TWO EXPEDITIONS OF DISCOVERY
NORTH-WEST AND WESTERN
DURING THE YEARS 1837, 1838, AND 1839,
Under the Authority of Her Majesty's Government.
MANY NEWLY DISCOVERED, IMPORTANT, AND FERTILE DISTRICTS,
OBSERVATIONS ON THE MORAL AND PHYSICAL CONDITION OF THE ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS, ETC. ETC.
BY GEORGE GREY, ESQUIRE.
GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA;
Late Captain of the Eighty-third Regiment.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
T. AND W. BOONE, 29 NEW BOND STREET.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME 1.
CHAPTER 1. COMMENCEMENT OF THE EXPEDITION. TENERIFE.
GENERAL PLAN AND OBJECTS. INSTRUCTIONS. TENERIFE. AQUEDUCT AT SANTA CRUZ. EXCURSION TO ORATAVA. CAMELS. STATISTICS OF THE CANARY ISLANDS. TABLES. METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS. VOCABULARY OF THE CANARIAN DIALECTS. MARINE BLOWING-STONE. GUANCHE BONE CAVE.
CHAPTER 2. TO BAHIA AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
ATMOSPHERICAL PHENOMENON AT SEA. LAND AT BAHIA. EVENING WALK. THE TOWN. STATE OF SOCIETY. REMARKS ON VOYAGE FROM BAHIA TO THE CAPE. ARRIVAL THERE. HIRE THE LYNHER. EQUIPMENT AND PLANS. SAIL FOR HANOVER BAY.
CHAPTER 3. FROM THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE TO HANOVER BAY.
CHAPTER 4. HANOVER BAY.
NEW AND DANGEROUS SHOAL. ARRIVAL OFF THE COAST OF AUSTRALIA. ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY FROM SHIP-BOARD. LAND AT HIGH BLUFF POINT. WALK TO HANOVER BAY. DISTRESS FOR WANT OF WATER ON THE ROUTE. LOSS OF OUR THREE DOGS. TRACES OF NATIVES. THEIR HUTS. ALARMING DEBILITY OF THE MEN. EFFORTS TO REACH THE VESSEL. SWIM AN INLET OF THE SEA. DANGER IN THE PASSAGE ACROSS AND AFTER LANDING. THE PARTY REGAIN THE LYNHER.
CHAPTER 5. AT HANOVER BAY.
PLAGUE OF FLIES. ENTRANCE TO PRINCE REGENT'S RIVER. EFFECT OF TIDES. GREEN ANTS. DESCRIPTION OF LANDING-PLACE, AND ENCAMPMENT AT HANOVER BAY. FATE OF TWO OF THE DOGS. LABOUR OF DISEMBARKING STORES. NATIVES. REMARKABLE FISHES. PREPARATIONS FOR SENDING THE VESSEL TO TIMOR.
CHAPTER 6. HANOVER BAY AND ITS VICINITY.
NATIVES SEEN. FIRST EXCURSION. CHARACTER OF THE SCENERY. GEOLOGICAL PHENOMENA. CUCKOO-PHEASANT. SPORTING. NATIVE HAUNTS. ATTACK OF NATIVES. RETURN TO HANOVER BAY. PROCEEDINGS THERE DURING MY ABSENCE. CHRISTMAS DINNER. PLANTING USEFUL SEEDS. WALK TO MUNSTER WATER. ISTHMUS NEAR HANOVER BAY. HILL OF SHELLS. COUNTRY ABOUT PRINCE REGENT'S RIVER. GOUTY-STEMMED TREES. SINGULAR PIECES OF SANDSTONE.
CHAPTER 7. HANOVER BAY AND ITS VICINITY.
OCCUPATION AT THE CAMP. RETURN OF THE LYNHER. RELATION OF PROCEEDINGS AT TIMOR AND ROTI. NEW ISLAND SEEN. TROUBLE WITH THE HORSES. EXCURSION BY WATER TO PRINCE REGENT'S RIVER. CHARACTER OF ITS SHORES. SCENERY AND THUNDERSTORM. DEPARTURE FOR THE INTERIOR. DIFFICULTIES OF THE ROUTE. SICKNESS AND MORTALITY AMONG THE HORSES AND STOCK. CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY.
CHAPTER 8. TO THE GLENELG RIVER.
MEETING AND ENCOUNTER WITH THE NATIVES. UNFORTUNATE RESULTS. DESCENT FROM THE SANDSTONE RANGE. DESCRIPTION OF A NEW VOLCANIC COUNTRY. DISCOVERY AND CHARACTER OF THE GLENELG RIVER. IMPEDIMENTS FROM MARSHES AND STREAMS. PROGRESS TOWARDS THE UPPER PART OF THE GLENELG.
CHAPTER 9. TO THE UPPER GLENELG.
WORKS OF NATIVE INDUSTRY. MOUNT LYELL. MAGNIFICENT PROSPECT. MARKS OF INUNDATIONS. NATIVES. COCKATOOS. TORRENTS OF RAIN. SWAMPS. SNAKE AND KANGAROO. NATIVE BRIDGE. PRECIPITOUS PASS. FRILLED LIZARD. BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY. WILD OATS. CURIOUS BIRDS. PAINTED CAVE. CROSS A LARGE RIVER. NATURAL GRAPERY. FORD THE GLENELG. WEAKNESS OF THE MEN. ANOTHER PAINTED CAVE. NARROW ESCAPE. IMPASSABLE SANDSTONE RANGES.
CHAPTER 10. RETURN TO HANOVER BAY.
UNSUCCESSFUL SEARCH FOR A PASS. PREPARATIONS TO RETURN. LIGHT EXPLORING PARTY SENT FORWARD UNDER LIEUTENANT LUSHINGTON. THEIR REPORT. COMMENCEMENT OF MARCH BACK. CHANGE OF TRACK. CURIOUS MOUNDS OF STONES. PASS MOUNT LYELL. RECOVERY OF BURIED STORES. ANXIETY ON APPROACHING HANOVER BAY. REJOIN THE LYNHER. MEETING WITH THE BEAGLE. STATE OF THE PLANTS AND SEEDS LEFT AT THE ENCAMPMENT. REEMBARKATION. SAIL FOR THE MAURITIUS.
CHAPTER 11. NATURAL HISTORY. CLIMATE. ABORIGINES.
DISTRIBUTION OF ANIMALS. NEW KANGAROO. NEW DOMESTIC DOG. CHECKS ON INCREASE OF ANIMALS. INFLUENCE OF MAN ON THEIR HABITS. TRACES OF AN ANIMAL WITH A DIVIDED HOOF. BIRDS. EMUS. ALLIGATORS. CLIMATE. PROOFS OF ITS SALUBRITY. THERMOMETRICAL OBSERVATIONS. ABORIGINES, THEIR HABITS AND MANNERS. INDIVIDUALS OF AN ALIEN RACE. SIMILARITY OF CUSTOMS WITH OTHER AUSTRALIAN TRIBES. CAVES. DRAWINGS. TOMBS.
CHAPTER 12. PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. COMMERCIAL PROSPECTS.
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. MOUNTAIN RANGES. RIVERS. VALLEYS. PRODUCTIONS SUITED FOR CULTIVATION. COMMERCIAL PROSPECTS. TRADE WITH THE ASIATIC ARCHIPELAGO. METHOD OF BARTER. SUCCESS OF AMERICAN VESSELS. TRADING PRODUCTS OF THE SEVERAL ISLANDS.
CHAPTER 13. AT SWAN RIVER.
PLAN FOR RETURNING TO THE NORTH-WEST COAST. WHY ABANDONED. EXCURSION TO THE NORTH OF PERTH. STORY-TELLING TO NATIVES. LAKES. DELAY, AND BIVOUACK. NATIVE TOILETTE. MEETING WITH A NEW TRIBE. CURIOUS SUPERSTITIONS. REVENGEFUL COMBAT AND MURDER PREVENTED. RETURN TO PERTH. EXCURSION IN SEARCH OF MR. ELLIOTT. CAUSE OF IT. THE MURRAY RIVER. WILD CATTLE. NATIVE TRACKING. CROSS THE DARLING RANGE. CONDITION OF DISTANT SETTLERS. ROUTE ALONG MR. ELLIOTT'S TRACKS. KILLING A KANGAROO. LOSE THE TRACKS. NATIVE GRAVE. ESTUARY OF THE LESCHENAULT. MEET WITH MR. ELLIOTT. RETURN TO PERTH.
CHAPTER 14. FROM SWAN RIVER TO THE SHORES OF SHARK BAY.
PLAN OF EXPEDITION. SAIL FROM SWAN RIVER FOR SHARK BAY. LAND AT BERNIER ISLAND. DESCRIPTION OF IT. BURY THE STORES. INEFFECTUAL SEARCH FOR WATER. LOSS OF A BOAT IN REEMBARKING. PULL FOR DORRE ISLAND. ITS CHARACTER. HURRICANE. BOATS DRIVEN ASHORE. DISTRESS FOR WATER. SAIL FOR THE MAIN. GROUND ON A SANDBANK. EXTENSIVE SHALLOWS. FAIL IN MAKING THE LAND. ANCHOR OFF MANGROVE CREEK.
CHAPTER 15. THE GASCOYNE RIVER.
ENTER A MANGROVE CREEK. SEARCH FOR AND COMPLETE OUR WATER. EXAMINE ANOTHER CREEK. CHARACTER OF THEIR SCENERY. DISCOVER ONE MOUTH OF THE GASCOYNE RIVER, AND EXPLORE THE COUNTRY IN ITS VICINITY. SURVEY OF MOUTHS OF THIS RIVER AND BABBAGE ISLAND. EXPLORE THE COUNTRY INLAND TO THE NORTH OF THE RIVER. INTERVIEW WITH NATIVES. SAIL FROM THE GASCOYNE.
CHAPTER 16. TO KOLAINA AND BACK TO THE GASCOYNE.
EXAMINE THE COAST TO THE NORTH OF THE GASCOYNE. LYELL'S RANGE. BOAT SWAMPED IN BEACHING. STATE OF PROVISIONS. SEARCH FOR WATER. REMARKABLE PLAINS. INDISPOSITION OF SEVERAL OF THE PARTY. EXAMINATION OF THE SHORE TO THE NORTHWARD, AND OF THE COUNTRY TO THE SOUTH-EAST. AFFRAY WITH THE NATIVES. CONTINUED FOUL WEATHER. PUT TO SEA. COMPELLED AGAIN TO BEACH THE BOATS. ADJACENT COUNTRY EXPLORED. LAUNCH THE BOATS, AND ENTER NORTHERN MOUTH OF THE GASCOYNE. CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY.
CHAPTER 17. FROM THE GASCOYNE TO GANTHEAUME BAY.
SAIL FROM THE GASCOYNE. A GALE OF WIND. REACH BERNIER ISLAND. DESTRUCTION OF THE DEPOT OF PROVISIONS. REPAIR DAMAGES, AND RETURN TO THE MAIN. ANCHOR TO THE NORTH OF THE GASCOYNE. EXAMINE THE COAST TO THE SOUTHWARD. ITS CHARACTER. STEER FROM THE MAIN. ANOTHER GALE. LAND ON PERRON'S PENINSULA. DESCRIPTION OF IT. ROUND CAPE LESUER. BEACH THE BOATS. SAIL AGAIN FOR DIRK HARTOG'S ISLAND. LAND THERE. PASS OVER TO THE MAIN. DESCRIPTION OF THE LAND. ROUND STEEP POINT, AND PUT BACK AGAIN. PASSAGE TO GANTHEAUME BAY. THE INTERVENING COAST. BOAT TOTALLY WRECKED IN BEACHING IN GANTHEAUME BAY.
Volume 1 Table: for Castles, read Chateaux.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. Map of the District of the River Glenelg, on the North-Western Coast of Australia, from the surveys of George Grey, Esquire, by John Arrowsmith.
2. Sandstone Cave with Paintings near Glenelg River. Drawn on stone by George Barnard from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
3. Diphya, Sp.
4. Diphya, Sp. (Acalepha.)
5. Salpa, Sp.
6. Hyalea, Sp.
7. Physsophora rosacea.
8. Erichthus vitreus.
9. Janthina exigua.
10. Glaucus, Sp.
11. Phyllosoma, Sp.
12. Attack of Natives near Hanover Bay. Drawn on stone by George Barnard from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
13. Three rows of notches made by people on the Gouty-Stem Tree.
14. Gigantic Ants' Nest and Gouty-Stem Tree. Drawn on stone by George Barnard from a sketch by Captain George Grey. M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
15.1. Figure drawn on the roof of Cave, discovered March 26th.
15.2. Figure drawn on side of Cave, discovered March 26th.
15.3. Oval drawing in Cave, discovered March 26th.
15.4. Figure drawn in Cave, discovered March 26th.
16. Head cut in Sandstone Rock. Captain Grey, delt. G. Foggo, Lithographer. M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic Printers.
17. Figure drawn on roof of Cave, discovered March 29th.
18. Supposed Native Tombs. Discovered on the North-Western Coast of New Holland, 7 April 1838. Published by T. & W. Boone, London.
19. Nest or Bower of the Chalmydera nuchalis.
20. Map and Chart of the West Coast of Australia, from Swan River to Shark Bay, Including Houtman's Abrolhos and Port Grey, from the Surveys of Captains Grey, Wickham, and King, and from other official Documents, compiled by John Arrowsmith.
21. Attack of Natives near Kolaina Plains. Drawn on stone by George Barnard from a sketch by Frederick C. Smith, Esquire. M. and N. Hanhart, Lithographic Printers, 64 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place.
THE LORD GLENELG,
UNDER WHOSE AUSPICES,
AS PRINCIPAL SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES,
RECORDED IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES
THESE VOLUMES ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,
IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE
OF HIS ASSISTANCE, HIS COUNSELS, AND HIS KINDNESS,
IN HIS HIGH PUBLIC STATION,
WITH A PROFOUND RESPECT
HIS PERSONAL AND DOMESTIC VIRTUES.
The following pages contain the results of the author's travels and residence in the western parts of Australia, between the years 1837 and 1840, during which period he traversed extensive regions unknown to the European traveller, and probably never before trodden by the foot of civilized man.
It is not alone with gratification of enlightened curiosity that the countries now first brought to notice are likely to be objects of interest. A knowledge of the districts lying between Swan River and Shark Bay cannot but be of importance to future colonists, whilst the intertropical provinces of the north-west coasts, distinguished as they are by important peculiarities both of character and position, are equally calculated to draw the attention of the literary and enterprising enquirer.
It only remains to state in a few words the circumstances under which this work is given to the public.
The author arrived in England in September, 1840, and was engaged in preparing his notes for publication when he was unexpectedly honoured with an appointment which re-called him to Australia in the month of December following.
Avocations both of a public and private nature arising out of that appointment prevented him from carrying his work through the press during the short period of his residence in this country, and consequently the final arrangement of the impression and the duties of typographical revision devolved on others.
Although no pains have been spared to render these volumes worthy of the public eye, the circumstances under which they appear will naturally occasion them to be marked by defects which, doubtless, would not have escaped the author's notice and correction had he been present.
It would be an act of injustice not to express here the obligations the author is under to Mr. J.E. Gray of the British Museum for his valuable assistance in whatever relates to natural history in the body of the work, as well as for the contributions in the same branch of science which will be found in the Appendix; nor are his thanks less due to Mr. Adam White for an interesting paper on the Entomology of Australia; and to Mr. Gould, who has lately visited that country, for his list of the Birds of the Western Coast.
JOURNALS OF EXPEDITIONS OF DISCOVERY.
CHAPTER 1. COMMENCEMENT OF THE EXPEDITION. TENERIFE.
GENERAL PLAN AND OBJECTS.
The Expeditions of which the results are narrated in the following pages took their origin from a proposition made to Government by myself, in conjunction with Lieutenant Lushington,* in the latter part of the year 1836.
(*Footnote. Now Captain Lushington of the 9th Foot.)
At that time a large portion of the western coast and interior of the great Australian continent had remained unvisited and unknown; whilst the opinions of the celebrated navigators Captains Dampier and King, connected with other circumstances, led to the inference, or at least the hope, that a great river, or water inlet, might be found to open out at some point on its western or north-western side; which had then been only partially surveyed from seaward.
DESIGN OF THE EXPEDITION.
Anxious to solve this interesting geographical problem, we addressed a letter to Lord Glenelg, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, wherein we offered our services to conduct an exploration from the Swan River to the northward, having regard to the direction of the coast, so as to intersect any considerable body of water connecting it with the interior; and, in the event of such being discovered, to extend our examination of it as far as circumstances might admit.
The letter containing this offer also enumerated several secondary objects, to which we proposed to direct our attention, and which were ultimately comprehended in our instructions.
The offer and suggestions were favourably entertained by Lord Glenelg, and further communications invited; and, the project having been favoured by the support of the Royal Geographical Society, our services were finally accepted by the Government.
More mature consideration however led to a material alteration in the first plan; for whilst our principal object, namely, the search for a great river or interior inlet, remained the same, it was considered, for several reasons, more advisable that the exploration should commence from the vicinity of Prince Regent's River, on the north-west coast, and be directed towards the Swan. I shall pass over the various points of detail which occupied our time and attention until the moment of departure, as they offer no matters of general interest. It will be sufficient to say that everything suggested as likely to be conducive to the success and utility of the expedition was most liberally granted and supplied; and, when all was prepared, a letter of instructions dated the 16th June 1837 was addressed by Lord Glenelg to myself and Lieutenant Lushington conjointly; which embraced the following points:
1. We were to embark in H.M. sloop of war the Beagle, then fitting out for a survey of the coasts and seas of Australia, under the command of Captain Wickham, R.N.; and to proceed in that vessel either to the Cape of Good Hope or to Swan River, as might ultimately appear best suited to forward the objects of the expedition.
2. On our arrival at either of the foregoing places, we were directed to procure a small vessel to convey the party and stores to the most convenient point in the vicinity of Prince Regent's River.
3. After due examination of the country about Prince Regent's River we were instructed to take such a course as would lead us in the direction of the great opening behind Dampier's Land. From the moment of our arrival at this point our subsequent proceedings were left more discretionary; but the instructions continued: "You will use the utmost exertions to penetrate from thence to the Swan River; as, by adopting this course, you will proceed in a direction parallel to the unknown coast, and must necessarily cross every large river that flows from the interior towards that side of the continent."
4. That we might have an opportunity, in the event of any unforeseen difficulties occurring, of falling back upon the vessel conveying the party, she was not to quit the place where she might have been left by it until such a time had elapsed, from the departure of the expedition for the interior, as should be agreed upon; and, to ensure the observance of this condition, we were instructed to act by the advice of the local authorities of the colony where she might be engaged in drawing up the agreement, as well as in procuring guarantees for its fulfilment.
5. The main objects of the expedition were then specified to be: To gain information as to the real state of North-Western Australia, its resources, and the course and direction of its rivers and mountain ranges; to familiarize the natives with the British name and character; to search for and record all information regarding the natural productions of the country, and all details that might bear upon its capabilities for colonization or the reverse; and to collect specimens of its natural history.
6. It was directed that strict discipline should be observed, and the regulations by which our intercourse with the natives was to be governed were laid down; after which the instructions concluded with the following paragraphs:
No further detail has been given you in these instructions, for, as you have been made aware of the motives which have induced his Majesty's Government to send out the expedition, it is supposed each individual will do his utmost in his situation to carry these objects out, either by obtaining all possible information or by such other means as may be in his power.
Although the instructions regarding the expedition are addressed to you conjointly as conductors of it, it is necessary that the principal authority and direction should be vested in one individual, on whom the chief responsibility would rest.
It is to be understood that Lieutenant Grey, the senior military officer, is considered as commanding the party and the person by whose orders and instructions all individuals composing the party will be guided and conform.
All our preparations being completed, there embarked in the Beagle, besides myself and Mr. Lushington, Mr. Walker, a surgeon and naturalist, and Corporals Coles and Auger, Royal Sappers and Miners, who had volunteered their services; and we sailed from Plymouth on the 5th July 1837.
TENERIFE. AQUEDUCT AT SANTA CRUZ.
The usual incidents of a sea voyage brought us to Santa Cruz in Tenerife, where I landed on Wednesday 19th July 1837, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. There was a sort of table d'hote at 3 o'clock at an hotel kept by an Englishman, at which I dined, and was fortunate in so doing as I met there a German and several English merchants who were principally engaged in the trade of the country. There was also a gentleman who had been from his earliest years in the African trade for gums, etc.; and he gave me many interesting particulars of the wild life the individuals so occupied are compelled to lead. In the afternoon I made a set of magnetic observations and then walked out to see the aqueduct; which at about three-quarters of a mile to the north-east of the town approaches it by a passage cut through a mountain. The execution of this work must have been attended with immense labour, for, although the design is grand and noble, the actual plan upon which it has been completed was by no means well conceived. The average depth of this cut is at least one hundred and twenty feet, its length is about one hundred and eighty, whilst its breadth in many parts is not more than four.
Previously to the construction of this aqueduct the town of Santa Cruz was very badly supplied with water, indeed so much so that the inhabitants were, at some periods of the year, compelled to send upwards of three miles for it; but no want of this nature has ever been experienced since its completion. The expenses of its construction as also of keeping it in repair are principally defrayed by a tax upon all wine and spirits actually consumed in the town.
The scenery of the country I walked through was bold and romantic but by no means rich; fig-trees grew wild about the mountains, and it seemed singular that, whenever I approached one, the peasants on the adjacent hills shouted out in loud tones. As far as I could understand the guide, this was done to deter us from eating the fruits now just ripe, and, upon my return to the town and making further enquiries, I found that such was their custom.
EXCURSION TO ORATAVA.
I started at six o'clock with Mr. Lushington for Oratava, distant about 30 miles from Santa Cruz. We were mounted on small ponies, admirably adapted to the wretched roads of the country, and accompanied by two guides who carried our carpet bags.
CAMELS, MATANZAS, THE GUANCHES.
The first town we came to was Laguna, which appeared to be of some importance; it is distant about four miles from Santa Cruz. On this road we passed many camels laden with heavy burdens; a circumstance which rather surprised me for I had always imagined that, owing to the peculiar formation of its foot, the camel was only fitted for travelling over sandy ground, whilst the way from Santa Cruz to Laguna is one continued mass of sharp rocks, utterly unworthy of the name of a road; yet these animals appeared to move over it without the least inconvenience.
After leaving Laguna the country for some miles bore a very uninteresting appearance; for, although apparently fertile, it was quite parched up by the extreme heat of the sun; our guides, who were on foot carrying our carpet bags, kept up with us by running, and, occasionally when tired, catching hold of the horses' tails to assist themselves along.
We halted for breakfast at Matanzas (or the place of slaughter) so called from a dreadful slaughter of the Spaniards which was here made by the Guanches, the aborigines of the island. I examined the spot where this occurred; it is a narrow defile, formed by a precipice on one hand, and perpendicular rocks on the other, and lies on the only route by which you can pass across the island from east to west; it was therefore well adapted for the purposes of savage warfare, and the Guanches here made the Spaniards pay dearly for the cruelties practised on themselves.
All traces of this interesting people, who were eventually extirpated by the Spaniards, have long since vanished, and, although I spared no pains, I could glean but little information about them, but to this subject I will advert again.
Before breakfast I made a set of magnetic observations, and then, swallowing a hasty meal, prepared to start. A difficulty however arose here, for neither Mr. Lushington nor myself spoke a word of Spanish, although we understood tolerably well what others said to us; the paying our bill became therefore rather a matter of embarrassment. One of the guides saw our distress and made signs that he would arrange matters for us; we accordingly gave him a dollar. With this he paid the bill and I saw him receive some change, which he coolly pocketed; I afterwards asked him for it, but he pretended with the utmost nonchalance not to understand me; so we saw no more of it.
SCENERY NEAR ORATAVA.
In the ride from Matanzas to Oratava the road is wretched but the scenery compensates for this. Upon arriving at the brow of the hill above Oratava, a beautiful prospect bursts upon the sight; directly in front rises the lordly Peak, whilst in the foreground are vineyards, cottages, and palm-trees; in the centre stands La Villa, the upper town of Oratava, encircled with gardens; on the right lies a rich slope running down to the sea which bounds the prospect on that side; and on the left rise rocky mountains, for the greater part clothed with wood.
We now spurred our horses on and, leaving the guides behind, soon reached La Villa, accompanied by a countryman who had joined us upon a pony; but, on getting into the town, the melancholy truth rushed upon my recollection that we could not speak Spanish: had we remained with our guides this would not much have signified, for they had been told at Santa Cruz to take us to a hotel.
EMBARRASSMENTS ON ARRIVAL THERE.
Nothing remained now but to do our best to open a communication; we accordingly accosted a variety of individuals in English, French, Italian, German—but in vain. Spanish alone was understood or spoken here; our friend, the countryman, stuck to us most nobly, he understood us not a bit better than the rest but saw that we were in distress and would not desert us.
We at last deliberately halted under a house where we could get a little shade, for the sun was intensely hot and, a crowd having soon collected, we harangued them alternately and received long answers in reply; but, although able to make out a great deal of what they said, we could not get them to understand a single word on our part. At length kind fate sent the guides to our rescue and they led us off direct to the hotel.
This however brought only partial relief to our wants; we opened our mouths, and pointed down our throats. So much was understood and a chicken instantly killed. We laid our heads upon a table, feigning sleep, and were shown to a wretched room; but here all converse terminated. Mr. Lushington desired to ascend the Peak therefore it became necessary that we should hit upon some means of making them comprehend this; but all efforts were in vain. At length they proposed to send for an interpreter, which was accordingly done; but he was at dinner, and could not then come.
At last the interpreter arrived, a Spanish Don who had been for some years resident in a mercantile house in New York; he was very dirty, but good-natured, and soon made the necessary arrangements for Mr. Lushington; who for eight dollars was to be provided with a pony, a sumpter mule, provisions and guides, taken safely to the top of the Peak and brought back again; which I thought reasonable enough.
After these arrangements I managed to scrape some acquaintance with this Spanish gentleman, who told me to my great edification that I was in a notorious gambling house. I had been informed at Santa Cruz that the inhabitants of those islands were dreadfully addicted to that vice, and I now, from personal observation, found this was too true.
After dinner I started to walk to the Port of Oratava, distant about three miles; there was beautiful scenery the whole way, and a tolerable road for the island. I called on Mr. Carpenter, the British Consul, to whom I had a letter, and he made arrangements for my being admitted to the botanical gardens at six o'clock the next morning.
On my return to La Villa all the roues of the town were assembled at our hotel to eat ices and gamble: I joined them in the former but not in the latter amusement.
SPANISH INTERPRETER. MANNERS.
The gentleman who had acted as interpreter for us was also there, but I could gain very little further information from him. He told me that they had just heard George the Eighth, the King of England, was dead (William the Fourth had just died) and his knowledge of the other European countries was much upon the same scale. I found that gambling was here carried on to an extent which was really deplorable.
I started at half-past five for the botanic gardens, diligently inspected them, and afterwards made a set of magnetic observations; this occupied a large portion of the morning. I however still had time to geologise for about three hours, and then rode back to Santa Cruz, where I did not arrive till late at night.
STATISTICS OF THE CANARY ISLANDS. TABLES.
In the morning I renewed my magnetic observations and, having dined at the table d'hote, I passed the afternoon in calling upon several persons, and collecting such information regarding the group of islands as I could pick up. Two statistical tables then given to me I have here inserted.
The first shows the extent of the seven larger islands and the average number of inhabitants in each. On these numbers I think dependence may be placed, as they nearly agree, in the total, with that given by Tarrente in the Geografia Universal (1828) who makes it 196,517, being about 12,000 above the number given by Humboldt for the gross population at the end of the last century.
The second table gives the quantity of the most important products raised annually in each island.
(@@@TABLE OF EXTENT AND NUMBER OF INHABITANTS OF THE SEVEN LARGER ISLANDS.)
(@@@TABLE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCTS OF EACH ISLAND.)
METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS AT ORATAVA AND SANTA CRUZ.
To these I have added a short table showing the mean heat of every month at Tenerife, as deduced from a continued series of daily observations by Dr. Savignon and Mr. Richardson, at Laguna between the years 1811 and 1818, to which is annexed another of the quantity of rain which fell during some months of the years 1812 and 1813.
The two gentlemen who had made these observations having since died, I was not able to obtain any of the actual thermometrical observations, but to the son of Mr. Richardson I am obliged for having allowed me to copy the results contained in these tables.
SUMMARY OF OBSERVATIONS MADE BY DR. SAVIGNON* AND MR. RICHARDSON, AT LAGUNA.
(*Footnote. Monsieur Savignon, Medecin du Gouvernement, se distingue par un caractere honorable et des connoissances etendues dans la profession. Voyage aux Terres Australes Tome 1 page 21.)
La temporatura media de la Laguna puedi considerarse de 63 de Fahrenheit, dentro las casas del centro de la Ciudad, en sombra y al ayre libre; segun resulta de 8 Anos de observaciones, no interrumpidas ni un solo dia desde 1811 a 1818.*
POR MESES COMO SIGUE.
Emero, 55 a 55 1/2. Febrero, 56 a 56. Marzo, 58 a 58 1/4. Abril, 59 a 59 1/4. Mayo, 62 a 62. Junio, 65 a 65. Julio, 69 a 68 3/4. Agosto, 71 a 71 1/4. Septiembre, 70 a 70 1/4. Octubre, 66 a 66 3/8. Noviembre, 62 a 62. Diciembre, 58 a 58.
62 3/4, media De lo 8 Anos.
(*Footnote. The mean temperature of Laguna may be estimated at 63 degrees of Fahrenheit, within doors, in the middle of the town; the thermometer being placed in the shade, and exposed to the air. Result of eight years' uninterrupted daily observations from 1811 to 1818.)
Rain which fell in two years, 1812 and 1813, in inches. Column 1 1812. Column 2 1813.
Emero, 10.79 3.34. Febrero, 2.22 2.46. Marzo, 0.15 4.17. Abril, 0.09 2.39. Mayo. Junio. Julio. Agosto. Septiembre, - 0.15. Octubre, 1.76 7.34. Noviembre, 2.12 4.24. Diciembre, 2.20 1.13.
In twenty-four hours in January, fell 5.24 inches.
A few observations taken on board the Beagle during the five days it lay at Santa Cruz seemed to give a mean heat of about 76 degrees; but it must be remembered that these observations were made in a vessel lying only about a quarter of a mile from the shore and exposed to the constant rays of the sun during six days of a season considered by the inhabitants to be a very warm one. I do not therefore think that the observations of Dr. Savignon and Mr. Richardson, taken under such very different circumstances at Laguna, which Von Buch estimates at 264 toises above the sea, could be far from the truth.
The annual mean temperature of Santa Cruz according to Von Buch is 71 degrees 8' Fahrenheit, or 21 degrees 8' of the centigrade scale.
OCCASIONAL VIOLENT STORMS.
From Mr. Cochrane, a very intelligent English merchant whom I met there, I obtained much information on various points, and he brought to my notice the violent storms of wind and rain which occur on the island occasionally during the rainy season, and cause great destruction and damage.
DAMAGE BY STORM OF 1826.
One had passed over in the month of March of the year I was there (1837) and I was fortunate enough to obtain an official account of the damage occasioned by another in November 1826, which is here annexed. A similar one was experienced, as will be seen by the table, in January 1812, when 5.24 inches of rain fell in twenty-four hours.
En la noche del 7 al 8 de Novembre 1826, se experimento un temporal de Viento y Agua, que causo on todas les Yslas muchos estragos. En 8 pueblos de la de Tenerife, se sufrion las des-gracias que manifiesta el siguente Estado.
[In the night between the 7th and 8th of November 1826 was experienced a storm of wind and rain which caused great ravages in all the islands. In 8 districts of Tenerife were sustained the losses enumerated below.]
COLUMN 1: PUEBLOS. Towns. COLUMN 2: PERSONAS. Persons. COLUMN 3: CUSAE DESTRUIDAS. Houses Destroyed. COLUMN 4: ANIMALES. Animals. COLUMN 5: CASAS ARRUINADAS. Houses Ruined.
Villa de la Oratava 104 144 591 75. Puerto de la Cruz 32 31 23 6. Realejo de Arriba 25 41 - -. Realejo de Abajo 14 9 - 2. Guancha 52 72 344 31. Rambla 10 14 13 -. Ycod 5 - - -. Santa Ursula 1 - 38 -.
VOCABULARY OF THE CANARIAN DIALECTS.
Sunday July 23.
I procured a few words of the original languages of the Guanches from in old government manuscript, and as from this circumstance no doubt can exist as to its authenticity, I have inserted them.
Several of these will be found already published in the History of the Canary Islands by Glas (page 174) with occasional slight differences of spelling, whilst the rest, though few in number, are, as far as I am aware, now first given.
VOCABULARY OF TENERIFE, OF CANARY AND PALMA.
Such scanty vocabularies and some mummies from Tenerife, scattered through the cabinets of the curious in various parts of Europe, are the only existing records of the race which held possession of these islands on the descent of John de Betancourt, about the year 1400, and who were nearly exterminated within little more than a century after.
ALGUNAS DICCIONES DE LA LENGUA GUANCHINESA O DE TENERIFE.
(Some words of the language of the Guanches, or of Tenerife.)
COLUMN 1: GUANCHEAN. COLUMN 2: SPANISH. COLUMN 3: ENGLISH.
Achamam : Dios : God. Achano : Ano : A year. Achicaxna (Achicarna, Glas.) : Villano : A peasant. Achimencey : Hidalgo : A nobleman. Ataman : - : Heaven. Axa (Ara, Glas.) : Cabra : A Goat. Banot : Vara Endurecida : A Pole hardened (by fire). Cancha : Perro : A Dog. Achicuca : Hijo : A son. Cichiciquizo : Escudero : A Squire. Guan (Coran, Glas.) : Hombre : A man. Guanigo : Cazuela de Barro : An Earthen vessel. Hara (Ana, Glas.) : Oveja : A Sheep. Mencey : El Rey : The King. Oche (Ahico, Glas.) : Mantera : A mantle. Sigone : Capitan : A Captain. Tano : Cebada : Barley. Xerios : Zapatos : Shoes.
ALGUNAS DICCIONES DE LA LENGUA DE CANARIA.
(Some words of the language of Canary.)
COLUMN 1: CANARY. COLUMN 2: SPANISH. COLUMN 3: ENGLISH.
Ahorac : Dios : God. Almogaron : Adoratorio : A Temple or place of worship. Amodagas : Varos-tostados : Poles hardened (by fire). Aramotanoque : Cebada : Barley. Aridaman : Cabra: A Goat. Carianas : Espuerta : A Rush or Palm-basket. Doramas : Narices : Nostrils. Gofio : Farina de cebada tostada : Flour of baked Barley. Guanarteme : El Rey : The King. Guaire : El Consejero : The Councillor. Magado : Garrote de Guerra : Poles or sticks used as weapons. Tahagan (Taharan, Glas.) : Oveja : A Sheep. Tamaranona : Carne Frita : Roasted or broiled meat. Tamarco : Camisa de pieles : A Garment or shirt of hides or skins.
ALGUNAS DICCIONES DE LA LENGUA PALMESA.
(Some words of the language of Palma.)
COLUMN 1: PALMA. COLUMN 2: SPANISH. COLUMN 3: ENGLISH.
Abora : Deos : God. Adijirja : Arroyo : A Rivulet. Asero : Lugar Fuerte : A Stronghold. Atinariva : Puerco : A Hog. Aguayan : Perro : A Dog. Mayantigo : Pedazo de Cielo : Heavenly. Tidote : Monte : A Hill. Tiguevite : Cabra : A Goat. Tigotan : Cielos : The Heavens. Yruene : El Diablo : The Devil.
OF THE OTHER ISLANDS.
ALGUNAS DICCIONES DE LA LENGUA DE FUERTEVENTURA Y LANZEROTA.
(Some words of the language of Fortaventura and Lanzerota.)
COLUMN 1: FUERTEVENTURA AND LANZEROTA. COLUMN 2: SPANISH. COLUMN 3: ENGLISH.
Aho : Leche : Milk. Attaha : Hombre de Valor : A Valiant Man. Elecuenes : Adoratorio : A Place of devotion. Guanigo : Cazuela de Barro : An earthen vessel. Guapil : Sombrero : A Hat. Horbuy : Cuero : A Skin or Hide. Maxo (Ma, Glas.) : Zapatos : Shoes. Tabite : Tarro pequeno : A small earthen pan. Tamocen : Cebada : Barley. Tezezes : Varas de Acebucha : Poles of the wild olive tree.
ALGUNAS DICCIONES DE LA LENGUA DEL HIERRO Y GOMERA.
(Some words of the language of Ferro and Gomera.)
COLUMN 1: FERRO AND GOMERA. COLUMN 2: SPANISH. COLUMN 3: ENGLISH.
Aculan : Manteca : Butter. Achemen : Leche : Milk. Aemon : Agua : Water. Banot : Garrote de Guerra : War Clubs. Ganigo : Cazuela de Barro : An earthen vessel. Haran : Helocho : Furze. Fubaque : Reses gordas : Fat cattle. Guatativoa : Un convita : A gathering to a Banquet. Tahuyan : Bas quinas : A Petticoat of Skins. Tamasagues : Veras largas : Long Poles.
GUANCHE BONE CAVE. AND REMARKS. MARINE BLOWING STONE.
It was in the course of my enquiries for words of the Guanche language that I accidentally heard yesterday, from an old inhabitant, of the existence of a cave in the rocks, about 3 miles to the north-east of Santa Cruz, which it was impossible to enter, but which, when examined from the sea, could be observed to be full of bones. This cave, he said, was known to the old inhabitants by the name of La Cueva de los Guanches; and according to traditionary report it had been the burying-place of the original inhabitants of this island. Several English merchants of whom I made enquiries knew nothing of it, even by report, but the master of the hotel was aware of its existence and promised to procure me guides to it. Although this day was Sunday, yet, as I was to sail in the afternoon, the inducement was too strong to resist, and I started in a boat at 6 o'clock with Mr. Walker our surgeon, taking my geological hammer as I intended to return overland.
When we had proceeded about a mile and a half from Santa Cruz I was astonished to hear, from the rocks on the shore, a loud roaring noise, and to see large clouds apparently of ascending smoke. I landed to ascertain the cause of this, and found it arose from one of those hollow rocks which are sometimes seen on our own coast and are known by various names, such as blowing stones, boiling kettles, etc. etc. I had however never seen one at all to be compared to this in size. It was formed by a hole in the rocks through which the water is first poured as the waves rush in; and then is partly driven out with a loud noise through a hole far up, and partly returns, in the form of spray, by the opening through which it was at first impelled. By assuming a proper position with regard to the sun a most beautiful rainbow is seen in this spray as it is dashed high into the air, and the whole is well worthy of a visit. Having collected some shells and geological specimens we again embarked for the cave.
On reaching the spot we distinctly observed, from the shore, the mouths of two caves full of bones. As the Guanches were in the habit of embalming their dead I entertained hopes of obtaining from them a mummy, of which there are several preserved in the Canary Islands. Upon landing however I found that they were utterly inaccessible, being situated in a perpendicular rock about 150 feet above the level of high water mark, and a considerable distance beneath the summit of the cliff. I had indulged a hope of being able to swing into one of the caves by means of a rope suspended from the top, but, owing to a large rock which projects from above quite over their mouths, this would be very difficult. Several bones had been blown out of the apertures, which I collected and found them to have belonged to man, but otherwise displaying nothing remarkable.
I can scarcely entertain a doubt but these caves really were the burying-places of the ancient Guanches, yet how they were approached I cannot conceive; probably there might have been an entrance to them from the interior of the country. I searched but my time was short and I could find no traces of such. An interesting question here remains to be solved and I trust some future traveller may be induced to attempt it.
There is only one other supposition I could frame on this subject, and to this I am led from the fact of the bones lying so immediately in the caves' mouths. Could a party of the Guanches, when so oppressed and so cruelly treated by the Spaniards, have taken refuge by some means in these caverns, and afterwards, from their retreat being cut off, have found themselves unable to escape and have here perished miserably; looking out of the cavern to the last for that assistance they were never doomed to receive? If they had managed to enter these caves by a narrow pathway running along the face of the cliffs, which the Spaniards afterwards destroyed, such an occurrence might readily have taken place.
Having completed my examination I dismissed the boat and walked back to Santa Cruz, from whence we sailed at five o'clock this evening.
CHAPTER 2. TO BAHIA AND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.
ATMOSPHERICAL PHENOMENON AT SEA.
Nothing important occurred during the voyage from Tenerife to Bahia; but one atmospherical phenomenon I think is worthy at a future day of further enquiry.
I remarked constantly, just at sunset, in these latitudes, that the eastern horizon was brilliantly illuminated with a kind of mock sunset. This in a short time disappeared, to be soon succeeded by another similar in character, but more faint. I observed at the same time, in the western horizon, the regular sunset, and then two appearances, like those seen in the east; perhaps this may be fully accounted for by a triple reflection, as in the common theory of the rainbow.
LAND AT BAHIA.
We came in sight of the coast of South America about noon, and dropped anchor in the harbour of Bahia at four P.M.; and about half an hour after I went on shore with Mr. Lushington, a person of the name of Wilson taking us in his boat: there was a slave in the boat, and, not knowing that he understood English, I asked Mr. Wilson several questions about slaves in general, and he gave me a good deal of information on this subject, mentioning among other things that the price of a good slave here varied from 90 to 100 pounds, he happened to state that the slaves were wretched in their own country, and that frequently large numbers were sacrificed to their gods. I never saw so fine a burst of natural indignation as the slave in the boat evinced at this statement; his lip curled up with scorn, his dark eye grew vividly bright, and his frame quivered as he made an impassioned reply in Portuguese; I could not understand all that he said, but caught enough to know the tenor of it, that "this was not the case; Englishmen or foreigners never visited his country, so how could they know." It was not so much what he said but the scornful bitterness of his manner that made an impression on me, not easily to be effaced.
I took a night walk in the country this evening and experienced those wild and undescribable feelings which accompany the first entrance into a rich tropical country. I had arrived just towards the close of the rainy season, when everything was in full verdure, and new to me. The luxuriant foliage expanding in magnificent variety, the brightness of the stars above, the dazzling brilliancy of the fireflies around me, the breeze laden with balmy smells, and the busy hum of insect life making the deep woods vocal, at first oppress the senses with a feeling of novelty and strangeness till the mind appears to hover between the realms of truth and falsehood.
THE TOWN OF BAHIA.
The town of Bahia looks very beautiful from the sea; but on entering you find it dreadfully filthy. The stench of the lower town is horrible. Even the President's palace is a dirty and wretched-looking building: his salary, I understand, is 600 pounds a year. By the last returns the population of the town was 120,000, 100,000 of whom were blacks. All the burdens here are carried by slaves as there are no carts and the breed of horses is small, being perfect ponies.
The exports are cotton and sugar—the cotton chiefly to Liverpool, the sugar to all European countries but England. Their imports are English cotton goods and hardware, also various manufactured goods from Germany. The nuns are famed for the manufacture of artificial feathers and flowers.
The fruit here is excellent, the oranges are particularly fine.
The merchants in the town are principally English and German. There is no American house. Several have started but all who made the attempt have failed.
You cannot penetrate any great distance into the interior as there are no roads but only little pathways through the woods. The Indians are frequently seen very near the town.
STATE OF SOCIETY.
This part of Brazil offered the curious spectacle of a great evil, which has been long suffered to exist and is now advancing, gradually yet surely, to that state which must entail inevitable destruction on the existing Government of the country. I allude to the immense slave population which, owing to a short-sighted policy, has been allowed to increase so rapidly from the frequent and numerous importations that at the present moment they are in the ratio of 10 to 1 to the white population, to whom they are also, individually, immensely superior in physical strength; the Brazilians being the most insignificant and feeble race of men I have ever yet seen.
DANGERS FROM SLAVE POPULATION.
The blacks are perfectly aware of their own power, and about two years ago had arranged a plan for seizing the town and murdering all the whites with the exception of foreigners; which miscarried only by the affair being discovered a few hours before it broke out. This plan was however so wisely and boldly conceived, both as a whole and in detail, that it alone affords the most conclusive evidence that the slave population in this country are by no means deficient either in mental powers or personal courage.
The Brazilians themselves are aware of the danger which threatens them, and yet evince an extraordinary degree of supineness with regard to it. They have indeed framed certain regulations as to the slaves being all within their houses at an early hour of the evening, etc. etc., and these they deem sufficient for their protection; yet to an unprejudiced observer it would appear that, unless some much more effective measures are adopted, within a few years from the present time the whole of this fine country will be in the hands of the blacks: and indeed I think one would be justified in concluding that the moment which produces a person sufficiently intriguing again to stir up the slaves, and endowed with the firmness and talent necessary to conduct an emeute of this nature, will be the last of the Brazilian Empire.
POLITICAL CONDITION OF THE STATE.
It is evident from what I have before stated that the only hope the white population can reasonably entertain of retaining their present position must be in the most perfect union and concord amongst themselves, and that, when a unity of design and action ceases to exist between the different provinces, their fate is sealed. Yet this circumstance never appears to enter into their calculations; and at this instant each state is plotting its separation from the Empire. The inhabitants here openly state their intention of revolting and declaring their independence, and Sunday next is even mentioned as the day for the commencement of the rising.*
(*Footnote. The revolt broke out on the 7th November 1837 but was suppressed the following month. Great alarm existed lest the Negro slaves should be induced to take their part likewise in the conflict between the contending factions. Annual Register for 1837.)
It is really strange to one who stands by, a calm unconcerned spectator, to observe men hurried on by the violence of faction to their own certain destruction, and to behold them so entirely blinded by party spirit as not to see that danger which stares them so openly in the face, that a child could scarcely fail to detect it.
The Slave Trade, though nominally abolished, is actively pursued here, eighty-three slaves having been landed just before my arrival, and another cargo during my stay.
The slaves are not only a very superior race of men in point of physical powers, but, as far as my experience of their habits went, I found them very moral and honest. Their notions of religion were however curious. Several were Christians nominally, but their Christianity consisted in wearing a string of beads round the neck; and they seriously assured me that those who wore beads went up to heaven after death, and that those who did not went down under the waters.
I talked to many of them about their own land. None had forgotten it, but they all expressed the most ardent desire to see it again. They call themselves captives, not slaves, and are very punctilious upon this point. They labour very hard here, generally in the town, paying their masters eighteen-pence a day, and keeping the rest of their earnings for themselves. The rate of labour must therefore be high; but they wear scarcely any clothes, and their subsistence, which is jerked beef and beans, costs but little. The slaves in the country are however all obliged to work on their owners' plantations.
All the principal people in the town are concerned in the slave trade, and their chief wealth consists in the number of slaves they possess; therefore there is little chance of the trade being, for many years, totally abolished.
With regard to the execution of the laws this country is much in the same state as certain parts of Ireland. Homicide, and attempts at homicide, by shooting, are frequent; but it is difficult, if not impossible, to convict the offenders, for he who renders himself conspicuous in prosecuting parties concerned in a murder assuredly gets shot at in his turn.
IMPRESSIONS AND OBSERVATIONS AT SEA. REMARKS ON VOYAGE FROM BAHIA TO THE CAPE.
Re-embarked in the Beagle and sailed for the Cape of Good Hope.
We had yesterday and all last night a gale of wind, succeeded this day by a heavy fall of rain. The wind had raised a very high sea, but when the rain began to fall I heard the captain and several of the officers remark that the rain would lay the sea; for the result of their experience was, "that a fall of rain always beats the sea down." What they had stated would occur took place in this instance within two or three hours. This shows forcibly what great results a slight force, continued for a long time, will produce.
Whilst standing on the deck of the Beagle this evening we remarked large luminous spots in the water. They appeared to be about 12 inches in circumference, were very numerous, and perfectly stationary. The light they emitted was phosphorescent, but far brighter than I had ever before witnessed; it was so vivid as to be distinctly visible for nearly a quarter of a mile.
We saw this morning an immense number of fin-backed whales, some of which were quite close to the vessel. In the course of half an hour I counted thirty of them. Could they have been feeding on the phosphorescent animals we saw last night?
We are today about 600 miles from the Cape, and there is a strange discordance amongst the elements. From the south-west comes a long and heavy swell; a strong breeze is blowing from the east, and threatening clouds spring upwards from the north. These omens have a meaning. Down to the southward, somewhere off Cape Horn, there blows a furious gale. The wind will draw round shortly to the northward. That is the interpretation and the reading.
A swell like this one can only witness off the Cape of Good Hope. It was to me a novel and magnificent sight. Uniform and lofty ridges of waves advancing in rapid succession, and yet with so regular and undisturbed a motion that one might easily fancy these great walls of water to be stationary: yet onward they moved in uniform and martial order; whilst as the ship rose upon their crests she seemed to hover for a moment over the ocean in mid air. And now the wind drew round to the northward and it blew almost a gale. The vessel felt its power and bent before it. It was beautiful to watch the process of hand-reefing topsails and making the vessel snug—the ready obedience to the word of command and the noiseless discipline with which each duty was fulfilled. First had the men clustered on the rigging like bees; then at the word to lay out they fearlessly extended themselves along the yard-arm, and whilst they took in the reefs the ship pitched and rolled so heavily that one felt anxious for their safety: but there they swung securely between high heaven and the sea.
The sea-birds held their holiday in the stormy gale. The lordly and graceful Albatross, whose motion is a very melody, swept screaming by upon the blast. The smaller Cape pigeons followed us fast, passing and repassing across the vessel's track. At last one of them spies a fragment on the waters, which has been thrown overboard: a moment it hovers above, then plunges down. But the other birds have seen it too; and all, pouncing on the spot, move their wings confusedly and seem to run along the waters with a rapid and eager motion. Now is there discord wild amongst them. A screaming and diving, swimming and running, mingled with a chattering noise. No sooner does one gain the morsel than another tears it from him. Who will be the victor here? The Albatross; for he sweeps triumphantly over all, swoops down, and with a scream scares off the timid little multitude; whilst high above his head he holds his arching wings; and now in pride and beauty he sits upon the waters and, drifting fast astern, gradually fades in the twilight.
What wonder that a sailor is superstitious! Separated in early youth from his home ere he has forgotten the ghost stories of childhood, and whilst the young and simple heart still loves to dwell upon the marvellous, he is placed in such scenes as these: in the dark night, amidst the din of waves and storms, he hears wild shrieks upon the air, and by him float huge forms, dim and mysterious, from which fancy is prone to build strange phantoms; and oft from aged sailors he gathers legends and wondrous tales suited to his calling; whilst the narrator's mysterious tone and earnest voice and manner attest how firmly he himself believes the story.
ARRIVAL AT THE CAPE. HIRE THE LYNHER.
We came in sight of land yesterday evening, and spent the greater part of the day in beating up False Bay to Simonstown, where we arrived about half-past six P.M. I instantly landed in a shore-boat with Lieutenant Lushington and Mr. Walker; and, having first hurried to Admiral Sir P. Campbell with some letters I had to him, we forthwith started to ride to Cape Town. Finding that a vessel for our expedition could be procured here more readily and economically than at Swan River I determined on making this my point of departure, and after diligent enquiry I finally hired the Lynher, a schooner of about 140 tons, Henry Browse master, and subsequently found every reason to be satisfied, both with the little vessel and her commander.
EQUIPMENT AND PLANS. SAIL FOR HANOVER BAY.
My time was now wholly occupied in completing the preparations for our future proceedings. I increased my party by a few additional hands of good character, and thought myself fortunate in engaging amongst them Thomas Ruston, a seaman who had already served on the Australian coast under Captain King. On the 12th October I with great difficulty got my affairs at Cape Town so arranged as to be able to embark in the evening, and on the morning of the 13th we hove anchor and made sail.
The party now embarked consisted of:
Lieutenant Grey. Lieutenant Lushington. Mr. Walker, our Surgeon. Mr. Powell, Surgeon. Corporal R. Auger, Corporal John Coles, and Private Mustard of the Corps of Sappers and Miners. J.C. Cox, a Stock-Keeper. Thomas Ruston, a Sailor who had been on the coast of Australia in the Mermaid with Captain King. Evan Edwards, a Sailor. Henry Williams and R. Inglesby, Shoemakers.
There were besides on board a captain, a mate, seven men, and a boy.
The livestock I took from the Cape consisted altogether of thirty-one sheep, nineteen goats, and six dogs. The dogs were as follows: one greyhound; one dog bred between a greyhound and a foxhound; one between a greyhound and a sheepdog; a bull-terrier; a Cape wolf-dog; and a useful nondescript mongrel.
RE-EMBARKATION FOR HANOVER BAY.
The plan that I had finally resolved on adopting was:
To proceed in the first instance to Hanover Bay, there to select a good spot on which to form a temporary encampment; and, having landed the stock, to despatch Lieutenant Lushington with Cox and Williams in the vessel to Timor for ponies.
PLANS ON LANDING.
I selected Cox and Williams for this service because the former was used to the management of horses on board vessels, and the latter understanding Dutch was well calculated to act as interpreter at Timor. During their absence I intended to practise the party in making short explorations in different directions.
Upon the return of the vessel I intended to move the whole party to some convenient spot to be chosen during their absence, then to advance, attended only by Coles, and to fix upon the next spot on our route which I designed to halt at. This plan I intended to adhere to as much as possible throughout the whole expedition, namely, never to move the party from one place of halt until I had chosen the next one. We bore with us tools and instruments of every description; so that we not only were fully capable of maintaining ourselves but could literally, if occasion had required it, have founded the nucleus of a colony.
Great then was my joy when all my preparations were completed and I felt the vessel gliding swiftly from Table Bay into that vast ocean at the other extremity of which lay the land I so longed to see, and to which I was now bound with the ardent hope of opening the way for the conversion of a barren wilderness into a fertile garden.
Part of my plan was not only to introduce all useful animals that I possibly could into this part of Australia, but also the most valuable plants of every description. For this purpose, a collection had been made at Tenerife by Mr. Walker, under my direction, and another in South America,* including the seeds of the cotton plant. From the Cape and from England I had also procured other useful plants, and had planned that the vessel, on quitting Timor with the horses, should be filled in every vacant space with young cocoa-nut trees and other fruits, together with useful animals such as goats and sheep, in addition to the stock we conveyed from the Cape.
(*Footnote. We had been able to introduce several useful plants into the Cape; amongst others the South American Yam, which, owing to the quality of the potatoes and their great fluctuations in price, will eventually be very serviceable to the colonists, more especially for the use of whalers.)
CHAPTER 3. FROM THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE TO HANOVER BAY.
FORSTER'S PACHYPTILA (Pachyptila vittata.)
I shot a female petrel; it had a nail planted in the heel, but no thumb; the bill was hooked at the end, the extremity of which seemed to consist of a distinct piece, articulated with the remainder; the nostrils were united, and formed a tube laid on the back of the upper mandible, hence it belonged to the family of Petrels (Procellariae.)
Its temperature was 94 degrees. Length from tip to tip of wing, 2 feet 3 inches. Length from tip of beak to tip of tail, 1 foot 2.4 inches. Length from root to tip of tail, 4 inches. Length of beak, 1.45 inches. Length of foot, 1.55 inches. Breadth across body, 2.3 inches.
Colour of beak and legs black; body white underneath; general colour above, a light bluish slate, which grows darker in the head and wing covers; tail tipped with black; the four first wing feathers tinged with black.
I also shot this afternoon three Cape pigeons (Procellaria capensis) white underneath, spotted black and white above.
Temperature, 98 1/2 degrees. Length from tip to tip of wing, 2 feet 11.3 inches. Length from tip of tail to tip of beak, 1 foot 6 inches. Length from tip of beak, 1.5 inches. Length from root to tip of tail,4.1 inches. Length of foot, 2.3 inches. Breadth across body, 3.2 inches.
Length from tip to tip of wing, 2 feet 5 inches. Length from tip of tail to tip of beak, 1 foot 5 inches. Length from tip of beak, 1.5 inches. Length from root to tip of tail, 4 inches. Length of foot, 2.3 inches. Breadth across body, 3 inches.
Length from tip to tip of wing, 2 feet 5.5 inches. Length from tip of tail to tip of beak, 1 foot 4.6 inches. Length from tip of beak, 1.3 inches. Length from root to tip of tail, 4.6 inches. Length of foot, 2.2 inches. Breadth across body, 3.4 inches.
Two species of insects were found in these Cape pigeons.
The only difference I have been able to observe between the male and female of these birds is, that the male has the black spots of rather a deeper hue.
October 21. Latitude 38 degrees 15 south; longitude 35 degrees 53 minutes east.
From a variety of observations I am able to bear testimony to the correctness of a fact that has been before noticed, namely, that the Medusae invariably live in families. This single circumstance is remarkable in connection with other points of natural history since it will tend to explain the reason of certain classes of Petrels (Procellariae) only visiting particular parts of the ocean.
Sunday October 22. Latitude 37 degrees 44 minutes south; longitude 38 degrees 00 east.
Caught two small animals, one closely resembling a small shrimp (Penaeus) but having the head covered with a most beautiful purple shield. I kept this alive in a jug. The other in size and appearance exactly like a purple grape (Hyalea) with a greenish tinge at one extremity surrounding an aperture, and a distinct aperture at the other extremity. It was 0.4 inches in diameter, and had the power of emitting a phosphorescent light. I have since this period found several varieties of this animal; which, when it expands itself, closely resembles an insect, and has little wings. Further on will be found a sketch of these animals in their expanded state. (See illustration Hyalea figure 1.)
THE ALBATROSS (Diomedea exulans).
We caught four of these birds yesterday, from which I made the following measurements:
FIRST SPECIMEN. Weight, 19 1/2 pounds.
Length from tip of wing to tip of wing, 10 feet 2 inches. Length from tip of beak to tip of tail, 4 feet 0.5 inches. Length of beak, 6.8 inches. Length from root to tip of tail, 10.0 inches. Length of foot, 7.6 inches. Length of wing, 4 feet 8 inches. Height from ground, 2 feet 10 inches. Temperature 98 degrees, the thermometer placed under the tongue during life. These measurements were all made during the lifetime of the bird.
SECOND SPECIMEN. Weight, 15 1/2 pounds.
Length from tip of wing to tip of wing, 10 feet. Length from tip of beak to tip of tail, 3 feet 11 inches. Length of beak, 6.6 inches. Height from ground to top of head, 2 feet 4 inches. Temperature 98 degrees.
THIRD SPECIMEN. The largest bird of the kind I have hitherto seen.
Length from tip of wing to tip of wing, 10 feet 8 inches. Length from tip of beak to tip of tail, 4 feet 6 inches. Breadth across the body, 8 inches. Length of bill, 6.7 inches. Length of foot, 7.5 inches.
FOURTH SPECIMEN. The same size as the second.
Length of beak, 6.3 inches. Length of foot, 6.9 inches.
The beak of each of these birds during lifetime was of a beautiful light rose colour; their voice was something like that of a goose, but rather louder, deeper, and hoarser. If during life the beak was pressed with the finger it became quite white, and it was not until the pressure had for some time been removed that the colour returned. The specimens I have described above (all males) were quite white underneath; the white above being speckled with black spots and streaks, sometimes changing to a brownish hue; the wings were black. We obtained also a female bird with the following measurements, which has been described as a distinct species:
Length from tip to tip of wing, 7 feet 2 inches. Length from tip of tail to tip of beak, 3 feet 5.5 inches. Length from root to tip of tail, 9 inches. Length of beak, 4.5 inches. Length of foot, 5 inches.
Legs pale flesh colour; beak, black, with a brown-coloured streak on each side of the lower mandible; the whole body of a dirty black colour, acquiring a lighter tinge underneath.
I shot two male specimens of this last bird: the only distinction between them and the female was that they were rather smaller, and had a white streak instead of a light brown one on each side of the lower mandible.
FIRST SPECIMEN—Male. Weight, 5 1/2 pounds.
Length from tip of wing to tip of wing 6 feet 6 inches. Length from tip of beak to tip of tail, 2 feet 6 inches. Length from root to tip of tail, 11 inches. Length from root to tip of beak, 4 inches. Length from root to tip of foot, 5 inches. Length from root to tip of wing, 2 feet 10 inches.
SECOND SPECIMEN—Male. Weight 7 pounds.
Length from tip to tip of wing, 6 feet 9 inches. Length from tip of beak to tip of tail, 2 feet 10 inches. Length of tail, 10.6 inches. Length of beak, 4.7 inches. Length of foot, 5 inches. Length of wing, 3 feet.
All the three specimens of this species had a distinct although minute claw, representing a thumb, upon one leg, thus apparently forming a link between the genus Procellaria and the genus Diomedea.
Ash-grey above; white in the under parts; quills, tail-feathers at the tip, and band on the wings when expanded, brownish-black.
Length from tip to tip of wing, 2 feet. Length from tip of beak to tip of tail, 10 inches. Length from root to tip of tail, 4.3 inches. Length of beak, 1 inch. Length of foot, 1.5 inches. Length of wing, 10.5 inches.
This bird is of the same species as the one I procured on the 16th of October. I shot it about nine A.M. They are very numerous in these latitudes; their flight resembles much that of a snipe. The name by which they are known to the sailors is the whale-bird; they appear to take their food upon the wing, for I have never yet seen them sit upon the waters even for a single second, although I have observed them frequently, and at all hours; but night and day they hurry on with the same restless, rapid flight, sometimes going in large flocks; and I have never upon shore seen so many birds assembled upon a few square miles as I have sometimes here observed in the open ocean. I never heard them utter any cry or sound.
I saw but few Cape pigeons (Procellaria capensis) after passing the 40th degree of longitude, and neither Cape pigeons nor albatrosses after passing the 95th degree of longitude, and 32nd parallel of latitude. I have never seen a petrel or bird of the family Longipennes discharge its oily fluid at anyone who worried or attacked it; but have almost invariably seen it involuntarily eject it,when hurt or frightened.
I caught four albatrosses with a fishing-line; one of them was a female, the first I had seen. I observed no marked difference between her and males of the same species, for I have found them vary much in the dark shades upon their feathers.
I have yet found no bird of this family whose foot was not longer than its beak.
Length from tip of wing to tip of wing,10 feet 10 inches. Length from tip of wing, 4 feet 10 inches. From tip of beak to tip of tail, 4 feet 9 inches. Length of beak, 7.2 inches. Length of tail, 9 inches. Length of foot, 7.5 inches.
The black and brown marks on this bird were darker than the corresponding ones on the males.
I am inclined to think that the chief characteristic that distinguishes the females from the males in the family Longipennes is their greater size: my opinion is grounded upon the following tables, drawn up from careful measurements, made by myself.
(@@@TABLE OF FAMILY LONGIPENNES)
In each of these three instances the female is larger than the males; they are the only ones I am able to adduce which bear upon this point.
November 11. South latitude 30 degrees 47 minutes; east longitude 100 degrees 21 minutes 15 seconds.
Being a calm, I gave the men leave to bathe this afternoon, and was one of the first overboard myself. Within an hour and a half after we had done bathing, a cry of a shark was raised, and in truth there was the monster (the first we had seen). I mention this fact as tending to support what I have often heard stated, namely, that a shark's sense of smell is so keen that, if men ever bathe in seas where they are found, a shark is almost sure to appear directly afterwards. This really occurred in the present instance.
We repeatedly caught many little animals which I believe are the VELELLA of Lamarck. They consist of a flat oval cartilage, on which they float; there is a mouth in the inferior surface of this surrounded with many tentacula; on its superior surface is a crest which remains above water, and the wind blowing against it turns the animal round; they thus swim with a rotatory motion; the crest is placed obliquely to the length of the oval cartilage, and this position of it perhaps assists in producing the motion; the crest is perfectly transparent, but marked with little striae; the oval cartilage is marked with concentric striae, which indicate the lines of its growth; in some this cartilage is transparent, in others quite blue.
November 12. South latitude 30 degrees 11; east longitude 100 degrees 31 minutes 30 seconds.
We caught several beautiful animals this day, of the Medusae kind (Diphya). (See Illustration 3 Diphya, Sp.)
Figure 1 represents a section through one of them, the size of life: the bag (1) is of a delicate bright amber colour. The long tentacula issuing out are upwards of a foot in length and of a bright flesh colour.
Figure 2 is a section across the animal.
Figure 3 represents the mouth of the large opening at c, d, as if one was looking down into it.
Figure 4 upper part; Figure 5 lower; and Figure 6 the perfect animal.
Between c d apparently lay the entrance to its mouth; in the little bag marked (3) its long tentacula were concealed, and below these lay a little gut marked (4) which communicated with the point (L) by a small canal: (1) was its swimming apparatus, and by alternate contractions and expansions of this, it took in and expelled water, and thus acquired a rapid motion, the pointed end (L) moving forwards.
Its length was 1.7 inches. Breadth, 0.7 inches. Thickness, 0.35 inches. Temperature the same as the water, 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
The sketch Illustration 4 Diphya, Sp. gives a faint idea of the most beautiful animal of this kind which I have ever seen. It was so delicate that, with the slightest touch, portions of it came off, hence the specimen we obtained is I fear useless. The body consisted only of a central canal, to which were attached a number of gelatinous bags, with large lateral openings, so large that other zoophytes were caught in them, and apparently annoyed the animal; who continued throwing water out until it expelled them. The whole was surmounted by a number of the most beautiful rose-coloured tentacula: I counted eleven on it, and found four more that were torn off, but there may have been more. Its top, when looked into closely, resembled some of the sea anemones; and inside of the large bright orange-coloured tentacula were placed circular rows of smaller ones. Its body was quite transparent, with the exception of the central canal, which was of a milk-white colour, and terminated in a small sac of the same hue.
It moved in a direction opposite to the tentacula, by taking in water at the lateral openings of the bags, in the position in which it is represented; then bending these towards the tentacula, and expelling it with great violence.
Temperature the same as the water, 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Length of body (to tentacula from root of tail-like canal) 1.8 inches. Length of tentacula, 1.2 inches. Length of tail-like canal, 0.45 inches. Breadth, 1.1 inches. Thickness, 0.8 inches.
Long tentacula, flesh-coloured; large tentacula, rose-coloured; lateral bags, tinged with clear amber; the rest of the animal perfectly transparent.
We this evening caught several curious little animals (Clio ?) which when taken out of the water appeared like small balls of the same matter as that of which a slug is composed. Presently a little head peered out, then the body expanded itself, and finally two little things like wings were spread forth, formed of a fine membrane; they moved these very rapidly, and swam with great velocity.
We caught several small crabs, and two kinds of shells, of a beautiful purple colour. (Janthina exigua.) These were very small; I have preserved several of them.
Figures 1, 2, and 3 represent different views of an animal (Salpa) slightly electrical, that we caught this evening. Figure 1 is its appearance, one side being up; Figure 2 when the other side is turned up; Figure 3 is the side view of it.
I have never before seen one of the kind electrical. Temperature the same as the water, 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Length, 1.5 inches. Breadth, 0.6 inches. Thickness, 0.3 inches.
Figure 1. The intestinal canal terminates in a little coloured bag, generally of a bluish tinge; there is an opening at each extremity, one a little to the left of the little bag, the other, as shown in Figures 3 and 1.
November 13. Latitude 30 degrees 7 minutes south; longitude 100 degrees 50 minutes 10 seconds east.
Figure 1. Represents a little shell (Hyalea) which was caught this day.
Figure 2. One of the tentacula of the animal I imagine to be the Physsophora rosacea. The point which is seen obtruding at the base resembles a little nerve; it runs the whole way down the tentacula.
Figure 3. A little shrimp-like animal (Erichthus vitreus) caught on the 14th November, latitude 29 degrees 26 minutes south; longitude 101 degrees 32 minutes east. Its head was protected by a shield, such as is shown in the figure.
We caught this day several other Acalepha, two of which were of the wonderful genus DIPHYA. I yesterday drew a coloured figure of the lower part of one of these animals.
This animal in its perfect state (such as we found it in today) consists of two individuals, the part of one being encased in a cavity of the other. Figures 4 and 5 Illustration 4 will give a correct idea of the way in which this junction is effected. The least motion separates these two parts, and each forms a perfect animal, which performs all the functions of life. This is the more extraordinary, as the containing animal is furnished with an organ not possessed by the contained, and which in their united state is used by both. Figure 5. From the little bag (f) at the bottom of the cavity (g) the receiver produces a chaplet, which traverses the canal in the received marked (2) in Figure 6, and which is here drawn the size of life, was sometimes expanded to the length of one foot eight inches. This organ, according to M. Cuvier, is composed of ovaries, tentacula, and suckers.
The swimming apparatus, marked (1) and (4) in Figure 6, act simultaneously; they are of a bright amber colour, and their mouth (a) and (h) are closed with little valves, nearly invisible even when in motion; the points round their upper aperture seem to form the hinges for these. In twenty seconds I counted seventy expansions and dilatations of this apparatus. The chaplet and the bag that holds it are flesh-coloured; the rest of the body is gelatinous and diaphanous. They live in families, and swim with great rapidity in the same manner as the other Acalepha.
Caught also shells and crabs of the same kind as yesterday.
November 14. Latitude 29 degrees 26 minutes south; longitude 101 degrees 2 minutes east.
Physsophora rosacea, Cuvier, see below. We caught another animal of the same kind as the one taken on the 12th of November, and figured in Illustration 7. It was so delicate that I did not measure it for fear of its falling to pieces, but it appeared to be exactly the same size as the former one.
Its circle of large tentacula were of a bright pink, and were fifteen in number; inside this circle was a smaller one of the same number of shorter tentacula, which were not quite so bright a pink colour; in the centre of these were placed organs of a very extraordinary nature, apparently quite round, and not thicker than the very finest silk; they were arranged exactly in the form of a corkscrew, and from the beauty of their mechanism, the animal could press fold against fold, and thus render them less than a quarter of an inch in length, and I watched it almost instantaneously expand them to the length of nine inches. After having observed the animal closely for an hour I am writing this with it before me, alive in a large glass bottle of salt water, and measuring what I put down. The manner in which it expands these organs is by first uncoiling those folds nearest the body, and afterwards those most remote; so that when folded up it looks like a corkscrew with the folds pressed close together, and when expanded, like a long straight thin bit of flesh-coloured silk, with a little corkscrew of the same material at the end. The larger tentacula are shaped like the trunk of an elephant, and their extremity is furnished with a very delicate organ with which they can catch anything, and, if touched, they instantly turn some of these tentacula, which they have the power of moving in any direction, to the point so touched. They are not electrical: the lateral bags have a slight tinge of a bright amber colour. These animals sustain themselves in the water by means of the little bag marked (a) in the figure, which floats on the surface full of air, they there swim in the manner before described. I afterwards observed very minute globules, or lumps, in the long silk-like tentacula. When expanded these were very distinct.
Latitude 29 degrees 26 minutes south; longitude 101 degrees 32 minutes east.
We caught several small shells (Janthina exigua) this afternoon: Illustration 9 represents one of them, with the string of air bubbles attached, by means of which they swim on the water. They appear not to be able to free themselves from this mass of bubbles: every shell I have yet found floating in the Indian Ocean possesses these bubbles in a greater or less degree; they were of a purple colour. I have seen the common garden snail in England emit a nearly similar consistency: they also emit a blue or purple liquid, which colours anything it touches.
The animals of the barnacles (Pentalasmis) attached to these shells assume their purple colours, while the shell remains nearly pure white.
This afternoon we caught an animal (Glaucus, Illustration 10) I had not before seen. It seemed to represent the order reptilia in the Mollusca, being sluggish in movement, its eyes distinct, sensitive to the touch, its head much resembling a lizard in appearance, and having a very strong unpleasant smell when taken out of the water. During the hour I observed it in a bucket it remained sluggishly floating on the top, and occasionally swimming by moving its arms slowly along the surface. The first three that I saw pass the vessel I imagined to be feathers floating on the water.
Its description is as follows:
Length from head to tail, a c 1.8 inches. Length from head to root of tail, a b 0.85 inches. Length from head to first arm 0.2 inches. Length from head to second arm 0.45 inches. Length from head to third arm 0.7 inches.
1st arm. From centre of back to end of round part, d e 0.3 inches. From e to the end of short tentacula, e f 0.3 inches. Ditto to long ditto, e g 0.75 inches. Diameter of round part and attached tentacula 0.4 inches.
2nd arm. From centre of back to end of tentacula. 0.4 inches.
3rd arm, do. do. 0.25 inches. Breadth of body between the two first arms 0.13 inches. Thickness 0.25 inches.
General colour of body, indigo blue, of a darkish tinge; down the centre of the back a white streak, terminating at the root of the tail; sides blue, tail blue, quite white underneath, its belly altogether resembling that of a frog; tail tapering to a point.
1st arm. 26 tentacula attached to the rounded paddle-shaped part of this arm, the centre tentacle more than twice the length of the others. These tentacula were so delicate that at the slightest touch they fell off. Those nearest the body were so small as to be almost imperceptible, gradually increasing in length as they approach the centre, and then decreasing to the other side. Centre of paddle-shaped part white, tentacula blue and white, fringed with dark blue at the extremity.
2nd arm. 18 tentacula to this, centre ones the largest. Same colour as first arm.
3rd arm. 12 tentacula, not forming such a regular circle as on the two first arms, and apparently issuing directly from a very short limb attached to the body.
The general appearance of the skin was that of a frog. It had the power of contracting itself considerably.
Caught a slug-like animal (Holothuria) this evening, or rather more closely resembling a caterpillar.
Length from head to root of tail 0.7 inches. Length of tail (or rather gelatinous protuberance) 0.25 inches. Breadth (broadest part at root of tail) 0.22 inches. Narrowest part (near head) 0.15 inches. Length of head 0.12 inches.
Head of light red colour, mouth apparent, motion of head like a caterpillar's when touched, shape cylindrical, body gelatinous, intestines apparent and full.
November 16. Longitude 102 degrees 40 minutes east; latitude 28 degrees 5 to 6 minutes south.
Since we have passed the 95th parallel of longitude, and 32nd of latitude up to the present moment we have been out of the region of birds, for during the whole of this period I have seen but two, one of which, a Petrel, has this moment visited us. We have however seen more Sea-jellies, Acalepha and Mollusca than before, and those of a much more beautiful kind. Thus nature has made up for the deficiency of one tribe of animals by the profuseness with which she has distributed another.
November 18. Latitude 26 degrees 57 minutes south; longitude 105 degrees 22 minutes east.
We caught a crustaceous animal (Phyllosoma, see Illustration 11) which was perfectly transparent; it was furnished with twelve legs on what I considered the hinder part of its body, and four antennae in front, which have their tips of a bright pink colour, and two eye peduncles by their side, which terminate in little bags containing some blue matter (their eyes). It was furnished also with two legs underneath. These are just shown in the figure near the centre of the body, and between those underneath the insect there was a slight projection, with two little lumps on each side. In this projecting part there appeared to be an opening. When it was taken out of the water it stood upright on its legs and crawled a little like a large beetle, but soon died. In the water it swam with the legs, and the last joint appeared to be feathered. It will be seen that there is a great irregularity in the position of the legs of this insect. The specimen appeared to me to be in some respects imperfect; but I figured it exactly as it was, without blindly guessing at its perfect state. It was not thicker than the thinnest wafer. The back was marked with curved lines, exactly in the manner I have represented. It shrank instantly when touched. The two last joints of the long legs were furnished with thorn-like spikes.
Length of tail 0.37 inches. of the body 0.2 inches. of the thorax and head 0.3 inches. of the entire animal 1.4 inches. Breadth of body 0.62 inches. Ditto of thorax 0.51 inches. Length of third leg 1.9 inches. Length of second leg 1.7 inches. Length of hindermost leg 0.6 inches. Length of eyes, peduncles 0.4 inches.
We caught a second animal of exactly the same size as the one figured, but apparently much more perfect. Each of its tentacula terminates in a small feathering tip when it is in the water, like the little figures at the side, and by the help of which they swim; these have a horny feel to the touch, are destitute of smell, and look like a transparent scale when they lie in your hand.
We also caught this day some little transparent shells (Cuvieria) of a cylindrical form, and blunt at the end; they put out two little fins with which they swam.
I was unfortunately too unwell this day to describe all the other specimens we caught, which were numerous. The sea was full of small acalepha, and in the midst of a shoal of these a whale was seen.
November 19. Latitude 25 degrees 50 minutes south; longitude 106 degrees 22 minutes east.
Birds first re-appeared again. I saw a large flock of two kinds, but was not near enough to ascertain what they were. I have before noted the fact that almost at the exact point where the southern birds of the family Longipennes disappeared those sea-jellies (acalepha) which have the power of stinging, began to show themselves; previously to our passing this point I had not seen one: I saw several however today at no great distance from this flock of birds.
We saw float by this afternoon one of the acalepha, apparently about two feet long and shaped generally like a water snake; its tail had fins like that of an eel, of a purplish tinge; I could distinctly see its head and various vessels in its interior for it was quite transparent. We had no net ready but threw a stick with a piece of string attached to it, the string passed under it but in pulling up cut through it as though it had been jelly.
Caught an animal (Cymothoa) shaped exactly like a woodlouse:
Length 0.4 inches. Length of antennae 0.15 inches. Breadth of body 0.12 inches.
It had six legs, and a tail-like fin behind on each side, and nine rings on its back so that it could roll itself almost into a ball, these rings extended no farther than from its head to within 0.12 inches of its hinder extremity; colour very pale blue down the back, bright prussian blue on each side; it crawled about when taken out of the water, and lived for some time; its fins, or fin-like legs, when it thus crawled about, were folded under its tail; eyes distinct.
November 20. Latitude 25 degrees 14 minutes south; longitude 106 degrees 49 minutes east.
A shell, Janthina exigua, was caught this evening, 8 hours 30 minutes P.M.; when brought directly out of the water into a room the temperature of the animal was 80 degrees 5'; of room 76 degrees; colour, dark violet purple over half the opening and lower part of the shell, so that it gives the animal the appearance of having been upon a purple-coloured place; this colour then dies gradually away, and in the smallest whorl of the shell becomes almost white. They had the power of emitting drops of a violet colour, and when put into spirits a great quantity of this issued from the mouth of the shells. We had one evening before caught a pair of shells of the same species, but much smaller, at exactly the same hour; in both instances each pair were caught at the same haul of the net.
November 23. Latitude 21 degrees 43 minutes south; longitude 109 degrees 43 east. 8 1/2 P.M.
A flying-fish (Exocetus) flew on board. Its temperature was 74 degrees. The colour of its iris was black.
Length from mouth to end of curve between forks of tail 10 inches. From mouth to commencement of wing-like fin 2.7 inches. Length of wing fin 6.7 inches. of dorsal fin 2.0 inches. of pectoral fin 2.2 inches. of anal fin 1.3 inches. of upper fork of tail 2.2 inches. of lower ditto 3.2 inches. Length from mouth to end of gill 2.2 inches. Breadth of wing fin 6 inches. 13 spines in each of these wings. Breadth between eyes 0.11 inches. Depth of fish 1.6 inches. Breadth of thickness 1.6 inches. Diameter of the eye 0.65 inches.
Under-jaw projecting; sides, pale green; back, blackish-green; belly, white; five first spines in wing fin, greenish; others white; wing-fin dark green with a transparent band running nearly up the centre from the back; pectoral fin, transparent, with a dark green spot, nearly an inch square, about the centre of its lowest extremity; tail, dark green, edges light.
November 26. Latitude 16 degrees 32 south; longitude 117 degrees east.
After crossing about the 22nd parallel of south latitude we fairly entered into the region of flying fish, and dolphins as they are commonly called; tropic birds were now also frequently seen, which had not up to this moment been the case; we often also met hereabouts with a dark-coloured bird with bronzed wings, having a cry precisely like a Snipe. I know not the name of this bird. The more beautiful and largest Sea-jellies (acalepha) had now disappeared, although the more minute ones were as numerous as ever.
It therefore appears to me that we have, in coming from the southward to this point, passed through three great regions, or zones, of animal life, one extending from as far to the southward as I have yet been, namely 36 degrees south latitude to 31 degrees south latitude; this zone was inhabited by numerous Sea-jellies (acalepha) of the smaller kind, by porpoises and whales, as well as by immense varieties of the Petrels or Procellariae.
The second zone extending from 31 degrees south to 22 degrees south latitude was inhabited by immense numbers of the larger and more beautiful kind of Sea-jellies (acalepha) particularly by those that have the power of stinging. Within this zone I saw but one whale, one shoal of porpoises, and not a single one of the long-winged water birds or Petrels; in fact I but once in the whole of this distance saw any birds; there were also here a great variety and numbers of Sea-jellies (acalepha) of the smaller kinds. Do then the larger acalepha in this zone perform the office of the birds in the more southern one, and prey upon the smaller species of their own kind?
The third zone is the one with which I have commenced the journal of this day.
November 29. Latitude 15 degrees 26 minutes 32 seconds south; longitude 122 degrees 3 minutes east.
We saw six or seven water snakes (Hydrus) this day, all about three feet long, of a dirty yellow colour, with black stripes, the head black, they were furnished with fins like an eel, were of a very graceful form, and moved on the water exactly like a snake, with the head a little elevated; when they dived they turned up on their backs before they sank: we caught one of these snakes, also a moth and butterfly. A large bat (Pteropus ?) flew about the vessel this evening and pitched several times on the boat astern. I once struck it as it passed me, it appeared much fatigued; we were 150 miles from the main and thirty from the nearest small sandy island.
We caught two sharks today; the sailors said that they saw fourteen or fifteen little sharks swimming round one of these, and that when the bait was thrown into the water and made a noise some of these swam into her mouth: directly after they had told me this the shark was caught. I had it opened and four young ones were found inside, two had never left the uterus, for they were attached to it at the time, the other two were not so attached, and were larger than the former, and swam well and strongly when put into the water: whether or not they had ever left the mother I cannot of course say. I have preserved two in spirits, one that was attached and one that was not; two intestinal worms were found in the stomach of one of the sharks.
CHAPTER 4. HANOVER BAY.
NEW AND DANGEROUS SHOAL.
This morning at twenty minutes after nine, when in latitude 15 degrees 26 minutes 32 seconds and longitude 121 degrees 55 east, we suddenly made the very unpleasant discovery that we were in the midst of shoals, owing to some negligence in our lookout. This was not found out until we were hemmed in between two, one lying not more than fifty fathoms from our larboard quarter, and the other about three times the distance on the starboard beam. I went up to the mast-head, and distinctly saw the rocks, not more than two or three feet under water on the larboard side. We fortunately passed through this danger without accident; and, directly we cleared it, found bottom at twenty-five fathoms, coarse sand and shells.
I was called at four A.M. to keep my watch, and, as soon as I had ascertained that the men composing it were all present and at their stations, I went up aloft, and as I anticipated a speck of land soon appeared above the horizon. This was Red Island. Other points shortly rose behind it: hill after hill came up into view, at a distance looking like islands, which indeed many of them were; but, on a nearer approach, the parts connecting the others became visible, and the mainland of this vast insular continent gradually revealed itself to our anxious eyes.
MAKING THE LAND.
We stood on until eleven A.M.; but in making land there always rests a certain degree of anxiety upon the mind of the seaman and traveller, more especially when that land is imperfectly known. As there appeared to be every chance of our losing the sea-horizon, and consequently our noon observation, if we stood on and the breeze continued, our course was changed to the other tack until that hour; and then having correctly ascertained our position, Red Island bearing south-east by east, distance 8 miles, we once more stood in for the land.
Red Island is small, rocky, and of no great elevation; its colour is a very dark red; the sides are precipitous, and in its centre is a clump of trees which cannot be seen until you have run by the island, as it falls gradually from the south-west to the north-east, so that the north-east side is the least elevated. We sounded when about seven miles to the north-west of it, and found bottom at twenty-five fathoms, of green sandy mud.
The sandbank laid down on the Admiralty charts to the north-east of Red Island is small and barren; it is very low, and at some distance looks like a white rock in the water; being apparently an island formed of the same rock as the former, and topped with quartz or white sand. In entering Hanover Bay, or Port George the Fourth, a good course is to run nearly midway between this and Red Island. At sunset we anchored off Entrance Island (Port George the Fourth) in twenty-five fathoms water.
ARRIVAL OFF THE COAST OF AUSTRALIA. ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY FROM SHIP-BOARD.
At the first streak of dawn I leant over the vessel's side to gaze upon those shores I had so longed to see. I had not anticipated that they would present any appearance of inviting fertility; but I was not altogether prepared to behold so arid and barren a surface as that which now met my view. In front of me stood a line of lofty cliffs, occasionally broken by sandy beaches; on the summits of these cliffs and behind the beaches rose rocky sandstone hills, very thinly wooded. Whilst I mused on this prospect, all hands were busied in getting the vessel under weigh, which was soon accomplished; but there was little or no wind, and the ship lay almost motionless upon the waters.