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though it is not exactly so described, their music, being in parts, is simply the same melody sung in two different keys :but it is suflicient praise of their music to say, that it is at least as good as might be expected from such a people.
Of the vegetable productions of this country, M. de la Pé. rouse says, not any are unknown in Europe. M, de Martiniere, in his different excursions, met with only three plants which he thought new; and it is well known that a botanist might do the same in the vicinity of Paris.'
Skins were found here among the natives in great abundance; and their traffic for those of the sea-otter was so considerable, that M. de la P. thought that there could not have been a greater quantity of them collected in the same time in any part of America. It is to be remarked bere, to the honour of M. de la Pérouse and the officers of the two ships, that it was determined, by general consent, that all the furs procured should be kept in one common stock till they arrived at China, and there be sold for the benefit of the companies of both ships.
On leaving Port des Français, they steered along the coast towards California; and here M. de la Pérouse complains of the vastness of plan in his instructions, which left only time to observe objects, and never sufficient for clearing up any doubt.'—In their run to California, the French editor observes on the geographical differences between this and other accounts: but in many instances, we think, the agreements are remarkably close ; and in others, it is not always clear that the same place has been intended. The sailing sometimes at a great distance from land, (taking only what may properly be called a flying survey,) with the intervention of bad weather and fogs, must frequently render it difficult to reconcile the surveys of different navigators; and particularly where the general direcţion of a coast has little or no variation. When the shore of a coast lies so nearly in a meridional direction as this part of America does, there is, no doubt, additional reason to hope for accuracy in the charts. M. Milet-Mureau supposes that the Cape Fleurieu of M. de la Pérouse is the same which Captain Dixon named Cape Coxe. Cape Fleurieu is placed by M. de la Pérouse in 51° 45' N. latitude, and longitude 131° 15' W. Cape Coxe is placed by Capt. Dixon in 51° 30' N. latitude, and in longitude 130° 32' W. from Paris. Modern navigators seldom disagree much in their latitudes : the difference of 15 miles in latitude is of itself too great to admit a certainty that the same place was intended ; and it is to be observed that M. de la Pérouse had unfavourable weather in this part of his track. The difference of the two longitudes, likewise, does
not ill correspond with the direction of the coast; so that it is by no means improbable that Captain Dixon was farther down the coast than the French commander, on the present occasion.
M. de la Pérouse expresses a thorough dishelief of the narration ascribed to Admiral de Fuentes, and of the reality of any discoveries in the so much contested channel of St. La. zarus. M. Milet-Mureau, on the contrary, acknowleges himself one of the strongest partisans for the existence of a N. W. passage. To take a side, or to give our opinion, on this question, might justly be deemed dogmatical, unless at the same time we gave our reasons for that opinion : the doing which would lead us into a discussion too extensive. The story mentioned by M. Mureau, that a ship named the Eternal Father, commanded by Captain David Melguer, a Portuguese, departed from Japan about the year 1660, and ran to the northward as far as about the 84th degree of latitude, from which he shaped his course between Spitsbergen and Greenland, and, passing by the West of Scotland and Ireland, returned to Oporto in Portugal;'-—and another story of a Dutchman, Captain Vannout, affirming that he had passed through Hudson's Strait into the South Sea ;-are certainly among the number of reputed discoveries to which we cannot give implicit faith. Considering that, since the question first arose concern. ing a N. W. passage from Europe into the Pacific Ocean, many scientific and capable men have been constantly on the watch and eager to pursue the inquiry, it is not at all probable that such voyages, if really made, should not have been fully verified : especially the latter, which might so easily have been done. How then is it to be explained that of such transactions there should remain no other traces than a kind of „vague tradition? for it cannot be pretended that the accounts of them, which have appeared, deserve any better title.
The Boussole and Astrolabe anchored in Monterey Bay, on the 13th of September. Monterey is the place of residence of the governor of the two Californias. This government is subordinate to the vice-royalty of Mexico, and, we are here informed, extends to more than 800 leagues in circumference; to maintain which, a force of only 282 cavalry has been found sufficient. M. de la Pérouse has given a very entertaining and curious account of a nation of Indians subjected to a government purely religious; the employment of the force abovementioned being to furnish small detachments to each of 25 missions, or parishes, which are established in Old and New California. The Viceroy of Mexico is the sole judge of all disputes in the different missions, which do not acknowlege
capable mie inquiry, tould not ha
the the authority of the Commandant of Monterey, who is only obliged to grant assistance when they claim it. The country is very thinly peopled, the whole number of inhabitants not . being supposed to exceed 50,000, of which not more than onefifth have embraced Christianity; the larger part as yet preserving an unsettled independence, frequently changiog their place of abode, according to the seasons for hunting or fishing. -M. d; la P. and his officers being invited to pass a day with the hol fathers of the mission of St. Charles, two leagues distant from Monterey, their arrival at the place was announced by the ringing of bells, and the Indians of both sexes were ranged in a row for their reception. The president of the mission waited for them at the door of the church, which was illuminated, and Te Deum was sung in thanksgiving for the happy success of their voyage. .The monks, (says M. de la Pérouse,) by their answers to our different questions, gave us the most complete information respecting the government of this species of religious community; for no other name can be given to the legislation they have established: they are superiors both in spiritual and temporal affairs : the products of the land are entirely entrusted to their administration. There are seven hours allotted to labour in the day, two hours to prayers, and four or five on Sundays and festivals, which are altogether dedicated to rest ar.d divine worship. Corporal punishments are inflicted on the Indians of both sexes who neglect pious exercises; and several sins, the punishment of which in Europe is reserved only to Divine Justice, are punished with chains or the stocks. In a word, to make an end of the comparison with religious communities, from the moment a new convert is baptized, he becomes the same as if he had pronounced eternal vows; if he make his escape for the purpose of returning to his relations in the independent villages, they cause him to be summoned to return three times; and if he refuse, they claim the au. thority of the governor, who sends soldiers to force him away from the midst of his family, and conduct him to the missions, whiere he is condemned to receive a certain number of lashes with the whip.' -• We wished to be present at the distributions which took place at every meal; and as every day, with this species of religious, resembled the preceding one, by giving the history of one of these days, the reader will be in possession of the whole year's proceedings.''
According to the journal given of their daily occupation, it simply consists in a regular distribution of their time between prayer and labour, meal-times excepted : the whole under the direction of those who are both their spiritual and temporal guides. The least dishonesty among these people is punished by a whipping. Their punishments are adjudged by magis. trates called Caciques, three of whom are chosen by the people in every mission, from among those whom the missionaries have not excluded. “These Caciques are the blind executors of the will of their superiors, and their principal functions consist in serving as beadles at church, and there maintaining order and an air of contemplation.' .
This country is here described as possessing a degree of fere : tility of which European cultivators can have no conception, and which can only be compared to that of Chili; corn producing from 70 to 80 for one. That, in such a country, any of the natives should voluntarily prefer a life of entire bmisa sion to a life of independence, seems extraordinary, it may be explained. These people are said to be so destitute of cou. Tage that they never oppose the least resistance to the smallest party of military; and this timidity of disposition must occasion many of them to forsake the independent Indians, who, living separately in distinct small tribes, are almost continually at war with each other. The Spanish government affords them security; and it is some farther atonement for the discipline to which they become liable, that the manners of the missionaries are remarkably mild and conciliatory. The men in the missions have sacrificed much more to Christianity than the women, because they were accustomed to polygamy, and were even in the custom of espousing all the sisters of the family.'-" The religious have constituted themselves the guardians of the women's virtue. An hour after supper they hava the care of shutting up, under lock and key, all those whose husbands are absent, as well as the young girls above nine years of age. The Indians are taught to believe that their su. periors have an immediate communication with God, and that they every day cause him to descend upon the altar.' Under favour of this opinion, the fathers live in the midst of them in the greatest security ; though the history of their mission furnishes an example of the massacre of one of their body. Homicide is a crime very rare, even among the inde. pendents; it is, however, only punished by general contempt; but if a man fall under the blows of several persons, it is supposed that he has deserved his fate, since he has drawn so many enemies upon him.'
The colour of these Indians is that of negroes. They are skilful in drawing the bow; and 'their industry in hunting the larger animals is still more admirable. We saw an Indian with a stag's head fixed upon his own, walk on all fours, as if he were browsing the grass; and he played this pantomime to such perfection, that all our hunters would have fired at him at thirty paces had they not been prevented. In this manner they approach herds of stags within a very small distance, and kill them with a flight of arrows,' - They skin all animals with
the greatest address, and when they are fat, they make, like the ravens, a croaking of pleasure, devouring at the same time the most delicate parts with their eyes.' M. de la Pérouse observes that the sense of taste is that which they most delighe in gratifying: the word missich, which in their language signi. fies a good man, likewise signifies savoury food.
Among other peculiarities of this people, is their gaming; less remarkable for the ingenuity of their games, than for the nature of the stakes. Among the Indians of the missions, the common stake is beads : but among the independent Indians, the favours of their women are the prizes.
New California, we are told, cannot yet reckon a single settler, notwithstanding its fertility ; except a few soldiers who are married to Indian women.
The sca-otter skins are as common in the northern parts of California as in any other part of America. They are to be found as far to the southward as 28° N. latitude : but the southern skins are inferior in quality to those in the seas that are frequented by the Russians.
On the 24th of September 1786, the ships left Monterey, and the coast of America. They stood to the S. W. till they got within the limits of the trade winds, and then proceeded
for China ; without discovering, in the whole of that distance, .. any other land than two inconsiderable islands. On the 2d of January 1787, they anchored in Macao Road.
On their arrival, the navigators suffered the mortifying disappointment of not finding any letters for them from Europe, The ship in which their packets had been entrusted had lost her passage, and this vessel was the only one out of 42 ships from Europe that had not arrived at China.--At Macao, they refitted, and revictualled. Though this place is so well known, M. de la Pérouse has not failed to give much useful and entertaining information concerning it; which, however, we shall not stop to particularise, but shall hasten to scenes with which our readers are less familiar.
On the 5th of February, the ships left Macao, and in the latter part of the same month they reached Manilla.
From the description given of the Philippines by M. de la Pérouse, we shall select a few short passages :
• Manilla is perhaps the most delightfully situate of any city in the world. All the necessaries of life are to be met with there in the greatest abundance, and at an excellent market, but the clothes, ma. pufactures, and furniture of Europe, bear an excessive price. : « These different islands are peopled by three millions of inhabit. ants, and that of Luconia contains nearly a third of them. These people are, in my opinion, not at all inferior to Europeans: they