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A voyage round the world : In the years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788. Published conformably to the decree… La Pérouse, Jean-François de Galaup, comte de, 1741-1788 1798

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Array     VOYAGE
|N THE YEARS J785, 1786, 178/, AND 1788,
ÇF THE 22D OF APRIL,  1791,
VOL.    III.
anchorage in th\ bay ofAvatfcha*—Obliging reception >
given us by lieutenant Kaberef.—Arrival &f Mf*
KaJIojf-Ougrenfo, governor of Okhotjk> at the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul.—He is immediately
followed by Mr. Sehmaleff, and 'by the unfortunate
Ivacbkin, who infpires us with the moft lively intereji
in his fate.—Kind attention paid us by the governor.
—A ball of the Kamtfcbadales.—A courier from
Okhotfk brings us letters from France.—We difcover
the tomb of M. de la Croyere> and place an infer tp-
• Hon on copper over it, as well as over that of cap-
tain Clerke —New views of Mr. Kafloff, in the
udminijlr'àtion of Kamtfchatka.—We obtained per-
miffion to fend our interpreter to France with our
difpatches.—Departure from the bay of Avatfcha
page i
Summary account of Kamtfchatka —*-Marks for failing
in and out of the bay of Avatfcha.—We run down
the latituaWtf0 30'> for a /pace of three hundred
A 2 leaguest N f É.
leagues i in fear ch of land, faid to be difcover ed b$
the Spaniards in 1620.—We crqfs the line fot
the third time.—We make the ifland of Naviga^
tors after having paffed by the ifland of D anger $
difcover ed by Byron.—We are vifited by a number of canoesy barter with the Indians, and anchor at
ihe ifland of Maouna   -----    page 37
Manners; eufioms, arts, and ufages of the iflanders of
Maouna.—Conirqfi of that beautiful and fertile country, with the ferocity of its inhabitants.—The fwell
becomes very heavy, and we are obliged to get under
way.—M. de Langle wifhing to water his jhip, goes
on fhore with four boats manned and armed.—He and
eleven perfons of the two crews are murdered.—Cir-
ciwiftahtial account of that event     -    -    page 6 S
Departure from the ifland of Maouna.—Defeniption of
the ifland of Oyolava.—"Exchanges with its inha*
bit ants.—We 'make the ifland of Fold.—New
tails concerning the manners, arts, and cufioms of
thefe iflands, and concerning the productions of their
We fall in with Cocoa-nui and Traitor
------     page 102
departure from the Tflands of Navigators.—We diretl
our route towards the Friendly Ifiands.—Fall in
\ with the ifland of Vavao, and feveral others of thai
archipelago verf ill laid down in the charts.—
The inhabitants of Tongataboo hajien en bmrd t$
trade with us.—Wé anchor at Norfolk Ifland.—
Dejcription of that ifland.—Arrival at Botany!
Bay     ---------    page 128
Ektràbl of a journey to the Peak of Teneriffe, by Mef*
fieurs de Lamanon and Mongès, and the refidts
of Jeveral chemwal experiments made on the fummit
of the mountain ; together with a defcription of feme
new varieties of volcanic Schorls        -     page 155
Eulogy of Lamanon, by Cit. Ponce        -      -      160
Differtation on the inhabitants ofEafter Ifland and Mow êe*
by M. Rollin, M.D. - -        page 171
Geographical memoir on Eàjler Ifland, by M. Bernizet^
geographical engineer      - page 184
JPhyftological and pathological memoir on the Americans5
by M. Rollin        - page 199
Of the Natives of Chili     -        -      199
Of the Natives of California     -        200
Of vî                 CONTENT S.
Of the Americans in the neighbourhood of
Port des Français      -      m -    page 10&
General Obfervations         -            -      204
Table of Comparative Proportions of the
Native Americans         -         -         222
Def crip the Memoir of certain Infers, by M. de la Mar-
tiniere, Naturatijl to the Expedition          page 223
Differtation on the inhabitants of the îfland of Tchoka
erSegalien, and on the Eajlem Tartars, together with
a Table of the Comparative Proportions of thefe Peo
ple, by M. Rollin, M. D.                       page 234
Obfervations by M. de Monneron,. Captain of Engineeri%
&nd Engineer in Chief to the Expedition    page 247
Ifland of Trinidad           -           -           247
Ifland of St. Catherine              -            251
Chili           -          -          -          -         2-57
Eafier Ifland, and Sandwich Iflands  -   263
Baie des Français          -          -     ,     264
Harbour of Monterey        -          -        266
Memoirs concerning Manilla and Fcrmofa, by M. de la
Péroufe      --------    page 268-
Memoir on Terebratulœ, or Anomiœ, together with a
Defcription of a new Species found in the Sea of Eafi.
Tartary, by M. de Lamanon        -    -    page 278
Defcription of the Shell    -      -      -      282         1
Ditto of the Animdl   -     -     -      2,8 8 .
Memoir CONTENTS. vi
Memoir on the Cornua Ammonis, with the Defcription of a new Species found between the Tropics in the
South Sea, by M. de Lamanon    -     -     page 298
Memoir on the Fur Trade, particularly that of the Sea
Otter, by Mi de h Pèroufe    -    -    -     page 304
State of the Otter and Beaver Skins procured in Port
des Français, on the North-Weft Co aft of America,
by+the Frigates Boujfole and Aftrolabe    - page 31-5
fLxtraffs from the Correfpondence of Meffieurs de la Pe-
roufe, de Langle, Lamanon, -&c. with the Minifter
of the Marine    -     -    -    -    - page 318
Extracls of Letters from Meffieurs de la Peroufe and
Dagelet to M. Fleurieu      -     -   ..   -     page 380
JLxtrabJs of Letters written by M. de la Peroufe, t$
M. de la Touche, Adjutant Director of the Ports and
Pcft Captain -, and by M. de Lamanon to M. de
Servieres    --------    page 416
Letter from M. de la Martin'ùre to the Minifter of
Marine     -------     -    page 422
Extracl of a Letter from M. de Lamanon to M. Condor cet    --------    page 428
Memoir and Table of Obfervations made for the Pur-
pofe of difcovering the Flux and Reflux of the Atmosphere, by M. de Lamanon     -    -    -    page 434
Pefçriptive Note on the Lianes of Chili, by Ventenat,
Mfrnber of the National Inftitute -    -     page 4 \ 3
Tables, fhewing the Courfe of la Bouffble, during the
years 1785, 1786, 1787, 17%%, from the time of
the Jhip's failing from Europe till its arrival in Botany Bay    -----        page 1
Tables, fhewing the Courfe of VAftrolabe, during thû
years 1785, 1786, 1787, from the time of the
Jhip's Jailing from Europe till its arrival in Kamtchatka              page 33
Table of Longitudes, from the nth of April to the
7th of September, 1787, by M. Dagelet    page 57
Page   11, line 20, iniert they after determination.
I    45, — 26, for Kabroof read Kaborof.
—— 134, — 47, for Cooke read Cook.
- 155, —    1, for Journal read Journey.
 159, — 16, 17, for plans read planes,
_ 171, — dele Chapter XXVII.
• 32g, — ult. for rivality read rivalry.
*?—- 34Q, —- penult. ÎQïfmaïïer read left.
I785, 1786, I787, AND I788.
Anchorage in the bay of Avatfcha.—Obliging reception
• given us by lieutenant Kaborof.—Arrival of Mr.
Kaftoff-Ougrenin, governor of Okhotjk, at the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul.—He is immediately
followed by Mr. Schmaleff, and by the unfortunate
Ivachkin, who infpires us with the moft lively inter eft
in his fate.—Kind attention paid us by the governor.
—A ball of the Kamtfchadales.—A courier from
Okhotjk brings us letters from France.—We difcover
the tomb of M. de ta Croyere, and place an infcrip-
tion on copper over it, as well as over that of captain Clerke.—New views of Mr. Kaftoftf, in .the
adminiftration of Kamtfchatka.—We obtained per~
miffion to fend our interpreter to France with our
difpatches.—Departure from the bay of Avatfcham
(SEPTEMBER    1787.)
WE had not yet moored before the harbour of
St. Peter and St. Paul, when a vifit was paid us
by the toyon, or chief, of the village, and feveral other
Vol. III. JB inhabit --^Kj-k»&&
2 LA  PE'roUSe's  VOYAGE
inhabitants. AU ôf them brought us prefents of
falmon, or fkate, and offered us their fervices in
hunting bears, or in fhoQting the ducks, with which
the ponds and rivers are covered. We accepted their
offers -, lent them mufkets j gave them powder and
fllot ; and found no want of wild-fowl during our
whole flay in the bay of Avatfcha. They required no
money as a reward for their fatigue -, but we had
been fo amply provided at Breft with articles of the
greateft value to Kamtfchadales, that we infifted
upon their accepting tokens of our gratitude, which
our opulence enabled us to proportion rather to
their wants than to the worth of their game. The
government of Kamtfchatka had been entirely
changed fince the departure of the Englifh. It
was now only #a dependency of that of Okhotfk %
and the different polls of the peninfula were commanded by different officers, who were accountable
for their conduct to the commandant-general of that
province alone. Captain Schmaleff, the fame per-
fon who fucceeded major Behm pro tempore,
Was ftill in the country, with the title of commandant of the Kamtfchadales. Mr. Reinikin, his
real fucceffor, who arrived at Kamtfchatka a fhort
time after the departure of the Englim, had remained there only four years, and had returned ta
Peterfburg in 1784. Thefe particulars were communicated to us by lieutenant Kaborof, who was
governor of the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul*
with a ferjeanc and a detachment of forty foldiers
fer coflacks under his command.    The kind attentions of this officer were boundlefs : his perfonal
exertions, thofe of his fôldiers, every thing, in fhort,
that he poffeffed was at our férvicé.    He would not
even permit me to fend off one of my own officers
to B'olcheretfk, where Mr. Kafloff-Ougrenin, the
governor  of Okhotfk,  who  was   making  a tour
through his province, happened mod fortunately to
be.    He told me, that the governor was expected
to arrive in a few days at St. Peter and St. Paul's,
and that he was probably already on the road.    He
added, that the journey was more tedious than wc
might fuppofe, becaufe the time of the year not permitting the ufe of a fledge, it was neceffary to travel
half the way on foot, and the other half in a canoe
upon  the   rivers   of  Avatfcha   and   Bolcheretfk.
Mr. Kaberof at the fame time propofed to fend off
a coffack with   my difpatches to Mr. Kafloff, of
whom he fpoke with an enthufiafm and fatisfa&ion
in which it  was hardly poffible not to participate.
He congratulated himfelf every moment upon the
opportunities   we fhould  have of converting,-  and
communicating with an officer, whofe education,
manners, and knowledge, were not inferior to thofc
of any officer of the Ruffian empire, or indeed of
any nation whatever.    M. de Leffeps, our young
interpreter,   who  fpoke  the Ruffian language as,
fluently as French, tranflated the kind expreffions
of the lieutenant; and wrote a Ruffian letter jn my
name to   the governor of Okhotfk,  to whom I
alfo wrote in French myfelf. I told him, that the
narrative of Cook's laft voyage had fpread the
fame of the hofpitality of the Kamtfchadale government; and that I flattered myfelf 1 fhould
meet with a reception fimilar to that of the Englifh
navigators, fince our' voyage, like theirs, was meant
to conduce to the common advantage of all maritime nations. As Mr. KaflofPs anfwer could not
reach us in lefs than five or fix days, the worthy
lieutenant told us, that he only anticipated his orders,
and thofe of the emprcfs of Ruffia, by begging
us in the mean time to confider ourfelves as in our
native land, and to difpofe freely of every thing
the country afforded. It was eafy to perceive by
his geflures, his looks, and his expreffions, that if
it had been in his power to perform a miracle,
the mountains and moraffes of Kamtfchatka would
hâve been transformed for our gratification into
an elyfium. A report was circulated, that Mr. Kafloff
had no letters for us, but that Mr. Steinheil, the former governor, whom Mr. Schmaleff fucceeded as
captain-ifpravnik, or infpeclor of the Kamtfchadales,
and who refided at Verkhnei-Kamtfchatka, poffibly
had; and inflantly upon this vague conjecture,; which
had fcarcely a femblance of truth, he fent offan exprefs,
who had more than 150 leagues to travel on foot.
Mr. Kaborof knew how extremely defirous we were of
receiving letters from France. He had learned from
M. de Leffeps how great our difappointment had
been on finding that no  packets addreiled to us
had HOUND   THE   WORLD. 5
had arrived at St. Peter and St. Paul's. He appeared almoft as much affiifted as ourfëlves; and
by his folicitude and cares feemed to fay, that he
would go to Europe himfelf in fearch of our letters,
if there were any hope of his finding us on his
return. ! The ferjeânt and all the foldters manïfeïted
an equal defire to oblige, and Mrs. Kaborof, on her
part fliewed us every poffible attention : her houfe
was open to us at all hours of the day, and tea and
the other refremments of the country were prepared
there for our ufe. Every one wifhed to make us
prefents, and, in fpite of our determination not to
receive any, it was i m poffible to withftand the prefixing folicitations of the lieutenant's lady, who
forced our officers, M. de Larfefc, and mjftllri to
accept a few fkins of fables, rein-deer, and foxes, far
moreufeful, without doubt, to thofe who parted with
them, than to us who were about to return towards
the tropics. Fortunately we had the means of
acquitting ourfelves of the obligation; and we Infilled on being permitted in our turn to offer fudh
things as were not be found at Kamtfchatka,
But though richer than our hôfts, our artificial manners did not permit us to vie with th'em in that
fimple and affecting expreffion of kindnefs, which
ftamps a value on the meaneft gift.
Through the medium of M. de Lefîèps I  fig-
nified to Mr. Kaborof, that I was defirous of forming a little eftabliihment on more, for the purpofe
of lodging our aftronomers, and depofiting a qua-
drant and a pendulum. Immediately the m oft-
commodious houfe in the village was offered us j
£jid as we repaired thither but a very few hours
after the requelt was made, we thought we might
venture tp accept it without indelicacy, becaufe to us
it appeared uninhabited. But we learned afterwards,
that the lieutenant, to make room for us, had turned
out the corporal, who was at the fame time his fe-
cretary, and the third perfon in the country. Such
is the Ruffian difcipline, that its movements are
executed with as much promptitude as the manual
exercife, no order being neçeffary but a nod of
the head.
Our aftronomers had fcarcely erected their obfer^
vatory, when our naturalifts, whofe zeal was not
inferior to theirs, determined to vifit the volcano, in
appearance not more than two leagues diftant, though
in fact it was at leaft eight to the foot of the mountain, which was almofl entirely covered with fnow,
and at the fummit of which the crater was fituated.
The mouth of this crater, turned towards the bay
of Avaricha, prefented conftantly to our eyes thick
clouds of fmoke ; and once during the night we
perceived faint blue and yellow flames; but they
rofe to a very inconfiderable height*
The zeal of Mr. Kaborof was as much excited in
favour of our naturalifts, as of our aftronomers ; and
immediately eight Coffacks were ordered to accompany Meffieurs Bernizet, Monges, and Receveur.
The health of M. Lamanon was not fufficiently re-
eftablifhec| ROUND THE WORLD»
cftabllfhed to permit him to engage in the expedition.    Never perhaps was one fo laborious undertaken for the advancement of the fciences.   Not one
of the learned Englifh, Germans, or Ruffians, who
had  travelled in Kamtfchatka had ever ventured
upon fo difficult an enterprife.     From the afped
of the mountain I judged it to be entirely inacceffi-
ble.    There was no appearance of verdure—it was"
nothing but a  rock, of which the acclivity was
terribly fteep.*     Our intrepid travellers fet off in
hopes of overcoming thefe obftacles.    The Coffacks were loaded with their baggage, which confided of one tent, a number of fkins, and the pro-
vifion tfiat each perfon had laid in for four days*
The honour of carrying the barometers,  the thermometers, the acids, and the other articles neceflary
for obfervation^was retained by the naturalifts, who
could not truft fuch frail inftruments to any other
hands;    befides, their guides were only to conduct them to the bottom of the peak, a prejudice,
as ancient perhaps as Kamtfchatka, making both
Kamtfchadales and Ruffians believe, that the mountain emits a vapour, which muft infallibly fuffocate
all who are raih enough to afcend it.    They flattered themfelves no doubt, that our natural philofophers
would, like themfelves, flop at the foot of the volcano, having probably been infpired with a tender
concern for their fate by a few glaffes of brandy given
them previous to their departure.    With this hope
they fet off in high fpirits, and made their firft halt in
B 4 the s
the middle of the woods, at fix leagues diftance from
the harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul. The ground
they had as yet gone over oppofed litde obftacle to
their paffage, though covered with fhrubs and trees,
the greater number of the latter being of the birch
Ipecies. The pines that were there were flunted,
and litde better than dwarfs. One fpecies of them
bears cones, of which the feeds or nuts are good to
eat ; while a very wholefome and agreeable beverage
flows from the bark of the bircha This liquor the
Kamtfchadales take care to collect, and drink very
freely. Berries of every kind, and of every fhade
of red and black, alfo offered themfelves to the
travellers at every ftep.    Their tafte is in general
/ A O
fomewhat acid ; but they are rendered highly palate*
able by the admixture of fugar.
At funfet the tent was pitched, the fire lighted,
and every thing prepared for palling the night,
with a promptitude unknown to people accuftomed
to refide in cities. The greateft care was taken to
prevent the fire from fpreading to the trees of the
foreft. The application of the flick to the backs
of the CoiTacks would not have fufficed to expiate
fo ferious a fault, becaufe the flames never fail to
put the fables to flight. After fuch an accident no
more are to be found during the winter, which is
the hunting feafon ; and as the fkin of thele
animals, the only riches of the country, is given in
exchange for all the commodities the inhabitants
ftand in  peed o£ and feryes  to pay the annual
tribute ROtlHC*THE WORLD. 9
tribute due to the cràwn,; it is.bafy to conceive the
enormity of a crime that deprives the Kamtfchadales of advantages fo important. The Cofiacks
•accordingly were at great pains to cut down the
grafs round the fire place, and before their departure, to dig a deep hole to receive the afhes, which
they extinguifhed by covering them with earth
well moiftened with water. During this day's
journey they law no quadruped but a hare, which
was almoft. white: neither bear, argali*, nor reindeer, made its appearance, although thefe animals
are very common in the country. The next morning they rofe at break of day, and continued
their journey. It had fnowed hard during the
night, and, what was flill worfe, a thick fog covered the volcanic mountain, the foot of which our
natural philofophers did not reach till three o'clock
in the afternoon. Their guides, according to
agreement, flopped as foon as they reached the
limits of the vegetative earth, pitched their tents,
and lighted a fire. That night's reft was a necef-
fary preparative to the fatigues of the next day.
* This animal is the mountain-Hieep, or Capra Amnion of
the Linnean fyflem. It k fuppofed to exiit in no part of
Europe but Cornea and Sardinia, and to be the fame of which
a living fpecimen exifted a few years ago in the Prince of
Conde's collection at Chantille. It was there called Mouffoli,
and was confidered by M. Buffon as the parent flock whence
all the varieties of domeliic fheep are fprung.   T.
At fix o'clock in the morning Meffieurs Bernizef,
Mongés, and Receveur, began to afcend the fteep,
and did not flop till three in the afternoon, when
they reached the very, edge of the crater, but at the
iowermoft part. They had been often obliged to
have recourfe to their hands in order to fupport
themfelves among the broken rocks, the intervals
between them being fometimes very dangerous
precipices. All the fubftances of which the mountain is compofed are lavas more or lefs porous, and
almoit in the flate of pumice-ftone. At the
fumrnit they met with gypfeous ftones, and cryftal-
lized fulphur; but the latter was much lefs
beautiful than that of the peak of Teneriffe. In
general, indeed, the fchorls, and all the other ftones
they found there, were much inferior in beauty to
thofe of that ancient volcano, which has not been in
3 ftate of eruption for a century paft, whereas the
Kamtfchadalian mountain threw up ftones and
afhes in 1778, during captain Clerke's flay in the
bay of Avatfcha. They brought back with them,
however, fome tolerable fpecimens of chryfolitei
but they encountered fuch bad weather, and paffed
over fo rough a road, that their being able to add
a new weight to that of the barometers, thermometers, and other inftruments, is truly aftonifhing.
Their horizon never extended beyond a mufket-
fhot, except for a few minutes only, when they perceived the bay of Avatfcha^ and the frigates, which
from that elevation appeared no bigger than fma$
canoes. Their barometer upon the edge of the
crater fell to nineteen inches, eleven lines, and T\,
while ours on board the frigates, where we were
making hourly obfervations, pointed at the very
feme time to twenty-feven inches nine lines ~*
Their thermometer was two degrees and a half below the freezing point, and differed no lefs than
twelve degrees frQm the temperature at the waters-
fide* 1 luis, admitting the calculations of the;
pâturai philofophers, who believe in this mode of
meafuring eleyations, and making the requifite corrections by the thermometer, the travellers muft
have afcended about fifteen hundred toifes, a prodigious height, confidering the difficulties they had
to furmounr. But their views were fo fruftrated by
fogs, that they refolved to go over the fame groun4
again the following day, if the weather fhould be more
favourable, difficulties having only increafed their ar-
•dour; and with this courageous determination de-
fcended the mountain, and repaired to their tents. The
night being already come on, their guides had faid
prayers for their fouls, and fwallowed a part of the liquor, for which they fuppofed that dead men could
no longer have occafion. The lieutenant, when informed on their return of this hafty proceeding,
ordered the moft culpable to be punifhed with a
hundred ftripes, which were duly adminiftered ber
Jpre we knew any thing of the matter, and consequently Vi
fequently before it wa$ poffible for us to folicit their
pardon. The night, after this journey to the mountain's top, was dreadful : the fall of fnow redoubled,
and in a few hours covered the earth feveral feet
deep. This forced them to give up all idea of
executing the plan of the preceding afternoon, and
that very evening they arrived at the village of St.
Peter and St. Paul, after a march of eight leagues,
which the natural declivity of the ground rendered
leis fatiguing than they had found it before.
While our mineralogifts and aftronomers were
making fuch good ufe of their time, we filled our
cafks with water, and our hold with wood, and cut
and dried hay for the live flock we expected ; for
we had now only one fheep left. The lieutenant
had written to Mr. Kafloff, begging him to collect
as many oxen as he could : he calculated with
forrow, that it was impoffible for us to wait for
thofe that were no doubt coming from Verknei by
order of the governor, as it would require at lead
fix weeks for their conveyance. The indifference of
the inhabitants of Kamtfchatka in regard to cattle
has prevented their multiplying in the fouthern part
of that peninfula, where, with a little care, they
might foon be as abundant as in Ireland. The
fineft and thickeft grafs grows in natural meadows
to the height of more than four feet ; and an im-
menfe quantity of hay might be made for the
winter, which in that climate lads between feven
and eight months. But the Kamtfchadales are incapable of fuch cares : it would be neceffary to
have barns, and vait fiables fheltered from the
cold ; while to them it appears far more commodious to live upon the produce of their hunting and
fifhing, particularly upon the falmon, which comes
every year at the appointed time, like the manna
of the defert, to fill their nets, and infures them a
plentiful fubfiftence till the return of the feafon.
The Coffacks, and the Ruffians, who are better
foldiers than farmers, have adopted the fame method.
The lieutenant and the ferjeant alone had little gardens for the cultivation of potatoes and turnips ; but
neither their exhortation, nor their example, had
any influence over their countrymen, who ate potatoes with an excellent relifh, but who, to procure
them, would not have confented to take any farther
trouble than that of pulling them up, in cafe nature
had offered them fpontaneoufly, like far anne *, gar-
lick, and efpecially the berries, of which they make
agreeable drinks, and fweetmeats that they referve
for the winter feafon. Our European feeds having
kept very well, we gave a great quantity of them to
Mr. Schmaleff, to the lieutenant, and to the ferjeant ;
and hope on fome future day to hear that they have
retained their vegetative   power.     In  the  midft
A   fpecies  of  lily   peculiar   to  Siberia   and  Kamtfchatka,   T,
of |^||||PPIlWP»MBMiiitÉligiriiiifiiiÉMMMtÉilllfllfJtaa
of our labours we found time for pleafure ; and
made fèveral hunting parties on the rivers Avatfcha
and Paratounka, being very defirous of getting a
fhot at the bears, rein-deer, or argali. We were
obliged, however, to be contented with a few
ducks, or rather teal, a paltry fort of game, which
ill repaid our long and fatiguing excurfions. We
were more fortunate through the medium of our
friends the Kamtfchadales, who brought us, during
our flay, four bears, an elk, and a rein-deer* with
fiich a quantity of divers, and other wild fowl, that
we diflributed them among our crews, who'began*
already to be tired of fifh. A fingle call of the net al~
moftciofealongfideofour frigates would have fufficed
for the fubfiftence of half a dozen fhips; but there
was little variety of fpecies, the fifh taken being
feldom any thing but fmall cod, herrings, plaice,
and falmon. I gave orders to fait only a few barrels, becaufe it was repfefented to me, that fifh fo
fmall and tender could not refift the corrofive activity ôf the fait ; and that it was better to preferve
our flock of that article for the hogs we fhould find
in the iflands.of the South fea. While we were
paffing our time in a manner which appeared very
pleafant after the fatigues we had recently undergone
in exploring the coafts of Oku-Jeffo and Tartary,
Mr. Kafloff had fet off for the harbour of St. Peter
and St. Paul; but he travelled flowly, becaufe he
wifhed to examine every thing, the object of his
journey ROUND THE WORLD. ïg
journey being to eftablifh the belt poffible order in
the adminiftration of the province.    He knew that
a general plan could not be formed for that pur-
pofe till he had fir ft inquired what the country produced, and what it might be made to produce by a
mode of cultivation fuitable to the climate.    He
wifhed alfo to make himfelf acquainted with the
ftones, minerals, and in general with all the fub-
ftances  that compofe the foil.    His obfervations
detained him. a few days at the hot fprings at twenty leagues diftance from St. Peter and St. Paul,
whence he brought feveral ftones, and other volcanic matters, with a fpecies of gum, which was analyzed by Mr. Monges.    On his arrival, M. Kafloff
told us with great civility, that having learned by
the public papers, that feveral able naturalifts had
embarked on board our frigates, he had been de-
firous of availing himfelf of fo fortunate a circum-
fiance, in order to learn rhe nature of the minerals
of the peninfula, and thus to become a naturalift
himfelf    The politenefs of Mr. Kafloff, and indeed
the whole of his behaviour, was exactly the fame
as  that  of the belt   educated inhabitants of the
largeft cities in Europe.    He fpoke French ; and
was well informed concerning all  the objects of
our refearch, as well in geography as in natural
philofophy.     It   is    eafy   to   conceive,   that  an
intimate  acquaintance  between him and   us   was
fpeedily formed,     The day after his arrival he
came to dine with me on board the BoufTole, in
company with Mr. Schmaleffi and the vicar of Pa-
ratounka. I ordered him to be faluted with thirteen guns. Our faces, which befpoke better health
even than that which we enjoyed at our departure from
Europe, furprifing him exceedingly, I told him, that
we owed a little of it to our own care, and a great
deal to the good living we had met with in his
government. Mr. Kafloff feemed to participate in
our comfortable fituation ; but he expreffed the
greateft concern at his inability to get together more
than feven oxen before the time of our departure,
which was too near at hand to admit of their being
brought from the river of Kamtfch&tka, a hundred
leagues diftant from St. Peter and St. Paul. For
fix months he had beeii in expectation of the veffel
that  was to   bring from Okhotfk the meal and
' other provifion neceffary for the -garrifons in Kamtfchatka, and begari to feel fome anxiety for her
fate. Our furprife at not receiving any letters was
much leffened when he told us, that fince his departure from Okhotfk he had not received a fingle
exprefs. He added, that he was going to return
by land, along the fhores of the fea of Okhotfk, a
journey almoft as long, and certainly attended with
more difficulties than that from Okhotfk to Pe-
j terlburg.
The next day the governor, with all his fuite,
dined on board the Aftrolabe, where he was alfo
faluted ^OUFD THE WORLD.
feluted with a difcharge of thirteen guns ; but he
earneftly requefted, that this compliment might be
paid him no more, that in future we might fee one
another with more eafe and comfort.
It was perfectly impoffible to make him accept
the value of the oxen.    In vain did we reprefent,
that we had paid the whole of our expences at
Manilla, notwithftandipg the ftrict alliance between
France and Spain.    Mr. Kafloff told us, that the
principles of.the Ruffian government were different,
and" that his only regret was the having fo little
cattle at his difpofal.    He invited us to a ball which
he was to give the following day, on our account,
to all the women, both Kamtfchadales and Ruffians, of St. Peter and St. Paul's.    If the affembly
-were not numerous, it was at leaft extraordinary.
Thirteen women, dreffed in filken fluffs, ten of the
number being Kamtfchadales,   with broad  faces,
little eyes, and flat nofes, were fitting on benches
round the room.     The Kamtfchadales as well as
the Ruffians had fitk handkerchiefs tied round their
heads almoft in the manner they are worn by the
mulatto women in our Weft India iflands.    The
bail began with Ruffian dances, of which the tunes
were very pleafing, and very much like the country
dance called the Coffack, that was in faihion at Paris
a few years ago.    The. Kamtfchadale dances that
followed can only be compared to thofe of the con-
VoL- UL | vulfionmires, ÎO LA PEROUSE S VOYAGE '
vulfionnaires, at the famous tomb of St. Medard*j
the dancers having occafion for nothing but arms and
fhoulders,and fcarcely for any legs at all. The Kamt-
fchadale females, by their convulfions, and contracted
motions, infpire the fpectator with a painful fenfation,
which is ftill more ftrongly excited by the mournful
cry that is drawn from the pit of their flomachs, and
that fervesas the onlymufic to direct their movements.
Their fatigue is fuch during this exercife, that they
are covered with perfpiration, and lie ftretched out
upon the floor, without the power of rifing. The
abundant exhalations that emanate from their bodies
perfume the whole apartment with a fmell of oil
and fifh, to which European nofes are-too little ac-
cuftomed to find out its fragrance. As the dances
of all thefe nations have ever been imitative, and in
fact nothing but a fort of pantomime, I afked what
two of the women, who had juft taken fuch violent
exercife, had meant to exprefs. I was told that
they had reprefented a bear-hunt. The woman
who rolled on the ground acted the animal; and
the other, who kept turning round her, the hunter;
but if the bears could fpeak, and were to fee fuch a
pantomime, they would certainly complain of being
fo awkwardly imitated.    This dance, almoft as fa-
'k The tomb of a pious abbé at Paris, where lame people
wexe"cured by being thrown into convulfions.     T.
tiguing w*m*
tîgtiing to the fpectator as to the performer, was
Scarcely over, when a joyful exclamation announced
the arrival of a courier from Okhotfk.    He was
the bearer of a large trunk filled with our packets.
The.ball was interrupted, and each of the females
difmiffed with  a  glafs of brandy,  a   refrefhment
worthy of fuch votaries of Terpfichore.    Mr. Kafloff, perceiving our impatience to learn the news of
all that was interefting to us in Europe, entreated
us not to defer the pleafure ; conducted us to his
own room ; and retired, that he might not reftrain
the effufion of the different fentiments by which
we might be affected, according to the news received by each from his family or friends.    It was
favourable to all,   particularly to me, who, by a
degree of favour to which I dared not to afpire,
had been promoted to the rank of commodore.
The compliments every one was eager to make
me foon reached Mr. Kafloff, who was pleafed to
celebrate the event by a difcharge of all the artillery of the place.    To the laft day of my life, I
Jhall remember, with the ftrongeft emotions of gratitude, the marks of friendfhip and affection which I
received from him upon this occafion.    I did not
indeed pafs a moment with him that was not marked by fbme trait of kindnefs or attention.    It is
needlefs to fay, that as fince his arrival all the inhabitants of the country were hunting and fifhing
for us, we were unable to confume the quantity
C 2 of 26
of provifion furnifhed us. To this he added prefer^*
for M. de Langle and myfelf. We were forced to*
accept a Kamtfchadalian fled for the king's cabinet
ef curiojkies, and two royal eagles for the menagerie,
as wtH> a& a great number of fable-fkins. We offered him, in our turn, every thing that we thought
ufeful or agreeable to him ; but as we were only
rich in commodities for die lavage market,, we had
nothing worthy of fuch a benefactor ï we begged
feim, however,; to accept the narrative of Cooke's*
third voyage, with which he was» much pleafed,-ef->
pecially as he had in his fuite almoft 'all the per*
fonages whom the editor has brought forward upbm
the ftage—Mr. Sehmaloft the good vicar of Para-
tounka, and the unfortunate Tvafchkki. To them?
he tranflatect all the paffages that concerned them,,
and at the rehearfal of each they repeated that
every word was flrictly true»/ The ferjeant alone,,
who then commanded at the harbour of St. Peter
and St Paul,- was dead. The others enjoyed the'
beffi ftate of health, and flili inhabited the country,,
except major Behm, who had returned to Peterf-
burg, and Port, who refided at Irkoutfk. I teftifiecf
my furprife to Mr. Kafloff at finding the aged
Ivafchfek? in Kamtfchatka, the Englifli accounts?
ftating, that he had at length obtained permifîion ta
go and live at Okhotfk.
We could not help feeling great concern for the
fate of this unfortunate man,  when told that his
<wfly crime was fome indifcreet expre'ffions concerning the emprefs Elizabeth, at the breaking up of a
econvivial party, when his reafon was difordered by
^wlne. He was then under twenty, was an officer
in the guards, belonged to a Ruffian family of dif-
tindion, and could boaft of a handfome fare, which
neither time nor misfortune have been able to alter.
He was cafhiered, and banifhed to the interior of
Kamtfchatka, after having fuffered the punifhment
Of the knout, and had his noftriîs flit. The emprefs Catherine, whofe attentions are carried a§
far as the victims of preceding reigns, granted
this unfortunate man a pardon feveral years ago:
but a flay of more than fifty years in the midft of
the vaft forefts of Kamtfchatka 9 the bitter recollection of the ignominious punifhment he fuffered;
perhaps, alfo, a fecret fentiment of hatred againft
an authority which punifhed fo cruelly a fault, that
was rendered excufable by circumflances 5 thefe
various motives rendered him inïënfîble to a tardy
act of juftice; and he purpofed ending his days in
Siberia. We begged him to accept fome tobacco,
powder, {hot, cloth, and every thing, in fhort, which
we fuppofed ufeful to him. He had been educated
at Paris, ftill underftood a little French, and recol*
lected a number of words expreffive of his gratitude.
He loved Mr. Kafloff like a father, and accompanied him in his journey out of affection ; while the
good governor treated him with an attention well
C 3 calculated 22 LA PE ROUSE* S VOYAGE
calculated to make him forget his misfortunes *.
He did us the favour of pointing out the grave of
M. de la Croyère, whom he had feen buried at
Kamtfchatka in 1741. We placed over it the fol*
Jpwing infcription, engraved on copper, and com-^
pofed by M. Dagelet, a member, like himfelf] of
the Academy of Sciences:
Here lies Louis de l'Ifle de la Croyère, of the Royal
Academy of Sciences at Paris, who died in 1741, on
his return from an expedition undertaken by command
of the Czar, in order to explore the coaft of America :
as an aftronomer and geographer, he was emulous of
two brothers celebrated in the fciences, and wasdeferv-
ing of the regret of his country.    In 1786, the Count
• * The remembrance and the fhame of an unjuft punim*
ment fo purfued the unfortunate I vafchkin, that he determine4
to hide himfelf from the eyes of itrangers j and it was not till
a week after the arrival of the frigates, that LeiTeps found
means to difcover him. The interpreter, affected by his fitua-
tion, gave an account of it to La Peroufe, who, admiring the
noble difpofrion of the old man, and pitying his misfortune,
requefted to fee him. It was with difficulty, and by means of
Mr. Kalloff's influence over his mind, that he was prevailed
on to quit his retreat. The amenity of manners of La Peroufe
foon infpired Ivafchin with the greateft confidence ; and the
unfortunate man, who was ever mindful of the -civilities he
received, testified his gratitude fiil] more ftrongly, when the
French general made him a number of ufeful prefents, of
which he was in the'greateft want.
This anecdote, which  LeiTeps has  related to me feveral
<08&s, is not out of its place liere.— (Fr. Edit J
de la Peroufe, commanding the king's frigates, the
Bouflble and Aftrolabe, did honour to his memory by
giving his name to an ifland near the places vifited by
We alfo aiked Mr. Kafloff's permiffion to engrave upon a plate of the fame metal the infcription
over the grave of captain Clerke, which was only
written with a pencil upon wood, a matter too
perifhable to perpetuate the memory of fo eftima-
ble a navigator. The governor had the goodnefs
to add to the permiffion which he gave us a pro-
mife to erect without delay a monument more
worthy of thofe two celebrated men, who paid the
debt of nature in the midft of their arduous undertakings, at fo great a diftance from their native
land. He tolcHis, that M. de laCroyère had married at Tobolfk, and that his pofterity enjoyed a
great deal of consideration at that place. The hif-
tory of the voyages of Behring, and captain
Tfchirikow, were familiar to Mr. Kafloff, who
thence took occafion to tell us, that he had left Mr.
Billings at Okhotfk, charged by the ftate to build
t.wo veffels for the purpofe of continuing the Ruf-,
fian difcoveries in the Northern feas. He had
given orders, that all the means at his difpofal fjioujd
be employed to accelerate the expedition ; but his
?eal, his belt endeavours, his earneft defire, to fulfil
the wifhes of the emprefs, did not fuffice to overcome the obflacles, which rjeçeffarily prefented
C 4 themfelves m
themfelves in a country almoft as favage as on the
firft day of its difcovery, and where labour is fuf-
pended by the rigour of the climate for more than
eight months in the year. He was of opinion, that
it would have been more economical, and far more
expeditious, to let Mr. Billings take his departure
from fome port in the Baltic, where he might have
provided for all his wants for feveral years to
We took apbn of the bay of Avatfcha, or, more
correctly fpeaking, we verified that of the Engiifh,
which is exceedingly correfl; and M. Bernizet
made a very elegant drawing of it, which he begged
the governor to accept. M. Blôndela alfo offered
him a view of the Oftrog; and the abbes
Monges and Receveur made him a prefent of a
fmall box of acids for the analyfis of mineral waters,
and the afcertainment of the different fubftances of
which the foil of Kamtfchatka is compofed. Mr.
Kafloff was no ftranger to the fciences of chemiftry
and mineralogy : he had indeed a particular tafle for
chemical experiments; but he convinced us, by reafons
of which the force is eafily felt, that previoufly to attending to the minerals of an uncultivated country, it
was the part of a wife and enlightened adminiftra-
tion to endeavour to procure the inhabitants bread,
by accuftoming them to agricultural labours. The
rapidity of vegetation befpoke great fertility of foil,
and he did not doubt, that it would produce abundant ROUND THE WORLD. 2,$
dant crops of rye or barley, in cafe of the failure of
wheat, which might be prevented from fhooting by
the feverity of the winter. He made us remark the
promifing appearance of feveral fmall fields of potatoes, of which the feed had been brought from
Irkoutik a few years before; and purpofed to adoj^|
mild, though infallible means, of making farmers of
the Ruffians, Coffacks, and Kamtfchadales. The
fmall-pox in 1769 fwept away three fourths of the
individuals of the latter nation, which is now reduced to lefs than four thoufand perfons, fcattered
over the whole of the peninfula ; and which will
fpeedily difappear altogether, by means of the continual mixture'of the Ruffians and Kamtfchadales,
who frequently intermarry. A mongrel race, more
laborious than the Ruffians, who are only fit for foi-
diers, and much ftronger, and of a form lefs disgraceful to the hand of nature, than the Kamtfchadales, wiH'fpring from thefe. marriages, and fucceed
the ancient inhabitants. The natives have already
abandoned the yourts, in which they ufed to burrow like badgers during the whole of the winter, and
where they breathed an air fo foul as to occafion a
number of diforders. The moft opulent among
them now build ijbas, or wooden houfes, in the
manner of the Ruffians. They are precifely of the
fame form as the cottages of our peafants; are divided into three little rooms; and are warmed by a
brick $6 lape'rouse's voyage
brick ftove, that keeps up a degree of heat* infup-*
portable to perfons unaccuftomed to it.    The reft
pais the winter as well as the fummer in bdagans,
which area kind of wooden pigeon-houfes, covered
with thatch, and placed upon the top of polls twelve
or thirteen feet high, to which the women as well
as the men climb by means of ladders that afford a
footing very infecure.     But thefe latter buildings
will foon difappear; for the Kamtfchadales are of
an imitative genius, and adopt almoft all the cuf-
toms of their  conquerors.     Already the 'women
wear their hair, and are almoft entirely drefTed, in
the manner of the Ruffians, whofe language prevails
in all the oftrcgs; a fortunate circumftance, fince each
Kamtfchadalian village fpoke a different jargon, the
inhabitants of one hamlet not underftanding that of
the next.    It maybe faid in praife of the Ruffians,
that, though they have eftablifhed a despotic government in this rude climate, it is tempered by a mîld-
nefs and equity, that render its inconveniencies unfeft.
They have no reproaches of atrocity to make themfelves, like the Englifti in Bengal, and the Spaniards
in Mexico and Peru.    The taxes they levy on the
Kamtfchadales are fo light, that they can only be
m confidered as a mark of gratitude towards the fove-
reign, the produce of half a day's hunting acquitting
•t Jtfpt lefs than thirty degrees of Reaumur's thermometer.
the ^1
the impofts of a year It is furprifing to fee in
cottages, to all appearance more miferable than
thofe of the molt wretched hamlets in our moun«*
tainous provinces, a quantity of fpeciejin circulation,
which appears the more confiderable, becaufe it
exifts among fo fmall a number of inhabitants. Thejr
confume fo few commodities of Ruffia and China,
that the balance of trade is entirely in their favour,
and that it is abfolutely neceffary to pay them the
difference in rubles. Furs at Kamtfchatka are at
a much higher price than at Canton, which proves,
that as yet the market of Kiatcha has not felt the
advantageous effect of the new ehannel opened in
China. The Chinefe merchants are, no doubt, careful, to let thefe furs run off in an imperceptible
ftream, and thus to make enormous gains; for at
Macao they bought of us for ten piaftres what was
worth a hundred and twenty at Pekin. An otter
fkin is worth at St. Peter and St. Paul's thirty rubles; a fable three or four: the price of fox fkins
cannot be fixed, I do not mean black foxes, which are
too fearce to become the fubject of calculation, and
which are fold for more than a hundred rubles a-
piece. The white and grey vary from two to twenty rubles according as they approach to black or red,
which laft only differ from thofe of France by the
foftnefs and thicknefs of their fur.
The Englilh, who, by the happy conftitution of
their company, have it in their power to leave to
the private trade of India all the activity of which'
it is fufceptible, fent a final! veffel laft year to Kamtfchatka. It was fitted out by a commercial houfe
of Bengal, and commanded by captain Peters, who
fent colonel Kafloff a letter in French, which he
gave me to read. The Englifh captain, upon the
plea of the ftriâ alliance which unites the two»
courts in Europe, requefted permiffion to trade with
Kamtfchatka, by bringing thither the different com-
J       J o     o
modities of India and China, fuch as fluffs, fugar,
tea, and arrack, and taking the furs of the country
in return.    Mr. Kafloff was too enlightened a mart
not to perceive that fuch a propofition was ruinous
to the commerce of Ruffia, which fold the fame articles to the Kamtfchadales at a great profit, and
made a ftill greater upon the fkins which the Englifh
wifhed to export; but he knew alfo, that certain
limited permiffions had fometimes been given to
the detriment of the empire at large, for the increafe
of a colony, which afterwards enriches the mother
country, when it has rifen to fuch a pitch as to have
no farther occafion for foreign commerce.    Thefe
confiderations prevented Mr. Kafloff from deciding
the queftion ; and he permitted the Englilh to tranf-
mit their propofition to the court of Peterfburg.
He was fenfible however, that, even if their requefl
were granted, the country confumed too little of the
Commodities of India and China, and found too good
a market for its furs at Kiatcha, for the Bengal
merchants KOUtfD THE WORLB; 2$
merchants to find it a profitable fpeculation. Be-
fides, the very veflfel that brought thefe commercial
overtures was wrecked on Copper Ifland, a few
days after going out of the bay of Avatfcha, and
only two men faved, to whom I fpoke, and fur-
fiifhed'fome articles of clothing, of which they flood
in great need. Thus captain Cook's fhips and our
ewn are the only ones which hate yet made a
fortunate voyage to this part of Afia.
It would be incumbent on me to give the reader §
more particular account of Kamtfchatka, if the works
of Coxe and S teller did not afford ample fatisfactibn**
The editor of captain Cook's thkd voyage has had
recourfe to thefe fources, and has given a new degree
of intereft to every thing relative to the country,
about which more has been written than concerning feveral of the interior provinces of Europe, and
which, as to climate and the productions of the foil,
may be compared to the coaft of Labrador in the
vicinity of the Straits of Belle-Ifle; but the men,
like the animals, are there very different. The
Kamtfchadales appeared to me the fame people as
thofe of the bay of Caftries, upon the coaft of Tar-
tary.     Their rnildnefs and their probity are the
* Very curious particulars, which deferve to be compared
with thofe given by Coxe and Steller, have been furnillied kf
Leffeps in his interefting Travels from Kamtfchatka to France,
publiihed in Englifh by Jqhnfon, St. Paul's Church Yard.
fame, and their perfons are very little different.
They ought then no more to be compared to the
Efquimaux Indians, than the fables of Kamtfchatka to the martins of Canada.
The bay of Avatfcha is certainly the fineft, the moft
convenient, and the fafeft,that is to be met with in any
part of the world. The entrance is narrow, and fliips
would be forced to pafs under the guns of the forts that
might be eafily erected. The bottom is mud, and excellent holding ground. Two vaft harbours, one on
the eaftern fide, the other on the weftern, are capable
of containing all the fhips of the French and Englifh pavy. The rivers of Avatfcha and Paratoun-
ka fall into this bay, but they are choaked up with
fand-banks, and can only be entered at the time of
high water. The village of St. Peter aniSt Paul
is fituated upon a tongue of land, which, like a jetty
made by human art, forms behind the village a little
port, (hut in like an amphitheatre, in which three or
four veffels might lie up for the winter. The entrance of this fort of bafon is more than twenty-five
toifes wide; and nature can afford nothing more
fafe or Commodious. It is on its fhore that Mr.
Kafloff purpofes laying down the plan of a city,
which fome time or other will be the capital of
Kamtfchatka, and perhaps the centre of an exten-
five trade with China, Japan, the Philippines, and
America. A vaft pond of frefh water is fituated
northward of the fite of this projected city ; and at
6 only ROUND'THE WORLD. gi
only three hundred toifes diftance run a number of
ftreamlets, the eafy union of which would give the
ground all the advantages neceffary to a great efta-
blifhment. Of thefe advantages Mr. Kafloff under-
flood the value ; " but firft," faid he a thoufand
times over, " we muft have bread and hands, and
our flock of both of them is very fmall." He had,
however, given orders, which announced a fpeedy
union of the ot,her oftrogs to that of St. Peter and
St. Paul, where it was his intention immediately to
build a church. The Greek religion has been
eftablifhed among the Kamtfchadales without per-
fecution or violence, and with extraordinary facility.
The vicar of Paratounka is the fon of a Kamtfcha-
dale and of a Ruffian woman. He delivers his
prayers and catechifm with & tone of feeling very
much to the tafte of the aborigines, who reward
his cares with offerings and alms, but pay no tithes.
The canons of the Greek church permitting priefls
to marry, we may conclude that the morals of the
country clergymen are fo much the better. I believe them, however, to be very ignorant; and do>
not fuppofe, that for a long time to come they will
Hand in need of greater knowledge. The daughter,
the wife, and the filter of the vicar, were the beft
dancers of all the women, and appeared to enjoy the
beft ftate of health. The worthy prieft knew that
we were good catholics, which procured us an ample
afperfion of holy water; and he alfo made us kifs
the- crofs that was carried by his clerk : thefe cere*
monies were performed in the midft of the village.
His parfonage-houfe was a tent, and his altar
in the open air ; but his ufual abode is Paratounka,
and he only came to St. Peter and St. Paul's to pay
us a vifit.
He communicated to us a number of particulars
concerning the Kuriles, of which he is alfo vicar,
and of which he makes the tour once a year. The
Ruffians have found it convenient to fubftitute numbers to the ancient names of thofe iflands, concerning which authors are much at variance with one
another. They now call them N° i,\N° 2, &c,
as high as twenty-one, which laft terminates the
pretentions of Ruffia. According to the report of
the vicar, it is very likely, that this laft is the ifland of
Marikan ; but I am not very fure of it, becaufe the
good prieft was exceedingly diffufe. We had, however, an interpreter who underftood the Ruffian
language as well as French ; but Mr. Leffeps thought,
that the good prieft did not underftand himfeha
The following particulars, concerning which he did
not vary, may be neverthelefs confidered as almoft
certain. Of the twenty-one iflands belonging to
Ruffia, four only are inhabited—the firft, the fécond,
the thirteenth, and the fourteenth. The laft two
may indeed be. counted only as one, becaufe the
inhabitants all pafs the winter upon N° 14, and
return to N° 13 to pafs the fummer months.    The
others "#-1H
others are erjtjrejy un inhabited j tfje iflanders only
landing there occafionaliy from their canjjp for the
fake of hunting fpxes and otters. Several of thefe
laft mept|$pe4 iflands are no better than large rocks,
and there is not a tree on any one of them*, The currents are very violent between the iflands, particularly
at the entrance of the channels, feveral of which are
blocked up by rocks on a level with the fea. The
vicar never made the voyage from Avatfcha to the
Kuriles in any thing but a canoe, which the Ruffians
call baidar; and he told qs, that he had feveral
times been very nearly loft, and ftill nearer dyipg of
hunger, f^ving been driven out of fight of land ;
but l|g is perfuaded, that his holy wa|pr and his çaf-
fock ^Jivered hifti ffpm the ganger. The population of the four inhabited iflands amounts at molt to
fourteen hundred fouls. The inhabitants are very
hairy, wear long beards, and live entirely upon feals, ;;a
fifh, and the produce of the chafe. They have juft
been exempted for ten years from the tribute ufually
paid to Ruffia, becaufe the number ofeQtters on
their iflands is very much diminifhed. Thefe poor
people are good, hofpitable, and docile, and have
all embraced the Chriftian religion. The more
fouthern and independent iflanders fometimes pafs
in canoes the channels that feparate them from the
Ruffian Kuriles, in order to give fome of the commodities of Japan in exchange for peltries. Thefe
iflands are part of Mr. KaflorT's- government; but
Vol    TÏÏ D no.
f  %JU»   1.11. XJr &,3> 34
as the landing is very difficult, and as they are of
litde confequence to Ruffia, he did not purpofe
vifiting them; and, although he expreffed fome regret for having left a chart of them at Bolcheretfk,
he did not appear to put much confidence in its
accuracy. At the fame time he feemed to place
fo much in us, that we could have wifhed to communicate to him the particulars of our expedition.
His remarkable difcretion in that refpect deferve s
our praifé.
We gave him, however, fome little account of
our voyage ; and did not conceal from him, that we
had doubled Cape Horn, vifited the north-weft
coaft of America, and put in at China, and the
Philippines, whence we were come to Kamtfchatka.
We did not allow ourfelves to enter into any farther
details, but I affured him, that if the publication of
our difcoveries fhould be ordered by government,
I would fend him one of the firft copies of the work.
I had already obtained permiffion to fend my journal
to France by M. Leffeps, our young interpreter.
My confidence in Mr. Kafloff and in the Ruffian
government was fuch, that I fhould have been free
from all uneafinefs if I had been obliged to put my
packet in the poft-office ; but I thought I fhould
render a fervice to my country by giving M. de.
Leffeps an opportunity of making his own obfervations on the different provinces of the Ruffian
empire, where he will probably on fome future day
i    fill ROUND THE WORLD. 35 j
fill the place of his father, our conful-general at
Peterfburg. Mr. Kafloff told me kindly, that he
would take him as his aid-de-camp as far as Okhotfk, whence he would furnifh him with the means
of proceeding to Peterfburg, and that from the pre-
fent moment he fhould confider him as one of his
family. So great a favour, fo obligingly conferred, is felt more ftrongly than it is expreffed ; and,
it made - us lament his abfence at Bolcheretzk
during part of our flay in the bay of Avatfcha.
The cold gave us warning to depart. The
ground, which on our arrival on the 7th of September, was covered with the moft beautiful verdure, was as yellow and as much parched up on the
25th of the fame month, as it is in the environs of
Paris at the latter end of December; while the
mountains of two hundred toifes elevation above
the level of the fea were covered with fnow. I
therefore gave orders to prepare every thing for our
departure, and on the 29th got under way. Mr.
Kafloff came to take leave of us, and as the calm
forced us to bring up in the middle of the bay,
dined on board. I accompanied him on fhore with
M. de L'angle and feveral officers, and there he
gave us a good fupper, and another ball. The next
morning, at day-break, the wind having fhift-
ed to the northward, I made the fignal for failing ; and before we were well under way, heard a
difcharge of all the cannon of St. Peter and St.
D 2 Paul's. 36
Paul's. I ordered a return to be made to this falute,
which was repeated when we were at the mouth of
the bay, the governor having fent a detachment of
foldiers to pay us the honours of departure at the
inftant when we fhould pafs the little battery to the
north of the lighthoufe that ftands at the entrance.
It was not without emotion that we parted with
M. de Leffeps, whofe good qualities had endeared
him to us all, and whom we left in a foreign
land at the moment of his undertaking a journey
equally long and laborious*. We carried away
with us a grateful remembrance from this country,
with the certitude that the laws of hofpitality had
never been more fully obferved in any country, or
in any age.
* I refer the curious reader for more ample details to dc
i Leffeps's joûnjgl : lie will there fee an intereitiug account of
all the interpreter underwent in the route from the harbour of
St. Peter and St. Paul to Paris, and of the care he took to fulfil Ms miiTion, and to convey to France one of the moll: valuable parts of la Péroufe's voyagi.—~(Fr. Ed.)
Summary acUunf of Kamtfchatka —Marks for jailing
ih and out of the bay of Avatfcha.—We run down
the latitude 37 ° ' 30', for a fpace of three hundred
leaguesy in fearch of land, fold to be difcovered by
the Spaniards in 1620.—We crvfs the line far
the third time.—We make the iftnnd of Nawge*
tors after -having paffed by the ifland of Danger,
difetrVered by Byron^—We are tAftted by a mm~
1er of canoes, barter with the Indians, and .anchor at
the ifland of Maouna.
(SEPTEMBER   aûd   OCTOBER .178/  )
It is not to foreign navigators, that Ruffia ovfres
her (fifcoveries and her eftabiifhments on the coaft
of Oîîéfltal Tartary, and cfifc that of the peninfula
of Katriëfëfetka. The Ruffians, as eager after
peltry as the Spaniards after gold and filver, have
for a long time undertaken the longeft and moft
difficult jourrSei %f îand, in order to procure the
valuable l^oils of the fable, the fox, and the fea-
otter;' but being rather foldiers than hunters, they N
feund it more convenient to iî&pofe a tribute upon
the natives of the countries they fubdued, than to
ftiare  with  them  in   the   fatigues of the  chafe.
^i MHiWiiiiiiiimmw
They did not difcover the peninfula of Kamtfchatka
till towards the clofe of the laft century, their firft
expedition againft the liberty of its wretched inhabitants having taken place in 16.96. The authority of Ruffia was not fully acknowledged throughout the peninfula till 1711, when the Kamtfchadales accepted the conditions of a tribute very
little onerous, and fcarcely fufficing to pay the ex-
pences of adminiftration. Three hundred fables,
two hundred red or grey fox, and a few otter
fkins, make up the whole revenue of Ruffia in
that part of Afia, where fhe ftations about four
hundred foldiers, moftly Coffacks ■ and Siberians,
and feveral officers who command in the different
The court of Ruffia has feveral times changed
the form of government in the peninfula. That
which the Englifh found eftablifhed in 1778 no
longer exifted in 1784. Kamtfchatka then be^
came a province of the government of Okhotfk,
which is itfelf a dependency of the fovereign court
The oftrog of Bolcheretfk, formerly the capital
of Kamtfchatka, where major Behm refided at the
time the Englifh arrived, is now only governed by
a ferjeant of the name of Martinof. Mr. Kaborof
a lieutenant, commands, as I have already faid, at
St. Peter and St. Paul's; major Elleonoff at
Nijenei-Kamtfcléttka,   or   the  oftrog  of   Lower
Kamtfchatka 5 ROUND THE WORLD. gÇ)
Kamtfchatka; and laflly Verknei, or Upper Kamtfchatka, is under the command of ferjeant Mo-
mayeff. Thefe feveral commandants are under no
refpon Ability to one another ; but each renders his
own account directly to the governor of Okhotfk,
who has eftablifhed an infpeélor with the rank of
major, and with a particular command over the
Kamtfchadales, no doubt to protect them againft
the prefumed oppreffion of the military government.
This firft view of the commerce of thefe coun-<
tries would give but a very imperfect idea of the
advantages that Ruffia derives from its colonies in
the eaftern parts of Afia, if the reader were not
aware, that expeditions by land have been followed
by voyages eaftward of Kamtfchatka towards the
eoafts of America. Thofe of Behring, and Tfchiri-
kow are known to all Europe. After the names of
thefe men rendered famous by their adventurous
expeditions, and by the misfortunes that eventually
attended them, thofe of lèverai other navigators
may be mentioned, who have added to the poffef-
fions of Ruffia the Aleutian Iflands, the clufter to
the eaft known by the name of Oonalafhka, and all
the iflands to the fouth of the peninfula.
Captain  Cook's   laft voyage fuggefted expeditions ^lill   farther eaftward;   but   I   was told at
Kamtfchatka, that the natives of the countries where
the Ruffians landed had refufed to pay them tri-
D 4 bute, 4o
bute, and even to have any dealing $ith them. The
fetter probably were injudicious enough to let
tîftiém perceive the defign they had tfeïmed of fub-
, duing them ; and every one knêws how proud the
Americans are of their independence, ${NI} how jea-
Wus of thlSf lÈifèiïtfi ;■'■'. /
Ruffia has been at very little charge in extending; her dominions. CorMStekl houfes fit (fcrê
VeïTels at Okhotfk, where they are built at enormous expence. They are from forty-five to fifty
feet long, with a fingle m aft in the middle, much
like our cutters, and carry forty or fifty fi$*ft> who
àr^âHabetter hunters than feamen. They fail from
Okhotfk in the month of June, generally pafs B£*
tween the point of Lopatka, and the firft of the
Kuriles, fleer eaftward, and continue for three or
four years to run from ifland to iflahd, till they have
either bought of the natives, or killed a fufficit&l
number of otters themfelves, to pay the expènfe of
the out-fit, and to afford the merchants a profit of
cent per cent upon the capital advanced.
Ruffia has not yet made any permanent éft&V
Mfhment eaftward of Kamtfchatka: each veffel
forms a temporary one in the rjfort where it winters,
and when it fails either deftroys or gives it up to.
fome other veffel belonging to the nation. The
governor of Okhotfk ftrictly enjoins the captains
of thefe cutters to make all the iflanders they yifit
acknowledge the authority of Ruffia, and he embarks
mm ROtTCTD THE WftïfcLD. 41
barks On board each veffel a fort of cuftom-houfe
officer commiffioned to impofe and levy a duty for
the crown. I was told> that a miffionàry was to fet
off from Okhotfk without delay, in order to preach
the Chriftian religion to the people that have been
ftbpgated, and thus to make them fome fort of
çompenfation by fpiritual gifts for the tribute they
exact by "right of fuperior power.
It is welll^iowhj that furs fetch a very high price
at Kiatcha, upon the frontiers of China and Ruffia ;
but it is only fince the publication of Mr. Coxe's
work, that we have been acquainted in Europe
with the importance of that article of commerce; of
which the exportation and importation fall little
fhort of eighteen millions of livres * a year. I* was
al&red that twenty-five veffels, the crews amounting to about a thoufand men, Kamtfchadales, Ruffians, and CoÉleks, had been fent this very year in
€jueft of furs to the eaftward of Kamtfchatka.
Thefe veffels will difperfe tharnfelves from Cook's
river to Bèhring's ifland. Long experience has
taught them, that the otters fcarcely ever frequent
the latitudes farther heilh than the 60th deMee ;
a circumftance that directs all thé adventurers towards the peninfula of Alafhka, or ftill farther eaft,
but never to Behring's {traits, which ate obftructed
by everkfting ice.
When thefe veffels come back they fometimes
pft in at the bay of Avatfcha; but always return
* £: 750,000. 4*
ultimately to Okhotfk, the ufual refidence of their
owners, and of the merchants who go to trade directly with the Chinefe upon the frontiers of the
two empires. As the ice leaves the entrance of the
bay of Avatfcha open at all times, the Ruffian navigators generally put in there when the feafon is
too far advanced for them to arrive at Okhotfk
before the end of September ; a very wife regulation of the emprefs of Ruffia having forbidden the
navigation of the fea of Okhotfk after that epoch,
at which thofe hurricanes and gales of wind begin
that have occafioned very frequent fhipwrecks in
that quarter.
The ice never extends in the bay of Avatfcha*
farther than three or four hundred toifes from the
Ihore ; and it often happens, during the winter,
that the land winds drift away that which blocks up
the mouths of the rivers of Paratounka and Avatfcha. The navigation of thefe rivers then becomes
As the winter is generally lefs fevere in Kamtfchatka, than it is at Peterfburg, and in feveral provinces of the Ruffian empire, the Ruffians generally
fpeak of it as the French do of that of Provence ; but
the fnow which furrounded us as early as the 20th
of September, the white froft that covered the
ground every morning, and the grafs, as completely
withered as that of the environs of Paris in the
mpnth of January, all combined to indicate a winter ROUND THE WORLD.
ter of which the feverity mult be infupportable to
the inhabitants of the fouth of Europe.
We were, however, in fome refpects lefs chilly
dthaji the Ruffian and Kamtfchadale inhabitants of
the.ojfrog of St. Peter and St. Paul. They were
-ctoèhçd with the thickeft fkins, and the temperature
of their ïfkàs, in wibîçh floves are conflantly burning,
was from twentyr3ekjht to thirty degrees above the
freezing point. The heated air deprived us of ref-
piration, ,and obliged the lieutenant to open the
windows whenever we were in his apartment. The
people of this country have inured themfelves to the
extremes of heat and cold. It is well known, that
their.gpftom, ,Jft IJurope as well as in Afia, is to go
into vapour baths, come out covered with per-
:i$jFation, . and immediately roll themfelves in
the fnow. The oftrog of St. Peter had two of
thefe public baths, inter which I went before the
fires were lighted. They confift of a very low
room, in the middle of which is an oven conftructed
of ftones, without cement, and heated like thofe
intended to bake bread. Its arched roof is fur-
rounded by feats one above another, like an amphitheatre, for thofe who wifh to bathe, fo that
the heat is greater or lefs, according as the perfon is placed upon a higher or lower bench. Water
thrown upon the top of the roof, when heated red-
hot by the fire underneath, is converted inftantly
into vapour, and excites the moft profufe perforation. mm
ration. The Kamtfchadales have borrowed this
cuftom, as well as many others, from their conquerors ; and ere long the primitive character that
diftinguifhed them fo ftrongly from the Ruffians
will be entirely effaced. Their population at
prefent does not exceed four tfoôulkrîd fouls, fcrifc-
«ftffëd over the whole peninfula, which extends
#ém the fifry-firft to the fixtywthifddtgf^b£*iar-
tîtude, and occupies feverli degrees of lorfgk^è.
Hence it appears, that there are feveral afefùare
leagues for each ittjïvidâàl. They^yftfragfeftooffe
production ôf thé earth ; and:£ftte preference tîïéijr
give to dogs over rein-deer in dr%vfàïij§ their fledgêl,
prevents their breeding eithSfihogs, iheep, rein-deer,
horfes, Or ôxen, beèîfafe thefe animals would be
devoured before they could acquire fufficient
flrength to defend themfelves. Fifh is the principal food of their draught dê|Js,< 'Which go nbtwith-
jrjanding as much as\ twenty-four leagues à day.
They are never fed t$fl-they come to their journey's end.
The reader has already feen, that this manner of
travelling is not peculiar to the Kamtfchadâïës.
The people of Tchoka, and the Tartars of Éifo
bay of Caftries ufe no other cattle. We wêrle exceedingly defirous to know whether the Ruffians
were at all acquainted with thofe countries, and
were told by Mr. Kafloff, that the Okhotfk veffels
had feveral times perceived the north end of the
ifland, at the r#puth of the great river Amur, but
that they had never landed, becaufe it is beyond
the limits of the Ruffian eftablifhments upon that
The bay of Avatfcha very much refembles that
of Breft; but it affords much better holding ground,
its bottom being mud. Its entrance is alfo narrower, and confequently more eafy to defend. Our
lithologifts and botanifts found neither mineral nor
vegetable fubftances upon its fhores, but fuch as
are exceedingly common in Europe. The Englifh
have publifhed a very good chart of this bay. Attention fhould be paid to two banks, fituated eaft
and weft of the entrance, and feparated by a large
channel for veffels to pafs through. They may
be avoided with certainty by keeping two ihfulated
rocks on the eaft coaft open with the lightrhoufe
point, and by Glutting in with the weft coaft a large
rock on the larboard hand, which is only feparated
from the land by a paffage not more than a cable's
length in width. All the anchorage in the bay is
equally good; and fhips may approach more or
lefs near to the oftrog, according to the intercourfe
they wifh to keep up with the fhore.
According to the obfervations of M. Dagelet,
the houfe of lieutenant Kabroof is fituated in 530
1' north latitude, and ic6° 101 eaft loneittide.
The tides are very regular. It is high water at
half paft three, at the time of full and change of the
7 motin,. 46 & pe'rouse's voyage
moon, the rife in the harbour being four feet. We
obfèrved that our time-keeper, No. 19, loft 10^ a
day, which differed 2" from the daily lofs attributed
to the fame at Cavité fix months before.
The north wind, which was fo favourable to our
failing out of the bay of Avatfcha, deferted us when
we were two leagues in the offing. It fhifted to
the weft, and continued to blow with an obftinacy
and violence, which did not permit me to follow
my plan of reconnoitring, and laying down the latitude and longitude of the Kuriles, as far as the
ifle of Marikan. The gales of wind and fqualls
followed each other fo rapidly, that I was often
obliged to lay to under the forefail, and found myfelf driven eighty leagues from the land. I did
not, attempt to ftruggle againft thefe obftacles, the
reconnoitring of the Kurile iflands being of little
importance ; but fleered a courfe fo calculated as to
crofs the parallel of latitude of 37° 30' in the longitude of 165°, where feveral geographers have
placed a large, rich, and well-peopled ifland, faid
to have been difcovered by the Spaniards in 1620.
A fearch after this ifland made part of captain
Uriès' inftructions ; and there is alfo a paper with
fome particulars concerning it, in the fourth volume
of the academical collection, under the foreign
head. It appeared to me, that among the different
objects of refearch rather indicated than ordered by
my inftructions, this deferved a preference.    I did
not reach the latitude 3"0 30' till the 14th, at midnight, in the courfe of which day we had feen feveral
fmall land birds of the linnet genus fettle upon
our rigging. The fame evening we alfo perceived
two flights of ducks, or corvorants, birds which
fcarcely ever wander far from land. The weather
was very clear, and in both frigates we had men
conftantly upon the look-out from the maft-head,
a reward fomewhat considerable being promifed to
him who fhould firft fee land. This motive of
emulation was little neceffary, every failor being
eager for the honour of difcovering an ifland,
which, according to my promifè, was to bear his
name. But, notwithftanding the certain indications
of our being near land, we difcovered nothing, although the horizon was very extenfive. I fuppofed
that the ifland in queftion muft lie farther fouth,
and that the violent gales that had recently blown
from that quarter, had driven northward the little
birds that we had obferved to fettle upon our rigging. I therefore fleered a fouth courfe till midnight. Being then exactly, as I have faid above,
in 370 30' latitude north, I gave directions to fleer
due eaft, under very eafy fail, waiting for the day
with the utmoft impatience. It was done, and we
again faw two fmall birds. I continued an eaft
courfe, and the fame evening a large turtle paflèd
along-fide of the fhip. The following day, ftill
running down the fame parallel towards the eaft,
1 we I
wç faw a bird, fmaller than the European wren>
perched upon the main-top-fail yard arm, and a
î|p^flight of ducks. Thus were our hopes every
f^Qrnent kept up; but we never had the good fortune to fee them realized *.
During this fearch we met with a real misfortune.
A fearrjaji fell overboard from the Aftrolabe while
fiirijflg the frjizen-tOp-gallant-fail. Whether he was
wounded in his fall, or could not fwim, I know
not ; but hg never rofe again, and all our efforts to
lave him were of no avail.
The figns of land continued an the 18th and 19th,
although we had made a long run to the eaftward.
We perceived flights of ducks and other birds that
frequent the fhore : a foldier even pretended that he
few fome fmall bits of fea-weed (gomon) float by ; but
as this fact was fopported by no other tefiimony, we
rejected it unanimoufly, preserving neverthelefs the
* Was la Peroufe ignorant, that the parallel of 37° 30' north
teJ-^een run down to no purpo% for a fj$£e of 450 miles,
IfiW&Wls &?£.§$ of Japan, by U\e $^p Kaftricum ? Or was he
afraid to depart from his inftructions, and from the indication
given him in the forty-eighth geographical note inferted in
the firft volume ? Whatever motive may have determined
his conduct, it is matter .of regi»t, that la Peroufe did not follow the 37 th or $$lk parallel of {âtitude. The land difcovered
in former having ljeen almoft all difcovered in our own,
this ifland will certaiply be the object, of new refearches ; apd
there is reafon to hope it will be found by running down the
parallel of 36° 30'.—f.FV. Ed J
ftrongeft ROUND THE WORLD.
ftrdngEf fopes of fpeedily making land. Scarcely
had wétreached the 175th degree of eaft longitude,
when all thefe figns difappeared. I continued,
however, the fame courfe till the 22d at noon ;
but at that epoch the longitude indicated by the
time keeper, No. 19, placing me at 20' beyond
1800 eaft of Paris, the limits prefcribed for the
fearch of the ifland in queftion, I ordered a fouther-
ly courfe to be fleered, in order to meet with lefs
flormy feas. Since our departure from Kamtfchatka we had conftantly navigated in the midft of a
very heavy fwell ; and at one time a fea wafhed
away our jolly-boat, though lafhed to the gangway, and threw more than twenty tons of water
aboard. Thefe little accidents would hardly have
been noticed, had we been fortunate enough to
meet with the ifland, the fearch of which had coft
us fo much fatigue, and which certainly exifts in the
neighbourhood of the courfe we fleered. The figns
of land were too frequent, and of too decided a na-*
ture, to permit us to doubt it. I am inclined to
think, that we ran down too northerly à parallel ;
and were I to begin the fame fèarch again, I fhould
follow the parallel of 350, from 160 to 1700 of
longitude. In that fpace it was, that we perceived
the greateft number of land birds, which appeared
to me to come from the fouth, and to have been
driven to fea by the violence of the gales that had
blown from that quarter. The farther objects of
Vol. Ill, E fny £0
my voyage did not give me time to verîÇjlSfeon-
jecture, by running as far weftward as we had jdft
run eaft- The wind, which blows almoft invariably
from the weft, would have made me confirme more
than two months in a paflage that I had made in
eight days. I therefore fhaped my courfe towards
the fouthern hemifphere, in that vaft field of dif-
eoveries where the tracks of Quiros, Mendana,
Tafman, &c. are croffed in every direction by
thofe of modern navigators, and where every one
of the latter has added fome new iflands to thofe
which were already known ; but concerning which
the curiofity of Europeans flill defired more cir-
cumftantial details, than thofe given in the narratives
of the earlier navigators. It is well known, that in
that vaft part of the great equatorial ocean there
exifts a zone, from 12 to 15 degrees, from north to
fouth, and of 140 degrees from eaft to weft, inter-
fperfed with iflands, which are upon the terreftria!
globe what the milky way is in the heavens. The
language and manners of their inhabitants are no
longer unknown to us; and the obfervations that
have been made by the laft circumnavigators even
enable us to form probable conjectures concerning
the origin of thefe people, which may be attributed
to the Malays, as that of the different colonies on
the coafts of Africa and Spain is to the Phenicians.
It was in this Archipelago that my inftructions directed me to navigate during the third year of my
expedition, ..  a.-&OtJND THE WORLD. ||
^pe-dition. The we&ern artd fouthern part of New
Caledonia, of which the eaft coaft was difcovered by
■captain Cook in 'his fécond voyagé ; the fouthern
ifles of the Archipehgo of the Arfeatdes, of which
^the northern ones-wcfre-feen by SurViHe ; the northern part of the land of la Louifiade, «which M. tBotr-
-gainville had be&niunable to explore, but of which
he had been the Sail to run down the fouth-eaft
coaft;'fudh were the geographical points, that had
principally attracted the attention of governments
and I was enjoiaed to mark their limits, and to determine their precfife latitude and longitude. The
Society, and Friendly iflands, the New Hebrides,
b&nc. were known, and could no longer excite the
curiofity of Europe ; but as they afforded refources
in provifion, I was allowed to put in there accord-
»ing to the want I might be in ; it having been pre-*
fumed with great reafon, that, on leaving Kamtfchatka, I fhould have a very fmall proportion of
frefh flock, which is fo neceffary for the preferva-
tion of feamen's health.
It was impoffible for me to get fpeed to the
fouthward foon enough to-avoid a gale of wind
which blew from that quarter on the 23d of October. The fea ran exceedingly high, and we were
obliged to lay to all night under the fore-fail. The
winds were very variable, and the fea very much
agitated as far as the 30th degree of latitude, a parallel which we reached on the 2.9th of Oftober.
The health of moft of us was affected by the toe*
fudden paffage from cold to intenfe heat; but
we experienced only flight diforders, which did not
oblige any one to keep his bed.
On the firft of November, being in 26*
27I north latitude, and 1750 38/ eaft longitude,
we faw a great number of birds ; among others,
curlews and plovers, two fpecies which never fly
far from land. The weather was thick and fqually;
but all the parts of the horizon fucceffively cleared
up, except towards the fouth, where fome large
clouds remained conftantly fixed ; which made me
think it likely that there was land in that point of
the compafs. I fleered my courfe accordingly, and
for two or three days we continued to fee birds. By ,
degrees, however, the figns of land left us ; but it is
probable, that we paffed by fomejfland or flat rock,
of which we did not get fight ; but which chance
will perhaps prefent to future navigators. We now
began to enjoy a ferene fky, and- it became at laft
poffible to find the longitude by lunar obfervations, which we had not been able to do fince our
departure from Kamtfchatka. The longitude by
obfervation was a degree farther weft than that
which was given by our time-keeper No. \q.
We caught feveral doradoes and two (harks, and
found them delicious eating, becaufe we were  all
reduced to fait pork, which began to fuffer from
. the influence of a burning clime.    We repeated our
^nwl lunar ROUND THE WORLD.
lunar obfervations, and the difference was conftant-
ly the fame. Having at length reached the tropic,
the fky became clearer, and our horizon was of
great extent ; but we perceived no land, though we
every day faw birds, which are never met with at a
great diftance from the fliore. On the 4th of November, being in 23° 40' north latitude, and in 175°
5 8 ' 47/; of weft longitude, according to a feries of
obfervations made that very day, we caught a golden plover, which was ftill moderately fat, and
which could not have been wandering long at fea.
The 5th we croffed our own trad-from Monterey
to Macao ; the 6th that of captain Clerke from the
Sandwich iflands to Kamtfchatka, by which time
the birds had entirely difappeared. Our fhips laboured exceedingly by reafon of a heavy fwell from
the eaft, which, like that from the weft in the Atlantic ocean, conftantly prevails in this vaft fea.
Neither bonetas nor doradoes came in our way,
nor any thing, indeed, but a few flying fifh ; a
grievous circumftance, as our frefh provifion was
entirely confumed in confequence of our depending
rather too much upon the fait element for the improvement of our unpalateabie fare. The 9th wç
paffed by the fouth point of the ihoal, or flat of
Villa Lobos, according at leaft to the pofition a£*
figned to it in the charts prefented to me by M.
Fleurieu. I proportioned my canvas in fuch 3
way as to crofs its latitude in the day-time ; but as
we perceived neither birds nor weeds^ I am in-
E 3 clined jpsg
clined to-think, that* if fuch a fhoal exift, itmuft be*
in a morewé^rh pofition, die Spaniards,having always placed their diftfoveries in the great Pacific,
ocean too near to the American coaft. At . this
time the fea became fomewhat fmoother, and the
breezes more moderate ; but the fky was coverlet
With thick clouds, and fcarcely had we reached the
ioQ degree of north latitude, when it began to rain
•almoft inceffantly, at leaft during the day; for the
nights-were toferably fine, The heat was fuffocating,
$nd the hygrometer had never indicated more humidity finçe our departure from Europe. We were
breathing an air deftitute of elaflicity, which, joined
to unwholefome aliments, diminifhed our ftrength,
2ind would have rendered us almoft incapable of
exertion, if circumitances had required it. I redoubled my care to pre fer ve the health of the crew
during this crifis, produced by too fudden a paffage
m from cold, to heat and humidity.    I had coffee
ferved out every day for breakfaft; and I ordered
I the fhip to be dried and ventilated betweeri decks;
while the rain-water ferved to wafh the failor§
fhirts.    Thus did we turn to account even the unr
m favourable temperature of the climate which w$
were obliged to crofs, and of which I dreaded the
influence more than that of all the high latitudes,
that had occurred in the courfe of our voyage. On
%he 6fh of November, for the firft time we caught
<pight bonetas, which furnifhed a good repaft to the
whole crew, and to the officers, who, as well as
myfelf^ ROUND XHE WOBLpi,
myfelf] had no longer any provifion but that of
the hold. The rain and ftorms ceafed, and the
heavy fea fubfided about the 15th, when we had
reached the 50 of north latitude.    We then en-
jcpred a clear fky; a very extenfive horizon made
us eafy about the night's run ; and the air was fo
pure, the heavens fo ferene, and the light thence
refulting fo ftrong, that we could have perceived
any danger as plainly as in open day. This fine
weather accompanied us beyond the equator, which
we croffed" on the 21ft of November, for the third
time fince we took our departure from Breft. We
had been three times at the diftance of about 6o°
from it to the north or fouth ; and, according to
the further plan of our voyage, we were not to revint the northern hemifphere till we fhould enter
the Atlantic ocean in our way back to Europe.
Nothing interrupted the monotony of this long run.
We were fleering a courfe nearly parallel to that
which we had fleered the preceding year in our
paffage from Eafler ifland to thofe that bear the
name of Sandwich.    During that paffage we had
: been conftantly furrounded with birds and bonetas,
which afforded us whplefome and abundant food :
in the prefent one, on the contrary, a vaft folitude
reigned around us, both the air and water of this
quarter of the globe being nearly deftitute of inhabitants, On the 23d, however, we caught two
E 4 lharks, > s6
fharks, which afforded two meals to the crew, and
we fhot on the fame day a very lean curlew, apparently much fatigued. We fuppofed that it came
from the duke of York's ifland, from which we were
about ioo leagues difiant. It was hafhed up and
eaten at my table; and was fcarcely better than the.
fharks. In proportion as we advanced in the
fouthern hemifphere, the noddies, man-of-war birds,
terns, and tropic birds, flew more frequently round the
(hips. We took them for the harbingers of fome ifland,-
which wê were exceedingly impatient to fall in with;
and murmured much at the fatality, that had prevented
our making the fmalleft difcovery in the long line
we had run down fince our departure from Kamtfchatka. Thefe birds, which became innumerable
when we had reached the fourth degree of fouth latitude, infpired us every moment with the hopes of
making land; but, although the horizon was of
prodigious extent, none could we fee. We made,
it is true, but little way. While we were under
the fécond degree of fouth latitude, the breeze
abandoned us, and was fucceeded by light airs of
wind from N. to W. N. W., of which I availed
myfelf to gain a little eafting, being afraid of falling
to leeward of the Friendly iflands. During thefe
calms we caught feveral fharks, which we preferred
to falt-meat, and fhot fea-birds, which we hafhed.
Though very lean, and fmelling and tailing of fifh
to % degree that was infupportable, they appeared to
us, in our prefent want of frefh provifions almoft as
good as woodcocks. Black goélettes, and others
entirely white, which I believe peculiar to the South
lea, as I never faw any in the Atlantic ocean, were
fo plenty that we killed more of them than of noddies, or man-of-war birds. And yet the latter flew
round the fhips in fuch numbers, efpecially during
the night, that we were ftunned by the noife they
made, and could with difficulty hear each other
fpeak upon the quarter-deck. Our fport, which
was tolerably fuccefsful, punifhed their infults, and
afforded us tolerable food; but when we had paffedthe
6° they entirely difappeared. The light winds from
N. W. to W., which had fet in about the 3d degree
of fouth latitude, then gathered ftrength, and did not
give over blowing till we had reached the 12th,
A heavy fwell from the weft rendered our navigation exceedingly fatiguing"; our cordage, rotted by
the conftantly wet weather we had experienced while
exploring the coaft of Tartary, kept breaking every
moment ; and, as we were fearful of exhaufting our
flock, was not replaced till the laft extremity. Till
the 2d of December, when we reached io° 50',
fqualls, florms, and rain conftantly accompanied our
courfe. The wind, though flill blowing from the
weft, then grew more moderate ; and as the weather cleared up, we were enabled to make lunar
obfervations, in order to rectify the error of our
time- 5&
time-keepers. Since our departure from Kamtfchatka, they appeared to have; loft five minutes of
thae^or, in other words, to indicate the longitude 11
15" too far eaft. According to the abq^e. aftrono-
micahQh&Kyations, of which the f£fiilf*was, 1700 7*
of longitude weft, we paffed esaftly over the fpot
where Byron's iflands of Danger are laid down; for
w^r were exactly in theiferlsttt&de : but as we neither
faw land, nor the fmalleft fign of there being any
near us, it is evident, that their longitude has been
miflaken; which was- the more eafy, as Byron regulated his navigation by the defective method of
& dead-reckoning. The following day, Decernfegk
the 2d, we were in n° 34' 47/y fouth latitude, and
170° f i# longitude weft, according to aftronomi-
cal obfervation, precifely in the fame parallel of
latitude as Quiros's Ifland of the Handfome Nation,
and one degree farther eaft. I would willingly
have run a few degrees weft ward in order to fall
in with it ; but the wind blew directly from that
quarter ; and the ifland is laid down in too. uncep^
tain a manner to be fought for by working to
windward. I therefore thought it better to avail
myfelf of the wêftern gale, in order to reach the
parallel of Bougainville's Navigators Iflands, a dif-
covery due to the French, where we might hope to
procure frefh proviuon, of wb$çh we were in th$
greateft want.
On the 6th of December, at three in the after^
8 poon« -lKMftND TÎfc$ WORLD.
noon, we got fight of the moft eafte-rjy ifland.of that
Archipelago; flood towards it till eleven in the
eieejiing ; and: then flood on and off during thw<slfe
of the night. As I purpofed anghftfiflgj in cafe I :
met with a: jflaper place, I paffed through, the chm*i
nel between the' great and the little iflands that
Bougainville left to the: fouj&fe* It is fcarcely a
league wide ; but it appeared ej#irely free from
danger. (We werein mid-channel at noon, and at
a> mile's diftance from the fhore found the latitude
by obfervation to be 140 y1 fouth, the fouthern
point of one of the iflands. bearing, foath 360 weft.
That point is consequently fitu^tedin 140 87 fouth
Though we did not perceive any canoes till we
were in the channel, we had feen habitations on the
windward fide of the ifland, and a configurable
group of Indians fitting in a circle under cocoa-nut
trees, and appearing quietly to enjoy the fight afforded them by our frigates. They did not then
launch a fingle canoe ; or did they follow us along
fhore. This ifland, of about two hundred toifes
elevation, is very fteep, and covered to the top
with large trees, among which we diflinguifhed a
great number of the cocoa-nut kind. The houles
#re built about half way down the declivity, a fitua-
tion in which the iflanders breathe a cooler air than
along fhore. Near them we remarked feveral fpots
of cultivated ground, planted probably with fweet
potatoes 6o
potatoes or yams ; but, upon the whole, the ifland
appeared far from fertile, and in any other part of
the South fea I fhould have thought it uninhabited.
My miftake would have been the greater, as even
two little-iflands, that form the weflern fide of the
channel through which we paffed, have their inhabitants. We fâw five canoes fet out from them,
and join eleven others that came from the eaftern
ifland. After i having paddled feveral times round
Ac two fliips with an air of diftruft, they at laft
ventured to approach, and make fome exchanges
with us, but of To trifling a kind, that we only obtained about twenty cocoa-nuts, and two blue
gallinules. Thefe iflanders, like all thofe of the
South fea, were difhoneft in their dealings; and
after receiving the price of their cocoa-nuts beforehand, feldom failed to paddle away without fulfilling
their part of the agreement. The amount of their
thefts was, it is true, of little importance, a few bead
necklaces with fome fcraps of red cloth, being
hardly worth afking for again. We founded feveral times "in the channel with a line of a hundred
fathoms, but got no ground, though at lefs than a
mile's diftance from the fhore. We continued our
courfe in order to double a point, behind which we
hoped to meet with fhelter; but found, that the
ifland was not of the breadth indicated by M. de
Bougainville's plan. It terminates, on the contrary,
in a point, its greateft diameter being at moft a
league. We found that the eaft wind raifed a furf
upon the coaft, which is furrounded with reefs ; and
faw plainly, that it would be vain to feek an anchorage there. We then flood out of the channel,
with the intension of running along the two iflands
to the weft, which are both together nearly equal in
extent to the more eaftern one. A canal lefs than
a hundred toifes wide feparates them, and at their
weftern extremity is a fmall ifland, which I fhould
have called' a large rock, had it not been covered
with trees. Before we doubled the two fouthern
points, it fell dead calm, and we were toffed about by
a heavy fweil, which made me fearful of running
foul of the Allrolabe. Luckily fome little puffs of
air foon extricated us from that difagreeable fitua-
tion, which had not permitted us to attend to the
harangue of an old Indian, who held a branch of
kava in his hand, and delivered a difcourfe of con-
jîderable length. We knew, by reading a variety
of voyages,-that it was a fign of peace; and, while
throwing him a few pieces of cloth, anfwered him
by the word tayo, which, in the language of feveral
nations inhabiting the iflands of the South fea, means
friend', but we had not as yet had fufficient practice
to underftand and pronounce diftinctly the words
of the vocabularies that we had extracted from
Cook's voyages.
At length, when the breeze reached us, we made
{ail, in order to ftand away from the coaft, and get
out minima
£A PlË&OUSE s TCftqtôs
out of the region of calms. All the canoes theà
came up alongfide. In genf€#al they fail pretty
well^ but row very indifferently ; and, as they over-
fet at every mom^tit, would be ufelefe to any body
but filch excellent fwimmers as thdfc iflanders are.
They are no more furprifed or uneafy at fuch an accident, than we are at the H^- of a h$t. Takfftg up
the canoe on their fhoulders, they empty the water
out of it, and then get in again, wMh the certaifttjf
of having the fame operation to perform half an
hour after, it being almoft as difficult to preferve an
equilibrium in fuch ticklifh veffels as upon the tight
rope. Thefe iflanders are in general tall, thefe* '
mean height appearing to me to be five feet feveii
or eight inches. The colour of their fkin nearly
refembles that of the Algerines, or other nations of
the coaft of Barbary : their hair is long, and tied up
on the top of their heads: their eaft of countenance
far from agreeable,. I faw no more than two women ; and even their features did not appear to be more
delicately formed. The younger, who might be
about eighteen years of age, had a dreadful and dif-
gufting ulcer upon her leg. Several of the men
alfo had large fores about their perfons, poffibly a
beginning of leprofy ; for I remarked two among
them whofe legs, covered with ulcers, and fwelled to
the fize of their bodies, did not admit of a doubt as
to the nature of their difeafe. They approached us
with fear and without arms, every thing befpeaking
them as ^peaceable as the ihhabhtatits of the Roofed*/
and Friendly ifiafnds. At one time we thought
they had entirely taken leave of us, rami *th§fc»appa-
rent poverty eafily reconciled 'tis to their abfênce ;
but the wind having fallen in the afternoon, the
fame canoes, accompa&ifed by fevopfebothers, came
•two 5 leagues into the offing, to traffick with us
anew. After quitting us they had gone afhore, and
now returned rather more richly laden than befot£.
We obtained from them at different times feveral
curious articles of drefs, five fowls, ten galHnules,
a fmall hog, and the moft beautiful turtle-dove we
had ever feen. Its body was white, its head of the
fineft purple, its wings green, and its breaft checkered with red and black fpots, like the leaves of the
anemony. This charming bird was tame, and ate
out of the hand and mouth; but it was notiproba-
ble that we could convey it to Europe alive. And
fo it proved, its death only permitting us to pre-
ferve its feathers, which foon loft ail their fplendour.
As the Aftrolabe was conftantly ahead in this day's
run, all the canoes began their traffick with M. de
Langle, Who purchrffëd two dogs, which we^lbund
excellent eating.
Although the'(&$8fës of thefe iflanders are well
conftructed, and furnifh a good proof of die fkill
with which they work in wood, we could never
prevail on them to accept our hatchets, or any other
ïnftrùmeht of iron.-    They preferred a few glafs
beads, that could be of no ufe to them, to all the
aÉardware, and fluffs, we offered them ; and gave
us in return, among other things, a wooden veffel
filled with cocoa-nut oil, exactly of the fhape of our
earthen pots, and fuch as no European workman
would undertake to fafhion by any other mean than
a turning lathe. Their ropes are round, and twift-
ed like our watch chains : their mats are very fine;
but their fluffs are inferior to thofe of the Eafter and
Sandwich iflands. It feems alfo, that they are very
fcarce ; for all the iflanders were abfblutely naked,
and only fold us two pieces. As we were fure of
meeting with a much more confiderable ifland farther weft, where we flattered ourfelves we fhould
at leaft find fhelter, if not a port, we deferred making more extenfive obfervations till after our arrival
at that ifland, which, according to M. Bougainville's
plan, is only feparated from the laft ifland we had
upon our beam at night-fall, by a channel eight
leagues wide. I ran only three or four leagues to
the weftward after funfet, and paffed the reft of the «i
night in Handing off and on under eafy fail. At
break of day I was very much furprifed not to fee
the land to leeward, nor did I get fight of it till fi$
o'clock in the morning, becaufe the channel is infinitely wider than that laid down in the plan that
ferved me as a guide. It is a great pity, that the
charts of a voyage, which yields to none but that
of captain Cook in accuracy of obfervation, and in
4 extent &OUND THE WORLD.
extent and importance of difcoveries, fhould n*ot
have been drawn up with greater care, and upon a
larger fcale.
We did not find ourfelves oppofite the north-eaft
point of the ifland of Maouna till five o'clock in the
evening. Intending to feck an anchorage there, I
Jmade a fignal to the Aftrolabe to haul hef wind,
that we might ftretch backward and forward to
windward of the ifland during the night, and have
the whole of the next day before us to explore it in
every part. Though we were three leagues- from
the land, two or three canoes came along-fide the
fame evening, bringing with them hogs and fruit,
which they exchanged for beads. Hence we conceived a high opinion of the riches of the ifland.
The next morning, I approached the land, and
flretched along it, at the diftance of half a league.
It is furrounded by a reef of coral, on which the fea
broke with great fury ; but that reef was almoft
clofe in fhore, and in the creeks formed by feveral
fmall projections of the coaft there was room for
canoes, and probably for our barges and long-boats
to enter. We difcovered a number of villages at
the bottom of each creek, whence came innumerable canoes, laden with hogs, cocoa-nuts, and other
fruit, which we purchafed with glafs ware. Such
great abundance increafed my defire to anchor,
efpecially as we faw water falling in cafcades from
the tops of the mountains to the bottoms of the
VoilllL F villages. oo
villages. So many advantages made me little fern-
pulous as to an anchorage. We hauled clofer in
fhore, and having found at four o'clock, at a mile
from land, and in thirty fathom water, a bank com-
pofed of rotten fhells and a very little coral, we let
go our anchors ; but we were toft about by a very
heavy fwell that fet in fhore, although the wind
blew from the land. We immediately hoifted out
our boats ; and the fame day, M. de Langle and
feveral officers, with three boats manned and armed
by the two frigates, landed at a village, where they
were received by the inhabitants in the moft friendly manner. As night was coming on when they
went afhore, the Indians made a great fire, to light
the place of debarkation ; and brought down birds,
hogs, and fruit. After an hour's flay, our boats
returned on board. Every one feemed fatisfied
with this reception, our only concern being to fee our
frigates anchored in fo bad a roadftead, where they
rolled as if in the open fea. Though we were fhel-
tered from the eafterly winds, the calm thence refill ting fufficed to expofe us to the greateft danger,
in cafe our cables fhould part, while the impoffibi-
-lity of getting out left us no refource againft a
ftrong breeze from the north-weft. We knew by
the relations of preceding navigators, that the trade
winds are very uncertain in thefe feas ; and that k
is almoft as eafy to fail eaft as weft, a circumftance
which favours the natives in their long excurfions to
leeward. ROUND THE WORLD, §J
leeward. We had ourfelves experienced this in-
Conftancy of the wind, the weftern breeze having
only left us in the latitude of i2°« Thefe reflections made me pafs a very bad night, efpecially as a
ftorm was gathering to the northward, whence the
wind was blowing frefh, but fortunately, however,
*he land breeze prevailed.
CHAPTER UUiittMMÉtttiUMMttUtittUliWttUm
Manners, euftoms, arts, and ufagés of the iflanders cf
Maouna.—Contraft of that beautiful andfertile coun~
try, with the ferocity of its inhabitants.—The fw ell
becomes very heavy, and we are obliged to get under
way.—M. de Langle wifhing to water his Jhip, goes
en fhore with four boats manned and armed.-—He and
eleven perfons of the two erews are murdered.—Cir-
cuniftantial account of that event*
(DECEMBER    lfS?.}
The next morning, as the rifing of the fun announced a fair day, I refolved to avail myfelf of it,
in order to reconnoitre the country, obferve the
inhabitants at their own homes, fill water, and then
get wider way, prudence forbidding me to pafs a
fécond night at that anchorage, which M. de Langle
had alfo found too dangerous for a longer flay. It
was therefore agreed upon, that we fhould fail in
the afternoon, and that the morning, which was
very fine, fhould be in part employed in trading
for hogs and fruit. As early as the dawn of day,
the iflanders had furrounded the two frigates with
two hundred canoes full of different kinds of provifion,
which they would only exchange for beads—in their
eftimation diamonds of the firft water.    Our axes,
©ur cloth, and all our other articles of commerce,
they d.ifdained. While a part of the crew was occupied in keeping them in order, and in trading
with them, the reft filled the boats with empty calks,
in order to go afhore to water. Our two boats, armed,
and commanded by Meffrs. de Clonard and Colinet,
and thofe of the Aftrolabe commanded by Meffrs. de
Monti and Bellegarde, fet off with that intention at
five o'clock in the morning, for a bay about a league
diftant, and' a little way to windward ; a convenient
fituation, as it enabled them, when loaded with water,
to come back with the wind large. I followed clofe
after Meffrs. Clonard and Monti in my pinnace
(bifcayenne), and landed at the fame time as they did.
Unfortunately M. de Langle refolved to make an
excurfion in his jolly-boat to another creek, about
a league diftant from our watering place. This
excurfion, whence he returned delighted with.the
beauty of the village he had vjfited, was, as will be
feen hereafter, the caufe of our misfortune. The
creek, towards which the long-boats fleered, was
large and commodious; both they and the other
boats remained afloat at low water, within half a
piftol fhot of the beach ; and the water was both
fine, and eafily procured. Meffrs. de Clonard and
de Monti preferved the beft order poffible. A line
of foldiers was pofted between the beach and the
Indians, who amounted to about two hundred, including a great many women and children. We
F ;J prevailed 7o
prevailed upon them all to fit down under cocoa
trees, that were not more than eight toifes diftant
from our boats. Each of them had by him fowls,
hogs, parrots, pigeons, or fruit, and all wifhed
to fell them at once, which oççafioned fome con-
The women, fome of whom were very pretty,
offered their favours, as well as their fowls and
fruit, to all tUMfe who had beads to give them; and
foon tried to p^fs through the line of foldiers, who
oppofed but a feeble refiftance to their atfëËipts,
Europeans who have made a voyage round th#
world, efpecially Frenchmen, have no arms to ward
off fimilar attacks. Accordingly the fair favages
found little difficulty in breaking the ranks ; the men
then approached ; and the confufion was growing
general; when Indians, whom we took for chiefs,
made their appearance with flicks in their hands,
and reftored order, every one returning to his poft,
and our traffick beginning anew, to the great fatif-
faflion of both buyers and fellers. In the mean
time a fcene had paffed in our long-boat, which was
a real act of hoftility, and which I was defirous of
repreffing without effuQon of blood. An Indian
had gotten upon the ftern of the boat, had laid hold
pf a mallet, and had aimed feveral blows at the arms
and back of one of our failors. I ordered four of
the ftrongeft feamen to lay hold of him, and tQ
throw him into the fea, which was immediately done.
The other iflanders appearing to difapprove of the
conduct of their countryman .this fquabble was attended with no bad confequences.    Perhaps an example of feverity would have been neceffary to awe
thefe people ftill more, by letting them know how
much the force of our fire-arms was beyond their
individual ftrength ; for their height of about five
feet ten inches, and their mufcular lijpbs of coloffal
proportions, gave them an idea of their own fupe^
riority, which rendered us by no means formidable
in their eyes ; but having very little time to remain among them, I thought it right not to inflict
a feverer penalty upon him who had offended us ;
and, by way of giving them fome idea of our power,
contented myfelf with buying three pigeons, which
were thrown up into the air, and fhot in the prefence
i pf the whole affembly.
While all this was paffing with the greateft tran*
quillity, and our calks were filling with water,
I thought I might Vulture to the diftance of two
hundred yards to vifit a charming village, fituated
in the midft of a wood, or rather of an orchard,
all the trees of which were loaded with fruit. The
houfes were placed upon the circumference of a
circle, of about a hundred and fifty toifes in diameter, the interior forming a vaft open fpace,
covered with the moft beautiful verdure, and fhad-
ed by trees, which kept the air delightfully cool.
Women, children, and old men, accompanied me,
and invited me into their houfes.   They fpread the
F 4 fineft 7%
flneft and frefheft mats upon a floor formed of little
chofen pebbles, and raifed about two feet above the
ground, in order to guard againft the humidity. I
went into the handfomeft of thefe huts, which probably belonged to a chief; and great was my fur-
prife, to fee a large cabinet of lattice-work, as well
executed as any of thofe in the environs of Paris,
The beft architect could not have given a more elegant curve to the extremities of the ellipfis that terminated' the building ; while a row of pillars at five
feet diftance from each other formed a complete
colonnade round the whole. The pillars were made
of trunks of trees very neatly wrought, and between
them were fine mats laid over one another with
great art, like the fcales of a fifh, and drawing up
and down with cords, like our Venetian blinds.
The reft of the houle was covered with leaves of
the cocoa-palm.
This farming country combines the advantages
of a foil fruitful without culture, and of a climate
which renders clothing unneceffary. The trees
that produce the bread-fruit, the cocoa-nut, the
banana, the guava, and the orange, hold out to
thefe fortunate people an abundance of wholefome
food ; while the fowls, hogs, and dogs, which live
upon the furplus of thefe fruits^ afford them an
agreeable variety of viands. They were fo richj
and had fo few wants, that they difdained our inftru-
piçnts of iron and our cloth, and afked only for
beadsc XOUND THE WORLD. *j%
beads.    Abounding in  real   bleffings,   they were
defirous of obtaining fuperfluities alone.  I
They had fold at our market more than two
hundred wood-pigeons, \which would only eat out
of the hand ; and a number of the moft beautiful
turtle-doves and perroquets, equally tame.    What.
cold imagination could feparate the idea of happi-
nefs from fo enchanting a place ? Thefe ifknders»
faid we a hundred times over, are$; Jipthout doubt,
the happiyft'beings on earth.    Surrounded By their
wives and children, they pafs their peaceful days in
innocence and repofe :   no care difturbs them but
that of bringing up their birds, and, like the firft
man, of gathering, without labour, the fruit that
grows over their heads.   We were deceived.    This
delightful country was not the abode of innocence.
We perceived, indeed, no arms ; but the bodies of
the Indians, covered over with fears, proved that
they were often at war, or elfe quarrelling among
themfelves ; while their features announced a ferocity, that was not perceptible in the countenances
of the women.    Nature had,   no doubt, ftàmped
this chara&er on their faces,  by way of fhewing,
that the half-favage, living in a ftate of anarchy, is a
more mifchievous being than the moft ferocious of
the brute creation.
This firft vifit pafifed without any difpute capable
of leading to difagreeable confequences.    I learned,
however, that there had been quarrels between individuals, mmm
duals, but that they had been very prudently appeafed.
Stones had been thrown at M. Rollin, our furgeon-
xnajor ; and an Indian, while pretending to admire
M. de Monernon's fabre, had attempted to fnatch it
from him ; but finding the fcabbard alone left
in his hand, he had run off in a great fright at
the fight of the naked weapon. I perceived, that
in general thefe iflanders were very turbulent, and
in bad fubjection to their chiefs ; but as I intended
to leave them in the afternoon, I congratulated
myfelf on not having attached any importance to
the little inftances of moleftation we had met
with. Towards noon I returned to the fhip
in my barge, and was very clofely followed by
the long-boats. I found it difficult to get along,-
fide, both frigates being furrounded by canoes, and
our market being as much crowded as ever. When
I went aihore I had given the command of the
JBouffole to M. Boutin, and had left him at liberty
to eftablifh fuch police as he might think proper,
either by permitting a few of the iflanders to come
on board, or by pofitively oppofing their entry,
according to the turn circumftances might take.
Upon the quarter-deck I found feven or eight Indians, the oldeft of whom was prefented to me as a
chief. M. Boutin told me, that he could not have
prevented their coming on board unlefs by firing
upon them ; that when they compared their bodily
ftrengtk to  ours they laughed at our threats, and ROUND THE WORLD. ?£
tnade a jeft of our fentinels ; and that my well-
known principles of moderation had made hifK
unwilling to recur to violent meafures, which, how^
ever, were the only ones capable of keeping them
îh awe. • He added, that, fince the chief was pre-
fent, thofe who had come on board before were
grown more quiet and lefs infolent.
I made the chief a number of prefents, and
Ihewed him every mark of kindnefs ; but wifhing
at the fame time to infpire him with a high opinion
of our power, I ordered feveral experiments on
the ufe of our weapons to be made in his prefence.
But their effect impreffed him fo little, that he
feemed to think them only fit for the deftruction
çf birds.
Our boats now arrived loaded with water, and
I made every preparation to get under way, and,
profit by a light land-breeze which gave us hopes
of having time to make a little offing. M. de
Langle returned at the fame moment from his ex-*
curfion, and related, that he had landed in a noble
harbour for boats, fituated at the foot of a delightful village, and near a cafcade of the moft pel-*
lucid water. On going on board his own fhip, he
had given orders to get under way, of which he
felt the neceffityas well as myfelf; but he infilled
in the moft urgent manner upon our remaining,
(landing off and on, at a league from the coaft,
and upon our getting on board a, few long-boa* 76
loads of water, before we fhould entirely abandon
the ifland. In vain did I reprefent to him that we
were not in the fmalleft want of it.—He had
adopted captain Cook's fyftem, and thought water
recendy fhipped a thoufand times preferable to that
which we had in the hold ; and as a few individuals
of his crew had flight fymptoms of fcurvy, he
thought, with reafon, that we owed them every
relief in our power. Befides, no ifland could be
compared with this for abundance of provifion :
the two frigates had already taken on board* more
than five hundred hogs, a great number of fowls
and pigeons, and a great quantity of fruit; and yet
all thefe valuable acquifitions had only coft us a few
glafs beads.
I felt the truth of thefe reflections ; but a fecret
prefentiment prevented my immediate acquiefcence.
I told him, that I thought the iflanders too turbulent
for us to truft our boats on fhore, when they could
not be fupported by the fire of the fhips ; and obferved
to him that our moderation had only ferved to embolden men, who calculated upon nothing but our
perfonal ftrength, which was certainly very much inferior to theirs. Nothing, however, could fhake M. de
Langle's refolution. He told me, that my refiftance
would make me refponfible for the progrefs of the
fcurvy, which already began to fhow itfelf in an
alarming manner, and that, befides, the harbour he
was fpeaking of was infinitely more commodious
than that of our watering place.    Finally, he begged me to permit him to put himfelf at the head of
the firft party, affuring me, that in three hours he
would return on board, with all the boats full of
water.    M. dc Langle was a man of fo found a
judgment, and fo much capacity, that thefe con-
fiderations, more than any other motive, determined
me to give my confent, or rather made my will give
way to his.    1  prornifed him then, that we would
fland off and op all night, and that in the morning
we would difpatch our two long boats, and two
barges, armed in any way he fhould think proper*
and that the whole fhould be under his command*
The event fully juftified our opinion, that it was time
to get under way.    On heaving up the anchor wrc
found one ftrand of the cable cut by the coral; ^and
in two hours more the whole cable would have been
cut through.    As we were not under fail till four in
the afternoon, which was too late an hour to think
of fending our boats on fhore, we poftponed their
departure till next day.    The night was flormy, and
the wind, which fhifted every moment, made me come
to a refolution of Handing off about three leagues
from the coaft.    At break of day a flat calm did not.
permit me to approach it; and it was not till nine
o'clock, that a fmall breeze fprang up from the
north-weft, and enabled me to near the ifland, from
which at eleven o'clock we were fcarceiy a leaguç
diftant.    I then difpatcbed my long-boat and barge,
commanded f$ LA PER0USE*S îfOYAÔE
commanded by Meffieurs Boutin and Mouton, of!
board the Aftrolabe, to take M. de Langle's orders*
All thofe who had any flight fymptoms of the fcurvy were put into them, as well as fix foldiers
armed, with the mafter at arms at their head.    Xhe
two boats contained in all twenty-eight men, and
carried twenty empty calks, wliich were meant to be
filled at the watering place.    Meffieurs de Lamanon and Colinet, though fick, were of the number
of thofe that fet off from the Bouffole.    M. de
Langle, on the other hand, fet offin his barge, accompanied by M. Vaujuas, a convalefcent.    M. le Go-
bien, a midfhipman, commanded the long-boat, and
Meffrs. de la Martiniere, Lavaux, and father Receveur, made part of the thirty* three perfonsfent by
the Aftrolabe.    Among the fixty-one individuals, of
which the whole party confifted,were thechoiceftmen
of both crews.    M. de Langle armed all his people
with mufkets and cutlaffes ; and ordered fix fwivels
to be mounted upon the long-boats.   I had left him
perfectly at liberty to provide every thing he might
think conducive to his fafety.    The certitude we
were in of having had no difpute with the natives,
of which they could retain any refentment; the irn^
menfe number of canoes that crowded round us in
the offing; the air of gaiety and confidence that prevailed in our markets ; every thing, in fhort, tended
to increafe his fecurity, and I confefs that mine
could not well be greater than it was.    But it was
contrary ROUND THE WORLD. ^9
contrary to my principles to fend boats on fhore,
without the greateft neceffity, efpecially in the midft
of an immenfe number of people, when they could
not be fupported or even perceived by the fhips.
The boats put off from the Aftrolabe at half
paft twelve, and in three quarters of an hour arrived
at the watering place. What was the furpnfe of all
the officers, and of M. de Langle himfelf, to find, in-
ftead of a vaft and commodious bay, a creek full of
coral, through which there was no paffage but a
winding channel lefs than twenty-five feet wide^ and
on which the fwell broke as upon a bar ! When within, they had only three feet water ; the long-boats
grounded, and the barges only continued afloat
becaufe they were hauled to the entrance of the
channel at a considerable diftance from the beach.
Unfortunately M. de Langle had examined the
bay at high-water only, never imagining that the
tide at thefe iflands rofe five or fix feet. He
could not believe his eyes. The firft movement of
his mind was to quit the creek, and repair to that
where wé had already filled water, which combined
every advantage. But the air of tranquillity and
good humour of the crowds waiting for him upon
the beach with an immenfe quantity of fruit and
hogs ; and the women and children he faw among
the Indians, who take care to fend them out of the
way when they have hoftile intentions; all thefe
circumftances concurred to banifh his firft prudent
6 idea, oo
idea, which an inconceivable fatality forbad him to
purfue. He put the cafks on fhore from the
four boats with the greateft tranquillity; while his
fbldiers preferved the beft order poffible upon the
beach, being drawn up in two lines with a fpace left
open for the working party. But this calm was not
of long duration. Several of the canoes, which had
parted with their provifion to the (hips, had returned to the ifland, and had all landed in the bay
of the watering'place, fo that in a fhort time it was
entirely full. Inftead of two hundred natives, including women and children, whom M. de Langle
bad found there on his arrival at half paft one, there
were at three o'clock from a thoufand to twelve
hundred. The number of canoes, which had
traded with us in the morning, was fo confider-
able, that we fcarcely perceived its diminution in the
afternoon ; and I gave myfelf credit for keeping
them employed on board, in hopqs that our boats
would be fo much the quieter on fhore. Great was
my miftake ! M. de Langle's fituation became
every moment more and more embarraffing. He
found means however, with the affiflance of Meffieurs de Vaujuas, Boutin, Colinet, and Gobien, to
fhip his water; but the bay was almoft dry, and he
could not hope to get the long-boats off before four
in the afternoon. He flepped into them however,
as well as his detachment, and took poft in the bow
with his mufket and mufketeers, forbidding any
one to fire before he fhould give the word. He
began however to be fenfible that he fhould foon
be forced to do fo. Already the ftones began to
fly, and the Indians, who were only up to their knees
in water, furrounded the long-boats at lefs than fix
feet diftance, the foldiers, who were embarked,
making vain efforts to keep them off. If the fear
of commencing hoftilities, and of being accufed of
barbarity, had not withheld M. de Langle, he would
doubtlefs have given orders to fire a volley of muf»
ketry and fwivels, which would not have failed to
put the multitude to flight ; but he flattered himfelf
that he fhould be able to keep them in check without effufion of blood ; and fell the victim of his
humanity. In a very fhort time a fhower of ftones,
thrown from a fmall diftance with as much force as
from a fling, ftruck almoft every one of thofe who
were in the long-boat. M. de Langle had only
time to fire his two fhot, when he was knocked
down, and unfortunately fell over the larboard fide
of the boat, where more than two hundred Indians
immediately maffacred him with duras and ftones.
When he was dead they tied him by the arm to one
of the row-locks of the long-boat, in order, no doubt,
to make furer of fpoil. The long-boat of the
Bouffole, commanded by M. Boutin, was aground at
two toiles from that of the Aftrolabe, leaving in a parallel line between them a little channel unoccupied
by the Indians. It was by that channel that all the
Vol. III. G wounded, Mi
wounded, who had the good fortune not to fall on
the other fide, faved themfelves by fwimming.
They got on board the barges, which, having moft
fortunately been kept afloat, were the means of faving
forty-nine perfons out of the fixty-one of which the
party £onfifted. M. Boutin had imitated all the movements, and followed every flep of M. de Langle : his
water-cafks, his detachment, all his people, had been
embarked at the fame time, and placed in the fame!
manner, and he occupied the fame poft in the bow
of the boat. Although afraid of the bad confequences
of M.n de Langle's moderation, he did not take
upon him to order his detachment to fire till after
M. de Langle had begun. It may be fuppofed that,
at the diftance of four or five yards, every fhot muft
have killed an Indian, but there was no time to reload, M. Boutin was like wife knocked down by a
ftone, and by good fortune fell between the two
long-boats, on board of which not a fingle man remained in lefs than five minutes. Thofe who faved
themfelves by fwimming to the two barges, had received feveral wounds each, almoft ail on the head :
thofe, on the contrary, who were unfortunate enough
to fall over on the fide of the Indians were inftandy
difpatched by their clubs. But the rage for plunder
•was fuch, that the iflanders haftened to get poffeffion
of the long-boats, and jumped on board to the
number of three or four hundred, tearing up the
,fea-ts, and breaking the infide to pieces, in order to
leek for our fuppofed riches. While this was
going on they no longer paid much attention to
the barges; which gave time to Meffieurs de Vau-
juas and Mouton to fave the reft of our people, and
to afcertain that nobody remained in the hands of
the Indians, but thofe who had been maffacred and
killed in the water by the blows of their patows.
The crews of the barges, who till then had fired
upon the iflanders, and killed a good many, now
began to throw their wâter-cafks overboard, in
order that every body might find room. They had,
befides, almoft exhaufled their ammunition; and
their retreat was become a matter of fome difficulty,
with fuch a number of perfons dangeroufly wounded, who lay ftretched out upon the thwarts, and
hindered the working of the oars. To the prudence of M. Vaujuas, to the good order which he
eftablifhed, and to the ftrict difcipline kept up by
M. Mouton, who commanded the Bouffole's barge,
we were indebted for the prefervation of the forty-
nine perfons of both crews who efcaped. M. Boutin, who had five wounds on the head, and one in
the breaft, was kept above water by the cockfwain of
the long*boat, who was himfelf wounded. M. Co-
linet was found lying in à flate of* infenfibility upon
the grapnel-rope of the barge, having an arm fractured, a finger broken, and two wounds on the head.
M, Lavaux, furgeon major of the Aftrolabe, was fo
G 2 grievoufly
:- il
grievoufly wounded, that he was obliged to fuffer
the operation of the trepan. He had^ however,
fwum to the barges, as well as M. de la Mar tinier e,
and father Receveur, who had received a violent
contufion on the eye. M. de Lamanon ana1 M.
de Langle were maflàcred with unexampled barbarity, with Talin, mafter at arms of the Bouffole,
and nine other perfons belonging to the two crews.
The favage Indians, after having killed them, flill
continued to wreak their fury upon the inanimate
bodies with their clubs. M. le Gobien, who commanded the Aftrolabe's long-boat under the orders
of M. de Langle, did not abandon his port, till he
found himfelf entirely alone. After having exhauft-
ed his ammunition, he leaped into the water, on
the fide of the little channel left between the two
boats, which, as I have faid above, was unoccupied
by the Indians ; and notwithftanding his wounds,
found means to fave himfelf on board one of the
barges. That of the Aftrolabe was fo deeply laden,
that it grounded. This event infpired the natives
with the idea of difturbing the wounded in their
retreat. They came down accordingly in great '
numbers towards the reefs at the entrance, within
ten feet of which the barges were neeeffarily obliged
to pafs. The little ammunition that remained was
exhaufted upon the infuriated crowd ; and at length
the boats extricated themfelves from a place, more
dreadful ROUND THE WORLD. 85
dreadful on account of its deceitful fituation and
the cruelty of its inhabitants, than the dens of wild
At five o'clock they came on boarçi, and informed
us of this difaftrous event. We had round us at
that moment not lefs than a hundred canoes, in
which the natives were felling their provifions with
a fecurity which fufficiently proved their innocence.
But they were the brothers, the children, thq
countrymen, of the barbarous affaffins ; and I con-
fefs that it was neceffary to call up all my reafon to
reprefs the anger that tranfported me, and to
hinder the crew from putting them to death.
The foldiers were already catling loofe the guns,
and laying hold of their mufkets. I flopped thefe
movements, which were, however, pardonable
enough; and ordered a Angle gun loaded with
powder to be fired, as a warning to the canoes to
depart. A fmall boat that came from the coaft, informed them, without doubt, of what had juft
paffed ; fof in lefs than an hour not a canoe remained in fight. An Indian who was upon the quarterdeck when our barge came on board, was arrefted
by my orders, and put in irons.. The next day,
having approached the coaft, I permitted him to
.jump overboard, the confidence with which he had
remained on board being an unequivocal proof of his
My firft project was to fend another party on
G 3 fhore M
fhore to re venge the death of our unfortunate companions, and to recover the wrecks of our boats.
With that intention I flood to the weftward in
fearch of an anchorage ; but I found nothing but
the fame bottom of coral/ with a fwell that fet in
fhore, and broke upon the reefs. The creek
in which the maffacre took place, was befides very
deeply/indented in the fide of the ifland, and it did
not appear poffible to approach it within cannon-
fhot. M. Boutin, tfhofe wound confined him to
his bed, but who retained the full command of his
mind, reprefented to me alfp, that the fit nation of the bay was fuch, that if our boats fhoùM
unfortunately run aground (a tfcing very poffible),
not a fingle man would return alive ; for. the trees,
which are clofe to the fea-fide,ywhile protecting
the Indians againft our mufketry, would leave the
men whom we might debark expofed to a fhower
of ftones, fo much the more difficult to avoid, as
being thrown with uncommon force and addrefs,
they produced almoft the fame effect as our bullets,
and had the advantage of fucceeding one another
with greater rapidity. M. de Vaujuas was of the
fame opinion. I would not, however, accede to it,
till I had fully afcertained the impoffibility of anchoring wkhin gun-fhot of the village. I pafled
two days in working to windward-oppofite the bay$
and could perceive the wrecks of our long-boats
aground upon the fand, and round them an immenfe
8 If M numbed a&OUND TH*E WORLD.
number of Indians.    What will no doubt appear
incredible is, that during this time five or fix canoes
came off from the fhore with hogs, pigeons, and
cocoa-nuts, to offer us in exchange.    I was obliged
every moment to curb my anger, left I fhould give
orders to fend them to the bottom.    The Indians,
not knowing that we had any arms of longer range
than our mufkets, remained without the leaft ap-
prehenfion  at fifty toifes diftance from the fhips,
and offered us their provifions with great apparent
feeurity. * Our geftures gave them no  encouragement to approach, and in this way they paffed a
whole hour in the afternoon of the 12th of December.     Their offers of barter  were fucceeded by
raillery, and ere   long I  perceived  feveral other
canoes quit the beach in order to join them.    As
they had no fufpicion of the range of our guns,
and as every thing indicated that 1 fhould foon be
forced to depart from my principles of moderation,
I ordered a fhot to be fired into the midft of them.
My orders were executed with the utmoft precifion.
The ball dafhed the water into the canoes, and they
inftantly made the beft of their way to the fhore,
being joined in their flight by thofe that had left
the beach a little while before.
It was with difficulty that I could tear  myfelf
from this fatal fpot, and leave the dead bodies of
our murdered companions.    In M. de Langle I
loft an old friend, a man of fenfe, judgment, and in»
G 4 formation, 88
formation, and one of the beft officers in the French
navy. His humanity was the caufe of his death.
Had he allowed himfelf to fire upon the firft Indians
' who came into the water in order to furround his
boats, he would have faved his own life, and thofe
of Made Lamanon and ten other victims of Indian
ferocity.., There were befides twenty perfons belonging to the two frigates grievoufly wounded;
this event deprived us for the moment of thirty-
two hands, and two long boats, the only ones we
had capable of containing a fufficient number of
armed men to attempt a defcent. Thefe confidera-
tions were the guide of my future conduct. The
fmalleft check would have forced me to burn one of
the two frigates to man the other. I had indeed
the frame of a long-boat on board; but I could not
put it together without going.into port. If, to fa-
tisfy my revenge, I had only wifhed for the maffacre
of a few Indians, I had an opportunity of deflroy-
ing, finking, blowing to pieces, a hundred canoes,
containing more than five hundred perfons ; but I
was afraid of being miftaken in the choice of my
victims ; and the voice of confcience faved their
lives. Thofe whom this narrative may remind of
the cataftrophe of captain Cooke fhould bear in
mind, that his fhips were anchored in the bay of
Karakakooa ; that their guns rendered them matters
of the beach ; and that they could give the law to
the Indians by threatening to deftroy the canoes.
7 that ROUND THE WORLD. «   89
that remained at the water-fide, as well as the villages that fkirted the coaft. We, on the contrary,
were at fea, out of gun-fhot, and obliged to keep
off the coaft, where a calm might have been attended with the greateft danger. A heavy fwell
drifted us conftantly towards the reefs, outfide of
which we might, without doubt, have anchored
with iron chains ; but ftill we fhould have been out
of gun-fhot of the village, befides that the fwell was
fufficient to cut our cable at the hawfe-holes, and
thereby to expofe us to the moft imminent hazard.
I exhaufted every calculation of probability before
I left this fatal ifland ; being at length convinced
that anchoring was impracticable, and that a defcent
unfupported by the frigates would be rafhnefs in
the extreme. Even fuccefs would have been ufe-
lefs, fince it was certain that not a fingle man remained alive in the hands of the Indians, and that
our boats, whi^h we had the means of replacing,
were broken to pieces and aground. I fleered in
confequence, on the 14th, for a third ifland, which
was in fight, bearing W. by N. and which M. de
Bougainville had only feen from the maft-head,
being driven off by bad weather. This ifland is
feparated from that of Maouna by a channel only
nine leagues wide. The Indians had given us the
names of ten iflands that compofed their archipelago, and had rudely traced their fituation upon a
iheet of paper.    Although no great dependence is
to be placed upon the plan they drew, yet to me it
appears probable that the people of thefe different
iflands are in a kind of confederacy with one another,
and that they keep up a frequent intercourfe.
The farther difcoveries we have made leave no
doubt of this archipelago being more confiderable
than the Society iflands," while it is equally well-
peopled, and abounds in provifion no lefs than
they. It is even probable, that very good harbours might be found there ; but having no boat,
and knowing the exafperated flate of mind of
my crew, I refolved not to anchor till I came to
Botany Bay, in New Holland, where I purpofed
putting together the frame of the new long-boat
that I had on board. It was my intention, never-
thelefs, for the fake of advancing the fcience of
geography, to explore the different iflands I might
meet with, and to determine their latitude and longitude with precifion. I hoped alfo to be able to
traffic with the inhabitants by lying to at a fmall
diftance from the coaft. I willingly abandon to
others the care of writing the uninterefting hiftory
of fuch barbarous nations. A flay of twenty-four
hours, and the relation of our misfortunes, fuffice to
fhow their atrocious manners, and their arts, as well
as the productions of one of the fineft countries o
the univerfe.
Before I   continue the  account of our  voyage
among the iflands of this archipelago, I think   it
proper pmOUXD 'THE WORLD. gt
proper to give the narrative of M. de Vaujuas,
who commanded during the retreat from the bay
of Maouna. Although he only went afhore as a
convalefcent, and was not upon duty, the urgency
of circumftances reftored to him his ftrength, and
he did not leave the bay, till he was welljaffured
that not a fingle Frenchman remained alive in the
hands of the natives.
• Narrative of M. de Vaujuas.
u Tuefday,,December nth, at eleven o'clock In
the morning, M. de la Peroufe fent his long boat,
and his barge, laden with water-cafks, with a detachment of foldiers under arms, to join a party under
the command of M. de Langle. M. Boutin had
already received inftructions concerning the means
of preferving order, and of providing for our fafe-
ty, when the boats fhould go- afhore. At the
fame hour our captain , alfo hoifted out his boats,
and in like manner had water-cafks and arms put
into them. At half paft twelve, the fhips being
three quarters of a league from land, with the
larboard tacks on board, the four boats fet off in
order to fill water in a creek, that had been examined by M. de Langle. This watering place was to
leeward of the one whither we had already been,
and was thought preferable to it by M. de Langle,
becaufe it appeared lefs inhabited, and equally commodious;   but the firft had the advantage of an
eafier entrance, and of a fufficient depth of water for the boats to be in no danger of getting
<c M. de Langle propofed to me, although 1
was ftill in a weak flate, to accompany him
in his excurfion, by way of taking an airing on
fhore. He took the command of the barge himfelf, and gave that of the long boat to M. le Go-
bien. M. Boutin commanded the Bouffole's longboat, and M. Mouton the barge. M. Colinet,
and Father Receveur, who were both fick, with
Meffieurs de Lamanon, la Martiniere, and Lavaux,
accompanied us, as well as a number of other perfons
belonging to the two frigates, fo that we made up
a detachment of fixty-one perfons, the crews of the
two barges included.
cc While on our way we faw with concern, that
many of the canoes that were alongfide of the fhip
followed us, and were coming to the fame creek.
We faw alfo along the rocks, that feparated it
from the neighbouring bays, many of the natives
repairing thither from the other villages. Upon
our arrival at the reef, which forms the creek of
the watering place, and only leaves a narrow and
fhallow paffage for boats, we perceived that it was
low water, and that the long-boats could not go in (
without getting aground : they touched accordingly
at half a mufket fhot from the beach, which we
could only approach by pufhing them on with our
oars. This bay had appeared to the captain in a
more favourable point of view, becaufe, at the
time he examined it, the tide was not fo low.
" Upon our arrival, the favages, who lined the
coaft, to the number of feven or eight hundred,
threw into the fea, as a token of peace, feveral
branches of the tree from which the iflanders of
the South Sea draw their intoxicating beverage.
When we landed, M. de Langle gave orders, that
each boat fhould be guarded by a foldier under
arms, and by a failor, and that the crews of the
long-boats, while filling the cafks, fhould be under
the protection of a double line of foldiers extending from the watering place to the boats. As faft
as the cafks were filled, they were put quietly on
board, the natives fuffering themfelves to be kept
in tolerable order by the armed foldiers. Among
them was a considerable number of women, and
very young girls, who offered their favours to us in
the moft indecent manner, and whofe advances
were not univerfaliy rejected. The children we
faw there were few.
cc Towards the end of our labour, the number of
natives increafed, and became more and more
troublefome. This circumftance induced M. de
Langle to abandon his original intention of trafficking for a few provifions ; and he gave orders to
re-embark without delay : but in the mean time,
and this, I think, was the firft caufe of our misfortune, wmmmmtm
tune, he made a prefent of a few beads to a fort of
chiefs, who had helped to keep off tjie inhabitants.
We were, however, certain, that this police was a
mere mockery, and that, if thefe pretended chiefs
had really any authority, it extended to a very
fmall number of individuals. The captain's pre-
fents, diftributed to five or fix perfons, excited the
difcontent of all the reft. From that moment a
general clamour arofe, and we were no longer able
to keep them quiet. They Suffered us, however,
to get into our boats; but a part of them Stepped
into the water in purfuit of us, while the others
picked up ftones upon the beach,
<c As the long-boats were aground at a little diftance from the Strand, we were obliged in our
way to them to pafs through the water up to
our waifts; and in fo doing feveral of the foldiers
wet their arms. It was in this critical Situation that
the horrible Scene began which I am about to narrate. Scarcely were we in the long-boats, when
M. de Langle gave orders to efiiove them off, and
to weigh the grapnel; but this Several of'the moft
robuft iflanders oppofed by laying hold of the rope.
The captain, witnefs of their refiftance, feeing the tumult increafe, and perceiving the ftones reach him,
tried to intimidate the favages by firing a mufket
in the air ; but, fo far from being frightened, they
made it the fignal of a general attack. Immediately a fhower of ftones, hurled with equal force and
celerity, ROUND THE WORLD. 9^
celerity, carîie pouring upon us ; the fight began on
both fides, and foon became general. Thofe whole
mufkets were in a ferviceable State brought Several
of the infuriated Indians to the ground; but* the
others were by no means difmayed, and feemed to
combat with redoubled vigour. A part of therri
came ci?ofe up to the long-boats, while the reft, to
the number of fix or feven hundred, continued to
ftone us in the moft dreadful and murderous manner.
cc Upon the firft act of hostility I threw myfelf
into the water, in order to fwim to the Aftrolabe'^
barge, which was destitute of officers. The exigency of the cafe gave me Strength fufficient for the
fmall diftance I had to go ; and, notwithstanding my
weaknefs, and my being Struck on the way by feveral ftones, I got into the boat without affiftance.
Ï faw with defpair that there was fcarcely a mufket
that was not wet, and that nothing remained to be
done but to get her afloat without the reef as foon
as poffible. In the mean time the combat continued ; the enormous ftones hurled by the Savages
maimed one or other of our people .at every moment; and whenever a wounded man fell into the
Water on the fide of the lavages, he was immediately
difpatched with clubs and paddles.
" M. de Langle was the firft victim of the ferocity of thefe barbarians, who had received nothing
but favours at his hand,    At the very beginning of
the attack, he was beaten dov/n from the bow of the
long-boat, on which he was Standing, and fell into
the fea, with the matter at arms, and the carpenter,
who were by his fide.    The fury with which the
iflanders fell upon the captain faved the two latter,
who found   means  to get on   board the   barge*
Thofe who were in the long-boats foon fhared the
fate of our unfortunate commander, except a few
who  got away  to  the   reef,   and   fwam  thence
towards the barges.    In lefs than four minutes the
iflanders made themfelves matters of the two boats,
and I beheld with grief and rage the maffacre of
our unfortunate companions, without being able to
afford them the fmalleft affiftance.    The Astrolabe's
barge was Still within the reef, and I expected every
moment to fee it involved in the misfortune of the
long-boats ; but it was faved by the avidity of the
iflanders, the greater part of whom rufhed into the
latter, while the reft   contented  themfelves   with
throwing Stones.    A few, however, came down, and
waited for us in the channel, and upon the reefs.
Although the fwell was heavy, and the wind right
on end,   we found means,   notwithstanding their
ftones, and the dangerous wounds by which many of
us were difabled,  to extricate ourfelves from this
fatal place, and to join the Bouffole's barge without, commanded by M. Mouton, who, by throwing
his water-cafks into the fea, had lightened her, and
made room for all thofe who fwam on board.    I
had taken into that of the Aftrolabe Meffieurs Boutin and Colinet, as well as feveral other perfons.
Thofe who had efcaped to the barges were all either
more or lefs wounded. The boats were therefore
deféncelefs, and it was impoffible to think of returning to a #bay whence our efcape had been moft
fortunate, in order to make head againft a thoufand
enraged barbarians. It would have been expofing
ourfelves, to no purpofe, to certain death.
<c We fleered our courfe then towards the two
frigates, which at three o'clock, the moment of the
maffacre, had made a tack off fhore. They did
not fo much as fufpect that we were in the Smallest
danger, and the breeze being frefh, were a long
way to windward; an unfortunate circumstance for
us, efpecially for thofe whofe wounds required
fpeedy dreffing. At four o'clock they tacked again,
and flood in for the land. As foon as we were without the reefs, I fet the fails, and hauled clofe to the
wind, in order to get clear of the coaft, throwing
overboard every thing likely to impede the Sailing
of a boat fo full of people. Fortunately, the iflanders, bufy in plundering the long-boats, did not think
of purfuing us. Our whole means of defence consisted of four or five cutlaffes, and a charge for two
or three mufkets; a poor refource againft two or
three hundred barbarians armed with ftones and
clubs, and matters of light canoes which would enable them to choofe their diftance. Several of thefe
Vol. Ill, H canoes 5)8
canoes came out of the bay fhortly after we left \z%
atmt they made fail along fhore, whence one of the
number fet off to give information to thofe that had
-remained alongside the frigates. The Indians on
board had the infolence to make menacing figns as
they pafïèd by ; but our Situation obliged us to fuf-
pend our vengeance, and to refcrve our feeble
means for Self-defence.
tc As loon as we were in the offing, we pulled up-
with the wind on end towards the frigates, hoifting a
-red handkerchief at the maft-head, and on our nearer
approach, firing our three laft mufket fnots*    M»
Mouton made alfo the fignal for affiftance with two
handkerchiefs; but we were almoft along&de before we were perceived.    The Aftrolabe, the neareft
of the two frigates, then bore down upon us ; and
at halfpaftfour I put thofe who were the moft Severely
.wounded on board of her. M* Mouton having done
• the fame, we repaired without delay to the Bouflfcie*
where I informed the commodore of this difaftrous
event. After the precaution with which his prudence
. had infpired him, and the jwft eofifidenee he had
placed in that of M. de Langle, his furprife was
extreme ; and I can only compare his grief to that
which I felt,myfelf.    Our prefent misfortune reminded us Strongly of that of July 13th, 178-6, and
helped to throw a ftill Stronger gloom over our
voyage ; though in this laft circumstance we were
, ftill fortunate in faving the greater part of thofe
$ ^If1       who? ,ROUND THE WORLD.
who had gone afhore. If the defire of plunder
had not for a moment Stopped or fixed the fury
of the favages, not a man of us would have ef-
caped. ÉipÉÉ
" It is impoffible to defcribe the consternation occasioned by this fatal event, on board the two frigates.    The death of M. de Langle, who enjoyed
the confidence and eftéem of his cr.ew> was i$atter
of the deepeft regret to every one.    The iflanders
who were alongside when I came on board, were
on the point of being immolated to the vengeance
of our failors, whom we found it extremely difficult
to reftrain.    The general affliction which reigned
on board is the beft panegyric that can be pronounced on the captain.    As to mySelfc 1 loft in
him rather a friend than a commander.    The kind-
nefs with which he treated me will make me regret
him to the laft moment of my existence, and happy
fhould I have been if I could have proved my attachment and my gratitude by facrificing it in his
defence.    But this brave officer, being more expof-
ed than any one elfe, was the firft who fell a prey to
the wild beafts that aflailed us.    In my weak and
convalefcent State, I had gone afhore without arms,
under the protection of others; and when I reached
the barge all the ammunition was either exhausted
or wet. All then that I could do was.tpiglve orders,
which were unfortunately of too little effect.
€< I fhould do injustice to thofe who like me had
Jut 2 the
'"■M mm
the good fortune to fave their lives, if I did not declare that they conducted themfelves with all poffible bravery and Jang-froid. Meffieurs Boutin and
Cofinet, who, notwithstanding their bad wounds,
were, perfectly collected, had the good nefs to affift
me with their advice ; and I was alSo ably Seconded
by M. le Gobien, who was the laft to leave the
long-boat, and whofe example, intrepidity, and dif-
courfe, contributed not a little to reaffure fuch of the
^lors as felt themfelves difmayed. The petty officers, foldiers, and feamen, executed the orders given
them with equal punctuality and zeal; and M.
Mouton had no lefs reafon to be fatisfied with the
crew of the Bouflble's barge.
" Every one who was on fhore can atteft with
me that no violence or imprudence on our part provoked the attack of the favages. Our captain had
given the Stricteft orders in that refpect, and they
were univerSally obeyed.
Lift of the Perfons maffacred by the Savages of the Ifland
of Maouna, December 11, 1787.
The Astrolabe,,
M. de Langle, pott captain, commander.
Yves Humon, John Redelleg, Francis Fer-
jteT, Laurence Robin, and a Chinefe, feamen.
Louis David, quarter-gunner.
John Geraud, domeftic.
The Boussole.
M. de Lamanon, natural philofopher and natu*
Peter Talin, gunner.
Andrew Roth and Joseph Rayes, quarter*
H 3
Departure from the ifland of Maouna^—Defcription of
the ifland of Qyolava.—Exchanges with its inhabitants.— TVe make the ifland of Poia.—New details concerning the manners, arts, and cuftoms of
thefe iflands, and concerning the produirions of their
foil. — We fall in with Cocoa-nut and Traitor
The 14th of December I Stood for the ifland*of
Oyolava, of which we had fight five days before
we arrived at the anchorage, that proved fo fatal
to us. M. de Bougainville had obferved the fouthern
part of it, laid down in his plan of this archipelago,
from a very great diftance. This ifland is feparated
from that of Maouna, or of the Maffacre, by a channel about nine leagues wide, and is at leaft equal to
Otaheite in beauty, in extent, fertility, and popular
tion. When at the distance of three leagues from
its north-eaft point, we were Surrounded by innumerable canoes laden with bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts,
bananas, fugar-canes, pigeons, and gallinules, with
a very few hogs. The inhabitants of this ifland
much refemble thofe of the ifland of Maouna, who
had behaved to us with fuch horrible treachery.
Their drefs, their features, and their gigantic ftature,
were fo little different, that our feamen thought they
recollected feveral of the affaflns, and it was with
great difficulty that I prevented their firing upon
them : but I was certain, that they were blinded by
their refentment ; and a revenge, which I did not
think allowable upon, the canoes of the very
ifland of Maouna, at the moment I was informed of
the dreadful event, could not be juftly taken four
days afterwards, in another ifland, and at fifteen
ieagues fwm the field of battle. I contrived, then,
to appeafe the fermentation, and we continued our
exchanges. It was conducted with more tranquillity
and honefty than at the ifland of Maouna, becaufe
the fmalleft acts of injustice were punifhed with
blows, or repreffed by threatening words and gestures. At four o'clock in the afternoon we brought
to abreaft of perhaps the largeft village that exists in
any ifland of the South Sea, or rather oppofite a
very extenfive inclined plain, covered with houSes
from the fummit of the mountains to the water-fide.
TheSe mountains are nearly in the middle of the ifland,
whence the ground defcends with a gentle declivity,
and prefents to Ships an amphitheatre covered with
trees, huts, and verdure. We faw the Smoke rife
from the interior of the village as from the midft
of a great city ; while the Sea was covered with
canoes, all of which endeavoured to approach our
H 4 veffels,
ij<A Ï04
veffels, feveral of them being paddled along by
idle gazers, who, having nothing to fell, went round
and round our frigates, and appeared to have no
object in view, but to enjoy the Spectacle we
afforded them.
The preSence of the women and children, who
were among them, might have led us to prefume,
that they had no bad intention ; but we had great
reafon to truft no longer to fuch appearances, and
we were prepared to repel the leaft act of hostility,
in a manner that would have rendered the navigators formidable to the natives. I am a good deal
inclined to believe, that we are the firft who have
traded with thefe people. They were perfectly
unacquainted with iron, constantly refuting that
?#Mch we offered them, and preferring a Single
bead to an axe, or a nail fix inches long. Rich
in the Substantial bleffings of nature, they fought
in their exchanges nothing but Superfluities, and
articles of luxury. Among a considerable number of women, I remarked two or three of agreeable countenance, who might be fuppofed to have
ferved as a model for the defign of the young
woman bearing prefents in Cook's third voyage.
Their hair ornamented with flowers, and tied round
with a green ribbon in the way of a bandeau, was
plaited with grafs and mofs; their fhape was elegant;
their arms were well turned and admirably proportioned;   and   their   eyes,   their   countenances,
and their geftures, befpoke great fweetnefs of temper,
while thofe of the men expreffed nothing but fur-
prife and ferocity.
In the dufk of the evening we filled our fails
and flood on, abreaft of the ifland, all the canoes
returning to the fhore. The beach, covered with
breakers, offered no fheker to our (hips, becaufe
a high Sea from the north-eaft broke with fury
againft the north coaft, along which we were na-
^gating. If I had» intended to anchor, I fhould
probably have found good fheker on the weft
fide. In general, within the tropics, it is only
to leeward of the iflands that navigators ought to
feek an anchorage. The whole of the next day a
flat calm prevailed, with frequent flafhes of lightning followed by thunder and rain.' Very few canoes
came alongside, which led me to believe, that they
had heard at Oyolava of the event that had taken
place at Maouna. As it was poffible, however, that
they were kept in their ports by the rain and lightning, my conjecture may have been ill-founded;
but it acquired a high degree of probability on the
17th, whea we were abreaft of the ifland of Polar
Though we approached much nearer to it than to
the former, not a tingle canoe came off. Hence I
prefumed, that thefe people had not yet made
fufficient progrefs in morality to know, that the
penalty ought only to fall upon the culpable, ancj
that the punifhment of the real affaffins could alone
fatisfy Ill
fatisfy our vengeance. The ifland of Pola, iome-
what Smaller than that of Oyolava, but equally
beautiful, is only feparated from it by a channel
four leagues acrofs, which is itfelf interfered by
two iflots of fome little extent. One of them is
low, well wooded, and probably not destitute of
inhabitants. The north coaft of Pola, like that of
the other iflands of this archipelago, affords no ac-
cefs to fhipping ; but on doubling its weft point,
the navigator will find a Smooth Sea without breakers,
which promèfes excellent roadfteds.
We had learnt from the natives of Maouna, that
the Navigators Iflands are ten in number; namely:
Opoun, the moft eatterly; Leone, Fanfoué, Maour
na, Oyolava, Calinaffé, Pola, Shika, Offamo, and
We are unacquainted with the pofition of the
laft three. The Indians, in the plan they traced,
laid them down fouth of Oyolava ; but if fo fituated, it is certain, that the courfe fleered by M.
Bougainville muft have brought him in fight of
them. Notwithstanding all the patience and Sagacity of M. Blondela, who took particular pains to
get fome geographical information out of the iflanders, he was perfectly unable to form any conjecture
concerning their bearings ; but the fequel of our
voyage taught us, that two of them may poffibly be
Cocoa and Traitor iflands, laid down, according
to captain Wallis's obfervations, i° 15- too far
Opoun, the moft Southerly, as well as the moft
easterly of thefe iflands, is in 140 y* fouth latitude,
and 171° 27' 7/; weft longitude. Several geographers attribute this difcovery to Roggewein.
According to them he gave them the name of
Beaumanys Iflands in 17,21 ; but neither the hiftoricai
details concerning thefe people, nor the geographical pofition-affigned to the., iflands by the writer of
Roggewein's voyage *, agree with that opinion.
Let us hear what he fays on the Subject himfelf.
€C We difcovered three iflands at the fame time*
cc in the 12th degree of latitude, of a very agreeable
(c appearance. We found them well Stocked with
fc fine fruit trees, and all forts of herbs, vegetables,
cc and plants. The natives, who came out to meet
tc our veffels, offered us a great variety of fifth,
k with cocoa-nuts, bananas, and other fruit. Thefe
cc iflands muft be very well peopled, Since at our
i arrival the beach was already crowded with Several
" thouSand men and women, the former armed with
C€ bows and arrows.    All the inhabitants are white,
* The hiftoricai relation of Roggewein's voyage, brought to
France by the president de BrofSes, was written in the French
language in  1739, by a German, a native of Mecklenburg,
and Serjeant of the troops embarked on board Roggewein's
** and îo8
a and do not differ from Europeans, except that
" fome of them have their fkin much burned by the
cc exceffive heat of the Sun. They appeared a good
<c Sort of people, lively and gay in converfation,
" and kind and humane towards one another. No-
" thing indeed favage is obfervable in their man-
8 ners. Neither were their bodies painted like
« thofe whom we had before difcovered. They
" were clad from the waift to the ancle with fringes
<c of a filken Stuff, fkilfully wrought; and their
iC heads were covered with very large and fine hats,
<c to protect them from the heat of the fun. Some
€t of thefe iflands were ten, fourteen, and even
i€ twenty miles in circumference» We called them
« Beauman's Iflands, after the name of the captain
u of the Tienhoven, by whom they were firft dif-
i covered. It muft be confeffed (adds the author)
iS that they are the moft civilized and honeft nation
<« we have met with in the iflands of the South Sea.
" There is good anchorage all along the coafts of
" theSe iflands, in water from thirteen to twenty
U fathoms."
It will be feen in the fequel of this chapter, that thefe details have fcarcely the leaft relation
to thoSe which we have to give concerning the
people of Navigators Iflands. As the geographical pofition is equally unlike, and as a German
chart exifts in which  the track of Roggewein is
- marked, and which lays down theSe iflands* in
150, I am justified in believing, that Beauman's
Iflands are not the Same as thofe, to which M. de
Bougainville has given the name of Navigators
Iflands. It appears to me, however, neceflary to
let them retain that denomination, in order that a
confufion may not be introduced into geography
very hurtful to the progrefs of the Science. Thefe
iflands, fituated about the 140 of fouth latitude, and
between the 171ft and 175th degrees of weft longitude, form one of the fineft archipelagoes of the
South Sea ; and are as interefting in point of arts,
productions, and population, as the Society and
Friendly Iflands, of which the Englifh navigators
have given us a defcription highly Satisfactory. As
to the moral qualities of the natives, although our
intercourfe was but of a moment's duration, we
had but too much reafon to be acquainted with
their difpofition, and we have no hefitation in affert-
ing, that it would be vain to endeavour to excite
the Sentiment of gratitude in their ferocious minds,
which are only to be restrained by fear.
Thefe iflanders are the tailed and belt made
that we have yet met with. Their ufual height is five
feet nine, ten, and eleven inches; but their Stature
is leSs aftofiithing than the coloffal proportions of
the different parts of their bodies. Our curiofity,
which often led us to meafure them, gave them an
opportunity of making frequent comparifons of their
bodily no
bodily ftrength with ours. TheSe comparisons were
not to our advantage; and we perhaps owe our
misfortunes to the idea of individual fuperiority
reSulting from repeated trials. Their countenances often appeared to exprefs a fentiment of
difdain, which I hoped to deftroy, by ordering our
arms to be ufed in their prefence; but my end
could only have been gained by directing them
againft human victims; for, otherwife, they took
the noife for Sport, and the trial for a diverfion.
Among thefe Indians a very Small number is
below the height indicated above. I have, however, meaSured Several who were only five feet four
inches, but thefe are the dwarfs of the country ; and
although their ftature refembles ours, their Strong
and nervous arms, their broad chells, and their legs
'and thighs, are of a very different proportion. It
may be fafely faid, that they are in regard to Europeans, what Danifh horfes are in refpect to thofe
of the different provinces of France.
The men have the body painted or tatowed, fb
that any one would fuppofe them clad, although
they go almoft naked. They have only a girdle of
fea weeds encircling their loins, which comes down
to their knees, and gives them the appearance of
the river gods of fabulous hittory, whom it is cuS-
tomary to depict with rulhes round their waift.
Their hair is very long. They often twift it round
their heads, and thus add to their native ferocity of
countenance, JtQUJH) THE IfORLDr 11%
countenance, which always expreffes .either furprifè
or anger.    The leafl diSpute between them is followed by blows of flick's, clubs, or paddles, and
often, without doubt, cods the combatants their livefi^
They are almoft all covered with fears, which can
only be the confequence of their individual quarrels.
The ftature of the women is proportioned to that
of the men.    They are tall, flender, and not with?-
out grace ; but they lofe, while yet in their prime,
thofe elegant forms, of which nature has not broken
the mould among this barbarous race, but of which
fhe appears to leave them in poSTeffion only for a
moment,  and with  reluctance.    Among  a great
number of women that I had an opportunity of
feeing,  I only obferved three really pretty.    The
grofs effrontery of the reft, the indecency of their
motions, and the difgufting offers which -they made
of their favours,  rendered  them fit mothers and
wives for the ferocious beings that furrounded us.
As the hiftory of our voyage may add a few pages
to that of man, I Shall not expunge Some traits,
that might fee m indecent in any other work.    I
have to relate, then,  that the very Small number of
young and pretty females, of whom I have already
Spoken,  foon attracted   the attention   of   feveral
Frenchmen, who, in fpice of my prohibition, endeavoured to form a connexion with them.    The
looks of the Europeans  expreffed  defires  which
were Soon divi&ed ; Xpme old women undertook the
negotiation \ ÏÏ3
negotiation; the altar was prepared in the hand-
fomeft hut in the village ; and all the blinds were let
down, and the inquifitive excluded. The victim
was then laid in the arms of an old man, who exhorted her, during the ceremony, to moderate the
expreffion of her pain ; while the matrons fang, and
howled ; the ceremony being performed in their
prefence, and under the aufpices of the old man,
who ferved at once as prieft and altar. Ail the
women and children in the village were round the
houSe, gently lifting up the blinds, and feeking to
enjoy the fight through the Smalleft crevices in the
mats. Whatever former navigators may have faid,
I am convinced, that in the Navigators Iflands, at
leaft, the young girls, before they are married, are
miftreffes of their perfons, and that they are not
difhonoured by their complaifance. It is even more
than probable, that in marrying they are called to
no account concerning their paft conduct ; butT
have no doubt that they are obliged to be more re-
ferved when provided with a hufband.
Thefe people cultivate certain arts with fuccefs.
I have already Spoken of the elegant form which
they give to their huts. It is not without reafon
that they difdain our instruments of iron ; for they
finifh their work very neatly with tools made of a
very fine and compact fpecies of bafaltes in the form
of an adze. For a few glafs beads they fold us large
three-legged difhes, of a fingle piece of wood, arid
fo well polifhed, that they feemed to have been laid
over with a coat of the fineft varnifh. It would
take an European workman Several days to produce one* of thefe difhes, which, for want of proper
instruments, muft coft an Indian Several months labour. They Set, however, Scarcely any value upon
them, becàuSe they Set little upon the time they employ. The fruit trees, and nutritious roots, that grow
fpontaneoufly around them, infure them their fub-
fiftence, as well as that of their hogs, dogs, and
fowls; and if they fometimes Stoop to work, it is to
procure enjoyments rather agreeable than ufeful.
They manufacture very fine mats, and fome paper-
Stuffs. I remarked two or three of them whom I
took for chiefs, with a piece of cloth tied round their
Waift like a petticoat, inftead of a girdle of weeds.
It is compofed of real thread, prepared, no doubt,
from fome filamentous plant like the nettle or flax ;
and is manufactured' without a fhuttle, the threads
being abfolutely laid over one another like thofe of
their mats. This cloth, which has all the fupplenefs
and Solidity of ours, is very fit for the fails of their
canoes; and appeared to us far Superior to the paper
fluff of the Society and Friendly Iflands, which they
manufacture alfo. They fold us feveral pieces ; but
they hold it very cheap, and make very little ufe of
it, the women preferring the fine mats which I
have Spoken of above.
j We did not at firft diScover any identity between
Vol. III. I their ïX4
their language and that of the natives of the Society
and Friendly Iflands, of which we had vocabularies;
but a more mature examination convinced us, that
they fpeak a dialect of the fame language. A fact
which tends to prove it, and which confirms the
opinion of the Englifh concerning the origin of thefe
people, is that a young domestic, a native of the
province of Tagayan in the north of Manilla, understood and explained to us the greater part of their
words. It is well known that the Tagayan, the
Talgal, and the generality of languages Spoken
in the Phillippines, are derived from the Malay; a
language more diffufed than were thofe of the
Greeks and Romans, and common to the numerous
tribes, that inhabit the iflands of the great Pacific Ocean. It appears to me evident, that all
thefe different nations are the progeny of Malay
colonies, which, in fome age extremely remote, conquered the iflands they inhabit. I fhould not even
wonder, if the Chinefe and Egyptians, whofe anti-s
quity is fo much vaunted, were mere moderns in
comparifon of the Malays. But however this may
be, I am fatisfied that the aborigines of the Phil-
lippine Iflands, Formofa, New Guinea, New Britain, the New Hebrides, the Friendly Iflands, &c.
in the fouthern hemifphere, and thofe of the Ma-
rianna and Sandwich iflands in the northern, were
that race of woolly-headed men Still found in th$
interior of the iflands of Luconia and Formofa.
They &OUND the World.
They were not to be Subjugated in New Guinea,
New Britain, and the New Hebrides; but bei&g
'overcome in the more eaftern iflands, which were
too Small to afford them a retreat in the centre, they
mixed with the conquering nation. Thence has re*-
fulted a race of very black men, whofe colour is Still
feveral fhades deeper than that of certain families of
the country, probably, becaufe the latter have made
it a point of honour to keep their blood unmixed.
I was Struck with theSe two very distinct races in
the Iflands of Navigators, and cannot attribute to
them any other origin.
The defendants of the Malays have acquired in
thofe iflands, a degree of vigour and Strength, a loSty
Stature, and a herculean Sorm, which they do not
inherit from their Sorefathers, but which they owe,
without doubt, to an abundance of food, to a mild
climate, and to the influence of different phyfical
cauSes, which have been conftantly acting during a
long Series of generations. ' The arts, which they,
perhaps, brought with them, may have been loft for
want of materials and instruments to practiSe them ;
but the identity of language, like Ariadne's clue,
enables the obferver to follow all the windings of
this new, labyrinth. Thé feudal government is alfo
preferved here : that government which little tyrants may regret; which was the difgrace of Europe for feveral centuries; and of which the gothic
remains are Still to be found in our laws, and are
I 2 the îi6
the medals that atteft our ancient barbarifm : that
government, which is the moft proper to keep up
a ferocity of manners, becaufe the Smalleft disputes occafion wars of village againft village, and
becaufe wars of this nature are conducted without
magnanimity, and without courage. Surprifes and
treachery are employed by turns, and in thefe unfortunate countries, inftead of generous warriors,
nothing is to be found but bafe affaffins. The Malays are Still the moft perfidious nation of Afia, and
their children have not degenerated, becauSe the
fame caufes have led to, and produced the fame effects. It may be objected, perhaps, that it mutt
have been very difficult for the Malays to have made
their way from weft to eatt3 to arrive at theSe different iflands; but the weflerly winds blow as frequently
as the eafterly in. the vicinity of the equator,ealong a
zone of feven or eight degrees from north to fouth,
where the wind is fo variable, that it is hardly mor^e dif-
cult to navigate eaft than weft. Befides, theSe different conqueSts may not have been effected at the Same
time : the people in question may, on the contrary,
have Spread them Selves by little and little, and gradually have introduced that form of government
which Still exifts in the peninSula of Malacca, at Java, Sumatra, and at Borneo, as well as in all the other
countries fubject to that barbarous nation.
Among fifteen or eighteen hundred Indians, whom
we had an opportunity of obferving, thirty, at leaft,
had the appearance of chiefs. They kept up a kind
of police, and belaboured the refractory with their
Sticks ; but the order, which they had the air of
wifhing to eftablifti, was tranSgreffed a minute afterwards. Never were fovereigns worfe obeyed ; never
were more frequent diforders occafioned by anarchy
and a want of fubordination.
It is not without reafon, that M. de Bougainville
has named them the Navigators. They do not go
fo much as from one village to another on foot ; but
perform all theirjournies in canoes. Their villages
are all fituated in creeks by the Sea-fide, and have no
paths except to penetrate into the interior of the
country. The iflands we vifited were covered to
the very Summit with fruit trees, on which wood-
pigeons and turtle-doves, green, red, and of various
other colours, were fitting. We alfo faw beautiful perroquets, a Species of black-bird, and even
partridges. It is by taming birds that the natives
charm away the tedium that refults from their idle
mode of life. All their houfes were full of wood
pigeons, which they bartered with us by hundreds.
They alfo fold us more than three hundred galli-
nules of the moft beautiful plumage.
Their canoes have outriggers, are very fmall, and
generally contain only five or fix perfons : fome few,
however, may contain as many as fourteen. They
do not appear to deferve the praife that navigators
have beftowed on their Swiftnefs.    I do not think
I i
when ii8
when under fail that it exceeds feven knots ; and
with their paddles they could not keep way with us
when we were running only four miles an hour.
Thefe Indians are fuch excellent fwimmers, that;
their canoes feem only to ferve them to reft them-*
Selves in. As upon the leaft falfe movement they
fill, they are obliged every moment to leap into the
fea, take up their finking veffels upon their fhoul-
ders, and pour out the water. They Sometimes join
two together by means of a crofs-piece of wood, iri
which they make a Step to receive the matt. In
this way they are leSs likely to overSet, and can pre-,
ferve their provifion during a long voyage. Their
fails are of matting