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This was near to the situation given to Isle Grande; where likewise they saw such numbers of black whales, that the Captain says, if half the whalers belonging to London had
• been with me, they might have filled their vessels with oil.'
Being at the Gallipagoe Isles, about the end of June, the places which had lately contained fresh water were then
• I was very much perplexed (says the author) to form a satisfactory conjecture, how the small birds, which appeared to remain in one spot, supported themselves without water : but the party on their return informed me, that, having exhausted all their water, and reposing beneath a prickly pear-tree, almost choaked with thirst, they observed an old bird in the act of supplying three young ones with drink, by squeezing the berry of a tree into their mouths. It was about the size of a pea, and contained a watery juice, of an acid, but not unpleasant, taste. The bark of the tree produces a considerable quantity of moisture, and, on being eaten, allays the thirst. In dry seasons, the land tortoise is seen to gnaw and suck it. The lcaf of this tree is like that of the bay tree, the fruit grows like cherries, whilst the juice of the bark dies the flesh a deep purple, and emits a grateful odor : a quality in common with the greater part of the trees and plants in this island : though it is soon lost, when the branches are separated from the trunks, or stems. The leaves of these trees also absorb the copious dews, which fall during the night, but in larger quantities at the full and change of the moon; the birds then pierce them with their bills, for the moisture they retain, and which, I believe, they also procure from the various plants and ever-greens. But when the dews fail in the summer season, thou. sands of these creatures perish ; for, on our return hither, we found great numbers dead in their nests, and some of them almost fledged.'
In these seas, being near the American coast, they saw numbers of turtle floating on the water, and innumerable flocks of boobies. When the appearance of the weather foretold a squall, or on the approach of night, the turtle generally afforded a place of rest for one of these birds on his back; and though this curious perch was usually an object of contest, the turtle appears to be perfectly at ease and unmoved on the occasion. In return, the bird generally eased the turtle of the sucking fish and maggots that adhered to and troubled him.'
On the navigation round Cape Horn; Captain Colnett makes the following remarks: I have doubled Cape Horn in dif. ferent seasons, but were I to make another voyage to this part of the globe, and could command my time, I would most certainly prefer the beginning of winter, or even winter itself, with moon-light nights : for, in that season, the winds begin to vary to the eastward, as I found them, and as Captain (now Admiral) Macbride observed at the Falkland Isles. The weather experienced by Admiral Anson's squadron is not in favour of this opinion : but, though we cannot agree with Capt. Colnett in his preference, we nevertheless think that the authority which he has mentioned, - joined with his own experience,- is sufficient encouragement for attempting the passage in winter, whenever it may be deemed necessary.
Capt. Colnett's attention to the comforts of his people, particularly to their provisions, which it was as much his care to render palatable as wholesome, deserves great praise ; and he has been successful in adding to the instances before known, of the preservation of health in the performance of long voyages. In particular, the following passage, relative to his treatment of that dreadful disorder the yellow fever, merits consideration :
• The whole crew had been, more or less, affected by the yellow fever, from which horrid disorder, I was, however, so fortunate, as to recover them, by adopting the method that I saw practised by the natives of Spanish America, when I was a prisoner among them. On the first symptoms appearing, the fore-part of the head was immediately shaved, and the temples, and pole, washed with vinegar and water. The whole body was then immersed in warm water, to give a free course to perspiration ; some opening medicine was afterward administered, and every four hours, a dose of ten grains of James's powders. If the patient was thirsty, the drink was weak white wine and water, and a slice of bread to satisfy an inclination
An increasing appetite was gratified by a small quantity of soup, made from the mucilagenous parts of the turtle, with a little vinegar in it. I also gave the sick, sweetmeats and other articles from my private stock, whenever they expressed a distant wish for any, which I could supply them with. By this mode of treatment, the whole crew improved in their health ; except the carpenter, who, though a very stout, robust man, was, at one time, in such a state of delirium, and so much reduced, that I gave him over ; but he at length recovered.'
An account is given, in a long note, of the treatment which the author received from the Spaniards in a voyage made by him in the year 1789, from China to the western coast of North America. This relation reflects very great discredit on the Spanish commanding officer ; whose conduct appears to have been in a high degree treacherous, violent, and dishonourable. Capt. C. had entered into partnership with other English gentlemen at Macao, who agreed to fit out a number of vessels, in order to collect furs on the American coast; and it was a part of their intention to have established a factory at Nootka Sound, not knowing that this port was then occupied by the Spaniards. The command of this expedition was trusted to Cap:ain Colnett, who sailed in a vessel called the Argonaut. We shall continue the relation in his own words.
? It is unnecessary upon this occasion, to have recourse to any, oca currences in that unfortunate voyage, prior to the time when I appeared off Nootka, viz. the third day of July, 1789. At nine in the evening, when it was almost dark, we hailed a boat ; and the persons in it desiring to come on board, their request was imme, diately granted. It proved to be a Spanish launch, with Don Estevan Martinez, commodore of some Spanish ships of war, then lying in Friendly Cove: we were visited at the same time by another Spanish launch, and the boat of an American ship. I had no sooner received Don Martinez in my cabin, than he presented me a letter from Mr. Hudson, commander of the Princess Royal Sloop, which was under my orders. The commodore then informed me, that the vessels under his command were in great distress, from the want of provisions and other necessaries ; and requested me, in a very urgent manner, to go into port, in order to afford him the necessary supplies. I hesitated, however, to comply with this demand, as I entertained very reasonable doubts, of the propriety of putting myself under the command of two Spanish men of war. The Spaniard observing my unwillingness to comply with his roquest, assured me, on his word and honour, in the name of the King of Spaini, whose servant he was, and of the Viceroy of Mexico, whose nephew he declared himself to be, that, if I would go into port and relieve his wants, I should be at liberty to sail whenever I pleased. He also added, that his business at Nootka was for no other purpose, than merely to prevent the Russians from settling on that part of the coast, and that it formed a lcading principle of his instructions, as it was his private inclination, to pay all becoming respect and attention to every other nation. I am ready to acknowledge that the story of his distresses, and the letter of Mr. Hudson, which appeared to be deserving of credit, had very considerable weight with me : besides, I was an officer in his Britannic Majesty's service ; and might be, in some degree, influenced by a professional sympathy. I therefore suffered myself to be persuaded to enter the harbour; and, as it was a calm, to let the Spanish boars assist in towing the Argonaut into Friendly Cove; where we arrived by twelve at night, and found an American ship called the Columbia, riding at anchor, commanded by Mr. Kendric, and a sloop of the same nation, called the Washington, commanded by Mr. Gray; with two Spanish ships of war, called the Princessa, and Don Carlos. The next morning, after I had ordered some provisions and stores for the relief of Don Martinez to be got ready, I went to breakfast with him, in
consequence of his invitation. After breakfast he accompanied me on board my ship, the Argonaut ; I gave him a list of the articles I intended to send him, with which he appeared highly pleased. I then informed him it was my intention to go to sea in the course of the day: he replied, he would send his launch to assist me out of the harbour, and that I might, on the return of the boat, send him the promised supply: The launch not coming so early. as I wished, I sent one of the mates for her, but instead of bringing me the boat, I received an order from Don Martinez, to come on board his ship and bring with me my papers. This order appeared strange, but I complied
with it, and went on board the Princessa. On my coming into his
• I now saw, but too late, the duplicity of this Spaniard, and
We shall not describe the particulars of the hard usage which Captain Colnett and his people endured in the sequel of this business. Their sufferings were so great, and the whole was accompanied with so many circumstances of aggravation, that it threw him into a violent fever, attended with delirium ; and his life was, for some days, in great danger. Such treatment inflicted on them, unprovoked, and with impunity, • worked on the minds of the sickly part of the crew, several of whom took it to heart and died, and one destroyed himself in despair.' At the end of thirteen months' captivity, and with the loss of four out of the five vessels originally employed in the undertaking, Capt. C. obtained the release of himself and surviving companions : but before this was granted, the Spaniards insisted on his signing a paper, expressing bis complete and entire satisfaction of their usage him and his people : to which the wretched state of the crew, and their clamours to depart, obliged him to submit.
The unsettled aspect of public affairs, when Capt. Colnett left England on the voyage related in the volume before us, made him think it probable that, during his absence, this country might be involved in a dispute with Spain. He therefore did not deem it prudent, while he was in the South Scas, to venture into any port on the American coast ; lest, as he expresses himself, they might again be obliged to trust to the tender mercies of the Spaniards.-With the narrative, he has given charts and plans of the islands and anchoring-places visited during the voyage, from his own surveys.
In the in'roduction, Capt. C. says that, in the only vessel which remained to him in his unfortunate voyage to Nootka, not caring to return empty to China, he continued on the American coast, and procured another valuable cargo of furs; with which he proceeded to China :--but, a probibition having been laid by the Chinese on the sale of. furs, I did not,' says he, remain there, but in a short time, at the request of the gentlemen who were joint agents with me, set sail, and coasted for a market to the west side of Japan, and east side of Corea.'
- Here an encouraging prospect of a new and valuable commerce for my country unfolded itself before me, when in a typhoon, in the latitude of 38% N. on the coast of Corea, I lost my rudder, which obliged me to put back into the port of Chusan in the northern parts of China.' He a.lds that a full account of this voyage, with charts and drawings, were left by him in England when he departed on his last expedition; and that they will hereafter,' he trusts, be presented to the public. When it is considered how dangerous the attempt at a communication with Japan has for so long a time been regarded, on account of the general belief of the hostile disposition of the Japanese towards Europeans; and that ships of considerable force, which have passed near to their coast, have thought it unsafe to stop, or to search for a port; we cannot but admire the spirit manifested in undertaking, with only a single trading vessel, an enterprise which has been esteemed so hazardous, and we are glad, on this occasion, to express our wishes that the curiosity of the public may be soon gratified.
Art. IV. M. Van Braam's Account of the Embassy from the Dutch
[ Article concluded from the Rev. for March, p. 249.]
been accidentally interrupted in the last month, we now
One morning, when M. Van Braam was repairing to the Emperor's court, he had the misfortune of being overturned into a ditch; which, however, being frozen over, he received no hurt. The Mandarins, who conducted him, expressed much satisfaction at his escape ; for the tyranny of the Chinese government is such, that the Mandarinis not only were responsible for any disasters that might happen to their visitors, but were even in danger of losing their lives, if any accident
Rev. May, 1799.