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and the terror ran through the regiment. The colonel, being apprised of the occurrence, signified his intention to accompany the guard when they relieved the centinel they had left. At the appointed time, they all marched together; and again, to their unutterable wonder, they found the post vacant, and the man gone!
Under these circumstances, the colonel hesitated whether he should station a whole company on the spot, or whether he should again submit the post to a single centinel. The cause of these repeated disappearances of men, whose courage and honesty were never suspected, must be discovered; and it seemed not likely that this discovery could be obtained by persisting in the old method. Three brave men were now lost to the regiment, and to assign the post to a fourth, seemed nothing less than giving him up to destruction. The poor fellow whose turn it was to take the station, though a man in other respects of incomparable resolution, trembled from head to foot.
"I must do my duty," said he to the officer, "I know that; but I should like to lose my life with more credit."
"I will leave no man," said the colonel, "against his will."
A man immediately stept from the ranks, and desired to take the post. Every mouth commended his resolution. "I will not be taken alive," said he, "and you shall hear of me on the least alarm. At all events I will fire my piece if I hear the least noise. It a crow chatters, or a leaf falls, you shall hear my musket. You may be alarmed when nothing is the matter; but you
must take the chance as the condition of the discovery."
The colonel applauded his courage, and told him he would be right to fire upon the least noise which was ambiguous. His comrades shook hands with him, and left him with a melancholy forboding. The company marched back, and waited the event in the guardhouse.
An hour had elapsed, and every ear was upon the rack for the discharge of the musket, when, upon a sudden, the report was heard. The guard immediately marched, accompanied, as before, by the colonel, and some of the most experienced officers of the regiment. As they approached the post, they saw the man advancing towards them, dragging another man on the ground by the hair of his head. When they came up to him, it appeared to be an Indian whom he had shot. An explanation was immediately required.
"I told your honour," said the man," that I should fire if I heard the least noise. The resolution I had taken has saved my life. I had not been long on my post when I heard a rustling at some short distance; I looked, and saw an American hog, such as are common in the woods, crawling along the ground, and seemingly looking for nuts under the trees and amongst the
leaves. As these animals are so very common, I ceased to consider it for some minutes; but being on the constant alarm and expectation of attack, and scarcely knowing what was to be considered a real cause of apprehension, I kept my eyes vigilantly fixed upon it, and marked its progress among the trees;
MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS, &c. 915
still there was no need to give the alarm, and my thoughts were directed to danger from another quarter. It struck me, however, as somewhat singular to see this animal making, by a circuitous passage, for a thick coppice immediately behind my post. I therefore kept my eye more constantly fixed upon it, and as it was now within a few yards of the coppice, hesitated whether I should not fire. My comrades, thought I, will laugh at me for alarming them by shooting a pig! I had almost resolved to let it alone, when, just as it approached the thicket, I thought I observed it give te an unusual spring. I no longer hesitated: I took my ain; discharged my piece; and the animal was instantly stretched before me with a groan which I conceived to be that of a human creature. I went up to it, and judge my astonishment, when I found that I had killed an Indian! He had enveloped himself with the skin of one of these wild hogs so artfully and completely; his hands and feet were so entirely concealed in it, and his gait and appearance were so exactly correspondent to that of the animal's, that, imperfectly as they were always seen through the trees and jungles, the disguise could not be penetrated at a distance, and scarcely discovered upon the nearest aspect. He was armed with a dagger and tomahawk."
Such was the substance of this man's relation. The cause of the
disappearance of the other centinels was now apparent. The Indians, sheltered in this disguise, secreted themselves in the coppice; watched the moment when they could throw it off; burst upon the centinels without previous alarm, and, too quick,
to give them an opportunity to discharge their pieces, either stabbed or scalped them, aud bore their bodies away, which they concealed at some distance in the leaves. The Americans gave them rewards for every scalp of an enemy which they brought. Whatever circumstances of wonder may appear in the present relation, there are many now alive who can attest its authenticity.
The royal hydrographical office of Madrid, has published, by command of the Prince of the Peace, in the Gazette of that city, the follow ing notice, relative to a discovery recently made in the South Sea :
The frigate La Pala, belonging to the Philippine Company, and commanded by Don John Baptiste Monteverde, on her voyage from Manilla to Lima, discovered on the 18th of February, 1806, a group of islands, the southernmost of which is situated in 3 deg. 29 min. North latitude, and 162 deg. 5 min. East longitude, from Cadiz.
These islands, 29 in number, occupy a space of 10 leagues from NE. to SW. and are separated by channels, one or two leagues in breadth. They are low, woody, and intersected with rivers. Their inhabitants are of the most pacific disposition. They first approached the frigate to the number of 21, in two canoes.
When they had come within musket shot, they ceased rowing, and held some cocoa-nuts towards the Spaniards, shouting and making signs. The frigate clewed hier sails, and hoisted the Spanish colours. This manoeuvre having apparently
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excited some apprehensions in the Islanders, the Spanish colours were struck, and a white flag was hoisted, the crew, at the same time, calling and making signs to the canoes to approach. They accordingly, came alongside, and gave the Spaniards some cocoa-nuts, without demanding any thing in return, but none of them could be persuaded to come on board. The crew of the frigate then distributed among them some old knives, iron-rings, and pieces of red cloth; and this liberality excited such joy and gratitude in these good people, that they immediately stripped their canoes to make presents to the Spaniards; their nets, their fish-hooks, their cocoa-nut shells, which served them for cups, their enormous hats, made of the leaves of the palm-tree, were all, in a moment, removed on board of the frigate; and they, at length, proceeded to strip themselves of their only garment, fastened round their waist, in order to testify their grati tude to their benefactors. Still they were not content with themselves, and gave the Spaniards to understand, that they would return to their island to fetch other presents, and requesting that the frigate would wait for them.
These Indians are tall, well made, robust, and active. They are of an olive colour, have flat noses, black curled hair, but of considerable length. In each canoe was a venerable old man, naked like the others, and who appeared to be their chief. One very remarkable circumstance is, that these two old men were white, and had acquiline noses. They had rather the air of Spaniards than of savages. Captain Monteverde adds, that these islands, and their aged chiefs, wore a consider
Induced from having touched at St. David's Islands, in the North Pacific Ocean, in our way to China, in the Mangles, and not knowing of any correct account yet being obtained of their danger, natives, &c. I beg permission to present you with a short description, and a small chart of them.
The best account yet given of . them, is by capt. Williams, when, commanding the hon. company's ship Thames, he saw them on his passage home from China, coming the eastern route. He places them from latitude 1o S. to 0° 55m S. their longitude from 134. 17 E. to 134. 25 E.; which, at the distance he passed them, must be considered as very accurate. By a good observation, at noon; when close in with them, we made the centre of the reef to be, on 0° 54 S. and by one of Margett's chronometers, No. 209, whose rate had been regular for upwards of two years, 134 20 E. The full extent of the reef and islands is about fourteen miles north and south; and their breadth east to west five miles.
Captain Williams not passing close enough to perceive the danger of the
reef on which they are situated, or what refreshments might be procured from them, I considered the first as an object of some moment, as the eastern passage to China, in all probability, may be more frequented than formerly, by the Bengal shipping, should the cotton trade increase.
The islands are very low; and ships falling in with them in the night would be close in, before they perceived the land; and if not acquainted with the danger, might attempt a passage with them, in which case they would unavoidably run on the reef; as they are situated upon one entire shoal, so that it is not possible for a boat to pass between the islands.
The view of the reef on which they are placed, was taken from the mast head, from whence the eye could extend over the whole space of both islands and reef, therefore I can vouch for its accuracy.
The natives came off in great numbers; and on approaching near the ship, performed extravagant gestures, and held forth a long harangue, which neither our Malays, nor any other person on board, understood; after which they made no scruple of coming on board, and freely parted with their ornaments of dress, and cocoa-nuts, for pieces of iron hoops and old nails.
Their dress consisted of a treble string of coral, stones, and shells, round the waist; a narrow piece of cloth up between the legs, made out of the fibres of cocoa nut; a bracelet of tortoise-shell, round the right wrist; two square pieces of mothero'-pearl, suspended round the ueck, by hair, one piece hanging down the front of the body, and the other down the back; a collar round the neck, of fish teeth, and black coral
This was the dress of the men; and the only difference we perceived in that of the women was, a small mat tied round the waist, which reached as low as the knee.
The natives of these islands are particularly well proportioned and robust; their features are regular and manly; some of them so synimetrical, that I was astonished; having never seen any equal to them in either Asia, Africa, or America. There is not the least resemblance between them and the Malays, or the inhabitants of New Guinea; nor can 1 form the smallest conjecture, from whence these islands could have been first inhabited. Their only produce, and chief food, is the cocoa nut, (fish excepted) consequently but little refreshments can be obtained by touching at them; and water, if any is to be procured, I conceive must be brackish, from the low situation, and small extent of the islands. Anchorage there is none, as you have fifty fathoms close to the edge of the reef. A quantity of mother-o'-pearl might be collected; but I question if sufficient to induce a ship to touch for it.
I am, sir, &c.
tent of coast of 2200 English miles, is known by the general name of Brazil. The Portuguese settlement naturally extending along the coast, little is known of the interior; for most of the tribes being Anthropophagi, even the missionaries have been unwilling to penetrate further. The fanaticism of the Portuguese has always proved a strong obstacle to the population of this fine region. Sir C. Staunton computed the whites at 200,000, and the negroes, &c. at 600,000. The whole may now probably be about one million; a population by no means adequate to the extent and fertility of the country. It is divided into three governments, of which Rio Janeiro is the chief, owing to the gold and diamond mines in its neighbourhood.
Of the state of industry in the Brazil we have no very minute account. After the discovery of the mines, particular attention was paid to them, from the notion then prevalent, that riches consisted in gold and precious stones. Though the soil is very fertile, agriculture appears to be in rather a low state. Da Cunha, bishop of Fernambucco, the latest authority of consequence, informs us, that the province of Rio Grande alone might supply a great part of Europe with wheat, hemp, and other products; and yet it appears, that wheat, rice, and flour, are considerable articles of importation into Bahia, which was the most commercial city of the Brazils, till the discovery of the mines gave the superior importance to Rio Janeiro. Several districts produce cotton, indigo, coffee, chocolate, rice, pepper, and the noted Brazilian tobacco. The number of cattle in some of the provinces is prodigious, and they are often
slaughtered for the value of their hides. All the provinces, according to the account of Staunton, are advancing fast to opulence and importance. They manufactured of late several of the most necessary articles for their own consumption, and their produce was so considerable, that the balance of trade began to be in their favour.
The imports into the Brazils are chiefly linen, woollens, silk hats, wheat, flour, rice, port wine, furniture, oil, cheese, &c. in return for gold, sugar, tobacco, Brazil wood, skins, ipecacubana, and other drugs. The trade in timber is a favourite object with Da Cunha, who prefers the nagatree, the ipe, the guramirim, and sueupiora, to the best and strongest timber in Europe. Woods for ornamental cabinet work too, or for the use of dyers, may be procured here in great perfection and variety. Several of the aromatic plants are found here in a truly indigenous state, such as the ginger, turmeric, different species of pepper, American coffee, capsicum, or Guinea pepper, and the wild cinnamon. A variety of medicinal plants also grow here in great abundance, and such esculent plants and fruits as are common to the tropical regions of America. Mr. Lindley's narrative, published in 1805, presents some notices that may be of use in the deficiency of materials on this subject. He says that the bitter, or Seville orange, is orange, is a native of America. There are great unwrought mines of nitre near Bahia. No vessels, be observes, ought to approach the coast on the south of Bahia within half a degree, as all our charts are very imperfect in that part. The Rio Grande and the adjoining Pa