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termined to steer a north-west course, till I got the true trade-wind, and then to stand to the westward till I should fall in with Solomon's Islands, if any such there were, or make some new discovery.
On the 10th we saw several dolphins and bonnettas about the ship, and the next day some straggling birds, which were brown on the back and the upper part of their wings, and white on the rest of the body, with a short beak, and a short pointed tail. The variation was now decreased to 4° 43' E. our latitude was 24° 30' S. our longitude 97° 45' W.
On the 14th we saw several grampuses, and inore of the birds which have just been described, so that, imagining we might be near some land, we kept a good look-out, but saw nothing. In latitude 23° 2 s. longitude 101° 23' W. the variation, by azimuth, was 3° 20' E.
On the morning of the 16th we saw two very remarkable birds; they flew very high, were as large as geese, and all qver as white as snow, except their legs, which were black: I now began to imagine that I had passed some land, or islands, which lay to the southward of us, for the last night we observed, that, although we had generally a great swell from that quarter, the water became quite smooth for a few hours, after which the swell returned.
On the 22d, being in latitude 20° 52' S. longitude 115° 38' W. with a faint breeze at E.S.E. we had so great a swell from the southward, that we were in perpetual danger of our masts rolling over the ship's side, so that I was obliged to haul more to the northward, as well to ease the ship, as in hopes of getting the true trade-wind, which we had not yet; and now, to my great concern, some of my began to complain of the scurvyo. This day, for the first time, we caught two bonnettas ; we also saw several tropie birds about the ship, and observed that they were largers than any we had seen before ; their whole plumage was white, and they had two long feathers in the tail. The variation now had changed its direction, and was 19' W.
On the 26th we saw two large birds about the ship, which were all black, except the neck and the beak, which were white; they had long wings, and long feathers in their tails, yet we observed that they flew heavily, and therefore ima gined that they were of a species which did not usually fly far from the shore. I had Hattered myself, that, before we had run six degrees to the northward of Masafuero, we
should have found a seltled trade-wind to the S.E. but the winds still continued to the north, though we had a mountainous swell from the S.W. Our latitude was pow 16° 55' S. longitude 127° 55' W. and here the needle, at this time, had no variation.
On the 28th we saw two fine large birds about the ship, one of which was brown and white, and the other black and white; they wanted much to settle upon the yards, but the working of the ship frighted them.
On the 31st the wind shifted from N. by W. to N.W. by W. and the number of birds that were now about the ship was very great; from these circumstances, and our having lost the great south-west swell, I imagined some land to be near, and we looked out for it with great diligence, for our people began now to fall down with the scurvy very fast.
We saw no land, however, till one o'clock in the morning of Friday the 7th of June, when we were in latitude 14° 5' S. longitude 144° 58' W. and observed the variation to be 4° 30' E. After making the land, I hauled upon a wind under an easy sail till the morning, and then a low small island bore from us W.S.W. at the distance of about two leagues. In a very short time we saw another island to windward of us, bearing E.S.E. distant between three and four leagues : This appeared to be much larger than that which we first discovered, and we must have passed very near it in the night.
I stood for the small island, which, as we drew near it, had a most beautiful appearance; it was surrounded by a beach of the finest white sand, and within, it was covered with tall trees, which extended their shade to a great distance, and formed the most delightful groves that can be imagined, without underwood. We judged this island to be about five miles in circumference, and from each end of it we saw a spit running out into the sea, upon which the surge broke with great fury; there was also a great surf all round it. We soon perceived that it was inhabited, for many or the natives appeared upon the beach, with spears in their hands that were at least sixteen feet long. They presently made several large fires, which we supposed to be a signal; for we immediately perceived several fires upon the larger island that was to windward of us, by which we knew that also to be inhabited. I sent the boat with an officer to look for an anchoring-place, who, to our great regret and disap
pointment, pointment, returned with an account that he had been all round the island, and that no bottom could be found within less than a cable's length of the shore, which was surrounded close to the beach with a steep coral rock. The scurvy by this time had made dreadful havock among us, many of my best men being now confined to their hammocks; the poor wretches who
were able to crawl upon the deck, stood gazing at this little paradise, which Nature had forbidden them to enter, with sensations which cannot easily be conceived; they saw cocoa-nuts in great abundance, the milk of which is, perhaps, the most powerful antiscorbutic in the world: They had reason to suppose that there were limes, bananas, and other fruits which are generally found between the tropics; and, to increase their mortification, they saw the shells of many turtle scattered about the shore. When I knew the soundings, I could not forbear standing close round the island with the ship, though I also knew it was impossible to procure any of the refreshments which it produced. The natives ran along the shore abreast of the ship, shouting and dancing ; they also frequently brandished their long spears, and then threw themselves backward, and lay a few minutes motionless, as if they had been dead: This we understood as a menace that they would kill us, if we ventured to go on shore. As we were sailing along the coast, we took notice that in one place the natives had fixed upright in the sand two spears, to the top of which they had fastened several things that fluttered in the air, and that some of them were every moment kneeling down before them, as we supposed invoking the assistance of some invisible being to defend them against us. While I was thus circumnavigating the island with the ship, I sent the boats out again to sound, and when they came near the shore, the Indians set up one of the most hideous yells I had ever heard, pointing at the same time to their spears, and poising in their hands large stones which they took up from the beach. Our men on the contrary made all the signs of amity and good-will that they could devise, and at the same time threw them bread and many other things, none of which they vouchsafed so much as to touch, but with great expedition hauled five or six large canoes, which we saw lying upon the beach, up into the wood. When this was done, they waded into the water, and seemed to watch for an opportunity of laying hold of the boat, that they might drag her on shore : The people on board her, apprehending that this was their design, and that if they got them on shore they would certainly put them to death, were very impatient to be before-hand with them, and would fain have fired upon them ; but the officer on board, having no permission from me to commit any hostilities, restrained thein. I should indeed have thought myself at liberty to have obtained by force the refreshments, for want of which our people were dying, if it had been possible to have come to an anchor, supposing we could not have inade these poor savages our friends; but nothing could justify the taking away their lives for a mere imaginary or intentional injury, without procuring the least advantage to ourselves. They were of a deep copper colour, exceedingly stout and welllimbed, and remarkably nimble and active, for I never saw men run so fast in my life. This island lies in latitude 14. 5' S., longitude 145° 4' W. from the meridian of London. As the boats reported a second time that there was no anchoring ground about this island, I determined to work up to the other, which was accordingly done all the rest of the day and the following night.
5" Other objections stood also in our way; for the Indians had surrounded the shore with staves and javelins 16 feet long, with a piece of bone at the end in the form of a harpoon, in their hands, hallooing and shouting in the most hideous manner, at the same time making signs with their hands for us to be gone; always taking care, as the boat sailed along the shore, to move in the same direction and accompany it; and though the men saw some turtle at a distance, they could get at none, as those Indians still kept opposite to them.' -" They altogether amounted to about 50 in number, including women and children; and to the south-west we could perceive their huts, under the shade of the most lovely grove we ever saw,
At six o'clock in the morning of the 8th, we brought-to on the west side of it, at the distance of about three quarters of a mile from the shore; but we had no soundings with one hundred and forty fathom of line. We now perceived several other low islands, or rather peninsulas, most of them being joined one to the other by a neck of land, very narrow, and almost level with the surface of the water, which breaks high over it. In approaching these islands the cocoa-nut trees are first discovered, as they are higher than any part of the surface. I sent a boat with an officer from each ship to sound the lee-side of these islands for an an: choring-place; and as soon as they left the ship, I saw the
Indians run down to the beach in great numbers, armed with long spears and clubs ; they kept abreast of the boats as they went sounding along the shore, and used many threatening gestures to prevent their landing; I therefore fired a nine-pound shot from the ship over their heads, upon which they ran into the woods with great precipitation. At ten o'clock the boats returned, but could get no soundings close in with the surf, which broke very high upon the shore. The middle of this cluster of islands lies in latitude 14° 10' S., longitude 144° 52' W.; the variation of the compass was here 4° 30' E.
At half an hour after ten, we bore away and made sail to the westward, finding it impossible to procure at these islands any refreshment for our sick, whose situation was becoming more deplorable every hour, and I therefore called them the Islands of Disappointment.
The Disrovery of King George's Islands, with a Description of them, and an Account of several Incidents that happened there.
At half an hour after five o'clock in the afternoon of the 9th, we saw land again, bearing W. S. W. at the distance of six or seven leagues ; and at seven we brougbt-to for the night. In the morning, being within three miles of the shore, we discovered it to be a long low island, with a white beach, of a pleasant appearance, full of cocoa-nut and other trees, and surrounded with a rock of red coral. We stood
6“ They were in much greater number than at the other island, and followed us in the same manner, several hundreds of them running along the coast in great disorder.”_" They had many canoes, which, on our approaching the shore, they dragged into the woods, and at the same time the women came with great stones in their hands to assist the men in preventing our landing.”_" We had now 30 sick on board, to whom the land air, the fruit and vegetables, that appeared so beautiful and attractive, would doubtless have afforded immediate relief.” It seems very probable, from the conduct of these islanders, and of the others mentioned in the next section, that some former visitants had used them so ill, as to unite them in determined opposition to the entrance of all strangers. Would it be unfair to imagine, from a circumstance afterwards narrated, that these yisitants were Dutch? All the seafaring nations of Europe, alas ! are too deeply implicated in the animosities and miseries of the South Sea inhabitants.-E.