Imágenes de página

not to be wondered that the Eng- be wanting ; and this will be s lish have attached much import- true method of preventing these ance to exploring the interior of nations from massacring their Africa; and without admitting all prisoners of war, as the king of the reports on the subjeet to be Dahomet does at the present true, it cannot be doubted that moment. May our feeble voice the precious metal is very abund- on this subject reach the ear of ant, and that the mines may still royalty! be considered as virgin mines, never having been visited by Europeans.

ACCOUNT OF MURRAY'S ISLANDS In the year 1900 a Society was ON THE EAST COAST OF TEREA formed in France for exploring AUSTRALIS. Africa, and it soon consisted of 300 persons : but it received no (From Captain Flinder's Voyage.) encouragement from the Government, and fell to pieces. For my Finding by the latitude that we part, I had quitted it previously, had been set considerably to the on being appointed mineralogist north, and were out of the paralto the voyage round the world lel of Murray's Islands, I tacked under Captain Baudin.

to the S. S.W.; and at two o'clock, Certainly, if France will con- the largest island was seen bearing sent to abandon for ever the odi- S. 38° W. about five leagues. ous slave trade, our august sove. Soon afterward, a reef came in reign will have it in his power not sight to the south-east, extending only to promote greatly the wel- in patches toward the islands, fare of his own country, but the and presently another was distinpeace and tranquillity of Africa. guished to the westward, from There exists no country in the the mast head, which took nearly world so susceptible of general a parallel direction, the passage cultivation: we know that cer- between them being about four tain districts in Africa are fertile miles wide. We steered along in corn, and grain of every kind the lee side of eastern reef, at the grows there intermixed with sugar distance of a mile, with soundings canes lately introduced, and which from 29 to 24 fathoms, coral sand, protect the grain from hail. The until four o'clock; the reef then plants of India, Europe, America trended more southward, and we and Australasia, or the fifth por- edged away for the islands, of tion of the globe, will flourish which Mr. Westall sketched the there in perpetual spring, and appearance. At half past fire, the the animals of all climates can be largest island bore S. 36° E. to easily naturalized. The Negroes, 28o W., one mile and a half; and whose respect for the Whites is there being more reefs coming in extreme, notwithstanding what sight to the westward, the anchor they have suffered from them, was immediately let go in 20 frwill cheerfully give up their fields thoms, coarse sand and shells. to be cultivated by us. Hands, The north and east sides of the servants, and even slaves will not island are surrounded by a reef,

vhich may probably include the ed their articles without any diswo smaller isles on its south- trust of the exchange, but this vest side ; but it is totally uncon- was not always the case. Their Dected with the reefs to the north- eagerness to get tooree was great, east. These appear to be a north- and at first, any thing of that ern continuation of the vast bank, same metal was received; but on the outside of which the Pan- afterwards, if a nail were held up dora sailed as far as 11}° south, to an Indian, he shook his head, and in the chart of Captain Ed- striking the edge of his right hand wards' track, published by Mr. upon the left arm, in the attitude Dalrymple, it is marked as sur- of chopping; and he was well rounding the islands; whereas it enough understood. is at least four miles distant from At sunset, two of the canoes rethe reef which probably does sur- turned to Murray's Island, paddling round them.

to windward with more velocity A number of poles standing up than one of our boats could have in various places, more especially rowed; the third set a narrow, between the islands, appeared at upright sail, between two masts a distance like the masts of canoes, in the fore part of the canoe, and and made me apprehend that the steered north-westward, as I judyinhabitants of the Strait had col- ed, for the Darnley's Island of lected a fleet here; but on ap- Captain Bligh. proaching nearer, the poles were i did not forget that the inbafound to be upon the reefs, and bitants of these islands had made were probably set up for some an attack upon the Providence and purpose connected with fishing. Assistant in 1792 (Introduction, We had scarcely anchored when P. XXV); nor that Mr. Bamptos between forty and fifty Indians had some people cut off at Darncame off, in three canocs. They ley's Island in 1793 (p. xxxiv— would not come along-side of the xxxix). The marines were thereship, but lay off at a little distance, fore kept under arms, the guns holding up cocoa nuts, joints of clear, and matches lighted; and bamboo filled with water, plain- officers were stationed to watch tains, bows and arrows, and vo. every motion, one to each canne, eiferating tooree! tooree! and so long as they remained near the mammoosee! A barter soon com- ship. Bows and arrows were conmenced, and was carried on tained in all the canoes; but no in this manner: a hatchet, or intention of hostility was mani. other piece of iron (tooree) being fested by the Indians, unless tbose held up, they offered a bunch of who steered for Darnley's Island green plantains, a bow and quiver might be supposed to go for asof arrows, or what they judged sistance. would be received in exchange ; We did not get under weigb in signs of acceptance being made, the morning, until the sun was the Indian leaped over-board with high enough for altitudes to be his barter, and handed it to a man taken for the time keepers. Soon who went down the side to him ; after daylight, the natives were and receiving his hatchet, swam with us again, in seven canoes ; back to the canoe. Some deliver- some of them came under the

sten, shores

[ocr errors]

stern, and fifteen or twenty of the any thing of their language, por people ascended on board, bring- did they pay much attention to ing in their hands pearl-oyster him ; he seemed, indeed, to feel shells and necklaces of cowries; his own inferiority, and made bet with which, and some bows and a poor figure amongst them. The arrows, they obtained more of the arms of these people have been precious tooree. Wishing to se described in the voyage of Captain cure the friendship and confidence Bligh (Introduction, p. xxiü) as of these islanders to such vessels also the canoes, of which the anas might hereafter pass through nexed plate, from a drawing by Torres' Strait, and not being able Mr. Westall, gives a correctoreto distinguish any chief amongst presentation. The two masts, them, I selected the oldest man, when not wanted, are laid along and presented him with a hand- the gunwales; when set up, they saw, a hammer and nails, and stand abreast of each other in the some other trifles; of all which fore part of the canoe, and seemwe attempted to show him the ed to be secured by one set of use, but I believe without success; shrouds, with a stay from ene for the poor old man became mast head to the other. The sail frightened, on finding himself to is extended between them; but be so particularly noticed. ; when going with a side wind, the

At this time we began to heave lee mast is brought aft by a back short for weighing, and made stay, and the sail then stands obsigns to the Indians to go down liquely. In other words, they into their canoes, which they brace up by setting in the head of seemed unwilling to comprehend; the lee mast, and perhaps the foot but on the seamen going aloft to also; and can then lie within loose the sails, they went hastily seven points of the wind, and down the stern ladder and ship's possibly nearer. This was their sides, and shoved off; and before mode, so far as a distant view the anchor was up they paddled would admit of judging; but how back to the shore, without our these long canoes keep to the good understanding having suffer, wind, and make such way as they ed any interruption.

do, without any after sail, I am The colour of these Indians is at a loss to know. a dark chocolate ; they are active, Murray's largest island is nearly muscular men, about the middle two miles . long, by something size, and their countenances ex- more than one in breadth; it is pressive of a quick apprehension, rather high land, and the hill at Their features and hair appeared its western end may be seen from to be similar to those of the na- a ship's deck at the distance of tives of New South Wales, and eight or nine leagues, in a clear they also .go quite naked; but day. The two smaller isles seem. some of them had ornaments of ed to be single hills, rising abshell work, and of plaited hair or ruptly from the sea, and to be fibres of bark, about their waists, scarcely accessible; nor did we necks, and ancles. Our friend see upon them any fires, or other Bongaree could not understand marks of inhabitants. On the


545 bores of the large island were project was given up; and after nany huts, surrounded by palisa- taking angles from one of the les, apparentlyof bamboo; cocoa- rocks, lwent eastward to a smaller rut trees were abundant, both on island, two miles off, where sehe low grounds and the sides of veral Indians were perceived.

hills, and plantains, with The water was too shallow for the some other fruits, had been boat to get near them ; but we brought to us. There were many landed at a little distance, and Indians sitting in groups upon walked after three men who were the shore, and the seven canoes dragging six small rafts toward which came off to the ship in the the extreme northern rocks, morning, contained from ten to where three other natives were twenty men each, or together, sitting. about a hundred. If we suppose

These men not choosing tơ these hundred men to have been abandon their rafts, an interview one half of what belonged to the was unavoidable, and they came islands, and to the two hundred on shore with their spears to wait men, add as many women and our approach. One of us adthree hundred children, the po- vanced towards them, unarmed ; pulation of Murray's Isles will and signs being made to lay down amount to seven hundred; of their spears, which were underwhich nearly the whole must be- stood to mean that they should long to the larger island.

sit down, they complied; and by degrees, a friendly intercourse

was established. They accepted ACCOUNT OF WELLESLEY'S ISLANDS some red worsted caps and fillets,

as also a hatchet and an adze, the use of which being explained,

was immediately comprehended. From the same.)

In return, they gave us two very

rude spears, and a womerah, or Allen's Isle is between four and throwing stick, of nearly the same Bve miles in length, and though form as those used by the natives generally barren, there are bushes of Port Jackson. and small trees upon it, and some The rafts consisted of several tolerable grass. It is altogether straight branches of mangrove, low land ; but the south-east end very much dried, and lashed tois cliffy, and within two cables gether in two places with the length of it there is 4 fathoms ; largest ends one way, so as to no fresh water was found near form a broad part, and the small the shore, nor any place where er ends closing to a point. Near casks could be conveniently land- the broad end was a bunch of ed. After taking a set of bear. grass, where the man sits to padings I left the gentlemen to follow dle; but the raft, with his weight their pursuits, and rowed north- alone, must swim very deep; and Westward, intending to go round indeed I should scarcely have supthe island; but an impassable posed it could float a man at all. reef extended so far out; that the Upon one of the rafts was a short Vol. LVII.




net, which, from the size of the eldest made - a short harangwe meshes, was probably intended to which concluded with the won catch turtle; upon another was a jahree ! pronounced with emphayoung shark; and these, with sis; they then returned to the their paddles and spears, seemed rafts, and dragged them towards to constitute the whole of their their three companions who were earthly riches.

sitting on the furthest rocks. Two of the three men were ad- These I judged to be women, and vanced in years, and from the re- that the proposal of the men to go semblance of feature were pro- to our boat was a feint to get us bably brothers. With the excep- further from them; it did not tion of two chiefs at Taheity, these seem, however, that the women were the tallest Indians I had ever were so much afraid of us, as the seen; the two brothers being men appeared to be on their acfrom three to four inches higher count; for although we walked than my coxswain, who measured back, past the rafts, much nearer five feet eleven. They were not than before, they remained very remarkable for being either stout quietly picking oysters. It was or slender ; though like most of not my desire to annoy these poor the Australians, their legs did not people; and therefore, leaving bear the European proportion to them to their own way, we took the size of their heads and bodies. an opposite direction to examine The third native was not so tall the island, as the other two; and he was, This low piece of land is beaccording to our notions, better tween one and two miles long, proportioned. Their features did and from its form received the not much differ from those of name of Horse-shoe Island; there their countrymen on the South is very little soil mixed with the and East Coasts; but they had sand on its surface, and except each of them lost two front teeth the mangrove trees upon the from the upper jaw. Their hair shore, it bears nothing larger was short, though not curly; and than bushes. We did not find a fillet of net work, which the any huts; but the dried grass youngest man had wrapped round spread round two or three neighhis head, was the sole ornament bouring fire places, marked the or clothing seen amongst them. last residence of the Indians. The two old men appeared, to my Near it were lying several large surprise, to have undergone circ spiral shells, probably the vessels cumcision; but the posture of the in which they had brought water youngest, who remained sitting from the main land; for none down, did not allow of observa- was found on the island, nor was tion being made upon him. there any appearance that it could

After being five minutes with be procured. Shells and bones of them, the old men proposed to go turtle, some of them fresh, were to vur buat; and this being agreed plentifully scattered around; upon to, we proceeded together, hand the beach also there were turtle in hand. But they stopped half tracks, and several of these aniway, and retreating a little, the mals wore seen in the water du

.. . ring

« AnteriorContinuar »