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May learn by our example to avoid
Act 5. Cæcina ineffectually warns Arminius of a plot against his life: a poisoned arrow wounds him, and he dies in the arms of Veleda. She attempts to kill herself, but, being reminded of her pregnancy, desists. This act is inferior to the preceding, and terminates the poem with imperfect satisfaction. - This whole tragedy is full of passages tending to inculcate the sacred duty of defending our country, on all occasions, against every foreign force; even when accompanied with beneficent pretexts. , Foreign power is never employed with disinterested purposes : it is a very encroaching force; and, in the case of antient Rome, it regularly converted the ally into a province, without bestowing the advantages of citizenship. It is there. fore a praiseworthy purpose to impress an unqualified disposi. tion towards resistance, by the aid of verse, and by'appeals to the heart; and there cannot be an office more worthy of the theatre, than that of inspiring and enforcing the civic duties at a period of danger to the country,
Art. VII. M. de la Pérouse's Voyage round the World, translated:
8vo. 3 Vols. 1l. 165. Boards. Johnson.
[Article concluded from p. 304.] . THE Boussole and Astrolabe sailed from Manilla on the oth
of April 1787, though the N. E. monsoon was not yet terminated. In passing the island of Formosa, they saw a Chinese fleet, in which was an army sent against the Formosans, who had renounced their subjection to the Chinese. Our voyagers now made the best of their way towards the Japan islands. On the 5th of May, they were visited by some canoes from an island which M. de la Perouse conjectures to be that which is named Kumi, in the chart of Father Gaubil. The men in the canoes at first approached with great circumspection, and with signs of distrust, like people unused to the sight of Europeans: but, by tokens of peace, and the sight of some stuffs, two of the canoes were induced to come alongside. These islanders are neither Japanese nor Chinese, but, situated between these two empires, they seem to partake of both people. Their co. vering was a shirt, and a pair of cotton drawers. Their hair, tucked up on the crown of the head, was rolled round a needle, which seemed to us to be gold : each of them had a dagger,
and is mentines in 33' 14'N the island Quel a foggy weather
the handle of which was gold also.'-M. de la Pérouse wished to have landed on this island, which was not more than 3 or 4 leagues in circumference, but the currents set him so far to leeward that he was obliged to relinquish his intention. The islanders invited them by signs to stay; promising that the canoes should return to them with provisions.
The ships passed several small islands, and had foggy weather till the 21st, when they made the island Quelpaert, the south end of which lies in 33° 14' N. latitude. The appearance of this island is mentioned as very inviting. With glasses, they could perceive the division of fields, parcelled out; which is the strongest proof of a great population. The very varied gradation of colours, from the different states of cultivation, rendered the view of this island still more agreeable.' After this description, we cannot help feeling concern that such an island, situated so immediately midway between China and Japan, should have been passed, and in the finest possible weather,' without any knowlege being obtained of the inhabitants or of the country, except what a very distant view af. forded. M. de la Pérouse, however, seems to have been deterred from attempting any intercourse with these people, by, the narrative of the treatment experienced by the crew of a Dutch ship, wrecked on this coast so long ago as the year 1635. Unfortunately (says hie) it belongs to a people who are prohibited from all communication with strangers, and who detaip in slavery those who have the misfortune to be shipwrecked on these coasts. Some of the Dutchmen of the ship Sparrow-hawk, after a captivity of eighteen years there, during which they received many bastinadoes, found means to take away a bark, and to cross to Japan, from which they arrived at Batavia, and afterwards at Amsterdam. This history, the narrative of which is now before us, was not calculated to induce us to send a boat on shore.' Besides the length of time which has elapsed since the shipwreck here mentioned, it is not by the treatment which wrecked seamen experience, who arę wholly defenceless, that the welcome to ships qualified to defend themselves can be calculated ; and in this instance we are not told that the crew of the Dutch ship were put to death, though in other respects they were said to have been hardly used.
On the asth of May, they saw part of the western coast of . Japan, and passed the strait of Corea. They sailed nearest to che continent, and could see the houses and towns on the sea, shore. On the tops of some mountains, they observed · fortificarious exactly resembling those of European forts,' which they conjectured to have been erected for defence against the Ja
nug along the com those of Chin Ships did not appear enough
panese. The habitations on this part of the coast were very numerous. We counted a dozen of shampans or junks sailing along the coast; these vessels did not appear to differ in any respect from those of China ; like these their sails were made of mats. The sight of our ships did not appear to cause much fear in them.' None of the vessels came near enough to speak with the ships. Towards noon, two boats put off from the shore 'to reconnoitre, but did not come within less than a league of the ships, and, after having followed them for two hours, returned to the shore. In the afternoon, 'fires were seen lighted on all the promontories.
On the 29th, the ships passed an island about 20 leagues distapt from the coast of Corea, of little more than 3 leagues in circumference, which was steep, and covered with trees from the sea-shore to the summit. In the creeks of this island, the navigators saw a number of boats building : but most of the workmen filed into the woods, and hid themselves, till the ships were past.
The wind settling at S.S. East, M. de la Pérouse steered to the eastward, for the coast of Japan. On the 2d of June, they saw two Japanese vessels ; of which a drawing is given with the nar- rative. The ships hailed one of them, and an answer was return
ed: but neither side understood the other. "We passed so near to this vessel (says M. de la P.), that we observed even the countenances of individuals. They were expressive of neither fear nor astonishment. It had a crew of 20 men, all clad in blue cassocks, made like those of our priests.'
On the 6th of June, they saw part of the coast of Japan, which M. de la P. judged to be Cape Noto. Having determined the latitude and longitude of this Cape, and the weather becoming foggy, they steered for the shore of Tartary.
While near the coast of Japan, they observed several Chinese vessels, and some Japanese ; and on an island near the coast, they saw the houses and other edifices, but had no communication with the inhabitants. They fell in with the coast of Chinese Tartary in about 421° N. latitude ; and they ran to the northward, along a great extent of coast, destitute of inhabitants, and where only Bears and Stags were seen, passing quietly along the sea-shore. On this circumstance, M. de la Pérouse makes the following natural reflection :
• Our surprise was redoubled, when we reflected on the population which overburdens the extensive empire of China, so that the laws do not punish fathers barbarous enough to drown and destroy their children, and that this people, whose polity is so highly boasted of, dares not extend itself beyond its wall, to draw its subsistence from a land, the vegetation of which it would be necessary rather to check than to encourage.'
: On several parts of this coast on which they landed, they saw marks of people having been lately there. They also found a
Tartarian tomb on the bank of a rivulet, of which a curious "description is given; and at one place they saw some skins stretched by the side of a small cabin, which they conjectured to have been erected for the convenience of hunters. As they advanced to the northward, they found themselves in a channel, formed by the coast of Tartary on one side, and the island of Sagaleen on the other. On these coasts, they caught fish in 'prodigious plenty, particularly cod and salmon.
In a bay of the island of Sagaleen, where the ships anchored, the navigators saw some of the inhabitants, who are described 'as very superior to any whom they had before visited in the 'course of the yoyage ; and from them they learned that the and on which they were was an island, separated from the continent to the northward by a narrow channel. These people iseemned to set a value only on things which were useful. They were armed with pikes, with bows, and with arrows tipped with iron. Some of their clothes were of blue nankeen quilting, and the form of their dress differed little from that of the Chinese. Their manner of communicating information shewed great intelligence. On being desired to describe the position of the coasts, one of the old men rose up, and with the end of his staff sketched the coast of Tartary to the west, run. ning nearly north and south. To the east, opposite, and in the same direction, he represented his own island, and placing his hand upon his breast, he gave us to understand, that he had just then sketched his own country : he had left a strait between his island and 'Tartary, and turning towards our ships, which were visible from the shore, he marked by a touch of a pencil that they might pass into it. To the south of this island he represented another, and left a strait at the same time, fignia fying that there was still a course for our ships. The manners of these people, M. de la Pérouse says, “were solemn, noble, and very striking. They are in general well made, of a strong constitution, very agreeable countenance, and bearded in a remarkable manner. Their stature is low. I did not perceive any of them to be above 5 feet 5 inches; and several of them were less than 5 feet.' They had silver trinkets, but of smalt value. Some Chinese, who were on board the ships, did not understand a word of the language here spoken: but afterward, farther to the northward on the coast of Sagaleen island, they met with a party of Tartar hunters who had come over from that coast in four canoes; and with these the Chinese could converse.
M. de la Pérouse now proceeded northward, towards the channel between the coast of Tartary and the island ; but, as
'he advanced, the depth of water gradually decreased, and he found that the channel was not navigable for ships. While the boats were examining this channel, the ships anchored in a bay on the coast of Tartary, in the latitude of 51° 20' N. where they found a village, the inhabitants of which are thus de'scribed :
• The nastiness and stench of this peoplc are disgusting. There is not perhaps anywhere a race of people more feebly constituted, or whose features are more different from those forms to which we attach the idea of beauty ; their middle stature is below four feet ten inches, their bodies are lank, their voices thin and fecble, like that of children; they have high cheek bones, small blear eyes, placed diagonally ; a large mouth, flat nose, short chin, almost beardless, and an olivecoloured skin, varnished with oil and smoke. . . .
The behaviour of these people, however, was so friendly and honest, that M. de la Pérouse says of them, " There is not in any part of the world a tribe of better men to be found. The children are kept at the breast till three or four years old, which may be one of the reasons for their defect in stature and constitution.
On leaving this place, the ships made all possible haste in getting to the southward, out of the gulph in which they were embayed, the prevailing winds being from the south. On the 11th of August, they had reached the south end of Sagaleen island; and they soon afterward passed through a strait formed by, that and land to the south, which they supposed to be the island of Jesso. In this strait, to which the editor has given the name of La Pérouse, some canoes from Sagaleen island came to them. The inhabitants of this part of the island had much the advantage of person over those to the northward, but they were by no means equal to them in disposition ; endeavouring, by continual importunity, to obtain new presents. 4 All the dresses of these islanders are woven by their own hands; their houses display an elegance and neatness far surpassing those of the continent; their furniture is of excellent workmanship, and almost all of Japanese manufacture.'
As M. de la Pérouse was not, at first, certain of a clear sea to the eastward, he sent a boat on shore with instructions to ex. amine, from a high point of land, in that direction. The offi. cer of this boat, before his return, visited the habitations of the natives, from whom he met with a very kind reception. He made some exchanges with them for salmon. The houses were decorated in the inside with large varnished vessels from, Japan. A sabre and a linen dress of the country were bought of these people, who expressed much regret that the ships were pot to remain longer.