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shells are real, but so softened by time and their moist situation, as to be. susceptible of receiving the stony particles into their pores, by whose cohesive quality, they in time become those hard white curls that give value to the marble: and it is very remarkable, and a proof that these white spots have been real /hells, and thus formed, that the longer a chimney-piece or flab is used, the more of those spots ripen into view.
I have taken many more notes of the natural curiosities in this kingdom, which I'(hall be happy to communicate to your respectable society, if you think the subjects of sufficient importance: and am, With great respect,
Of the dreadful EjseQs of Cold in the Streights of he Maire; from Lieutenant Cook'/ Voyage round the World.
ON the 16th of January, 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 visited, find alpine plants, which would abundantly compensate 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 foil. 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; wich sudden blasts of a most piercing wind, accompanied with snow. They pushed forward, however, in good spirits, notwithstanding their fatigue, hoping the worst of the way was past, and that the bare rock which they had seen from the tops of the lower hills was not more than a mile before them; but when they had got about two-thirds over this woody swamp, Mr. Buchan, one of Mr. Banks'* draughtsmen, was unhappily seized with a fit. This made it necessary for the whole company to halt, and as it was impossible that he should go any further, a fire Was kindled, and those who were most fatigued were left behind to taite care of him. Mr. Banks,
Dt. TV. Solander, Mr. Green, and Mr. Monkhouse went on, and in a short time reached the summit. As botanists, their expectations were here abundantly gratified ; for they found a great variety of plants, which, with respect to the alpine plants in Europe, are exactly what those plants are with respect to such as grow in the plain.
The cold was now become more severe, and the show-blasts more frequent: the day also was so far spent, that it was sound impossible to get back to the (hip before the next morning: to pass the night upon such a mountain, in such a climate, was not only comfortless, but dreadful: it was impossible however to be avoided, and they were to provide for it as well as they could.
Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, while they were improving an opportunity which they had with so much danger and difficulty procured, by gathering the plants which they found upon the mountain, sent Mr.Green and Mr. Monkhouse back to Mr. Buchan and tbe people that were with him, with directions to bring them to a hill, which they thought lay in a better rout for returning to the wood, and which was therefore appointed as a general rendezvous. It was proposed, that from this hill they should push through the swamp, which seemed by the new rout not to be more than half a mile over, into the shel'er of the wood, and there build their wigwam, and make a fire: this, as their way was all down hill, it seemed easy to accomplish. Their whole company assembled at the rendezvous, and, though pinched with the cold, were in health and spirits, Mr.Buchan himself having
recovered his strength in a much greater degree than could have been expected. It was now near eight o'clock in the evening.but still good day light, and they set forward for the nearest valley, Mr. Banks himself undertaking to bring up the rear, and see that no straggler was left behind: this may perhaps be thought a superfluous caution, but it will soon appear to be otherwise. Dr. Solander, who had more than once crossed the mountains which divide Sweden from Norway, well knew that extreme cold, especially when joined with fatigue, produces a torpor and sleepiness that are almost irresistible: he therefore conjured the company to keep moving, whatever pain it might cost them, and whatever relief they might be promised by an inclination to rest: Whoever sits down, fays he, will sleep; and whoever sleeps, will wake no more. Thus at once admonished and alarmed, they set forward; but while they were still upon the naked rock, and before they had got among the bustles, the cold became suddenly so intense, as to produce the effects that had been most dreaded. Dr. Soi lander himself was the first who found the inclination, against which he had warned others, irresistible: and insisted upon being suffered to liedown. Mr. Banks intreatedand remonstrated in vain, down he lay upon the ground, though it was covered with snow; and it was with great difficulty that his friend kept him from sleeping. Richmond also, one of the black servants, began to linger, having suffered from the cold in the same manner as the doctor. Mr. Banks, therefore sent five of the company, among whom was Mr. Bull" cha«,
chan, forward to get a fire ready at the first convenient place they could find; and himself, with four others, remained with the doctor and Richmond, whom partly by persuasion and enmaty, and partly by force, they brought on: but when they had got through the greatest part of the birch and swamp, they both declared they could go no farther. Mr. Banks had recourse 3gain to entreaty and expostulation, but they produced no effect: when Richmond was told, that if he did not go on he would in a short time be frozen to death: he answered, That he desired nothing but to lie down and die: the doctor did not so explicitly renounce his life; he said he was willing to go on, but that he must first take feme sleep, though he had before told the company that to sleep was to perish. Mr. Banks and the rest found it impossible to carry them, and there being no remedy, they were both suffered to sit down, being partly supported by the bushes, and in a few minutes they fell into a profound sleep: soon after, some of the people who had been sent forward, returned, with the welcome news that a tire was kindled about a quarter of a mile sr.rthercn the way. Mr. Banks then endeavoured to wake Dr. Solander, and happily succeeded: tut though he had not slept fire minutes, he had almost lost the use of his limbs, and the muscles were so shrunk that his (hoes fell from his feet; he consented to go forw.-.rd with such assistance as could be given him, but no attempts to relieve poor Richmond wt-re successful. It being found impossible to make him stir, after some time had been lost in
the attempt, Mr. Banks left his other black servant and a seaman, who seemed to have suffered least by the cold, to look after him; promising, that as soon as two others should be sufficiently warmed, they should be relieved. Mr. Banks, with much difficulty, at length got the doctor to the fire; and soon after sent two of the people who had been refreshed, in hopes that, with the assistance of those who had been left behind, they would be able to bring Richmond, even though it should still be found impossible to wake him. In about half an hoar, however, they had the mortification to see these two men return alone; they said that they had been all round the plact to which they had been directed, but could neither find Richmond nor those who had been left with him ; and that though they had shouted many times, no voice had replied. This was matter of equal surprise and concern, particularly to Mr. Banks, who, while he was wondering how it could happen, misled a bottle of rum, the company's whole stock, which, they now concluded to be in the knapsack of one of the absentees. It was conjectured, that with this Richmond had been rouzed by the two persons who had been left with him, and that, having- perhaps drank too freely of it themselves, they had all rambled from the place where they had been left, in search of the fire, instead of waiting for those who should have been their assistants and guides. Another fall of snow now came on, and continued incessantly for two hours, so that all hopes of seeing them again, at least alive, were given up; but about twelve o'clock, to the great
joy of those at the fire, a shouting was heard at some distance. Mr. Banks, with four more, immediately went out, and found the seaman with just strength enough left to stagger along, and call out for assistance: Mr. Banks sent him immediately to the fire, and,' by his direction, proceeded in search os the other two, whom hesoonafterfound. Richmond was upon his legs, but not able to put one before theother; his companion was lying upon the ground as insensible as a stone. All hands were now called from the fire, and an attempt w .; made to carry them to it; but this, notwithstanding the united efforts of the whole company, was found to be impossible. The night was extremely dark, the snow was now very deep, and, under these additional disadvantages, they found it very difficult to make way through the bushes and the bog for themselves, all of them getting many falls in the attempt. The only alternative was to make a fire upon the spot; but the snow which had fallen, and was still falling, besides what was every moment shaken in flakes from the trees, rendered it equally impracticable, to kindle one there, and to bring any part of that which had been kindled in the wood, thither: they were, therefore, reduced to the fad necessity of leaving the unhappy wretches to their fate; having first made them a bed of boughs from the trees, and spread a covering of the same kind over them to a considerable height.
Having now been exposed to the cold and the snow near an hour and an half, some of the rest began to lose their sensibility; and one Briscoc, another os Mr. Banks's
servants, was so ill, that it waa thoughthe must die before he could be got to the fire.
At the fire, however, at length they arrived ; and passed the night in a situation, which, however dreadful in itself, was rendered more afflicting by the remembrance of what was past, and the uncertainty of what was to come. Of twelve, the number that set out together in health and spirits, two were supposed to be already dead; a third was so ill, that it was very doubtful whether he would be able to go forward in the morning; and. a fourth, Mr. Buchan, was in danger of a return of his fits, by fresh, fatigue after so uncomfortable a night i they were distant from the (hip a long day's journey, through, pathless woods, in which it was too probable they might be bewildered till they were overtaken by the next night; and, not having prepared for a journey of more than eight or ten hours, they were wholly destitute of provisions, except a vulture, which they happened to shoot while they were out, and which, if equally divided, would not .afford each of them half a meal; and they knew not how much more they might suffer from the cold, as the snow still continued to fall. A "dreadful testimony ofthe severity of the climate, as it was now the midst of summer in this part ofthe world, the twenty-first of December being here thclongest day; and every thing might justly be dreaded from a phenomenon which, in the corresponding season, is unknown even in Norway and Lapland.
When the morning dawned, they saw nothing round them a*, far as the eye could reach, but
H 2 snow,
snow, which seemed to lie as thick upon the trees as upon the ground; and theblastreturned so frequently, and with- such violence, that they found itimpoffible for them to set oat: how long this might last they knew not, and they had but too much reason to apprehend that it would confine them in that desolate sorest till they perished with hunger and cold.
After having suffered the misery and terror of this situation till six o'clock in the morning, they conceived some hope of deliverance by discovering the place of the sun through the cloud;, which were become thinner, and began to break away. Their first care was 10 fee whether the poor wretches whom they had been obliged to leave among the bushes were yet alive, three of the company were dispatched for that purpose, and very soon afterwards returned with the melancholy news, that they were dead.
Notwithstanding the flattering appearance of the fkv, the snow still continued to fall so thick that they could not venture out upon ■ their journey to the (hip; but about S o'clock a small regular breeze spruag up, which, with the prevailing influence of the sun, at length cleared the air; and they soon after, with great joy, saw the snow fall in large flakes from the trees, a certain sign of an approaching thaw: they now examined more critically the state of their invalids; Briscoe was still very ill, but said, that he thought himself able to walk; and Mr. Buchanwas much . better than either he or his friends > bad any reason to expect. They wete.now, however, pressed by the calls of hunger, to which, after
long fasting, every consideration of future good or evil immediately gives way. Before they set forward, therefore, it was unanimously agreed, that they should eat their vulture; the bird was accordingly skinned, and, it being thought best to divide it before it was fit to be eaten, it was cut into ten portions, and every man cooked his own as he thought fit. After this repast, which furnished each of them with about three mouthfuls, they prepared to set out; but it was tea o'clock before the snow was sufficiently gone off to render a march practicable. After a walkof about three hours, they were very agreeably surprised to find themselves upon the beach, and much nearer to the ship than they had any reason to expect. Upon reviewing their track from the vessel, they perceived, that, instead of ascending the hill in a line, so as to penetrate into the country, they had made almost a circle round it. When they came on board, they congratulated each other upon their safety, with a joy that no man can feel who has not been exposed to equal danger; and as I had suffered great anxiety at their not returning in the evening of the day on which they set but, I was not wholly without my (hare.
Seme Particulars of the Natural History of New Zealand; from the fame.
THIS country is composed of two large islands, besides numberless small ones. The northermost of these islands is called by the natives Eaheinomauwe, and the southermost Tovy, or Tavai