A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12
by Robert Kerr
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General Voyages and Travels of Discovery, &c.

BOOK I. An Account of the Voyages undertaken by order of his Majesty, George III, for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere; and successively performed, by Commodore Byron, Captains Wallis and Carteret, and Lieutenant Cook.

General Introduction.

CHAP I. An Account of Commodore Byron's Voyage, in 1764, 5, and 6 in His Majesty's ship the Dolphin.

SECT. I. The Passage from the Downs to Rio de Janeiro.

II. Passage from Rio de Janeiro to Port Desire; with some Description of that Place.

III. Course from Port Desire, in search of Pepy's Island, and afterwards to the Coast of Patagonia, with a Description of the Inhabitants.

IV. Passage up the Streight of Magellan, to Port Famine; with some Account of that Harbour, and the adjacent Coast.

V. The Course back from Port Famine to Falkland's Islands, with some Account of the Country.

VI. The Passage through the Strait of Magellan as far as Cape Monday, with a Description of several Bays and Harbours, formed by the Coast on each Side.

VII. The Passage from Cape Monday, in the Strait of Magellan, into the South Seas; with some general Remarks on the Navigation of that Strait.

SECT. VIII. The Run from the Western Entrance of the Strait of Magellan to the Islands of Disappointment.

IX. The Discovery of King George's Islands, with a Description of them, and an Account of several Incidents that happened there.

X. The Run from King George's Islands to the Islands of Saypan, Tinian, and Aguigan; with an Account of several Islands that were discovered in that Track.

XI. The Arrival of the Dolphin and Tamar at Tinian, a Description of the present Condition of that Island, and an Account of the Transactions there.

XII. The Run from Tinian to Pulo Timoan, with some Account of that Island, its Inhabitants and Productions, and thence to Batavia.

XIII. Transactions at Batavia, and Departure from that Place.

XIV. The Passage from Batavia to the Cape of Good Hope, and from thence to England.

CHAP. II. An Account of Captain Wallis's Voyage in 1766, 7, and 8, in his Majesty's ship the Dolphin.

SECT. I. The Passage to the Coast of Patagonia, with some Account of the Natives.

II. The Passage through the Strait of Magellan, with some further Account of the Patagonian's, and a Description of the Coast on each Side, and its Inhabitants.

III. A particular Account of the Places in which we anchored during our Passage through the Strait, and of the Shoals and Rocks that lie near them.

IV. The Passage from the Strait of Magellan, to King George the Third's Island, called Otaheite, in the South Sea, with an Account of the Discovery; of several other Islands, and a Description of their Inhabitants.

V. An Account of the Discovery of King George the Third's Island, or Otaheite, and of several Incidents which happened both on board the Ship and on Shore.

SECT. VI. The Sick sent on Shore, and a regular Trade established with the Natives; some Account of their Character and Manners, of their Visits on board the Ship, and a Variety of Incidents that happened during this Intercourse.

VII. An Account of an Expedition to discover the Inland Part of the Country, and our other Transactions, till we quitted the Island to continue our Voyage.

VIII. A more particular Account of the Inhabitants of Otaheite, and of their domestic life, Manners, and Arts.

IX. Passage from Otaheite to Tinian, with some Account of several other Islands that were discovered in the South Seas.

X. Some Account of the present State of the Island of Tinian, and our Employment there; with what happened in the Run from thence to Batavia.

XI. Transactions at Batavia, and an Account of the Passage from thence to the Cape of Good Hope.

XII. An Account of our Transactions at the Cape of Good Hope, and of the Return of the Dolphin to England.

A Table of the Latitudes and Longitudes West of London, with the Variation of the Needle at several Ports, and Situations at Sea, from Observations made on board his Majesty's Ship the Dolphin; also her Nautical Beckoning during the Voyage.

CHAP. III. An Account of Captain Carteret's Voyage, in 1766, 7, 8, and 9, in his Majesty's Sloop the Swallow.

SECT. I. The Run from Plymouth to Madeira, and from thence through the Strait of Magellan.

II. The passage from Cape Pillar, at the Western entrance of the Strait of Magellan, to Masafuero; with some Account of that Island.

III. The Passage from Masafuero to Queen Charlotte's Islands; several Mistakes corrected concerning Davis's Land, and an Account of some small Islands, supposed to be the same that were seen by Quiros.

SECT. IV. An Account of the Discovery of Queen Charlotte's Islands, with a Description of them and their Inhabitants, and of what happened at Egmont Island.

V. Departure from Egmont Island, and Passage to Nova Britannia; with a Description of several other Islands, and their Inhabitants.

VI. Discovery of a Strait dividing the Land called Nova Britannia into two Islands, with a Description of several small Islands that lie in the Passage, and the Land on each side, with the Inhabitants.

VII. The Passage from Saint George's Channel to the Island of Mindanao, with an Account of many Islands that were seen, and Incidents that happened by the Way.

VIII. Some Account of the Coast of Mindanao, and the Islands near it, in which several Mistakes of Dampier are corrected.

IX. The Passage from Mindanao, to the Island of Celebes, with a particular Account of the Strait of Macassar, in which many Errors are corrected.

X. Transactions off Macassar, and the Passage thence to Bonthain

XI. Transactions at Bonthain, while the vessel was waiting for a Wind to carry her to Batavia, with some Account of the Place, the Town of Macassar, and the adjacent Country.

XII. Passage from Bonthain Bay, in the Island of Celebes, to Batavia. Transactions there, and the Voyage round the Cape of Good Hope to England.

A Table of the Variation of the Compass as observed on board of the Swallow.

CHAP. IV. An Account of Lieutenant Cook's Voyage, in 1768, 1769, and 1770, in his Majesty's Bark the Endeavour.

SECT. I. The Passage from Plymouth to Madeira, with some Account of that Island.

II. The Passage from Madeira to Rio de Janeiro, with some Account of the Country, and the Incidents that happened there.

SECT. III. The Passage from Rio de Janeiro to the Entrance of the Strait of Le Maire, with a Description of some of the Inhabitants of Terra del Fuego.

IV. An Account of what happened in ascending a Mountain to search for Plants.

V. The Passage through the Strait of Le Maire, and a farther Description of the Inhabitants of Terra del Fuego, and its Productions.

VI. A general Description of the south-east part of Terra del Fuego, and the Strait of Le Maire; with some Remarks on Lord Anson's Account of them, and Directions for the Passage Westward, round this Part of America, into the South Seas.

VII. The Sequel of the Passage from Cape Horn to the newly discovered Islands in the South Seas, with a Description of their Figure, and Appearance; some Account of the Inhabitants, and several Incidents that happened during the Course, and at the Ship's Arrival among them.

VIII. The Arrival of the Endeavour at Otaheite, called by Captain Wallis, King George the III.'s Island. Rules established for Traffic with the Natives, and an Account of several Incidents which happened in a Visit to Tootahah and Toubourai Tamaide, two Chiefs.

IX. A Place fixed upon for an Observatory and Fort: an Excursion into the Woods, and its Consequences. The Fort erected; a Visit from several Chiefs on Board and at the Fort, with some Account of the Music of the Natives, and the Manner in which they dispose of their Dead.

X. An Excursion to the Eastward, an Account of several Incidents that happened both on Board and on Shore, and of the first Interview with Oberea, the Person, who, when the Dolphin was here, was supposed to be Queen of the Island, with a Description of the Fort.

SECT. XI. The Observatory set up; the Quadrant stolen, and Consequences of the Theft: A Visit to Tootahah: Description of a Wrestling match: European Seeds sown: Names given to our People by the Indians.

XII. Some Ladies visit the fort with very uncommon Ceremonies: The Indians attend Divine Service, and in the Evening exhibit a most extraordinary Spectacle: Toubourai Tamaide falls into Temptation.

XIII. Another Visit to Tootabah, with various Adventures: Extraordinary Amusement of the Indians, with Remarks upon it: Preparations to observe the Transit of Venus, and what happened in the mean Time at the Fort.

XIV. The Ceremonies of an Indian Funeral particularly described: General Observations on the Subject: A Character found among the Indians to which the Ancients paid great Veneration: A Robbery at the Fort, and its Consequences; with a Specimen of Indian Cookery, and various incidents.

XV. An Account of the Circumnavigation of the island, and various Incidents that happened during the Expedition; with a Description of a Burying-place and Place of Worship, called a Morai.

XVI. An Expedition of Mr Banks to trace the River: Marks of subterraneous Fire: Preparations for leaving the Island: An Account of Tupia.


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His majesty, soon after his accession to the crown, formed a design of sending out vessels for making discoveries of countries hitherto unknown; and, in the year 1764, the kingdom being then in a state of profound peace, he proceeded to put it into execution.[1] The Dolphin and the Tamar were dispatched under the command of Commodore Byron.

[Footnote 1: In the reign of George II, two voyages of discovery were performed, viz, by Captain Middleton in 1741, and Captains Smith and Moore in 1746. They were in search of a north-west passage through Hudson's Bay. Of these notice will be taken elsewhere.—E.]

The Dolphin was a man-of-war of the sixth rate, mounting twenty-four guns; her complement was 150 men, with three lieutenants, and thirty-seven petty officers.

The Tamar was a sloop, mounting sixteen guns; her complement was ninety men, with three lieutenants, and two-and-twenty petty officers, and the command of her was given to Captain Mouat.

Commodore Byron returned in the month of May in the year 1766, and in the month of August following the Dolphin was again sent out, under the command of Captain Wallis, with the Swallow, commanded by Captain Carteret. The equipment of the Dolphin was the same as before. The Swallow was a sloop mounting fourteen guns; her complement was ninety men, with one lieutenant and twenty-two petty officers.

These vessels proceeded together till they came within sight of the South Sea, at the western entrance of the Strait of Magellan, and from thence returned by different routes to England.

In the latter part of the year 1767, it was resolved by the Royal Society, that it would be proper to send persons into some part of the South Sea to observe a transit of the planet Venus over the sun's disc, which, according to astronomical calculation, would happen in the year 1769; and that the islands called Marquesas de Mendoza, or those of Rotterdam or Amsterdam,[2] were the properest places then known for making such observation.

[Footnote 2: So called by Tasman, but by the natives Anamooka and Tongataboo; they belong to that large cluster which Cook named the Friendly Isles.—E.]

In consequence of these resolutions, it was recommended to his majesty, in a memorial from the Society, dated February, 1768, that he would be pleased to order such an observation to be made; upon which his majesty signified to the lords commissioners of the Admiralty his pleasure that a ship should be provided to carry such observers as the society should think fit to the South Seas; and, in the beginning of April following, the society received a letter from the secretary of the Admiralty, informing them that a bark of three hundred and seventy tons had been taken up for that purpose. This vessel was called the Endeavour, and the command of her given to Lieutenant James Cook,[3] a gentleman of undoubted abilities in astronomy and navigation, who was soon after, by the Royal Society, appointed, with Mr Charles Green, a gentleman who had long been assistant to Dr Bradley at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, to observe the transit.[4]

[Footnote 3: The gentleman first proposed for this command was Mr Alexander Dalrymple, a member of the Royal Society, and author or publisher of several works in geography. He was anxious for the undertaking, but apprehending that difficulties might arise during the voyage from the circumstance of the crew not being subjected to ordinary naval discipline under him, he made it a condition that he should hold a brevet commission as captain. Sir Edward Hawke, at that time at the head of the Admiralty, did not give his consent to this demand, saying, that his conscience would not permit him to entrust any of his majesty's ships to a person not educated as a seaman; and declaring, in consequence, that he would rather have his right hand cut off than sign any commission to that effect. This brave and spirited man, it is probable, feared the degradation of his profession by such a measure; but, besides this, he knew that in a similar case, where a commission was given to Dr Halley, very serious evils had been occasioned by the sailors refusing to acknowledge the authority thus communicated. Mr Dalrymple remaining equally tenacious of his own opinion, it became necessary either to abandon the undertaking, or to procure another person to command it. Mr Stephens, Secretary to the Admiralty, made mention of our great navigator, as well known to him; and very fit for the office, having been regularly bred in the navy, in which he was that time a master, and having, as marine surveyor of Newfoundland and Labradore, and on several occasions, exhibited very singular marks of good understanding and abilities. Sir Hugh Palliser, applied to by the Board for his opinion on the matter, most warmly, from his own knowledge, espoused Mr Stephens's recommendation of Cook, who was accordingly appointed to the command, and promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the navy, by a commission bearing date 25th of May, 1768. Mr Dalrymple, it may be remarked, took his disappointment very badly. He published a petulant letter to Dr Hawkesworth, complaining, among other things, of the ill treatment he had received. Dr H. replied in the second edition of this work, but the controversy betwixt these two gentlemen is unworthy of the reader's patience.—E.]

[Footnote 4: Joseph Banks, Esq. afterwards Sir Joseph Banks, Bart, and Dr Solander, accompanied Cook in this voyage.—E.]

While this vessel was getting ready for her expedition, Captain Wallis returned; and it having been recommended to him by Lord Morton, when he went out, to fix on a proper place for this astronomical observation, he, by letter, dated on board the Dolphin the 18th of May, 1768, the day before he landed at Hastings, mentioned Port Royal harbour, in an island which he had discovered, then, called George's island, and since Otaheite: the Royal Society, therefore, by letter, dated the beginning of June, in answer to an application from the admiralty to be informed whither they would have their observers sent, made choice of that place.

The Endeavour had been built for the coal trade, and a vessel of that construction was preferred for many reasons, particularly because she was what the sailors called a good sea-boat, was more roomy, would take and lie on the ground better, and might be navigated by fewer men than other vessels of the same burden.

Her complement of officers and men was Lieutenant Cook the commander, with two lieutenants under him, a master and boatswain, with each two mates, a surgeon and carpenter, with each one mate, a gunner, a cook, a clerk and steward, two quarter-masters, an armourer, a sail-maker, three midshipmen, forty-one able seamen, twelve marines, and nine servants, in all eighty-four persons, besides the commander: she was victualled for eighteen months, and took on board ten carriage and twelve swivel guns, with good store of ammunition and other necessaries. The Endeavour also, after the astronomical observation should be made, was ordered to prosecute the design of making discoveries in the South Seas. What was effected by these vessels in their several voyages, will appear in the course of this work, of which it is now necessary to give some account.

It is drawn up from the journals that were kept by the commanders of the several ships, which were put into my hands by the lords commissioners of the admiralty for that purpose: and, with respect to the voyage of the Endeavour, from other papers equally authentic; an assistance which I have acknowledged in an introduction to the account of her voyage.

When I first undertook the work, it was debated, whether it should be written in the first or third person; it was readily acknowledged on all hands, that a narrative in the first person would, by bringing the adventurer and the reader nearer together, without the intervention of a stranger, more strongly excite an interest, and consequently afford more entertainment; but it was objected, that if it was written in the name of the several commanders, I could exhibit only a naked narrative, without any opinion or sentiment of my own, however fair the occasion, and without noting the similitude or dissimilitude between the opinions, customs, or manners of the people now first discovered, and those of nations that have been long known, or remarking on any other incident or particular that might occur. In answer to this objection, however, it was said, that as the manuscript would be submitted to the gentlemen in whose names it would be written, supposing the narrative to be in the first person, and nothing published without their approbation, it would signify little who conceived the sentiments that should be expressed, and therefore I might still be at liberty to express my own. In this opinion all parties acquiesced, and it was determined that the narrative should be written in the first person, and that I might, notwithstanding, intersperse such sentiments and observations as my subject should suggest: they are not indeed numerous, and when they occur, are always cursory and short; for nothing would have been more absurd than to interrupt an interesting narrative, or new descriptions, by hypothesis and dissertation.[5] They will, however, be found most frequent in the account of the voyage of the Endeavour; and the principal reason is, that although it stands last in the series, great part of it was printed before the others were written, so that several remarks, which would naturally have been suggested by the incidents and descriptions that would have occurred in the preceding voyages, were anticipated by similar incidents and descriptions which occurred in this.

[Footnote 5: It is highly questionable if this substitution of writer for adventurer have the efficiency ascribed to it, when the reader knows before hand, and cannot but remember, that it is artificial, and avowedly intended for effect. This is so obvious, that one cannot help wondering how the parties concerned in the publication of these Voyages should have acquiesced in the mode of their appearance. The only way of accounting for it, perhaps, is this; it was imagined that no one but an author by profession was competent to fulfil the expectations that had been formed in the public mind. The opinion generally entertained that Mr Robins was the author of the Account of Anson's Voyage, might have contributed to this very groundless notion; and the parties might have hoped, that a person of Dr Hawkesworth's reputation in the literary world, would not fail to fabricate a work that should at least rival that excellent production. It would be unfair not to apprise the reader, that this hope was not altogether realised. Public opinion has unquestionably ranked it as inferior, but has not however been niggard in its praise. The work is read, and always will be read, with high interest. This, perhaps, is capable of augmentation; and the Editor much deceives himself if he has not accomplished this effect by his labours, as well in pruning off the redundant moralizings and cumbrous ratiocinations of Dr Hawkesworth, as in contributing new but relevant matter to the mass of amusing and instructive information which that gentleman has recorded. He confesses that he has far less delicacy in doing either of these offices in the present case, than he would chuse to avow, had the account emanated purely and directly from the pens of those who performed the voyages; nor can he help feeling a regret, that such persons as Byron and Cook, both of whom have given most satisfactory proofs of their possessing every literary requisite, were not permitted to edify the public as they thought good, without the officious instrumentality of an editor. These men needed no such interference, though their modesty and good sense availed them, undoubtedly, in profiting by the merely verbal corrections of friendship; and their own productions have the charm of simplicity and genuineness of narrative, which, it is certain, the ability acquired by mere drudgery in composition is by no means adequate to produce.—E.]

Some particulars that are related in one voyage will perhaps appear to be repeated in another, as they would necessarily have been if the several commanders had written the account of their voyages themselves; for a digest could not have been made of the whole, without invading the right of each navigator to appropriate the relation of what he had seen: these repetitions, however, taken together, will be found to fill but a few pages of the book.[6]

[Footnote 6: These repetitions have been studiously avoided in this work, wherever omission could be practised, or reference to different parts of the collection seemed unembarrassing.—E.]

That no doubt might remain of the fidelity with which I have related the events recorded in my materials, the manuscript account of each voyage was read to the respective commanders at the Admiralty, by the appointment of Lord Sandwich, who was himself present during much the greatest part of the time. The account of the voyage of the Endeavour was also read to Mr Banks and Dr Solander, in whose hands, as well as in those of Captain Cook, the manuscript was left for a considerable time after the reading. Commodore Byron also, Captain Wallis, and Captain Carteret, had the manuscripts of their respective voyages to peruse, after they had been read at the Admiralty in their presence, and such emendations as they suggested were made. In order thus to authenticate the voyage of Captain Cook, the account of it was first written, because it was expected when his journal was put into my hand, that he would have sailed on his second voyage in less than five months.

[Some paragraphs, containing reasons or apologies for certain minute specifications of courses, bearings, &c. &c. are here omitted, as unnecessary where the things themselves, to which objections were anticipated, are not given. Some cuts also alluded to are of course unsuitable to this work, and the references to them are in consequence left out. Dr Hawkesworth occupies the remainder of this introduction in discussing two subjects, about which it is thought unadvisable to take up the reader's attention at present—the controversy respecting the existence of giants in Patagonia, asserted by Byron, Wallis, and Carteret; and the justifiableness of attempting discoveries, where, in prosecution of them, the lives of human beings in a savage state are of necessity sacrificed.]

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The Passage from the Downs to Rio de Janeiro.

[The longitude in this voyage is reckoned from the meridian of London, west to 180 degrees, and east afterwards.]

On the 21st of June, 1764, I sailed from the Downs, with his majesty's ship the Dolphin, and the Tamar frigate, under my command. In coming down the river, the Dolphin got a-ground; I therefore put into Plymouth, where she was docked, but did not appear to have received any damage.[7] At this place, having changed some of our men, and paid the people two months wages in advance, I hoisted the broad pendant, and sailed again on the 3d of July; on the 4th we were off the Lizard, and made the best of our way with a fine breeze, but had the mortification to find the Tamar a very heavy sailer. In the night of Friday the 6th, the officer of the first watch saw either a ship on fire, or an extraordinary phenomenon which greatly resembled it, at some distance: It continued to blaze for about half an hour, and then disappeared. In the evening of July the 12th, we saw the rocks near the island of Madeira, which our people call the Deserters, from Desertes, a name which has been given them from their barren and desolate appearance: The next day we stood in for the road of Funchiale, where, about three o'clock in the afternoon, we came to an anchor. In the morning of the 14th, I waited upon the governor, who received me with great politeness, and saluted me with eleven guns, which I returned from the ship. The next day, he returned my visit at the house of the consul, upon which I saluted him with eleven guns, which he returned from the fort. I found here his majesty's ship the Crown, and the Ferret sloop, who also saluted the broad pendant.

[Footnote 7: In a well-drawn-up account of this voyage, published 1767, by an officer of the Dolphin, it is said that "her bottom was sheathed with copper, as were likewise the braces and pintles for the use of the rudder, which was the first experiment of the kind that had ever been made on any vessel." This work will be referred to occasionally, and is certainly deserving of that notice.—E.]

Having completed our water, and procured all the refreshment I was able for the companies of both the ships, every man having twenty pounds weight of onions for his sea-stock, we weighed anchor on Thursday the 19th, and proceeded on our voyage. On the 21st, we made the island of Palma, one of the Canaries, and soon after examining our water, we found it would be necessary to touch at one of the Cape de Verd islands for a fresh supply. During the whole of our course from the Lizard, we observed that no fish followed the ship, which I judged to be owing to her being sheathed with copper. By the 26th, our water was become foul, and stunk intolerably, but we purified it with a machine, which had been put on board for that purpose: It was a kind of ventilator, by which air was forced through the water in a continual stream, as long as it was necessary.

In the morning of the 27th, we made the island of Sal, one of the Cape de Verds, and seeing several turtle upon the water, we hoisted out our jolly-boat, and attempted to strike them, but they all went down before our people could come within reach of them. On Monday the 30th, we came to an anchor in Port Praya bay, the principal harbour in St Jago, the largest of the Cape de Verd Islands. The rainy season was already set in, which renders this place very unsafe; a large swell that rolls in from the southward, makes a frightful surf upon the shore, and there is reason every hour to expect a tornado, of which, as it is very violent, and blows directly in, the consequences are likely to be fatal; so that after the 15th of August no ship comes hither till the rainy season is over, which happens in November; for this reason I made all possible haste to fill my water and get away. I procured three bullocks for the people, but they were little better than carrion, and the weather was so hot, that the flesh stunk in a few hours after they were killed.

On Thursday the 2d of August, we got again under sail, with a large cargo of fowls, lean goats, and monkies, which the people contrived to procure for old shirts, jackets, and other articles of the like kind.[8] The intolerable heat, and almost incessant rain, very soon affected our health, and the men began to fall down in fevers, notwithstanding all my attention and diligence to make them shift themselves before they slept, when they were wet.

[Footnote 8: "Clothes, particularly those that are black, however mean, are here an object of ambition and vanity, rendered less necessary by the warmth of the climate."]

On Wednesday the 8th, the Tamar fired a gun, upon which we shortened sail till she came up: We found that she had suffered no damage but the carrying away of her topsail-yard; however, as we were obliged to make an easy sail till she had got up another, and the wind seemed to be coming again to the southward, we lost a good deal of way. We continued, to our great mortification, to observe that no fish would come near enough to our copper bottom for us to strike, though we saw the sea as it were quickened with them at a little distance. Ships in these hot latitudes generally take fish in plenty, but, except sharks, we were not able to catch one.

On the 11th of September, we made the coast of Brazil; and on the 13th, anchored in eighteen fathom, in the great road of Rio de Janeiro. The city, which is large, and makes a handsome appearance, is governed by the viceroy of Brazil, who is perhaps, in fact, as absolute a sovereign as any upon earth. When I visited him, he received me in great form; above sixty officers were drawn up before the palace, as well as a captain's guard, who were men of a good appearance, and extremely well clothed: His excellency, with a number of persons of the first distinction, belonging to the place, met me at the head of the stairs, upon which fifteen guns were fired from the nearest port: We then entered the room of state, and, after conversing about a quarter of an hour in French, I took my leave, and was dismissed with the same form that had been used at my reception. He offered to return my visit at a house which I had hired on shore, but this I declined, and soon after he returned it on board.

The people in my own ship, who had as much fresh meat and greens as they could eat every day, were very healthy, but there being many sick on board the Tamar, I procured a place for them on shore, where they soon recovered. As the seams of both the ships were very open, some Portuguese caulkers were engaged, who, after having worked some time, rendered them perfectly tight.[9] While we lay here, Lord Clive, in the Kent Indiaman, came to the port. This ship had sailed from England a month before us, and had not touched any where, yet she came in a month after us; so that her passage was just two months longer than ours, notwithstanding the time we lost in waiting for the Tamar, which, though the Dolphin was by no means a good sailer, sailed so much worse, that we seldom spread more than half our canvas. The Kent had many of her people down in the scurvy.

[Footnote 9: "We had six, who were paid at the rate of six shillings sterling a day; though it is certain that one of our English caulkers would do as much in one day as they could in three; but though they are slow and inactive, they perform their work very completely, or else their vessels could not run so many voyages in a shattered condition as they frequently do."]

On Tuesday the 16th of October, we weighed anchor, being impatient to get to sea for the heat here was intolerable; but we lay four or five days above the bar, waiting for the land-breeze to carry us out, for there is no getting out with the sea-breeze, and the entrance between the two first forts is so narrow, and so great a sea breaks in upon them, that it was not without much danger, and difficulty we got out at last, and if we had followed the advice of the Portuguese pilot, we had certainly lost the ship.[10] As this narrative is published for the advantage of future navigators, particularly those of our own nation, it is also necessary I should observe, that the Portuguese here, carrying on a great trade, make it their business to attend every time a boat comes on shore, and practise every artifice in their power to entice away the crew: if other methods do not succeed, they make them drunk, and immediately send them up the country, taking effectual care to prevent their return, till the ship to which they belong has left the place; by this practice I lost five of my men, and the Tamar nine: Mine I never recovered, but the Tamar had the good fortune to learn where her's were detained, and by sending out a party in the night, surprised them, and brought them back.

[Footnote 10: The harbour of Rio de Janeiro is uncommonly good, and spacious enough for a large fleet, but the entrance is very narrow, and requires to be entered with the assistance of a sea-breeze, which fortunately blows daily from before noon till sun-set. According to Captain Krusenstern, the harbour of St Catharines in the island of that name near the Brazil coast, is "infinitely preferable to Rio Janeiro," for ships going round Cape Horn.—See his reasons in the account of his voyage p. 76.—E.]


Passage from Rio de Janeiro to Port Desire; with some Description of that Place.

On Monday the 22d, being now once more at sea, I called all hands upon deck, and informed them, that I was not, as they imagined, bound immediately to the East Indies, but upon certain discoveries, which it was thought might be of great importance to our country; in consideration of which, the lords commissioners of the Admiralty had been pleased to promise them double pay, and several other advantages, if during the voyage they should behave to my satisfaction. They all expressed the greatest joy imaginable upon the occasion, and assured me, that there was no danger or difficulty that they would not with the utmost cheerfulness undergo in the service of their country, nor any order that I could give them which they would not implicitly and zealously obey.[11]

[Footnote 11: "We had all the reason possible to believe that we were bound to the East Indies, and that we should now steer to the Cape of Good Hope, the scheme being so well concerted by our commodore, as even to deceive Lord Clive, who pressed him with great importunity to allow him to take his passage in the Dolphin, we being in much greater readiness for sea than the Kent; but to this the commodore could not consent; but flattered his lordship with the hopes of his taking him on board on their meeting at the Cape."]

We continued our course till Monday the 20th, having frequently hard gales with sudden gusts, which obliged us to strike our top-gallant-masts, and get up our stumps; but this day it blew a storm, with a terrible sea, and the ship laboured so much, that, to ease her, I ordered the two foremost and two aftermost guns to be thrown overboard: The gale continued with nearly equal violence all the rest of the day, and all night, so that we were obliged to lie-to under a double-reefed main-sail; but in the morning, it being more moderate, and veering from N.W. to S. by W. we made sail again, and stood to the westward. We were now in latitude 35 deg.50'S. and found the weather as cold as it is at the same season in England, although the month of November here is a spring month, answering to our May, and we were near twenty degrees neater the Line: To us, who within little more than a week had suffered intolerable heat, this change was most severely felt: And the men who, supposing they were to continue in a hot climate during the whole voyage, had contrived to sell not only all their warm clothes, but their bedding, at the different ports where we had touched, now applied in great distress for slops, and were all furnished for the climate.

On Friday the 2d of November, after administering the proper oaths to the lieutenants of both ships, I delivered them their commissions; for till this time they acted only under verbal orders from me, and expected to receive their commissions in India, whither they imagined we were bound. We now began to see a great number of birds about the ship, many of them very large, of which some were brown and white, and some black: There were among them large flocks of pintadoes, which are somewhat larger than a pigeon, and spotted with black and white. On the 4th, we saw a great quantity of rock weed, and several seals: The prevailing winds were westerly, so that being continually driven to the eastward, we foresaw that it would not be easy to get in with the coast of Patagonia. On the 10th, we observed the water to change colour, but we had no ground with one hundred and forty fathom. The next day we stood in for the land till eight in the evening, when we had ground of red sand with forty-five fathom. We steered S.W. by W. all night, and the next morning had fifty-two fathom with the same ground: Our latitude now being 42 deg.34' S., longitude 58 deg.17' W., the variation 11 deg.1/4 E.

On Monday the 12th, about four o'clock in the afternoon, as I was walking on the quarter-deck, all the people upon the forecastle called out at once, "Land right a-head;" it was then very black almost round the horizon, and we had had much thunder and lightning; I looked forward under the fore-sail, and upon the lee-bow, and saw what at first appeared to be an island, rising in two rude craggy hills, but upon looking to leeward I saw land joining to it, and running a long way to the south-east: We were then steering S.W. and I sent officers to the mast-head to look out upon the weather-beam, and they called out that they saw land also a great way to the windward. I immediately brought to, and sounded; we had still fifty-two fathom, but I thought that we were embayed, and rather wished than hoped that we should get clear before night. We made sail and steered E.S.E. the land still having the same appearance, and the hills looking blue, as they generally do at a little distance in dark rainy weather, and now many of the people said that they saw the sea break upon the sandy beaches; but having steered out for about an hour, what we had taken for land vanished all at once, and to our astonishment appeared to have been a fog-bank. Though I had been almost continually at sea for seven-and-twenty years, I had never seen such a deception before; others, however, have been equally deceived; for the master of a ship not long since made oath, that he had seen an island between the west end of Ireland and Newfoundland, and even distinguished the trees that grew upon it Yet it is certain that no such island exists, at least it could never be found, though several ships were afterwards sent out on purpose to seek it. And I am sure, that if the weather had not cleared up soon enough for us to see what we had taken for land disappear, every man on board would freely have made oath, that land had been discovered in this situation.

The next day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the weather being extremely fine, the wind shifted at once to the S.W. and began to blow fresh, the sky at the same time becoming black to windward: In a few minutes all the people that were upon the deck were alarmed with a sudden and unusual noise, like the breaking of the sea upon the shore. I ordered the top-sails to be handed immediately; but before it could be done, I saw the sea approaching at some distance, in vast billows covered with foam; I called to the people to haul up the fore-sail, and let go the main-sheet instantly; for I was persuaded that if we had any sail out when the gust reached us, we should either be overset, or lose all our masts. It reached us, however, before we could raise the main tack, and laid us upon our beam-ends; the main tack was then cut for it was become impossible to cast it off; and the main sheet struck down the first lieutenant, bruised him dreadfully, and beat out three of his teeth: the main-topsail, which was not quite handed, was split to pieces. If this squall, which came on with less warning and more violence than any I had ever seen, had taken us in the night, I think the ship must have been lost. When it came on we observed several hundred of birds flying before it, which expressed their terror by loud shrieks; it lasted about twenty minutes, and then gradually subsided. The Tamar split her main-sail, but as she was to leeward of us, she had more time to prepare. In a short time it began to blow very hard again, so that we reefed our main-sail, and lay-to all night. As morning approached the gale became more moderate, but we had still a great sea, and the wind shifting to S. by W. we stood to the westward under our courses. Soon after it was light, the sea appeared as red as blood, being covered with a small shell-fish of that colour, somewhat resembling our cray-fish, but less, of which we took up great quantities in baskets.

At half an hour past four in the morning of the 15th of November, we saw land, which had the appearance of an island about eight or nine leagues long, there being no land in sight either to the northward or southward, though by the charts it should be Cape Saint Helena, which projects from the coast to a considerable distance, and forms two bays, one to the north, and the other to the south. As the weather was very fine, I tacked and stood in for it about ten o'clock; but as there were many sunken rocks at about two leagues distance from it, upon which the sea broke very high, and the wind seemed to be gradually dying away, I tacked again and stood off. The land appeared to be barren and rocky, without either tree or bush: When I was nearest to it I sounded, and had forty-five fathom, with black muddy ground. To my great misfortune, my three lieutenants and the master were at this time so ill as to be incapable of duty, though the rest of the ship's company were in good health.

The next day I shaped my course by the chart in the account of Lord Anson's voyage, for Cape Blanco. In the evening it blew extremely hard at S.W. by S. so that we brought to for the night under our main-sail. In the morning we made sail again, but we had a great sea; and although, it was now almost Midsummer in these parts, the weather was, in every respect, much worse than it is in the Bay of Biscay at the depth of winter. About six in the evening, having carried all the sail I could, we made land, bearing about S.S.W. which, as we had a good observation of the sun, we knew to be Cape Blanco; but it now began to blow with more violence than ever, and the storm continued all night, with a sea that was continually breaking over us, so that the ship laboured very much. At four in the morning, we sounded and had forty fathom, with rocky ground; having stood off in the night, we now wore and stood in again, the storm still continuing with hail and snow; and about six o'clock we saw the land again, bearing S.W. by W. The ship was now so light, that in a gale of wind she drove bodily to leeward; so that I was very solicitous to get into Port Desire,[12] that I might put her hold in order, and take in sufficient ballast, to avoid the danger of being caught upon a lee-shore in her present trim. We steered in for the land with the wind at N.E. and in the evening brought to; but the wind coming to the westward, we were driven off in the night. At seven the next morning, we stood in again, steering S.W. by S. by the compass, and soon perceived the sea to break right a-head of us; we immediately sounded, and shoaled our water from thirteen to seven fathom, soon after deepening it again from seventeen to forty-two; so that we went over the end of a shoal, which a little farther to the northward might have been fatal to us. Cape Blanco at this time bore W.S.W. 1/2 S. distant four leagues: But we were still at a loss for Port Desire, it being impossible that any description should be more confused than that which Sir John Narborough has given of this harbour. I stood into a bay to the southward of the cape, as he directs, but could find no such place; I therefore stood along the shore to the southward, the wind blowing off the land very hard, and saw several large columns of smoke rising in many places, but no tree or bush, the country resembling in appearance the barren downs of England. We observed also that the water was frequently very shallow at the distance of seven or eight miles from the shore, for we had many times not more than ten fathom.

[Footnote 12: So called after the name of his ship, the Desire, by Sir Thomas Candish, or Cavendish, who put in there on the 27th of November, 1586. See vol. x.p. 70—E.]

We continued to stand along the shore all day as near as possible, and in the evening we saw an island at the distance of about six leagues; in the morning we stood in for it, and found that it corresponded with Narborough's description of Penguin Island. As Port Desire is said to lie about three leagues north-west of this island, I sent the boat to look for it, and when she returned, having found it, I stood in for the land. There were thousands of seals and penguins about the ship, and near Penguin Island several smaller islands, or rather rocks. In the evening we saw a remarkable rock, rising from the water like a steeple, on the south side of the entrance of Port Desire; this rock is an excellent mark to know the harbour, which it would otherwise be difficult to find. At night, there being little wind, we anchored at the distance of four or five miles from the shore; and in the morning, with a breeze from the land, we turned up the harbour's mouth; we found it very narrow, with many rocks and shoals about it, and the most rapid tide I had ever known. I came to an anchor off the harbour in nine fathom, the entrance of the river being open, and bearing W.S.W. Penguin Island S.E. 1/2 E. distant about three leagues; the Steeple Rock S.W. by. W. the northermost land N.N.W. and two rocks, which are covered at half tide, and lie at the southermost extremity of a reef which runs from the same land, N.E. by N. I mention all these bearings particularly, because I think it may be of importance to future navigators, especially as the descriptions that have been given of this place by the few who have already visited it, are extremely defective. The wind blew very hard the greater part of this day, and there ran an ugly sea where we were stationed, yet I ordered our two boats to sound the harbour, and attended in my own boat myself. We found it very narrow for near two miles, with a tide running at the rate of eight miles an hour; we found also many rocks and shoals, but all the danger shows itself above water. When we came to the shore I landed, and walked a little way into the country, which as far as I could see was all downs, without a single tree or shrub. We saw the dung of many beasts, and had a glimpse of four, which ran away as soon as we came in sight, so that we could not certainly determine what they were; but we believed them to be guanicoes, many of which we afterwards saw come down to the water-side; they resemble our deer, but are much larger, the height of some being not less than thirteen hands; they are very shy and very swift. After I returned to my boat, I went farther up the harbour, and landed upon an island that was covered with seals, of which we killed above fifty, and among them many that were larger than a bullock, having before half-loaded our boat with different kinds of birds, of which, and seals, there are enough to supply the navy of England. Among the birds one was very remarkable; the head resembled that of an eagle, except that it had a large comb upon it; round the neck there was a white ruff, exactly resembling a lady's tippet; the feathers on the back were as black as jet, and as bright as the finest polish could render that mineral; the legs were remarkably strong and large, the talons were like those of an eagle, except that they were not so sharp, and the wings, when they were extended, measured from point to point no less than twelve feet.

The Tamar worked into the harbour with the tide of flood, but I kept my station with the Dolphin till I should have a leading wind, and the wind shifting to the eastward, I weighed about five o'clock in the afternoon, intending to go up with the evening flood: Before I could get under sail, however, the wind shifted again to N.W. by N. and it being low water, the ship lying but just within the harbour, and there being no tide to assist us, we were obliged to anchor near the south shore. The wind came off the land in very hard flaws, and in a short time our anchor coming home, the ship tailed on shore against a steep gravelly beach. The anchoring ground, indeed, as far as we had yet sounded, was bad, being very hard; so that, in this situation, if the wind blows fresh, there is always the greatest reason to fear that the anchor should come home before the ship can be brought up. While we were on shore, it began to blow very hard, and the tide running like a sluice, it was with the utmost difficulty that we could carry an anchor to heave us off; however, after about four hours hard labour, this was effected, and the ship floated in the stream. As there was only about six or seven feet of the after-part of her that touched the ground, there was reason to hope that she had suffered no damage; however, I determined to unhang the rudder, that it might be examined.

During all this night and the next morning the wind blew with great violence, and we had let go our best bower anchor when we were near the shore, in hopes it would have brought us up, and had not yet been able to weigh it. We now rode in a very disagreeable situation with our small bower, and that unfortunately came home again; we therefore got a hawser out of the Tamar, who lay in the stream, and after weighing the small bower, we got out by her assistance, and then dropped it again, most ardently wishing for fair weather, that we might get the ship properly moored.

The next day we sounded the harbour higher up, and found the ground softer, and the water not so deep; yet the wind continued to blow so hard that we could not venture to change our station. We had found a small spring of water about half a mile inland, upon the north side of the bay, but it had a brackish taste; I had also made another excursion of several miles into the country, which I found barren and desolate, in every direction, as far as the eye could reach. We had seen many guanicoes at a distance, but we could not get near enough to have a shot at them; we tracked beasts of several kinds in the soil, near a pond of salt water, and among them a very large tyger: We found also a nest of ostrich's eggs, which we eat, and thought very good. It is probable that all the animals which had left marks of their feet near the salt pond, drank the water, and indeed we saw no fresh water for them. The spring that we had found, which was not perfectly fresh, was the only one of the kind that we had been able to discover; and for that we had been obliged to dig, there being no appearance of it except a slight moisture of the ground.

On the 24th, upon slack water, we carried both the ships higher up and moored them: The extreme points of the harbour's mouth at low water bore from E. by S.1/4 S. to E.; and the Steeple rock S.E.1/4 E. We had here, at low water, but six fathom; but at spring tides the water rises no less than four fathom and a half, which is seven-and-twenty feet. The tide indeed in this place is such as perhaps it is not in any other.[13] It happened by some accident that one of our men fell overboard; the boats were all alongside, and the man was an exceeding good swimmer, yet before any assistance could be sent after him, the rapidity of the stream, had hurried him almost out of sight; we had however at last the good fortune to save him. This day I was again on shore, and walked six or seven miles up the country: I saw several hares as large as a fawn; I shot one of them, which weighed more than six and twenty pounds, and if I had had a good greyhound, I dare say the ship's company might have lived upon hare two days in the week. In the mean time the people on board were busy in getting up all the cables upon deck, and clearing the hold, that a proper quantity of ballast might be taken in, and the guns lowered into it, except a few which it might be thought necessary to keep above.

[Footnote 13: "The harbour itself is not much more than half a mile over. On the south shore is a remarkable rock in the form of a tower, which appears on entering the harbour's mouth. Abreast of this rock we lay at anchor in seven or eight fathom water, moored to the east and west, with both bowers, which we found extremely necessary, on account of the strong tide that regularly ebbs and flows every twelve hours. Indeed the ebb is so rapid, that we found by our log-line it continued to run five or six knots an hour; and in ten minutes after the ebb is past, the flood returns with equal velocity; besides, the wind generally blows during the whole night out of the harbour."]

On the 25th, I went a good way up the harbour in the boat, and having landed on the north side, we soon after found an old oar of a very singular make, and the barrel of a musket, with the king's broad arrow upon it. The musket-barrel had suffered so much from the weather, that it might be crumbled to dust between the fingers: I imagined it had been left there by the Wager's people, or perhaps by Sir John Narborough. Hitherto we had found no kind of vegetables except a species of wild peas; but though we had seen no inhabitants, we saw places where they had made their fires, which however did not appear to be recent. While we were on shore we shot some wild ducks and a hare; the hare ran two miles after he was wounded, though it appeared when he was taken up that a ball had passed quite through his body. I went this day many miles up the country, and had a long chace after one of the guanicoes, which was the largest we had seen: He frequently stopped to look at us, when he had left us at a good distance behind, and made a noise that resembled the neighing of a horse; but when we came pretty near him he set out again, and at last, my dog being so tired that he could not run him any longer, he got quite away from us, and we saw him no more. We shot a hare however, and a little ugly animal which stunk so intolerably that none of us could go near him. The flesh of the hares here is as white as snow, and nothing can be better tasted. A serjeant of marines, and some others who were on shore at another part of the bay, had better success than fell to our share, for they killed two old guanicoes and a fawn; they were however obliged to leave them where they fell, not being able to bring them down to the water side, near six miles, without farther assistance, though they were but half the weight of those that are mentioned by Sir John Narborough; some however I saw, which could not weigh less than seven or eight and thirty stone, which is about three hundred pounds. When we returned in the evening it blew very hard, and the deck being so full of lumber that we could not hoist the boats in, we moored them astern. About midnight, the storm continuing, our six-oared cutter filled with water and broke adrift; the boat-keeper, by whose neglect this accident happened, being on board her, very narrowly escaped drowning by catching hold of the stern ladder. As it was tide of flood when she went from the ship, we knew that she must drive up the harbour; yet as the loss of her would be an irremediable misfortune, I suffered much anxiety till I could send after her in the morning, and it was then some hours before she was brought back, having driven many miles with the stream. In the mean time, I sent another party to fetch the guanicoes which our people had shot the night before; but they found nothing left except the bones, the tygers having eaten the flesh, and even cracked the bones of the limbs to come at the marrow. Several of our people had been fifteen miles up the country in search of fresh water, but could not find the least rill: We had sunk several wells to a considerable depth where the ground appeared moist, but upon visiting them, I had the mortification to find that, altogether, they would not yield more than thirty gallons in twenty-four hours: This was a discouraging circumstance, especially as our people, among other expedients, had watched the guanicoes, and seen them drink at the salt ponds. I therefore determined to leave the place as soon as the ship could be got into a little order, and the six-oared cutter repaired, which had been hauled up upon the beach for that purpose.

On the 27th, some of our people, who had been ashore on the north side of the bay to try for more guanicoes, found the skull and bones of a man, which they brought off with them, and one young guanicoe alive, which we all agreed was one of the most beautiful creatures we had ever seen: It soon grew very tame, and would suck our fingers like a calf; but, notwithstanding all our care and contrivances to feed it, it died in a few days. In the afternoon of this day it blew so hard that I was obliged to keep a considerable number of hands continually by the sheet-anchor, as there was too much reason to fear that our cables would part, which however did not happen. In the mean time, some of our people that were on shore with the carpenters, who were repairing the cutter on the south side of the bay, found two more springs of tolerable water about two miles from the beach, in a direct line from the ship's station. To these springs I sent twenty hands early in the morning with some small casks, called barecas, and in a few turns they brought on board a tun of water, of which we began to be in great want. In the mean time, I went myself about twelve miles up the river in my boat, and the weather then growing bad, I went on shore: The river, as far as I could see, was very broad; there were in it a number of islands, some of which were very large, and I make no doubt but that it penetrates the country for some hundreds of miles. It was upon one of the islands that I went on shore, and I found there such a number of birds, that when they rose they literally darkened the sky, and we could not walk a step without treading upon their eggs. As they kept hovering over our heads at a little distance, the men knocked down many of them with stones and sticks, and carried off several hundreds of their eggs. After some time I left the island and landed upon the main, where our men dressed and eat their eggs, though there were young birds in most of them. I saw no traces of inhabitants on either side of the river, but great numbers of guanicoes, in herds of sixty or seventy together: They would not however suffer us to approach them, but stood and gazed at us from the hills, in this excursion the surgeon, who was of my party, shot a tyger cat, a small but very fierce animal; for, though it was much wounded, it maintained a very sharp contest with my dog for a considerable time before it was killed.[14]

[Footnote 14: "On the south shore the rocks are not so numerous as on the north side; and there are more hills and deep vallies; but they are covered only by high grass and a few small shrubs. Hence this is but a bad place to touch at, by any ship that is under the necessity of wooding and watering. Our commodore, in order to clear the ground of the overgrown grass, which grew in some places in great quantities, and also to improve the soil, which appeared to be of a barren sandy nature, gave orders for the grass to be set on fire in different places, which was no sooner done, than the flames ran so fast, that in less than half an hour they spread several miles round."]

On the 29th, we completed our ballast, which the strength of the tide, and the constant gales of wind, rendered a very difficult and laborious task; we also got on board another tun of water. On the morning of the 30th, the weather was so bad that we could not send a boat on shore; but employed all hands on board in setting up the rigging. It grew more moderate however about noon, and I then sent a boat to procure more water. The two men who first came up to the well found there a large tyger lying upon the ground; having gazed at each other some time, the men, who had no fire-arms, seeing the beast treat them with as much contemptuous neglect as the lion did the knight of La Mancha, begun to throw stones at him: Of this insult, however, he did not deign to take the least notice, but continued stretched upon the ground in great tranquillity till the rest of the party came up, and then he very leisurely rose and walked away.

On the first of December, our cutter being thoroughly repaired, we took her on board, but the weather was so bad that we could not get off any water: The next day we struck the tents which had been set up at the watering-place, and got all ready for sea. The two wells from which, we got our water bear about S.S.E. of the Steeple rock, from which they are distant about two miles and a half; but I fixed a mark near them, that they might be still more easily found than by their bearings. During our stay in this harbour, we sounded every part of it with great care, as high as a ship could go, and found that there is no danger but what may be seen at low water; so that now fresh water is found, though at some distance from the beach, it would be a very convenient place for ships to touch at, if it were not for the rapidity of the tide. The country about the bay abounds with guanicoes, and a great variety of wild fowl, particularly ducks, geese, widgeon, and sea-pies, besides many others for which we have no name. Here is also such plenty of excellent mussels, that a boat may be loaded with them every time it is low water. Wood indeed is scarce; however in some parts of this coast there are bushes, which in a case of necessity might produce a tolerable supply of fuel.

On Wednesday the 5th of December, I unmoored, in order to get out, but the best bower came up foul, and before we could heave short upon the small bower, the tide of ebb made strong; for at this place slack water scarcely continues ten minutes; so that we were obliged to wait till it should be low water. Between five and six in the evening, we weighed, and steered out E.N.E. with a fresh gale at N.N.W.


Course from Port Desire, in search of Pepys' Island, and afterwards to the Coast of Patagonia, with a Description of the Inhabitants.

As soon as we were out of the bay, we steered for Pepys' Island, which is said to lie in latitude 47 deg.S. Our latitude was now 47 deg.22'S. longitude 65 deg.49' W.; Port Desire bore S. 66 deg. W. distant twenty-three leagues; and Pepys' Island, according to Halley's chart, E.3/4 N. distant thirty-four leagues. The variation here was 19 deg.E.

We continued our course the next day with a pleasant gale and fine weather, so that we began to think that this part of the world was not wholly without a summer. On the 7th, I found myself much farther to the northward than I expected, and therefore supposed the ship's way had been influenced by a current. I had now made eighty degrees easting, which is the distance from the main at which Pepys' Island is placed in Halley's chart, but unhappily we have no certain account of the place. The only person who pretends to have seen it, is Cowley,[15] the account of whose voyage is now before me; and all he says of its situation is, that it lies in latitude 47 deg.S.; for he says nothing of its longitude: He says, indeed, that it has a fine harbour; but he adds, that the wind blew so hard he could not get into it, and that he therefore stood away to the southward. At this time I also was steering southward; for the weather being extremely fine, I could see very far to the northward of the situation in which it is laid down. As I supposed it must lie to the eastward of us, if indeed it had any existence, I made the Tamar signal to spread early in the afternoon; and as the weather continued to be very clear, we could see, between us, at least twenty leagues. We steered S.E. by the compass, and at night brought-to, being, by my account, in latitude 47 deg.18'S. The next morning it blew very hard at N.W. by N. and I still thought the island might lie to the eastward; I therefore intended to stand about thirty leagues that way, and if I found no island, to return into the latitude of 47 deg. again. But a hard gale coming on, with a great sea, I brought-to about six o'clock in the evening under the main-sail; and at six o'clock the next morning, the wind being at W.S.W. we made sail again under our courses to the northward. I now judged myself to be about sixteen leagues to the eastward of the track I had run before: Port Desire bore S.80 deg.53'W. distant ninety-four leagues; and in this situation I saw a great quantity of rock-weed, and many birds. We continued to stand to the northward the next day under our courses, with a hard gale from S.W. to N.W. and a great sea. At night, being in latitude 46 deg. 50' S. I wore ship, and stood in to the westward again, our ships having spread every day as far as they could be seen by each other: And on the 11th at noon, being now certain that there could be no such island as is mentioned by Cowley, and laid down by Halley under the name of Pepys' Island, I resolved to stand in for the main, and take in wood and water, of which both ships were in great want, at the first convenient place I could find, especially as the season was advancing very fast, and we had no time to lose. From this time we continued to haul in for the land as the winds would permit, and kept a look-out for the islands of Sebald de Wert,[16] which, by all the charts we had on board, could not be far from our track: A great number of birds were every day about the ship, and large whales were continually swimming by her. The weather in general was fine, but very cold, and we all agreed notwithstanding the hope we had once formed, that the only difference between the middle of summer here, and the middle of winter in England, lies in the length of the days. On Saturday the 15th, being in latitude 50 deg.33'S. longitude 66 deg.59'W. we were overtaken about six in the evening by the hardest gale at S.W. that I was ever in, with a sea still higher than any I had seen in going round Cape Horn with Lord Anson: I expected every moment that it would fill us, our ship being much too deep-waisted for such a voyage: It would have been safest to put before it under our bare poles, but our stock of fresh water was not sufficient, and I was afraid of being driven so far off the land as not to be able to recover it before the whole was exhausted; we therefore lay-to under a balanced mizen, and shipped many heavy seas, though we found our skreen bulk-heads of infinite service.

[Footnote 15: For an account of his voyage, and of his supposed discovery, see vol. x. page 217. It seems impossible to reconcile the veracity of his narration with the non-existence of the island here spoken of, which is not now allowed to hold a place in our maps. But the reader will be better able to form a correct opinion on this subject, after he has read the 5th Section, where the discovery of Cowley is pretty fully discussed.—E.]

[Footnote 16: These may be considered the same as what are now called Falkland's Islands, the name said to have been given them by Captain Strong, in 1639; but they had been frequently seen before that period, as by Sir Richard Hawkins in 1594, and Davis in 1592. They have various other names, and are pretty well known.—E.]

The storm continued with unabated violence the whole night, but about eight in the morning began to subside. At ten, we made sail under our courses, and continued to steer for the land till Tuesday the 18th, when, at four in the morning, we saw it from the mast-head. Our latitude was now 51 deg.8'S. our longitude 71 deg.4'W. and Cape Virgin Mary, the north entrance of the Streights of Magellan, bore S. 19 deg.50'W. distant nineteen leagues. As we had little or no wind, we could not get in with the land this day; the next morning, however, it being northerly, I stood in to a deep bay, at the bottom of which there appeared to be a harbour, but I found it barred, the sea breaking quite from one side of it to the other; and at low water I could perceive that it was rocky, and almost all dry: The water was shoal at a good distance from it, and I was in six fathom before I stood out again. In this place there seemed to be plenty of fish, and we saw many porpoises swimming after them, that were as white as snow, with black spots; a very uncommon and beautiful sight. The land here has the same appearance as about Port Desire, all downs, without a single tree.

At break of day, on the 20th, we were off Cape Fairweather, which bore about west at the distance of four leagues, and we had here but thirteen fathom water, so that it appears necessary to give that cape a good birth. From this place I ran close on shore to Cape Virgin Mary, but I found the coast to lie S.S.E. very different from Sir John Narborough's description, and a long spit of sand running to the southward of the cape for above a league: In the evening I worked up close to this spit of sand, having seen many guanicoes feeding in the vallies as we went along, and a great smoke all the afternoon, about four or five leagues up the strait, upon the north shore.[17] At this place I came to an anchor in fifteen fathom water, but the Tamar was so far to leeward, that she could not fetch the anchoring ground, and therefore kept under way all night.

[Footnote 17: "At eight we discovered a good deal of smoke issuing from different quarters, and on our nearer approach, could plainly perceive a number of people on horseback."]

The next morning, at day-break, I got again under sail, and seeing the same smoke that I had observed the day before, I stood in for it, and anchored about two miles from the shore. This is the place where the crew of the Wager, as they were passing the strait in their boat, after the loss of the vessel, saw a number of horsemen, who waved what appeared to be white handkerchiefs, inviting them to come on shore, which they were very desirous to have done, but it blew so hard that they were obliged to stand out to sea. Bulkeley, the gunner of the Wager, who has published some account of her voyage, says, that they were in doubt whether these people were Europeans who had been shipwrecked upon the coast, or native inhabitants of the country about the river Gallagoes. Just as we came to an anchor, I saw with my glass exactly what was seen by the people in the Wager, a number of horsemen riding backward and forward, directly abreast of the ship, and waving somewhat white, as an invitation for us to come on shore. As I was very desirous to know what these people were, I ordered out my twelve-oared boat, and went towards the beach, with Mr Marshall, my second lieutenant, and a party of men, very well armed; Mr Cumming, my first lieutenant, following in the six-oared cutter.[18] When we came within a little distance of the shore, we saw, as near as I can guess, about five hundred people, some on foot, but the greater part on horseback: They drew up upon a stony spit, which ran a good way into the sea, and upon which it was very bad landing, for the water was shallow, and the stones very large. The people on shore kept waving and hallooing, which, as we understood, were invitations to land; I could not perceive that they had any weapons among them, however I made signs that they should retire to a little distance, with which they immediately complied: They continued to shout with great vociferation, and in a short time we landed, though not without great difficulty, most of the boat's crew being up to the middle in water. I drew up my people upon the beach, with my officers at their head, and gave orders that none of them should move from that station, till I should either call or beckon to them. I then went forward alone, towards the Indians, but perceiving that they retired as I advanced, I made signs that one of them should come near: As it happened, my signals were understood, and one of them, who afterwards appeared to be a chief, came towards me: He was of a gigantic stature, and seemed to realize the tales of monsters in a human shape: He had the skin of some wild beast thrown over his shoulders, as a Scotch Highlander wears his plaid, and was painted so as to make the most hideous appearance I ever beheld: Round one eye was a large circle of white, a circle of black surrounded the other, and the rest of his face was streaked with paint of different colours: I did not measure him, but if I may judge of his height by the proportion of his stature to my own, it could not be much less than seven feet. When this frightful Colossus came up, we muttered somewhat to each other as a salutation, and I then walked with him towards his companions, to whom, as I advanced, I made signs that they should sit down, and they all readily complied: There were among them many women, who seemed to be proportionably large; and few of the men were less than the chief who had come forward to meet me. I had heard their voices very loud at a distance, and when I came near, I perceived a good number of very old men, who were chanting some unintelligible words in the most doleful cadence I ever heard, with an air of serious solemnity, which inclined me to think that it was a religious ceremony: They were all painted and clothed nearly in the same manner; the circles round the two eyes were in no instance of one colour, but they were not universally black and white, some being white and red, and some red and black: Their teeth were as white as ivory, remarkably even and well set; but except the skins, which they wore with the hair inwards, most of them were naked, a few only having upon their legs a kind of boot, with a short pointed stick fastened to each heel, which served as a spur. Having looked round upon these enormous goblins with no small astonishment, and with some difficulty made those that were still galloping up sit down with the rest, I took out a quantity of yellow and white beads, which I distributed among them, and which they received with very strong expressions of pleasure: I then took out a whole piece of green silk ribband, and giving the end of it into the hands of one of them, I made the person that sat next take hold of it, and so on as far as it would reach: All this while they sat very quietly, nor did any of those that held the ribband attempt to pull it from the rest, though I perceived that they were still more delighted with it than with the beads. While the ribband was thus extended, I took out a pair of scissars, and cut it between each two of the Indians that held it, so that I left about a yard in the possession of every one, which I afterwards tied about their heads, where they suffered it to remain without so much as touching it while I was with them. Their peaceable and orderly behaviour on this occasion certainly did them honour, especially as my presents could not extend to the whole company: Neither impatience to share the new finery, nor curiosity to gain a nearer view of me and what I was doing, brought any one of them from the station that I had allotted him.

[Footnote 18: Now for the goblins, the giants of Patagonia! Some account of the controversy about them is reserved for another place. In the mean time the reader may amuse himself with the following notices in addition to the substance of the text; they are extracted from the account of this voyage, already referred to in the preceding notes. "On our first approaching the coast, evident signs of fear appeared among those in the boat, on seeing men of such enormous size, while some, perhaps to encourage the rest, observed that these gigantic people were as much surprised at the sight of our muskets, as we were at seeing them, though it is highly probable they did not know their use, and had never heard the report of a gun. But this was sufficient to remind us, that our fire-arms gave us an advantage much superior to that derived from height of stature and personal strength."—"The commodore and chief officers entered upon a short consultation on the propriety of landing. The first officer, fired with the thoughts of making a full discovery in regard to these Indians, who have been so much the subject of conversation among the English, made a motion to approach nearer and jump on shore; but the commodore objected to it, and would not suffer any man to go before himself."—"Immediately on our landing, they came about us to the number of two hundred or more, looking at us with evident marks of surprise, and smiling, as it should seem, at the great disproportion of our stature."—"They were so delighted with the different trinkets, which they had an opportunity of viewing, as they hung round their necks, and fell down before their bosoms, that the commodore could scarcely restrain them from caressing him, particularly the women, whose large and masculine features corresponded with the enormous size of their bodies. Their middle stature seemed to be about 8 feet; their extreme 9 and upwards; though he did not measure them by any standard, and had reason to believe them rather more than less."—"The commodore himself measures full six feet, and though he stood on tip-toe, he could but just reach the crown of one of the Indians' heads, who was not, by far, the tallest among them."—"They seemed particularly pleased with Lieutenant Cumming, on account of his stature he being 6 feet 2 inches high, and some of them patted him on the shoulder, but their hands fell with such force, that it affected his whole frame." The two last paragraphs, with more to the same effect, are given in a note, and are said to have been communicated by gentlemen who were present on this occasion. It is right to add that their names are not mentioned. So much at present for these monsters.—E.]

These people, however, were not wholly strangers to European commodities, for upon a closer attention, I perceived among them one woman who had bracelets either of brass, or very pale gold, upon her arms, and some beads of blue glass, strung upon two long queues of hair, which being parted at the top, hung down over each shoulder before her: She was of a most enormous size, and her face was, if possible, more frightfully painted than the rest. I had a great desire to learn where she got her beads and bracelets, and enquired by all the signs I could devise, but found it impossible to make myself understood. One of the men shewed me the bowl of a tobacco-pipe, which was made of a red earth, but I soon found that they had no tobacco among them; and this person made me understand that he wanted some: Upon this I beckoned to my people, who remained upon the beach, drawn up as I had left them, and, three or four of them ran forward, imagining that I wanted them. The Indians, who, as I had observed, kept their eyes almost continually upon them, no sooner saw some of them advance, than they all rose up with a great clamour, and were leaving the place, as I supposed to get their arms, which were probably left at a little distance: To prevent mischief, therefore, and put an end to the alarm, which had thus accidentally been spread among them, I ran to meet the people who were, in consequence of my signal, coming from the beach, and as soon as I was within hearing I hallooed to them, and told them that I would have only one come up with all the tobacco that he could collect from the rest. As soon as the Indians saw this, they recovered from their surprise, and every one returned to his station, except a very old man, who came up to me, and sung a long song, which I much regretted my not being able to understand: Before the song was well finished, Mr Cumming came up with the tobacco, and I could not but smile at the astonishment which I saw expressed in his countenance, upon perceiving himself, though six feet two inches high, become at once a pigmy among giants; for these people may indeed more properly be called giants than tall men. Of the few among us who are full six feet high, scarcely any are broad and muscular in proportion to their stature, but look rather like men of the common bulk, run up accidentally to an unusual height; and a man who should measure only six feet two inches, and equally exceed a stout well-set man of the common stature in breadth and muscle, would strike us rather as being of a gigantic race, than as an individual accidentally anomalous; our sensations therefore, upon seeing five hundred people, the shortest of whom were at least four inches taller, and bulky in proportion, may be easily imagined. After I had presented the tobacco, four or five of the chief men came up to me, and, as I understood by the signs they made, wanted me to mount one of the horses, and go with them to their habitations, but as it would upon every account have been imprudent to comply, I made signs in return that I must go back to the ship; at this they expressed great concern, and sat down in their stations again. During our pantomimical conference, an old man often laid his head down upon the stones, and shutting his eyes for about half a minute, afterwards pointed first to his mouth, and then to the hills, meaning, as I imagined, that if I would stay with them till the morning they would furnish me with some provisions, but this offer I was obliged to decline. When I left them, not one of them offered to follow us, but as long as I could see them continued to sit quietly in their places. I observed that they had with them a great number of dogs, with which I suppose they chase the wild animals which serve them for food. The horses were not large, nor in good case, yet they appeared to be nimble and well broken. The bridle was a leathern thong, with a small piece of wood that served for a bit, and the saddles resembled the pads that are in use among the country people in England. The women rode astride, and both men and women without stirrups; yet they galloped fearlessly over the spit upon which we landed, the stones of which were large, loose, and slippery.


Passage up the Strait of Magellan to Port Famine; with some Account of that Harbour, and the adjacent Coast.

Soon after I returned on board I got under way, and worked up the strait, which is here about nine leagues broad, with the flood, not with a view to pass through it, but in search of some place where I might get a supply of wood and water, not chasing to trust wholly to the finding of Falkland's Islands, which I determined afterwards to seek. About eight in the evening, the tide of ebb beginning to make, I anchored in five-and-twenty fathoms. Point Possession bore N.N.E. at about three miles distance, and some remarkable hummocks on the north, which Bulkeley, from their appearance, has called the Asses Ears, W. 1/2 N.

At three in the morning of the 22d we weighed with the wind at E. and steered S.W. by W. about twelve miles. During this course we went over a bank, of which no notice has hitherto been taken: At one time we had but six fathoms and a half, but in two or three casts we had thirteen. When our water, was shallowest, the Asses Ears bore N.W. by W. 1/2 W. distant three leagues, and the north point of the first narrow W. by S. distant between five and six miles. We then steered S.W. by S. near six miles to the entrance of the first narrow, and afterwards S.S.W. about six miles, which brought us through: The tide here was so strong that the passage was very rapid.[19] During this course we saw a single Indian upon the south shore, who kept waving to us as long as we were in sight; we saw also some guanicoes upon the hills, though Wood, in the account of his voyage, says there were none upon that shore. As soon as we had passed the first narrow we entered a little sea, for we did not come in sight of the entrance of the second narrow till we had run two leagues. The distance from the first to the second narrow is about eight leagues, and the course S.W. by W.[20] The land is very high on the north side of the second narrow, which continues for about five leagues, and we steered through it S.W. 1/2 W. with soundings from twenty to five-and-twenty fathoms: We went out of the west end of this narrow about noon, and steered south about three leagues for Elizabeth's island; but the wind then coming right against us, we anchored in seven fathoms. The island bore S.S.E. distant about a mile, and Bartholomew's island bore E.S.E. In the evening, six Indians upon the island came down to the water side, and continued waving and hallooing to us for a long time; but as my people wanted rest, I was unwilling to employ them in hoisting out a boat, and the Indians, seeing their labour fruitless, at length went away. While we were steering from Point Possession to the first narrow, the flood set to the southward, but as soon as we entered the narrow, it set strongly over to the north shore: It flows here at the full and change of the moon about ten o'clock. Between the first and the second narrow the flood sets to the S.W. and the ebb to the N.E.; after the west end of the second narrow is past, the course, with a leading wind, is S. by E. three leagues. Between the islands of Elizabeth and Saint Bartholomew the channel is about half a mile over,[21] and the water is deep. We found the flood set very strongly to the southward, with a great rippling, but round the islands the tides set many different ways.

[Footnote 19: "This narrow is about three miles over, and is the narrowest part of the straits." Wallis agrees as to the former remark—E.]

[Footnote 20: "At the entrance, or east end of the second narrow, lies Cope Gregory, which is a white cliff of a moderate height, and a little to the northward of it is a sandy bay, in which you may ride in eight fathoms water, with very good anchorage." "At the west end of the second narrow on the south shore, is a white headland, called Sweepstakes Foreland." See also Wallis.—E.]

[Footnote 21: The other work says a mile and a half.—E.]

In the morning of the 23d we weighed with the wind at S. by W. and worked between Elizabeth and Bartholomew's island: Before the tide was spent we got over upon the north shore, and anchored in ten fathom. Saint George's island then bore N.E. by N. distant three leagues; a point of land, which I called Porpois Point, N. by W, distant about five miles; and the southermost land S. by E. distant about two miles. In the evening we weighed and steered S. by E. about five miles along the north shore, at about one mile's distance, with regular soundings, from seven to thirteen fathom, and every where good ground. At ten o'clock at night we anchored in thirteen fathom; Sandy Point then bearing S. by E. distant four miles; Porpois Point W.N.W. three leagues; and Saint George's island N.E. four leagues. All along this shore the flood sets to the southward; at the full and change of the moon it flows about eleven o'clock, and the water rises about fifteen feet.

The next morning I went out in my boat in search of Fresh Water Bay; I landed with my second lieutenant upon Sandy Point, and having sent the boat along the shore, we walked abreast of her.[22] Upon the point we found plenty of wood, and very good water, and for four or five miles the shore was exceedingly pleasant. Over the point there is a fine level country, with a soil that, to all appearance, is extremely rich; for the ground was covered with flowers of various kinds, that perfumed the air with their fragrance; and among them there were berries, almost innumerable, where the blossoms had been shed: we observed that the grass was very good, and that it was intermixed with a great number of peas in blossom. Among this luxuriance of herbage we saw many hundreds of birds feeding, which, from their form, and the uncommon beauty of their plumage, we called painted geese. We walked more than twelve miles, and found great plenty of fine fresh water, but not the bay that we sought; for we saw no part of the shore, in all our walk from Sandy Point, where a boat could land without the utmost hazard, the water being very shoal, and the sea breaking very high. We fell in with a great number of the huts or wigwams of the Indians, which appeared to have been very lately deserted, for in some of them the fires which they had kindled were scarcely extinguished; they were in little recesses of the woods, and always close to fresh water. In many places we found plenty of wild celery, and a variety of plants, which probably would be of great benefit to seamen after a long voyage. In the evening we walked back again, and found the ships at anchor in Sandy Point Bay, at the distance of about half a mile from the shore. The keen air of this place made our people so voraciously hungry that they could have eaten three times their allowance; I was therefore very glad to find some of them employed in hauling the seine, and others on shore with their guns; sixty very large mullets were just taken with the seine as I came up; and the gunners had good sport, for the place abounded with geese, teale, snipes, and other birds, that were excellent food.

[Footnote 22: "We sent the boat to sound between Elizabeth's and St Bartholomew's Islands, and found it a very good channel, with very deep water. On this occasion we saw a number of Indians, that hallooed to us from Elizabeth's Island. Both the men and the women were of the middle size, well-made, and with smooth black hair; they appear to be of an olive-coloured complexion, but rendered more red than they are naturally, by rubbing a red earth mixed with grease all over their bodies. They are very active and swift of foot," &c.]

On the 25th, Christmas day, we observed by two altitudes, and found the latitude of Sandy Point to be 58 deg. 10' S. At eight in the morning we weighed, and having sailed five leagues from Sandy Point, in the direction of S. by E. 1/2 E. we anchored again in thirty-two fathom, about a mile from the shore; the south point of the Fresh Water Bay then bearing N.N.W. distant about four miles; and the southernmost land S.E. by S. As we sailed along the shore, at about two miles distance, we had no ground with sixty fathom; but at the distance of one mile we had from twenty to thirty-two fathom. At the full and change of the moon, the tide flows off Fresh Water Bay at twelve o'clock; it runs but little, yet flows very much by the shore.

On the 26th, at eight o'clock in the morning, we weighed, with the wind at E.N.E. and steered S.S.E. for Port Famine. At noon, St Anne's Point, which is the northermost point of that port, bore S. by E. 1/2 E, distant three leagues. Along this shore, at the distance of two or three miles, we had very deep water; but within a mile had ground with twenty-five or thirty fathom. From St Anne's Point a reef of rocks runs out S.E. by E. about two miles; and at the distance of two cables' length from this reef the water will suddenly shoal from sixty-five to thirty-five and twenty fathom. The point itself is very steep, so that there is no sounding till it is approached very near, and great care must be taken in standing into Port Famine, especially if the ship is as far southward as Sedger river, for the water will shoal at once from thirty to twenty, fifteen, and twelve fathom; and at about two cables' length farther in, at more than a mile from the shore, there is but nine feet water when the tide is out. By hauling close round St Anne's Point, soundings will soon be got; and as the water shoals very fast, it is not safe to go farther in, when there is no more than seven fathom; the strait here is not more than four leagues wide.

The next day at noon, having had little wind and calms, we anchored at Port Famine, close to the shore, and found our situation very safe and convenient; we had shelter from all winds except the S.E. which seldom blows, and if a ship should be driven ashore in the bottom of the bay, she could receive no damage, for it is all fine soft ground. We found drift-wood here sufficient to have furnished a thousand sail, so that we had no need to take the trouble of cutting green. The water of Sedger river is excellent, but the boats cannot get in till about two hours flood, because at low water it is very shallow for about three quarters of a mile. I went up it about four miles in my boat, and the fallen trees then rendered it impossible to go farther: I found it, indeed, not only difficult but dangerous to get up thus far. The stream is very rapid, and many stumps of trees lie hidden under it: One of these made its way through the bottom of my boat, and in an instant she was full of water. We got on shore as well as we could; and afterwards, with great difficulty, hauled her up upon the side of the river: Here we contrived to stop the hole in her bottom, so as that we made a shift to get her down to the river's mouth, where she was soon properly repaired by the carpenter. On each side of this river there are the finest trees I ever saw, and I make no doubt but that they would supply the British navy with the best masts in the world. Some of them are of a great height, and more than eight feet in diameter, which is proportionably more than eight yards in circumference; so that four men, joining hand in hand, could not compass them: Among others, we found the pepper tree, or Winter's bark, in great plenty.[23] Among these woods, notwithstanding the coldness of the climate, there are innumerable parrots, and other birds of the most beautiful plumage. I shot every day geese and ducks enough to serve my own table and several others, and every body on board might have done the same: We had, indeed, great plenty of fresh provisions of all kinds, for we caught as much fish every day as served the companies of both ships. As I was much on shore here, I tracked many wild beasts in the sand, but never saw one; we also found many huts or wigwams, but never met with an Indian. The country between this port and Cape Forward, which is distant about four leagues, is extremely fine, the soil appears to be very good, and there are no less than three pretty large rivers, besides several brooks.[24]

[Footnote 23: "In this part may be found a considerable quantity of excellent wood, either green or dry, the latter lying along the shore on both sides the straits, which are almost covered with the trees, that, having grown on the banks, have been blown down by the high winds. These trees are somewhat like our birch, but are of so considerable a size, that the trunks of some of them are two feet (surely an error, yards must be intended) and a half in diameter, and sixty feet in length. Many of these we cut down for our carpenters use, and found that, when properly dried, they were very serviceable, though not fit for masts." The bark named Winter's in the text, is so called after Captain Winter, who discovered it in 1567. It was long held a specific for scurvy, and is now commended in certain cases as an article in diet-drinks. According to the work just now quoted, the sailors often used it in pies instead of spice, and found it palateable.—E.]

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