found it about twenty leagues in length, and it appeared to abound with inhabitants, though we could get only a transient glance of them as we passed along. To this place I gave the name of Prince or Prince of Wales's Island. It lies in latitude 150 S. and thcJYaleds's westermost end of it in longitude 151° 53' W. It is distant from King George's Islands about eight and forty leagues, in the direction of S. 80 W. the.variation here was 50 30' E. . \ ... \
From the western extremity of this island,, we steered N. 82 W. and at noon on the 16th, were in
»-765-. latitude 140 28' S. longitude 1560 23' W; the varia, , tion being 70 40' E. The wind was now easterly, and
Sunday 16. we had again the fame mountainous swell from the southward that we had before we made the Islands of Direction, and which, from that time to this day we had lost: when we lost that swell, and for some days before, we saw vast slocks of birds, which we observed always took their slight to .the southward when evening was coming on. Thefe appearances persuaded me that there was land in the fame direction, and I am of opinion, that if the winds had not failed me in the higher latitudes, I should have fallen in with it: I would indeed at this time have hauled away to the southward, and attempted the discovery, if our people had been healthy; for having observed that all the islands we had seen were full of inhabitants, I was still more confirmed in my opinion; as I could account for their being peopled only by supposing a chain of islands reaching to a continent ; but the sickness of ihe crews, in both ships, was an insuperable impediment. Monday 17- The next day, we again saw many birds of various forts about the ship, and therefore suppofed that some other island was not far distant, for the swell continuing, I concluded that the land was not of very great extent: I proceeded, however, with caution; for the islands in this part of the ocean render the navigation very dangerous, they begin so low that a ship may be close in with them before they are seen! We saw Tuesd. 18. nothing, however, on the 18th, the 19th, nor the Wednes 19. 2oth, during which we continued to steer the same Thursd.zo. c0urfCj though the birds still continued about the vessel in great numbers. Our latitude was now 12° 33'S. longitude 1670 47' W. The Prince of VVales's Island was distant three hundred and thirteen leagues, and the Friday n. variation of the needle was 90 1 5' E. The next morning, about seven o'clock, we discovered a most dangerous reef of breakers, bearing S. S. W. and not farther distant than a single league. In about half an hour asterwards, land was seen from the mast-head, bearing W. N. W. and distant about eight leagues: it had the appearance of three islands, with rocks and broken ground between them. The south-east side of -s, these these islands lies N. E. by N. and S. W- by S.:and is yjgabout three leagues in length between the extreme ^ !"*'. f points, from both which a reef runs out, upon which the sea breaks to a tremendous height. We failed round the north end, and upon the north-west and west side, saw innumerable rocks and shoals, which stretched neaF two leagues into the sea, and were extremely dangerous. The islands themselves had a more fertile and beautiful appearance than any we had seen before, and, like the rest, swarmed with people, whose habitations we saw standing in clusters all along the coast. We saw also a large vessel under sail, at a little distance from the shore; but to our unspeakable regret we were obliged to leave the place without farther examination, for it was surrounded in every direction by rocks and breakers, which rendered the hazard more than equivalent to every advantage we might procure. At this time, I took these for part of the islands called Solomon's Islands, and was in hopes that I should fall in with others of them, in some of which we might find an harbeur.
The reef of rocks which we first saw as we approached these islands, lies in latitude io° 15' S. longitude 1690 28' W. and it bears from the Prince of Wales's Island N. 76048'W. distant 352 leagues. The islands bear from the reef W. N. W. distant nine leagues: I called them the Islands Of Danger, , •and steered from them N. W. by W. allowing for the variation.
After having seen the breakers soon aster it was light in the morning, I told my officers that I apprehended -we should have frequent alarms in the night; at night, therefore, every body was upon the watch, which a very hard squall of wind, with rain, rendered the more necessary. About nine o'clock, having just gone down into my cabin, I heard a great noise above, and when I enquired what was the matter, I was told that the Tamar, who was a-head, had fired a gun, and that our people saw breakers to leeward: I ran instantly upon deck, and soon perceived that what had been taken for breakers was nothing more than the undulating reflection' of the moon, which was going down, and shone faintly from behind a cloud in the horizon;
*7Ss- we therefore bore away aster the Tamar, but did not , * get sight of her till an hour asterwards.
Monday 24. Nothing worthy of notice happened till Monday, the 24th, when, about ten o'clock in the morning, we discovered another island, bearing S. S. W distant about seven or eight leagues: we steered for it, and found it to be low, but covered with wood,- among which were cocoa-nut trees in great abundance. It had a pleasant appearance, and a large lake in the middle, like King George's Island: it is near thirty miles in circumference, a dreadful sea breaks upon almost every part of the coast, and a great deal of foul ground lies about it. We sailed quite round it, and when we were on the lee-side, sent out boats to found, in hopes of finding anchorage: no soundings, however, were to be got near the shore, but I sent the boats out a fecond time, with orders to land, if it were possible, and procure some refreshment for the sick: they landed with great difficulty, and brought off about two hundred cocoa-nuts, which, to persons in our circurnstances, were an inestimable treasure. The people who were on shore reported, hat there were no signs of its having ever been inhabited, but that they found thousands of sea fowl sitting upon their nests, which were built in high trees: these birds were so tame that they suffered themselves to be knocked down without leaving their nests: the ground was covered with land crabs, but our people saw no other animal. At first I was inclined to believe that this island was the fame that in the Neptune Franpis is called Maluita, and laid down about a degree to the eastward of the great Island of Saint Elizabeth, which is the principal of the Solomon's Islands; but being afterwards convinced of the contrary, I called it the Puke of Duke of York's Island, in honour of his late Yorks Royal Highness, and I am of opinion that we were the . first human beings who ever saw it. There is indeed great reason to believe that there is no good authority for laying down Solomon's Islands in the situation that is assigned to them by the French: the only person who has pretended to have seen them is Quiros, and I doubt whether he left behind him any account of them by which they might be found by future navigators. ~~ x We