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known, and universally esteemed. Frezier never saw any of these savages himself; but he says, that being upon the coast of Chili, Don Pedro Molina, Governor of the isle of ChiloS, and many other eye-witnesses, told him, that there was, at a considerable distance within the country, an Indian nation, called by their neighbours Cauehues, who sometimes came down to the Spanish settlements, that were more than nine feet high, and were the fame race with the Patagonians who live on the eastern coast, and have been mentioned in former relations. We are told by Reaveneau de Lussan, that the Spaniards who live upon the sea coast in South America report, that certain white Indians inhabit part of Chili, with whom they are always at war: that they are of an enormous bulk and stature, and that whenever they take a Spaniard prisoner, they force up the breast-bone, as they would the shell of a tortoise, and tear out his heart. Narborough, on the contrary, though he agrees that the Indians who inhabit the mountains near the Spanish settlements at Chili, and perpetually commit hostilities against them, are tall, expressly denies that their statute is gigantic. He had often measured the skulls and the prints of the feet of the savages on the coasts of the Streight of Magellan, which, he fays, were of the common size: he had also several times seen numerous companies of them even at Port Saint Julian, and these he declares not to be taller or bigger than other men. Narborotigh is certainly a credible •witness, and his evidence is directly to the point: it is confirmed by that of L'Hermite, who fays, that the people he saw upon the coast of Terra del Fuego, tho' they were robust and well-proportioned, were not larger than the inhabitants of Europe; and lastly, M. de Gennes bears testimony that none of the people he saw at Port Famine were six feet high.

"Those who diligently consider these different relations will find reason to believe, that all the parties have spoken truth, each of them faithfully reporting what he saw; and therefore that the existence of a gigantic race in these parts is a real fact, not to be questioned merely because they were not feen by every mariner that veiled the country.


It appears to be well established, that the inhabitants of the two borders of the Streight are of the common stature; and that the race distinguislied by the name of Patagonians, made their constant residence upon the defart coasts, either in some miserable hovels in the depth of the woods, or in some caverns of the rocks, scarcely accessible to any but themselves: and it appears from the account of Oliver de Noort, that when the Streight began to be frequented by European vessels, they hid themselves as soon as the mips were in fight, which accounts both for their not being seen, and for the recent marks of inhabitants upon a coast that appeared to be a defart. Perhaps tiie frequent appearance of our ships upon this coast, at length determined them to quit it as a settled habitation, returning only at particular seasons of the year, and taking up their constant residence in the interior part of the country. Lord Anson was of opinion, that they resided statedly on the western side of the Cordeliers, and visited the eastern side occasionally, but not often: so that if they have been rarely seen by the vessels which have touched at the coast ofPa:agonia for the last hundred years, the reason probably is, that being, like other Indian nations, desirous to conceal themselves from strangers, they retired to the mountains. It is indeed to be regretted, that no skeleton of these people has been brought into Europe; and it may at first seem strange, that no such evidence of their uncommon stature should have been produced, as it is known that several of them, who had been made prisoners by the Commanders of European vessels, died on board soon after they came into a hot climate; but the wonder will cease, when it is considered that all mariners have a superstitious opinion, " That the compass will not traverse, if there is a dead body on board the vessel." Upon the whole, it may reasonably be presumed, that the concurrent testimony of late navigators, particularly Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, and Captain Carteret, Gentlemen of unquestionale veracity, who are still living, and who not only faw and conversed with these people, but measured them, will put an end to all the doubts that have been hitherto entertained of their existence."


Having thus brought together the whole of the evidence for and against a fact, which has long been the object both of popular and philosophical curiosity, I shall not anticipate any opinion that the Reader may form concerning future navigations, in the tract which has been described by any of the vessels, whose voyages are here related, except that although it is the opinion of Commodore Byron, who spent feven weeks and two days in pasting through the Streight of Magellan, that it may be passed in three weeks at the proper season, yet the passage cost Captain Wallis near four months, though he performed it precisely at the time recommended by the Commodore, having reached the eastern entrance about the middle of December.

I cannot however dismiss my Readers to the following narratives, without expressing the regret with which 1 have recorded the destruction of poor naked savages, by our fire-arms, in the course of these expeditions, when they endeavoured to repress the invaders of their country; a regret which I am confident my Readers will participate with me; this however appears to be an evil which, if discoveries of new countries arc attempted, cannot be avoided: resistance will always be made, and, if those who resist are not overpowered, the attempt must be relinquished. It may perhaps be said, that the expence of life upon these occasions is more than is necessary to convince the natives, that further contest is hopeless; and perhaps this may sometimes have been true: but it must be considered, that if such expeditions are undertaken, the execution of them must be intrusted to persons not exempt from human frailty; to men who are liable to provocation by sodden injury, to unpremeditated violence by sudden danger, to error by the defect of judgment or the strength of passion, and always disposed to transfer laws, by which they are bound themselves, to others who are not subject to their obligation; so that every excess thus produced is also an inevitable evil.

If it should be said, that supposing these mischiefs to be inevitable in attemptingdiscoveries, discoveries ought not to be attempted; it must be considered, that upon the only principles on which this opinion can be supported, the risk of life, for advantages of the fame kind with


those proposed in discovering new countries, is in every
other instance unlawful. If it is not lawful to put
the life of an Indian in hazard, by an attempt to ex-
amine the country in which he lives, with a view to
increase commerce or knowledge; it is not lawful to
risle the life of our own people in carrying on commerce
with countries already known. If it be said, that the
risk of life in our own people is voluntary, and that
the Indian is brought into danger without his consent,
the consequence will still follow; for it is universally
agreed, at least upon the principles of Christianity, that
men have no more right over their own lives than over
the lives of others; and suicide being deemed the worst
species of murder, a man must be proportionably cri-
minal in exposing hisown life, for any purpose that would
not justify his exposing the life of another. If thegratifi-
cation of artificial wants, or the increase of knowledge,
are justifiable causes for the risk os life, the landing by
force on a newly discovered country, in order to ex- i

amine its produce, may be justified; if not, every trade
and profession that exposes life for advantages of the
fame kind is unlawful; and by what trade or profes-
sion is not life exposed? Let us examine all the multi-
tudes that art has employed, from the refiner who
sweats at the furnace to the sedentary artificer who
grows pale at the loom, and perhaps none can be found
in which life is not in some degree sacrificed to the ar-
tificial necessities of civil society. But will it therefore
be said, that civil society, to which this sacrifice is
made, is for that reason a combination contrary to the
great original principles of morality, which arc the ba-
sis of all duty? Will it be said, that to exercise the
faculties which are the distinguishing characteristics of
our nature is unnatural? and that"being endowed with
the various powers which in civil societies only can be
brought into action,- it was incongruous to the will of .
our Creator that any such society should be formed;
and that it would be pleasing to him, is, still continuing
in a savage state, these powers should lie torpid in our
nature, like life in an embrio, during the whole of our
existence? This surely must appear extravagant and
absurd in the highest degree, especially as it must be
allowed, that although commerce and arts in some in-
stances expose life, in others they preserve it; they sup-

ply the wants of Nature, without rapine and violence, and, by producing a common interest, they prevent the inhabitants of the fame country from being divided into different clans, which among savages are almost perpetually committing hostilities against each other, with a ferocious cruelty which is not to be found where civil government and literary knowledge have meliorated the manners of mankind. Upon the whole, therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude, that the increase of knowledge and commerce are ultimately common benefits; and that the loss of life, which happens in the attempt, is among the partial evils which terminate in general good.

I have now only to request of such of my Readers as may be disposed to censure me for not having attributed any of the critical escapes from danger that I have recorded, to the particular interposition of Providence, that they would, in this particular, allow me the right of private judgment; which I claim with the greater confidence, as the very fame principle, which would have determined them to have done it, has determined me to the contrary. As I firmly believe the divine precept delivered by the Author of Christianity, "There is not a sparrow falls to the ground without my father," and cannot admit the agency of chance in the government of the world, I must necessarily refer every event to one cause, as well the danger as the escape, as well the sufferings as the enjoyments of life: and for this opinion, I have, among other respectable authorities, that of the Bible. "Shall we," fays Job, "receive good from the hand of God, and shall we "not receive evil?" The Supreme Being is equally wife and benevolent in the dispensation of both evil and good, as means of affecting ultimate purposes worthy of his ineffable perfections; so that whether we consider ourselvesas Christians or Philosophers, wemustacknowledge that he deserves blessing not more when he gives than when he takes away. If the fall of a sparrow, as well as its preservation, is imputed to Providence, why not the fall as well as the preservation of a man? and why should we attribute to Providence only what appears to be good in its immediate effect, when we suppose that the whole concatenation of


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