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ART.IV-A Voyage round the World, in the Years 1800, 1801,
1802, 1803, and 1804, in which the Author visited the Ma deira, the Brazils, Cape of Good Hope, the English Settlements of Botany Bay and Norfolk Island; and the principal Islands in the Pacific Ocean, with a Continuation of their History to the present Period. By John Turnbull. 2d Edit.
London. 1813. Tue modesty and diffidence of authors, especially of those who favour the world with their travels, might well pass into a proverb, were it recollected how many of them, according to the professions in their prefaces, have offered to the public materials which
up at first merely for the amusement of private friends,” and which, when they were collected, they “ had not the most distant idea of their being published.” As to the difficulty the private friends” of Mr. Turnbull may have had in obtaining the object of their request it is not necessary for us to investigate; but we know of few occasions on which we could have joined such solicitations with greater sincerity than on the present. The entertainment we have experienced in the perusal of the voyages of Columbus, Raleigh, De Gama, Drake, Cook, and Dampier, are still fresh in our memory; and we seem to meet old friends in improved circumstances when we revisit with Mr. Turnbull many of the places first made known to us by those discoverers.
Mr. Turnbull undertook his voyage previously to the occupation of Madeira by the British troops.But he has given us, by means of a second edition, the latest possible accounts of that colony, through a source of information“ on which he has every reason to depend.”
“ Funchal, the largest and most populous town of the island, is beautifully situated on the south side of the declivity of a hill, facing the sea ; the houses rising gradually above each other, till they reach the summit of the first range of hills, where the prospect is bounded by another range, planted with vines and fruit trees, and adorned with country houses and gardens. It was now ten in the forenoon of as bright a day as the meridian glory of a southern sun ever produced to cheer the heart of man. "The vineyards yet retained on their leaves some of the morning dew; the face of the island was clothed in many places with tropical shrubs'; the orange, melon, sugar-cane, and banana, gratified more than one sense by their hue and fragrance. The spectator, however, has here to encounter a disappointment which too frequently occurs from the nearer view of a scene which had appeared in very high colours at a distance. The external and internal condition of the houses but very ill accord; they are utterly devoid of all taste and convenjence; no furniture but broken chairs and stools, and a few vile pictures suspended against the bare walls. Instead of glazed windows, are a kind of lattice, hung upon hinges, which they lift up and down, as well as the craziness of the work will allow them. Some exceptions, however, must be made to this observation; as the houses of the English residents, and of the genteeler kind of people, are in good repair, and have the superior advantage of glazed windows. The streets, moreover, are narrow, and very much neglected; even the principal one, leading up the hill, was very much incommoded by large, massy pieces of stone, deposited there by torrents of rain, which at some time or other had severed them from the mountains. These formed a perfect maize of zigzags, so as to hem in the passenger to a narrow space on each side. In the several quarters of the town I observed a multitude of petty shops, presenting no bad epitome of a negro market in the West Indies, being furnished with what every other market would reject with disgust, such as putrid fish, rotten cheese, and rancid butter. Every thing was marked, as it were, with the peculiar characteristic of the Spanish and Portu. guese possession ; an indifference to filth or cleanliness, an invincible indolence, and a pride the more ludicrous, as contrasted with every circumstance which should induce a contrary feeling."
It may be easily supposed that the cultivation of the vine is what principally attracts the attention of the inhabitants of Madeira: as to grain, we are told that it does not produce half what is necessary for its own consumption. They have been sup plied by the Americans; and, during the present hostilities, it is to be hoped that the island may look to Ireland for many of the articles of prime necessity.
The island, besides being naturally fortified by a heavy surf beating on the beach, is protected by a garrison of twelve com. panies, under the command of an English general, and there is also a force of between two and three thousand militia for cases of emergency. Its population is about sixty-five thousand inhabitants, including Funchal, the capital, which constitutes one fifth.
In the prosecution of his voyage to St. Salvadore, our traveller notices a phenomenon, which to those who have never had an opportunity of exploring the wonders of the deep may be amusing.
“ In calm and dark nights (near the equinoctial line) it was really wonderful to see the myriads of fish with which the ship was en: circled. The whole sea, as far as the eye could reach, was illumined with a glittering radiance, as if of a vast fire-work. The shores of the great deep appeared to the eye as if thrown open to view, and all its animated creation, in their different variety of forms and sizes, çast up, as it were, on the surface of the waters. It seemed as if nature was opening her treasure house, and inviting man to admire
and adore the Author of all being, by displaying his wisdom and goodness, even as exerted in the recesses of the deep.
“ This vast assemblage was doubtless caused by the bright shining of the ship's copper on the waters, which like a fire in that element, had collected them in millions upon millions. Here were to be seen not only all varieties of form and figure, but even almost all contrarie.. ties of nature, mingled together as offspring of a common family: the voracious shark, the tiger of the deep, with his diminutive jackall, the pilot ship, the albicore, bonetto, dolphin, flying-fish, &c.
The glare of the ship’s bottom, as above mentioned, doubtless so stupified them, as to render them insensible of this unnatural confusion.
The population of St. Salvadore is stated at from pinety to one hundred thousand. If this be correct, it should appear that the number has remained pretty steady for the last twenty-five years; Alcedo *, who has given a very long and accurate description of this city, asserts, that the houses amounted at that period to two thousand; so that, allowing upon an average five inhabitants to each house, the account exactly tallies. Sugar and tobacco are the staple articles of commerce. Some of the inhabitants, the author just referred to informs us, used to possess gangs of five hundred negroes each, who were made to labour so hard, and were fed so bad, that it was thought a remarkable circumstance when any one held out for seven years. It is with sentiments of pain and abhorrence that we revert to records so calculated to stain the honour of a Christian country; but we revert to them because we know that all has not yet been done that may be done in that quarter towards the annihilation of a practice which has made civilized man so large a debtor in the account with his unenlightened brethren. This accelerated dissolution of the poor negroes evidently shews that the proportion of this class of inhabitants could not have have increased at St. Salvadore, and indeed, their numbers remain stationary, though it is well known that the importation of them has occasionally, within late periods, been as large as ever. The stagnation which has so long existed in the population of St. Salvadore is obviously imputable to the policy of the mother country, which has ever been to exclude as much as possible all foreign traders from the shores of Brazil ; and so nicely to adjust the balance of its internal commercial arrangements as to keep down its capacities to the standard of her own policy.
The following reflections of Mr. Turnbull upon this subject are worthy of attention ::
* Diccionacio Geografico-Historico de las Indias Occidentales ó America. Madrid, 1788. Now first translated into English, with various additions, compilations, &c. by G. A. Thompson,
“It is easy for agriculturists in England to ask why the Brazilians, or why the Americans on the Ohio or the Mississippi, do not pay more attention to their crops ; why they do not break up more land, or endeavour, by the methods used in Europe, to procure larger returns ? The reason is, because there are no markets. Why, for example, should a colonist trouble himself with ploughing or digging ten acres, when he gets as much from five as himself, his family, and his pigs and cattle require, and when there is no market for what remains ; all his neighbours being in the same situation ? This is the case in this country, and therefore provisions are astonishingly cheap; so much so, that some hundreds of boats are constantly employed in bringing them and other produce to the market of St. Salvadore from the adjacent country. Their fruits in particular, for variety, quality, and cheapness, exceed every thing of the kind I had ever witnessed.” (P. 49.)
Our time will not allow us to pursue the details of our traveller with the attention we should be glad to bestow upon them. We will drop him at this place, and take him up again at Sydney, the capital of the colony of South Wales, and the seat of the government. It will be remembered that the great eulogies bestowed upon this country by Captain Cook, seemed first to have invited the legislature to attempt its colonization. It so happened also tliat in the year 1779, and during the period of the American struggle for independence, the shipping was so engaged in the transportation of troops and necessaries to that quarter, that an immense accumulation of convicts had taken place, who were, pro tempore, distributed on board hulks established at Woolwich, and condemned to draw ballast from the bottom of the Thaines. Frequent discharges and escapes filled the gaols with prisoners and convicts, and this was the first motive for adopting the present system of transportation to Botany Bay *. The most recent accounts of the population of Sydney state it at nearly five thousand souls, comprehending upwards of one-third of the whole population of New South Wales. Nearly one-half of them are Irish, which our author considers a circumstance so alarming, 'as to avow, that unless an augmentation of the military government be immediately made, “the Irish transports (I speak of what I am fully persuaded) will not hesitate to wrest the reins from the hands of the magistrate, for even in their present state they have evinced symptoms of restiveness." • “ It struck forcibly on my mind, (says Mr. Turnbull,) as one of the characteristics of the colony, that it is almost the only settlement in
# See Stat, 27 Geo. III. ch. 2.
the world, in which the residence of Europeans has produced abso, lutely no change in the manners or knowledge among the natives. The inhabitants of Otaheite, as will be hereafter mentioned, have adopted our fishing-hooks, and, acknowledging the superiority of our tools, have almost universally laid aside their implements of bone. The Sandwich islanders are, in many respects, still more advanced in the knowledge and use of European commodities. It is not so with the natives of New Holland; they have gained nothing in civilization since their first discovery. They are still the same savages as in the time of Governor Phillips, and at their first settlement.”
Mr. Turnbull, indeed, considers the nature of these people to be incapable of amelioration; and he recounts to us several instances of the total miscarriage of the most persevering and winning efforts made to reclaim them. One of their chiefs, Bennelong, a warrior of great reputation, was brought over to this country, where he experienced a treatment calculated in every respect to mollify and refine his rugged nature. Our traveller saw and conversed with him frequently after his return to his own country, and though he seemed to remember with some little feeling of gratitude the kindness of some of his fair pa tronesses in England, yet his loathsome and savage habits had all returned with him, and shewed him as complete a New Hollander as when he first left his native wilds.
From Port Jackson the ship proceeded to Norfolk island; of the beauty and fertility of which a pleasing description is presented us. And after touching at the island Maitia, where the allurements of bread fruit, cocoa nuts, and bananas, were held out to them by the inhabitants, to induce the ship's company to remain with them, in vain, arrived at Otaheite.
The Otalieiteans, we were sorry to find, had advanced but little in the knowledge of the arts, manufactures, wealth, resources, or legitimate enjoyments of Europeans. Tetua, the wife and cousin of Otoo, the present sovereign of the island, is a handsome young woman, of about twenty-four years of age, with good features, and in size above the ordinary standard of British ladies. Mr. Turnbull, when introduced to her, found her busied in bailing water out of her canoe; and whilst she was so occupied, her husband, the king, was posing that gentleman with the following profound questions in geography and statistical econoiny,
"In whau direction lies Pretanee: (their name for Eng. land.) Where Botany Bay? Where the country of the Spaniards! Where America and Owyhee? Whether in England there were many fine women? Many tala poo puly, or men of the muskets? And whether muskets or gunpowder were in abunda