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kind of apple or plum, of a sweetish taste and farinace- 1767.
These Indians were the same kind of people that we
Having disengaged ourselves from this fierce and unfriendly people, we pursued our course along the other islands, which are between twenty and thirty in number, and of considerable extent; one in particular would alone make a large kingdom. I called them the ADMIRALTY ISLANDS, and should have been glad to Admiralty have examined them, if my ship had been in a better Islands, condition, and I had been provided with such articles as are proper for an Indian trade, especially as their appearance is very inviting: they are cloathed with a most beautiful verdure; the woods are lofty and luxuriant, interspersed with spots that have been cleared for plantations, groyes of cocoa-nut trees, and houses of the nào tives, who seem to be very numerous, Nothing would be more easy than to establish an amicable intercourse with them, as they would soon be sensible that our superiority would render contest vain, and traffic advantageous. I judge the middle of the largest to lie in lati
1767. tude 20 18' S. longitude 146° 44' E. and at the distance September.
of five and thirty leagues from Queen Charlotte's Foreland in New Hanover, in the direction of W. N. On the south side of this island, there is a small one, which rises conically in a high peak. The latitude of this peak is 2° 27'S. and it lies five degrees and an half weftward of cape Saint George in New Ireland. As we ran along the south side of the large island, we found it to be eighteen leagues long, in the direction of eart and west; how far it runs to the northward, I do not know, but by its appearance there is reason to suppose a very considerable distance. I think it probable, in the highest degree, that these islands produce many valuable articles of trade, particularly spices, especially as they lie in the same climate and latitude as the Malaccas, and as I found the nutmeg tree in a foil comparatively rocky and barren upon the coast of New Ireland.
Having passed these islands we continued our course
W. by N. with a fine eastern breeze, ard smooth water. Wedn. 16. On the 16th in the morning, we found the variation,
by a medium of several azimuths, to be 6° 30' E. our latitude being 20 19' S. and our longitude 145° 40' E. by observation. I was surprised to find the variation on this-side the land of New Britain and New Ireland so much, as we had found it gradually decreasing during our progress to the N. W. but I recollected that about two years before I had found nearly the same variation
in this meridian, about the island of Tinian. Satur. 19. On Saturday evening the 19th, we discovered two
small islands, both low land, level, and green: one of
them we saw only from the main. top-gallant-mast head; Durour's this I called Durour's ISLAND. Its latitude is about Illand.
1° 14' or 16' S. its longitude 143° 21' E. The other Matty's island, which I called MATTY's ISLAND, we coasted Illand.
during the night, and saw the inhabitants, in great numbers, run along the beach, a-breast of the ship, with lights: the side along which we sailed seemed to be about six miles in length, E. by N. and W. by S. As it was dark we could see no more of it, and having a fine breeze which we could not afford to lose, we kept on. Its latitude is about 10 45' S. and its longitude about 1430 2' E. the variation here was 4° 40' È. and we found a strong north-westerly current. We had now fresh gales
years beforehe N. w. buradually
ly from E. W
w ith rain, the wind blowing very unsteadi. 1767 : S. E. to E. N. E. till the 22d, when it be
dable. Our latitude was then 53' S. longitude Tuesday 2. 1409 5. E, the variation was 4° 40' E.
Onthe 24th we saw two small islands to the south-Thurs. 24. welt, but it being calın, with light airs, and a strong westerly current, we could not get nearer to them ihan four or five leagues: they had a green, pleasant appearance, and were well covered with trees ; but whether they are inhabited I do not know. They run about N. W. by W. S. E. by E. One is about three miles long, and the other about fix: the passage between them appeared to be about two miles broad. They lie in latitude 22' S. longitude 138° 29' E. and I gave them the name of STEPPENS's ISLANDS. We kept steering N. Stephen's W. by W. with a light variable wind, and a strong Isands. north-west current.
On the 25th we saw land a-head, which proved to be Friday 2.5. three small islands; and before it was dark, we got pretty near them. Several canoes soon came off, filled with the natives, who, after making signs of peace, canie on board without the least sign of fear or mistrust: they had nothing with them but a few cocoa-nuts, which they sold with great joy for a few pieces of an iron hoop; we soon found that they were not unacquainted with that metal which they called Parram, and they made us understand, by signs that a ship like ours sometimes touched their islands for refreshment. I gave one of them three pieces of an old iron hoop, each about four inches long, which threw him into an extacy little short of diftra&ión : I could not but sympathize in his joy, nor observe, without great pleasure, the changes of countenance, and extravagance of gesture, by which it was expressed. All thee people indeed appeared to be more fond of iron than any we had seen before, and I am sure, that for iron tools we might have purchased every thing upon the islands which we could have brought away. They are of the Indian copper colour, the firit of that complexion that we had seen in these parts, with fine long black hair, and little beards, for we observed that they were continually plucking the hair from their chin and upper lip by the roots. Their features are pleasing, and their teeth remarkably white
1767: and even: they were of the common stature, but nimSeptember.
ble, vigorous, and active in a surprising degree, run-
ed it in the embers. He made us understand also, that 1767. in his country they had plenty of fifh, and turtle in their season. It is however very probable, notwithstanding the number of people who subfist upon these islands, that they have no fresh water but what falls in rain : how they catch and preserve it, I had no opportunity to learn, but I never met with a spring in a spot so small and low, and in such a place I believe no spring was ever found. The largest of these islands, which the natives call Pegan, and to which I gave the name of FREEWILL ISLAND, lies fifty minutes north of the line, Freewill and in 1370 51' east longitude. They are all surround- Idand. ed by a reef of rocks. The chart of these islands I drew from the Indian's description, who delineated them with chalk upon the deck, and ascertained the depth of water by stretching his arms as a fathom.
I now steered N. W. by N. to get from under the fun, and had light winds at E. S. E. with which almost any ship but the Swallow would have made good way, but with every possible advantage she went at a heavy rate. We now found our variation begin again to decrease, as will appear by the following table:
Longitude from Queen
89 36'W. 4° 40' E. Upon the line. 9 40 W.
4 17 E. 10 30 W.
3 10 E. 2. ON
IL 40 W. 2 30 E. 2° 50'N. 12 10W.
2 o E.
On the 28th, being in latitude 2° 53' N. longitude Monday 28. 136° 10' E. we fell in with a very dangerous shoal, which is about eleven or twelve miles in circuit, and surrounded with small stones that just shew themselves above water. We found here a strong northerly current, but could not determine whether it inclined to the east or west.
In the evening we discovered from the maft-head another island to the southward of us: the east and of it seemed to rise in a peak, and had the appearance of a fail, but we did not go near enough to see any thing of it from the deck. I suppose its latitude to be about 20 30' N. and its longitude, east of London, about 136° 10'E.