Abbildungen der Seite

1769. January

Saturday 14.

choring ground, however, lay several rocky ledges, that were covered with sea-weed; but I was told that there was not less than eight and nine fathom over all of them. It will probably be thought strange, that where weeds, which grow at the bottom, appear above the surface, there should be this depth of water ; but the weeds which grow upon rocky ground in these countries, and which always diftinguish it from sand and ooze, are of an enormous size. The leaves are four feet long, and some of the stalks, though not thicker than a man's thumb, above one hundred and twenty: Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander examined some of them, over which we founded and had fourteen fathom, which is eightyfour feet; and, as they made a very acute angle with the bottom, they were thought to be at least one half longer: the foot stalks were swelled into an air veffel, and Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander called this plant Fucus giganteus. Upon the report of the Master, I stood in with the ship; but not trusting implicitly to his intelligence, I continued to sound, and found but four fathom upon the first ledge that I went over; concluding, therefore, that I could not anchor here without risk, I determined to seek some port in the Streight, where I might get on board such wood and water as we wanted.

Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, however, being very desirous to go on shore, I sent a boat with them and their people, while I kept plying as near as possible with the ship.

Having been on shore four hours, they returned about nine in the evening, with above an hundred different plants and flowers, all of them wholly unknown to the botanists of Europe. They found the country about the bay to be in general flat, the bottom of it in particular was a plain, covered with grass, which might easily have been made into a large quantity of hay; they found also abundance of good wood and water, and fowl in great plenty. Among other 1769.

January things, of which Nature has been liberal in this place, is Winter's bark, Winteranea aromatica ; which may easily be Saturday 14

to known by its broad leaf, shaped like the laurel, of a light green colour without, and inclining to blue within : the bark is easily stripped with a bone or a stick, and its virtues are well known: it may be used for culinary purposes as a spice, and is not less pleasant than wholesome: here is also plenty of wild celery and scurvy grass. The trees are chiefly of one kind, a species of the birch, called Betula antarctica; the stem is from thirty to forty feet long, and from two to three feet in diameter, so that in a case of necessity they might possibly fupply a ship with top-mafts: they are a light white wood, bear a small leaf, and cleave very straight. Cranberries were also found here in great plenty, both white and red.

The persons who landed faw none of the inhabitants, but fell in with two'of their deserted huts, one in a thick wood, and the other clofe by the beach.

Having taken the boat on board, I made fail into the Streight, and at three in the morning of the 15th, I anchored Sunday 15. in twelve fathom and an half, upon coral rocks, before a small cove, which we took for Port Maurice, at the distance of about half a mile from the shore. Two of the natives came down to the beach, expecting us to land; but this spot afforded so little shelter, that I at length determined not to examine it: I therefore got under fail again about ten o'clock, and the savages retired into the woods.

At two o'clock, we anchored in the bay of Good Success ; and after dinner I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, to look for a watering-place, and speak to the Indians, several of whom had come in sight. We landed on the starboard side of the bay near some rocks, which Vol. II.




1769. January

Sunday 15.

made smooth water and good landing; thirty or forty of the Indians foon made their appearance at the end of a sandy beach on the other side of the bay, but seeing our number, which was ten or twelve, they retreated. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander then advanced about one hundred yards before us, upon which two of the Indians returned, and, having advanced some paces towards them, sat down; as soon as they came up, the Indians rose, and each of them having a small stick in his hand threw it away, in a direction both from themselves and the strangers, which was considered as the renunciation of weapons in token of peace: they then walked briskly towards their companions, who had halted at about fifty yards behind them, and beckoned the Gentlemen to follow, which they did. They were received with many uncouth signs of friendship; and, in return, they diftributed among them some beads and ribbons, which had

, been brought on thore for that purpose, and with which they were greatly delighted. A mutual confidence and good-will being thus produced, our parties joined; the conversation, such as it was, became general; and three of them accompanied us back to the ship. When they came on board, one of them, whom we took to be a priest, performed much the. lame ceremonies which M, Bougainville describes, and fupposes to be an exorcism. When he was introduced into a new part of the ship, or when any thing that he had not seen before caught his attention, he thouted with all his force for some minutes, without directing his voice either. to us or his companions.

They eat some bread and some beef, but not apparently with inuch pleasure, though such part of what was given chem as they did not eat they took away with them; but they would not swallow a drop either of wine or spirits : they put the glass to their lips, but, having tafted the liquor,


1769. January.

Sunday 15.

they returned it, with strong expressions of disgust. Curiosity seems to be one of the few passions which distinguish men from brutes ; and of this our guests appeared to have very little. They went from one part of the ship to another, and looked at the vast variety of new objects that every moment presented themselves, without any expression either of wonder or pleasure, for the vociferation of our exorcist seemed to be neither.

After having been on board about two hours, they expressed a desire to go alhore. A boat was immediately ordered, and Mr. Banks thought fit to accompany them: he landed them in safety, and conducted them to their companions, among whom he remarked the same vacant indifference, as in those who had been on board ; for as on one side there appeared no eagerness to relate, so on the other there seemed to be no curiosity to hear, how they had been received, or what they had seen. In about half an hour, Mr. Banks returned to the ship, and the Indians retired from the shore.

[blocks in formation]



An Account of what happened in ascending a Mountain to

search for Plants.

1769. January.

[ocr errors]

N the 16th, early in the morning, Mr. Banks and Dr.

Solander, with their attendants and servants, and two seamen to assist in carrying the baggage, accompanied by Mr. Monkhouse the Surgeon, and Mr. Green the Astronomer, set out from the ship, with a view to penetrate as far as they could into the country, and return at night. The hills, when viewed at a distance, seemed to be partly a wood, partly a plain, and above them a bare rock. Mr. Banks hoped to get through the wood, and made no doubt, but that, beyond it, he should, in a country which no botanist had ever yet vifited, find alpine plants which would abundantly compenfate his labour. They entered the wood at a small sandy beach, a little to the westward of the watering-place, and continued to ascend the hill, through the pathless wilderness, till three o'clock, before they got a near view of the places which they intended to visit. Soon after they reached what they had taken for a plain ; but, to their great disappointment, found it a swamp, covered with low bushes of birch, about three feet high, interwoven with each other, and so stubborn that they could not be bent out of the way; it was therefore necessary to lift the leg over them, which at every step was buried, ancle deep, in the soil. To aggravate the pain and difficulty of such travelling, the weather, which hitherto had been very fine, much like one of our bright days in May, became gloomy and cold ; with sudden

Monday 16.



« ZurückWeiter »