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Title: The Discovery of Australia
Author: G Arnold Wood
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1. CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, F.R.S.




69. AUSTRALIA AND THE WESTERN PACIFIC, SHOWING TRACKS OF EXPLORERS


THE DISCOVERY OF AUSTRALIA
BY
G. ARNOLD WOOD

B.A. (MANCHESTER), M.A. (OXFORD)

LATE SCHOLAR OF BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD, AND STANHOPE ESSAYIST
PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY.


WITH ILLUSTRATIONS


MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON
1922


TO THE
HISTORY STUDENTS OF SYDNEY UNIVERSITY,
1891-1921,
AND ESPECIALLY TO ONE OF THEM.


PUBLISHERS' NOTE

After this book had been printed off, a letter was received from the author to the effect that his colleague Professor W. J. Woodhouse, of the University of Sydney, had recently ascertained that the autograph of Cook's Journal, and also of the Instructions and Secret Instructions issued to him, are in the possession of Mr. H. W. F. Bolckow, of Marton Hall, Marton-in-Cleveland. Following Admiral Wharton and other previous writers, Professor Wood has in the present volume referred to these documents as being no longer extant, and has used what is known as the Corner copy of the Journal (now in Sydney), which has hitherto been regarded as the best authority, and is believed to be an exact copy of the original.

It is unfortunate that this information reached Professor Wood too late to be made use of in his book, though it is not likely that his narrative of The Discovery of Australia would be materially affected by the documents in question.

June, 1922.


PREFACE

The lectures, which make this book, were given to a class in Sydney University in 1917. The quality of lectures given in an Australian University is determined by the mind of the students only less than by the mind of the lecturer; and with pleasure I take this opportunity to thank the generations of students, who, for thirty years, have not only made lecturing a happiness, but have also, by kindly appreciation of good intention, well salted with honest witness to evident failure, given reason to do one's best.

Chapters I. and VI. were given as lectures to the Royal Australian Historical Society, and are printed in its Journal, Vol. III. Part 10, and Vol. IV. Part 4.

In preparation of the lectures, my chief debt was to the Mitchell Library. Mr. David Mitchell of Sydney was a gentleman of wealth and of culture, who devoted a large part of his life to the collection of a Library of the Literature of Australian History. This Library he gave to the State of New South Wales, together with an endowment that enables the Committee to purchase historical material of the highest value. It is a marvellous collection of precious things; and in it the student of Australian History works in an atmosphere of enervating luxury. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to the Mitchell Librarian, Mr. Hugh Wright, and to his Assistant Librarians, for the infinite courtesy with which they have helped my work. I am especially indebted to Mr. Wright for help in the study of Banks's Journal, the treasure of the Mitchell.

In spite of the excellence of the Mitchell Library there are some historical materials which cannot be used in Sydney. I have tried to indicate the parts of the discussion in which, for this reason, my equipment is imperfect, and I have had to take facts from the books of modern writers.

Of these books, that which, perhaps, was most useful to me was Rainaud's Le Continent Austral. I have continually had at hand the fascinating and most helpful volumes of Fiske's Discovery of America. Mr. Major's Introduction to the Early Voyages to Australia was of great service. I wish to express my special obligation to Mr. George Collingridge, whose Discovery of Australia first made the subject of interest to me, and whose maps especially are very useful. Though I differ in opinion from Mr. Collingridge in respect to the interpretation of the early maps, I am aware that his study of these maps, and especially of the Portuguese-French maps, has been more minute than mine; and I hope we may agree that, groping in a fog, we are both guessers. It has been a peculiar pleasure to plunder the admirable volumes of my old friend Professor Beazley on the Dawn of Modern Geography; a pleasure mingled with fear that I have not got from them all that I ought to have got. In telling the Spanish story, I have used the translations in the admirable editions published by the Hakluyt Society. In the Dutch part, the English student must be mainly dependent on the help of Mr. Heeres. In the discussion of Cook, Admiral Wharton and Mr. Kitson have had the use of material which cannot be used in Sydney. In the chapter on the "Successors of Cook," I have continually used the books of Professor Scott of Melbourne, who has kindly read my chapter.

My thanks are due to Professor Todd and Professor Woodhouse who gave kindly help in my slight sketch of the "ancient conception"; and to Professor David and Professor Cotton who gave me the modern geological criticism of the argument, so much used in our story, that there must be a great continent in the South. Dr. Frederick Watson has most kindly corrected the dates in the chapters which tell the story of Cook's First Voyage.

And most hearty are my thanks to my sister-in-law, Miss Laura Whitfeld, who, with incredible insight and industry, translated impossible hand-writing into alluring type, and made me hope that the lectures might become a useful book.

G. A. WOOD.
UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY,
December, 1921.


CONTENTS

     I ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL CONCEPTIONS OF THE LAND OF THE SOUTH
    II THE INDIAN OCEAN IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY
   III MARCO POLO
    IV THE SUCCESSORS OF MARCO POLO
     V THE PORTUGUESE AND THE SPANIARDS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN
    VI WAS AUSTRALIA KNOWN IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY?
   VII THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOLOMONS
  VIII THE VOYAGE OF 1595
    IX QUIROS
     X AUSTRIALIA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO
    XI THE VOYAGE OF TORRES
   XII THE SPANISH STORY ENDS
  XIII THE COMING OF THE ENGLISH AND THE DUTCH
   XIV THE DUTCH DISCOVER AUSTRALIA
    XV TASMAN'S VOYAGE OF 1642
   XVI TASMAN'S VOYAGE OF 1644
  XVII THE ENDING OF THE DUTCH PART
 XVIII DAMPIER
   XIX THE VOYAGE OF THE Roebuck
    XX THE PLANS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
   XXI THE PRECURSORS OF COOK
  XXII THE VOYAGE OF THE Endeavour
 XXIII THE DISCOVERY OF EASTERN AUSTRALIA
  XXIV THE END OF TERRA AUSTRALIS
   XXV THE SUCCESSORS OF COOK
 INDEX

MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS

01 CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, F.R.S.
02 RAINAUD'S INTERPRETATION OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL VIEWS OF POMPONIUS MELA
03 THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PTOLEMY
04 COSMAS: THE ANTIPODES IN DERISION
05 THE UNIVERSE, ACCORDING TO COSMAS
06 EIGHTH-CENTURY MAP
07 TWELFTH-CENTURY MAP
08 CHART OF 1489
09 PART OF MAP SHOWING THE GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE ARABIANS
10 YULE'S MAP
11 BEHAIM'S GLOBE OF 1492
12 MAP OF 1489
13 FRA MAURO'S MAP, 1459
14 PORTUGUESE DOMINIONS IN THE EAST, 1502-1558
15 MAP TO ILLUSTRATE VOYAGE OF THE Victoria FROM THE PHILIPPINES
16 PART OF LINSCHOTEN'S CHART OF JAVA AND THE ISLANDS TO THE EASTWARD
17 PART OF SEBASTIAN CABOT'S MAP
18 PART OF DIEGO RIBERO'S MAP, 1529
19 PART OF REINEL'S CHART, c. 1517
20 PART OF RODRIGUEZ'S CHART
21 PART OF MERCATOR'S MAP, 1569
22 PART OF MAP IN HAKLUYT'S Voyages
23 THE WESTERN HALF OF SCHÖNER'S FIRST GLOBE
24 MAP OF ORONTIUS FINAEUS
25 MAP OF 1522
26 PART OF PLANCIUS'S MAP
27 PART OF ORTELIUS'S MAP, 1570
28 PART OF WYTFLIET'S MAP, 1597
29 PART OF THE "DAUPHIN" MAP, 1530-1536
30 PART OF JEAN ROTZ'S CHART, 1542
31 PART OF DESCELIERS' CHART, 1550
32 VALLARD'S MAP, 1547
33 JEAN ROTZ'S CHART OF 1542, WITH MODERN OUTLINE SUPERIMPOSED
34 MAP OF THE SOLOMONS AND NEW GUINEA (HERRERA, 1601)
35 ORTELIUS'S MAP OF 1587
36 THE NEW HEBRIDES
37 MAP OF THE BAY OF ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES
38 PART OF MAP IN DUTCH TRANSLATION OF QUIROS'S MEMORIAL: AMSTERDAM, 1612
39 PART OF GERRITZ'S MAP, 1627
40 DIRCK HARTOG'S PEWTER DISH
41 THE FRENCH COPY OF VLAMINGH'S PEWTER DISH
42 PART OF GOOS-VISSCHER'S MAP, 1639
43 PART OF DE LEEUW'S MAP, 1623
44 PART OF HONDIUS'S MAP, 1630
45 PART OF KEPPLER'S MAP, 1630
46 SKETCH FROM TASMAN'S MAP OF HIS VOYAGES, 1642-1644
47 MODERN MAP OF PART OF TASMANIA
48 TASMAN'S MAP OF ANTHONY VAN DIEMEN'S LAND
49 TASMAN'S PICTURE OF MAORIS
50 SKETCH OF VLAMINGH'S CHART, 1696-1697
51 WILLIAM DAMPIER
52 MAP IN DAMPIER'S Voyages
53 PART OF MAP IN HARRIS'S Voyages
54 PART OF MAP IN DALRYMPLE'S Discoveries made in the South Pacifick Ocean previous to 1764
55 LOUIS ANTOINE DE BOUGAINVILLE
56 PART OF MAP IN BOUGAINVILLE'S Voyage autour du Monde
57 EXTRACT FROM THE "CORNER" COPY OF COOK'S JOURNAL
58 JOSEPH BANKS
59 COOK'S MAP OF BOTANY BAY
60 LANDING OF CAPTAIN COOK AT BOTANY BAY
61 EXTRACT FROM THE "CORNER" COPY OF COOK'S JOURNAL
62 THE Endeavour IN ENDEAVOUR RIVER
63 EXTRACT FROM BANKS'S JOURNAL
64 EXTRACT FROM COOK'S LETTER FROM BATAVIA TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY, DATED 23RD OCT. 1770
65 CAPTAIN MATTHEW FLINDERS, R.N.
66 SIR JOSEPH BANKS, BART., P.C., K.B., F.R.S.
67 PART OF MAP IN GRANT'S Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery
68 SKETCH FROM FLINDERS' MAP OF AUSTRALIA
69 AUSTRALIA AND THE WESTERN PACIFIC, SHOWING TRACKS OF EXPLORERS


CHAPTER I. ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL CONCEPTIONS OF THE LAND OF THE SOUTH

AUTHORITIES:


The story may begin in a Greek Utopia, written by an author named Theopompus about 350 B.C.

"At length in process of talk Selenus told Midas of certain islands named Europia, Asia, and Libia, which the Ocean Sea circumscribeth and compasseth round about; and that without this world there is a continent or parcel of dry land which in greatness is infinite and immeasurable"; and he told of its "green meadows and pasture plots," its "big and mighty beasts," its gigantic men, who, "in the same climate exceed the stature of us twice," its "many and divers cities, its laws and ordinances clean contrary to ours."*

[* Major's Early Voyages to Australia (Hak. Soc.), p. i. (note). See longer quotation in Tillinghast's admirable essay on The Geographical Knowledge of the Ancients in Justin Winsor, vol. i. p. 22, note 1.]

The world, then, according to "the son of a nymph," consists of "three islands," or rather of one island composed of three parts, with shores washed by the circumfluent Ocean Sea. And what lies beyond the Ocean Sea? Why not some other huge island, some fourth part of the world, some Utopia of the South, in which one's dreams are facts?

Fancy built on firm foundation. Greek geographers were men of science, whose thought outstripped experience, and conquered unseen worlds. They had proved that the earth was a sphere; proved it by reasonings, known now to every schoolboy, which could never be refuted, and which could never be forgotten. They had proved the existence of climatic zones. They had made it certain that, beyond scorched tropic seas, must be some great region in which the climate was like that of the temperate zone of the North. What more likely, in a well-ordered lawfully governed Kosmos, than that South corresponds to North; that there, also, exists a continent as great as the three-fold "island" of the known world; and that, since "nature loves life," this unknown continent is inhabited by populous nations of human beings, like and unlike to those of the North?

But to this land of the temperate South no Greek nor Roman sailed. Thought was free to girdle the earth; but travel was bounded by the Tropics. Long before the Equator was reached, knowledge of Africa faded into speculation, romance, fable and fairy-tale. Herodotus, it is true, once heard a story that about 600 B.C., Phoenician seamen had sailed through the Red Sea, and had returned three years afterwards through the Mediterranean. The seamen had declared, so the tale was told to Herodotus, that, sailing Southward, the sun had appeared to the North; a statement which seemed to him to prove that the seamen were liars, but which the modern critic is inclined to take as evidence that they had at all events sailed to some point South of the Equator. On the West coast of Africa, Carthaginian seamen under Hanno had sailed Southward as far as Sierra Leone, and had returned with stories of "wild men and women covered with hair called gorillas"; with stories, too, of lands burnt up with everlasting fires; bush-fires kindled by natives, explains the modern critic; but to Hanno it seemed that the land was uninhabitable on account of intolerable heat. Thick fogs and dust storms on the African coast gave to the Atlantic the name of "the Sea of Darkness." Scorching winds from the Sahara confirmed the opinion that the Tropics were an eternal barrier to human travel. There was speculation about the sources of the Nile; and perhaps some little knowledge is expressed in the legends of the "Mountains of the Moon." And yet Pomponius Mela, who wrote with authority on geographical matters about 50 A.D., thought that the Nile probably rose in the unknown continent of the South, and flowed by a subterranean channel beneath the Ocean Sea, emerging to the surface in Africa.

Knowledge of Southern Asia also ended at the Tropics. Alexander marched to the Sutlej, and told his soldiers that they had come to "the Sunrise and to the Ocean." "Unless your sloth and cowardice prevent, we shall thence return in triumph to our native land, having conquered the earth to its remotest bounds." But the soldiers answered, "We are standing now almost on the earth's utmost verge, and yet you are preparing to go in quest of an India unknown even to the Indians themselves. You would fain root out from hidden recesses and dens a race of men that herd with snakes and wild beasts, so that you may traverse as conqueror more regions than the sun surveys."* So Alexander's march was stayed. He sailed down the Indus, and at its mouth he founded the city of Patala,** a name which long dwelt in men's minds as the name of the Furthest South, "where the sun rises on the right (i.e. the North), and shadows fall towards the South," and where the Wain can be seen only in the first part of the night. So India remained the land of Romance, a land equal, some said, to one-third of the whole world, a land abounding in gold and in jewels, and in elephants, and in dragons.***

[* Quintus Curtius Rufus in M'Crindle's Invasion of India, pp. 225-229. Quoted in Synge's Book of Discovery, pp. 40-41.]

[** See M'Crindle's note on Patala, p. 356. The name is sometimes spelt Patalis, and sometimes Pathalis.]

[*** Pliny, Book VI., Chs. 21-23.]

In later Roman times some vague distorted knowledge was gained of the coasts of India, of Ceylon (known as Taprobane), of the Ganges, of golden lands or islands East of the Gangetic Gulf, and of the "Silk Land" (Serica) to the North. Ceylon was thought to be an island in the far distance, and of enormous size. Pliny wrote that a Roman freedman, while sailing round Arabia, was driven to sea by the North wind, and on the fifteenth day reached Taprobane. He stayed there six months; and the King became so interested in his talk about the Romans and Caesar that he sent envoys to Rome. They reported that in their country Canopus "shone by night a great and bright star." And "what astonished them chiefly was that (in Rome) their shadows fall towards our sky (i.e. the North), not towards theirs (i.e. the South)."* Some writers thought that Taprobane was no island, but the tip of the great unknown continent of the South, "the first part of the other world," the land of the "Antichthones"; and, says Pomponius Mela, this is likely enough; for it is inhabited, and yet there is no evidence that anyone has sailed round it! Thus at Taprobane all knowledge ended. No travellers' tales were told of a further South. The Tropic Seas, says Pliny, are "burnt and cremated by flames, scorched by the near sun." Beyond those seas, no doubt, was the "other world," probably inhabited as thickly as the continent of the North. "But about these people," says Mela, "we know nothing, for between us and them there intervenes a burning zone, which it is impossible to cross."**

[* Pliny, Book VI., Ch. 24.]

[** See Illustration 2.]

Thus the "world of ordinary classical geography," the world as conceived by Greeks and Romans about the date of the Christian era, stops far short of the Equator. The West Coast of Africa ends about Sierra Leone, or the Canary Islands. The East coast ends at about Cape Gardafui. A grossly misunderstood Ceylon is both Furthest South and Furthest East. Southward of it lies the circumfluent Ocean Sea, boiling, impassable. And South of it, unknown, unknowable (unless perchance Ceylon is its "first part"), lies the great island-continent of the South, a land interesting to men of science as a curious speculation, to men of letters as a site for Utopias, and to rhetoricians as an illustration of the vanity of human ambitions, and the smallness of the Empire to which Jupiter had placed neither bounds nor end.*

[* Cicero made this use of those who "dwell directly opposite to you" in his story of Scipio's dream (Justin Winsor, vol. i. p. 9).]



2. RAINAUD'S INTERPRETATION OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL VIEWS OF POMPONIUS MELA.
(From Rainaud, Le Continent Austral.)

This was the popular geography of the early Empire. But Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria knew better.* By his time (A.D. 150) geographical science had made great advance. He understood—as none before him, and as none after him for the next thirteen hundred years—the importance of making maps by the certain rules of mathematics and astronomy. In his days also more geographical information had been accumulated. Seamen had pushed Southward down the East coast of Africa, Southwards even of the Equator. Definite knowledge also had been obtained of a "Silk-land," distant from India, extending far to the East and far to the North. News also had been heard, it seems, of lands stretching down from Asia far to the South-East. It seems certain that Ptolemy had some knowledge of the Malay Peninsula. It seems certain, also, that rumours had reached him of the long string of Malaysian islands, lying so close together that they may well have been described as one continuous land. Evidently there was far more land than had been imagined. Much was still unknown; but, when Ptolemy thought, he thought in continents. Against Mela's "wet theory," which supposed the unknown to be Ocean, he set the "dry theory," which supposed the unknown to be land. In his famous map the circumfluent Ocean Sea disappears. Eastern Asia extends indefinitely both Eastward and Southward. At about 15° S. Lat. it takes a decisive turn to the West, and runs along that parallel till it meets the continent of Africa in the same latitude. Thus the Indian Ocean is made a "mediterranean" sea, wholly enclosed by land, so that you can reach it neither by rounding Africa, nor by sailing West from Europe. And the Southern coast of this sea, in about Lat. 15° S., is a Terra Incognita, Ptolemy's way of representing the unknown land of the Southern temperate zone.**

[* See Illustration 3.]

[* See Rawlinson's explanation of Ptolemy's geography of the East in India and the Western World, pp. 130-137.]

Such was the heritage which the ancient world handed to medieval times. The knowledge was never wholly lost. But it wholly ceased to grow. The "dark ages" had no use for the science of the Greeks, and great distrust of it. Philosophy gave place to the Scriptures; thought obeyed that which was written; the spirit that questions, and explores, and denies, and proves, was put to sleep. In place of Socrates, "gadfly of the Athenian people," stinging men into thought, into criticism of the accepted opinion, into exploration of the unknown continents of the spiritual world, we have Thomas Aquinas, enthroned, foot on neck of heretic, Bible on knee, and voice from heaven saying, "Well hast thou written of me, O Thomas!"* The geography that interested was the geography of Hell, of Purgatory, of Heaven. Earthly geography must be learned from Scripture, or at least must be consistent with Scripture. Jerusalem is the centre of the earth, for "thus saith the Lord: 'This is Jerusalem: I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are round about her.'" The last phrase seems to indicate that the earth is round; and this opinion may seem to be confirmed by the statement that God "sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and all the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers." But doubt is thrown on this interpretation by the fact that Isaiah continues: "He stretcheth out the Heavens as a curtain and spreadeth them as a tent to dwell in." And this doubt is increased when we read that "the Son of Man shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and shall gather together his elect from the four angles." The earth is, after all, a square rather than a round, and we shall most truly conceive of it as a tent with curtains.

[* These are the main features of the famous picture.]



3. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PTOLEMY
From Spooner Litglin's Atlas Antiquus.

The best illustration of this method of geographical study is the book written in the Sixth Century (about 547 A.D.) by the monk who is known to us as Cosmas Indicopleustes: a name which seems to be a nom de plume, meaning the cosmographer who sailed to India. For, in his younger days, Cosmas had been a merchant in the Indian Ocean, and had obtained real knowledge of Ceylon, and information even about China. But though he claims that his geographical opinions are confirmed by his experience, his main assertion is that they are wholly independent of human knowledge, being based on a careful study of the Scriptures. From this careful study he has learned the great central truth, which explains all geography, the fact that "the Tabernacle prepared by Moses" is "a pattern of the whole world." The earth then is flat: an oblong flat, for was not the table of show-bread twice as long as it was broad? At the Northern end is a high mountain, round which goes the sun—a sun of forty miles radius, and four hundred miles away—so that when the sun is behind the mountain it is night, and when it appears again it is day. Round this flat oblong earth flows the ocean—the ocean on which Cosmas had himself sailed when he travelled to India. And round this Ocean, again, is an outer frame of land, in the Eastern side of which is the Garden of Eden, whence the Four great rivers, the Nile, the Ganges, the Tigris and the Euphrates, flow from their common source by the Tree of Life, "cleaving a passage through the Ocean, and springing up in this earth." On this same outer earth had dwelt the Patriarchs in the days before the flood, when Noah, sailing over the Ocean sea in his Ark, "reached our part of the earth, and settled in Persian territory." To the outside edge of this outer earth, God had "glued" the four "walls" or "curtains" of the "heavens," welding heaven and earth together, as Job says, "as a square block of stone." "On high he formed it into a most lofty vault overspanning the length of the earth"; and then, "having enclosed the space, made a house, as one might call it, of enormous size, like an oblong vaulted vapour bath." And, finally, by the insertion of the "Firmament," this house had been made into two houses, or rather a house with "an upper and a lower storey"; the lower storey for man, the upper for God, the angels and the saints.*

[* "One of the huge receptacles in which female travellers of our day carry their dresses, forms a perfect model of the Kosmos of Kosmas" (Yule). See Illustration 5.]

Such was the geography taught by that Divine Wisdom which was independent of human intelligence. How different from the "inventions of the Greeks," and how much more in accordance with commonsense! If the earth is, as they say, founded on its own stability, but revolves on its axis, pray what is that axis made of? And again why do not we hear it whizz? And what supports it? And what can be more obviously absurd than the Greek doctrine of the Antipodeans, "men carrying their heads downwards!" These pagans, in fact, "take in hand to turn everything upside down rather than follow the doctrines of the truth," even as "they are whirled round in ceaseless revolutions along with their sphere." You have only to draw a picture of the sphere with four men standing on it at the four points to realise the absurdity of the idea.



4. COSMAS: THE ANTIPODES IN DERISION.
(From Beazley's The Dawn of Modern Geography.)

"We therefore depict, according to your view, the earth and the antipodes, and let each one of you who has sound vision, and the power of reasoning justly, turn the earth round whichever way he pleases, and let him say whether the Antipodeans can be all standing upright in the same sense of the expression." These are clearly "old wives' fables," and an insult to Christian intelligence. "For if two men, on opposite sides, placed the soles of their feet against each, whether they chose to stand on earth, on air, on fire, or any kind of body, how could both be found standing upright? The one would assuredly be found in the natural upright position, and the other, contrary to nature, head downwards. Such notions are opposed to reason, and alien to our nature and condition. And how, again, when it rains upon both of them, is it possible to say that the rain falls down upon the two, and not that it falls down on the one, and falls up to the other?"



5. THE UNIVERSE, ACCORDING TO COSMAS.
(From Beazley's The Dawn of Modern Geography.)

And, once more, how could Antipodeans use the power given by God to men to "tread upon serpents and scorpions," when the serpents and scorpions would be above them? This is food for laughter. But more serious matter remains. "For He made," saith the Apostle, "of one the whole race of men to dwell upon the whole face of the earth"—one face, not two faces! The theory of an antipodal world, shut off by an impassable tropic sea, implied the existence of a race of men who had not died in Adam, and who had not in Christ been made alive. The inventions of the Greeks were "old wives' tales," but they were something worse. "The blasphemous theory of the Antipodes makes Christ a liar, and His word not in us."

Cosmas thought highly of the vigour of his own mental powers, and he had, at all events, a pleasant freshness of invective and a good gift of laughter at obvious absurdity. But he was, in truth, rather a representative man than a leader of thought. Most of his ideas, as Professor Beazley has shown, had been expressed by earlier writers:—the flat, quadrilateral earth: the rivers of Eden that dive under the sea: the world-tabernacle of two storeys: the gluing together of earth and heaven: the absurdity and the blasphemy of an antipodal world. Long before Cosmas, Lactantius had asked the triumphant question: "Can anyone be so foolish as to believe that there are men whose feet are higher than their heads, or places where things can be hanging upwards, trees growing downwards, and water falling upwards?" He who begins by believing Ptolemy, another famous Father had said, ends by denying God as Creator. "Can one imagine," asks St. Augustine, "anything more absurd than that which the ancients have maintained, that there may be inhabitants in the regions of earth opposite to ours? Those who have said this admit that they have no knowledge by experience. It is mere conjecture drawn from certain pretended philosophical arguments. But, assuming their propositions are correct, can we argue that, because these lands are inhabitable, therefore they are inhabited? The Holy Scripture, which is the rule of that which we should believe, says no word about them. It is agreed that the descendants of our first father could not have come to those lands. How then can it be maintained that there are men there?"



6. EIGHTH-CENTURY MAP
(From Nordenskiold's Periplus)

And theological hatred of the doctrine of the sphericity of the earth, and especially of the very closely connected doctrine of an inhabited antipodal world, long continued. Especially fatal was the argument that an antipodal race, living on the far side of the boiling Tropic sea, must be outside God's great scheme of damnation and redemption, that there was no place for an Australian in Heaven, in Hell, or in Purgatory, and that therefore the Australian did not exist! Even those who could not rid their minds of the haunting thought that the classic arguments for the sphericity of the earth had not been refuted, and never could be refuted, and who felt bound to admit the possibility, at least, of the existence of a world in the temperate zone, felt bound also to deny that this world might possibly contain human inhabitants. "Beyond the three parts of the world," wrote Isidore, "there is a fourth part in the South, across the interior ocean, in whose bounds the antipodes are fabulously said to live";—a phrase destined to be quoted again and again, and to be illustrated by a whole cycle of maps.*

[* See maps of the eighth and twelfth centuries printed in this volume—Illustration 6 and Illustration 7].

And yet the knowledge of ancient times was never wholly forgotten; though part was forgotten, and "part seemed to be in a sort of limbo, on this side of Lethe, not altogether out of sight, but out of touch of the new times, uncared for, unattended to."* The scientific geography of Ptolemy was forgotten. But the popular geography of Pliny, the stories of the marvels of natural history in distant lands, still had their charm, and theological hatred could find no reason to disbelieve them. They were collected, and they were improved. South Africa became interesting as the home of people who live on the milk of dog-headed apes; of others who have a dog for King; of others who have four heads apiece; of others who have one eye only, in the middle of the forehead. India, again, which in this description is placed to the East of China, became noteworthy because there dwelt "tribes who had their feet turned backwards, with eight toes on each; others who had dogs' heads and talons for fingers, and 'barked for speech'; others again with feet so huge that they could use them for shade against the sun."** Maps were made which were, in effect, picture books to illustrate the tales of marvels. The world went back to childhood; but at all events the stories it listened to, and the pictures it gazed upon, were stories and pictures which expressed, in blurred and distorted form, the real knowledge of the ancients. The time would come when the taste for marvels would grow into the taste for knowledge.

[* Beazley.]

[** Beazley's Dawn of Modern Geography, vol. i. ch. vi.]



7. TWELFTH-CENTURY MAP
From Nordenskiold's Facsimile Atlas, p. 33.

And, in truth, the taste for knowledge was never wholly lost. Human nature remained deep rooted even in Christian Fathers. Intellectual curiosity found pleasure in the thoughts of ancient times. The sense of beauty took delight in classic literature. Some sought to argue that Holy Scripture, if interpreted by the Allegoric method, was not irreconcilable with pagan science. Some urged that Christians might make use of pagan knowledge, as the Hebrews "borrowed" from the Egyptians,* or as Solomon employed foreign workmen in the building of the Temple.** Some showed an uneasy feeling that pagan science was in the right by contending that the shape of the earth, and such-like things, are of no importance to the Christian. Some admitted that the earth was spherical, and that temperate zones were habitable, but saved their orthodoxy by the statement that in fact the North alone was inhabited. An antipodal world exists, but antipodal people are a fable.

[* Augustine's view.]

[** Bede's view.]

And, as the long dark centuries passed, the love of classic literature, and the love of science and of truth, grew ever more fervent, and ever more unashamed. When we open the book which Roger Bacon sent to the Pope in 1267, we are amazed by the modernism of his sentiments. His mistakes are many and obvious. But the spirit of the man of science is in him, the consciousness of ignorance, the patient search for truth. "Wise men know their ignorance and are ready to learn from anyone"; and he urges a "careful scrutiny of received opinions." "All truth is contained in the Scriptures"; but we need the assistance of philosophy in order that we may understand the Scriptures. For "Reason comes from God, and therefore Philosophy is divine; and the wisdom of the Greeks was revealed to them by God Himself, and their high morality should make Christians ashamed. Wherever truth is found it belongs to Christ."

Once more the spirit that enquires and explores is awake, modest and confident. And for its teachers it looks to the Greeks and to the Romans. Ptolemy remained inaccessible to Christians. But long ago the Arabs had translated his book, absorbed his ideas, and incorporated them in their own geographical treatises. Christian scholars of the thirteenth century, men like Roger Bacon, and Albert the Great, were well acquainted with Arabic literature, and, through Arabic literature, with the knowledge of the ancient world. Once more the old Greek arguments which prove the sphericity of the earth, the system of zones, the existence of an antipodal world, were thought out and restated. Once more the importance of the application of exact mathematical methods to the study of geography was explained and enforced. And once more scientific speculation began as to the contents of the unknown world of the South. Bacon quotes the passages which tell of lands in the far South of India, Patala and Taprobane, where shadows fall towards the South; and in a passage, which was to bear curious fruit, he argues that "the Southern front of India in the region of Pathalis and the neighbouring lands runs out towards the Tropic of Capricorn";* a misinterpretation which ended, as we shall see, in placing the name of Alexander's town of Patala at the mouth of the Indus on a promontory of the imagined continent of the South having its centre at the South Pole!

[* "Dico igitur quod frons Indiae meridianus pellitur ad tropicum Capricornum propter regionem Pathalis et terrarum vicinarum." (Opus Majus of Roger Bacon, ed. Bridges, vol. i. p. 309).]



8. CHART OF 1489
(From Rainaud, Le Continent Austral.)

Misinterpreting Aristotle, as he had misinterpreted Pliny, Bacon argues that this "place beyond the Tropic of Capricorn" not only exists, but is also "of best habitation, seeing that it is the higher part of the world, and the more noble; and hence the opinion of some that Paradise is there." Albert the Great held that "the fourth part of the earth" not only existed but was also habitable. He met the theological objection by the argument, in his time growing more and more convincing, that, though to pass the Tropic Ocean is difficult, it is not impossible; and that therefore Antipodeans might after all be children of Adam, to be damned, or to be saved. Men, he argues, can live in the Tropics; and they can live pleasantly in the Southern temperate zone, between 24° S. Lat. and 48°-50° S. Lat., perhaps even more pleasantly than we can. Dante took the hint of the scholars, and combined it perhaps with some traveller's tale. From the horrid circles of Hell he emerges to find himself in the Antipodes, exactly opposite Jerusalem. Here is the Mount of Purgatory; on its summit is the Terrestrial Paradise; and in full view are "four stars ne'er seen before save by the ken of our first parents."

By the fifteenth century we return to the point from which we started—a Utopia in the South—devised by an Italian scholar, who tells of its "towns, castles, and empires." "These unknown nations are called the Antipodes; like us they have plants and animals, and fight great battles."*

[* Rainaud's Le Continent Austral, p. 134.]

Thus, by the end of the thirteenth century, scholars were once more acquainted with the geographical knowledge of Greeks and Romans.* But they knew little or nothing more. And what they read they often misunderstood. When Roger Bacon, thoroughly up-to-date, inquisitive, daring, sat down in his Oxford study in 1267 to write of the world of the South, his best authorities were Aristotle and Pliny, "whom all saints and ages have followed." From Aristotle he learnt that the Garden of Eden was in Australia. From Pliny he learnt that Patala, really at the mouth of the Indus, was "towards the Tropic of Capricorn." And yet, as we read his book, we are conscious of a new spirit which will soon make his geographical statements absurdly out of date. He tells us that he has not been content to read Pliny and other ancient authors. He has also had recourse to modern travellers; and especially to a certain Franciscan brother, William de Rubruquis, whom the King of France had sent to the Tartars in 1253. "I have diligently read his book and talked with its author, and likewise with many others who have travelled in places East and South." This is the beginning of a new chapter in our story. Geographical knowledge is once more to be founded, not on the study of ancient writings, but on modern travel, interpreted by modern science.

[* Cf. Illustration 8, taken from Rainaud; an illustration of the reappearance of Mela's Alter Orbis.]


CHAPTER II. THE INDIAN OCEAN IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY

AUTHORITIES:


But before we follow the story of European discovery in the South, it is well that we gather what knowledge we may of the Indian Ocean at the time this story began. While scholars, Greek, Roman, and Christian, had been spinning arguments about the contents of the Southern temperate region "to us unknown," how were things going in the island continent, and in the Ocean which washed its shores?

What seems to be certain, in the midst of so much uncertainty, is that the Australian natives who, in the dateless backward of History, had passed along the islands from India, lived for untold centuries in their final home in almost complete isolation.* Their civilization was a very poor thing, but it was their own. Throughout Australia manners and customs were essentially the same, almost the worst manners and customs in the world, except those of Tasmania. There is no trace, or at most there is only a very faint trace, of any foreign element in their midst, or of any foreign influence exercised upon them. Australia was an all-black Australia. Immigrants from other countries were not excluded by law, but they landed at risk of their lives. "The coastal natives of the North," writes Professor Spencer, "are strong and fierce, and always on the look-out to kill intruders, and for a stranger to venture into the bush would be certain death." Australia resolutely played a lone hand in the world.**

[* See an interesting essay by Professor Griffith Taylor on The Evolution and Distribution of Race, Culture, and Language in the Geographical Review, Jan. 1921. "Nothing is so dangerous to a people as complete isolation. The natural barrier, which preserved the Australian aboriginals from invasion, also resulted in their remaining in the same low state of civilisation for 100,000 years." The guess is that they got to Australia by an almost continuous bridge, which was knocked to pieces about 100,000 years ago!]

[** Cf. Spencer's Native Tribes of North Australia: "There is only very rarely indeed seen anything like a trace of Malay blood...It is possible that, on very rare occasions, a Malay or Macassar man may have succeeded in having intercourse with an aboriginal woman, but he could do so only at the risk of his life...The coastal natives are strong and fierce and always on the look-out to kill intruders...for a stranger to venture into the bush would be certain death...I have once, but only once, seen a native who had clearly some Malay blood in her." Spencer says, however, that the drawings and decorations of the Melville and Bathurst islanders are entirely distinct from any on the mainland, and suggest contact in time past with a people whose art was more akin to that of the islands to the North-East than to anything in Australia (pp. 407-8).]

And yet one cannot look at a modern map without feeling sure that Australia must have been visited in very early times. It is not geographically a very isolated land. It is tied to Asia by a string of islands, large, fertile, populous, which lie so close together that they may possibly have been represented to Ptolemy as one continuous land, the great South-East extension of "Silk-land," which formed the Eastern side of his land-locked Indian Ocean. It seems, indeed, that at one time they were almost one continuous land. "The chain of islands," writes Mr. Wallace, "which extends from the Malay Peninsula towards Australia, ending with Timor...represents a former continental extension, probably only broken by the channel between Bali and Lombok (fifteen miles wide) and a channel between Timor and Australia, twenty miles wide."*

[* "The former channel has sufficed to stop the advance of the larger animals from the Asiatic to the Austral region, and the latter channel has similarly prevented Australian mammals from entering Timor."]

Galvano, the Portuguese governor of the Moluccas in the early sixteenth century, who ought to have had good information about the islands, thought that in Ptolemy's time there probably had been a continuous land, afterwards shattered into fragments by the earthquakes which are so frequent and so tremendous in these regions; and he declared that, even in his days, the islands were so close together that, sailing between two of them, you could at the same time touch the trees on both sides! This, no doubt, exaggerated their nearness to a ridiculous degree. And yet, taking the islands as they actually are, one thinks that their inhabitants must have been a race as unenterprising and as stay-at-home as the Australian blackfellows themselves, if they were incapable of the hop, skip, and jump that would have landed them on the Northern coast of Australia.

As a matter of fact these islands were inhabited by Malays, who were far from being an unenterprising or stay-at-home race of men. They were a virile, energetic, fierce people, with a civilization, barbarous indeed, yet far ahead of the simple Savagery of the Australian natives. The Javans, especially, were organized at an early date under a strong, efficient monarchy, which dominated the neighbouring islands, and even established an empire in Asia.* Cavendish, the Elizabethan seaman, said that the Javans were "the most valiant people in all the Southern parts of the world; for they never fear any death." And especially were they famous for their navigation, which made them, Said Lapérouse, the Phoenicians of the medieval world. Again and again the Portuguese writers of the sixteenth century emphasize the Javan reputation for seamanship. "They have got many ships, and great navigators, and many rowing galleys. They are great corsairs and mariners, and make arms of steel." "They navigate to every part of the Eastern Archipelago, and say that formerly they used to navigate the Ocean as far as Madagascar."** "They claim priority in navigation to all others, though Some Say the Chinese preceded the Javans."***

[* Beazley, vol. i. p. 438]

[** Barbosa (1515) edited Hakluyt Society, p. 198.]

[*** De Conti.]

It would be surprising if these Javan corsairs and mariners, at home in every part of the Eastern Archipelago, sailing the ocean as far as Madagascar, did not chance now and then to land on the North-West coast of Australia. When Flinders was exploring the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1802, he was startled by the appearance of six Malay prows which proved to be engaged in collecting Trepang or Bêche-de-mer (sea-cucumber) as a dainty for the China market.* He learnt that "the natives of Macassar had long been accustomed to fish for the Trepang amongst the islands in the vicinity of Java,...but, about twenty years before, one of them had been driven by the North-West monsoon to the coast of New Holland, and finding the Trepang to be abundant, they afterwards returned, and had continued to fish there since that time."** Who shall say in what far-off unrecorded cycle of Cathay the North-West monsoon first drove Malay prows to the North Australian coast? Its desolate appearance, the ferocity of its men, the unloveliness of its women, the apparent lack of everything eatable except fish, are sufficient explanation of the fact that visitors did not become settlers.

[* Flinders, vol. ii. p. 230.]

[** Flinders, vol. ii. p. 257.]

The Malays were barbarians, and not even respectable barbarians. But they were in touch with other races who were far from being barbarians. Their voyages carried them far. Their islands were large and fertile, producing commodities very good for commerce. Among them were the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, a little group of tiny specks of land,—Banda, Amboyna, Ternate, Tidore—which produced the world's supply of nutmegs and mace, cloves and allspice. The possession of a complete monopoly of that which all civilized nations must have at any price made the Malay prows welcome everywhere. Especially were they welcome at Malacca, the great central exchange of the Far East, where from time immemorial Malays met Chinese, Hindus, and Arabs. With all these races they traded, and with all of them they talked; and it would again be surprising if nothing were said of the desolate coast line to the far South, to which, according to our reasonable conjecture, Malay prows had been blown by some North-West monsoon, and from which, likely enough, they may have brought away a store of sea-cucumbers, acceptable to civilized palates in the nations of Asia.

Moreover, these civilized nations traded to the Malay islands, and especially to Java, "the Clapham Junction," writes Mr. Macmillan Brown, "of ancient Oriental trade routes." Let us notice the importance of this point more exactly. We are to observe that the Malay islands, the seamen of which probably had some slight and disrespectful acquaintance with the coast of Australia, were themselves well within the scope of the regular system of Asiatic commerce, in permanent touch with great Oriental civilizations which existed in days before the names of Athens and Rome had been heard, and which still existed in those days of the young Renaissance, when Europeans, following the beacon lit by Marco Polo, found the long way to Australasian seas.

"For three centuries," writes Professor Mookerji,* "India stood out as the very heart of the old world, and maintained her position as one of the foremost maritime countries.** She had colonies in Pegu, in Cambodia, in Java, in Sumatra, in Borneo, and even in the countries of the Further East, as far as Japan. She had trading settlements in South China, in the Malayan Peninsula, in Arabia, and in all the chief cities of Persia, and all over the East coast of Africa." Buddhism was dominant in India from about 250 B.C. to about 700 A.D.; and Buddhism, writes Sir William Hunter, was "a religion of enterprise both mercantile and missionary."*** "During the first few centuries of the Christian era an enthusiastic band of devoted Bengalis, burning with a proselytising zeal, went as far as China, Corea and Japan, carrying with them the torch of Buddistic faith."****

[* Mookerji, p. 4.]

[** Cf. Rawlinson's India and the Western World, p. 138.]

[*** Hunter, vol. i. p. 44.]

[**** Mookerji, p. 155.]

Most interesting to us is the Buddhist colonization of Java, which began in the year 75 A.D. "The adventurous navigators planted a colony, built towns and cities, and developed a trade with the mother country which existed for several centuries."* Further migrations took place from India to Java, and there grew up in that fertile island a splendid Hindu civilization, which found expression in the great Temples of Prambanam and Borobudur, "the grandest Specimen of Buddhist art in the whole of Asia."** In their sculptures we may Still see the story told how Hindoo navigators set sail to colonize Java.

[* Mookerji, p. 148.]

[** Mookerji, p. 151.]

We learn then that, from the first century of the Christian era, there were regular voyages between India and Java, that in Java there was a permanent Hindu colony of fervent missionaries and keen merchants, inspired by high aims, commanding great material resources, and possessing excellent ships. Of Hindu voyages beyond Java we have no news. But we may assume that anything the Javans may have learnt of the continent to the South would travel, in the form of rumours at least, as far as India.

More important, from our present point of view, were the voyages of the Arabs, or Saracens, or Moors, as they are variously called.* The religion of Mahomed was a religion that aimed at the conquest of the world; and so fervent was its early missionary zeal, and so keen was its sword, that in less than a century it had actually conquered the world from the Atlantic to the Himalayas;** and, but for the Sudden death of a Caliph, we are told, would probably have extended its sway to the Pacific.

[* See map in Beazley, vol. iii., to illustrate the geographical knowledge of the Arabians. See Illustration 9.]

[** "The last of the Ommiades (750 A D.) reigned over three-quarters of the Empire of Alexander, and a quarter of the dominion of Trajan." (Beazley, vol. i. p. 397).]

It was, moreover, a religion that made no war on civilization, either material or intellectual. "Controlling as they did from the seventh century most of the centres of ancient learning in Africa and Asia, the Arabs were able to take advantage of older knowledge"; and "no race has ever shown a greater keenness for the acquisition of knowledge or more favour to the growth of science."* While Europe sat in darkness, Bagdad became the centre of a splendid civilization. Mahomedans, and not Christians, became heirs to Greek culture. Especially was this the case in respect to geographic knowledge. Ptolemy remained unread by Europeans till the fifteenth century. But, already in the ninth century, his books were translated into Arabic, and became the inspiration of a native Arabic science, which in its turn, though not till the thirteenth century, was accepted by Christian scholars like Roger Bacon as their teacher and master. Already in the ninth century, observatories were founded at Bagdad and at Damascus, and the "first school of geographical Science since the Antonines" was formed.** Arabian travellers co-operated with Arabian men of science, and surveyed every sea from Spain to China, from Cairo, to Madagascar, from Java to Canton. Arabian merchants traded and colonized on the East coast of Africa, on the West coast of India, in Sumatra, in Java*** and in China. "The Indian Ocean," writes Sir William Hunter, "became an outlying domain of Islam."**** Out of Arabian travel-books Arabian writers Spun the world-romance of Sinbad the Sailor, "the Arabian Odyssey," a true history in a romantic setting of Moslem travels in the ninth and tenth centuries."*****

[* Beazley, vol. i. p. 393.]

[** Beazley, vol. i. p. 409.]

[*** Beazley, vol. i. p. 428.]

[**** Hunter, vol. i. p. 47.]

[***** Beazley, vol. i. pp. 439-446.]



9. PART OF MAP SHOWING THE GEOGRAPHICAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE ARABIANS
(From Beazley's Dawn of Modern Geography, vol. iii.)

Sinbad's tracks have been traced by the modern scholar, and have been reduced to the prose of geography. His flight from the island, tied to the leg of a gigantic bird called a rue, to the valley of Diamonds, is the romantic way of describing a voyage from Madagascar to India. It is claimed that he has been traced to Japan, to the Moluccas, to Java, and to Timor. The "old man of the sea" who never spoke, who lived on fruits, whose skin was like a buffalo's, and who had immense prehensile power in his legs, was probably an orang-outang of Borneo or Sumatra,* the ancestor of those animals whose habits have been so lovingly described by Mr. Wallace.

[* Beazley, vol. i. p. 448.]

We find then this great maritime race sailing in every sea. And yet there were definite limits to their skill and to their knowledge. Far as they sailed, they never Seem to have felt themselves at home on the open ocean. Their writers even exaggerate the old superstitious dread of its perils. "The Ocean," wrote Edrisi about 1150, "encircles the ultimate bounds of the inhabited earth, and all beyond is unknown. No one has been able to verify anything concerning it, on account of its difficult and perilous navigation, its great obscurity, its profound depth, and frequent tempests; through fear of its mighty fishes and its haughty winds, there is no mariner who dares to enter into its deep waters; if any have done so, they have merely kept along its coasts, fearful of departing from them."* Though they rejected Ptolemy's doctrine of a landlocked Indian Ocean, they declared it impossible to sail further South than Sofala or Madagascar or Zanzibar; so thick and so mountainous became the Sea, and so full of monstrous things.** And though they knew Sumatra, and Java, and perhaps Timor, and though they must have shared whatever knowledge may have been possessed by the Malays or Hindus, there seems no evidence that they had heard of Australia. Sinbad the Sailor knew a good deal about the orang-outang of Borneo or Sumatra, and he had heard about the great bird of Madagascar; but there is no reason to believe that he ever faced the Kangaroo.

[* Quoted in Young's Columbus, vol. i. p. 41.]

[** Rainaud, p. 204.]

Still more interesting to us are the voyages of the Chinese. From time immemorial the Chinese were famous navigators. They invented, if not the compass, at all events something that resembled the compass, so early as A.D. 121, and Mr. Beazley gives us a picture of the little magnetized man who stood on the prow of the Chinese Ship in the eighth and-ninth centuries, indicating the South by outstretched hand*. Under such guidance their great junks, capable of holding six hundred or seven hundred men, sailed the seas from Canton to the Persian Gulf.** For, till the Revolution of 878, the Chinese were a commercial nation, welcoming the merchants of India, of Persia, and of Arabia, and themselves making trading voyages to these distant lands. In China, as in India, religion as well as commerce had made men travellers. Chinese Buddhists travelled to India both overland and by sea. Sometimes they visited Java on the way; for Java, we remember, was at the time one of the great centres of Buddhist worship. There is even a story that Chinese Buddhists visited and colonized a distant land in the East, which some historians have identified with America. After 878, it is true, a new policy reigned in China. The foreign merchants were massacred or expelled. Chinese voyages henceforth seldom extended beyond Ceylon. And yet, later improvements in the compass seem to show that Chinese navigators still continued energetic, scientific, progressive. The earliest use of the water-compass, we are told, is fixed at 1111 to 1117, nearly a century earlier than its first mention in Europe (1180-1190).*** In the thirteenth century the Mongol conquest once more made China a commercial nation, with doors wide open to foreign trade, and with merchant ships eager for new markets, however distant. But on the subject of Chinese navigation in the days of the Great Kaan our authority is Marco Polo, and we now turn from our survey of the Indian Ocean in the thirteenth century to follow the story of European travel.

[* Beazley, vol. i. p. 489.]

[** Beazley, vol. i. p. 485.]

[*** Beazley, vol. i. p. 490 note.]

Let us, for the present, note with emphasis the fact that our story centres in Java. If Asia had any knowledge of Australia that knowledge came by way of Java. If Arabs, Hindoos or Chinese had heard aught of the great land of the South they must have heard it from the Malays of that island. And we shall find that, when we ask the question, what did European travellers know about Australia? we have at the same time to ask the question, what did they know about Java?


CHAPTER III. MARCO POLO

AUTHORITIES:


In the early thirteenth century the Eastern world was turned upside down by the Tartars or Mongols, whose conquests extended over the whole of the North of ASia and the East of Europe. Now the Mongols were heathen, but they were heathen with a singularly open and inquisitive mind. Here then to Europe was both a danger and an opportunity; a danger that the Mongol deluge, which had swept the East, might also sweep the West: an opportunity to convert the open-minded heathen to Christian civilization, and to find in him an ally against the Mahomedans.

It was just at this time that the sons of Francis were seeking knightly venture in distant lands; and in 1253 one of them, William de Rubruquis, had visited the Great Kaan in the heart of Mongolia, and came back to tell his fellow Franciscan Roger Bacon of the singular "Parliament of Religions," held at the suggestion of the Mongol chief, and under his presidency, in which Saracens, Christians and Buddhists had contended for their Faiths. He brought back news also that Cathay was bounded on the East by an open Sea: news which may have been in Roger Bacon's mind when he quoted the opinion of Aristotle that the distance by Sea from Spain to Asia could not be very great: an opinion which did much to launch Columbus on the voyage in which he sought Cathay, and found America.

But, for the present, the news was of greatest interest to men of commerce, and especially to merchants of the great Italian Republics, who for centuries had been agents and middlemen for Europe in the trade which brought to rich men in the West the indispensable luxuries produced by the East and by the East alone. Jewels and pearls, precious woven fabrics of silk and of cotton, spices of all sorts, had been brought from the East by various routes, by land and by sea, till they arrived at a string of seaports on the Mediterranean, extending from Constantinople to Alexandria, whence Italian merchants distributed them throughout Europe. While the Crusades prospered, Christian merchants had actually possessed these invaluable ports. But in the thirteenth century the Crusades were coming to an end, and, with the fall of Acre, this commanding position was completely lost, though both Christians and Mohamedans were by this time sufficiently commercial to be willing to continue a trade very profitable to both. And now the marvellous Liberalism of the Mongol heathen gave the merchant a chance to outflank the Mohamedan powers altogether, to penetrate into the very heart of the golden East, and to survey for himself the treasure-houses of the world.

In about 1260, two prosperous Venetian merchants, Nicolo and Matteo Polo, took a "rich and varied cargo of merchandise" to Constantinople, and determined, in order "to improve their capital," that they would prosecute their journeys into the Black Sea. They sailed to the Crimea, thence took horse to the court of a Chief of the Western Tartars, and in the end, journeying through Central Asia, came to the court of the Great Kaan* Kublai in Cathay itself. The Great Kaan received them with "condescension and affability," made "earnest enquiries" about the condition of Europe, and "above all he questioned them particularly respecting the Pope, the affairs of the Church, and the religious worship and doctrine of the Christians."

[* See note on the words Kaan and Khan in Yule's Marco Polo, vol. i. p. 10. "Polo always writes Kaan as applied to the Great Khan, and does not, I think, use Khan in any form."]

Finally he Sent the Polos home with a request to the Pope to send him one hundred men of learning, thoroughly acquainted with the principles of the Christian religion as well as with the Seven Arts. The Polos reached Venice in 1269, and set out again for Cathay in 1271. They had failed to induce men of learning to accompany them; but they took with them Marco, the son of Nicolo. They journeyed through Acre and Bagdad to Ormuz; then took "the straight road for Cathay" northward of the Himalayas; and, after a journey of three and a half years, they arrived at the Court of the Great Kaan in 1275. They were "graciously received." Marco was "enrolled among his attendants of honour." He "adopted the manners of the Tartars, and acquired a proficiency in four different languages." He was employed on "important concerns of State," travelled as far as Tibet and Bengal and "the Indian seas," and "endeavoured wherever he went to obtain correct information, and made notes of all he saw and heard."

In the course of seventeen years the Polos amassed "considerable wealth in jewels and gold," and now wished to return to Venice. The Great Kaan at first refused permission. It chanced, however, that a Mongol princess had to be convoyed to Persia, there to be married. The overland route was blocked by wars among Tartar princes. Just then Marco returned from a voyage he had made to "the East Indies," and guaranteed a passage to Persia "with the utmost safety." The offer was accepted; and the Polos, "as being persons well skilled in the practice of navigation," were placed in command of a fleet to take the princess to Persia. The fleet was composed of "fourteen ships, each having four masts, and capable of being navigated with nine sails, and there were at least four or five that had crews of two hundred and fifty or two hundred and sixty men." The voyage was a long affair. After about three months they arrived at Java Minor (Sumatra), where they were detained five months by contrary winds. They "employed eighteen months in the Indian seas." At last they landed their princess in Persia, and journeyed on by way of Trebizond and Constantinople to Venice (1295). According to the traditionary story, they were not recognized till they ripped open their threadbare garments, and poured on the table a stream of costly jewels.

In 1298 Marco was given command of a galley in a great naval battle with the Genoese. The Venetians were defeated, and Marco was among the captured. In prison he met with a gentleman of Pisa, who was so entertained by his anecdotes of travel that he wrote them down, and made out of them the most famous and most important travel book in the world's history, "the Book of Ser Marco Polo concerning the kingdoms and marvels of the East." "From the creation of Adam to this present day," declares our Pisan editor, "no man whether pagan, or Saracen, or Christian, or other, ever Saw or enquired into so much and such great things as Marco Polo."

The claim was entirely just. How enormous was the sudden addition made to geographic knowledge we best realize by reading the pages in which Roger Bacon, most up-to-date and dare-devil of Marco's contemporaries, sought by patient study of Aristotle and Pliny to discover the contents of the unknown world of East and South. Now, for the first time, and at one magic Stroke, there stood revealed all the kingdoms of the world, and all the glory thereof. From Constantinople to Pekin, from Pekin to Java, from Java to Colombo and to Aden, from Cairo to Madagascar, the whole Eastern world was described in convincing detail. The substance of the book was based on his own travels and his own experiences recorded in his "notes." And, where he could not see for himself, he had made careful inquiries from those who had seen, or who claimed to have seen. He had studied maps and charts of Chinese and Arabians. He had listened to all the traveller's talcs told by "persons worthy of credit," all the rumours and legends written in books or passed from mouth to mouth: and he had put down everything, facts and fancies, in his book of marvels for what they might seem worth.



10. YULE'S MAP.
(Marco Polo, vol. i. p. 108.)

And thus we get a wonderful picture of things seen and things heard, a picture painted on a gigantic canvas, and with Venetian colour. It revolutionized geographical conceptions. It was the main inspiration of Columbus. It influenced for centuries the minds of those who made voyages in Australian seas. And still, to the modern student, it is both true history and delightful romance, embodying geographical knowledge and guesses as to the contents of the Indian Ocean at the end of the thirteenth century.

All things that men knew about the Indian Ocean Marco Polo knew.* The wisdom of China was at his disposal, and we shall notice in a moment what he learnt from it about the Southern World. Though he never visited Java, he met Malay seamen in the ports of "the Indian Seas," and took notes of their talk. Indian Buddhists,—"Idolaters" he irreverently calls them,—he met both in Bengal and in Ceylon. Arabs or "Saracens" he met everywhere. The Great Kaan's prime minister was a Saracen, who oppressed the native Chinese, caused a rebellion, and came to a bad end. In Sumatra, Marco found Saracen merchants converting the idolaters to the religion of Mahomed, and they told him of "men with tails, a span in length," who lived a Secluded life among the mountains—the descendants evidently of Sinbad's Old Man of the Sea!

[* See Yule's Map (vol. i. p. 108) giving "Probable view of Marco Polo's own geography," reproduced as Illustration 10.]

He found Saracens again in Ceylon, disputing with the "idolaters" the great question as to whether the famous relics of teeth and hair had belonged to Adam or to Buddha, and representing the former view so effectually to the Great Kaan that he sent an embassy to the King of Ceylon to demand them, and actually obtained from him "two large back teeth together with some of the hair of the Father of Mankind." He talked with "mariners and eminent pilots," and he read "the writings of those who have navigated the Indian seas," and learnt that those seas contained no fewer than 12,700 islands. He heard of the unhappy island where there were men without women; and of the perhaps still more unhappy island where there were women without men—all "baptized Christians, but holding the law of the Old Testament." He heard also of the very large island of Socotra, where all the people were Christians, and did big business in "ambergris voided from the entrails of whales." And he heard also of the great island of Madagascar, in circuit 3,000 miles, "one of the largest and most fertile in the world," and of "numerous islands lying further South," which however were not frequented, in consequence of the current running so Strongly to the Southward as to render the return impossible!

"Beyond Madagascar again lies the island of Zanzibar, 2,000 miles in circuit, peopled by naked blacks, with hair So crisp that even when dipped in water it can with difficulty be drawn out, with large mouths, turned-up noses, long ears, and eyes so large and frightful that they have the aspect of demons"—a vivid, though somewhat heightened, portrait of the negroes of the African Continent. Marco's Arab friends told him also that the people of Madagascar spoke of "an extraordinary kind of bird which they call a rue," in form resembling an eagle, but incomparably greater in size, being so large and strong as to seize an elephant with its talons, lift it in the air, as jackass* lifts snake, letting it fall to the ground, in order that it may prey upon the carcase.

[* The Australian Kookooburra, or Laughing Jackass.]

Marco thought the creatures must be griffins, such as are represented in paintings, half birds half lions; but it was insisted that they were wholly birds, like eagles. The Great Kaan had sent messengers all the way to inquire into this extraordinary phenomenon; "and, when they returned to the presence of his Majesty, they brought with them (as I have heard) a feather of a rue, positively affirmed to have measured ninety spans, and the quill part to have been two palms in circumference. This surprising exhibition afforded his Majesty extreme pleasure."

The science of zoology has made attempts to account for the rue by references to various giant birds now extinct. What is evident is that the rue who lifted elephants into the air, was the same mighty bird to whose leg Sinbad tied himself, and which conveyed him Swiftly from the great island in the South to the Valley of the Diamonds in India.

But the special interest of Marco's book for us is the information he gives about Chinese navigators in the direction of Australia in the days of the Great Kaan. His description of China is written from intimate firsthand knowledge extending over seventeen years, and from notes taken on the spot. China is the seat of incomparably the most Splendid civilization in the world. "The magnificence of the Grand Kaan is unequalled by that of any monarch in the world." "In respect of the numbers of his Subjects, the extent of his territory, the amount of his revenue, he surpasses every sovereign that has heretofore been or that now is in the world." Province after province of the huge Empire Marco surveys, giving a monotonous picture of a civilization far in advance, both in intellectual and in material things, of the most progressive countries of Europe. And this civilization found its centres in huge seaport towns, with populations running up to 1,600,000 families, with streets well paved and well drained, with excellent arrangements of police and fire-brigade, and "surpassing in grandeur and in wealth every other city in the world." This gigantic prosperity was founded on maritime commerce. To Cambaluc (Peking) "are brought articles of greater cost and rarity, and in greater abundance of all kinds, than to any other city in the world. For people of every description, and from every region, bring things (including all the costly wares of India), some for the sovereign, some for the court, some for the city which is so great, some for the great hosts of the Emperor, which are quartered round about; and thus, between court and city, the quantity brought in is endless."

In Singu (I-ching-hien)—and Singu was "a city of no great Size"—Marco saw 15,000 ships at one time. Kinsay (Hang-chau), "the City of Heaven," one hundred miles in circuit, its canals crossed by twelve thousand bridges, has, twenty-five miles away down the river, "a town and an excellent haven, with a vast amount of shipping, which is engaged in the traffic to and from India and other foreign parts, exporting and importing many kinds of wares, by which the city benefits." "Messer Marco heard it stated by one of the Great Kaan's officers of customs that the quantity of pepper introduced daily for consumption into the city of Kinsay amounted to 43 loads, each load being equal to 223 lbs."

This great ocean trade was carried in ships which Marco describes in detail:—"These ships, you must know, are of fir timber. They have but one deck, though each of them contains some fifty or sixty cabins, wherein the merchants abide greatly at their ease, every man having one to himself. The Ship hath but one rudder, but it hath four masts; and sometimes they have two additional masts, which they ship and unship at pleasure. Moreover the larger of their vessels have some thirteen compartments or severances in the interior, made with planking strongly framed, in case mayhap the ship should spring a leak either by running on a rock or by the blow of a hungry whale...The fastenings are all of good iron nails, and the sides are double, one plank laid over the other, and caulked outside and in. The planks are not pitched, for those people do not have any pitch, but they daub the sides with another matter, deemed by them far better than pitch; it is this. You see they take some lime and some chopped hemp, and these they knead together with a certain wood-oil; and, when the three are thoroughly amalgamated, they hold like any glue. And with this mixture they do paint their ships. Each of their great ships requires at least 200 mariners, some of them 300. They are indeed of great size, for one ship shall carry 5,000 or 6,000 baskets of pepper. And aboard these ships, you must know, when there is no wind they use sweeps, and these sweeps are so big that to pull them requires four mariners to each. Each great ship has certain large barks or tenders attached to it; these are large enough to carry 1000 baskets of pepper, and carry fifty or sixty mariners apiece, and they are likewise moved by oars...There are also ten small boats for the service of each great ship...When the ship is under sail she carries these boats slung to her Sides."

Now, how far did the Chinese merchants, sailing in these splendid ships, penetrate the ocean in the direction of Australia? Marco tells what he knows in a passage that requires careful study. After completing the description of Cathay, the Pisan gentleman, who is telling us what Marco had told him, remarks that "our Book as yet does not contain nearly all that we purpose to put therein. For we have still to tell you all about the people of India, and the notable things of that country, which are well worth describing, for they are marvellous indeed. What we shall tell is all true, and without any lies. And we shall set down all the particulars in writing just as Messer Marco Polo related them. And he well knew the facts."

After telling, apparently from hearsay, of Cipango (Japan), with its palaces roofed with gold—gold which Columbus hoped to melt into coin to pay for the Crusades that should recover the Holy Sepulchre—he describes the "Eastern sea of Chin." "I tell you with regard to that Eastern sea of Chin, according to what is said by the experienced pilots and mariners of those parts, there be 7,459 Islands in the waters frequented by the said mariners; and that is how they know that fact, for their whole life is spent in navigating that sea. And there is not one of those Islands but produces valuable and odorous woods like the lign-aloe, aye and better too; and they produce also a great quantity of spices. For example, in those Islands grows pepper as white as snow, as well as the black in great quantities. In fact the riches of those Islands is something wonderful, whether in gold or precious stones, or in all manner of spices, but they lie so far off from the main land that it is hard to get to them. And when the ships of Zayton and Kinsay do voyage thither they make vast profits by their venture.

"It takes them a whole year for the voyage, going in winter and returning in summer. For in that Sea there be but two winds that blow, the one that carries them outward, and the other that brings them homeward; and the one of these winds blows all the winter, and the other all the summer. And you must know these regions are so far from India that it takes a long time also for the voyage thence...Now let us have done with that region which is very inaccessible and out of the way. Moreover Messer Marco Polo never was there. And let me tell you the Great Kann has nothing to do with them, nor do they render him any tribute or service."

He therefore returns to his description of the Chinese coast, and takes us Southward to "the great country called Chamba," the modern Cochin China, a very rich region, where the people are idolaters, and pay a yearly tribute of elephants, and nothing but elephants, to the Great Kaan. And then comes the passage that is of especial interest to us. "When you sail from Chamba 1,500 miles in a course between South and South-East, you come to a great island called Java. And the experienced mariners of those Islands, who know the matter well, say that it is the greatest Island in the world, and has a compass of more than 3,000 miles. The Island is of surpassing wealth, producing black pepper, nutmegs, spikenard, galingah, cubebs, cloves and all other kinds of spices. The Island is also frequented by a vast amount of shipping, and by merchants who buy and sell costly goods for which they reap great profit. Indeed the treasure" ("gold," says another manuscript) "of this Island is so great as to be past telling. And I can assure you the Great Kaan never could get possession of this Island, on account of its great distance, and the great expense of an expedition thither. The merchants of Zayton and Manzi draw annually great returns from the country."

Marco's words are evidence that Chinese merchants undertook long voyages, sometimes lasting a year, among the Spice Islands. It is clear too that they had a prosperous trade with Java, though the account given of that island (from hearsay again) is curiously inexact; and it has been thought that, in the matter of gold, he has confused Java with Borneo. Especially noteworthy is the report that Java is "the largest island in the world, being in circuit above 3,000 miles"—about double the truth, says Yule. We Shall notice again and again evidence of the fact that navigators long remained curiously ignorant of the South coast of Java. So late as the end of the Sixteenth century there were well-informed geographers who doubted that Java had a South coast, and who were inclined to think of it, as ancient geographers had thought of Ceylon, as the projecting tip of the unknown continent of the South.

"When you leave Java,"—all the manuscripts and texts, without exception, have these words, says Yule—"and sail for 700 miles on a course between South and South-West, you arrive at two Islands, a greater and a less. The one is called Sondur and the other Condur. As there is nothing about them worth mentioning, let us go on 500 miles—another manuscript has 50 miles—beyond Sondur, and then we find another country which is called Locac. It is a good country and a rich; it is on the mainland; and it has a King of its own. The people are Idolaters, and have a peculiar language, and pay tribute to nobody, for their country is so situated that no one can enter it to do them ill. Indeed, if it were possible to get at it, the Great Kaan would soon bring them under subjection to him. In this country the brazil which we make use of grows in great plants; and they also have gold in incredible quantity. They have elephants likewise, and much game. In this kingdom too are gathered all the porcelain shells which are used for small change in all those Islands as I have told you before. There is nothing else to mention, except that this is a very wild region, visited by few people; nor does the King desire that any strangers should frequent the country and so find out about his treasures and other resources." Another manuscript accounts for lack of visitors to Locac by the phrase "so inhuman are its inhabitants."

"When you leave Locac, and sail for 500 miles towards the South, you come to an island called Pentam, a very wild place. All the wood that grows therein consists of odoriferous trees...When you leave the island of Pentam, and sail about 100 miles you reach the Island of Java the less. For all its name 'tis none so small but that it has a compass of 2,000 miles and more. Now I will tell you all about this island. You see there are upon it eight Kingdoms and eight crowned Kings. The people are all Idolaters, and every Kingdom has a language of its own. This island hath great abundance of treasure, with costly spices, lign-aloes and spikenard, and many other things that never come into our parts. Now I am going to tell you all about these eight Kingdoms, or at least the greater part of them. But let me premise one marvellous thing, and that is the fact that this Island lies so far to the South that the North Star, little or much, is never to be seen!" In one Kingdom "Messer Marco Polo was detained five months by the weather, which would not allow his going on. And I tell you here again, neither the Pole Star nor the Stars of the Maestro (Great Bear or Plough?) were to be seen. The people here are wild Idolaters; they have a King who is great and rich, but they also call themselves subjects of the Great Kaan. When Messer Marco was detained on this Island five months by contrary winds, he landed with about 2,000 men in his company; they dug large ditches on the landward side to encompass the party, resting at either end on the sea-haven, and within the ditches they made bulwarks or stockades of timber for fear of those brutes of man-eaters." Messer Marco Polo gave a vivid account of things seen or heard of in the island; "wild' elephants," "numerous unicorns" (rhinoceroses), and "men with tails" who "live in the mountains."

"When you leave Java the less, you sail North about 150 miles, and then you come to two Islands; Necuveran and Angamanain. In the former are cloves and brazil, and sundry other good spices. In the latter, I assure you, all the men have heads like dogs, and teeth and eyes likewise; in fact, in the face they are all just like big mastiff dogs! They are a most cruel generation, and eat everybody that they can catch." "When you leave the Island of Angamanain, and sail about 1,000 miles in a direction a little South of West, you come to the island of Seilan (Ceylon), which is in good sooth the best island of its size in the world. You must know that it has a compass of 2,400 miles, but in old times it was greater still, for it then had a circuit of about 3,600 miles, as you find in the charts of the mariners of those seas." And he describes its precious stones, and especially a ruby the King was reported to possess, "which is the finest and biggest in the world, about a palm in length and as thick as a man's arm, the most resplendent object upon earth, quite free from flaw and as red as fire."

Now all this is very curious, and even amazing! For, if we take this passage as it stands in our texts, Marco Polo describes a great and fertile and auriferous continent called Locac, as existing some 1200 (or 750?) miles between South and South-West of Java. We think at once of a possible discovery of the North-West coast of Australia, though we are puzzled to find mention not of kangaroos but of elephants. And about 600 miles South of Locac is the very large and rich island of Java the lesser, an island which Marco Polo had visited and explored, having been detained there for five months by contrary winds! That is to say, the famous Venetian seaman had actually visited the great Southern Continent, and its adjacent islands, which in fact all lay on the ordinary sea route from China to Ceylon!

Thus, according to our manuscripts, Marco Polo wrote, or rather spoke; and thus he was understood by his readers. In the Globe which Behaim constructed in 1492, the year when Columbus first sailed West, Java Minor stands in the place where Tasmania existed.* Mercator's map of 1569** drew the outline of a great Southern Continent in a way that suggested at least the possibility of vague knowledge of the North coast of Australia.

[* Collingridge, p. 80. See Illustration 11.]

[** See Illustration 21.]

On what might conceivably be Dampier Land he wrote "Lucach Regnum"; and on what might conceivably be Arnhem Land he wrote "Beach provincia aurifera quam pauci ex alienis regionibus adeunt, propter gentum inhumanitatem." Now each is a curious printer's error for Locach; and Mercator is simply copying out Marco Polo's phrases, and interpreting them to describe parts of the great continent of the South. And in the midst of what might possibly be the Gulf of Carpentaria, in a position roughly corresponding to Groote Eylandt, are the islands of Pentan and Java Minor, the latter with a legend summing up the information given by Marco Polo. Still later, when in 1619 the Dutch sailor Houtman hit the coast of Western Australia, he described the fact by saying that he "suddenly came across the Southland of Beach." He believed that the land which the Dutch called Eendrachtsland, and which we call Western Australia, was the same continent which Marco Polo was thought to have described under the name of Locach or Beach, existing about 1200 or 750 miles southward of Java, a continent where gold abounded to a degree scarcely credible, where elephants were found, and inhuman inhabitants.

And yet modern critics have made clear that the belief that Marco Polo had described a continent and islands lying far to the South of Java was founded on nothing more solid than a misunderstanding of Marco Polo's meaning. In describing the countries between China and India to the Pisan gentleman in the prison at Genoa, Marco had reached Chamba or Cochin China. At this point it had occurred to him to make a few remarks about Java, which, as we have seen, he described inaccurately, and probably from the loose talk of Malay, Chinese, or Arab merchants and navigators. He then resumed his narrative of travel, and spoke of places you come to after leaving Chamba; and his distances are therefore measured not from Java but from Chamba. But, either the Pisan gentleman misunderstood him, or the copyist of the Pisan gentleman's manuscript made a mistake.

It was thought that, having described Java, Marco must have visited Java, and that the distances of the place mentioned must be measured not from Chamba but from Java. And hence the notion arose and persisted that Marco had voyaged from China to India by a route that had brought him to lands in the Latitude of Western Australia or Tasmania. If we measure our distances from Chamba or Cochin China, the story at once becomes intelligible. Locac, the land of gold and elephants, was not part of the great Southern continent; it was part of Siam or Cambodia. Java Minor was not Tasmania or Groote Eiland; it was Sumatra. It was hence that he sailed one hundred and fifty miles to the islands of Nocuveran and Angamanain—the Nicobar Islands, and the Andamans—where lived the dog-headed men of Arabian legend, and thence a thousand miles South-West to Ceylon.

Thus we have to notice both what Marco Polo said, and what he was thought to have said. For both what he said, and what he was thought to have said, are important facts in our story. We learn from him that the merchants of China, like the merchants of India and of Arabia, traded with the Spice Islands and with Java, and that there prevailed a vague and inaccurate conception of Java, which declared it to be the greatest island in the world. Marco had nothing to tell of lands Southward of Java. But his words were misunderstood, and it was believed that he had described, and had even visited, a continent and islands in the far South, which geographers of the sixteenth century identified with the Terra Incognita of ancient belief, and which Dutch navigators of the seventeenth century thought they had actually found in Eendrachtsland.


CHAPTER IV. THE SUCCESSORS OF MARCO POLO

AUTHORITIES:


Other travellers, commercial and missionary, following the footsteps of Marco Polo, pushed through the door opened by the liberalism of the Mongol Kaans. An interesting story it is, that Mr. Beazley has to tell, of mission labours of Franciscans and Dominicans in Mongolia, in China, in Persia, and in India. The hero of the story is John de Monte Corvino, who, after long years among Saracens and heathens, travelled through India, leaving us "the first good picture of India drawn by a Latin Christian," and, passing the home-coming Polos on the way, arrived in China in 1292 or 1293, a pioneer to regions to which "never came apostle or disciple of apostles." For thirty years he laboured in China—a Christian Archbishop of Pekin in the early fourteenth century—building churches, baptizing thousands of converts, and at last dying in 1328. The Mongols still held open the door, and in those days one could get from Europe to Pekin, travelling through Southern Asia, in six or seven months! There were Franciscan missions among the Tartars of Persia. There were glorious Franciscan martyrs in India. Here they lived and laboured and died, defying the "calores horribilissimi et importabiles hominibus extraneis," and suggesting that the Pope ought to have a fleet on the Indian Sea! One of them had heard of Java as an island "more than seven thousand miles in circuit, producing nutmegs, mace, and all the finest spices, beautiful white mice, shaggy pygmies, and cloves of deadly odour."*

[* Beazley, vol. iii. p. 228.]

Of special interest in our story is the "Journal concerning strange things which he saw among the Tartars of the East," which a Franciscan Friar named Odoric* dictated to another Friar in "the place of St. Anthony of Padua" in May 1330—a journal which is described by Mr. Beazley as "the fullest, the most graphic, and the most amusing picture of Asia left by any religious traveller of this age." "Being desirous to travel unto the foreign and remote nations of infidels," Friar Odoric had seen and heard "great and miraculous things," and he will tell nothing save those things which "either I saw with mine own eyes, or heard the same reported by credible and substantial persons."

[* See discussion of Odoric's life in Yule's Cathay. He started about 1316, returned in 1330, and died in 1331. His reputation for sanctity grew, for reasons that are unknown, and in 1755 he was declared a saint. His narrative, however, "gives the impression of a man of little refinement, with a very strong taste for roving and seeing strange countries, but not much for preaching and asceticism."]

After describing his journey through Persia and India to Sumatra—he is the first European who distinctly and undoubtedly mentions the name of Sumatra—he tells us that he travelled further into another island, called Java, the compass whereof by sea is three thousand miles. Java is "thoroughly inhabited and is thought to be the principal island in the world"; other manuscripts say variously "the best island," "the second best," "the third best"!* It produces all kinds of spices. Its King has "a most brave and sumptuous palace," with roof of pure gold, stairs of gold and silver, floors paved with gold and silver, walls covered with plates of beaten gold, whereupon are engraved the pictures of knights. The Kaan of Cathay has had many wars with the King of Java; but the said King hath always overcome and vanquished.

[* Beazley, vol. iii. p. 265, note 6.]

Near this island is the country called Panten, which has been identified with Singapore Island,* and "by the coast of this country is the sea called Mare Mortuum, which runneth continuously Southward, into the which whosoever falleth is never seen after."**

[* Yule's Cathay, vol. ii. p. 156. Cordier's Ser Marco Polo, p. 105.]

[** Mauro's map (fifteenth century) has a legend in the region of the South-East of India, "ships sailing towards the South which allow themselves to approach the Dim Islands will be carried by the currents into the Darkness, and, once entered into those regions, through the density of the air, and of the tenacious waters, they must perish." (Yule's Cathay, vol. ii. p. 160). See map. Barros, a Portuguese writer of the sixteenth century, says that the natives of Java hold that "whoever should proceed beyond the straits of Bali to the South would be hurried away by strong currents so as to never return."]

Friar Odoric then takes us to Campa, Marco Polo's Chamba (Cochin China), where fishes pay homage to the emperor by casting themselves on shore for the space of three days, and where he saw a tortoise "bigger in compass than the dome of St. Anthony's Church in Padua." Next he mentions that he travelled on further by ocean sea to the South, till he came to an island named Nicoveran (the Nicobars), two thousand miles in circuit, "wherein men and women have dogs' faces, and worship an ox for their god." Then he mentions Sillan (Ceylon), with its huge mountain, where, the inhabitants report, Adam and Eve mourned for Abel for the space of five hundred years, weeping so copiously that their tears formed a lake which still existed;" howbeit, I proved that to be false, because I saw the water flow in the lake." Here he saw "fowls as big as our country geese, having two heads, and other miraculous things which no man would credit, unless he saw them with his own eyes"—though the Friar will relate "nothing but of that only whereof I am as sure as a man can be sure." From Ceylon he travelled East to Mangi in China, wherein the Friars have two places of abode. Here he lived for three years, and he gives an account of the country which is evidently based on personal knowledge.

Our modern critic accepts Friar Odoric as a veracious witness, telling according to his measure of ability of things seen and heard. It is admitted, however, that "the legendary jumble" of the chapter on the Nicobars, after a personal visit to those islands, is "disturbing."* I confess that I am a good deal disturbed—and not only by the dog-faced men of the Nicobars. Friar Odoric seems to follow somewhat too closely in the footsteps of Marco Polo, not only as a traveller but also as a writer. His account of Java looks very like a combination of Marco Polo's Java and Marco Polo's Cipango.**

[* Beazley, vol. ii. p, 268.]

[** Yule, however, thinks Odoric is describing the old Javan palaces and temples covered with gold leaf (vol. ii. p. 152).]

However, the point of interest to us is that the Friar's statements, whether true or untrue, were believed by the men of his time, and of the next time. They were enormously advertised by being incorporated, without acknowledgement, in the most successful wonder-book of the Middle Ages, The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. And, finally, the curious and inexplicable disarrangement of the Friar's material,* his description of the Andamans and Ceylon in an order which implies that they are not far away to the South of Cochin China, still more confounded the growing confusion of the geography of these seas.

[* This is discussed in the last edition of Yule's Cathay.]

About a hundred years later, another Venetian traveller returned home to add to this confusion. In the year 1444, says Poggio Bracciolini, a very famous scholar of the Italian Renaissance, a Venetian traveller named Nicolo de Conti, who had penetrated to the interior of India, came to Pope Eugenius IV., craving absolution, inasmuch as in his travels he had been compelled to renounce his Faith. "I, being very desirous of his conversation," says Poggio, "questioned him diligently." He convinced himself that de Conti had "gone further than any former traveller ever penetrated, for he crossed the Ganges, and travelled far beyond Taprobane (a name which in this narrative means not Ceylon but Sumatra!) to a point which there is no evidence to show that any European had yet reached, except the commander of the fleet of Alexander and the Roman citizen mentioned by Pliny." Poggio's ignorance amazes one! The commander of the fleet of Alexander had sailed from the mouth of the Indus to the mouth of the Euphrates. The Roman citizen mentioned by Pliny had been driven by a storm to Taprobane, which then meant not Sumatra but Ceylon. It seems inexplicable that Poggio, with his keen interest in distant travels, should mention as the travellers who had hitherto penetrated furthest beyond the Ganges, not Marco Polo nor Friar Odoric, but two persons of ancient times, neither of whom had sailed eastward of Ceylon! Without any sort of criticism Poggio sets down statements which seem to add nothing to the knowledge given in the book of Marco Polo, and which do add very considerably to the extraordinary errors already produced by misunderstandings of Marco Polo and Friar Odoric. Thus Poggio understood Nicolo to say that Malepur, where the body of St. Thomas lies buried, really a town near Madras, is "situated in the second gulf beyond the Indus"; which seems to have been interpreted to mean that it was on the far side of what is now called the Gulf of Siam! "In the middle of the Gulf," continues de Conti, "is a very noble island called Zeilan"; a statement which, apparently, was understood to confirm the impression, already got from Marco Polo and Friar Odoric, that Ceylon was somewhere to the South of Cochin China! Meanwhile de Conti has identified the ancient Taprobane, not with Ceylon, but with Sumatra, which he describes as an island no less than six thousand miles in circuit! Thence Nicolo passes to the region that is especially interesting to us. "In Central India" (!), he writes, "are two islands, towards the extreme confines of the world, both called Java. One of these islands is three thousand miles, the other two thousand. Both are situated towards the East, and are distinguished from each other by the names of the Greater and the less." "These islands," explains Poggio, "lay in his route to the Ocean. They are distant from this continent one month's sail, and lie within one hundred miles of each other. He remained here for nine months with wife and children...At fifteen days beyond these islands Eastward two others are found; the one is called Sandai, in which nutmegs and mace grow; the other is called Bandam; this is the only island in which cloves grow, which are exported thence to the Java islands. The sea is not navigable beyond these islands, and the stormy atmosphere keeps navigators at a distance."

The conversation which interested Poggio so deeply seems to carry us not one step beyond Marco Polo! All that Nicolo adds are certain enormous mistakes. His Java the Greater is simply a copy of the Java Major of Marco Polo and of Odoric, a huge island of three thousand miles in circuit. Polo's Java Minor, an island of two thousand miles in circuit, was Sumatra. But de Conti had already described Sumatra, under the name of Taprobane, as an island of six thousand miles in circuit! His Java the lesser, an island of two thousand miles, only one hundred miles away from Java, if it represents anything on earth, must represent Sumbava, in reality a very small island. Then we have the names of two Spice Islands; and then a passage which reminds one of the Mare Mortuum of Friar Odoric, declaring that navigation beyond these islands is impossible, on account of the stormy atmosphere. Surely Poggio could have learnt as much from the book of Marco Polo and the Journal of Friar Odoric as he learnt from the conversation of Nicolo de Conti.*

[* See Yule's chapter (vol. i. p. 116) on "Contemporary recognition of Polo and his book." Also Nordenskiold's Periplus, p. 140, on scholars' ignorance of Marco Polo. Also Fiske's Discovery of America, vol. i, p. 28. "Here was altogether too much geographical knowledge for European ignorance in those days to digest. While Marco's book attracted much attention, its influence upon the progress of geography was slighter than it would have been if addressed to a more enlightened public. Many of its sober statements of facts were received with incredulity...Marco Polo's acquisitions were altogether too far in advance of his age to be readily assimilated."]

And now one more Italian traveller in the far East comes to add to our knowledge and to our problems! In the year 1502, Ludovico di Varthema, "longing for novelty as a thirsty man longs for fresh water," set off in his travels eastwards. He had experience of novelty in great plenty in Cairo, in Mecca, in Aden; and then joined a Persian merchant to "explore a good part of the world, in order to see and know many things." They passed to India, where the merchant found business spoiled by the wars that followed the arrival of the Portuguese—an event that will become of first-rate importance in the next chapter of our story.

Joined now by Christian merchants of India, they made for the Straits of Malacca. "More ships," says Varthema, "arrive here than in any other part of the world, especially with spices." The Malaysian pirates, who had their centre of operations at Malacca, are described as "the worst race that was ever created on earth." Then they sailed on to the Spice Islands, and Varthema is first of Europeans to give an entirely trustworthy account of Banda, its nutmegs and mace, and of the Moluccas with their grand monopoly of cloves, which made these tiny specks of islands the most desired places in the whole world. Thence, still in company with his merchant friends, he sailed towards "the beautiful island called Java," which is once more described as "the largest island in the world, and the most rich." He gives an account of Java which seems singularly unconvincing. The island, he says, produces silk, gold and the best emeralds in the world. The Javans are "the most trustworthy men in the world." Yet, he adds, "we determined to return, partly through the fear of their cruelty in eating men, partly also through the extreme cold" (!), "and also because there was hardly any other place known to them," i.e., his merchant friends.* So he returned to India, where he joined the victorious Portuguese, and told them stories of the Spice Islands, which led to an expedition of great consequence in our story.

[* Varthema, p. 258.]

But, at present, the chief interest to us of Varthema's narrative is the curious remark, which, he says, was made by the captain of the boat on which he sailed to Java, presumably a Malay or an Arab seaman. They noticed that he carried "the compass with the magnet after our manner, and had a chart which was all marked with lines perpendicular and across," an interesting illustration of the scientific methods used in Oriental navigation. They asked him how he steered, now that we had lost the North Star. "Is there any other North Star than this by which we steer?" In answer the captain "showed us four or five stars, among which was one which he said was opposite to our North Star. He also told us that, on the other side of the said island towards the South, there are some other races who navigate by the said four or five stars opposite to ours; and moreover he gave us to understand that, beyond the said island (Java), the day does not last more than four hours, and that it was colder than in any other part of the world."

Now it has been pointed out that a day of four hours means a latitude fifteen degrees further South than Tasmania! And it seems incredible that the Javanese, and "other races" known to the Javanese, should have sailed so far South as this, at least in the longitude of Java. Was the captain thinking of Malay voyages to the North coast of Australia, and immensely exaggerating the distance? Or was he thinking of Malay or Arab voyages to far-away Madagascar and Zanzibar? Or was he simply spinning a yarn for the amusement of his inquisitive passengers? Anyway Varthema took his statement in great seriousness, and Varthema in his turn was taken in great seriousness by the geographers. His story seemed to confirm what had been previously gathered from Marco Polo about the existence of a great continent in the far South. When the sixteenth-century map-maker drew in bold hard outline the coast of this great Southern Continent, he wrote across it the words—"that immense lands exist here is consistent with what is said by Paulus Venctus and Ludovicus Varthema."

We are now a little able to understand the tangled geographical nightmare of the maps of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Pity the unhappy map-maker of these centuries! Firstly, he had to put into some sort of geographic order the scraps of information imbedded in the romantic narratives which the travellers had dictated to friends far more interested in marvels than in science. Thus Fra Mauro, who made the first famous map of the new age, did his best to make out the meaning of what Nicolas de Conti had said to Poggio Bracciolini; and the result was that he confused the Indus with the Ganges, and the Ganges with the Kiang.* Then, when the unhappy map-maker thought that he had sifted truth from the travellers' tales, he had to reconcile this truth with the teaching of Ptolemy. For by that time the Renaissance had brought Ptolemy to birth once more,** and scholars were eager to interpret the new discoveries in the form of scientific maps. They endeavoured to solve the problem by bringing out new editions of Ptolemy. The sixteenth-century map was the map of Ptolemy somewhat timidly brought up to date by the cautious insertion of guesses at truth founded on the talk of the travellers.

[* See Illustration 13.]

[** First translation of Ptolemy, 1409 or 1410. See Gallois' Les géographes allemands de la Renaissance.]



11. BEHAIM'S GLOBE OF 1492.(From Nordenskiold's Facsimile Atlas, p. 72.)
1. Java Major. 2. Java Minor. 3. Seylan Insula. 4. India Patalis.

We find a curious example of honest effort made to achieve the impossible in a map of the year 1489.* In 1487 the Portuguese captain Bartholomew Diaz had rounded the Cape, and it had become certain that Ptolemy had made a mistake in describing the Indian Ocean as a landlocked ocean. The map-maker has therefore smashed a way through the too solid block of Terra Incognita, which, according to Ptolemy, unites Asia and Africa in the South, and has thus made ocean way from the Cape to India. But the Eastern side of Ptolemy's Indian Ocean remains substantially unchanged. We still have India and Taprobane in very much the misshapen condition in which Ptolemy had left them; though the map-maker, having read Marco Polo, is able to add Socotra, and the islands of Men and Women. We still have the huge southerly prolongation of Eastern Asia. We still have Ptolemy's town of Cattigara marked on its coast. But further on to the South and to the West are the Indian lands which de Conti had described as "situated in the second gulf beyond the Indus."

[* See Illustration 12.]

Here we find St. Thomas, which should have been near Madras on the East Coast of India! And, still further on, in a position which suggests to Mr. Collingridge some knowledge of the coast of Western Australia, is de Conti's Ceylon, in spite of the fact that the real Ceylon, under the name of Taprobane, is still in the same place and in the same misshapen condition in which Ptolemy had left it thirteen hundred years ago! It is surely clear that the map-maker had no knowledge whatever of the Australian coast. He is simply trying desperately to make some sort of compromise or reconciliation between the well-nigh infallible map of the classical geographer and the extraordinarily misunderstood statements of the recent travellers in India.



12. MAP OF 1489. (From Nordenskiold's Periplus.) 1. Catigara. 2. S. Thome. 3. Regnum Cayln (Ceylon).

The other maps of the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth give further examples of the same effort to reconcile ancient cosmography with modern narratives of travel. Thus Martin Behaim in 1492 made a famous globe,* which bears the inscription that "the whole was borrowed with great care from the works of Ptolemy, Pliny, Strabo, and Marco Polo"! As in the map of 1489, Ptolemy's southern Terra Incognita is shattered to pieces.

[* See Illustration 11.]

But more than half of the space which it had occupied in Ptolemy's map is occupied in Behaim's globe by Marco Polo's islands of Madagascar and Zanzibar, islands which stretch their huge length from West to East, reaching towards the shattered end of Ptolemy's great South-East extension of Asia. This great South-East extension is marked by names learned from Marco Polo or de Conti, or other recent travellers in the East. Here, for example, is India Patalis, the India of the town which Alexander the Great had founded at the mouth of the Indus! By its side is Moabar, a province on the East coast of India. Further South in about 25° S. Lat. is St. Thomas, the famous town near Madras. Still further to the South-East is Ceylon, a huge island stretching as far South as about 38° S. Lat., a latitude further South than Sydney! Marco Polo's islands of Pentam and Neucuram, which in real geography existed respectively near the Straits of Malacca and in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, are placed near together in a position which roughly corresponds to the position actually occupied by the Eastern coast of Australia. A place is found for Marco Polo's Java Minor, really Sumatra, somewhere in the region of Tasmania: while Anguana, the home of the dog-faced men in the Bay of Bengal, is placed in a position which to Mr. Collingridge suggests New Zealand! Again, it is perfectly clear that the map-maker had no knowledge whatever of lands South of the equator. He is trying to bring Ptolemy up to date by finding places in his map for lands described by recent travellers. And, as we have seen, those travellers had told their story in such disorderly sequence that the geographical relations of the places described had been misunderstood in a most extraordinary way.

Varthema's meeting with the Portuguese in India is a reminder that we have reached the end of a chapter of our story, and are about to open another chapter of very different characteristics. Before passing on, let us try to sum up the main results of the speculations and travels of the period we leave. What was the condition of knowledge and surmise as to the contents of the Australasian regions at the coming of the Portuguese and Spaniards?



13. FRA MAURO'S MAP, 1459
(From an engraving in Dr. sophus Ruge's Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen.)

We have noticed that the cosmographical science of the ancient world lived through the Dark Ages, and was understood by the scholars of the thirteenth century. Men like Albert the Great and Roger Bacon knew perfectly well that the world was a sphere, that, as an orderly cosmos, it had climatic zones, that there was a temperate zone to the South like that of the North, that it was at least possible that in this region existed inhabited lands. The theological hatred of the Antipodes was in process of being mitigated by the evidence gradually accumulating that the Tropic seas were not impassable, and that therefore the men of the South might well be children of Adam. By the fourteenth century definite knowledge had been gained of lands in the South of which ancient cosmographers only knew dimly, or knew not at all—of India, Ceylon, Sumatra, the Spice Islands and Java, Zanzibar, Sofala, Madagascar. The South Tropic Ocean had been sailed through and through. Varthema had found the climate of Java too cold, and had hurried back to India to get warm again! Evidently exploration in this direction need not be hindered by fear of seas "cremated by the near sun." And traveller after traveller had laid stress on the importance of the island of Java; on its immense size, three thousand to seven thousand miles in circuit, said reports—and on its magnificent riches, its gold-roofed palaces, its abundant spices. Beyond Java, mystery reigned. There were tales of the Dead Sea, and its terrific southerly current, of stormy atmosphere which prevented further navigation. But who could say how far southward Java itself extended? Was it not at least conceivable that this "largest island in the world" was in reality part of the great continent of the South, the fourth part of the world? Marco Polo at all events had told of great and rich continents far away to the South of Java. And now came Varthema with what seemed trustworthy reports of voyages to the furthest South, where men steered by the Southern Cross, and where it was colder than in any other part of the world? Was it not becoming clear that, away to the South of Java, was a huge continent, whether continuous with known Java, or separated from it by sea, a continent rich in spices and in gold? Such, we may imagine, were the ideas in the minds of the Portuguese as they listened to the Italian.


CHAPTER V. THE PORTUGUESE AND THE SPANIARDS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN

AUTHORITIES:


And now we come to a new chapter in our story; a chapter in which our heroes will no longer be Italian merchants and missionaries, but Portuguese and Spanish Seamen. Let us first notice how the great change came about.

Ever since the middle thirteenth century the interest of East to West had been increasing. The East was the source of all the luxuries of life. In the East also was the great mission field of the Knights of Christ. And, both to merchant and to missionary, access to the East had been through the open door. Mongol indifferentists dominated Eastern, Northern and Central Asia, and listened to Christians as willingly as they listened to Mahomedans and to Buddhists. Western Asia, and especially the seaports of the East Mediterranean coast, were in the hands of Arabian powers of an old and advanced civilization, willing to make terms with the Italian merchant cities for the distribution of Eastern luxuries through the world of the West. But now great changes took place. In 1368-1370 a national Chinese movement overthrew the Mongol dynasty, established the doctrine of a Yellow China, and drove forth "strangers of irregulated morals" with their "profane and foreign novelties."*

[* Beazley, vol. i. p. 186.]

Meanwhile the Ottoman Turks, a fierce race of primitive savages, hating Christianity and despising commerce, had started, about the year 1300, from the heart of Asia on the career of conquest that was step by step to make them masters of Western Asia, including the seaport towns of the Mediterranean. Venetians and Genoese were driven from the Black Sea and from Constantinople, driven from the seaports of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt, and, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, were fighting back-to-wall a desperate defensive warfare, which threatened to end in the destruction of their trade in the Mediterranean itself. Europe could only acquiesce. The age of effective crusade had passed. The Pope could no longer stir religious enthusiasm to accomplish God's will. The emperor had no authority outside Germany, and very little authority inside Germany. The rivalry of national dynasties had destroyed all possibility of a Concert of Europe. Neither the religious motive nor the commercial motive sufficed to unite Christendom in an effective resistance to the Turks. It was not till 1572 that the battle of Lepanto inflicted serious defeat on the Turkish navy, and removed the fear that the Mediterranean was destined to become a Turkish lake.

And yet the Western world was far from being willing to acquiesce in exclusion from the East. In all lands of Europe commerce was becoming more enterprising and more profitable, wealth was accumulating, the demand for luxuries was becoming more insistent. Moreover, while the Empire decayed, nations were coming into being in the West, nations united, organic, patriotic, whose Kings wielded a strength far greater than had belonged to Kings and even to Emperors of the Feudal Age. And, moreover, these new nations were animated by a new spirit, the spirit of the New Birth, which now moved over the face of the world, awakening the energies of soul and of mind and of body to a new life. To men of the time it appeared that all things were made new. There was a new unwillingness to acquiesce in authority, in tradition, in custom. The mind became active, inquisitive, critical, distrustful of the accepted opinion, eager to investigate things anew, and to build up a science which should have foundations well and truly laid in experience. "To have seen with my own eyes," said a scholar, "I believe to be the eighth science." There was a new passionate pursuit of things desired, of knowledge, of wealth, of honour and glory in the sight of God and man; a new and effectual ambition to face the unknown with determination to know, to understand, and to possess. Maritime enterprise was an essential expression and method of the new spirit; and the thought came into men's minds that it was possible to make use of the new national strength and of the new science to cleave a path by Ocean sea to the end of the earth, and thus renew in splendid ways missions and commerce to East and South.

The Hero of the New Age was Prince Henry "the Navigator" of Portugal, the third Son of John "the Great," who, in the late fourteenth century, had made Portugal a nation, united, patriotic, commercial, crusading. The long crusade of Portugal against the Moors of the peninsula had come to an end. But the Crusading spirit lived in the chivalry of Portugal, strong, sincere, fierce as ever, combining with the new spirit of the Renaissance to drive forth the Knight to seek venture in service of Christ. Prince Henry had his part in the Middle Ages. He won his sword of knighthood by the long fierce fight which won Ceuta from the African Moors, "that most glorious conquest, of which famous victory the heavens felt the glory and the earth the benefit."

He was "Ruler and Governor of the Chivalry of the Order of Christ," bound by monastic vows; and the flesh of the Virgin Knight, a year after death, saw no corruption. The motive of the voyages which he sent forth was "his great desire for the spread of the Christian Faith, and for the redemption of the vast tribes of men living under the wrath of God." He sought for "some Christian Prince to the South, who, for the love of Christ, would help him to fight the Moors." But there was another aspect to his character, and to his story. He was the mediaeval crusader and knight, but he was also the hero of the new age, the man who far excelled all his contemporaries, among men of action, by his understanding of the new opportunities, and by his effective endeavour to grasp them. His fame is the fame of the "Navigator." Astrologers told that "his ascendant" was in "the House of Mars," and in the "House of Saturn," and it was therefore clear my lord should be "a great conqueror, and a searcher out of things hidden from other men." Henry is the man who first showed how the resources of the new-made nations of Western Europe might be used, at once to develop the new science of navigation and cosmography, and to organize expeditions which should use this science to conquer the new world which lay beyond the ocean.

In the great work to which Henry set his hand there were two parts: the scientific, the practical. It is characteristic of the time and of the man that Henry deliberately chose for himself the scientific part, as being the more radical. "Brawny and large of frame, strong of limbs as any, brave in heart and keen in mind, having a passion for the doing of great things," the hero of Ceuta chose the life not of the man of action, but of the assiduous student. His chosen motto was "Talent de bien faire," desire or determination to do things well, to be thorough or radical in method. The key to the new world was the new science; and Henry now withdrew from court and army, and, living at Sagres, "the place where both seas meet, the great Ocean sea, and the Mediterranean," formed the first school of practical science in modern Europe.

Hither came all the learned of the day; Arabs, Jews and Italians; mathematicians, map-makers, shipbuilders and practical seamen; and thus in organised scientific ways, backed by the resources of the Portuguese monarchy, Henry undertook the conquest of the Ocean sea, and the discovery of a way to India. Here worked Henry day and night; "often the sun found him in the same place where it left him the day before, he having watched throughout the whole arc of night without any rest." He never went on a voyage. Yet this "Navigator," who stuck to his desk, and never went to sea, inspired men with enthusiasm and courage, helped them by his science, and "by his unconquerable industry conquered the impossibilities of other men." The "oared galley or weak sailing craft of an inland sea "grew into" the oceangoing ship." "The caravels of Portugal," said the Venetian Cadamosto, who sailed in one of them in Henry's service, "are the best sailing ships afloat." The new science of map-making, which had lately grown up among the Italian seamen in the Mediterranean, was applied to the ocean coasts of Africa. "The old mappae mundi," said Henry's sailors, "were not true, for they only depicted things at hazard; but this which is now placed on charts is matter witnessed by eyes." The instruments of navigation, such as the compass and the astrolabe, were made more serviceable by gradual improvements, memory of which has been eclipsed by later perfection. And, thus equipped, Henry's captains set forth to serve God and the prince by cleaving a path to India.

Voyage after voyage they groped their slow way down the African coast. The Madeiras, the Azores, the Canaries, were rediscovered. Cape Bojador, hitherto "the Southernmost limit of Christian knowledge" was passed; and, to the amazement of the voyagers, the sea beyond—pictured by Arabian geographers as boiling with fiery heat, peopled by fearsome sea-monsters, and threatened by the visible hand of Satan—was found safe and easy sailing. They outflanked the African Moors, came to the land of the negroes, and began prosperous trade in slaves, ivory and gold dust.

They reached the River Senegal, which "men say comes from the Nile, being one of the four most glorious Rivers of Earth, flowing from the Garden of Eden and the earthly paradise." They took back from it a pipe of water to Lisbon, and boasted that "not even Alexander, though he was one of the monarchs of the world, ever drank of water that had been brought from so far as this." Still they passed on, carving on the trees of desert islands "the arms of the Infante and the words of his motto," dreaming, as the African coast took its easterly bend, that they had already rounded the continent, and that India was no great distance away.

Henry died in 1460. The result of forty-two years of enthusiastic work looks slight enough when put in terms of modern geography. His captains had sailed from Cape Bojador to Sierra Leone, eighteen degrees of latitude, "not four days' course in a steam ship."* But he had done enough to touch Portuguese imagination, to stir Portuguese ambition, to make sure that the work which had made Portugal the most famous nation of the new age would be continued. There was disappointment and discontent when the African coast again turned South. After all, had Ptolemy been right when he thought there was no way round Africa at all? But the Portuguese monarchs persisted; and the Portuguese seamen sailed on. In 1486 Bartholomew Diaz rounded the Cape. On Christmas Day 1497, Vasco da Gama came to the land to which, by reason of the day, he gave the name of Natal, He reached the Arabian colonies on the East coast of Africa, and, obtaining pilots, came to Calicut on the Western coast of India in May 1498. "We come," said a Portuguese sailor, "in search of Christians and spices."

[* Hunter's History of British India, vol. i. p. 69.]

Now follows the story of the foundation of the Portuguese Empire of the East. It was essentially a maritime empire. The Arab supremacy, which had made the whole Indian Ocean the Domain of Islam, was challenged and was completely overthrown. "History, ancient and modern, records no achievement of armed commerce so brilliant, and so fraught with lasting result."* The Arab towns on the East African coast were stormed, and Portuguese forts were founded. The weak Hindoo princes of the Western coast of India were forced to accept Portuguese factors and Portuguese garrisons. The great Mahomedan Armada, in which the strength of India and Arabia was reinforced by the strength of Egypt, was utterly overthrown. Goa, the headquarters of the Mahomedan League, was captured, and became the splendid capital of the Portuguese Empire in the East. One by one, the gates of the Indian Ocean, Socotra, Ormuz, Malacca, were conquered, or terrified into submission. Aden alone remained unsubdued. And thus in a few years the Portuguese won the overlordship of the whole Indian Ocean. Their sphere of influence extended over an ocean area six thousand miles by four thousand. Their frontier was "a jagged semicircle of over fifteen thousand miles." And, over this huge ocean domain, the tiny nation of Portugal held sway for a century!**

[* Hunter, vol. i. p. 113.]

[** Hunter, vol. i. p. 134. See Illustration 14, directly below.]



14. PORTUGUESE DOMINIONS IN THE EAST, 1502-1558.
(Based on Map in Guillemard's Magellan.)

Most significant, from our present point of view, was Albuquerque's conquest of Malacca (1511), the great ocean junction of all the trade routes, from China, Japan, and the Spice Islands on the one hand, from India, Persia, Arabia and Egypt, and the Mediterranean on the other. The conquest of Malacca, Albuquerque believed, would prove the ruin of Mecca and Cairo, and would give to Portugal exclusive control of the trade of the furthest East. From Malacca he sent envoys to Canton, to Siam, to Cochin China, to Tongking, to Pegu, to Sumatra, and to Java. And an expedition was immediately equipped for the exploration of the Spice Islands.

This expedition is of great interest in our story. It was no doubt the direct result of information received by the Portuguese from our Italian traveller, Ludovico di Varthema. On his return to India, after his visit to the Spice Islands and Java, he had joined the Portuguese in Calicut, just in time to witness the great victory of 1506 over the Arabian fleet, which seemed, he says, "like some huge forest, from the great masts of the ships. Never have I seen braver men than these Portuguese." No doubt he told them of Molucca and its cloves, of Banda and its nutmegs, of the great and rich island of Java, and of the report of voyages to some far distant land in the South. The conquest of Malacca, the gate through which passed the spice trade, was immediately followed by this expedition in search of the Spice Islands themselves (December 1511). It consisted of three ships. The names of two of the captains were d'Abreu and Francisco Serrano. According to some contemporary statements, the name of the third was Ferdinand Magellan, who had "given a very good account of himself" at the capture of Malacca. On the whole, these statements seem untrustworthy;* but it is a point of importance in our story that Francisco Serrano and Ferdinand Magellan had fought side by side and were very intimate friends.

[* Guillemard, p. 69.]

The story of the voyage is told by Antonio Galvano, a Portuguese writer of very high character, who went to India in 1527, and was for six years Governor and Apostle of the Moluccas. In the three ships, he writes,* sailed only one hundred and twenty men; "not more went to discover New Spain with Columbus, nor India with Gama; nor, in comparison with these, is Maluco less wealthy, or ought to be held in less esteem." "They sailed by the noble island of Java; and they ran their course East, sailing between it and the Island of Madura...Beyond the Island of Java they sailed along another called Bali; and then came also unto others called Anjano, Simbiba, Solor, Galao, Mauluca, Vitara, Rosolanguin, and Arus, from whence are brought delicate birds which are of great estimation because of their feathers; they came also to other islands lying in the same parallel on the South side in 7 or 8 degrees of latitude. And they be so near the one to the other that they seem at first to be one entire and main land. The course of these islands is above 500 leagues. The ancient cosmographers call all these islands the name of Javas; but late experience hath found their names to be diverse as you see. Beyond these islands, it is said, there are others which are inhabited with white people, going arrayed in shirts, doublets, and slops, like unto the Portugals, having also money of silver. The governors among them do carry in their hands red staves, whereby they seem to have some affinity with the people of China." Galvano then tells how "d'Abreu and those that went with him took their course toward the North," to Ternate; "the first Portugals that came to the islands of Cloves." The voyage led to the settlement of the Portuguese in the Moluccas. Serrano went to live and trade in Ternate; and from Ternate he wrote to his old friend Magellan, once more in Portugal, "giving him to understand that he had discovered yet another new world, larger and richer than that found by Gama." Magellan resolved to find a way thither by a shorter route.

[* Galvano, p. 115.]

Thus, by the beginning of 1512, Portuguese seamen had sailed along the Northern coasts of the string of islands from Java to Arus. They were already very near indeed to the coast of Australia. But, before we consider the question whether they saw that coast, we will follow another story.

For, while the Portuguese had been groping their way round Africa towards the Marco Polo paradise, Columbus had been dreaming of a short cut. He had diligently read, marked, and digested all the cosmographical literature available in his time. He had read a Latin translation of the book of Marco Polo, and his copy, with marginal notes in his handwriting, still exists.* His imagination had been fired by the thought of a Great Kaan eagerly expecting the Christian missionary. He thought also of the gold-roofed palaces of Cipango, and of the incredible richness of the Spice Islands. Here was wealth sufficient to arm Christendom in a last great crusade, which should recover the Holy Sepulchre, and make the whole world the Kingdom of God. In the Imago Mundi, the geographical compendium of his day, he read extracts from those authors of ancient and recent times who had shown that the earth was a sphere, and had drawn the inevitable conclusion that it was possible to reach India and Cathay by travelling West. The question remained—how great was the distance to be traversed by him who, sailing from the Canaries, sought to touch Cipango? Columbus consulted the ancient writers, the Scriptures, Arabian and Italian cosmographers, and, putting facts and arguments together, he reached the conclusion that the distance from the Canaries to Cipango was but two thousand five hundred miles!** That is to say, he imagined the Eastern coast of Asia to be where the Eastern coast of America actually is. He hoped to reach the Marco Polo Paradise by a route as much shorter than the Portuguese route as a direct voyage to the West Indies is shorter than a voyage to the Spice Islands by way of the Cape and India.

[* Fiske, vol. i. p. 372.]

[** Ibid.]

Columbus brought his proposal to Spain in good time. Ferdinand and Isabella had united the Christian Kingdoms of the peninsula in a Spanish nation, virile, fierce, passionately devoted to the Faith of the Knight and the Crusader. They fought the last great fight against the Moors. In 1492 they conquered the Moorish capital at Granada. Columbus was present at the surrender with exulting heart. The triumph of the Cross at Granada was to be but the beginning of a story of knightly venture, which Should make the Cross triumphant throughout the whole world. It was the year—so he wrote in the journal of the most famous voyage in history—in which he "saw the royal banners of your Highness placed on the towers of the Alhambra," and "the Moorish King came forth from the gates of the city to kiss the hands of your Highness," that he received commission to search out the "Prince who is called the Gran Can," and to convert him and the princes and cities of India to the Christian Faith. He confidently hoped to return, loaded with the riches of the East, to complete the victory of Christ in Jerusalem.

Thus, in the year of the conquest of Granada, Columbus sailed forth West two thousand five hundred miles, and something more. And he found the island which we call Hayti, and believed that he had found either Cipango or Ophir. And he found a long coast, the Southern coast of Cuba, and believed that he had found the coast of Cathay. And the natives told him that they were visited by the ships of the Gran Can. And he heard the expected stories of men with one eye, and of men with dogs' noses who were cannibals and drank the blood of their enemies, and he knew that he was in the world of Marco Polo. And in another voyage, Southward, as he believed, of Cathay, he came to the mouth of a huge river, the river Orinoco, which seemed to him to prove the existence of a huge continent to the South of Asia, like that which Mela and Ptolemy had drawn, and Marco Polo and Ludovico Varthema had told of; a continent which he (like Dante) believed culminated in a mountain on the height of which was the Terrestrial Paradise, the source of the great river whose tumultuous outlet he had discovered. And in his last voyage he made search for the Straits of Malacca, which Should be somewhere between Cathay (Cuba) and the Great Land of the South (South America); and he understood the natives of the Isthmus of Panama to say that the strait was in fact close by, and that, as he expected, it was thence but an easy ten days' Sail to the mouth of the Ganges.

Most interesting to us was the discovery, of the great land to the South, the land which we call South America. The interpretation of the other discoveries seemed comparatively easy. Columbus was confident that he had discovered the lands made familiar by Marco Polo and his successors—Cipango, Cathay, India, Malacca, and the seven thousand seven hundred and forty islands! But what was this great land to the South? Was it Ptolemy's Cattigara-land, the hitherto unknown East coast of the huge southerly extension of Eastern Asia? Or was it Marco Polo's Locac, the great continent far South of Java, rich in gold, in spices, in elephants? Or was it the mysterious continent of the South, imagined by ancient cosmographers, and by medieval scholars, the continent which Dante had described, existing under the Southern Cross, and culminating in the heights of the Terrestrial Paradise? Most likely all these guesses were right. No wonder there was excitement in the hearts of voyagers. They were to know all that Ptolemy had known, and more! And any journey might end in the Garden of Eden.

Gradually the successors of Columbus groped their way southward down the unknown coast, and in 1502 Amerigo Vespucci, Florentine "Pilot" on a Portuguese ship, traced it through the tropics to Lat. 35° S. He had proved the existence of a huge continent of the South, hitherto unvisited either by the ancients or by recent travellers—"a land which thy charts do not indicate, O Ptolemy!" boasted a poetical admirer of Amerigo. "It is proper," wrote Amerigo himself to a friend, "to call these lands a new world. Since among our ancestors there was no knowledge of them, and to all who hear of the affair it is most novel. For it transcends the ideas of the ancients, since most of them (i.e. the medieval scholars) say that beyond the equator to the South there is no continent, but only the sea which they call Atlantic, and if any of them asserted the existence of a continent there they found reason for refusing to consider it a habitable country. But this last voyage of mine has proved that this opinion of theirs was erroneous, and in every way contrary to the facts, since in those southern regions I have found a continent more thickly inhabited by peoples and animals than our Europe or Asia or Africa, and moreover a climate more temperate and agreeable than in any other region known to us."

Let us understand the situation. What Amerigo had done was to sail down a considerable part of the East coast of the continent we call South America. What he thought he had done was to discover a great continent standing in relation to Asia somewhat as, in fact, Australia actually stands to Asia. He believed also that this "Antarctic" continent was the "fourth part of the world "of which mediaeval cosmographers, copying the ancients, had written. Christian Fathers, like Isidore, while allowing that it was likely that this continent existed, had declared the statement that it was inhabited by "Antipodes" to be "a fable." Amerigo had actually discovered the continent, the very existence of which had been a matter of conjecture and dispute. "Henceforth," remarked a writer (Peter Martyr), "you will know the Antipodes as you know your own house!" Amerigo was able to show you that it was a rich country, thickly populated "by myriads of Antipodes," in condition so healthy that some of them lived to be one hundred and fifty years old! He agreed with Dante and with Columbus, that, if the terrestrial paradise is anywhere to be found on the earth, it cannot be far from this region.

Cipango, then, and Cathay had been discovered; or, at all events, they could not be far away. And to the South of them had been discovered this huge New Antarctic World. There still remained the problem, how to get to India by this western route. The place to look for was the Straits of Malacca. Columbus thought he had found it in what we call the Isthmus of Panama; but that turned out to be a mistake; though still in the 1520's Cortes believed that a strait would there be found, and in 1520 the map-maker Schöner actually marked this strait in his map, with Japan a few miles away from the western side. Vespucci's idea was to look for the Straits of Malacca to the South of his "Mundus Novus." His search also failed. But in 1513 Balboa saw from a peak in Darien a sea of unknown extent, the "Sea of the South." And in 1519 Magellan, the little man of steel, Portuguese commander of a Spanish fleet, drove through the strait that bears his name, plunged into "a sea so vast that the human mind can scarcely grasp it," and, after the most prodigious voyage recorded in history, broken only by a few "unfortunate islands," he reached at length the "new world larger and richer than that found by Gama," of which his friend Serrano had written! The existence of the huge Southern Pacific was revealed, and map-makers gradually came to understand that Hayti was not Japan, and that Cuba was not Cathay.

Magellan arrived, not at the Moluccas, but at the Philippines, where, like a good Portugal, he lost his life in mad crusade against the heathen. But the Spaniards sailed on, under Sebastian del Cano, and touching at Borneo, Batuan and Gilolo, they at length reached the Moluccas. Serrano was dead; but the Portuguese were in possession of the "New World" he had discovered, doing a big trade in Banda for mace and nutmeg, and in the Moluccas for cloves. They had been so anxious "to keep these countries from, and unknown to the Spaniards," says the very fascinating journalist, Pigafetta, "that they had spread reports that the seas about the Moluccas could not be navigated on account of the shoals and the foggy atmosphere, and that fresh water had to be imported from distant countries." The Spaniards, however, "bought cloves like mad," and then in the Victoria they sailed for home.* "Sailing as far as possible from the coast of India, lest they should be seen by the Portuguese," they sought a passage through the tangle of the island barrier which stretched from Sumatra to Timor, trying to find the way by use of the map of Ptolemy; they made for Cattigara, they say, but couldn't find it! They touched at Ombaya and Timor, and our journalist writes a full account of the latter island, so near to Australia, and especially of its great trade with Malacca and Java and the Philippines in wax and sandalwood, "for white sandal-wood only grows in this country."

[* See Illustration 15.]

He then tells how the Victoria sailed from Timor to the Cape, on a track that must have been fairly near to the North-West coast of Australia. But he has no word to say of land seen between Timor and the Cape. Galvano, however, ex-governor of the Moluccas, writing about 1555, has the following curious passage: "Beyond this island—one hundred leagues—they discovered certain islands—under the Tropic of Capricorn and further on others. All are peopled thenceforward; nor did they see land except it might be some islets up to the Cape of Good Hope."



15. MAP TO ILLUSTRATE VOYAGE OF THE Victoria FROM THE PHILIPPINES.

Now, if the Spaniards saw "certain islands under the Tropic of Capricorn," these islands must have been near the Australian coast. But we are left puzzled by this confused statement of later date compared with the silence of the eager note-taker on board. And so the Victoria rounded the Cape, and sailed home to Spain, the first of all ships to put a girdle round the world—in three and a half years!

Thus both Portuguese and Spaniards had made a way to the "New World" which centred in the Spice Islands. There was fierce strife between them; for, though the Pope, dividing the world "like an orange," had drawn his line North to South down the Atlantic, none could yet say with scientific certainty how this line would run when produced to the other side of the globe. Eventually Charles of Spain sold to the Portuguese his claim to the Spice Islands; all the more readily, no doubt, because the solid Portuguese settlements in India and Malacca gave them a hold on these islands that could hardly be loosened by occasional Spanish ships, sailing from Spain through the Straits of Magellan, or from some part of Mexico or Peru. So the Portuguese permanently enclosed the Moluccas within their maritime empire, which dominated the whole Indian Ocean. And Galvano, that "goodly example of a true and faithful Portugal" (as his friend and editor called him) waged war against a combination of "all the Kings and Governors of all the islands about," who "had agreed to make war against the Portugals until such time as they might drive them all out of the country; he fought against them all with only one hundred and thirty Portugals and he gave them the overthrow!" From the Moluccas they sought to enforce their claim to monopoly of trade throughout the whole Far Eastern Seas, the trade with Malacca and with India, with the thousand Islands, with China, and with Japan; for in 1542 they discovered Japan by accident. "It seemeth," writes Galvano, "to be the island of Zipango whereof Paulus Venetus (Marco Polo) maketh mention."

But, though the Spaniards had sold their claim to the Moluccas, they did not abandon ambition to found a great Empire in the East. This was one of the huge schemes which occupied the mind of Cortes, conqueror of Mexico, eager to discover and subdue new worlds, and with imation set on fire by the story of Magellan. "The information," he writes from Mexico to the Spanish King (May 1523), "gave me much pleasure, for it appeared to me that the discovery would prove a great and signal service to Your Majesty, especially as all who possess any knowledge or experience in navigation to the Indies have considered it certain that the discovery of the South Sea in those parts would bring to light many islands rich in gold, pearls, precious stones and spices, together with many other unknown and choice productions; and the same has been affirmed by persons versed in learning and skilled in cosmography."

He made ports on the Pacific coast of Mexico, built ships, and sent them to explore, to conquer and to settle. "It will be the greatest achievement," he wrote, "and the one that will redound more to the service of Your Majesty than anything since the discovery of the Indies." "To these ships I attach an importance I cannot express; for I consider it certain that by means of them Your Majesty will become lord of more realms and states than there exists any knowledge of, and I believe nothing will be wanting to make Your Majesty monarch of the world."

In 1527 Saavedra sailed West from Mexico; Saavedra, the man after Cortes's own heart, who had planned a Panama Canal, so that the Spaniards might sail on a straight line from the Canaries to the Moluccas. He was commissioned to succour a Spanish expedition, which two years before had sailed through the Straits of Magellan under Loaysa and Del Cano, the circumnavigator, to assert Spain's claims in the Far East. They had been destroyed by storms, and by disease, and by the horrible longness of the voyage across the Pacific. The leaders Loaysa and Del Cano had died, and forty others, and the survivors, "one hundred and five of us," had reached the Moluccas at last, to find the Portuguese in possession. Saavedra arrived and helped in the fight, but with no good effect; and, in the end, news came that the Moluccas had been sold by our King to Portugal, "and we, the miserable seventeen survivors, had to ask the Governor of Portuguese India to ship us home, which eventually he did, stealing however our charts!"

But meanwhile, Saavedra, finding nothing good to be done in the Moluccas, had sailed for Mexico (1528). He came to the coast of a great land, two hundred leagues East of the Moluccas, which two years before had been sighted by a Portuguese seaman named Meneses; "a large island," says the writer of our narrative, "well peopled by a black race with woolly hair, who go naked." Saavedra coasted the land for about a month, discovering about fifty leagues beyond what had been seen by Meneses. He called the land "Del Oro"—one more Land of Gold! But contrary winds drove him back to the Moluccas. The Spaniards in the Moluccas advised him to sail by way of the Cape of Good Hope, for, sailing due East towards Mexico, he was certain to meet contrary winds. But the obstinate hero persisted, and sailed once more eastward in May 1529.

In December his ship returned to the Moluccas with news that the voyage had again failed, and that Saavedra had "died by the way." His men told that he "had sight of a land towards the South in 2°, and he ran East along by it above five hundred leagues. The coast was clean and of good anchorage, but the people black, and of curled hair...The people of Maluco call them Papuas, because they be black and friseled in their hair, and so also do the Portugals call them." Then, "having sailed 4° or 5° to the South of the line, he returned unto it, and passed the equinoctial towards the North." He came to islands the people of which seemed to be "of China," and then made sail for Panama. "For," explains Galvano, "from Maluco unto Panama they sail continually between the Tropics and the line; but they never found wind to serve that course, and therefore they came back again to Maluco very sad, because Saavedra had died by the way."*

[* Galvano, pp. 176-180.]

The Spaniards were cast down, but not dismayed. The New World of the Spice Islands grew more and more attractive. "In no part of the discovered world," writes Urdaneta, a famous Spanish seaman, "are there spices, but only in these islands." The discovery of the land of the "Papuas, all black with woolly hair like those of Guinea," was promise of great things. "No doubt," Urdaneta declared, "many other islands remain to be discovered and subjugated." So Cortes sent forth expedition after expedition Westward from Mexico. Again the land of the Papuas was visited, "a land of black people with frizzled hair, who are cannibals, and the devil walks with them." But the Portuguese held fiercely to their monopoly in the Moluccas, and the Spaniards determined to make the centre of their Eastern Empire in the group of islands to the North which Magellan had discovered, and in which he had died. In 1545 they founded a colony here, but Portuguese jealousy pursued them, and the plan failed. Once more the attempt was made to return to Mexico by "the coast of Os Papua." "They ranged all along the same, and, because they knew not that Saavedra had been there before, they challenged the honour and fame of that discovery, and because the people there were black and had friseled hair they named it Nueva Guinea, for the memory of Saavedra there was almost lost."*

[* Galvano, p. 239.]

Then in 1564 an expedition was sent from Mexico under Legaspi, which succeeded in founding a flourishing colony in the islands, which were now named the Philippines in honour of the Spanish King. Manila was founded. The natives were "conquered by arms or by the industry of the monks who sowed the Holy Gospel, in which all laboured valiantly." The famous monk-seaman Urdaneta solved the problem, which had hitherto baffled seamen, of the return voyage to Mexico, and a regular service of ships was established between Manila and Acapulco. It was found possible, by sailing in June, to reach Acapulco in a voyage of five or six months: a long and tedious journey, seeing that the outward voyage to Manila could be done in less than three months. But Spanish colonists must get back to Spain. The Portuguese jealously barred the Cape route. It was necessary to sail back Eastward, and "without any better or more speedy way having been discovered by the South Sea, though it has been attempted." So wrote De Morga, ex-lieutenant-governor of the Philippines in 1609.

The Spanish rule in the Philippines is described by De Morga in enthusiastic detail.* He had spent there "eight years (1595-1603) and the best years of my life." He tells—and his testimony is accepted by the modern scholar**—of the good government of the Spaniards, their humane and disinterested treatment of the natives, of the excellent service rendered to the Faith by the Inquisition, which finds "no want of constant work on account of the entrance of so many foreigners in those parts," of the prosperous trade of Spanish merchants—for most of the Spanish settlers were merchants—with Borneo and the other islands, with Cambodia, with China and Japan, and of the heroic though unsuccessful endeavours of Franciscan missionaries to win the peoples of those lands to the Christian Faith.

[* The Philippine Islands, by Antonio de Morga (Hakluyt Society).]

[** See The Philippine Islands from 1493 to 1898, ed. Blair and Robertson.]

He prints a letter written to him by a Franciscan "from the road of execution," for the Friars, with their converts, were crucified. The King of Spain draws no revenue from the Philippines. All he gets from the colony is spent in the service of the colony. He undertakes the work for the sake of Christianity, and "in the hope of better results in other kingdoms of Asia, when God so pleases." And the spirit of the valiant Spanish soldier-governor catches fire as he tells once more the great story of his countrymen; how, having "by the mercy of God preserved their realms in the purity of the Christian Religion, deserving the title of Defenders of the Faith, by the valour of their indomitable hearts they have furrowed the seas, and discovered and conquered vast kingdoms in the most remote and unknown parts of the world, leading the inhabitants to knowledge of the true God, and to the fold of the Christian Church, in which they now live, governed in civil and political matters with peace and justice, under the shelter and protection of the royal arm...From this cause the crown or sceptre of Spain has come to extend itself over all that the sun looks on from its rising to its setting with the glory and splendour of its power and majesty; but surpassing any of the other princes of the earth by having gained innumerable souls for heaven, which has been the Spaniard's principal intention and wealth...Having won America, one quarter of the earth, they sailed following the sun, and discovered in the Western Ocean an archipelago: raising the standard of the Faith, they snatched them from the yoke of the Devil, so that justly may they raise in those isles the pillars and trophies of non plus ultra."

One wonders whether De Morga owed something of his enthusiasm to conversation with a man of kindred spirit, Fernando de Quiros, who, after adventurous voyage through mid-Pacific, had come to Manila in 1595, full of a grand scheme that should add to the Spanish Empires in West and East a Spanish Empire in the South, "so that all round the world God might be known and adored by all his creatures."


CHAPTER VI. WAS AUSTRALIA KNOWN IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY?

AUTHORITIES:


We have now followed the story of the coming of Portuguese and Spaniards to the Indian Ocean. Our next concern is to ask whether the seamen of those nations acquired any knowledge of Australia.

In telling the story of the Portuguese and Spanish voyages I have sought to state all the facts known to me that are at all likely to throw light on this question. And remarkably little light they have thrown. Let us recall our main facts.

In 1512 the Portuguese reached the Spice Islands. From that date Portuguese traders visited them, settled in them in very small numbers—a governor thought he was very well off with an army of a hundred or so—and made trading voyages along the North coasts of the string of islands as far Eastward as the island of Aru and the Northern coast of New Guinea. There is, I think, no evidence that they sailed along the Southern coast of New Guinea except the fact that they described it as "a large island," a phrase that seems to indicate some knowledge of the trend of the Southern coast. Twice Spanish ships sailed from the Straits of Magellan, and on several occasions Spanish ships sailed from Mexico, to the Philippines and the Moluccas and some of these ships, trying to fight their way back to Mexico, explored long stretches of the Northern coast of New Guinea, and came away with exceedingly bad impression of the looks and the morality of the inhabitants. But neither in Portuguese nor in Spanish writing is there one word (so far as I know) to suggest knowledge of anything South of the North coasts of the island chain from Java to Timor; no word save the passage in Galvano telling of "certain islands under the Tropic of Capricorn" to which, he says, the Victoria came a hundred leagues beyond Timor.

And, while there is no word in our chronicles, save these, to Suggest knowledge of Australia, there are a good many words that suggest ignorance. Barros, a Portuguese chronicler who wrote about the middle of the sixteenth century, tells that the natives of Java say that on the South of Java is an undiscovered sea; and they think that whoever proceeds beyond the straits between Java and Bali will be hurried away by strong currents, so as never to be able to return; and for this reason they never attempt to navigate it;* a statement that reminds one at once of Friar Odoric's story of "the sea called Mare Mortuum which runneth continually southward, into which whosoever falleth is never seen afterwards"; and also of an inscription of Fra Mauro to the effect that "ships sailing towards the South which allow themselves to approach the Dim ISlands will be carried by the currents into the darkness, and once entered into those regions, through the density of the air or of the tenacious waters they must perish."**

[* Quoted by Major, p. lv.]

[** Yule's Cathay, vol. ii. p. 160. Cf. Themara, 1556: "Thirty Leagues from Java the Less is Gatigara, nineteen degrees the other side of the Equinoctial land towards the South. Of the lands beyond this point nothing is known, for navigation has not been extended further, and it is impossible to proceed by land on account of the numerous lakes and lofty mountains in these parts. It is even said that there is the seat of Paradise." Quoted by Major (p. lxv) as representing the best Spanish opinion at the time.]

Readers of Wallace's account of the Malay Archipelago will find that these stories contain a certain amount of truth. So violent and so uncertain, he writes, are the currents that flow through the straits of Lombok, that "vessels preparing to anchor in the bay are sometimes suddenly swept away into the straits, and are unable to get back again for a fortnight." It is easy to believe that both natives and Portuguese feared to embark upon this ferocious current.* And this may help to explain the strange ignorance of the South coast of Java, which is a matter of singular importance in our study. "The South coast," writes Diego do Couto, another Portuguese chronicler, about 1570, "is not frequented by us, and its bays and ports are not known; but the North coast is much frequented and has many good ports."** According to this writer, then, the Portuguese knew that Java was an island, and had a vague idea of the contour of its Southern coast; but there their knowledge ended.

[* Cf. "Java" in Encyclopedia Britannica.]

[** Quoted by Collingridge, p. 194.]

Still more remarkable is the testimony of Linschoten, the famous Dutch traveller, who visited the Far East at the end of the sixteenth century, and wrote the book that first put into Dutch and English minds the idea of an eastern com-mercial empire. He was a very industrious and careful inquirer, and got, no doubt, the very best information that could be got from Portuguese who had spent their lives in those seas. And this is what he wrote of Java: "This island beginneth under seven degrees on the South side, and runneth East and by South 150 miles long (=600 English miles), but, touching the breadth, it is not found, because as yet it is not discovered, nor by the inhabitants themselves well known. Some think it to be firm land and parcel of the country called Terra Incognita, which, being so, should reach from that place to the Capo de Bona Sperance, but as yet it is not certainly known, and therefore it is accounted an island"; and he prints a map that makes an island with North coast bravely carved into capes and bays, and Strewn with the names of towns, but with the South coast a smooth curve, unbroken by capes and bays and without a single name.* That is to say, if we are to believe this very intelligent and well-informed Dutch traveller, the natives of the North coast of Java did not even know whether their land was an island, or was a tip of the great Southern Continent (of which we shall soon hear more), reaching to the neighbourhood of the Cape of Good Hope.

[* See Illustration 16. Away to the South lie has a continent marked "Beach provincia aurifera," i.e. like Mercator and Ortelius he thinks it neeessary to find a place for Marco Polo's Locac or Beach, and, like them, has no knowledge of Australia.]



16. PART OF LINSCHOTEN'S CHART OF JAVA AND THE ISLANDS TO THE EASTWARD.
(From Linschoten's Voyages, 1623.)

If then we were to judge solely by the writings of the Portuguese, and of those who wrote from Portuguese information, it would appear certain that, excepting once more the islands to the South of Timor which Galvano says were seen by the people in the Victoria, there was no knowledge of anything South of the North coast of Java.

Nor does it seem to me that there is the least reason to be surprised by this apparent ignorance. There is nothing whatever suspicious about it. It is what we should have expected. The number of Portuguese and Spaniards in the Far East was exceedingly small. The harvest of spices was great, and the few labourers, with both hands full of most precious stuff in the world, had no time to spare for any other business save the entirely necessary business of fighting the natives and fighting one another. There was little motive for further exploration, and little possibility of undertaking it. They had neither ships nor men to spare. Nor was it in the least likely that the ordinary voyages, either of Portuguese or Spaniards, would lead to the accidental discovery of Australia.



17. PART OF SEBASTIAN CABOT'S MAP.
(From Jomard's Collection.)

The Portuguese sailed from the Cape to the Moluccas by a track that hugged the Eastern coast of Africa. It was not till the Dutch in the early seventeenth century struck Eastward from the Cape on an entirely new track that the discovery of the Western coast of Australia became likely. As for the Spaniards, they sailed from Mexico and aimed straight at the Moluccas or the Philippines, with winds that were very unlikely to take them to the South of New Guinea. The route by the Straits of Magellan had appeared so frightful to the first voyagers by reason of its length and desolation, that they had doubted that they would ever have successors; and, in fact, it was abandoned after the second disastrous voyage of Del Cano in 1524. And from Peru no ships sailed Westward till Mendaña's voyage of 1567, the first voyage, of which we have knowledge, that might have discovered Australia, and that actually did discover the Solomon Islands. It may, I believe, be affirmed with confidence that we have no news of any voyage in the sixteenth century at all likely to have led to knowledge of any part of the Australian coast. And this fact seems to me good reason for entertaining a strong sceptical prejudice in respect to arguments that seek to prove that the Australian coast was well known.*

[* I am especially impressed by the apparent complete ignorance of Galvano, the ex-Governor of the Moluccas, who wrote his Discoveries of the World before 1555. If Australia had been discovered he must have heard of the discovery, and he gave so much information about the rich islands which he knew that it seems impossible to believe that he concealed knowledge of a barren territory in the South.]



18. PART OF DIEGO RIBERO'S MAP, 1529.
(From Nordenskiold's Periplus.)




19. PART OF REINEL'S CHART, c. 1517,
(From an engraving in Recueil de Travaux, etc., Université de Gand.)

If from contemporary writings we turn to contemporary maps, we find much to confirm us in our unbelief. Many of these maps seem to correspond to the narratives with reasonable exactness, setting down the discoveries and the conjectures of which we have been told, and setting down little more. Thus we have a series of charts made by Francisco Rodriguez,* one of the pilots of D'Abreu's famous expedition of 1511-12. They give a fairly correct rough sketch of the string of islands from Sumatra to Timor, showing the South coasts as well as the North coasts, and with open sea to the South. They are, I think, the only charts that draw the South coasts of the islands in a way that suggests knowledge. Another chart of about 1517, by Pedro Reinel, gives the same string of islands, with the curious difference that their length is made to extend not East and West, but North and South.** They seem to show ignorance of the South coasts, and also to show a tendency to fill the unknown vacancy with land. The Spanish map of Ribero (1529) shows an opposite tendency. The North coasts only of the islands from Java to Timor are given. On the South they have no outline, but fade into the ocean on which sails Magellan's ship Victoria on its way home "from Maluco"; and the ocean extends shoreless to the bottom of the map.***

[* See Illustration 20.]

[** Cf. Hamy's L'Oeuvre géographique de Reinel. See Illustration 19.]

[*** See Illustration 18.]

The famous map of Sebastian Cabot of 1544* has similar characteristics. It gives the North coast of the islands from Java to Timor with details that are copious though not always correct. Java and Sumbava are supposed to be one island. The impracticable straits are turned into a closed gulf, in the midst of which are the islands of Bali and Lomboc. But Java-Sumbava has no South coast. And the sea to the South is one huge unbroken vacancy, on which, with safety and with truthfulness, Cabot has written the words, "Unknown Sea or Land."**

[* See Illustration 17.]

[** Rainaud, p. 310]



20. PART OF RODRIGUEZ'S CHART. (From a facsimile in the Santorem Atlas.)
[1.Sumatra. 2.Java. 3.Bali. 4.Lombok. 5.Sumbawa. 6.Flores. 7.Timor.]

This was the position of the reasonable agnostic. Sebastian Münster, on the other hand—and Sebastian Münster was the most famous German cosmographer of the period—was a dogmatic unbeliever. As to the temperate zone of the South, he wrote in 1532, "you will see that in it there is almost no continent of land, but merely sea and certain islands."* There are later Portuguese maps of 1546 and 1558 that give the same view.** Thus we have a large number of maps, both Portuguese and Spanish, and of highest authority, which assure us that there was no knowledge of land South of Java.

[* Rainaud, p. 311.]

[** Major, p. lxiii.]

There is one map of this type that has singular interest for Englishmen. In 1598-1600 Richard Hakluyt published the second edition of his collection of voyages, with a new map. Shaksperc must have turned over its leaves, for its "new map with the augmentation of the Indies" came into mind when he thought of the multitudinous "lines" of Malvolio's smile.* This map,** like the others we have noticed, makes the South Pacific one huge vacant ocean, save for one interesting hint or suggestion. South of Java, in the place where the North-West coast of Australia existed, appears a short line in the shape of a rough-drawn S, without any sort of legend. What does it stand for? Its very modesty suggests that it is no mere fancy, but stands for some definite piece of news that had come to the map-makers. I would venture to suggest that it may stand for the "certain islands under the Tropic of Capricorn" which, according to Galvano, were seen from the Victoria one hundred leagues beyond Timor.

[* See note in Variorum Shakspere, vol. xiii. p. 208, and especially the argument of Coote in New Shakspere Society Transactions, 1877-79. Coote shows that the map was drawn by Mollineux, "perhaps with the assistance of Hakluyt." It seems curious that, whereas Hakluyt in his first edition of 1589 published Ortelius's map, with its huge Magellanican continent (Hakluyt, vol. i.), in the seeond edition of 1598 he published this "new map" in which the continent disappears, and there is nought South of New Guinea and Java save the short S-like line. Cf. the Map of the New World dedicated to Hakluyt in 1587 (Hakluyt, vol. viii. p.272). It gives no Terra Australis. Yet in 1589 Hakluyt preferred to print Ortelius's map with a Terra Australis occupying most of the South Pacific! These facts seem to show that the impartial geographic mind found it difficult to attain a settled conviction.]

[** Hakluyt, vol. i. See Illustration 22.]



21. PART OF MERCATOR'S MAP, 1569.
(From Jomard's Collection.)




22. PART OF MAP IN HAKLUYT'S Voyages (PUBLISHED 1598-1600).

We know that Hakluyt very greatly valued Galvano's book. He published an English translation, and declared that "the work though small containeth so much rare and profitable matter as I know not where to seek the like within so narrow and straight a compass." One wonders whether Galvano's vague phrase was not in Hakluyt's mind when he discussed the "new map" with its maker, and suggested perhaps the vague curve under the Tropic of Capricorn.*

[* Cf. a somewhat similar map of 1571 in the polyglot bible of Arias Montanus. Coote's Remarkable Maps, ii. I. Here South of Java is a land in the form of a broad-based pyramid, pointing North. "It is," writes Major, "simply a line indicating the north part of an unexplored land, exactly in the position of the north of Australia, distinctly implying an imperfect discovery, but not copied from, or bearing any resemblance to, any indication of the kind in any previous map" (Early Voyages, p. lxv).]

So far our argument has hung together, and has pointed strongly to a conclusion: the conclusion that neither Spaniards nor Portuguese knew anything whatever about Australia. We now, however, have to give careful consideration to two series of contemporary maps which, at first sight, seem to point to a different conclusion.

As representative of the first series we may take Mercator's map of 1569.* Here we find Tierra del Fuego depicted, not as an island, but as a promontory of a huge continent, whose coast line, drawn with firm hand, stretches in unbroken curve away to the North-West till it all but touches New Guinea at a point which suggests Cape York. On the huge continent is written, "This Austral continent some call Magellanican from its discoverer." New Guinea is represented as a large square-built island. Its northern coast, which, as we have seen, had been discovered and redis-covered, is drawn with deeply marked headlands and bays, and with many names. The East, West and South coasts are drawn in unbroken curves and have no names. The passage between the South coast of New Guinea, and the North coast of the Magellanican continent—a passage that makes one think of Torres Strait—is partially occupied by a conventional pattern. And on New Guinea we have an inscription which ends by saying that "whether it is an island or part of the Austral continent is hitherto unknown." Westward from New Guinea the coastline of the Austral continent falls away into a great gulf, the Western side of which is formed by another huge promontory which nearly reaches Java. The great gulf makes one think of the Gulf of Carpentaria: and in the midst of it—in addition to a mighty fish which stretches its huge length half-way across the gulf—are two islands, the larger of which looks as if it might possibly be Groote Eyland. Then the coast line falls away steeply to the South-West, and finally, after skirting "the Land of Parrots," and after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, traverses the South Atlantic and joins the Eastern coast of Tierra del Fuego.

[* See Illustration 21.]

At first sight one would be tempted to say that the man who drew this map must have had some knowledge of the outline of the Northern coast of Australia. But closer inspection of the map, and especially of certain inscriptions, which I will discuss later, would stir suspicion. And when one studies the map in connection with other maps of the same series, and when one considers the explanations offered by the map-makers, suspicion grows into certainty; certainty that Mercator's Austral continent was the creation of Mercator's ingenious imagination, and that he had no knowledge whatever of Australia.

When geographers of the school of which Mercator was the most distinguished representative sat down to make their maps, they had certain fixed ideas in mind which determined their drawing of those parts of the world of which they had no authentic knowledge.

In the first place, they had in mind the conceptions of the ancient geographers, and especially of Pomponius Mela and of Claudius Ptolemy. It is hardly possible, we are told, to exaggerate the influence of "the despotic sway" of Ptolemy. The map of the cosmographer of the school of Mercator was a map of Ptolemy cautiously brought up to date. Now, according to Ptolemy, as we remember, the Indian Ocean was a land-locked Ocean. And the southern coast of this Ocean was the great "Unknown Land" of the Southern temperate zone, which, so ancient geographers agreed, certainly existed in one form or another. The map-maker of this school, then, was disposed to take Ptolemy's Unknown Land of the South as basis of an Austral continent. He perceived, it is true, that Ptolemy had not known the whole truth. The Portuguese had knocked a big hole in the Western corner of his Unknown Land. And Magellan had bored a small hole in the eastern corner. But otherwise Ptolemy's authority stood firm. There seemed no reason to disbelieve in the rest of his continent of the South. He had been in error in thinking that this continent was joined to Asia on the East, and to Africa on the West. But, after all, to give up Ptolemy's teaching on this point was but to return to Mela and older classical authorities, who had conceivcd of the land of the Antichthones not as a continent, but as a huge continental island. No doubt, on this matter, Mela had shown better insight than Ptolemy.

In the second place, it seemed to the map-makers that the authority of the ancient geographers was confirmed by the authority of the new science. The laws of physics, argued Mercator in 1569,* determine that the earth must be "in a state of perfect equilibrium." An excrescence on one side of the globe must in the nature of things be balanced by an excrescence on the opposite side; for otherwise the constitution of the world could not hold together in its centre ("alioquin mundi constitutionem in suo centro non posse consistere "). If the ancient geographers had grasped this truth they could have proved that the existence of America was a physical necessity, simply because a New World in the West was needed to balance the Old World in the East. And, in the same way, it was now reasonable to assert that a huge unknown continent must, by reason of physical necessity, exist in the South to balance the huge known continents in the North. "Since Asia, Europe and Africa are for the most part situated to the North of the Equator, there must be under the antarctic pole a continent so great that with the Southern parts of Asia, and the new India or America, it should be a weight equal to the other lands."**

[* Rainaud, p. 314.]

[** My colleague, Professor Cotton, has kindly written the following note on Mercator's argument:

"Although the scienee of geology cannot even yet afford an explanation of the distribution of continental masses and ocean basins which amounts to a demonstration, there is ample evidence that Mercator's hypothesis, suggestive as it was, has no real foundation.

The geodetic measurements of the values of gravity in various parts of the world have revealed the striking fact that the foree of gravity is greater in the oceanic regions than it is on the surface of the continents. It is now generally accepted by geologists that this fact has a genetic significance; and that the depressions of the solid earth in which the ocean waters now lie are due to the sinking in of the inherently denser portions of the earth's outer shell or crust under gravitational attraction.

Mercator's hypothesis contains the implicit assumption that the earth is either quite homogeneous in structure, or is built up of a series of concentric shells each of which is homogeneous; and it is now known that this is not the case.

Although Mercator's hypothesis has not stood the test of time, its fruitful results afford a most excellent illustration of the value of imagination in stimulating research. It has so often been the case that in the search for one truth the light of genius has revealed many others."]

In the third place, the sixteenth-century map-maker had in mind certain passages from the travel books of Marco Polo and his successors. He remembered that Marco Polo had been understood* to say that some 1200 miles (750 miles according to another text) South of Java "you reach an extensive and rich province which forms a part of the main land, and is named Locac," a word that was some-times mis-printed Beach:—a province in which were found elephants, and brazil wood, and gold in incredible quantity, but which was "little visited on account of the inhumanity of its inhabitants." He remembered that Marco Polo had also been understood to say that, still further Southward, "so far to the Southward as to render the North Star invisible," "you reach the island of Java the Lesser—not less than 2,000 miles in circuit," an island rich in spices which the traveller had visited and explored, having been detained there for five months by contrary winds, while on his way from China to India. And he remembered that these statements had been confirmed by the story told by the skipper to Ludovico Varthema about races of men who lived to the South of Java, and who navigated their ships not by the North Star but by the Southern Cross.

[* It was, as we have seen, a misunderstanding. Marco Polo had spoken of lands to the South not of Java but of Cochin-China. Locac was not Australia but Siam. Java Minor was not Groote Eyland but Sumatra. See Yule's Marco Polo and Beazley's Dawn of Modern Geography.]

Now let us observe in a little detail how the sixteenth-century geographer, who had these three fixed ideas in his mind, interpreted the new discoveries.

When Amerigo Vespucci in 1502 brought home the exciting news, which lost nothing in the telling, that he had sailed down the coast of a New World as far as 350 South Latitude, how would the news be interpreted by the professional cosmographer? The student of to-day turns to his atlas, and remarks that Amerigo had sailed down the Eastern coast of South America about as far as the Rio de la Plata. The student of the early sixteenth century turned to his Ptolemy, and remarked that the situation was very puzzling, but that the most likely guess was that Amerigo had sailed down the hitherto unknown Eastern coast of Cattigara-land, i.e. the South-ward extension of Eastern Asia. What was to be done next in order that this theory might be proved or disproved? If Ptolemy was to be believed there was no way of getting through or round this land into the Indian Ocean. But Ptolemy had also thought there was no way of getting round Africa into the Indian Ocean, and the Portuguese had already proved this opinion to be wrong. It was at least worth while to follow further Southward the coast of the New World—"America," as readers of Amerigo's fascinating letters were beginning to call it—to see whether there were not some passage between it and Ptolemy's "Unknown Land" in the South.

In 1515 and in 1520 a German cosmographer named Schöner published maps that are interesting evidence as to the way in which students were beginning to interpret news. Schöner had been reading the account of a voyage by Portuguese seamen who claimed that they had actually discovered a passage to the Indian Ocean. He thought the evidence was good enough, and in his maps he drew this passage at 45° S. Lat. Now there is no passage anywhere near 45° S. Lat., and it seems very unlikely that these seamen had discovered the straits which did exist at 52° S. Lat. They probably sailed up some bay or estuary—most likely the Gulf of San Matias,—and thought it was a strait. Schöner was a cosmographer who was rather easily convinced by evidence that claimed to prove the existence of straits. He drew a similar narrow passage through the isthmus of Panama, and another very wide passage between Virginia and New-foundland. But while his map is no good evidence as to the discovery of a strait leading into the Indian Ocean, it is very good evidence as to what geographers expected would be found on the other side.



23. THE WESTERN HALF OF SCHÖNER'S FIRST GLOBE, 1515.
(From Steven's Johann Schöner.)

According to Schöner's conception in the map of 1515* there is a great ocean round the South Pole. But this ocean is surrounded by a thick ring of land,** with one opening in the ring in a direction due South from Java. This ring of land Schöner calls "the region of Brazil" in the map of 1515, and "Lower Brazil" in the map of 1520.

[* See Illustration 23.]

[** The map of 1520 breaks up this ring into a group of large islands: which seems to show how wholly fanciful were the map-makers' dreams about the structure of the Southern World.]

He had obtained his information, it seems, from Portuguese seamen chiefly interested in the New World as a source of supply of the very useful dye-wood called brazil, which had long been one of the recognized precious commodities of the Far East, and of which Marco Polo had made honourable mention in his account of Locac and Java Minor. This lower Brazilian region, Schöner explains, extends nearly to Malacca, and is not far off the Cape of Good Hope.* And he draws the outline of this great Austral Continent with a detail that suggests he was well acquainted with every bay and headland, both on its Northern and its Southern coasts. He is also able to tell you of its snowy mountains, its excellent fruits, precious metals, splendid birds, and its gigantic plants.** At a later date (1533), he is able to add that the inhabitants of this region, "the very great Southern Region of Brazil," live a good honest life, are not cannibals, reverence the older men, and call their children Thomas.*** All these interesting facts the thoughtful Schöner, with head full of the marvels of Amerigo's letter, and reminiscences of earlier travel-books, was able, it seems, to gather from information given by Portuguese brazil-wood cutters of what they had seen on the Southern side of some bay or estuary in Patagonia.

[* "A capite bonae spei parum distat. Insuper modica distantia est ab hoc Brasiliae regione ad Mallaquam" (Guillemard, p. 193 note).]

[** Rainaud, p. 250.]

[*** Rainaud, p. 297.]

It seems likely that when Magellan sailed in 1519 he had seen Schöner's map or some other map of this type.* He was, at least, confident that a strait did exist, and he was determined to find it, he said, even if he had to sail as far South as 75°. He found the strait in 52°, and sailed through it. To the South was a land which he called Tierra del Fuego. And what was Tierra del Fuego? Was it an island? Or was it the tip of a great continent? The voyagers thought that it was an island or a collection of islands. They "thought," says an enterprising journalist who interviewed them on their return, "there was no continent, but only islands, as they occasionally heard on that side the reverberation and roar of the sea at a more distant part of the coast";—surely a remarkably bad argument! If the geographers had believed the travellers they would have had to abandon Schöner's theory that a great Southern Continent extended from the South side of the straits "somewhat as Africa extended from the South side of the straits of Gibraltar." And, as we have already seen, many map makers were sceptic or agnostic, made their Southern world not continental but oceanic, pointed out that no lands had been discovered, and declined to fill their maps with vain imaginations.

[* Guillemard's Magellan, p. 192.]

But other cosmographers remained unconvinced by the argument of the travellers. Is the "reverberation and roar of the sea" never heard save on islands? What the seamen had heard could easily be accounted for by the existence of some deep inlet. Tierra del Fuego, they were convinced, was no island, but the tip of the continent of the South; the nature of which could be fully explained by those who had studied the map of Ptolemy, had read Marco Polo and Varthema, and were acquainted with the laws of physical science. And when they made their maps of the South they gave bold expression to this conviction.

Let us consider a map of this sort made by a Frenchman, Orontius Finaeus in 1531.* Like a good orthodox geographer he is working on his Ptolemy, and is seeking to bring him up to date. Magellan has bored a hole into the extreme South-East corner of Ptolemy's land-locked Indian Sea. Where then are we now? The country to the North, recently discovered and conquered by Pizarro and his friends, is evidently Ptolemy's Southward extension of Eastern Asia. So Finaeus confidently marks Ptolemy's Cattigara as a seaport of Peru. Following Ptolemy's map Northward, one comes to Sinae (China) or Cathay, and this is evidently the country, part of which Cortez has recently conquered under the name of Mexico; so Finaeus puts down Pekin (Cambaluc) in the same land as Mexico, about a thousand miles to the North-West. In short, what recent voyages have done is to supply Ptolemy's Asia with a badly needed Eastern coast. Thus, e.g., Newfoundland (Baccalar) is obviously a promontory of Siberia.

[* See Illustration 24. Cf. Fiske's Discovery of America, vol. ii. p. 123.]



24. MAP OF ORONTIUS FINAEUS, 1531
From Norenskiold's Facsimile Atlas, Plate xli.

So far, Finaeus, no doubt, felt that he was treading on firm ground. In constructing the map of Eastern Asia he was simply adding to the map of Ptolemy the undoubted discoveries of Spaniards and Portuguese. But what was one to say about the Southern side of the Indian Ocean, the great sweep of "Unknown Land" which, in Ptolemy's map, linked Asia to Africa. Why not, in general, leave it as Ptolemy had left it, a great sweep of unknown land? Diaz and Gama had knocked a hole in it in the South-West corner, and now Magellan had knocked another hole in it in the South-East corner; but, for the rest, no one had proved that Ptolemy was wrong. On the contrary, Magellan had seen land to the South that was, no doubt, a promontory of the unknown continent. That continent accordingly Finaeus will draw upon his map, and in order to be strictly honest he will write upon it "Austral Land recently discovered but not yet fully known." But as, in fact, no one knew anything whatever about it, he was gloriously free to make it look pretty. So he put in gulfs and creeks and headlands and rivers with a profuse detail that would seem to suggest that he had returned from a voyage of scientific survey with a portfolio full of charts. In reality the fulness of detail is proof, if proof were needed, of completeness of ignorance. The whole is purely the work of the artistic imagination.

There are, however, certain features of the continent that deserve our attention. Its coast line, on the Indian Ocean, is broken into two huge bulges, separated by a great gulf in a direction slightly East of the South of Java, in a position that seems to correspond to the break in the ring of Schöner's "Lower Brazil." We shall find this gulf of interest when we return to the study of Mercator's map of 1569. On the Eastern of the two bulges, which is separated from South America by the "Magellanican Sea," Finaeus writes the amazing words "REGIO PATALIS." The words are amazing because REGIO PATALIS means the region of Patala, the town which Alexander the Great had founded at the mouth of the Indus!



25. MAP OF 1522. (From Nordenskiold's Facsimile Atlas, p. 36.)

Names in those days travelled the world in invisible coat and in shoes of swiftness, and we cannot always watch their strides. But in this case what happened is pretty clear. Patala crossed the ocean from India to Antarctica by the bridge built by the words of Roger Bacon:—"The Southern front of India, in the region of Pathalis and the neighbouring land, runs out towards the Tropic of Capricorn."* We can even, to some extent, watch its progress. Its route seems to have been

determined by the phrase of Nicolo de Conti that certain places in Southern India were situated "in the second gulf beyond the Indus," which was understood to mean that they were in the gulf of Siam. So, in Behaim's map of 1492, "India Patalis" is somewhere in the longitude of the Malay Peninsula, and has reached 10° S. Lat.** And in a map of the medieval type, first printed in 1522, Patalis Regio, linked to India by the Terrestrial Paradise, extends Southward to the very bottom of the map.*** In fact Patala had travelled so far Southward, that Magellan's voyage, breaking down the Roger Bacon bridge, cut off its retreat, and Finaeus decided that it must stay in the "Austral Continent."

[* See text relating to Illustration 8.]

[** See Illustration 11.]

[*** See Illustration 25.]

On the Western bulge of his Austral Land Finaeus writes "BRASIELIE REGIO"; a phrase which we recognize at once as another illustration of the rapid ways of geographic names. Schöner had learnt about 1515 that South America was a good place for the dye-wood called brazil. He therefore called the country Brazil, and the land to the South he also called "Region of Brazil" or "Lower Brazil." Finaeus thought the idea a good one, but as he had decided to call the Eastern bulge "Regio Patalis" he had, it seems, to push his "Region of Brazil" Westward, to a point at which it nearly reached Marco Polo's Island of Zanzibar in the neighbourhood of Africa. This seems to explain the fact that in Mercator's map there is a province of Terra Australis far away to the South of the Cape of Good Hope called "Region of Parrots" (Psittacorum Regio).* A coast far away to the South of the Cape of Good Hope looks an unlikely place for parrots, but there are always plenty of parrots in "Brazil," and Frobisher and other map-makers assure us that in this place "Portugals see popinjays commonly of a marvellous greatness."

[* In Mercator the Region of the Parrots is in about 45°. In other maps of the same type it is as far South as 60° or 70°.]

We are now able to look again at the Map of Mercator with better knowledge of the nature of the thoughts which it is likely to express. His mind is possessed by certain fixed ideas. (1) Tierra del Fuego is part of an Austral continent. (2) This continent must be a very big and heavy one, for it has to add much needed weight to the scale which holds the comparatively meagre continents of the South in order that they may hold their own against their bulky sisters of the North. (3) It includes the lands South of Java of which Marco Polo and Varthema had told.

He starts, then, with the known land of Tierra del Fuego, which he draws with inlets and rivers, which are intended, one may guess, to explain the reverberating roar of the sea which Magellan's seamen had heard, and which had seemed to them to suggest the erroneous conclusion that Tierra del Fuego was an island. Then he continues the coastline of Tierra del Fuego on a North-Westerly curve that touches, or all but touches, New Guinea. More honest or less artistic than Finaeus, he leaves the unknown coastline undecorated. But he boldly writes across the whole continent the monstrous statement that Magellan was its discoverer! The truth was that the continent was not Magellanican but Mercatorian, and that of its many thousand miles Magellan had seen about three hundred and twenty.

The continent, then, which Magellan had discovered stretches away from Tierra del Fuego to New Guinea. The Northern coast of New Guinea is marked by geographic features, and by names; and it seems clear that Mercator got his information from Spanish or Portuguese narratives of voyages.* But the other coasts are given in unbroken and nameless outline, that seems to express ignorance, and he confesses that he does not even know whether New Guinea is an island. It may be a hitherto unknown part, he says, of the Austral continent.

[* He makes the interesting though incorrect suggestion that New Guinea may be the Labadii Insula which Ptolemy marked in the S.E. corner of his Indian Ocean, and which probably was Sumatra.]

Now it seems curious that Mercator, who had without question decided that Tierra del Fuego was part of the continent, should have expressed this doubt about New Guinea, and should have drawn his map in a way that suggests that it probably is an island. One wonders whether Spanish or Portuguese seamen had been in the neighbourhood of Torres Strait, and had come home, like Dutch seamen a century later, doubting whether it was a strait or only a shallow bay. They seem at least to have sailed far enough down the Southern coast to get the suggestion that New Guinea was possibly, and even probably, an island. But the matter was so "uncertain" that map-makers and writers continued to take different opinions. Ortelius drew an island, but wrote on it that it was "uncertain" whether it was an island or part of the continent. Wytfliet drew an island, and wrote that it was separated from the continent by a narrow strait.* Plancius definitely made it a part of the continent.** On the whole, however, the insular theory prevailed. "Almost all the Northern side of it," wrote Dr. Arias soon after 1614, "has been discovered. It is a country encompassed with water, and according to the greater number of those who have Seen it, it is 700 leagues in circuit."***

[* See Illustration 28.]

[** See Illustration 26.]

[*** Dr. Arias, however, wrote with knowledge that the voyage of Torres (1606) had proved the insular theory to be correct.]

Then, passing Westward, Mercator shows us a huge gulf that certainly ought to be the Gulf of Carpentaria, containing two islands, the larger of which certainly ought to be Groote Eyland. But we observe that the great gulf roughly corresponds to the great gulf in the Austral continent of Finaeus, which in its turn roughly corresponds to the opening in the ring of the Region of Brazil of Schöner. For some inexplicable reason, it was the fashion to draw a big gulf between two huge promontories in this part of the Austral continent, and Mercator has found this fashion particularly convenient because, as we shall notice in a moment, it gave him an opportunity to find space for two islands which, he understood, existed South of Java. The main difference between his map and those of his predecessors is that, in order to make his continent as big and as heavy as possible, he has pushed its coastline up much further to the North. It seems to me certain that the geography is still wholly imaginary.



26. PART OF PLANCIUS'S MAP, 1594.
(From Linschoten's Voyages, 1623.)

As to the larger island, which ought to be Groote Eyland, it turns out on closer inspection to be Marco Polo's Java Minor (i.e. Sumatra); and Mercator tells you that the island "produces various spices never seen by Europeans, as you may read in M. Paulus Venetus, Book 3, Chapter 13." The smaller island is Marco Polo's Pentam, an island which in real life stands in the straits of Malacca.* Mercator understood Marco Polo to mean that these islands existed Southward of Java, and he therefore cut a particularly big gulf in order to contain them. Another geographer, Plancius, who made a map similar to that of Mercator in 1594, recognized that Marco Polo's Java Minor was Sumatra, and had therefore no place Southward from Java; so he removed the island from the map, and at the same time greatly curtailed the gulf which had been made to contain it; it dwindles not because any discovery has been made, but because Marco Polo has been better understood.**

[* "The Singapore Island of our day." See discussion in Cordiers Ser Marco Polo, p. 105.]

[** Plancius's map is printed in Hakluyt, vol. ix. See Illustration 26.]

Passing to the bulging promontory which forms the Western side of the gulf, and which, if it were anything real, would be the coast of West Australia, we still find ourselves in a country which owes its names, if not its existence, to the misunderstood talk of Marco Polo. On it we read: "Beach, an auriferous province, which few foreigners approach on account of the inhumanity of its people." We are, of course, tempted to see a reference to the gold mines of West Australia, and the ferocious manners of the blackfellows on the North-Western coast. But Beach was an earlier printer's error for Locac:* and Locac was a region which Marco Polo described as being South of Cochin China, but which his editor believed that he had described as being South of Java. The gold mines and the inhumane people were not in West Australia but in Siam or Cambodia.

[* "In the Basle edition of Marco Polo in 1532, the printer unluckily altered the L into a B, and the first C into an E, so that Locach became Boeach. This was afterwards shortened into Beach...As, however, some editions of Marco Polo retained the word Locach and others Beach, both names came to be copied on to maps, and, the point of departure being Java, the map-makers following the course indicated in Marco Polo, laid these countries down as forming part of the Great Southern Land, which was supposed to occupy the entire South part of the globe" (Major's Prince Henry the Navigator, Appendix, p. 307; quoted by Collingridge, p. 199). On Behaim's globe Locach became Coachs.]

Below Beach in Mercator's map we find the inscription, "Maletur, a kingdom in which is very great plenty of Spices." Maletur is Marco Polo's kingdom of Malaiur, or Kingdom of Malays, which existed at the South-East end of the Malay Peninsula. Then we have the "Kingdom of Lucach," another rendering of Locac. It is evidently a matter of great satisfaction to Mercator that his theory of the physical necessity for a great and weighty Southern continent received confirmation from the authority of Oriental travellers. "That very vast regions exist here," he wrote a little lower down," he easily believes who has read Book III, Chapters XI and XII of Marcus Paulus the Venetian, and who has collated them with Book VI, Chapter XXVII of Ludovicus Varthema, Roman Patrician."

It seems to me clear that Mercator's Magellanican continent is the expression not of geographical information but of respect to the authority of Ptolemy, of desire to find habitation for the names mentioned in the misinterpreted passage of Marco Polo, and of belief in a certain physical theory of the globe. To do justice to Mercator's map we should consider it not as a statement of fact, but as a guess at truth. And, after all, it was not such a very bad guess. He drew an outline that was curiously like the outline of the Northern coast of Australia. And when he insisted that there was a great mass of land in the South the conclusron of his argument at least was entirely right. There was not one continent, but there were two continents: Australia and the Antarctic Continent, which recent exploration has shown to be as big as Australia and Europe put together,* and with mighty mountain ranges which, Mercator would have argued, must greatly increase its importance as a make-weight in the vast scales of the globe.

[* Cf. Bruce's Polar Exploration.]

Apart from the question of its value as evidence of geographical knowledge at the time, Mercator's map of 1569 is a map of singular interest in view of the later development of our story. It became the recognized authority in the realm of scientific geography, the Ptolemy of the New Age. A long series of later maps were, either avowedly or virtually, merely later editions of the masterpiece. And they all tend to confirm the view that it represents not a knowledge of facts but a clever guess at truth. In fact, in the Atlas published by Mercator's friend Ortelius, realities are stated with perfect plainness. He wrote in the Preface: "Of the fifth part (of the world), situated under the South Pole, which we call Magellan, one cannot say much, since it has been discovered only in two or three straits; as in the region of the Straits of Magellan, where we call the land Tierra del Fuego, etc., and at New Guinea, which we likewise think to be a part of it."

On the frontispiece of the Atlas, the four continents are represented as female figures at full length. And near the figure of America is placed, not a fifth full-length figure, but a female bust of head, neck and breasts, and under the breasts burns a fire. And a Latin verse explains "Not far off, the last nymph raises her shining head, with a virgin's face and features and lovely breasts, but hand-less and foot-less, barely known even by a few. They say that of late the Spaniard Magellan burned with love for her, for he chanced to look once upon her unaware amid the flames that flashed all about her. Then the maiden, suffused with a deep blush, at once veiled her head, and wrapped herself in dusky smoke and the shade of murky darkness. But, so as not rashly to allow herself to be seen a second time, she fixed this remembering flame beneath her breast."*

[* Haud procul hinc nitidum caput exserit ultima Nymphe,
Virginis os vultumque gerens, pectusque venustum;
Trunca manus et trunca pedes, vix cognita paucis.
Hujus amore aiunt Magellum nuper Iberum
Exarsisse, freto dum se commisit ad Austrum,
Et vocitasse suo de nomine MAGELLANAM.
Ille etenim turn forte, micantibus undique flammis,
Ineautam semel adspexit, solemnia festa
Dum parat; Hinc virgo multo suffusa rubore
Extemplo caput occuluit, furvoque seipsam
Involvit fumo et fuscae calignis umbris.
At, ne fors iterutn temere sese illa videndam
Praebeat, hanc fixit memorem sub pectore flammam.]

The love-adventure of Magellan and the bashful virgin was a topic of singular fascination to geographer poets. The Latin verses were reprinted in every new Latin edition of Ortelius; and, when a French edition was published, a new poet retold in French verse the famous old story in a form enriched by further imaginations. Magellan, he says, barely kissed her on the mouth, and did not find out whether her limbs were "black, white, shorn or hairy, but shrewdly did he suspect, from the flames of fire that he saw around her, that he was not welcome. And thus he turned away, without having other glory, bestowing on her his everlasting name."*

[* "Non pas trop loin dela peut on voir le visage

D'une autre Nymphe, encore incognuë et sauvage.
L'on dit, que seulement Magellanus un jour
En sa bouche une fois la baisoit par amour,
Sans taster plus avant ses membres incognuz,
Ignorant s'ilz sont noirs, blancs, tonduz ou veluz.
Mais bien il s'en doutoit, par les flammes de feu,
Qu'a l'entour d'elle il veit, de n'estre bien venu,
Et se retourne ainsi, sans avoir autre gloire,
En luy donnant son nom d'eternelle memoire."]

And yet Ortelius, with these facts in mind, is not afraid to draw with firm hand a great full-length continent, extending all round the world from Tierra del Fuego to New Guinea—about whose insularity he also is uncertain—and from New Guinea to Tierra del Fuego.* And of this huge outline all that had been "discovered" were "two or three straits" in Tierra del Fuego and in New Guinea; the rest remained "unknown" behind the dusky veil of the blushing nymph!

[* See Illustration 27, directly below.]



27. PART OF ORTELIUS'S MAP, 1570
From Nordenskiold's Facsimile Atlas.

There is one other map of this type that I will mention, because it, and the treatise that accompanies the atlas which contains it, have been used as an argument to show that the coast of Australia was visited during this period. It is a map published by Wytfliet in 1597.* It represents a Terra Australis that has very much the same features as are represented in the earlier maps we have noticed. The source of much of the information represented in the map may be partly guessed from the fact that the author is able to draw you a deep creek which pierces the Southern Land to its very heart, and has its origin apparently a few miles away from the South Pole!

[* See Illustration 28, directly below.]

PART OF WYTFLIET'S MAP, 5597. (From Nordenskiold's Facsimile Atlas, p. 534.)



28. PART OF WYTFLIET'S MAP, 1597
From Nordenskiold's Facsimile Atlas, p. 134.

But the argument as to the knowledge of Australia is mainly founded not on the map, but on the following passage in the treatise: "The Australis Terra is the most Southern of all lands. It is separated from New Guinea by a narrow strait. Its shores are hitherto but little known, since, after one voyage and another, that route has been deserted, and seldom is the country visited, unless when sailors are driven there by storms. The Australis Terra begins at two or three degrees from the Equator, and is maintained by some to be of so great an extent, that, if it were thoroughly explored, it would be regarded as a fifth part of the world."

It seems to me that the significance of this passage has been very much exaggerated. It has its origin, in my opinion, not in "a discovery of Australia" (as Mr. Collingridge thinks), but in the voyages through the straits of Magellan, which, so geographers of the school of Mercator contended, had meant the discovery of the Magellanican continent or Terra Australis.

When a cosmographer of the school of Mercator said that Terra Australis had been visited, all he meant was that Tierra del Fuego had been visited, and that the rest of the continent had bashfully veiled herself and had refused to be visited. And, after the disastrous voyages of Magellan and Del Cano, even the visits to Tierra del Fuego has ceased. The route through the straits had been abandoned, and the shy continent was permitted to remain undisturbed behind the veil. That is the meaning of Wytfliet's statement, as I understand it. The "sailors driven to Terra Australia by storms" were, I imagine, the same Sailors as the "Portingals" who, according to Frobisher, "saw popinjays commonly of a marvellous greatness" on the shores of Terra Incognita far Southward of the Cape of Good Hope. Their voyages probably took place to the part of Brazil that is in South America, not to the part of Brazil that, according to Schöner and Finaeus, is in Antarctica.

So far our study both of narratives and of maps has tended to foster, in us the spirit of unbelief. But we now have to study another series of maps of a different type: maps which I regard as the difficulty of our present chapter, and which I have therefore reserved for consideration to the end, in order that we might have in mind what, apart from them, is known about cosmographers and cosmography in the sixteenth century.

These maps are of various dates, ranging from about 1530 to about 1570.* One of them was made in the time of Francis of France for the benefit of his son the Dauphin, afterwards Henry II.; and it seems likely that its date lies between 1530 and 1536. Another, made by Jean Rotz, who dedicated it first to the King of France, and afterwards to the King of England, bears the date 1542.

[* See maps in the following pages (sic) {i.e. The next four maps in this ebook, Illustrations 29, 30, 31 and 32. Ed.}].

All the maps of this type were made by French map-makers; but they furnish conclusive evidence that they were based on a common original, and that the common original was a Portuguese map. They represent Portuguese knowledge or Portuguese speculation as to the contents of the world to the South of Java. It is, therefore, well to compare them with the Portuguese charts by Rodriguez or Reinel which we have already noticed. The charts of Rodriguez and Reinel show knowledge of the North coasts of the islands from Java to Timor, and Rodriguez even seems to show a knowledge also of their South coast but neither chart shows any knowledge of land to the South of these islands.



29. PART OF THE "DAUPHIN" MAP, 1530-1536. (In the British Museum.)

Now the maps which we have to study give the North coast of Java with geographical features, and with names in plenty. The island is square built, and its figure is singularly unlike reality. Detailed information is given of the West coast, which is made almost as long as the North coast. To the East of Java we note, as in the map of Sebastian Cabot, a gulf in which are the two little islands of Bali and Lomboc.



30. PART OF JEAN ROTZ'S CHART, 1542. (In the British Museum.)

On the gulf are written the Portuguese words—which the French copyist has, it seems, been unable to translate—Anda ne barcha:* "no boats go here"; words that remind us of the statement of the Portuguese writer, Barros, that the natives say that "whoever shall proceed beyond these straits will be hurried away by strong currents, so as never to be able to return; and for this reason they never attempt to navigate it." But when we pass Eastward to the island of Sumbava an amazing thing takes place. Sumbava is drawn, not as an island, but as the tip of a gigantic continent stretching far away down to the South. In one of the maps, which is probably the earliest, this continent is called Jave la Grande. It is separated from Java by a narrow channel which is called Rio Grande.

[* Mr. Collingridge first noticed these words, which seem to prove that these maps are French copies of a lost Portuguese original.]

In another map—made by Pierre Desceliers and dated 1550—two men are to be seen with mattocks in hand in the act of digging this river. The outline of the coast of Jave la Grande is broken by bays and capes, rivers and islands, that are drawn with a definiteness and a variety that, if used by a modern map-maker, would suggest a claim to actual knowledge. In the two maps by Jean Rotz the Western coast line ends at 35°. In another, the "Dauphin" map, all detail ends at the same point, whence a straight and nameless line is drawn to the bottom of the paper. But Desceliers' maps of 1546 and 1550 have details and names down to 50°, at which point, the coastline of Jave la Grande joins the coastline of a great Southern continent, like that of Mercator's school, which is called "La Terre Austral nondum tout (!) descouverte," though Desceliers can give you the names of geographic features even on this not wholly discovered continent.

On the Eastern side, one map, by Rotz, makes the coast end at 60°, while the others extend it to the Southern margin. The interior is ornamented with unusual profuseness and variety. In one map we see animals that remind one of those seen by the comrades of Magellan in Patagonia:* "with the head and ears of a mule, the body of a camel, the legs of a stag, and the tail of a horse"; other animals that look rather like cows, and also rather like stags; well-built farms assailed by naked savages, spears in hand. In another map we have two lions, and a feudal castle. In another (Vallard's) we have picturesque snow-clad mountains, a serpent nearly as long as the tree up which it climbs, and animals that look like camels. In another we have the two men, with mattocks digging the "River" between Java and Jave la Grande, while the interior is occupied by illustrated quotations from Marco Polo's descriptions of Java, Pegu, Malacca, Sumatra, the Andaman islands and Ceylon.

[* Mr. Collingridge's suggestion.]

Now it is contended by writers of great learning and ability that these maps prove that the West, North, and East coasts of Australia had been discovered and carefully explored by navigators in the early years of the sixteenth century. They lead Mr. Major to "regard it as highly probable that Australia was discovered by the Portuguese between the years 1511 and 1529, and almost a demonstrable certainty that it was discovered before the year 1542."



31. PART OF DESCELIERS' CHART, 1550. (In the British Museum.)

On the West coast he is able to identify Exmouth Gulf, Shark Bay, and Houtman's Abrolhos; on the East coast he thinks it "by no means improbable" that "Baye Neufve" is Bass's Straits, and that "Gouffre" is Oyster Bay in Tasmania; and it "may be fairly presumed that the islands in the extreme East...represent New Zealand." Mr. Collingridge is still more prepared to go into detail, and to explain every feature of these maps in terms of modern Australian geography. And both Mr. Major and Mr. Collingridge are able to explain all apparent difficulties in a way that, they claim, makes their argument more convincing than ever.

We should begin by recognizing that these authors are right when they remind us that the many and great unlikenesses of Jave la Grande to Australia do not prove that it does not represent real knowledge. If the Portuguese discovered Australia before 1542, and drew a map of it, that map would certainly be unlike Australia in many important respects. And especially we should expect to find big mistakes in regard to Longitude. Seamen in those days were able to find their Latitudes with fair correctness, but the most skilful were, as they confessed, mere guessers when they were calculating Longitude. At a time when cosmographers were making Newfoundland a promontory of Siberia, and Mexico a part of China, there would be no sort of professional discredit in placing Australia far too much to the West. And other remarkable unlikenesses may easily be explained as mistakes, provided the likenesses are sufficient to convince us of identity.



32. VALLARD'S MAP, 1547. (From a Print in the British Museum.)

Nevertheless, I regard the claim that has been advanced on behalf of these maps with suspicion: and mainly for the following reasons.

In the first place, it seems to me exceedingly unlikely that voyages took place during this period that would have enabled cosmographers to draw maps of the Western, Northern, and Eastern coasts of Australia. What we are asked to believe is that between 1512 and 1536 Portuguese and Spanish seamen sailed the whole length of the West coast to Cape Leeuwin, and the whole length of the East coast to Tasmania, and that they surveyed those huge coast lines with the accuracy, if not of a Cook or a Flinders, at least of a Columbus or a Vespucci. Now in our contemporary narratives, written by men who, like Galvano, must have known everything knowable about this matter, there is no record, no hint, of a single voyage of discovery on those coasts. In our contemporary maps, apart from the maps of this type, there is no line that suggests knowledge of them. And everything that we know of the ideas and habits of Portuguese and Spaniards in this period makes it highly improbable that these discoveries would be made. When I think of the enormous difficulties of navigation on these Australian coasts, of the scanty naval equipment of the handful of Portuguese, who, in 1512, had just arrived at the Moluccas, and of the lack of motive for voyages of detailed and scientific survey, I feel that nothing but evidence of the most unanswerable nature would induce me to accept those maps as representing the discovery of Australia.

And, in the second place, while I find it very difficult to believe that these maps represent the results of voyages of ships, I find it very easy to believe that they represent the results of voyages of imagination. We have seen that at this time, owing to various reasons, it was the fashion to fill vacant spaces in the South with continents which were the result not of discoveries but of philosophical speculations. When voyagers reported that they had seen a few miles of land, cosmographers at once declared that this land must be the tip of a continent which centered in the South Pole. Tierra del Fuego was a tip of this continent. New Guinea was either a tip of this same continent, or an island separated from it only by a very narrow strait. And there was no coastline in the world that was more likely to suggest a hinterland of continent than the Northern coastline of Java. When the Portuguese came to Java, they came to an island that had for centuries enjoyed the reputation of being the largest and most magnificent island in the world, an island of from three thousand to seven thousand miles in circuit. And, away to the South of Java, Marco Polo had been understood to say, was "an extensive and rich province that forms a part of the mainland." And Ludovico Varthema had brought home stories of races of men who navigated by the Southern Cross, who lived in a country where the day did not last more than four hours, and where it was colder than in any other part of the world.

We have seen how Mercator interpreted these statements. He found a place on the map for Marco Polo's "extensive and rich province" by adding to his Southern Continent a huge promontory stretching Northwards towards Java. And, he wrote upon it that anyone who has read certain chapters in Polo and Varthema will easily believe that very vast regions here exist. But to people who, like the Portuguese, actually visited Java, it may well have appeared that a better interpretation might be Suggested. The travellers had not only spoken of a continent South of Java; they had also spoken of Java itself as "Java Major," the greatest island in the world! Was it not likely that Java extended far Southward? Was it not possible that, like Tierra del Fuego and perhaps New Guinea, it was a tip of the Austral continent with a centre in the South Pole?*

[* Cf. Linschoten's statement, quoted above, that some Javans thought that Java was "firm land and parcel of the country called Terra Incognita."]

To this it might be objected that some said that Java was a comparatively small island, and had even ventured to draw the vague outline of its Southern coast, while admitting that no ships went there. Well then, let us be reasonable cosmographers, and let us make a compromise. Let us suppose that Java is a comparatively small island. But let us also suppose that immediately to the South of it, separated only by a tiny channel, lies a great continent, which, being virtually a part of Java, we will call Jave la Grande. Perhaps Marco Polo's "Java Major" was Something like this. And perhaps the "extensive and rich province that forms part of the mainland." is really continuous with Java Major, and may connect it with "the Austral Land not yet wholly discovered." Anyway, as no one knows anything whatever about this land, it will offer a fine opportunity to the geographic artist with imagination and artistic skill. And, seeing that it is a country that largely owes its existence on the map to Marco Polo, decorations should mainly be chosen from that traveller's famous book, though hints may wisely be taken also from more recent travel stories.

No doubt an explanation of this sort is a guess, and a guess that may easily be entirely wrong. But, on the whole, I am so impressed by the difficulty of explaining these maps as the product of voyages of discovery, and the easiness of explaining them as the product of the imagination working on scientific theories and Marco Polo narratives, that nothing would induce me to accept Jave la Grande as the equivalent of Australia save resemblances in detail of a very undeniable nature.

Now the resemblances that have been pointed out do not seem to me to be very convincing.*

[* Compare outline of Rotz's map with outline of map of Australia. See Illustration 33.]

(1) The outline of the North coast of Jave la Grande is exceedingly unlike the outline of the North coast of Australia. What does "Sumbava" stand for in terms of Australian geography? Mr. Major apparently thinks that the Portuguese confused it with Arnhem's land, and that the Eastern coast of Sumbava therefore is the Western coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. But, in that case, where is Cape York Peninsula? Mr. Major suggests that Cape York Peninsula may have been "altogether unvisited and ignored." That is to say, Portuguese seamen knew the Western and Southern coasts of the Gulf and they also knew the coast of Queensland South of Halifax Bay; but they had no knowledge of the coast between these separate discoveries, which the map-maker therefore connected by an imaginary line decorated with rivers and capes and names. This theory seems to me to be incredible. If one large part of the coast-line is admitted to be imaginary, the suspicion that the whole line is imaginary becomes irresistible. For, as we shall note in a moment, the contour of the East coast also does not resemble the contour of the East coast of Australia in any remarkable degree. Moreover, if the ship that discovered the East coast did not come by way of Cape York, by what way did it come? Not by the South coast, for no knowledge of a South coast is pretended. Not by the North of New Guinea, for the map shows no adequate knowledge of that island.



33. JEAN ROTZ'S CHART OF 1542, WITH MODERN OUTLINE SUPERIMPOSED.

But Mr. Collingridge has a quite different explanation. He thinks that the Portuguese navigators did visit Cape York, and that they knew all about it. But he thinks that, when they made their maps, their wishes were, firstly, to show that Jave la Grande was on the Portuguese, and not on the Spanish, side of the Pope's line; and secondly, to make the Spaniards believe that there was no practicable ocean-way South of Java. They, therefore, deliberately drew a map which made Sumbava play two parts: the part of the island of Sumbava, and the part of Cape York. In this way they dragged the larger part of the continent Westward into the Portuguese sphere, and at the same time they dragged it so far Northward that there was only a dubious river between it and Java, a river which the two men are either digging out or filling up with their industrious mattocks.

Now, if there were strong resemblances between Jave la Grande and Australia, Mr. Collingridge's ingenious argument would be worthy of careful consideration. It is true that the Portuguese were very jealously on guard against foreigners, and that they were entirely unscrupulous in the falsification of maps, especially when they wished to drag valuable properties on to their side of the Papal line? In 1502, for example, they made a famous map of the Atlantic in which, with this purpose, they placed Newfoundland nearer to Ireland than to America.* If the Portuguese discovered Australia, and considered it valuable property, it is likely enough that their maps would put Australia away to the West.** And if they wished to persuade Spaniards that Java had no South coast, they would have no scruple in dragging Australia North as well as West.

[* Fiske's Discovery of America, vol. ii. p. 21.]

[** It would seem to be a point in favour of this argument that Deslien's map (1566) places Portuguese flags on Jave la Grande (Collingridge's First Discovery, p. 62).]

But my objection to Mr. Collingridge's argument about the North coast is, not that there are important differences in the two outlines, but that there are no important likenesses. Before we consent to the rather audacious suggestion that Sumbava plays the part of Cape York, we must at least ask that the rest of the Northern coast of Jave la Grande be shown to be remarkably like the Northern coast of Australia. But there seems to be no likeness anywhere. If Sumbava is Cape York, where is the Gulf of Carpentaria? There seems no sign of it, unless we are to identify it with the Straits East of Java, which are extremely unlike the Gulf. Nor is there anything to represent the great bulge of Arnhem's Land. In short, the likeness of Cape York to Sumbava is the only likeness in the two North coasts. And, in these circumstances, there seems strong reason to suppose that, when the map-maker drew Sumbava in its proper place, and called it Sumbava, he meant Sumbava and did not mean Cape York.

As for the motive of the Portugese map-maker, it seems to me that if his aim had been to discourage Spanish voyages, he would, like so many others, have drawn an empty Pacific Qcean. The Spaniards knew perfectly well that there was an ocean passage from Java to the Cape, for Ribero's map showed Magellan's Victoria sailing along it. These Portuguese maps would have failed to convince them that that ocean-way had been closed; while, on the other hand, they might have persuaded them of the existence of a great Southern Continent, a large part of which, at any rate, was shown even by the Portuguese to be on the Spanish side of the line. The thought of the Spanish navigator, as he looked at these maps, would be—Let us at once form a colony at Cape de Fremose! But as a matter of fact there seems no evidence either that the Spaniards were acquainted with these maps, or that the Portuguese ever sought to make them acquainted. The probability seems to be that the maps were made for the use of Portuguese seamen, and according to the best Portuguese knowledge.

(2) I find it almost equally difficult to see convincing resemblance in the two East coasts. If we accept Mr. Collingridge's view that the Northern part of this coast is the Northern part of the coast of Queensland, how are we to explain the multitudinous rivers?* What, again, are we to say about the remarkable peninsula which ends in Cape de Fremose? It seems quite unlike anything on the coast of East Australia, and even Mr. Major calls it a "manifest blunder and exaggeration." On the other hand, it seems to be like the most prominent feature on the Eastern coasts of Africa and South America, and makes one wonder whether the map-maker was not guessing that the unknown continent of the South took the shape of the two known continents.

[* Mr. Major points out that "from Cape York all along the coast of Australia to the 22nd or 23rd degree there is not even an indication of a river emptying itself into the sea." He concludes that the coast must be the coast, not of Queensland, but of the Gulf.]

Moreover, the only map that brings this Eastern coast-line to an end—the map by Rotz—makes it end at 60°, immensely further to the South than Tasmania, so far South indeed that one begins to think about the land of which Varthema had heard, where the days were so short and the cold so extreme. In fact, the contour of the Eastern coast of Jave la Grande seems so unlike the contour of the Eastern coast of Australia that it seems useless to go into detail, and to discuss, for example, whether the "Baye des herbaiges" is Botany Bay, or whether the "coste dangereuse" is the coral reef on which the Endeavour was wrecked. But if anyone still inclines to accept this Eastern coast as authentic, I will ask him to read again the account which Cook gives in his journal of the almost insuperable difficulties in the way of a first explorer of the Queensland coast, and then to consider if it is any way credible that Portuguese seamen, in the circumstances of the time, were able to make the continuous discovery of that coast.

(3) The claim that the Western coast of these maps has resemblances to the Western coast of Australia deserves, I think, more serious consideration. I should be greatly astonished if it were proved that Portuguese or Spaniards had knowledge of the Eastern coast of Australia. But I should not be greatly astonished if it were proved that the Portuguese had some slight knowledge of the Western coast. It seems possible, and even probable, that they would hear news from Malay seamen of coasts to the South of Java. And it seems possible, though, I think, not probable, that they might see some part of the Western coast while sailing to or from the Moluccas. I should not, therefore, be surprised to find in a Portuguese map some vague outline, like that, for example, in the Hakluyt map, indicating some vague acquaintance with this coast. I can enter into this West coast argument without the hostile prejudice that I feel in respect to claims of discovery on the East. I should be willingly persuaded to accept the cautious opinion of Flinders that "the direction given to some parts of the coast approaches too near to the truth for the whole to have been marked from conjecture alone."

Now it is certainly curious that while one of these maps, that by Rotz, makes the Western coastline end at 35°—exactly where the Western coastline of Australia ends at Cape Leeuwin—another map (the "Dauphin" map) ceases to give detail at the same point. This looks like knowledge of real geography. But our suspicions begin to wake when we observe that others of these maps—those by Desceliers—prolong the coastline Southward and give a very elaborate survey of the "Baye des Rivieres" in about 43°—that is eight degrees South of Cape Leeuwin—continue to mark rivers at frequent intervals, even after, at about 50°, the coastline of Jave la Grande has joined the coastline of the "Austral land not yet wholly (!) discovered," and, finally draw an "Isle of Giants," with full geographic detail, away to the West of the coast which we are asked to believe is the coast of Australia. If one guesses often enough, it is likely that one guess or other will hit the mark.

The contour of the Western coast does not seem to me to resemble the contour of the coast of West Australia in a convincing degree. It is true that the differences are not sufficiently great to disprove identity. But, as the whole argument depends, in my opinion, on these resemblances, one must demand that they be very convincing indeed. Now the distinguishing features of the Western coast of these maps is the great out-jutting promontory ending in Cape de Grace, that is partly cut out from the mainland by the "Baye Bresill" on the North and the "Hame de Cylla" on the South. There seems to be nothing in the Australian coastline that corresponds to this great out-jutting promontory. If we proceed to identify details, Baye Bresill will be King Sound, Cape de Grace will be North-West Cape, Hame de Cylla will be Swan River. It seems to me that the mutual relations of the three places on the Portuguese map do not show the remarkable similarity to the mutual relations of the three places on the modern map that the argument demands.

When we look at the geographical features of the coastline separately it is easy to see certain resemblances in detail. The estuary of the Rio Grande looks rather like Queen Channel or Cambridge Gulf. The coastline from Rio Grande to the Baye de Bresill looks rather like the coastline from Cambridge Gulf to King's Sound. The Baye de Bresill is nearly in the same Latitude as King's Sound. One is tempted to guess that flame de Cylla may be Swan River, and to find Houtman's Abrolhos in the streak of shoals that appears in the Portuguese map in the same Latitude. And yet, in spite of these similarities in detail, my mind remains clouded by a doubt. These map-makers knew too much. If they had been contented to tell me that they were acquainted with King's Sound and Houtman's Abrolhos, I should probably have believed them. But When they go on to say that they are equally well acquainted with a "Bay of Rivers" eight degrees South of Cape Leeuwin, with an "Isle of Giants" off the West coast of Australia, and with the harbours of Tasmania and New Zealand, I begin to think once more that we are studying these maps in the wrong spirit. In order to do justice to their merit, we should regard them not as prosaic records of historical facts, but as brilliant geographical romances, though the brilliant geographic imagination may possibly have had a fact or two to work upon. Let us crown their art with laurel; but let us not do them the injustice of saying that their story is true.*

[* These French-Portuguese maps apparently had no influence on geographic conceptions and plans. The first geographer, so far as I know, who identified Jave la Grande with Australia, was Dalrymple; and he did so, in 1786, with malicious intention to discredit Cook. See Major's Early Voyages.]


CHAPTER VII. THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOLOMONS

AUTHORITY:


One main ground of my unbelief in respect to the discovery of the Eastern coast of Australia before 1542 has been the great improbability that voyages had been made in this direction. It seems incredible that Portuguese ships would reach the Eastern coast either by way of Torres Straits or round the North of New Guinea. The Dutch never once saw that coast in the whole course of explorations which extended over a century and a half. And it seems just as incredible that the Spaniards would discover it by sailing from Mexico to the Moluccas, or from the Moluccas to Mexico.

We now, however, have to follow the story of a voyage that might, had it seemed good to the gods, have ended in the discovery of the Eastern coast, about two hundred years before that coast actually was discovered by Cook.

It is a story of Spanish chivalry, and it starts from Peru. Hitherto Spanish enterprise in the Pacific had Started from the Western ports of the prosperous state which Cortes had founded in Mexico; and its direction had consequently been Northward of the Equator on a line making as straight as possible for the Moluccas or the Philippines. Peru, meanwhile, had been torn to pieces by incessant and savage civil wars—the series of "blood-and-thunder tragedies," as Mr. Fiske aptly calls them—which followed the conquests and the crimes of the Pizarros. At last these things came to an end, and the Peruvian viceroys were able to consider proposals for further enterprise towards the unknown West.

We remember that at this time a very influential school of cosmographers was persuading the world that this unknown West was mainly occupied by great promontories of the "Austral" or "Magellanican" continent, which stretched Northward till it touched, or all but touched, New Guinea. It was natural to suppose that large parts of this continent would be full of all manner of riches as indeed Marco Polo had declared was the case. There was one sort of riches in particular which the successors of Cortes and Pizarro expected to find everywhere. "It was an age of gold," writes Lord Amherst, "and, to the Spaniard, the whole unknown world was yellow."* They believed in an "Eldorado" in the East, in the valleys of the Orinoco and the Amazon, whither Peruvian Incas had escaped with much gold. And they believed also in an Eldorado in the West, to which the Incas had voyaged and whence they had got much gold. And this Eldorado of the West must obviously be situated somewhere in the Magellanican continent which Mercator had drawn on his map.

[* The Voyage of Mendaña to the Solomon Islands, p. iv.]

This was the fervent belief especially of a famous Spanish knight, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, who had gone to Peru in 1557. He was a representative Spanish "Conqueror," "instrument of perhaps the foulest judicial murder in the whole of the Spanish annals," and as brave as he was cruel. He was also a man of independence of character and of mind; for he got into trouble with the Inquisition, and was accused of knowing a magic ink which no woman could resist, and of using magical rings in navigating; for which crimes he was sentenced to hear Mass in the Cathedral, stripped to the bare skin. He was, moreover, a reader of books, and had studied ancient Peruvian history. From this he gathered that a certain Inca had once made a voyage to the West, had discovered two islands,* and had brought back much gold and silver. The inevitable conclusion of the student of Mercator was that these islands were off the coast of the Magellanican continent.

[* Markham suggests these were the Galapagos Islands (Sarmiento, p. xiii).]

Sarmiento urged the Viceroy, de Castro, to send him in command of an expedition to search for these islands. His urgency was increased by the fact that he was threatened with a prosecution for divination before the Inquisition. In 1567 the Viceroy consented to send an expedition; but he gave the command to his own nephew Mendaña. Mendaña, at this time a young man of about twenty-five, was a Spaniard of the nobler type humane, self-controlled, courteous and tactful, yet firm, when firmness was necessary. His nature was sincerely and fervently religious, and he thought of the adventure as of a mission for the salvation of the natives of the unknown continent. The "Pilot" was a famous seaman named Gallego, a firm believer in the physical theory that a great Southern continent must of necessity exist. Sarmiento, who sailed as "Captain" of the ship, claimed that it was the duty of the Pilot to consult him as "Cosmographer." But the claim was ignored; and it seems pretty clear that, though the expedition was mainly due to his urgency, he was given only a subordinate part in its conduct. It was inevitable, in such circumstances, that he should give much trouble to those placed in command.

All the most conspicuous leaders—including Mendaña, Gallego, and Sarmiento—wrote narratives of the voyage, which are full, detailed and generally trustworthy. The trouble is that the writers held different views, and regarded one another with hot anger; and the historian finds the work of arbitration difficult.

They sailed from Callao, the port of Lima, on November 19th, 1567. They had two ships, of 250 and 107 tons. On board were one hundred and fifty men—sailors, soldiers, miners and four Franciscan Friars. Their instructions were to sail "for the discovery of certain islands, and of a terra firma" (i.e. continent), and to form a settlement. A new province was to be added to the Empire of Christ and of Spain.

Callao is in about 12° S. Lat., and had they sailed due West, and sailed far enough, they would have hit the East coast of Australia near Cape York. Sarmiento's advice was that they should sail W.S.W. to 23°, and thence apparently set a Westward course, that would have brought them to Rockhampton in Queenslang. He declared that it had been intended that Mendaña should direct the navigation on the advice of a council consisting of the Pilots and himself as Cosmographer. On the other hand Gallego claimed that the direction of navigation belonged to him as "Pilot"; and, to the hot indignation of Sarmiento, Mendaña acted by the advice, not of the Cosmographer, but of the Pilot. Now Gallego had been told that the "rich islands" were in 15° S. Lat., six hundred leagues from Peru. He steered South-West, and sailed down to 15¾°. S. Lat. Then, in spite of fierce protest from Sarmiento, he refused to sail further on this track, and turned due West, thus "missing the discovery," writes Sarmiento. Westward he sailed "620 leagues, rather more than less"—so things seemed to him—and then, seeing no sign of land, he steered West quarter-North, and thereby lost his chance of discovering the Eastern coast of Australia. Had he continued on the Westward course he would have arrived at Cooktown two hundred years before Cook.

Still the days passed. No land was seen nor sign of land, and the pilots told Gallego that he was the only one whose zeal had not flagged. He told them "that they need not be disheartened, for that, with the favour of God, they should see land by the end of January, whereupon they all held their peace and said nothing." Apparently he was aiming at New Guinea. On the 15th of January they passed an island in the Ellice Group, which they named the ISland of Jesus. But Gallego feared the "great currents," and would not allow his weary and angry men to land, assuring them it was a tiny island, and that he would "give them more land than they could people." On the 7th of February, eighty days after leaving Callao, Gallego ordered a Sailor to "climb to the main-top and look towards the South for land," for he thought he saw something very high. The sailor reported land, and soon it was visible to all, and "everybody received the news with great joy and gratitude for the Grace that God had vouchsafed to us, through the intercession of the Virgin of Good Fortune, the Glorious Mother of God, whom we all worshipped, and whom we all praised, singing the 'Te Deum Laudamus.'"

"The land," writes Mendaña, "was so large and high, that we thought it must be a continent."* At ten o'clock in the morning they observed "a resplendent star"—"a real star, though it was broad day"—and, "firmly persuaded that our Lord favoured us, through the intercession of His Divine Mother and the three Magi," who had "sent the star to show us the passage," they named the harbour "Bahia de la Estrella." They landed, and erected a cross; the Franciscans chanted "the hymn Vexilla Regis prodeunt"; and they took possession of the "continent" for Christ and for Spain.

[* "The same island, which we believed to be a continent" (Gallego, p. 17).]

Mendaña called the island Santa Ysabel, "because we had sailed from the kingdom of Peru upon the feast of Santa Ysabel, and also because she had been our patroness throughout the voyage." At a spot that can still be exactly identified—a photograph of it is given in the admirable modern edition of these narratives—they built a brigantine for the exploration of the islands; for islands they were, though no doubt very near to the mighty continent that they sought. In this brigantine they crept along the island coasts, by routes which can be exactly traced on the modern map, and saw scenes which the modern photographer can exactly pourtray. "They brought back to Peru an account of their discoveries so accurate and detailed that it is possible 333 years afterwards to identify every harbour and islet and creek."

They found no continent, but everywhere they saw more land. "To the West," says Sarmiento, "there is an archipelago of innumerable islands, and towards the South one sees a great stretch of land"—it was New Georgia. "The natives," says Gallego, "pointed to the South East, and said there lay much land, and we saw it, but not having any time we did not go back to look at it." Some of the Spaniards sailing the long coast of the island Guadalcanal, and seeing no end of it, seem to have thought it "part of that continent which stretcheth to the Straits of Magellan,"* while others imagined it was part of New Guinea.** If the men in the brigantine had not discovered a "continent," they had at least discovered "an extent of land that seemed to have no limit."***

[* Lopez Vaz in Hakluyt.]

[** Arias, p. 17.]

[*** "All the extent of land which seemed to have no limit, lay to the West and South-East" (Gallego, p. 61).]

Everywhere natives were met, and earnest endeavours were made at once to get food from them, and "to lead them as labourers into the vineyard of our Lord." Sarmiento was sent at head of a party of men to explore the island of Ysabel, and he reached a point which has never been reached even in our own time. The instructions of the Franciscans, strongly backed by Mendaña, were that he should treat the natives with humanity, and should lead them with tenderness into the way of salvation. It would have been a task impossible to a missionary far more fervent than Sarmiento. The natives, then as now, were head-hunting cannibals, and incurably treacherous. If they were friendly, they would offer you the quarter of a boy with some taru roots; and if, after burying the boy, you accepted their friendship, in a few minutes they would be cutting you into pieces and sucking your brains. Sarmiento met barbarism by Spanish cruelty, and even the humane Mendaña was forced to sanction the use of arms.

As a Franciscan mission the enterprise was a failure. But there remained the question of gold. The soldiers, seeing everything yellow, noted the heavy iron-stone clubs of the natives, and insisted that they were heavy by weight of gold; and they refused to give up the pleasant belief even when the clubs were broken in pieces, and no gold was to be seen. The leaders themselves were inclined to be hopeful, though some doubted. Sarmiento, the optimist, says that he actually "saw a mineral containing gold." The miners reported that there was gold in the soil, but they could not get it owing to the hostility of the natives. Mendaña says that the natives talked much of gold and pearls, but none were actually handled; also of cloves, ginger and nutmegs, but "they brought only a little ginger."



34. MAP OF THE SOLOMONS AND NEW GUINEA (HERRERA, 1601)
(From Nordenskiold's Periplus.)

For six months the Spaniards sailed among the islands. Then, on the 7th of August, a "Parliament" was held. Fifty-eight men were present, and they were invited to express opinions as to three alternative proposals. Should they make a settlement? Should they explore further? Or, should they sail for home?

Mendaña's instructions had been to make a settlement in a good land; and the soldiers, looking at the golden war-clubs, said that the land was good enough for them. Sarmiento was of the same mind, and was indignant when Mendaña once more would not follow his advice.

The Friars wished that they should Sail Westward, thinking perhaps of mission work in New Guinea or the Philippines. But the Pilots reported that the ships were worm-eaten and worn out, and that it was necessary to sail for home at once. The majority accepted this view, and so did Mendaña. The plan of a settlement in the Solomons was abandoned; and thereby, likely enough, the discovery of the East coast of Australia was postponed for two hundred years.



35. ORTELIUS'S MAP OF 1587
(From a copy in the British Museum.) Note addition of the Solomon Islands to the earlier Map.

On the 11th of August, 1568, they sailed, not for Peru, but for Mexico. Sarmiento once more protested. He urged that they should sail for Peru on a South-East course, and on the way make a search for the continent and islands, which they had missed on their outward voyage, and which would be found "opposite Chili." Mendaña also seems to have wished to take this course. But the Pilots declared that adverse winds made it impossible; a professional opinion that was afterwards severely criticised by Quiros, who declares that the winds on the South are as favourable as those on the North.

They sailed, then, for Mexico on a North-East course. They passed the Marshall Group, where they found a chisel made from an iron nail, a curious relic of some untold story of Spanish shipwreck. They met with tremendous storms, and were in the extremity of suffering and peril, for their ships were built for the easy sailing of the Peruvian coast. The men talked of mutiny, and of sailing for the Philippines; and Mendaña with difficulty dissuaded them from a plan which, at that season of the year, meant inevitable disaster. At length, on December 19th, after a voyage of four months, they saw the coast of California. In a Mexican harbour they were amazed to find that their arrival caused dismay, "for it had not been certified that we were not Lutherans"—a strange saying, which was explained when, in another harbour, the people fled away believing that they were "the strange Scottish people" who, under John Hawkins, had troubled them two years before. Finally, in July 1569, they returned to Callao, all that were left of them, one hundred of the one hundred and fifty who had sailed.

In Spain the voyage was regarded as a failure. The official report declared that the islands, that had been discovered, were of "little importance. They found no specimens of spices, nor of gold and silver, nor of merchandise, nor of any other source of profit, and all the people were naked savages." The discovery, however, did not seem wholly without value. "The advantages that might be derived from exploring these islands would be to make slaves of the people, and to found a settlement in some part of one of them, where provisions could be collected for the discovery of the mainland, where it is reported there is gold and silver and people clothed." The islands, that is, might be useful as a base for voyages in search of the continent that must be near at hand. There was still a chance that Spaniards might discover Eastern Australia.

And yet, in spite of the official Statement that there was no evidence of gold in the newly discovered islands, they somehow got identified with the land of Ophir, the land of fabulous richness, whence the ships of Solomon had brought gold to Jerusalem. "The discoverers," says Lopez Vaz, who wrote twenty years later, "named them Solomon, to the end that Spaniards, supposing them to be those isles whence Solomon fetched gold to adorn the Temple at Jerusalem, might be more desirous to go and inherit the same." But, in their original narratives, the discoverers did not name them Solomon, and made no suggestion that they were the Land of Ophir. Sarmiento, who wrote later than the others, was the only discoverer who used the name; and he used it only in the title of his book:—"The Western Islands in the South Ocean, commonly called the Isles of Solomon." Our modern editor finds the explanation in the tavern-talk of the soldiers about the golden war-clubs of the natives, and about the soil that showed colour when you scratched it. In twenty years the story had grown that the Spaniards had brought back with them forty thousand pesos of gold—beside "great store of cloves and ginger"—from a land from which they had, in fact, brought back not a Single ounce.


CHAPTER VIII. THE VOYAGE OF 1595

AUTHORITIES:


Mendaña had handled no gold in the Solomons. But he had seen lands that were large and rich, and doubtless close to "the mainland, where it is reported there is gold and silver and people clothed." There seemed good chance of reigning over a second Peru. In 1574 he obtained a Royal Decree giving him authority to make a permanent colony, which he and his family should rule for two generations. Such decrees, were obtained at Madrid with some ease. But they were not always obeyed in Peru. The new Viceroy was an enemy to Mendaña and his enterprise. In 1577 he was arrested, and we have no news of him for the next eighteen years.

It seems likely that personal disfavour was not the only reason. During those eighteen years things were happening in the Pacific that had great influence on Spanish minds. When Mendaña had reached Mexico in March 1569 his ships had been mistaken for those of "the strange Scottish people" who, under Sir John Hawkins, had "troubled them two years before." Why men of Devon were turned by Spanish imagination into "strange Scottish folk" we know not. But those who have read the story of the exploits of Hawkins and his men at S. John de. Ulua will understand the strength of Spanish fears that the South Sea, as well as the North Sea, was to be the prey of strange seamen.

The fear was well-founded; but the leader was to be, not John Hawkins, but Francis Drake. It was in 1572 that Drake, Eternal English Boy, climbed the "goodly and great tree," whence he could "see at once the two seas, which he had so longed for"; and, having "seen that sea of which he had heard such golden reports, he besought Almighty God of His goodness to give him life and leave to sail once in an English ship on that sea." And in 1578, "his mind pricked on continually night and day to perform his vow," he pierced once more the long-abandoned strait which Magellan had discovered fifty years before. At the Western end "God by a contrary wind and intolerable tempest seemed to set Himself against us." The ships were seized by a North-West storm, the like of which "no traveller hath felt, neither hath there ever been seen such a tempest, that any records make mention of, so vigilant and of such continuance, since Noah's flood, for it lasted from September 7th to October 28th, full 52 days." On second thought, God's intention was not "to set Himself against us," but to force us to make a highly important geographical discovery—to bring us to "the uttermost part of the land towards the South Pole." They discovered that the Mercatorian maps were wrong; that Tierra del Fuego was not part of a great South Continent, but the head of a group of islands, ending in a Cape where "the Atlantic Ocean and the South Sea meet in a most large and free scope." Chaplain Fletcher drew a map of the islands, and wrote across them, with evident criticism of Mercator's phrase, "Terra Australis, nunc bene cognita." Drake showed his joy in characteristic boyish way; "seeking out the most Southerly part of the island, he cast himself down upon the uttermost point grovelling, and so reached his body over it." Then he told his people "that he had been upon the Southernmost known land in the world, and yet further to the Southward upon it than any of them, yea, or any man as yet known."

He had, in short, made the maps of Mercator and Ortelius wholly out of date. He had proved that there was good Ocean way round what his chaplain calls Elizabeth's Island. The Spaniards did not like the news, and Ortelius, their map-maker, in his new edition of 1587, again drew Tierra del Fuego as tip of a great Southern Continent blocking all ways, save the Straits of Magellan, to the Pacific. But the English map, published by Hakluyt in 1598, removed all land South of Queen's Island. Dutch maps also showed open way South of Tierra del Fuego, and in 1616 Dutch seamen proved the correctness of Drake's interpretation, by sailing round the island. Unhappily they named "the Southernmost known land in the World," over which he had grovelled, not Cape Drake, but Cape Horn.

Then Drake sailed North up the coast of Peru, and in the harbour of Valparaiso he met the very ship in which, twelve years before, Don Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa had sailed in the expedition which had discovered the Solomons. The Spaniards fetched a bottle of wine to entertain their supposed friends, and beat welcome with their drums. But soon Tom Moone, carpenter, was over the side laying about him, and shouting "Abaxo perro"—"Below, dog." Northwards the English sailed, sacking towns, plundering churches, rifling the richest treasure-ships, with the good-humoured insolence of God's servants whom "His Majesty is pleased to refresh." Drake's plan had been to return by way of some passage to be discovered in the North. But, baffled by cold and "most vile, thick and stinking fogs," he sheltered in a bay of California, took possession of the land by the name of "New Albion," and then, helped by captured Spanish Pilots and Charts, set sail in the Spanish route for the Philippines.

Sixty-eight days he sailed without sight of land, touched at the Pelew Group, and so came to the Philippines, and then to the Moluccas. Here, so at least Englishmen declared, he made a treaty with the King of Ternate which gave England a monopoly of the spice trade. And, golden as were the spoils of Spanish America, still more golden seemed the hopes of the Eastern World of Spices.

"Whether," writes Mr. Corbet, "this treaty was actually concluded is not stated, but this visit was aftenvards regarded as the great result of Drake's voyage. It was a picture of his reception at Ternate that the Queen had engraved on the cup she gave him in honour of his achievement, and the alleged treaty became a sheet-anchor of our Eastern diplomacy for nearly a century afterwards. "Thence Drake groped his way among the islands to Java, where he put in "at some port on the South coast"—a fact curious to those who have noted the apparent ignorance, at this time, of the South coast,*—and "found great courtesy," for four of the five kings who governed the island were "a-shipboard at once." Thence he sailed home by the Portugal route round the Cape, having touched with bare point the Spanish shield, and challenged to mortal combat for the Pacific.

[* The map of Hondius, however, which marks his track, shows his port on the South coast (Hakluyt, vol. ii. p. 336).]

In 1586 Thomas Cavendish sailed in the same track, and on the same business. Off the Cape of St. Lucar, on the West side of the point of California, he caught "the Admiral of the South Sea, called the Sta. Anna, and, after a valiant fight with the whole noise of trumpets," he forced the Spaniards to "parl for mercy, desiring our General to save their lives and to take their goods. So the General of his great mercy and humanity promised their lives, and good usage." And he took 122,000 pesos of gold, and the rest of the riches that the ship was laden with, silks, satins, damasks, with musks, and divers other merchandise; good samples of the great Asiatic trade of Spain. And he also took men born in Japan and in the Philippines, a Portugal skilled in the navigation of China and Japan, and a Spaniard who was a very good pilot for the trade route to the Philippines. And with their help he sailed to these islands, where he met with good reception. He Summoned the chiefs of one island to appear before him, and "made himself and his company known unto them, that they were Englishmen and enemies of the Spaniards; and thereupon spread his ensign and sounded up the drums, which they much marvelled at; to conclude, they promised both themselves and all the islands thereabouts to aid him, whenever he should come again to overcome the Spaniards."

At Manila he sent a message to the Spanish captain, willing him to provide good store of gold for which he would call with a bigger boat within a few years. His narrative exalts the reputation of these lands of spices. "The stateliness and richness of which country I fear to make report of, lest I should not be credited; for, if I had not known sufficiently the incomparable wealth of that country, I should have been as incredulous thereof as others will be that have not had the like experiences." Thence he sailed along the islands of the Moluccos, well entreated by the heathen people, confident that "our countrymen may have trade as freely as the Portugals, if they will themselves." In Java he came to anchor "under the South-West part,"* and here he met friendly Portugals buying "negroes, cloves, pepper, sugar and many other commodities." They were supporters of Don Antonio, the Prince who, with Elizabeth's assistance, was still fighting in favour of Portuguese independence against the Spanish conquest; and they declared that if King Don Antonio would come with them, they would warrant him to have all the Moluccos, besides China and the Philippines. Then the English sailed "that great and vast sea between the isle of Java, and the main of Africa," using Portuguese sea-charts and finding that they over-estimated the route. Nearing home they met a Flemish hulk which "came from Lisbon, and declared unto us the overthrow of the Spanish fleet, to the singular rejoicings and comfort of us all."

[* See map by Hondius in Hakluyt, vol. ii. p. 336.]

And Cavendish hoped that his own voyage would lead to the gathering of the richest fruits of victory. "As it hath pleased God to give her Majesty the victory over part of her enemies, so I trust ere long to see her overthrow them all. For the places of their wealth, whereby they have maintained or made their wars are now perfectly discovered; and, if it please her Majesty, with a very small power she may take the spoil of them all. I have either discovered, or brought certain intelligence of, all the rich places of the world that ever were known or discovered by a Christian."

These things were known to the Spaniards of Peru who listened to Mendaña's petition that he should be sent to found a colony in the Solomons. Drake and Cavendish had changed the point of view. "When," says a contemporary, "they thought to send colonies unto these islands, Captain Drake entered the South Sea, whereupon commandment was given that they should not be inhabited, that the English or others who pass the Straits of Magellan to go to the Moluccas might have no succour there but such as they got of the Indians."*

[* Lopez Vaz in Hakluyt.]

But Mendaña did not despair. He still held the Royal Decree. He still hoped to reign over a second Peru, which should be truly a Kingdom of Christ. The stories of Solomon's gold grew ever more splendid. The best men and the worst men were eager to go. And at last, in 1595, twenty-eight years after the first voyage, Mendaña was despatched by a friendly Viceroy, Mendoza, Marquis of Cañete.

But the interesting person in this Story is the man whom Mendaña now "persuaded and induced" to sail with him as Chief Pilot. Pedro Fernandez de Quiros was born in 1565. He was by birth a Portuguese; but when in 1580 Philip II. of Spain made himself King also of Portugal, Quiros became a Spanish subject, and his life was spent in the service of the Spanish King. We have no knowledge of his early years; but his reputation proves that he spent them on the sea, and that he acquired the kkill of a first-rate "Pilot," that is, one whose profession it was to know all that was known about the various sciences necessary for the navigation of the Ocean. In 1595, at the age of thirty, he was in Peru, and Mendaña persuaded him—"throwing his arm round his neck"—to act as Chief Pilot.

The narratives both of the expedition of 1595, in which Quiros sailed as Chief Pilot, and of the later expedition of 1606, in which he held the command, profess to have been written by Quiros himself. There is evidence that he was helped in the writing by one who accompanied him on the voyage of 1606 as "Secretary," Luis de Belmonte Bermudez. Bermudez afterwards became a poet of some fame, and there are passages in the narratives that are evidently written not by the seaman but by the poet. In the narrative of the later voyage we hear, sometimes Very distinctly, two voices, that of the leader and that of the intimate friend at once sympathetic and critical. But the substance of the narrative expressed the mind of Quiros himself. And, though he made free use of the literary gift of his young friend, he adopted the whole narrative as his own, and read parts of it to an influential minister of the Spanish Court as his own official report.

They sailed from Callao on the 9th of April, 1595. There were four ships: the Capitana, or Captain's ship, San Jeronimo, in which sailed Mendaña and Quiros; the Almirante, or Admiral's ship—for Admiral was then the title of the Second in command—named Santa Isabel, under Admiral Lope de Vega; a "galeot," and a frigate. In all there sailed three hundred and seventy-eight persons, of whom two hundred and eighty were able to bear arms. As a permanent colony was to be founded, "a good company of married people" were taken; and, says Quiros, "scarcely a day passes without someone wishing to be married next day. It seemed as if all would run in couples." There were high hopes and good stories, but "none for the good of the natives." For the expedition was ruined ere it started. The ideal was noble, but the instruments were unworthy. Mendaña was humane and devout. Quiros was aflame with passionate missionary fervour. But their men were Spaniards of the low type—greedy, cruel, brutal. "They behave like Corsairs," said Quiros, before the ship had left Spanish waters. They were sailing to King Solomon's mines, and their only thoughts were of "gold, silver and pearls." Mendaña from the first feared desertion. He told Quiros to make charts for the navigation. He was to show the coast of Peru, and six thousand miles to the West of Lima. The Solomons he said, were at the furthest five thousand eight hundred miles away. Two hundred more miles might be allowed as margin, but "no more land was to be delineated lest some ship steer to or desert to it."

On the 21st of July they came to certain islands. Mendaña—so vague was the reckoning of longitudes—was joyfully confident that he had already reached the Solomons. He was in fact little more than half way. Finding that the islands were "a new discovery," he called them after the friendly Viceroy, Las Marquesas de Mendoza. To-day we think of the Marquesas chiefly by reason of R. L. Stevenson's sad stories of the miseries of their people.* Quiros received a very different impression. There was "much reason," he wrote, "to praise God who created them." He tells of women "prettier than the ladies of Lima, who are famed for beauty," and of a boy "with countenance like that of an angel, I never in my life felt such pain as when I thought that so fair a creature should be left to go to perdition."

[* In the South Seas, ch. 5.]

The Mass was said, and the natives were taught to make the sign of the cross, and to say "Jesus Mary" and the rest. They did so "with great amusement" and thorough good will. But they were "great thieves," and the soldiers began to shoot them. One, who had wantonly shot down a man and child together, explained that he had done so lest "he should lose his reputation as a good marksman." Quiros asked how it would serve him to enter into Hell with the fame of being a good shot! A friend of Quiros pointed his gun at the natives. Quiros took the gun out of his hands, and "asked him what he was going to do with so much diligence?" "He replied that his diligence was to kill because he liked to kill." "It is a foul and sinful thing," said Quiros, "to murder a body which contains a soul."

The Marquesas were not the Solomons, and the ships sailed on. The soldiers grew mutinous as Mendaña's promise that land would be soon sighted remained unfulfilled. They began to "form both public and private assemblies, to murmur and to talk." They had already sailed beyond the distances given by Mendaña, and the sailors knew it, and blamed the innocent Pilot as well as the Adelantado (Governor). "The Isles of Solomon," said some, "had fled away, or the Adelantado had forgotten where they were! To call himself a Marquis, and to advance his relatives, he had taken them, with four hundred pounds of biscuits, to perish, to go to the bottom, and to fish there for the wonderful pearls! We shall go on to Great Tartary! No one knows where we are!" And Quiros knew that they were right. A prodigious mistake had been made by Mendaña and Gallego in their calculations. The Solomons were, in fact, two thousand miles further away from Callao than they had thought.* It would not be right, Quiros explains, to blame a Pilot of the high character and great skill of Gallego. Such mistakes are inevitable. "Longitude is not fixed except by such estimation as each one may make, and in this there may be very great error."**

[* "The discoverers themselves estimated the distance at seventeen hundred leagues (six thousand eight hundred miles) which is nearly two thousand miles short of the actual distance." Discovery of the Solomons, ed. Amherst, p. lxxii.]

[** Amherst (p. lxxii) quotes Pigafetta's statement:—"Pilots now-a-days are satisfied with knowing the latitude, and are so presumptuous that they refuse to hear the mention of longitude."]

At length, on the 7th of September, they saw a lovely island. That same night the Almirante, under the Admiral Lope de Vega, vanished, and was never seen again. Quiros writes of the event in the manner of one who could say more than he thinks it wise to say. "I make no favourable conjecture," he writes. Mendaña suspected that de Vega had deserted him. "All saw that his thoughts were bitter; he was always apprehensive of the loss of this ship, for many reasons which might be given."*

[* It seems probable that the Almirante sank during the foggy night. It seems unlikely that she deserted, for she was very short both of water and of fuel. The Admiral had complained that only nine jars of water were left for 180 persons, and that it had been found necessary to burn boxes and the upper work of the ship." He told the General of his necessities, and begged that they would not part company, and with this promise they were rejoiced...The Admiral showed much despondency, saying that the defects of his ship were numerous, but that he was determined to die with his people, because for that he was come." It is, however, curious that Mendaña, knowing these facts, thought that the Admiral had deserted him.]

Once more Mendaña thought he had rediscovered the Solomons. He addressed the islanders in the language he had learnt thirty years before; but they could not understand him. Though Quiros calculated they had already sailed sixteen hundred miles past the place where the Solomons were said to be, those islands were in fact still some distance away to the West. But the island they had come to, though not one of the Solomons, seemed as good a place as they were likely to find. "The land was like Andalusia, and for a settlement the place was as good as agreeable." They called the island Santa Cruz; and it seemed, for a moment, as if "the spirit and valour of Spaniards, which could do all, would overcome all difficulties, for God and King."

But still "the devil was able to work so well with some that they kept in mind the delights of Lima." Complaints arose, and "they began to lose love and loyalty." These, they said, were not the islands the Adelantado had spoken of! "We did not come here to sow; for that purpose there is plenty of land in Peru; that is not the way to follow the service of God and King." "People would only come to take gold, silver, and pearls, and these are not here!" Quiros tried to chaff them. "They ought to know how to find cities, vineyards and gardens; to enter a house ready furnished with the table spread, and to make their owners give up their property and go into servitude; or they should know how to find mountains, valleys, and plains of emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, ready to be loaded and taken away." All the provinces in the world had their beginnings; Seville, Rome, and Venice were once forests or bare plains. When the New World was first discovered, there appeared to be only "a few very small islands of little or no value." It is the glory of the first workers that they "make the beginnings."

Quiros argued victoriously, but in vain. The Spaniards were determined to be gone. They murdered the natives, in order to induce them to make war, and so compel us to leave the island. At length they murdered the Chief, who had been our faithful friend. Quiros protested at great length. To abandon the enterprise would show us enemies to God and to the King; "For the work we came to was for the honour of God and the salvation of souls, to rescue from the Devil those whom he looks upon as so secure." But the mutineers went back to their old song, that they wanted to go to Manila. They threatened to kill Quiros for his sermons; and asked what they should drink in his skull! Quiros replied that all he had put before them was in the service of God and the King, and he would sustain it to the death! A friend advised him to "hold his tongue, for, if not, he would be killed, or left alone on the island."

At last this tragedy of "the island where Solomon was wanting" came to an end. Mendaña caused the leader of the mutiny to be stabbed. Then Mendaña himself died, and many others, among them the "Vicar." Only fifteen soldiers remained in health, and they were lads. Ten determined natives could have killed us all. And the cause of disaster was also evident. An exploit of Christian Chivalry had been committed to the hands of a gang of scoundrels;—men, said the dying Vicar, "who have not confessed for three, five, seven, nine, fourteen, and thirty years, and one who has confessed once in his life." Some of them were murderers. One did not know whether he was a Christian or a Moor. The disaster, said the Vicar, was God's punishment of sin. The mission was abandoned; and the island was "left in the claws of him who held it before, until God permits others to come forward more desirous of the welfare of those lost ones, that with a finger they may show the way to that Salvation for which they were created."

Mendaña was succeeded in command by his widow, who was given the title of "Governess." She determined to seek San Christobal, one of the Solomons, their original object, "to see if the Almirante was there, and to do what might be best for the service of God and His Majesty." If they failed to find San Christobal, "her determination was to go to the city of Manila, to engage priests and people, and return to complete that discovery." They sailed, then, on the 10th of November in search of San Christobal. Forty-seven had died in one month, and the survivors cursed the island they were leaving as "a corner of Hell." They failed to find San Christobal, and they failed to find the Almirante. Then they sailed for Manila, avoiding the coast of New Guinea; though, said Quiros, but for the wretched state of the ships, I should have given orders to sail along that land, and find out what it was. They suffered terrible distress. The ships were rotten. The frigate disappeared one night, and was never more seen. There was little food, and the little was bad. The water was full of powdered cockroaches. Men prayed, like Dives in Hell, for a Single drop of water. The "Governess" refused to allow men to share in her private stores of wine and oil, and used precious water to wash her clothes. "You wash your clothes," said Quiros, "with their life." The "Salve" was recited every afternoon, our only consolation. Scarcely a day passed without the throwing of one or two corpses overboard. In a beautiful passage Quiros tells of the Christian heroism of one Juan Leal, "servant of God," in nursing the sick. He also died and "went to his reward in heaven."

They passed various islands, and came to the Ladrones; and "navigating only by information, and without a chart," Quiros groped for the Philippines. Some said "We shall soon hear Mass, and seek God! There is no longer danger of death without confessing, for that is a land where Christians dwell." But there were more dangers of shipwreck, and once the "Governess" made arrangements for a pious death, holding the book of devotion in her hand, and turning her eyes to Heaven. At last they came to Manila, in February 1596. A native came on board whom the English navigator Thomas Cavendish had taken with him to point out channels among the islands. The people of Manila, seeing the ship, fled away; because, as this was not the time when the ships arrive from New Spain, they thought the ship was English. For they remembered the ship of Thomas Cavendish, and the warning of the Governor to act thus. At last a boat approached with four Spaniards, who seemed to the weary navigator "like four thousand angels." Soon people crowded to see the ship which "came from Peru to fetch the Queen of Sheba from the Isles of Solomon."

At Manila Quiros wrote to de Morga, the Lieutenant-Governor of the Philippines, a "brief narrative" of the voyage, the object of which, he says, had been "to go and subject and people the Western islands of the South Sea." "I beg you," he concluded, "to keep it secret, for man does not know what time brings; for, looking at it rightly, it is fit that the first islands should remain concealed until His Majesty be informed, and order whatever may be most for his service; for, as they are placed, taking a middle position between Peru, New Spain, and this country, the English on knowing it, might settle in them, and do much mischief in this sea."

The voyage, then, had failed even to rediscover the Solomons; and two hundred years passed before they were again seen by European eyes. "Though ship after ship set out to seek them, they were so completely lost to Europeans that, in the course of two centuries, geographers came to doubt their existence, and they were actually expunged from the chart. And this, although the group included eight large islands stretched like a net across the course of navigation in an almost unbroken line for six hundred miles."* It was not till 1766 that the Englishman Carteret sailed by them, and he did not recognize them. Bougaineville did likewise in 1767, and Surville in 1769. It was not till 1781 that a French scholar proved that the Solomon Islands had at last been re-discovered.** "In the history of travel there is probably no other instance of the veil being lifted for a brief moment to afford a glimpse of the life of an isolated island race, and then dropped again for nigh three centuries, during which no ripple from the outer world came to disturb the silent backwater."***

[* Amherst, p. i.]

[** Amherst, pp. lxxiv-lxxvi.]

[*** Amherst, p. lxxvii. Cf. Discoveries of the French in 1768 and 1769 to the South East of New Guinea, by M..., 1791. The writer prints a map from Herrera (1601) of the Solomons and New Guinea.]

The reason of the failure to rediscover the Solomons was, as Quiros pointed out, the impossibility of determining Longitude. In this case he felt sure Gallego had vastly underestimated the distance. His own conclusion was that "New Guinea, the Solomoh Islands, and the islands of Santa Cruz are all near each other," and that more than eight thousand miles intervene between Lima and New Guinea. And, away somewhere to the South, still extended the great golden populous continent, waiting to be won for God and King—unless the heretic English got there first.


CHAPTER IX. QUIROS

AUTHORITIES:


Quiros assumed the mission. He returned to Peru, and asked a new Viceroy to send him at once to "return and discover those lands which I suspect to exist, and even feel certain that I shall find, in those seas." But the Viceroy replied that Quiros must first win permission from the King of Spain. Quiros arrived in Seville, with six dollars in pocket, in February 1600. It was Jubilee year at Rome, and he determined to lay his foundation true by a visit to the Holy City. Selling the little he possessed, he bought the dress of a pilgrim, and, staff in hand, walked through the cities of Italy. At Rome he appealed to the Spanish ambassador, the Duke of Sesa, to help win the sanction and the blessing of the Pope for a mission which would "save an infinity of souls in the New World." The great nobleman treated the pilgrim with respect. He had received a letter from the Prior of the Order of St. Dominic at Manila, testifying that Quiros was "a great pilot, with much experience of the South Sea, and of the great Gulf between the coasts of New Spain and Peru and Japan and the Philippine Islands," and that it "would be much for the service of God and King to introduce him, that he might again return to discover those unknown parts and islands."

"So the Duke sent for him to his house to ask him concerning curious things relating to his art, and entertained him there for near seventeen months." Further, he called a meeting of the best pilots and mathematicians to be found in Rome, who examined papers and charts, and made a report favourable both to the scheme and to the man. "All were persuaded, by the proofs and reasonings he submitted to them, that there could not fail to be either a continental land or a number of islands, from the Straits of Magellan to New Guinea and Java and the other islands of that great archipelago." This unknown land in the torrid and temperate zones must be a very good and rich land, and they were of opinion that it was "very desirable to lose no time in discovering that Southern region, unknown till now, which will be a great service to God." Of Quiros the mathematicians testified "that there are few pilots who know as much as he does; that he is expert in making globes and charts for navigating; that he well understands the use of instruments necessary for navigation"; and they highly commended two of his inventions. So the Lord Duke arranged an interview with His Holiness, Clement VIII., who, says Quiros, "heard me very attentively, saw all the papers I showed him, approved of my zeal and veracity, encouraged me to persevere in my laudable intentions, conceded many graces and indulgences for the time when I should begin the voyage, gave me letters of recommendation to the Majesty of the King our Lord," and also "some rosaries that had been blessed, and a piece of the wood of the Cross. About this there was great difficulty." He urged the King of Spain to assist the intent of Quiros, even were it only for "the salvation of one single soul" in "that Austral Incognita part."

Recommended by Lord Duke, by mathematicians and by Pope, Quiros went to the Spanish court. Here there were many voices. Some, says Quiros, "thought little of the enterprise, or of me, thinking that I promised more than I could perform, and that for the performance of so great a deed a person of more parts and valour was needed." Others threw doubt on the utility of such conquests, saying that "sufficient lands had been discovered for His Majesty, and that what signified was to people and settle them, rather than go in search of those which I said were new, which were so distant that they would be difficult and costly to maintain after they had been conquered and settled." On the other hand were the very weighty testimonies from Rome, summed up by the Lord Duke, who wrote, says the King, "giving me a good account of his parts, good judgment, and experience in his profession," and "assuring me that he is a worker, quiet, disinterested, of decent life, zealous for the service of God and for my service." So at length Quiros, after much importunity, "submitting new Memorials every day," obtained his heart's desire; and the King wrote an order to the Viceroy of Peru, that he must provide two very good ships, with sailors good, useful, and obedient, and with all things necessary for a voyage which aimed at the discovery of "the Southern islands and lands as far as New Guinea and Java Major (Java)." The Viceroy was also "to give orders that some barefoot friars of the Order of St. Francis, exemplary and of good life, are taken." The voyage of discovery, in its inmost intention, was to be a Franciscan Mission.

Neither Pope nor King nor Lord Duke thought it necessary to pay a Pilgrim's passage to Peru; and Quiros, after the usual shipwreck, arrived at Panama, "so poor" (says he) "that for eight days I had not one rial, and owing for the hire of mules." He asked the Governor of Panama for a loan of two hundred dollars, which was refused so he had to retire to his lodgings, to be sued by the muleteers and other creditors. He attended a religious ceremony in the upper storey of the Hospital; and "as the weight of people was great, a large part of the building gave way, and we fell, sixty of us, with the beds and patients, a height of more than twenty feet. A priest was killed; there were many broken limbs; I escaped with what I got, which was a severe blow on the left side, a wound on the right ankle, and a hand cut by a nail. My cure cost me four bleedings, and two months and a half in bed, without possessing a single maravedi. When barely convalescent I embarked in a ship bound for Peru, without a bit of bread or a jar of water. I arrived at Callao on the 6th of March, 1605, with debts for the passage and food, and with no moneys. I hired horses from one I had known before, and entered Lima by night. I went round without being able to find any hostelry, until God led me to a potter who, for that night and for three other nights, hospitably received me with good will among his pots; so that I am able to say with good reason that I arrived at Lima weighted down with very many old labours to make a beginning of new ones." We begin to perceive that we are in noble company. We travel with Don Quixote in the sunset of Spain.

At Lima he met with more discouragements. The Viceroy was lukewarm, and suggested that the expedition had better start from the Philippines. "I was forced to continue my memorials." "I found more opposers than helpers." The husband of Mendaña's widow argued that the expedition would "trench on the Solomon Islands." There were long delays. In vain Quiros urged that "if the day of St. Francis, September 4th, should pass, the best of the year would be lost for making sail and shaping a South-West course." Three and a half months passed after that date before preparations were completed. He sailed not on the day of St. Francis, but on the day of St. Thomas, the 21st of December, 1605.

The wish to sail on the day of St. Francis had a significance beyond the convenience of date. Quiros had planned a ceremony which should give expression to the Franciscan character of the mission. A Festival was to be held "in the convent of St. Francis where were the six Friars who were to go in our ships. The standards and banners were to be blessed, and we were to come forth with all our people in procession, in the clothes of sackcloth which almost all had made for the occasion. But envy put a stop to this laudable intention, and some even opposed the blessing and raising of the standard, as if the undertaking was not for the service of His Majesty! "However all the people confessed, and took the Sacrament. The standards and banners were embarked, rolled upon their staves; the six Friars came forth, and were "lovingly embraced by many people, for at such partings many tears are shed, and we all went on board together." "Our dresses," says the Pilot de Leza, "were those of the Franciscans, adopted by the Captain and all his officers." "The sails were set, and the men on their knees prayed for a good voyage to Our Lady of Loretto, saying that the fleet is dedicated to her name, and sails trusting to her favour and protection."

Quiros commanded three ships, "painted with no little art"; the holy standards and carvings are described in loving detail. The Capitana, the ship "well adapted for such service," in which he sailed as Captain, was named the "St. Peter and St. Paul." The Almirante, "the rather small ship" in which the Admiral Luis Vaez de Torres was to sail a very famous voyage, was named the "St. Peter." The third ship, a Labra or launch, of small size but strong and a good sailor, was named "The Three Kings": the three Kings of the Eastern Spice-lands, who had seen the Star and followed the Gleam. "In the three ships embarked nearly three hundred men, sailors and soldiers, with some small pieces of artillery, arquebuses and muskets, provisions of all kinds for one year, iron implements, fruits and animals of Peru for those who should form a settlement, and the said six Friars of the Order of St. Francis, also four Brothers of Juan de Dios to cure the sick."

The "instructions" which Quiros issued to Torres for the direction of the voyage express the fervent religious spirit which animated him, and which he sought to kindle in those joined to him in a divine mission. Torres is to maintain "Christian, political, and military discipline." But he is also to "use much diligence in treating kindly and lovingly all the people under his charge,...to acquire those methods and habits which are necessary to keep his people contented and firm in their love, truthfulness and loyalty, remembering how worthy of esteem that captain is who, without the use of knife or other rigour, governs his people in peace." He is "to see that men do not curse nor blaspheme, nor say or do other things evil against God our Lord, nor against the most Holy Mother, nor against angels, saints, or things sacred or divine." A blasphemer is to be punished by forfeit of his day's ration; and, for the second offence, he may be put in irons and fined for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory. Every day in the afternoon all the people are to go on their knees before an altar where are images of Christ and of the Virgin Mary; and the Litany of Our Lady of Loretto is to be recited, "praying for her favour or intercession, that God our Lord may guide us and show us the lands and people we seek, and help us in all that undertaking on which we are employed, and grant us that success which will be to His honour and glory, and for the good of so many of His creatures." If any playing-cards or dice are found (except for the playing of backgammon) they are to be thrown overboard. When, at a later date, Quiros was asked to allow "a little play," on condition that the winnings were given for the souls in Purgatory, he "said to them many times that they would not risk to go on with such new and good work if there was playing and swearing. As for the alms offered from the result of betting, he would not want to take a soul out of Purgatory, and set it on the road to Heaven, if it left his and the Souls of others in Hell; and it would be much better to give without playing that which would be given by playing. For passing the time there are very good books, and one who would teach to read, write, and count to those who do not know how; also a master-at-arms, black swords (wooden drill-swords), practised soldiers to teach recruits, and one who would teach them the art of fortification and artillery, the spheres and navigation; and that these pursuits were better than to play for money."

The plan was to Strike South-West for the continent, as had been advised by Sarmiento in 1567. They were to "shape a South-West course until the Latitude of 30° is reached." If no land was there found, their course was to be changed to North-West until the Latitude of 10° 15'. And if again no land was found, they were to follow that parallel Westward in search of the island of Santa Cruz. Thence they were to steer South-West as far as 20°, then North-West to 4°, and on that parallel Westward in search of New Guinea. After coasting all along that land, they were to proceed to Manila, and thence by the Eastern Indies to Spain. And Quiros hoped to find land between Java and the Cape of Good Hope.

They are to "avoid the danger of offending the natives, or being offended by them." Spaniards should be "as fathers to children, but the children must be watched as if they were known enemies. Our part is always to be in the right, with open and honest intentions; then God will help us, as He helps all those whose objects are good." And Quiros gives very sensible advice as to innocent thievish natives whose souls have to be saved.

"It is well known to all those persons who are engaged on this discovery how His Holiness Clement VIII., at my humble petition, has conceded that if Our Lord should be served by removing us from this world to another, at the hour of death, if unable to confess or to take the Sacrament, being contrite, we name the most holy name of Jesus, either with our mouths or in our hearts, he gives us plenary indulgence and remission of all our sins."

The voyage, in the Captain's eyes, was a chivalrous missionary enterprise, demanding the personal sanctification of each man who had the glory of sharing in it. Every soldier and every sailor was to be a Knight of the Holy Ghost. In reality, the soldiers and sailors were all sorts and conditions of men, illustrating once more the extraordinary contrasts which are the continual surprise to students of Spanish story. There were the Franciscans under their "Commissary," an aged Brother of nearly eighty years, who came to give his life for the cause for which he had lived, and who died worn out by age and hardship within sight of home. There was "the well-disposed and soldierly youth," who was so deeply impressed by the reading of the life of St. Anthony the hermit that one night he launched a frail raft, and slipped overboard, "determined to leave us here, to teach the heathen and to live in solitude,...the act of a man whom we held to be rational and a good Christian, yet hazardous for many reasons, above all his being cut off from the divine offices and the sacrament." There was the Peruvian youth named Francisco, who "wore the habit of a lay brother, his life being one of self-denial. He was a humble, frugal and grateful man, very peaceful, and so zealous for the good of the souls in the new discoveries, that he wished to be left behind with them." And, in amazing contrast, were those who, after wanton massacre of natives, would say that "it was of little importance that we should send them to the devil to-day, as they would have to go to-morrow," "a sentiment," comments Quiros, "very far from all reason, and especially when they had the faith of Christ at the doors of their soul."

The generality was of the stuff with which the great Spanish captains had to do their heroisms; men of unsurpassable courage, and of unsurpassable cruelty, willing enough to help Don Quixote to conquer islands (if he could find them!), pleased by the thought that they could obtain remission of all sins by naming the name of Jesus, but determined meanwhile to have a good time in their own way. They were not the men to pass the day in contented attendance of religious services, or in study of the three R's. All they wanted, Quiros found, was "good health, plenty to eat and drink, little work, much grumbling together, with much fear of the weather!" Every misadventure made them think of the great abundance of the court, cold snows, fresh fruits, and other memories which cooled their will. They were "far from having the valorous minds which ought to animate the searchers for unknown lands, to uphold the original motives, and perform heroic deeds." "Like moths they ate against the enterprise and caused discontent."

Quiros himself was desperately ill. "He took such a headache from Lima that he could suffer neither sun nor shade. On this malady came a spasm which caused much suffering, but none of these changes sufficed to finish him. For whom God wishes will live!" Sheer physical weakness disabled him from contending with the riotous discontents of men impatient with every day that passed without sight of a golden land. The leader of the discontented was the Chief Pilot, Juan Ochoa de Bilboa, whom Quiros had been compelled to take against his will:—"he did much injury."

Quiros was sailing on the South-West course, aiming at latitude 30°, where he hoped to see land. Had he been able to start on the day of St. Francis (September 4th), he would have reached this point by the middle of October, and would have had five months of Southern summer for explorations West, South-West, or North-West—explorations that would probably have brought him to New Zealand or to Australia. But the delay of three and a half months was fatal. On the 22nd of January, 1606, while still only in Latitude 26°, they met with "a squall and showers from the South-East, and with a great swell from the South." The seamen were alarmed. "Whither," they said, "are they taking us, in this great Gulf in the winter season?" Provision of water was running short. Quiros was sick in bed, and word reached him that the Pilot and other persons in the ship had "mutinous tendencies." Quiros could make no fight. The ship's course was changed to West-North-West, in spite of written protest from Torres that "it was not a thing obvious that we ought to diminish our latitude till we got beyond 30° S."

They now made North-West for the 10th line of Latitude on which lay Santa Cruz; Quiros himself had carefully "taken the sun" in that island and was certain that the Latitude was 10° 20'. They passed several uninhabited islands, and on the 10th of February came to an island with people on the beach; at last some of the "millions upon millions of natives" of whom, grumbled the sailors, Quiros continually talked. He called the island "Conversion de San Pablo." It has been identified with Anaa or Chain Island, about two hundred miles East of Tahiti. Some Spaniards swam ashore through the dangerous surf, and were welcomed "with smiles and kisses." They found "the place where the Devil spoke to and deceived these miserable natives," and they "set up a cross, and gave God thanks on their knees for being the first to hoist His Royal Standard in an unknown land inhabited by heathens." A chieftain came on board, and was "saluted three times to the sound of the flute, as a grandee." Then Quiros "dressed him in a pair of breeches, a shirt of yellow silk, put a hat upon his head, a tin medal round his neck, gave him a case of knives, and ordered the boat to take him ashore."

They struck the 10th degree of Latitude, and made West for Santa Cruz. On the 1st of March they came to an island which Quiros called Peregrino, whose people were "the most beautiful, white, and elegant, that were met with during the voyage." They were, of course, good-natured thieves, and the inevitable things happened. Quiros urged humanity, but suspected that his commands were not obeyed. He ordered Torres to capture four boys, in order that these at least might be saved from the Devil. Torres tried to do so, but "Satan, who does not sleep at such important junctures," caused the natives to resist. Foul deeds followed,—Torres would not tell the story. The "beautiful people" must "remain in the wilderness, until God takes pity upon them."

Still they sailed Westward, day after day, week after week, searching for Santa Cruz. Their chief trouble was lack of water. Quiros had a copper instrument to distil sweet water from sea water, and he got two or three jars full every day, very good and sweet. But fuel failed, and the allowance of water was reduced to one quartillo. Quiros took his one quartillo with the rest. But "the salted food and excessive heat afflicted the people," and they longed to "quench the terrible thirst they felt in the water-springs of Santa Cruz." For thirty-two days they sailed on the same line in search of it. Again came endless disputes about Longitudes. Everyone calculated how far they had sailed, and the calculations were enormously different. Quiros said that the distance to Santa Cruz was seven thousand four hundred miles. The Pilot retorted that they had already sailed eight thousand eight hundred. Disputes grew hot. Quiros was told that there was a plot to stab him and to throw the body overboard. The Pilot shouted to the Captain of the launch that winter was near, and "other things that it is not well for the men to hear."

One night the sick Captain heard a great disturbance, and found the Pilot with blood-stained sword in hand. The sword was taken from him; "but that which the Captain felt he kept to himself, confessing that he was so weak that he was unable to say in a loud voice a third word." It was evident that the Pilot "did not wish that lands should be discovered, nor that anything should be found." He was "designing to go directly to Manila." Quiros could not deal with the plot. But Torres was a very different man, and insisted that land must be found. Finally he induced Quiros to arrest the Pilot, and to send him on board Torres' ship, though that vigorous seaman regrets that he was "not allowed to inflict due punishment." For the moment, however, Quiros had been persuaded that something more severe than Franciscan methods were needed. The Pilot's friends were told to "hold their tongues"; a block was placed for villains at the yard-arm; and Quiros regretted that he had not "thought of bringing iron fetters and chains from Lima, intending to oblige by faithful treatment, and to bring out the good." But it was in vain that Don Quixote tried to be sane. The block was never used. Instead of hanging his "villains," he made them "Knights of the Holy Ghost." His friends would bear witness, he afterwards said, that he was "determined never to take life or reputation; and if he had done so, he would have been discontented and unquiet for all the rest of his life."

They saw "drifts of wood, and snakes, and many birds, all signs of land on both sides." But they drove straight along the 10th line to make sure of Santa Cruz. On the 7th of April the mast-head man cried that he saw "land to the North-West, high and black." Soon smoke was seen, which "doubled our delight." A port was found, and they "anchored with incredible joy." But it was not Santa Cruz. It was the chief island of the Duff Group. The native name was Taumaco. Quiros called it "Nuestra Sefiora del Socorro in memory of the succour found there." The Chief, named Taumai, was "a man with a good-looking body and face, handsome eyes, well formed nose, colour rather brown, beard and hair turning grey. He was grave and sedate, prudent and wise in what he did, and what he promised he performed." "Never was there a barbarian," says one of our writers, "who possessed the good sense of this one." Quiros dressed him in shot silk which he seemed to value highly. The Friars landed, and performed the first Mass of our Lady of Loretto, with a commemoration of St. Peter. The natives were very attentive on their knees, "beating their breasts and doing everything they saw the Christians do." "When they saw that we worshipped the Cross, they desired to paint the same cross on their breasts, and many did so. They asked us for ink to do this, and we gave them gunpowder." "Pity," says Quiros, "to think with what facility all the people of those lands would receive the Faith if there was any one to teach them; and yet what a great perdition there is of such a vast number of souls as are condemned here!"

Taumaco was hot Santa Cruz, but it was near Santa Cruz. That island, said Taumai, was "five days' voyage to the West," or, according to Torres, two hundred and forty miles. The natives knew all the details of the story of the Spanish colony at Santa Cruz, and for that reason were "alarmed when they saw arquebuses." But Taumai also gave news that put Santa Cruz out of mind. He spoke of great lands in the South. "He began counting on his fingers as many as sixty islands, and a very large land, which he called Manicolo...To explain which were small islands he made small circles, and for larger ones larger circles; while for the large land he opened both his arms and hands without making them meet. To explain which were the distant islands, and which were nearer, he pointed to the sun, then rested his head on his hand, shut his eyes and with his fingers counted the number of nights one had to sleep on the voyage. In a similar manner he explained which people were white, black, or mulattos, which were mixed, which friendly, which hostile. He gave it to be understood that in one island they ate human flesh by biting his arm, and he indicated that he did not like such peoples." The natives confirmed these statements, and said, using "very intelligent signs," that in those great lands were cows and buffaloes and pearls.

They caught four natives—"the General rejoiced greatly at the sight of them"—and sailed, no longer West, but South-East. "They now," says Quiros, "had sufficient wood and water to enable them to find that they were seeking. God had given us a North-West wind, one well suited for that intention." One after another, three of the four kidnapped natives leapt overboard, and swam for land which, in one case, appeared to be three leagues away! "See how the Devil deceives him," cried the sailors. "Why lose so much good as surrounds you here?" At 14° the Captain was asked what the course was to be. "Put the ships' heads where they like," answered he, "for God will guide them as may be right." "Don Quixote," wrote Cervantes, "rode calmly on, leaving it to his horse to go which way he pleased, firmly believing that in this consisted the very essence of adventure." God's wind drove them South-West, and next day a sailor of the Capitana, named Francisco Rodriguez, went to the mast-head, and cried in a cheerful voice "Very high land ahead!" They called the island San Marcos because it was discovered on that Saint's Day. Beautiful islands were seen in all directions. They came to one, which "owing to its great beauty" they called "Virgen Maria." A man rushed down from some rocks, jumped into the boat, and seemed to ask by signs, "Where do you come from? What do you want? What do you seek?" "We come from the East," a Spaniard replied, "we seek you, and we want you to be ours."

The questioner and another native were captured; and the captain, to show his benevolent intentions, ordered the barber to "shave their beards and hair, had their finger and toe-nails cut with scissors (the use of which they admired), caused them to be dressed in silk and divers colours, gave them hats with plumes, tinsel and other ornaments, knives and a mirror, into which they looked with caution." Then he sent them ashore to join their friends, and so excellent was the effect produced that, when "one of our men asked a mother for her baby, she gave it; and, seeing that it was passed from one to another to be seen and kissed, the natives were well pleased." They saw innumerable natives of three different colours, yellow, black and white which seemed to prove the extent and length of the island, and that it must be the mainland.



36. THE NEW HEBRIDES
(From Markham (ed.) Voyage of Quiros (Hakluyt Society).)

Twelve leagues to the South-West and South, a man looking out at the mast-head saw "an extensive land,—the eye could not turn to a point that was not all land" "a great land with high mountains," says another writer, "which promised to be no less than continental." At last, it seemed, the Great Continent had been discovered, and "this day was the most joyful and the most celebrated day of the whole voyage." Far away to the South-East again was seen a massive and very lofty chain of mountains whose tops were covered by thick masses of white cloud. They were in fact in the midst of the group of mountainous islands, which Cook rediscovered in 1774, and called the New Hebrides. But the islands lay so close together that they "appeared to form one land," and to suggest at least the possibility of a continent.* They determined to sail "in the direction of the first land that bore South," and on the 1st of May they entered "a great Bay," which "received the names of St. Philip and St. James, the day of the discovery being the day of those Apostles." "The Bay," says one writer, "is very large and beautiful, and all the fleets of the world might enter it; and, as our General saw its beauty, he wished that we should enter it and anchor." "All their designs," says another, "had now been accomplished. They held in their hands the most abundant and powerful land ever discovered by Spaniards."

[* See Illustration 36.]


CHAPTER X. AUSTRIALIA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO

Next day (2nd of May) Torres was sent in the boat to look for a landing-place. All day he looked, for the Bay was very large and very deep. At length, at the extreme end of the Bay, six or seven leagues from the entrance, he found "good anchorage in from forty to twenty fathoms of very clean sand, a port with a river, ballast and fuel, and all that we could desire." This was joyful news; "for without a port the discovery would be of little importance." Hither, in the course of three days—so long and so difficult was the bay—they slowly worked their way, and came to anchor.

Of this port of St. Philip and St. James we get ample information. Here the Spaniards stayed five weeks, and wrote vivid narratives of their doings. One of them drew a map of the Bay, which we still have.* Captain Cook rediscovered the Bay in 1774, and wrote an account of its geography that is of singular use to the student. Moresby visited it in 1876, and made some interesting remarks. "Doubtless," he wrote, "in time Australia will throw off settlers to this glorious island, which is capable of bearing all the spices of the East."**

[* See Illustration 37.]

[** Moresby's New Guinea and Polynesia.]

To Quiros the situation grew better at every look. The river, which he named the Jordan, appeared as big as the Guadalquiver at Seville. He was sure that it must be two hundred and forty miles long at least, and that it must drain a continent. Moresby describes it as "a fine rapid torrent, coming from a lofty range of hills, and running, through the lower part of its course, through rich open country." In this rich open country appeared the ideal site for the Mother City of the Southern World. Walking through the forest, along a clean well-shaded road, they came to a native village. Round the huts were many fruit trees, surrounded by intertwined palisades, to keep off the multitudinous pigs. In the bush were partridges, doves, ducks, parrots, parroquets, herons, and song-birds, "which in the morning gave us pleasure to hear such gentle and musical notes." They found also cocoa-nuts, plantains, oranges, nutmegs, and almonds and above all yams, which are the chief food. The land yielded so much food that there could not be more.



37. MAP OF THE BAY OF ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES
(From a facsimile in the Boletin de la Sociedad Geografica de Madrid, 1878.)

They saw great trees that would furnish very good spars for yards of large and small ships, and these so near the sea that they rose to heaven ready for use. In short, "there is scarcely a tree in all this land that is not of some use." The climate was perfect. It was so cool at night that blankets were welcome. And in this earthly paradise there were "no snakes, jiggers, ants, nor mosquitoes." "I am able to say with good reason," writes Quiros, "that a land more delightful, healthy, and fertile, a site better supplied with quarries, timber, clay for tiles, bricks for founding a great city on the sea, with a port and a good river on a plain, with level lands near the hills, nor better adapted to raise plants and all that Europe and the Indies produce, could not be found." It was a land, he believed, that could easily support two hundred thousand Spaniards. A big river must mean a big land. And quite close were seven islands extending eight hundred miles. Here then should rise the New Jerusalem, "a very great and prosperous city," the capital of a continent stretching from the Equator to the Pole, a link of strength in the golden chain of that Empire on which the sun never set, and which in the end would bind the whole world in blessed submission to God and to His Church.

Every prospect pleased, but the men were vile. Their unchanged descendants are described by Moresby as "black fine athletic men, woolly-headed, many of them with really pleasing faces, well-armed with clubs and three-pronged spears, barbed with human bones, which they throw to a great distance; the women, he adds, are "unsightly Eves." The great desire of Quiros was to catch the souls of these people; and to catch their souls, he thought, you must first catch their bodies, "so as to establish peace and friendship based on the good work we intended to do for them." And the men who had to catch them were—not the sick captain and the Franciscans, who do singularly little in this story—but Torres and the Soldiers. And their methods were primitive. "When," says one writer, simply, "our people saw so many people on the beach, they began to fire off some arquebuses, on which the beach was left clear, all flying into the woods." There followed a fight. A native was shot, his head and foot were cut off, and his body was hung to a tree, and shown to other natives; the soldiers, complains Quiros, "pretending that this cruelty was a means of making peace!" "Such was the end of the peace which the Captain hoped for, and sought for, as the means of discovering the grandeur of the land, and all that was contained in it; such indeed was the intention the Captain had, but it was only a sound."

The first thing necessary now was to protect the missionaries against the hostility which they had so wantonly provoked. Quiros sought to do this, in the Spanish way, by the creation of "a ministry of War and Finance," and he gives a list of the nineteen ministers who were to provide for the safety of the colony. On the 13th of May, Torres, transformed from "Admiral" into "Master of the Camp," was sent on shore "to put up a Church, so that next day Mass might be said, and possession taken of the land in the name of the Majesty, divine and human." So they made a Church, the Church of "Our Lady of Loretto," with trees and branches of plantains, and they surrounded it with stakes, so that it might serve as a fort in case of necessity.

In the afternoon, Quiros assembled the people of all the ships, and made to them a triumphant speech. To strengthen their resolves, to give firmness and hope, which are the qualities needed to achieve great and famous deeds, he had resolved to give sacramental expression to the ideal of the mission by incorporating all those engaged in it into a new chivalrous Order, "the Knights of the Holy Ghost"; an Order which Pope and King would "confirm, with advantageous privileges, as long as the World endures." "In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in the name of the Roman Pontiff, in the name of His Catholic Majesty the King of Spain, and my Lord, I the Captain Don Fernandez de Quiros give to each one of your mercies this cross of a blue colour, which presently you are to place on your breasts, being the insignia by which the Knights of the Order of the Holy Ghost are to be known; the persons in whose charge, if I should fail, is to be placed the discovery, pacification, and possession of all these parts which we are discovering, and may discover in the time to come." Let them know and esteem the value of the cross; it signified determination to win much higher honours. Let them bear in mind that what remains in their power to attain in this very high enterprise is very great, for it is now known that the enterprise holds a world for its heaven and its earth. "Pray to God, gentlemen, that it may serve Him to send us greater lands, and other things...I charge you all to be, as it were, members of one body."

It seemed to Quiros that his words were "listened to with much pleasure and accepted with satisfaction." The Franciscans persuaded all the new-made Knights to confess, in order that, on the next day, the day of Pentecost, they might earn the Holy Jubilee which His Holiness had conceded to the expedition. At night all the ships were illuminated, and sent off rockets and fire-wheels. All the artillery was fired off; and when the natives heard the noise, and the echoes resounding over hills and valleys, they raised great shouts. We sounded drums, rang the bells, had music and dancing; and the Captain said to all, "Gentlemen, this is the eve of my long desired day."

Next day, the day of Pentecost (14th May), just before dawn, Torres the "Camp master" and the other "Ministers" landed with an armed party, and with the help of the Friars prepared the "booth made of branches" that was to serve both as Church and as Fort. Then Quiros landed in state. On his left was carried a cross made of the orange wood of the country, on his right the royal standard. The Knights of the Holy Ghost, with cross on breast, were drawn up in good order on the beach, showing, it seemed to Quiros, sharpened resolves to finish what they had commenced, and to begin much greater things! He went down on his knees, saying, "To God alone be the honour and the glory." Then, putting his hand on the ground, he kissed it and said: "Oh Land! sought for so long, intended to be found by so many, and so desired by me!" The six Friars, bare-footed and kneeling on the beach, received the cross in their arms, saying with great tenderness: "I adore thee, O Holy Cross, for the Author of Our life, made flesh, died on thee for me, so great a sinner, and for the whole human race."

They raised it, and singing the "Lignum," with the people in procession, they arrived at the door of the Church. There, on a pedestal which had been placed for the purpose, the Captain planted our cross, and ordered that the people should come round, and that the secretary should read, as in a loud voice he did read, the following documents:—

Quiros called the heavens and the earth, and the sea with all its inhabitants, and those who were present, to witness that in these parts, which up to the present time had been unknown, he raised and planted in the name of Jesus Christ, son of the Eternal Father, and of the Holy Virgin Mary, true God and Man, this sign of the Holy Cross, on which His most holy body was crucified, and on which He gave His life as a ransom for the whole human race. Then in the name of the Catholic Church, in the name of "My Father, St. Francis" and his Order, in the name of John of God and his Order, and in the name of the Knights of the Holy Ghost, the discoverers, settlers, defenders and preservers, he took possession of "all the islands and lands that he had newly discovered, and desired to discover as far as the South Pole." "I take possession of this Bay, named the Bay of St. Philip and St. James, and of its Port named Santa Cruz, and of the site on which is to be founded the city of New Jerusalem, and of all the lands which I sighted, and am going to sight, and of all this region of the South as far as the Pole, which from this time shall be called Austrialia del Espiritu Santo,* with all its dependencies and belongings."

[* Quiros, vol. i. p. 251.

The Spanish phrase for the Southern Land was "la tierra Austral," or "la parte Austral incognita." The name that would naturally come from this phrase is Australia. Quiros would have this name in mind for the same obvious reason that put it into Flinders' mind two hundred years later. Compared to Terra Australis, wrote Flinders, Australia is "more agreeable to the ear, and an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth" (Flinders' Voyage, Introduction, p. iii). But, of the two original manuscripts, the more trustworthy reads not Australia but Austrialia. In the second manuscript the word, says Zaragossa (vol. i. p. 316) has been "wrongly emended" to Australia; wrongly, because Quiros, in the Memorial which he addressed to the King of Spain in 1607, says that he named the land Austrialia" in happy memory of Your Majesty, whose dynastic name is Austria"—"cuja felice memoria de V.M., por el apellido de Austria le di por nombre la Austrialia del Espiritu Santo, porque en su mismo dia tomé la posesion de ella" (Zaragossa, vol. ii. p. 201). In a later Memorial of 1610 Quiros wrote that the King had ordered him to discover land "en la parte Austrialia Incognita" (Zaragossa, vol. ii. p. 217), and explained: "All this, and what more there is, I have done as a loyal vassal of Your Majesty, and that Your Majesty, as soon as its grandeur is understood, may add to your titles that of Austrial del Espiritu Santo, for the greater glory of the same Lord, who raised me and showed it me and brought me to the presence of Your Majesty" (Quiros, edited by Markham, vol. ii. p. 485. Original in Zaragossa, vol. ii. p. 227). It seems that the ingenious thought came into his mind that, by inserting an "i" into the middle of Australia, he could indicate that the new-found-land of the South was also the land of the Austrian House of Spain, whose name would thus be "blazoned and spread over the face of the whole world to the Glory of God."

It was a name, however, which had little chance of general acceptance. Even the second of our Spanish manuscripts "wrongly emends" it to Australia. And it was unthinkable that English and Dutch should use a word coined to express Spanish claim to the New World in the South. When Purchas translated Quiros's Memorial of 1610, he meant to be a faithful translator, for in paragraph 7 he wrote down Quiros's word Austrialia; but in paragraph 1 he had, in carelessness no doubt, written Australia; and when he wrote the name for himself it was Australia (Purchas, edition 1625, vol. iv. pp. 1422, 1423, 1432 cf. Watson's note in Historical Records of Australia, vol. ix. p. 867). Other translators sometimes wrote Austrialia (e.g. the Latin edition published in Amsterdam in 1612), but more generally Australia. See list of titles of English, Dutch and Latin translations in the Hakluyt Society edition of Quiros, vol. i. pp. xlvi-xlvii; e.g. "Australia the Unknown," "Australia Incognita," "cui Australiae nomen est," "vierde deel des Werelts, ghenaemt Australia incognita." Other editions held to the old phrase Terra Australis Incognita (e.g. London edition of 1617) or its equivalent (e.g. La Terra Australle in Paris edition of 1617). Austrialia had not the smallest chance of survival. But it is curious that Terra Australis so long held its own against the rivalry of Australia. See Watson in Historical Records of Australia, vol. ix. p. 369, and Scott's Flinders, chapter 30.]

Then all cried with loud voice "Long live the King of Spain, Don Philip III., our Lord!" There followed more masses, more discharge of firearms, more rockets and firewheels, and, in the midst of all this noise, all shouted with almost infinite joy and many times "Long Live the Faith of Christ." "Then we went to dine under the shade of great tufted trees near a clear running stream."

The city had received the name of New Jerusalem. The next thing to do was to provide for its government. The final thing, perhaps, would be to build it. Having had his siesta, Quiros told his officers that he would "elect a municipality, and such officers as are usual in the city that was the capital of a province." So they elected thirteen magistrates, a Secretary to the muncipality, two Justices of the Peace, the Chief Constable, the Accountant, the Treasurer, the Factor, the Registrar of Mines, the Store Keeper General, and the Overseer. The city of New Jerusalem was now well equipped with all that a city which was the capital of a province should possess; only, unfortunately, there was no city, save the little booth of branches on the beach, that served at once for Fort and Church; and the province remained to be discovered. However, the municipal officers formed in order, and, accompanied by the rest of the people, went to the Church, and the Father Commissary pointed once more to the upraised cross; but such were the tears he shed that he could not proceed. Then the Captain returned to his ship, taking with him the cross, the standard and banners; and, arriving on board, "he ordered that block on the yard-arm to be taken down, where it had been placed to punish crimes. For the Captain could not believe that persons with such an honourable destiny would do things the punishment of which would be the rope." Meanwhile a hundred of the Knights remained on shore, marched inland to some villages, put the natives to flight in great fear, entered their houses, and "took some very large pigs."

Three days later (17th of May) they had even better success. They made "a rapid attack on the natives, did great execution," and captured and brought to the ship three young boys, and twenty very fat pigs. The regret of the "Knights" was that they had not caught fewer boys and more pigs. "Thirty pigs," said one in a loud voice, "would be better eating than three boys." Quiros was shocked, and "said with much feeling that he would rather have one of those children than the whole world besides." The man who talked such nonsense should have given praise to God, Who, in a way so strange and unthought-of, had saved those three souls, But the parents wanted their boys back, showing a strong affection that sought, though in vain, to buy them with any number of fat pigs. Then, in their rage, they came to destroy the Church, and Quiros had to send hurriedly an armed party to prevent them. One of the boys besought that he might be allowed to return to his father. "Silence, child," replied the Captain, "you know not what you ask. Greater good awaits than the sight and the communion of heathen parents." And, indeed, when the boy died a few months later, he died a baptised Catholic, saved from the claws of the Devil, assured of eternal salvation.

The triumph reached its climax in the Festival of Corpus Christi. The church was bravely decorated with green boughs. "For an altar-piece there was a painted Christ crucified on a great cloth, with four candles at the sides and incense-sticks burning." Outside were triumphal arches, "enlaced with palms and flowers, while the ground also was strewn with flowers." Under two other arches were placed two altars with their canopies, and the image of St. Peter and St. Paul. "The day was clear and serene, and, as the sun rose over the crowns of the trees, its rays entering through the branches, the difference in the fruits of each plant was shown in great profusion. The birds sang and chanted; the leaves and branches moved gently in the breeze, and the whole place was agreeable, fresh, shady, with a gentle air moving and the sea smooth." Three Masses were said, and the festivities began;—a very picturesque sword-dance by eleven sailor lads, dressed in red and green silk, with bells on their feet, who danced with much dexterity and grace to the sound of a guitar played by a respected old sailor; then "another dance by eight boys, all dressed like Indians in shirts and breeches of silk, coloured brown, blue and gray, with garlands on their heads and white palms in their hands, singing their canticles to the sound of tambourines and flutes" then more splendid ceremony with much discharge of firearms; and, "when the smoke cleared away there were seen among the green branches so many plumes and feathers and sashes, so many crosses and so much gold, and so many colours and silken dresses, that many eyes could not contain what sprang from the heart, and they shed tears of joy." The poet-secretary, Bermudez, whose pen certainly wrote this vivid description, exults in the good fortune which has allowed him to see "the first festival celebrated in honour of the most high Lord in these strange and unknown lands." "As our force was small," he writes, "and the natives numerous, it was considered by some to be an act of great audacity. I say it was a great hit, and that it was done in full faith." There came into his mind a verse written by a Spanish poet:

"Behold where hidden are the lands,
Scarce discerned by mortal ken,
Those are regions still unknown,
Never pressed by Christian men.
This will ever be their fate,
Want of knowledge keeps them there,
Wrapt within a fleecy cloud,
Until God Shall lay them bare."

He quotes the lines, and triumphantly "by slight alterations" adapts them to the present occasion:

"Behold how we have found these lands,
Now clearly seen by mortal ken,
Those are regions now made known,
Pressed by feet of Christian men.
Unknown no longer is their fate,
Now full knowledge points them there,
No longer hid in fleecy clouds
God his secrets now lays bare."*

[*Markham's translation, in Hakluyt Society's edition of Quiros, vol. i. p. 262.]

Such was the vision which Quiros saw that day of the Festival of Corpus Christi. And then, thus his narrative continues, "he marched inland to the sound of drums. He saw what he had sown already sprouting, the farms, houses, fruit orchards; and, having walked a league, he returned as it was getting late. When he came on board he said that, as these natives were at war with us, and there was not a chance on our side, we would leave the port next day to visit the lands to windward." The city of New Jerusalem must remain the city of vision, unbuilt by human hands!

The purpose of the proposal to visit the lands seen to the South was to determine the question whether New Jerusalem was situated oh the continent itself, or on one of a large group of islands in the neighbourhood of the continent. There seemed many reasons to believe that it was part of a continent. The largeness of the River Jordan seemed to indicate an extensive land. The high mountains, it was argued, were evidence of the same. They had experience of an earthquake, and it was thought that earthquakes only happened in continents. And it seemed to many "who had a look out from the mast-head that all those lands were joined one to the others." It was resolved to "coast along the land to windward, that is to South-East and East-South-East, to make out for certain whether it was mainland." Quiros hoped that "a near view of the great and high chain of mountains, would reanimate all his companions; so that, if he should die, they would remain with the ardour to continue the work until it was finished." There was delay caused by the eating of poisonous fishes, the ancestors of those eaten one hundred and seventy years later by Cook and his men. The dogs, cats, and pigs that ate the fish all died; but the men by the use of treacle made marvellous recovery. And on Thursday, the 8th of June, in midst of the Southern winter, they again sailed South.

They did not sail far. At 3 p.m. the next day, Friday, June the 9th, they met a strong South-East wind, against which they worked in vain. The Pilots cried from one ship to another, "Where are we going?" Quiros abandoned his plan and resolved to return to the port, with the intention he says "of wintering there, building a strong house, sowing the land, getting a better knowledge of the season, and building a brigantine to send with the launch, to discover what was so much desired; it being clear to all that this was necessary, for the place which seemed so important to the sight, had as yet yielded but a bad account." The port, which he had condemned a few days before, on the ground that "there was not a chance on our side," was to be made a permanent base for future exploration Southward in midwinter. The sudden total change of plan is perplexing, and is inadequately explained by anything that is said in our narratives. We are in fact becoming aware that these are not telling the whole truth.

The end of the story was that the three ships re-entered the Bay, that the launch and the Almirante under Torres succeeded in reaching the anchorage at the head, while the Capitana under Quiros failed to do so and eventually sailed for home. We have diverse explanations of this failure. And it will be best, first, to note the explanation given by the writers on the Capitana. There is the narrative of Quiros himself, which he wrote with the help of his secretary Bermudez, who took the opportunity freely to assert his own opinions. And there is the narrative of the Pilot de Leza,* who had taken the place of the troublesome Pilot now in the custody of Torres. De Leza is described by Quiros as "an honest man and a good Pilot." His journal seems to be a careful and an able piece of work. The writer professes warm sympathy with the aims of Quiros, and there seems nothing to suggest suspicion that the profession is insincere.

[* Quiros, ed. Markham, pp. 393-395.]

To get to their anchorage at the head of the Bay, twenty-four miles from the entrance, they had to battle against a strong South wind. "All Saturday and Sunday till sunset" (10th and 11th June), says the Pilot, "we were within the Bay, beating from one side to the other. Our launch reached the port, but we did not know whether she anchored or not; for the Capitana and the Almirante were more than a league and a half away. The Almirante was half a league to windward of us. From this tack the two ships made for the anchorage. When we were so near as to be standing for it, we heard the people of the Almirante apparently taking in sail and anchoring. This was at about 9 at night.

"We began to sound, to find whether there was bottom for us to anchor, but could find none. It was dark, and there is no anchorage in all that bay, except in that one corner. At this time such a strong gust came from the South, off the land, that undoubtedly we should have come to grief if we had persisted. We could get no soundings, but we saw that there were lights near the beach, apart from each other, and that they must be our vessels. We were under small sail, and the wind kept increasing in violence, so that we were only able to show a fore course to it. The general and officers then decided that we should tack, and then stand for the middle of the bay, as we were near a rock; and, even if we had been closer, we should not have got soundings. All these ships built in Peru are bad under little sail. A man aloft said he had seen the Almirante anchored to windward of us, but we could never make up the distance.

"Every time we tacked we went away to leeward, the wind blowing fresh. For this reason it was resolved by the same persons that we should run before it, only under a spritsail, striking the topmasts that we might find shelter from the point to windward; and so it was done. At dawn (June 12th) we were about four leagues out at sea, outside the Bay. All night we had the lanterns burning, that the other ships might follow us; but they did not do so. We stood off and on, and at the mouth of the Bay, in sight of the port, the weather continuing the same, without the other ships joining company, and always with the topmasts struck; and in this way we remained three days, till we found ourselves nine leagues to leeward of the Cape...We worked from the 13th to the 19th, striving if the wind would let us get into the Bay; but by no means could we succeed, for the weather not only remained the same, but got worse. On the 20th, seeing that the weather did not improve, the General, with the concurrence of the crew, decided, if the wind permitted us, to go as far as 10° 20' S. to make for Santa Cruz where we might wait for our consorts, and get in necessary supplies."*

[* Quiros, el. Markham, vol. ii. pp. 394-5.]

Such is the Pilot's story. Owing to a series of misadventures of a purely nautical character, the Capitana, in sight of port, and so near to it that those on board could hear the people of the Almirante taking in sail and anchoring, was blown away from it, blown into the middle of the Harbour, blown out of the Harbour altogether, blown out to sea, and, after spending eight days trying to regain the Harbour, had to give it up, and sailed away for the appointed rendezvous at Santa Cruz.

There seems nothing suspicious about the story. One hundred and seventy years later Cook found himself in similar difficulties in the same place. The Bay, he says, is of unfathomable depth except near the shores. He found three fathoms' depth close to the beach, yet fifty or fifty-five two cables away. Two miles from the beach there was no sounding at one hundred and seventy fathoms. It was only by a lucky change of weather that "we were relieved from the apprehension of being forced to anchor in a great depth on a lee shore, and in a dark obscure night." One feels certain that Cook would find no nautical difficulty in the Pilot's story.

The narrative of Quiros,* evidently written in this part by Bermudez, and with a free hand, tells a story which is substantially the same, but which has a difference or addition. At 3 p.m., the writer says, Quiros noted that the Almirante and the launch were far ahead, and near the port. He asked the reason, for the Capitana was the best ship, and he was told that the other ships had met with more favourable winds, while the Capitana had used very little sail, and had made very short tacks; reasons that seemed good enough. The wind grew stronger, and the night came on very dark, and the Pilot ordered that, if they could not reach the port, they must anchor wherever it was possible. The Almirante and the launch appeared to have anchored, and had lit their lanterns as leading marks for the Capitana. Soundings were taken, and they found the bottom at thirty fathoms, not being an arquebus shot from the port. But the wind came down in a gust. Sails were taken in, and the ship fell away. And "the Chief Pilot, exaggerating very much the importance of being unable to find bottom, together with the darkness of the night, the strong wind, the numerous lights he saw, without being able to judge with certainty which were those of the two ships, said to the Captain that he was unable to reach the port. The Captain commended his zeal and vigilance."

[* Quiros, ed. Markham, pp. 278-281.]

The passage seems to me to suggest composite authorship. The story is essentially the same as that told by the Pilot, and, like his, gives nautical reasons that are apparently sufficient to explain the failure. And Quiros explicitly praises the Pilot's "zeal and vigilance." And yet, in the same sentence, he blames him for "exaggerating very much the importance of being unable to find the bottom." The phrase rouses suspicion that it expresses the mind, not of the Captain, but of the secretary. And the suspicion becomes a certainty when we read what follows:—"There was one" (evidently Bermudez himself) "who said, and made it clearly to be understood, that more diligence might easily have been shown to anchor, or to remain without leaving the Bay; and that, with only the spritsail braced up, she might have run for shelter under the Cape to windward. It was also said that they went to sleep."

Next morning, the Quiros-Bermudez narrative continues, the Captain asked the Pilot what was the position of the ship. He replied that she was to leeward of the Cape, and the Captain told him to make sail that she might not make leeway. The Pilot answered that the sea was too high and against them, and that the bows driving into the water would cause her timbers to open, though he would do his best. "I say" (thus indignantly Bermudez breaks into the narrative), "I say that this was a great misfortune, owing to the Captain being disabled by illness on this and other occasions, when the Pilots wasted time, obliging him to believe what they said, to take what they gave, measured out as they pleased!" Attempts were made, the writer admits, during this and the two following days, to re-enter the Bay. But they failed. The wind did not go down. They lost ground, so that they found themselves eighty miles to leeward of the port," all looking at those high mountains with sorrow at not being able to get near them." In vain they "diligently sought to shelter behind an island past which they drove one hundred and twenty miles North-West of the Bay." "We were obliged to give it up, owing to the wind and currents, and on the next day we found ourselves at sea, out of sight of land."

The narrative then gives the reasons which induced "the sorrowful captain" to abandon the enterprise and make for Santa Cruz." He considered the strong contrary winds, the very threatening weather, the fact that their present position was unknown, that the ship must need repairs, the necessity for going to a place where she could be got into harbour or careened on a coast. He had very prominently in his mind that, at the first difficulty or danger, there would be a want of resolution or of management, or of the desire to apply a remedy; for which reason, it might be said with truth, that he was without pilots on whom he could rely, and that from some other persons there was little to be expected or hoped. Then there were his own infirmities; so that altogether the case was one of evident danger." The view of Bermudez, then, was that the failure was due to the fault of the Pilots, as well as the fault of the weather: that the conduct of the Pilots showed a want of resolution or management, and especially of fervent desire to apply a remedy. The Knights of the Holy Ghost were, after all, what they had been before they received their crosses: men "far from having the valorous minds which ought to animate the searchers for unknown lands, to uphold their original motive and perform heroic deeds."

Next, let us look at the letter which Torres, after the famous passage of the Strait, wrote to the King from Manila on the 12th of July, 1607. Throughout the story Torres had been champion of the Southward course. He tells in this letter that he had handed to Quiros a formal written protest against the Northward course taken by the troublesome Pilot at 26°. Ultimately he had persuaded Quiros to hand this troublesome Pilot into his own custody, and he expresses his regret that Quiros had refused to "do anything further to him or others, though I strongly importuned him to punish or give me leave to punish them." Torres' opinion was that this adverse spirit still persisted on the Capitana. It had shown itself when they had turned Southward from Taumaco; "a certain person from the Almirante shouted that they should go in search of Santa Cruz." It was held, says Torres, that "as it was winter, we could not exceed the Latitude of 14°, though my opinion was always directly contrary." They had in fact sailed to the Harbour of St. Philip and St. James in 15°. But the opinion of Torres was, that the malignant party had determined that in midwinter they should sail no further South. This seemed to him the obvious explanation of the conduct of the Capitana, as seen from the Almirante on that dark stormy Sunday night. "From within the Bay," he writes, "and from the most sheltered part of it, the Capitana departed at one hour past midnight." Things were again as they had been when the fatal change had been made at 26°. Once more the sick and unhappy captain had been "made to turn out of his course," made to sail North when his duty was to sail South. Such was the opinion of Torres, written without opportunity of conversation with Quiros.

One of those who sailed with Torres was a man named Diego de Prado y Tobar. On the 24th and 25th of December, 1613, he wrote letters to the King, enclosing very important maps. These letters were written by one who had heard the story told by some who had sailed on the Capitana. The writer describes Quiros as an entirely incompetent person of low-class Portuguese origin. The only discoveries of "this impostor" were "some reefs and small islands, from which he was driven by the mutiny of his crew." The wind coming rather fresh from the South, at eight o'clock in the night the mutineers effected their evil intention; and it being dark, and far from us, they passed astern, without that talker seeing it, for he was in his cabin aft.

Next morning the land they had left was out of sight. He was not listened to, and they told him to keep in his cabin, and hold his tongue. He thus saved his life, and they landed at Acapulco. His own commander told the Marquis of Montes Claros (Viceroy of Mexico) what sort of a man he was, and that he might as well be confined as a lunatic. "I know not what respect the Spaniards of Peru can have for one who was but yesterday a clerk of a ship of merchants, and a Portuguese...Such low and mendacious fellows ought to be of no account. He is a liar and a fraud. By his fault he did not discover the Crown of the Antarctic Pole, though we were so near it. His men treated him as the man he is fit to be, of the Rua Nova in Lisbon, in whose mouth there is nought but lies, bragging and dishonesty. He is fit to be clerk in a merchant ship; and he was the cause of the Adelantado Mendaña being lost with his fleet."

This discord of voices seems to have left public opinion in the uncertainty that is expressed in the words of Dr. Arias, an Advocate of Santiago in Chili, who, after the death of Quiros, wrote a memorial vehemently urging the King to persevere in the great mission in which Quiros, nearly succeeding, had failed. "For certain reasons (they ought to have been very weighty), which hitherto have not been ascertained with entire certainty, Pedro Fernandez de Quiros left the Almirante and the Launch in the said Bay, and himself sailed with his ship the Capitana for Mexico." Even those most heartily in sympathy with the aims of the mission were puzzled and offended.

It is impossible to discover the correct detail of the story. But certain facts stand evident. Quiros was desperately ill. Though a skilful Pilot he was a weak commander. To Spanish soldiers and seamen he was at best "that talker." To them the voyage was a proved failure. There were no King Solomon's gold mines. The soil was good, but the natives were bad. Quiros himself admitted that "there was not a chance on our side," and that "the place which seemed so important to the sight had as yet yielded but a bad account." Yet he proposed to make a settlement at this place, as a base for exploration Southward in midwinter! No doubt the majority were opposed to the proposal and eager to defeat it. There seems no reason to believe that Quiros was betrayed by the Pilot. The nautical explanation of the failure to get to anchorage seems quite adequate and acceptable. But when the ship was driven by South winds out of the sight of the island, and the question had to be considered, what was now the best plan, it becomes easy to believe that the way was determined not by the Captain but by the crew. No doubt men like Quiros and Bermudez heartily wished to return, and to carry through the project. But the counter-arguments were strong. There were his "own infirmities." The ship needed repair. Any further voyage into the unknown of South and West would be dangerous in the highest degree. It was, no doubt, impossible to compel a mutinous crew in these circumstances to undertake it. There would be "want of resolution, or of management, or of the desire to apply a remedy." In short, Don Quixote must acquiesce in the tyranny of facts.

The narrative of Quiros becomes a narrative of "sorrowful discourses." He discusses, with his sympathetic but critical friend, the failure and its causes. He deplores the delay at Callao, which had so disarranged his plan that at the last "only half an hour took it from his hands." Then, going deeper, he attributes the failure to his own sin he was not worthy to see the end of a work in which those who loved righteousness would be well employed." Bermudez seems to have urged that Quiros had made a mistake when he had refused to punish the wicked. Quiros replied that "had he done so he would have been discontented and unquiet all the rest of his life." Bermudez argued that the criminals, whom he had spared, would speak evil of his person and services and would ruin the cause he loved so well." "It would be great cowardice," answered Quiros, "to fear for the truth on account of this." "He well knew the bad recompense of men, and never hoped for good report, nor would waste a single moment in such nonsense, needing time for more important matters."

These "more important matters" were the belief and practice of Christianity. "To pardon ingrates and enemies without having cause to do so, to do them good by force, is a very great vengeance." "He had come out of this first attempt without blood having been shed, though he had bought this result very dear, and it would cost him more hereafter." And thus he had made sure that "over the bones of so many martyrs would rise a good work with good reputation in the world, which was his chief desire." Such had been the aim of "many valorous prudent captains, mirrors into which he was looking day and night with desire to imitate them."

For, in the midst of "sorrowful discourses" came gleams of hope and faith:—"discourses more consolatory." The voyage had ended in personal failure and humiliation, but the Cause for which he had striven had not failed. He had discovered, and had taken possession of, good and populous lands that seemed without end; and this was "a beginning with very great foundation." The completion of a task so glorious could not be achieved in one voyage, nor in three, even with very efficient help, and with men who would work with the same love for the Cause as the Captain felt. Torres, he believed, would do all in his power to discover more lands. But, for the present, Quiros, "being about to die," sought strength in depicting in his "Will" the vision that he had seen, and that made his life;—the vision of the Land of the Holy Spirit in the South. It is to be a land very different from the Spanish colonies in America, where Spanish falcons have grasped the people with cruel talons, and with fierce and sharp beaks tear them into two thousand pieces:—"it is money, I say, that they want, and more money, though it be torn from men's entrails." In the New Land of the South, Spaniards are not to be falcons but "pelicans who first tear their own flesh," and so feed their spiritual children with pure and clean love.

Thus, in Austrialia of the Holy Spirit, will be "nests without brambles, nor any other kind of thorn, refuges, and pleasant abiding-places," where will be "plenty for all." Its people will do works that are honourable and beautiful. "God and His Majesty will be served in all those regions, and the natives will be made to prosper as is just and right; and this will be my reward." Thus, with grotesque complication of phrases, the Captain gave in his "Will" the ideal of Franciscan Spain.



38. PART OF MAP IN DUTCH TRANSLATION OF QUIROS'S MEMORIAL.
(Amsterdam, 1612.)

Meanwhile they were sailing North from Santa Cruz. When they reached the Latitude of that island, 10° 30', no land was to be seen, and they did not know whether Santa Cruz was to the East or to the West. There was talk of sailing West. But Quiros explained that this course would bring them to "the Southern side of New Guinea, whence it would be a bad time of the year to make a voyage, being the season of South-West gales."* Some wished to sail for the Philippines, others to "seek employment in the porcelains or silks of China"; but in the end all agreed to make for Mexico by "the customary navigation." God gave them rain, and they had plenty of biscuit. Off Cape St. Lucar they stood to arms, and had look-out men at the mast-head; for it was there that "the Englishman, Thomas Cavendish, robbed the Santa Anna"; but they passed in peace.

[* See map of Espiritu Santo in Dutch translation (1612) of Quiros's Memorial. See p. 189.]

At the mouth of the Gulf of California they encountered a storm so prodigious that hope was abandoned. The Captain, ill in bed, in great haste ordered the two natives to be brought to him. A Franciscan Father asked whether they wished to become Christians. They assented very fervently, and, when they had recited the Creed, the Father baptised them, calling them Pedro and Pablo. Quiros was their Godfather, and embraced them, with his eyes full of tears, thanking God for "this small fruit, small as compared with my desires but really great, for they are two souls newly baptised, and brought into the bosom of our Catholic Church." Pedro and Pablo were very devout and constant in their prayers, with their hands joined, and, when the ship appeared to be sinking, they cried "Jesus! Mary!" making the sign of the cross towards the sea. The ship ran on, and hope arose. "Fear nothing," said someone, "for such a work is done that God will add what is needful to save the ship and crew." The fury of the storm passed, and it began to go down.

On the 21st of October they came to the Mexican port of Navidad, weary of "always seeing the same faces." "I say no wonder," comments Quiros, "if fathers tire of their sons, brothers and friends quarrel, and a husband sometimes comes to abhor his dear wife." "Satan did not neglect to sow bad and mischievous seeds in this port." There were quarrels even with Franciscans, and unhappy stories were told to the Viceroy. On the 25th of November they came to Acapulco. Here the guardian of the Convent of Barefoot Franciscans obtained their request that in the Church might be placed the cross of orange wood, which had been set up in the Bay of St. Philip and St. James. And, on the day of the Conception of the Mother of God, the Captain with great solemnity took the cross from the ship to the seashore, where the Franciscans received it on their knees with much devotion, and, forming procession, bore it to the Convent Church, Pedro and Pablo walking on each side with lighted torches. Here it was fastened to the High Altar, with ringings of bells, sound of trumpets, and discharge of guns. "All the people showed their joy, and not less did the captain, although he had desired to go to Rome, and put this cross in the hands of the Pontiff, and tell him that it was the first that had been raised in those new lands in the name of the Catholic Church. He wished to bring the natives as first fruit. It happened that events robbed him of his triumph; but he gave many thanks to God, through whose goodness he hopes to return the cross to the place whence it came."

As had been foreseen, the wicked, whom Quiros had refused to punish, wrote to the Viceroy of Mexico, and "sowed many letters all over the land, trying to misrepresent and discredit the expedition." Quiros did his best to satisfy people, proclaiming his truthfulness and zeal. He was kindly received, he says, by the Viceroy and others. But their kindness did not extend to the supply of his necessities; and he departed "without possessing a single dollar to set me on the road." He owed his passage to the kindness of friends, and landed penniless at Cadiz. "I sold my bed," he writes, "to reach San Lucar, where I pawned something else, which enabled me to go to Seville. There I sold all I had left to sustain me." With further help from friends he arrived at Madrid the 9th of October, 1607. He had two maravedis in pocket, and he gave them to a beggar. Don Quixote was at home.

Some half year after Quiros came to Madrid, news was brought that put new hopes into his heart—news that Torres had arrived at Ternate, and had said that he had coasted along land for eight hundred leagues!


CHAPTER XI. THE VOYAGE OF TORRES

AUTHORITIES:


At midnight on Sunday the 11th of June, Torres, at anchor at the head of the Bay, had seen the Capitana blown through the Bay and out of sight. Next morning he put to sea to seek her, but all efforts failed. It seemed evident that she "did not sail on the proper course, nor with good intention." The weak Captain had once more been mastered by his crew, and had been compelled to abandon the plan. But Torres still had the Almirante, which was "a good ship," and also the launch, and he determined to obey the instructions that had been given by Quiros at the beginning of his voyage. These had ordered that, when in this part of the world, "he will steer South-West as far as 20°, thence North-West to 4°, and on that parallel he is to steer West in search of New Guinea," and so by way of the North coast of New Guinea to Manila. Torres determined to obey those instructions, "although contrary to the inclination of many, I may say of the greater part; but my temper was different from that of Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quiros."

The voyage that followed is one of the most remarkable in history, and it is unfortunate that our information is so very little. Our main authority is the letter which Torres wrote to the King of Spain from Manila on the 12th of July, 1607. He complains that the "Royal Audience of Manila have not hitherto thought proper to give me dispatch for completing the voyage as Your Majesty commanded": and he is therefore unable to be "the first," as he had hoped, "to give Your Majesty a relation of the discovery." So he sends one of the Franciscans, "who, having been an eye-witness, will give a full relation to Your Majesty." And he sends with him an "account," which is written in vigorous phrase, but with extreme brevity. The story of the voyage from the Harbour to the West end of New Guinea is told in three pages of modern print. "I do not make a relation of labours and victories to Your Majesty, for I hope to give it at large."

This is the last word of Torres. He wrote also a letter to Quiros, to which the latter refers in vaguest terms. And no doubt he wrote letters to others; but, if so, these have disappeared. The best guess seems to be that he died soon afterwards. In December 1613 one of his crew, Diego de Prado, wrote from Goa to the King of Spain, enclosing four maps of places visited by Torres; maps which add a little interesting geographic detail to Torres' bald narrative, but do not touch the main problems.* He refers to "the map of discoveries," which he had sent before, but this map, which would have been invaluable, has vanished. Our only other evidence, I think, is a slight reference in the pamphlet written by Dr. Arias shortly after 1614.

[* These maps are reproduced by Markham and Collingridge.]

Torres waited in the Harbour fifteen days, and then, with reluctant crew, struck South-West. He sought to sail round the "island"; but the season and strong currents would not permit it, though he "ran along a great part of it," and evidently saw enough to make him feel certain that it was an "island." He saw "very large mountains, many ports, and all was well watered with rivers." Then he sailed South-West, in the teeth of difficulties that should make us think more kindly of the failure of Quiros to persuade his men to face them. "We had at this time nothing but bread and water; it was the height of winter, with sea, wind, and ill-will against us. All this did not prevent me from reaching the mentioned Latitude (20°), which I passed one degree, and would have gone further if the weather had permitted; for the ship was good. It was proper to act in this manner, for these are not voyages performed every day, nor could Your Majesty otherwise be properly informed." But there was "no sign of land." He had not quite hit the coast of Queensland.

The next instruction had been to sail "North-West to 4°, and thence West in search of New Guinea"; a phrase which seems to suggest that Spanish knowledge of the North coast of New Guinea did not extend South-ward of 4°. He now, therefore "stood back to the North-West." Arias, writing soon after 1614, and using we know not what information, says that Torres "put back to the North-West and North-East up to 14°, in which he sighted a very extensive coast which he took for that of New Guadalcanal,* and thence turned Westward for New Guinea." Torres himself says nothing about this. His statement is:—"From hence (2°) I stood back to the North-West to 11½°; there we fell in with the beginning of New Guinea. I could not weather the East point, so I coasted along to the Westward on the South side." He found himself compelled to seek a way to Manila by the South of New Guinea.

[* The largest of the Solomons.]

The reticence of Torres is exasperating. Those who have read more recent stories of navigations in the tangles Eastward of New Guinea realise that he must have been in a position of difficulty that could hardly be surpassed. Read the story of Bougainville, and the story of Moresby, and you wonder by what miraculous chance Torres found his way through those seas. Yet he says not one word of complaint! And, when he "coasted along to the Westward on the South side" what did he expect to find? Not one word exists to indicate that man had ever sailed through the Strait to the South of New Guinea. Mercator and Ortelius had drawn a strait between New Guinea and their Magellanican continent; but Mercator had partially covered the strait with a pattern, and both geographers had said that its existence was "uncertain," giving no word of argument either for belief, or for unbelief. Wytfliet had said there was a strait, and had drawn it; but again without one word of evidence. Yet Torres simply "coasted along to Westward on the South side," without any reference either to strait expected or to strait found. And he sailed through this strait—a strait in which, Moresby says, "a ship is never safe out of the beaten track, the lurking dangers are so many"*—and all we get from him are a few bald phrases about "many islands" and "a reef of shoals," and "great currents."

[* Moresby writes: "Torres Straits are about two hundred miles long with a least breadth of eighty miles between Cape York and New Guinea. At this part the depth of water nowhere exeeeds twelve fathoms, but elsewhere in the Straits the depth is somewhat greater, but rarely exceeds twenty fathoms. The entire surface of the Straits is strewn with coral reefs and sandbanks and islands, the larger of which are of volcanie origin. The smaller are low white islands of coral formation, scarcely raised ten feet above the sea level. West of Cape York a series of lofty volcanic islands, suceeeded by lines of coral reefs, with very narrow channels for ships between, lie like giant stepping-stones between Queensland and New Guinea, suggesting the idea that New Guinea and Australia were one land." "A ship is never safe in Torres Straits when out of the beaten track, the lurking dangers are so many. The changes made during heavy gales in the shape of rapid shifts and other accumulations of sand defy calculation, added to which the sea is so discoloured by the New Guinea rivers flowing down that such dangers are made imperceptible."]

It seems difficult to draw the route of Torres with any exactness. His few sentences seem extremely obscure, and some of them seem irreconcilable with the modern map. The facts that we know certainly are those given, not by the narrative of Torres, but by the maps sent by de Prado. On the 18th of July, after battling for five days with extensive and very dangerous reefs, Torres anchored in the Bay at the extreme South of New Guinea, which Moresby visited in 1873, and called Jenkins Bay. Torres called the land "the land of Buenaventura," and he, or his artist, drew a map the features of which can be easily recognised.* On the 10th of August they anchored eighty miles Westward in a Bay which they called the Bay of San Lorenzo; the modern Bay of l'Orangerie. It is "very beautiful and pleasant," says the map maker, "the best land and the most fertile that has yet been discovered"; and he drew a map of something that looks like a Spanish town laid out in streets. On the 18th of October they were in a Bay in 3°, 40', one thousand four hundred and eighty miles from their first landfall, which they called the Bay of San Pedro de Arlanca. It is the modern Triton Bay.

[* See Collingridge and Markham.]

These facts are clear and exact. The trouble is to understand exactly how Torres got from the second of these places to the third, and exactly what were his reflections as he made the first recorded passage of this most dangerous Strait. It is difficult for the student to blame too severely the baldness and the apparent confusion of the narrative. Here at last is a man who definitely saw the Southern Continent. He had sailed in search of it under a captain whose soul blazed with passionate desire of its glories. Quiros, the Moses of this great enterprise, had seemed to get vision of the continent, and then, "for lack of half an hour," had sailed home with "sorrowful discourses." And now here was Torres, the Joshua of our story, actually in touch with the Promised Land—and he has not a word to say about it! His thought runs always Northward. By adding his figures we gather that he has sailed along a coast on this side extending two thousand, four hundred and forty miles. He has nothing of interest to say even about this huge country save that at the Western end are "Mahomedan Moors," who "said that in all the land there was much gold, and other good things, such as pepper and nutmegs." About things seen on the South he says no word that even Quiros could use as argument for further enterprise. He writes as one who neither expected a continent, nor saw one.

The only passage that can possibly refer to Australia is a very confused string of sentences which seem to tell that in 9° Torres was obliged by "many shoals and great currents" to "sail out South-West in that depth to 11° S. Lat. There is all over it an archipelago of islands without number, by which we passed, and at the end of the 11th degree the bank became more shoal. There were very large islands, and there appeared more to the Southward; they were inhabited by black people, very corpulent and naked; their arms were lances, arrows, and clubs of stone, ill fashioned." Apparently these words describe the passage of the straits, and one must imagine that among the very large islands to the Southward was Cape York. The inexplicable marvel is that there is no word to hint that a continent was seen, or even looked for! And yet Torres had seen the maps of Mercator and Ortelius and Wytfliet, and he had journeyed with Quiros!

Thus unsatisfyingly Torres wrote his account of the first recorded voyage through the Strait in 1606. The second recorded voyage was that by Cook in 1770. The account of Torres was not published by the Spaniards, and the fact that he had passed through the Strait was forgotten. Spain's day of exploration had reached its sunset. Why point new paths to the English and the Dutch? The voyagers of those nations had no knowledge of Torres' exploit. To them, for another century and a half, the existence of the Strait remained as "uncertain" as it had been to Mercator and Ortelius. Then in the 1760's Alexander Dalrymple obtained "a copy of the pamphlet of Arias, saw that a strait had been passed, and that it ought to be called by Torres' name. When Cook sailed on his first great voyage in 1769, his passenger, Mr. Joseph Banks, had been supplied by Dalrymple with this information, and it fell to Cook to prove with decisiveness the truthfulness of his predecessor, and to give the detail which this predecessor had omitted.


CHAPTER XII. THE SPANISH STORY ENDS

Quiros had arrived in Madrid, his two maravedis in pocket for a moment, on the 9th of October, 1607. Poor in purse, he was richer than ever in hope, "a Job in poverty but not in patience." He was "an insignificant ant," he would be content with the wages of a cabin boy, but his cause, like Milton's, was the cause of God and of His Church*. During the next seven years he remained in Spain in poverty and in debt—possessing not one penny, and owing two thousand five hundred dollars, he somewhere says—and he wrote endless Memorials, imploring that he might be sent to complete the mission of which he had made "beginning with such good foundation." "During the first eleven days he had not money to buy ink and paper. He wrote his first Memorial on the fly-leaves of a pamphlet. He printed it by selling his clothes. To finish the second he sold his bedding; for the third he pawned the Royal Banner under which he had taken possession of Espiritu Santo."** When money failed, he wrote copies, and distributed them among Court officials.

[* "Neither do I fear those dark and stormy nights, looking in the midst of real dangers for undiscovered lands; and be it known that I also love courts and populous cities, and I give it up all for the service of God only."]

[** Markham, p. xxx.]

Altogether he wrote fifty Memorials, and drew more than two hundred maps. All the maps have disappeared. In the Dutch translation of one of the Memorials, however, there is a map, which, whether drawn by Quiros or not, seems to represent the geography of the new discovery as it appeared to his mind.* Of the Memorials, eight remain. Two of them were translated into English, French, German, Dutch, and Latin, and were the chief source of information during this period about the exploits and the hopes of Quiros. In them, with abundant detail and endless repetition, he insists on the various branches of the great argument. He had discovered either a continent, or islands that were very near a continent—"never have there been found inhabited islands that are not very near a continent." This continent would be "another New World," like America, just as great and with prospects of becoming greater. He himself had seen silver and pearls**—statements that one cannot explain! And further facts had been learned from Pedro, the captured native of Taumaco. Before he died, a saved and happy Christian, "led to the gift of God's holy Glory," he had made marvellous statements concerning great lands to the South of his islands; lands where were large towns, "inhabited by people as white as ours," a country of very high mountains and large rivers, abounding in spices and silver and gigantic pearls produced by oysters so huge that, if the hand is put inside the shell, and the shell shuts, there is no hand, and the oyster must be captured by means of a stick with a noose of rope at the end.

[* See Illustration 38.]

[** He writes:—"the silver that by good chance I saw in that land, as well as samples of pearls."]

These are strong reasons for believing that "in that hidden quarter of the globe are very large provinces, all full of many and of various peoples." The proof is completed by the letters of Torres, which, says Quiros, "gave me great pleasure, and incited me to send in more Memorials." The voyage of Torres, he curiously argues, "establishes the greatness of the land newly discovered"; curiously, because all that Torres had discovered was that New Guinea had a South coast, and that there was a way to it through a very difficult strait. The length of this New World, Quiros now declares, "is as much as all Europe and Asia Minor, as far as the Caspian and Persia, with all the islands of the Mediterranean and the Ocean which encompasses, including the two islands of England and Ireland. That hidden part is one fourth of the Globe, and is of such capacity that double the Kingdoms and provinces of which Your Majesty is at present the Lord could fit into it." The lands that have been seen "touch the Equator," and they "may perhaps go as far as 90°." They will be lands "antipodal to the greater part of Africa, to all Europe, and to the greater Asia." Quiros had seen silver and pearls, and Torres says that he saw gold—statements again that need explanation! Mace, pepper, and ginger had been seen. There were accounts of cinnamon. There must be clove islands on the line of Ternate. And "the industry of the Spaniards will make the products of the country better and more profitable, than what is raised in Peru or Mexico."

Quiros did his best to make this territorial argument attractive. But his own mind ran elsewhere. He loved the New World not for its gold and its spices, but for its "mine of souls." He urged exploration as part of Spain's duty to Christ. A century earlier a treaty had been mediated by Christ's Vicar between Christ and the King of Spain. Christ had granted the New Worlds to Spain on one strict condition: the condition that to these New Worlds Spain would be evangelist. Christ had fulfilled His Word; and the boast of Spain was that the whole globe did not suffice. Possession of America should have rendered the King undisputed Master of the World, able to make the Church of God triumphant over Turk and Moor and all her enemies, in such wise that "all round the world God would be known and adored by all his creatures." And what had Spain done? She had destroyed America. She had not saved the natives, but had exterminated them. She had almost sinned away her soul. Yet now God offered one more opportunity. "All that has been lost in America may be gained in Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. It seems as if God kept the better and richer lands to the last, and for a man of such good intent. Hasten, my Lord, hasten the measures for this great and necessitous enterprise." For the need is urgent. There is fear lest Dutch and English "pirates" enter the new discoveries, settle there, prey on the Spanish possessions, sow false doctrines and bring everything to ruin. "My Lord, this is a great work. For the Devil wages such mortal war, and it is not well that he should be able to do so much, Your Majesty being the Defender of the Right."

The Spanish Councils read these Memorials. But they had to consider also other evidence. Quiros' fellow voyagers were telling a different story. Torres wrote that, in the late voyage, the captain had been unable to deal with mutiny. Seamen in Mexico were saying that he was no better than a lunatic. A man named Iturbe, who had been accountant on the Capitana, wrote to Madrid that the failure had been due to Quiros; he had disobeyed the instructions to sail South; the Knighthood of the Holy Ghost was an absurdity; Quiros was wholly unfit to command.

The Spanish Councillors were a good deal impressed. Quiros is "not a very reliable man," said one of them, "though he has the idea in his head that he is going to be a second Columbus, and that is his affliction."* "Though Quiros possesses both knowledge and talent," said another, "he lacks all the other qualities so necessary to accomplish success." And the opinion was not far wrong. The Council had also other arguments to consider. The reports of their debates and papers, which still exist, show that the minds of Spanish statesmen were beset by the feeling that Spain's day of exploration was done. The statements of Quiros, that the existence of a great and golden continent had been proved, were very open to criticism. But suppose they were true! To whom would this great and golden continent belong? Certainly not to the Spaniards, who now sailed the Pacific in fear of the guns of English and Dutch pirates. In view especially of the Dutch danger, said some Councillors, "it will be well to occupy immediately the lands discovered by Quiros, even if only by trading factories." But people knew that such trading factories would soon be welcome refreshment to the heretic enemy. The Devil, complains Quiros, is "a very old and experienced soldier, expert in all arts and sciences, shrewd in making what is really bad appear to be in the best interests of the State." And the Devil made it appear to the Spanish Councils that it would be better to spend Spanish money, if there was any, in completing the exploration of Mexico and Peru. And there was common sense in the Devil's opinion.

[* Columbus's obstinacy, wrote Quiros, was "not so much as mine, nor so great his work."]

On the other hand, Quiros must be treated with respect. After all, he possessed "knowledge and skill." He appeared "very discontented and suspicious"; and it was feared—a strange fear!—that he would enter the service of Dutch or English. It might be well to tell him that his argument had much weight, but that the time was not opportune, that it might be possible to attend to the matter in two or three years; that meanwhile His Majesty would enquire whether the Viceroy of Peru had ships to spare; and that for the present he would be given a well-paid appointment at court.

So Quiros was kept waiting. Most of the Ministers, he says, "received the Memorials well, and seemed to value them, but they did not despatch any faster. My ill-luck was so great that I could never get anything settled. I procured an interview with His Majesty, showed my papers, maps, and sea charts, explained what were the lands I proposed to seek, and their grandeur, and related the events of the voyage I had already made. Having seen all my demonstrations with interest, he rose"—and Quiros was assured that all would be well.

Finally in 1614 Quiros was ordered to go to Peru with a new Viceroy, who had instructions "to despatch him from Callao to the settlement of the Southern region when he judged it to be convenient, and the state of affairs in Peru makes it proper to do so." The Government had decided that Quiros must be sent to Peru; "otherwise he would never be pacified." But it had also decided to send to the Viceroy two despatches, the one to say that Quiros was to be given ships, the other to say that he was to be detained. There was fear that Quiros might discover the existence of the second despatch, and might go to other princes. Quiros strongly suspected the truth. But life and patience, he writes, were worn out, and he went. Thus abruptly his narrative ends. The only further knowledge we possess is that he died at Panama in 1615, at the age of fifty. It was, as Sir Clement Markham observes, "a timely death." He would never have been sent on voyage again. And, if he had been sent on voyage again, the voyage would have failed. He could not have controlled the best crews of Spaniards that ever sailed from Callao. It is well that our Don Quixote died with the divine madness still ablaze, still cherishing unconquerable belief that the cause of God and of His Church will unite the World, and that this "will be done by means of a few Spaniards."

In following the story of Quiros we have continuously in mind the contemporary Spanish picture of the Knight of the rueful countenance, with withered and dusty visage, and with respectful demeanour, who affirmed that the world stood in need of nothing so much as Knights Errant, and the revival of Chivalry. But the Knight Errantry of Quiros was the Knight Errantry of Christ; and the Chivalry which he revived was the Chivalry of the Holy Ghost. He did not discover a continent, but he achieved a spiritual exploit. He so dreamed that his dreams entered into the aims of those, of other times and other nations, who achieved the work which Spain had refused.


Note on the history of the original sources of information about the voyages of Quiros.

The Narrative of Quiros was not printed till 1876-1882, but Figuera's Life of one of the Viceroys of Peru "contains an abbreviated version" (Markham, vol. i. p. xiii). Torquemada's narrative, which gave the Franciscan view of the story, was published in 1614. The narrative of the pilot De Leza was not printed till 1876. Two of Quiros' Memorials were printed in his lifetime and were translated into English, French, German, Dutch and Latin; and it was from them that students mainly drew knowledge of the voyage. The Memorial of Arias was printed in 1640 (Markham, xliii), but seems to have been forgotten until Dalrymple got a copy in the 1760's. The letter of Torres was first printed by Burney in 1806 from a copy "lately" obtained by Dalrymple. Cf. Dalrymple's bibliography for Quiros in his Voyages (1770).


CHAPTER XIII. THE COMING OF THE ENGLISH AND THE DUTCH

AUTHORITIES:


The enterprise of the South had been a Franciscan mission, and the Franciscans of Peru were determined to do all possible to prevent its abandonment. They wrote Memorials to the King which may still be read in the British Museum; and they persuaded Don Juan Luis Arias, an advocate of Santiago de Chili, to sum up their arguments in a treatise that is an interesting illustration of the mind of religious Spain.*

[* Early Voyages to Australia, ed. Major; Voyages of Quiros, ed. Markham.]

The writer explains the physical argument which proves that a Southern Continent exists. He brings together the facts which indicate that, at various points, this continent had actually been touched. He attaches much importance to a story that Juan Fernandez, the discoverer of the famous island, had also discovered, somewhere between West and South-West of Chili, "a very fertile and agreeable continent, inhabited by a white well-proportioned people of our own height, well-clad and of a peaceful and gentle disposition." The failure of Quiros, he argues, was due to his "great mistake" in refusing to sail Southward of 26°; where, says the writer "they saw to the South very extensive and thick banks of clouds in the horizon, and other well-known signs of mainland."*

[* These statements about the voyage of Juan Fernandez, and the "signs of mainland" in 26°, were used by Dalrymple in his endeavour to prove the existence of the Continent. It seems likely that the land which Fernandez discovered was either the island that bears his name, or possibly Easter Island. The documents of the voyagers of 1606 do not seem to mention "signs of mainland" in 26°. Possibly Arias had received information by word of mouth, or possibly he has in mind the "signs of land on both sides of us," which Torres mentions at a later stage in the voyage.]

But the stress is laid on the religious argument: on the duty of Spain to fulfil the prophecies which foretell, so it is argued, that Spaniards shall redeem the sheep of the "other" or Southern fold; and above all on the urgent need to undertake this work at once. "For the English and Dutch heretics, whom the Devil unites for this purpose by every means in his power, most diligently continue the exploration, discovery, and colonisation of the principal ports of this large part of the world in the Pacific Ocean, and sow in it the most pernicious poison of their apostasy, which they put forth with the most anxiety in advance of us, who should put forth the sovereign light of the Gospel."

Heretics were raging in East and in West. They were trading and fighting in the Moluccas. They were actually settling in Virginia and in Bermuda, infecting "millions upon millions" with their "infernal poison," depriving the Church of "an infinite number of souls," seeking to found an empire that "will at length possess much better and richer Indies than our own, and from which they will be able to lord it absolutely over all our territories, and all our navigations and commerce with the West Indies." As in the West, so in the East. Drake and Cavendish had surveyed the Spanish world from Peru to the Moluccas, laughing at Spanish claims, trampling on Spanish pride, sacking Spanish cities in the West, smashing the fence of Spanish monopoly in the East. Meanwhile the Dutch—the despised Dutch!—were trading from the Cape to the Moluccas, and from the Straits to the Moluccas. "We have reached such a point that the most inconsiderable nations of Europe, whom we formerly held beneath our feet, now look upon us as an afflicted nation, and of small account;—which is a horrible fact, and an easily recognisable effect of divine indignation." Let the Spanish King, before too late, act in the spirit of his most Christian predecessors, who declared that, when other means failed, they themselves would go forth. "Thus should Your Majesty set the eyes of your heart upon preaching the gospel in the South, as Christ is now recounting to you, with the Crown of the universal Empire of the Globe in his hand." "To you, the Apostle says, 'Do the work of an evangelist!' Do this work, and then your Majesty will be able to say at the Day of account, 'Bonum certamen certavi'; overcoming the greater power of Lucifer, giving liberty from his tyrannical and abominable servitude to so great a number of souls in the Southern hemisphere. So gain the reward of that unspeakably glorious crown!

The memorial of Dr. Arias is the last word of Spanish chivalry seeking to conquer for Christ "the universal empire of the Globe." It failed to move the mind of Spain. With visibly failing resources, she already possessed an Empire on which the sun never set, to exploit, to settle, to defend against heretic "basilisks and dragons." Sensible men were saying that Spain's hands were already over-full; using, complains Arias, "plausible but superficial arguments of expediency," "reasons of State advanced in opposition to the imperative command of the Apostle, 'Do the work of an evangelist.' "But Don Quixote, said the Spaniard, became sane—and died. The madness of Spain, which had achieved the impossible, departed. The government became wise—and weak; the government of "an afflicted nation." Spain was able to hold what she had conquered. But the continent of the South was to be the land of the heretic.


English interest in the East was of early date: Before the voyage of Columbus, Bristol merchants had sent ships Westward in search of an island of "Brasil," which was thought to be a stepping-stone to Cathay. Then in 1497 they sent John Cabot who, like Columbus, believed that he could find the Spice Islands by sailing West, and who hoped "to make London a greater place for spices than Alexandria." He sailed North-West, discovered a Newfoundland, and was believed to have won for England "a great part of Asia without a stroke of a sword." The Cape was the Portugal route, and the Straits were the Spanish route, but Englishmen believed they would find a North-West passage that would be much shorter than these. In the days of Henry VIII. wise men urged that England should give up her "attempts against the terra firma"—i.e. attempts to conquer France—"and travel by that way which it seems eternal providence has destined us, which is by sea." If Spaniards and Portuguese would not suffer Englishmen to join with them, "there will yet be region enough for all to enjoy."

Attempts to find a North-West passage failed. So, under Mary, Englishmen tried the North-East. Chancellor discovered, not Cathay, but Russia; which seemed an amazing novelty. The Muscovy Company was formed, and, under Elizabeth, its famous commercial travellers, like Anthony Jenkinson, pushed across the Caspian to Persia, and opened trade with India. But this was a very long and troublesome route, and profits diminished. And, at the same time, the old trade by way of the Mediterranean was failing. The last "Venetian argosy" was wrecked off the Isle of Wight in 1587. Then English merchants strove to do their own trade. A commercial treaty was made with the Sultan, and the Levant Company was formed with permission to trade as far as India. But Spain possessed sea-power in the Mediterranean, and British trade became precarious. And when in 1580 Philip of Spain became King of the Portuguese, he put a stop to the large trade in Oriental goods that had grown up between Lisbon, Antwerp, and London. Dutchmen and Englishmen must either go without their luxuries, or must send their own ships to the East to get them.

And meanwhile the East was becoming both better known and more attractive. In 1580 Drake came home with the ship-load of cloves, and the alleged monopoly treaty with the King of Ternate. In 1588 Cavendish brought news that Englishmen might trade as freely as the Portugals in the Moluccas, and urged that Elizabeth should take advantage of the defeat of the Armada to seize the spoil of her enemy in all the richest places of the world. In 1583 Ralph Fitch set forth on a grand Asiatic tour which brought him to the court at Delhi of Akbar the Great, founder of the Moghul Empire, to Burmah, and to Malacca, and enabled him to bring home great news to English merchants when he returned to London in 1591.

But by far the most important newsbook was that written in 1595-6 by the Dutchman John Huyghen van Linschoten, the Marco Polo of this part of our story. As a boy at Haarlem, he had taken "no small delight in reading of histories and strange adventures." Thinking that "no time is more wasted than when a young fellow hangs about his mother's kitchen like a baby," he traded in Seville, and then in 1583 sailed to India in the suite of a new bishop of Goa. At Goa he lived five years, learning the news of the whole Eastern world, and making notes. On his way home in 1589 the Portuguese ship in which he sailed was compelled to stay at the Azores. He stayed there for two years; and it is to this accident that we owe his vivid picture of the last fight of the Revenge. His books describing the routes to India, and the various lands of the East, were printed in 1595 and 1596. An English translation appeared in 1598. The English editor, in his preface, believes that readers will give close attention to "the great provinces, puissant cities, and unmeasurable islands of the Indies." "I do not doubt, but yet I do most heartily pray a wish that this poor translation may work in our English nation a further desire and increase of honour over all countries of the world by means of our wooden walls." The riches of the Eastern world, and the vicious weakness of the Spanish-Portuguese Empire were revealed; and the way to act was by wooden walls.

The English merchants easily understood. Already in 1589, the year after the Armada, they had obtained a licence from the Queen to send three ships in direct trade to India, and in 1591 the first English squadron, under James Lancaster, sailed, by way of the Cape, to the Indian Seas. The voyage was disastrous. Of one hundred and ninety-eight men only twenty-five returned in 1594. But Lancaster had made his voyage. He brought back a "precious cargo of pepper and rich booty." He had convinced the declining Levant Company that it must transform itself into an East India Company, and claim the trade of the Pacific. In 1600 they obtained a Charter which granted the exclusive privilege of trade with all lands beyond the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan, except those lands actually possessed by Christian princes in amity with the Queen. Among the lands not actually possessed by friendly Christians was Terra Australis Incognita.

The English East India Company was in its early years a somewhat weakly body. The ventures were ventures, not of the whole Company, but of separate groups of members. It was not till the days of Cromwell, "the first ruler of England to realise that the Indian trade was a concern of the nation," that the Company was transformed "from a feeble relic of medieval trade guild into a vigorous forerunner of the modern Joint Stock Company." The Stuart Kings regarded it as their creature, and violated its charter whenever it seemed to mean minds that money could thereby be made. To the Parliament, accordingly, it appeared to be a suspicious institution, liable to become a source of extra-Parliamentary revenue. Economists described it as a "canker of the Commonwealth." In the West Indies you could get "gold, silver and precious things for beads, bells, knives, looking-glasses, and such toys and trifles." But in the East Indies you paid out solid gold and got unlasting spices. The Company sought to argue that they were a Hercules yet in the cradle.

Their fleets were training schools for the English marine. They counterpoised "the Hollanders' swelling greatness by trade," and kept them "from being absolute lords of the sea." English gentlemen were enabled to exfport more wool, and to raise more rent. True, Indian goods were bought by English gold; but much of the goods was re-sold to foreigners at a profit. Englishmen got their spices cheap, and their gold also increased, as farmers gain by sowing and reaping. There was much interesting argument; but the Company, betrayed by the King, and ill-supported by the nation, made slow way.*

[* See admirable discussion in Hunter's History of British India.]

But it was at least strong enough to break through the Portuguese fence. Their agents travelled through India, won the favour of the Great Moghul at Delhi, obtained permission to establish a factory at Surat, and even to act as maritime patrol for the Moghul Empire, with duty to clear the sea of Portuguese, and to keep open the pilgrim path to Mecca. They broke the sea-power of Portugal in famous battles. They won supremacy in the Persian Gulf. They passed Eastward through the Straits of Malacca. "A native festival," we are told, "still annually commemorates the first Englishman who lived and died in Japan."* And they found by far their most valuable market in the Spiceries, where, so they claimed, Drake's Treaty gave them right to monopoly. They had factories in Sumatra, Amboyna, and Java. It was clear that neither Spaniards nor Portuguese could fight them. Had these been the only rivals, England would have become as supreme in the islands as in India. There would, perchance, have risen a Jamestown or a Charlestown in Java; and, sailing thence, English merchantmen would have discovered Australia. But England had other rivals in the far East. In addition to Portuguese Crusaders, were Dutch men of business.

[* See interesting account of William Adams in Hunter, vol. i. pp. 298-9. He was sailing-master on a Dutch ship, which came to Japan in 1600. It was seized, and the crew were detained. Adams's Letters are printed in Memorials of the Empire of Japan, ed. Rundall (Hakluyt Society). The first English ship came to Japan in 1613. See The Voyage of Captain John Saris to Japan, 1613, ed. Satour (Hakluyt Society).]

In spirit, as in date, the Dutch Republic was by far the most modern state in Europe. Dutch patriots had fought and had died for justice and liberty in one of the great pitched battles of human history. "The political reformation of Europe," writes Sir William Hunter, "dates from the Dutch Declaration of Independence of 1581. Then, for the first time, was asserted and enforced the principle that government exists for nations, not nations for governments, as no abstract dogma, but as a truth for which a whole nation was willing to die." Strife against tyranny stiffened the fibre of character, and gave consistency and strength to conduct. The Republic became the home of Soul-Liberty. The intellect was stirred and strengthened to free and vigorous life. The people were the best educated in the world. The University of Leyden, child of war for an idea, explained that idea to Europe. Free soul and free mind grew in a free state that represented and served the whole people.

There was equal pre-eminence in things material. Conscience and intelligence found expression in the industry of day to day. No people of their number produced wealth so great. In all pastoral and agricultural pursuits the Dutch taught the world. But their industrial strength centred in the great cities. Here were made the best linens in the world. And here lived the Burghers, who had organized world-commerce with skill and with success that far surpassed all precedent. It was they, above all, who won wealth for that "extraordinary soil which produced nothing, and teemed with everything"; which "had neither timber, nor stone, nor wheat, nor spices, yet was the great world-market for all that men desire." "Commerce and Holland were simply synonymous terms...Its morsel of territory was but the wharf to which the Republic was occasionally moored; its home was in every Ocean and all over the World."*

[* Motley's Dutch Republic.]

Even before the war, the Dutch had been a sea-going people. An enormous herring fishery had created a fleet. A very great trade developed with Lisbon in Oriental goods. War with Spain stopped this trade with Lisbon, but it also created a fleet that was able to go fighting to India. Merchantmen in those days easily became Dreadnoughts, and "turned a desperate land warfare into a triumphant naval campaign."* They had two thousand ships of war. Their captains had the reputation of Sir Richard Grenville, and fought the fight of the Revenge. "It is difficult," cried one of them, "not to conquer on salt water. It is for us to tear from the enemy's list of titles his arrogant appellation of Monarch of the Ocean. Remember we are all sailors, accustomed from our cradle to the Ocean, while yonder Spaniards are mainly soldiers and landsmen, qualmish at the smell of bilge water, and sickening at the roll of the waves."**

[* Motley's Dutch Republic.]

Thus when Philip II. stopped the Dutch trade with the Indies by way of Lisbon, Dutch traders knew how to act. They would fight him, not merely in the European waters, but in the Far East also.

There were three possible ways to the East. There was the North-East route, which Mercator's map showed to the North of Asia. The English had tried this route and had failed. But Linschoten, who knew all that was known about the Cape route, thought the North-East would prove better. And he sailed in the two first of the three Dutch voyages that were made in this direction in 1594, 1595, and 1596. They all failed; but the failures were made memorable by the stiff heroism of Barentz and his men, and show "the intelligence, enthusiasm and tenacity in wrestling against immense obstacles manifested by the young Republic."* There were Dutch voyages by Drake's way through the Straits, and the voyagers saw further evidence of the coast of Terra Australis. In 1599 Theodore Gerards, being carried by tempest into 64°, saw a country mountainous and covered with snow, looking like Norway, and seeming to extend to the Islands of Solomon.

[** Motley's Dutch Republic.]

In 1624 the Orange Tree reported that the Southern continent had been seen in 50°, and again in 41°. Some of these ships got to the Philippines, and had fierce fight with De Morga, who captured one of them, and executed his prisoners as pirates with the garotte. But Drake's way was long and hazardous. Most Dutch ships, with Lindschoten's guide-book in hand, went, after 1595, by the Portugal route round the Cape. And they went in very great numbers—fifteen fleets, with sixty-five ships, between 1595 and 1601. "The Dutch," complains De Morga from the Philippines, "come in squadrons, and, supported by them, the Muslims revolt against the Spaniards. Their interests in the trade for cloves and other spices are very great, and they expect by this trade to subjugate the East. If a fundamental remedy be not applied in good time, the trouble will soon grow so great that it will never be ended. In the Javas they get such big profits that it will be hard to drive them from the East, where they have done such great injuries in spiritual and temporal matters."

But the Dutch were not content. Like the English, they found that "separate" voyages were instruments inadequate for the foundation of a commercial Empire at the ends of the earth; and, unlike the English, they made the essential change at once. In 1602 the separate syndicates of merchants were united into one joint stock association, with the title of the United East India Company. The Dutch merchants were to put their whole strength into great national ventures. The Government of the Company was to be in the hands of seventeen Directors, chosen by the Chambers of the various States in proportion to their contributions. They were to act as commercial Council for the Republic. They had support both from the Dutch Government and from the Dutch people; and the Dutch Company, far more truly than the English, became, in Burke's words, "a delegation of the whole power and sovereignty of the State sent in the East." And thus the Company became strong with the strength that had made the Republic. "It was," writes Sir William Hunter, "the spirit which had cut the dykes that gained the Spice Archipelago for Holland."

The Company was both an instrument of commerce and a weapon of war. Its captains, excluded from Lisbon, blocked the Tagus. They smashed the Spanish fleet in Gibraltar Bay. They routed the Portuguese off Java, and won Sea Power in all the Eastern seas. Sea Power gave them the islands. In dealing with the natives they had, in rivalry with Spaniards and Portuguese, important advantages. They had no crusade to wage against the "Muslims." They wished neither to conquer nor to convert. Their sole wish was to buy and sell, and to buy and sell with a strict monopoly of trade. They treated the natives fairly well, and appeared as deliverers from Portuguese cruelty. Spain became convinced, though not by argument, that it was best to give what could not be withheld. In 1609, while Quiros was writing Memorials, the King of Spain made a truce with the Dutch, in which he promised that he would not interfere with Dutch trade in the East. The Spanish fence was broken down, and the Dutch were allowed to enjoy that free trade without which, as they said, their State "would melt away like snow in the sun."

The Dutch used the Sea Power to build an Empire in the East, firm in its foundations, and touching the coasts of all the Eastern seas. In 1619 Governor-General Coen, who "was to the Dutch Indies in the seventeenth century what Albuquerque had been to the Portuguese in the sixteenth, and what Dupleix became to the French in the eighteenth," founded "in a congenial swamp" the city that was destined to be the new Amsterdam of the East. Batavia commanded the whole archipelago, and in an especial way it commanded the Straits of Sunda, one of its two main entrances. Here, in the large rich island of Java, Coen established the Dutch Power, giving it that solid basis in territory and population which the Portuguese Empire had lacked. He wished, but wished in vain, to make Batavia a colony of Dutch settlers. It remained an outpost of commercial Empire; and "the ingathering of a multitude of people from all parts," which Coen desired "to people our country withal," gave Batavia a character of Asiatic cosmopolitanism that reminds one of the European cosmopolitanism of the New Amsterdam that became New York.

Batavia grew into a city large, prosperous, strong, the seat of incomparably the greatest power in the Eastern World. It dominated an island, extensive, fertile, and populous, providing cheap labour and large revenues. Over the whole Spice Archipelago the Dutch ruled with omnipotent and tyrannic sway. And this was but the centre of a huge maritime Empire, which extended "from Madagascar to Japan, from New Guinea to the Red Sea." St. Helena was occupied for the refreshment of their ships, the Cape as the essential half-way house between West and East, Mauritius as a basis for the slave-trade in Madagascar, and for explorations in the far South. They traded in the Red Sea and in the Persian Gulf. They conquered Ceylon, and established factories in India. The capture of Malacca gave them command of one entrance to the Spice Archipelago, as the foundation of Batavia had given them command of the other. They had factories in Cambodia, in Formosa, and in Japan. They threatened China with the Mailed Fist. According to Coen's plans there was to be a Dutch garrison in some Fortress to be captured or to be erected on the Chinese Coast, and a sufficient Dutch Fleet, to be permanently placed on this station, was to "bend the Chinese to our will." "It is," he writes, "our fixed intention not to allow in future any Chinese to sail to any other port than Batavia, on pain of being declared our enemies, and treated as such." The Dutch possessed all the gates of the Indian Ocean, as the Arabs and Portuguese had possessed them in the past, and as the British were to possess them in the future.

Thus the rival of England in the Far East was not Spain, but Holland. Very curious is the story of the relations of these two Protestant States in the later sixteenth century and in the seventeenth, swinging between a friendship so close that it seeks actual union, and enmity so ferocious that it finds expression in unforgivable massacre, and in long obstinate equal war. Both England and Holland had become World-Powers in the course of warfare with Spain. In both countries Sea Power had been the child of the Reformation. Up to the Armada, close alliance had been of essential importance to both States; and, for twenty years afterwards, it remained of value. In the Far East, Dutch and English ships fought side by side against the Portuguese. But, as Spain grew weak, the question of the defence of Protestantism was succeeded by the question of the division of the spoils. The influence of common religion was displaced by the influence of commercial rivalry. For in those days commerce meant monopoly, and the Dutch were as severe monopolists as had been the Portuguese. The instructions to the first Dutch Governor-General were that "the commerce of the Moluccas, Amboyna, and Banda should belong to the Company, and that no other nation in the world shall have the least part."*

[* Hunter, vol. i. p. 341.]

The claim was intolerable to countrymen of Drake and Cavendish. In 1605 the King of Ternate asked after Drake's health, and complained that the Dutch prevented him from granting a factory to the English. The English replied by claiming a factory, "for that Sir F. Drake had trade in Ternate before the Dutch were known in these parts of the world." The Dutch, they said, were making use of "the negligent and inconsiderate English," and were pocketing the profits of their trade. Mutual enmity quickly grew hot and bitter. "The envy of the Hollanders," wrote an Englishman, "is so great that to take out one of our eyes, they will lose both of theirs." They showed to the natives English prisoners in chains, dying of ill-usage. They boasted that "one Holland ship will take ten English, that they care not for our King, for St. George was now turned child." On one occasion they put the English flag on Dutch pirate ships, and "covered all the seas from the Red Sea to China, spoiling and robbing all nations in the name and under the colour of the English." Such, at least, were the English stories, and words grew bitter. Sir Thomas Dale, infamous for methods of barbarism in Virginia, receiving a document in Flemish, "scolded, stamped, swore and cursed," and asked "why the letter was not written in French, Spanish, Latin, or any other language, if we did not like to write English."*

[* This discussion is mainly based on Sir W. Hunter's History of British India.]

In 1623 Governor-General Coen sailed for Holland, leaving instructions to "treat the English no more than a public enemy ought to be treated; not weighing too scrupulously what may fall out." Governor Speult of Amboyna, who had been accused of some slackness of duty, acted on the hint. He manufactured evidence of English conspiracy out of the confessions of a tortured Japanese. The accused English were tormented with long-drawn atrocity, and ten of them were executed. Some of them managed to write on pages of their prayer-books, or other scraps of paper, notes like the following:—"We through torment were constrained to speak that which we never meant, nor man imagined. They tortured with that extreme torment of fire and water that flesh and blood could not endure. Written in the dark."

The English people did not love the English Company, but the cruel and insolent outrage burnt hot and deep. The Company talked of "joining with the Portugals, and rooting the bloody Dutch out of the Indies." James I. threatened war, but did nothing. Charles even seized Dutch ships, but was satisfied by payment of £30,000 into his personal pocket. At length Cromwell, determined to make the name of Englishman as respected through the world as had been the name of Civis Romanus, insisted that the Dutch must pay compensation to the Company for the old iniquity. But it remained unforgiven. "The spectres of the tortured victims," writes Sir William Hunter, "stood between the two great Protestant Powers during a century."

But, among the islands, "the insatiable covetousness of the Hollanders" had won. The English had to be content with what then appeared the second-best. They withdrew to India, and built the Indian Empire. The Dutch remained for a hundred and fifty years in complete possession of the Australasian Oceans: and to them came the opportunity of exploration in the South.


CHAPTER XIV. THE DUTCH DISCOVER AUSTRALIA

AUTHORITIES:


Quiros had died his "timely death" in 1615. And in the same year Dutchmen sailed to achieve his plans.

Isaac Le Maire was a great merchant of Amsterdam. He had read the Memorials of Quiros, and was convinced that a huge continent, rich in gold and spices, existed in the South Pacific. Schouten, a famous seaman, who had made three voyages to the East Indies, agreed to undertake, together with Le Maire's son James, the voyage of exploration which had been refused by the Spaniards. The adventurers were not members of the Dutch East India Company, and they were therefore barred from sailing thither by way of the Cape, or by way of the Straits. But they believed that it would be possible to find a new passage South of Tierra del Fuego. Magellan and his sailors had suspected that the land to the South of the Straits was not part of a continent but an archipelago of islands. Drake had proved that this view was true, and it had been represented both in English and in Dutch maps.* It was now proposed to seek this hitherto unexplored passage, to sail through it to the South Seas, to follow in the track of Quiros, complete the discovery of the great Southern Continent, and finally proceed to Asia. A company was formed called "the Australian Company,"** and in 1610 Prince Maurice, paying singularly little regard to the chartered monopoly of the East India Company, granted permission "to go to trade in the Kingdoms of Tartary, China, Japan, India, Terra Australis, and the islands of the South Sea."

[* Corbett's Drake, vol. i. p. 258 (1899 edition).]

[** "Very diverse opinions obtained among the crews concerning this voyage and these ships, which were finally called the Goldseekers, but the aforesaid directors called their assembly the Australian Company" (East and West Indian Mirror, p. 167).]

In 1615 James Le Maire and Schouten sailed from the seaport of Horn in two ships named the Eendracht and the Horn. Fear of the jealousy of the East India Company made them keep secret the real design of their enterprise. But, arriving in the South Atlantic, it was explained that they were "to find another passage other than the Straits of Magellan, to enter the South Sea, and discover new lands and isles towards the South, where, according to some, great riches are to be found." The sailors rejoiced, each looking to make his profit. They found a passage between Tierra del Fuego and a land which they called Staten Land, and believed to be part of Terra Australis.* It was not till 1643 that a Dutch captain proved that Staten Land was no continent but an island off Tierra del Fuego, "of about nine or ten leagues in length, destitute of any convenient bay or port." Sailing through the new-found strait, they rounded the cape which they called, after the name of the Dutch town whence they had sailed, Cape Horn. They saw the Western mouth of the Straits of Magellan, and "rendered thanks to good fortune in a cup of wine which went three times round the Company." Billows rolling from the South-West proved to them that no continent existed in that direction.

[* Rainaud, p. 347.]

Then, sailing North-West, they began, with Quiros for guide-book, the search for Terra Australis. They came to several islands to which they gave names—Dog island, Fly island, Cocoa island, Water island, Horn island, and the like—in singular contrast with the saint-names of the Spaniards. The islands answered so closely to the descriptions of Quiros, that it seemed to Le Maire they must already be near the Solomons, or the Bay of Quiros, on the edge of Terra Australis. In fact, in terms of modern geography, they were between the Fijis and Samoa. Le Maire, the optimist, was eager to complete the discovery by sailing Westward on a course which might have taken them to the New Hebrides and to the Eastern coast of Cape York peninsula. But Schouten, the practical sea-man, declared the plan unsafe. A Westerly course would bring them on the South side of New Guinea among unknown and dangerous coasts. The route of Torres was unknown. All would depend on the discovery of the "uncertain" passage between New Guinea and Terra Australis, and if they found no passage they must be lost. The only safe plan now, so Schouten argued, was to sail on a North-West course, in order to round New Guinea by the North, and so reach the Moluccas. The argument prevailed. Once more the search was abandoned. The Dutch ships sailed North-West on a course that took them along the coasts of New Ireland, New Hanover, and New Guinea. At length they came to Java, where Governor-General Coen required them, by virtue of his commission from the East India Company, to deliver up the ships and cargoes.

The voyage is memorable, in the story of exploration, as the first voyage round Cape Horn, and as the voyage that revealed with some definiteness of detail the long North coast of New Guinea. It is still more memorable as the Dutch link between Quiros and Cook. Like both these seamen, Le Maire definitely sought for Terra Australis, and, if he had sailed according to his wish, he would have discovered the East coast of Australia. But in fact he discovered only a few coral islands, whose geography remained a puzzle to his successors. Nor did the voyage lead to other voyages of discovery by this route. A century passed before Roggeveen's endeavour to accomplish the task in which Le Maire had failed. For the present, we must follow the slow groping process by which Dutch seamen discovered bit after bit of the Australian coastline, and pieced these bits together till they grew into the map of Tasman.

It is not a very interesting story. It is, in fact, a story of unsurpassable dryness. We have been told that "it was the spirit which had cut the dykes that gained the Spice Archipelago for Holland." But there was very little of "the spirit of the dykes" in the use which the Dutch made of their gain. The trail of business is over the whole story; indeed the whole story is nothing but a trail of business. Complete and singular is the contrast between the Spaniard and his successor. It is the contrast of the Cathedral full of men with all human virtues and vices, and the Factory wherein is neither virtue nor vice, nor even men, but one thing only, desire to make money. In place of Don Quixote we have a bagman, and by no means an "inspired bagman." In place of voyages of knightly mariners, following the gleam of a golden continent, we have a dull story of the gropings, along rocky and barren shores, which cut the utterly uninteresting continent of New Holland out of the beautiful Spanish dreamland of Terra Incognita. In place of quest of a great "mine of souls," we have long inventories of things for barter for "the benefit of the Company." There is no religion in the Dutch story, and there is very little pretence of religion. The Dutch, wrote their representative in Japan, have persuaded the Japanese to expel Spaniards and Portuguese on the ground that they are Christian proselytizers; and now some "jealous detractors" have persuaded the Japanese that the Dutch also are Christians, and "that the duty of a Christian forbids him from suffering his faith and doctrine to remain stationary. Thus do venomous serpents attempt to suck our blood!" The Japanese have pulled down the newly erected Dutch warehouse, and "the glory of our nation, only lately shining with radiant lustre in the eyes of the Japanese magnates, has been sadly eclipsed by the Christian name."* "The Company," our modern Dutch historian quaintly explains, "gave as much attention to Christianity as could in reason be demanded from a man of business."

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 46.]

Nor, again, do our Dutch records show any trace of that cultured and instructed inquisitiveness that lightens every page of later travellers like Dampier and Cook. Science is interesting only as science helps business. Business is interesting only as business produces dividends. Many of the merchant princes, who ruled the East from Amsterdam, were no doubt men of culture wide and deep, and they were prepared to listen with a fairly open mind to proposals of exploration; but those proposals must suggest more business for the Company. And the men who went to Java to trade, and to sail, and to govern, seem generally to have been drawn from the poorest and least educated class. They were good men of business and skilful navigators, and that sufficed. In the whole story no single individual stands out from the crowd of able skippers by virtue of distinct character and ideas. All we learn from our records is, that men with Dutch names sailed on voyages for the benefit of the Company, and that they discovered barren coasts of no benefit to the Company, nor to anyone else.

The Dutch discovered Australia by exploring the Southern coast of New Guinea. The existence of New Guinea had now been known for nearly a century, and it had a reputation interesting to the commercial traveller. Already in 1526 Saavedra had named the North coast the "land of gold." When, late in 1606, Torres came to the South-West end, he was told by the Moors, whom he found conquering the Papuans, that "in all the land there was much gold, and other good things, such as pepper and nutmegs." The same news had reached the Dutch at Java. In November 1605 a small pinnace named the Duyfhen was sent from the Company's factory at Bantam "for the discovery of the land called Nova Guinea which, it is said, affordeth great store of gold." In their passage, says our Dutch record, "they sailed by the islands of Key and Aroum, and discovered the South and West coasts of New Guinea, for about eight hundred and eighty miles (220 Dutch miles), from 5° to 13¾°."

That is to say, they passed from the South coast of New Guinea across the strait to the West coast of Cape York peninsula, and sailed down it some considerable way. "They found this extensive country for the greatest part desert, but in some places inhabited by wild, cruel, black savages, by whom some of the crew were murdered; for which reason they could not learn anything of the land or waters as had been desired of them, and, by the want of provisions, and other necessaries, they were obliged to leave the discovery unfinished the furthest point of the land was called in their map Cape Keer-weer (Turn Again) situated in 13¾° S." According to Flinders, who sailed that way in 1802, Keer-weer is a Cape hardly worthy to be called a Cape. "I could see," he writes, "nothing like a Cape here; but the Southern extreme of the land seen from the mast-head projected a little; and, for respect to antiquity, the Dutch name is there preserved."*

[* Flinders, vol. ii. p. 129.]

The Duyfhen was back at Banda in June 1606. So that the "first authenticated discovery of any part of Australia" took place about March 1606, some six months before Torres sailed through his strait, perhaps saw Cape York, and crossed the track of the Dutch pinnace. The voyage of the Duyfhen had been a failure. They brought home a story of arid coasts and man-eating savages. They left the question of the strait as they found it. Their maps have disappeared, so we know not how they thought of the tangled region through which they passed from coast to coast. Apparently it looked to them more like a passage than a bay, for their successors, who had use of their maps, expected to find "an open passage."

The next Dutch discovery was made in a different part, and in a different way. In the voyages to the East, the Dutch had at first followed the Portugal route, which struck Northward from the Cape along the coast of Africa or Madagascar, and then Eastward to India and the islands. But in 1611 Commander Brouwer tried another way. After leaving the Cape, he sailed Eastward for four thousand miles before turning Northward. It was found that the new way was twice as fast as the old way. In 1614 three ships sailed from Holland. Two took the old way, and arrived in sixteen and eighteen months. One took the new way, and arrived in six. The Company ordered its commanders henceforth to take the new way, and offered rewards for quick passages.*

[* Walker's Early Tasmania, pp. 192-3.]

The change made the discovery of the Western coast inevitable. In October 1616, says an official letter, the ship Eendracht "sailed so far Southward as to come upon various islands, which were, however, found uninhabittd." Our knowledge of this famous voyage is sadly deficient as far as journals are concerned. No one who sailed on the Eendracht wrote an account of the discovery that has had luck enough to survive. We have, however, two very satisfactory pieces of evidence of a different character.

Firstly, we have the map* drawn in 1627 by Hessel Gerritz, who was cartographer to the Company from 1619 to 1629. It is a map that stands in striking contrast to other maps of that period which are copied from Mercator and Ortelius, and give the huge wavy outline of Terra Australis, marked with Marco Polo names. When we look at Gerritz we pass at last from the geography of the imagination to the geography of discovery. He gives us very little information, but the little that he gives is a precise scientific record of things seen and measured. From about 21¾° to about 28° he draws a coastline that is definite though broken; and behind it he writes:—"Tlandt van de Eendracht opghedaen by Dirck Hartogs met 't Schip d'Eendracht in October A° 1616." In about 26° there is shown what appears to be a peninsula sheltering an inlet or bay; and on the peninsula is written "Dirck Hartogs ree (road)." Now this is very satisfactory. Dirck Hartog's Road is evidently the water sheltered by the long thin island, still called Dirck Hartog's island, which so nearly touches the land that, even on the modern map, it looks like a peninsula.** The inlet or bay is the great bay which Dampier, for good reasons, called Sharks Bay. And "the land of Eendracht" is West Australia from about North-West Cape to about Gautheaume Bay.

[* See Illustration 39, directly below.]

[** "As an anchorage during the summer," wrote King in 1829, "Dirck Hartog's Road has everything to recommend it, except total absence of water."



39. PART OF GERRITZ'S MAP, 1627.
(From Coote, Remarkable Maps.)

Secondly, we have another very astonishing piece of evidence. In 1696 a Dutch skipper named Willem de Vlamingh was sent to explore the land of Eendracht, and in November 1697 the Governor-General and Councillors at Batavia wrote an account of his voyage to the Managers at Amsterdam. "Nothing of importance," they say, "has been discovered in this exploratory voyage. Only we must not omit to mention that, in an island situated in 25°, near or before the South-land, they have found fastened to a pole which, though half rotten wood, stood still erect, a common pewter dish of medium size, which had been flattened and nailed to the pole aforesaid; where they found it still hanging; the said dish bearing the following words engraved on it, still distinctly legible 'A.D. 1616 on the 25th of Octr.', there arrived here the ship den Eendraght of Amsterdam; supercargo Gillis Miebais of Liege; skipper Dirck Hartog of Amsterdam: she set sail again for Bantam on the 27th do; subcargo Jan Steyn, upper steersman Pieter Ledocker van Bil.' This old dish which Skipper Willem de Vlamingh brought us, has now likewise been handed to the Commander (of the fleet) to be delivered to your Worships, who with us will no doubt stand amazed that the same has for so long a series of years been preserved, in spite of its being exposed to the influence of sky, rain, and sun."

What their amazed Worships did with "the common pewter dish of medium size" was not known till a few years ago. When in 1899 Professor Heeres published his book of documents, he wrote,—"the dish would seem to be no longer extant." A Dutch journalist named Verster who read the statement, thought of a dish he had seen in the States' Museum of Amsterdam; and he found that it is indeed the very same common pewter dish on which Dirck Hartog had recorded his discovery in October 1616.*

[* See very interesting articles by Mr. George Collingridge in Sydney Morning Herald, 2nd and 9th August, 1913. The lower part of the inscription has decayed away. But it seems perfectly certain that the identification is correct. See Illustration 40.]

But this is not the end of the story. When, in February 1697, Vlamingh took away "the old dish," he erected on the same spot "a new pole with a flattened pewter dish nailed to it," on which he inscribed both the old record and a record of his visit. One hundred and four more years passed, and, in August 1801, Captain Hemelin, sailing in a famous French voyage, sent men to inspect the island. They returned bringing with them this second Dutch dish, which they had found "half covered with sand, lying near a decayed oaken post to which it appeared to have been nailed." The French captain copied the inscriptions, made a curiously bad attempt to translate them,* and then put the dish once more on a new post in the old position; "for he would have deemed it sacrilege to have kept this plate, respected for two centuries by nature, and by those individuals who might have observed it." It seems, however, that Vlamingh's dish was brought to Paris by a later French expedition, and apparently has been lost.**

[* Major's Early Voyages to Australia, p. lxxxiv; Heeres' Part borne by the Dutch, etc., pp. 84-5.]

[** Heeres' Part borne by the Dutch, p. 85 n. Cf. Dr. Hamy's statement, quoted by Mr. Collingridge. "Vlamingh's replica of Dirck Hartog's plate," conjectures Mr. Collingridge, "must be lying perdu in some corner of the French Institute." Freycinet distinctly states that he sent it there. He made "an evidently inaccurate copy," which is printed by Heeres, p. 85, and reproduced in this volume, p. 231.]

Dirck Hartog's discovery had been the inevitable result of the new route. Two years later, in 1618, the skipper of the Zeewulf, without knowledge of Hartog's voyage, came upon part of the same coast rather further to the North. "We found land," writes the Supercargo, "in 20° 15', a low-lying shore of great length. We do not know whether it is unbroken coastline or made up of islands. Only the Lord knows the real state of the affair. It would seem never to have been made or discovered by anyone before us, as we never heard of such a discovery, and the chart shows nothing but open ocean at this place." The Captain suggests that "this land is a fit point to be made by ships coming here with the Eastern monsoon in order to get a fixed course for Java."

By 1618 news had reached Holland of the discovery of Eendrachtsland, and the captains sailing on the new route were on the look-out for the coast, which some identified with the Terra Australis of Mercatorian maps, about which, it was believed, Marco Polo had written. They expected, it seems, that Eendrachtsland would prove to be Marco Polo's Beach, with its great supply of gold, of elephants, and spices. In 1619 two ships were sailing for Batavia under Commander Frederick de Houtman. "On the 19th of July," he writes, "we suddenly came upon this South-land of Beach in 32° 20'";—that is, slightly to the South of Perth. "We resolved to use our utmost endeavour to obtain some knowledge of this coast, which seems to be a very good land, but could find no spot for convenient landing owing to the surf and heavy seas." For nine days they sought to land, and failed. At last they were "forced to leave the land aforesaid, not deeming it advisable to continue inshore in the bad weather with such heavy ships, and such costly cargoes as we had entrusted to our care, being contented with having seen the land, which at more favourable time may be more fully explored with more fitting vessels and smaller craft."

On the evening of the 28th of July, the land was out of sight, and "deeming ourselves to be in an open sea we shaped our course North by East." During the night of the 29th, however, three hours before daybreak, "we again unexpectedly came upon a low-lying coast, a level broken country with reefs all round it. We saw no high land or mainland, so that this shoal is to be carefully avoided, as very dangerous to ships that wish to touch at this coast. It is fully ten miles in length, lying in 28° 46'."



40. DIRCK HARTOG'S PEWTER DISH




41. THE FRENCH COPY OF VLAMINGH'S PEWTER DISH

Houtman is describing the exceedingly dangerous shoals, which still bear the name Houtman's Abrolhos. Abrolhos is Portuguese for "Open your eyes." Why the Dutch used a Portuguese word I do not know; but its advice was very good. When King sailed that way in 1829 the mast-head man for some time persisted that the three low small islands were only the "shadows of clouds."*

[* King, vol. ii. p. 172.]

Houtman got away as fast as possible from these invisible dangers. But three days later, on the 2nd of August, he saw a long stretch of land in 27° 40'. The coast was made of red mud, and it seemed to some, who no doubt had read Marco Polo's account of Beach, that it "might not unlikely prove to be gold-bearing,* a point which might be cleared up in time." It was evident that this coast in 27° was Hartog's Ecndrachtsland and it was further evident that the land, which Hartog had seen in 22°, 23°, and 25°, and which Houtman had seen down to 33°, was "one uninterrupted mainland coast." Along this coast they sailed to Dirck Hartog's island, and then made for Java.

[* See Goos-Visscher's map, Illustration 42.]

Houtman agreed with his predecessor that the discovery should be used to make "a fixed course from the Cape to Java." You should leave the Cape, run Eastward for four thousand miles, then North and North by East to the South-land in 26° or 27°, making sure that you avoid the "shoal" in 28° 46', and thence, by a course North by West and North-North-West, you are sure to make the Western extremity of Java.

The voyage of Houtman is faithfully described in the invaluable map made by Gerritz in 1627. He draws a broken coast, with soundings, from about 33° to about 31°. Behind the coast is written "dunes with trees and underwood at top." Northward the coastline is broken; and the shoals in 28° 29' are indicated by two inscriptions; "Torteldurf," an island discovered by the ship Torteldurf in 1624; and "Houtman's Abrolhos." And at the back of the whole coast, which is rightly imagined to exist continuously from 33° to 28°, is written: "I. d'Edels landt." For some reason that is not explained, the land discovered in this voyage is called by the name of Jacob Dedel, the supercargo of the Amsterdam, whose letter supplements in an interesting way the information given by Commander Houtman.*

[* The supercargo wrote his name Dedel. Why the name is changed to d'Edel on the map I do not know.]



42. PART OF GOOS-VISSCHER'S MAP, 1639
(Fromm Coote, Remarkable Maps.)

In March 1622 the Dutch ship Leeuwin made a discovery of land to the South of that discovered by Houtman. We have no journal to tell this story. But on the map of Gerritz, to the South of D'Edel's land, and united to it by a dotted line, is shown a coastline which, first running Southward, makes at about 34° an elbow to the South-East, and runs in that direction to 35°, where it is cut short by the termination of the map. On the elbow is written "land made by the ship Leeuwin in March 1622." On its Western side is "low land submerged"; on the South East "low land with dunes."

It was becoming evident that there were good reasons for a systematic exploration of the "South-lands behind Java." Ships sailing on the new route were almost bound to see the coast, and were in great danger of running into it. On the other hand, it might be used as a convenient land-mark, and might eventually become the much-needed place of refreshment for ships sailing from the Cape to Batavia. Houtman had described the land from 31° to 33° as very good land. Dedel had suggested that the "red muddy coast," seen in 27°, "might not unlikely prove to be gold-bearing." Both Houtman and Dedel had declared that further investigation was required in more suitable ships, and in a more leisurely time. And then there was the long and still unknown coastline between the new discoveries and Nova Guinea, still imagined in the light of Marco Polo information.* And once more, there was the elbow to the East that had been observed at Cape Leeuwin, with suggestions that deserved exploration.

[* See Illustrations 42 and 44. Note the disappearance of Beach in Keppler's map, Illustration 45.]

But what made exploration urgent was the constant danger of shipwreck on broken coasts and invisible islands, Several Dutch ships found themselves in great peril; and, in July 1622, an event took place that seemed to demand immediate action. On the 5th of July, there came to Batavia a boat with ten men, and three days later came another boat with thirty-six. They were what remained of the crew of an English ship named the Trial. "They state," wrote Governor-General Coen, "that they have lost and abandoned their ship with ninety-seven men, and the cargo she had taken in, on certain rocks situated in Latitude 20° 10', in the Longitude of the Western extremity of Java. These rocks are near a number of broken islands lying very far apart, South-East and North-West, at thirty miles distance North-West of a certain island which in our charts is laid down in 20°. The said ship Trial ran on these rocks in the night time, in fine weather, without having seen land, and, since the heavy swells caused the ship to run aground directly, so that it got filled with water, the forty-six persons afore mentioned put off from her in the greatest disorder, leaving ninety-seven persons in the ship, whose fate is known to God alone." The Governor-General shows that the adoption of the new route—the Eastward course of four thousand miles from the Cape—makes it "necessary that great caution should be used, and the best measures taken in order to avoid such accidents." The Englishmen say that they "met with this accident through following the course of our ships; and they intended to dissuade their countrymen from imitating their example."

The broken islands are duly marked in the Map of Gerritz, in Latitude 20°, and in Longitude due South of the West end of Java, exactly where the Englishmen had stated that they had been wrecked. And the curious thing is that, from that day to this, islands have never been seen in that locality. Dutch captains searched for them in vain. Flinders in 1803 spent some days in unsuccessful quest. King had a similar experience in 1829 and he came to the conclusion that probably the rocks on which the Trial was wrecked were Barrows Island, Trinonville Island, or one of the numerous reefs around them. These places are on the Latitude that the English-men named. The Longitude is quite wrong. "But," writes King, "during the month of July the current sets with great strength to the Westward, and might occasion considerable errors in ship-reckonings, which in former days were so imperfectly kept that no dependence can be placed upon them."* The story illustrates the fact that should always be in the minds of students of the early voyagers: their Latitudes are generally right, but their Longitudes are the result of guess-work.

[* King, vol. ii. p. 444.]

The "Masters" at home had already "earnestly enjoined" that yachts should be sent "for the purpose of making discovery of the South-land"; and it seemed to Governor-General Coen that the wreck of the English ship on unknown islands in the ordinary route proved "the urgent necessity of obtaining a full and accurate knowledge of the true bearing and conformation of the said land." It was, moreover, "highly desirable that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether these regions, or any part of the same, are inhabited, and whether any trade with them might be established." For these reasons, and for others, on the 29th of September, 1622, the Governor-General issued "Instructions" to two yachts, the Haringh and the Hasewint, "to discover and explore the South-land, and to ascertain as much of the situation and nature of these regions as God Almighty shall vouchsafe to allow them."

The voyage that was contemplated was not sailed. But Coen's "Instructions" are a very interesting illustration of the mind and plans of an energetic Governor-General. The yachts were to sail Southward from the Western end of Java, i.e. the alleged Longitude of the Trial Rocks. Having discovered all that was to be discovered about these rocks, they were to sail still Southward; as far as 32° or 33°, the Latitude in which "sundry ships" coming from Holland had accidentally come upon the South land. Here they were to come to the coast. Then they were to follow this coast Southward as far as 50°, if the land should extend so far—if, in other words, they were on a coast something like the Southern Continent of Mercator and Ortelius. If, on the other hand, the coast turned Eastward—as the news brought by the Leeuwin perhaps suggested,—they were to follow this coast "for some time"; but then, unless it again trended Southward, they were to return. And "in returning, you will run along the coast as far as it extends to Northward, next proceeding on an Eastern course, or in such wise as you shall find the land to extend; in which manner you will follow the coast as close inshore and as long as you find practicable, and as you deem your victuals and provisions to be sufficient for the return voyage; even if, by so doing, you should sail round the whole land and emerge to Southward." An amazing proposal which, in terms of modern geography, seems to suggest a voyage from Adelaide Westward, then Northward, then Eastward, and then Southward to Sydney and Melbourne!

The chief object of the voyage was to be the systematic exploration and survey of this huge coastline; and the "Instructions" are a good example of the businesslike thoroughness of Dutch methods. "You will have to discover and survey all capes, forelands, bights, lands, islands, rocks, reefs, sand-banks, depths, shallows, roads, winds, and currents, and all that pertains to the same, so as to be able to map out and duly mark everything in its true Latitude, Longitude, bearings, and conformation. You will, moreover, go ashore in various places, and diligently examine the coast in order to ascertain whether or no it is inhabited, the nature of the land and the people, their towns and inhabited villages, the divisions of the Kingdom, their religion and policy, their wars, their rivers, the shape of their vessels, their fisheries, commodities, and manufactures, but specially to inform yourselves what minerals, such as gold, silver, tin, iron, lead and copper, what precious stones, pearls, vegetables, animals and fruits, these lands yield and produce." One wonders what it is that these Dutch seamen are not to observe!

Further they were to keep a "careful record or daily journal," that the Company may obtain "due and perfect knowledge of the situation, and the natural features of these regions, in return for the heavy expenses to which she is put by this expedition." They were to give appropriate names to their discoveries, and were to "take formal possession "by erecting a stone column recording "in bold, legible characters the year, the month and the day of the week and the date, the persons by whom and the hour of the day when such possession has been taken." They were to "endeavour to enter into friendly relations, and to make covenants with all such kings and nations as you shall happen to fall in with, and try to prevail upon them to place themselves under the protection of the States of the United Netherlands."

Articles of trade were to be put on board, and it was to be carefully noted what articles were most demanded. Special inquiry was to be made for gold. In "the Northern extremity of the East coast of the South-land," diligent inquiry was to be made for sandal-wood, nutmegs, cloves, and other spices;" likewise whether it has any good harbours, and fertile tracts, where it would be possible to establish settlements, which might be expected to yield satisfactory returns." When they met with natives, they were "to endeavour, either by adroit management, or by other means, to get hold of a number of full-grown persons, or, better still, of boys and girls, to the end that the latter may be brought up here, and be turned to useful purpose when occasion shall serve."

Coen's vast scheme was not accomplished, nor even attempted. The two yachts had to serve in other more urgent business. Four months later, in January 1623, Coen sailed for Holland. In the same month, however, Herman van Speult, Governor of Amboyna, sent two other yachts, the Arnhem and the Pera, on a voyage of discovery less formidable than that which Coen had devised. The plan now was to follow up the discoveries made by the Duyfhen in 1606. One may guess that the chief thought was of "the Northern extremity of the East coast of the South-land," the country which Coen had hoped might provide "sandal-wood, nutmegs and cloves," and perchance offer opportunity of profitable "settlement." The commander of the expedition, Jan Carsten; was given general instructions for conduct similar to those drawn up by Coen for the abandoned voyage.

Carstenz sailed on the 21st of January 1623. He visited the islands of Quey, Aru, and Tenimber; and the islanders, of their own free will, placed themselves under the obedience and dominion of their High Mightinesses the States General, and promised to trade with the Dutch fortresses in Banda and Amboyna. He struck the coast of New Guinea at 4° 45', and sailed the whole length of the South coast to Torres Strait, proving for the first time that there was "an unbroken coast."

Ten miles inland they noted a very high mountain range, white with snow, which they thought a very singular sight, being so near the equator. As seen from afar, the land seemed to have numerous pleasant valleys and running fresh-water rivers. "But we are unable to give any information as to what fruits, metals, and animals it contains, and as to the manner of its cultivation, since the natives, whom we found to be savages and man-eaters, refused to hold parley with us, and fell upon our men, who suffered grievous damage." The skipper of the Arnhem and nine of his men were slain, "partly owing to their own negligence." A vivid picture is drawn of the Papuan savage, coal-black like the Caffirs, stark naked, hole in midst of nose pierced by bones protruding at least three fingers' breadth on either side, "so that in appearance they are more like monsters than human beings."

They worked their way down the coast till in 9° 6' they found themselves entrapped by sandbanks, reefs and shallows on every side. They were using a chart, presumably made in the Duyfhen, which showed an open passage. The ship's boats were sent forth to sound in all directions, but returned reporting shallows everywhere. It was "clearly impossible any longer to follow the coast line which we had so long skirted in an Eastward direction." The ships were "caught in the shallows as in a trap," and the best plan possible was to get-out of the trap by the way they got in. This they managed to do with "extreme difficulty and great peril"; "for which happy deliverence God,be praised!" It seemed to them that the tangle of reefs from which they had escaped was not a strait but a bay; "to which on account of its shallows we have by resolution given the name of Drooge Bocht (shallow bight) in the new chart." They determined to call New Guinea "the West End of Nova Guinea." The land to the South (Cape York peninsula) they called Nova Guinea.

Making South, writes Carstenz, "we saw the land of Nova Guinea showing itself a low-lying coast without hills or mountains." One hundred and eighty years later Flinders sailed along this coast. After sailing one hundred and seventy-five leagues, he says, he came to a hill; a hill that "did not much exceed the height of the ship's masthead." Following the tracks of the Duyfhen, and noting its places of call, the two Dutch ships sailed Southward, past Cape Keerweer, as far as 17° 8'.



43. PART OF DE LEEUW'S MAP, 1623
(From Coote, Remarkable Maps. De Leeuw was Pilot in Carstenz's voyage.)

Here at a river or inlet—"there was no fresh water here"—which they called the Staten River,* they decided to, turn again. "We might get into a vast bay; it is evident that North winds prevail; we should then fall on a lee-shore." In default of stone, they caused a wooden tablet to be nailed to a tree, recording the arrival on the 24th of April, 1623, of "two yachts despatched by their High Alightinesses, the States General."

[* Carstenz's Staten River, says Mr. A. W. Jose, was not the Staten River which Flinders put upon the modern map, but "a southern mouth of the Gilbert delta." Flinders, using Tasman's map, did his best to identify the old Dutch names. "But the Pera's chart, which can be corrected very exactly, and seems to have been rarely more than ten minutes wrong in its latitude, shows most of the identifications to be mistaken." Cf. Flinders' statement, p. 482.]

Next day the Arnhem, which had already given much trouble, "on purpose, and with malice prepense, cut away from us." Carstenz thought that the deserter would make for the island of Aru, "to have a good time of it there"; but, as we shall see, he was mistaken. The Pera Sailed back along the coast of Nova Guinea (Cape York peninsula), and then along the coast of "the West End of Nova Guinea" (New Guinea), and arrived at Amboyna on the 8th of June.



44. PART OF HONDIUS'S MAP, 1630.
(From Coote, Remarkable Maps.)

Both in coming and in returning Carstenz made short expeditions into the inland of Cape York peninsula, with very unsatisfactory results. He did his best, in accordance with Coen's instructions, to capture some natives. "By showing them bits of iron and strings of beads we kept them on the beach, until we had come near them; upon which, one of them who had lost his weapon was by the skipper seized round the waist, while at the same time the quartermaster put a noose round his neck, by which he was dragged to the pinnace. The other blacks seeing this tried to rescue their captured brother by furiously assailing us with their assegais. In defending ourselves we shot one of them." After telling this story, Carstenz complains with bitterness that, "in spite of our especial kindness and our fair semblance, the blacks received us as enemies everywhere." In one place, they were attacked by a body of two hundred men. Owing to the ungrateful conduct of the natives the Dutchmen were unable to obtain all the information required by the Governor-General. "We have not been able to learn anything about the population of Nova Guinea" (Cape York peninsula), "and the nature of its inhabitants and soil; nor did we get information touching its towns and villages, about the division of the land, the religion of the natives, their policy, wars, rivers, vessels, fisheries; what commodities they have, what manufactures, what minerals, whether gold, silver, tin, iron, lead, copper or quicksilver."

Carstenz did, however, learn enough about land and people to write the following description. "The land between 13° and 17° 8' is a barren and arid tract, without any fruit trees, and producing nothing fit for the use of man; it is low-lying and flat, without hills or mountains, in many places overgrown with brushwood and stunted wild trees; it has not much fresh water, and what little there is has to be collected in pits dug for the purpose; there is an utter absence of bays and inlets, with the exception of a few bights not sheltered from the sea wind; it has numerous salt rivers, extending into the interior, across which the natives drag their wives and children by means of dry sticks and boughs of trees. The natives are, in general, utter barbarians, coal-black; they are utterly unacquainted with gold, silver, tin, iron, lead, and copper, nor do they know anything about nutmegs, cloves, and pepper. It may safely be concluded that they are poor and abject wretches, caring mainly for bits of iron and strings of beads. Their weapons are shields, assegays, and callaways of the length of one and a half fathoms, made of light wood and cane, some with fishbones, and others with human bones fastened to their tops; they are very expert in throwing the said weapons by means of a piece of wood half a fathom in length with a small hook tied to it in front, which they place upon the callaway or assegay."

Elsewhere Carstenz uses language even stronger in its comprehensive condemnation. The land "is very dry and barren. We have not seen one fruit-bearing tree, nor anything that man can make use of. There are no mountains nor even hills, so that it may be safely concluded that the land contains no metals, nor yields precious woods. In our judgement this is the most arid and barren region that could be found anywhere on the earth. The inhabitants, too, are the most wretched and the poorest creatures that I have ever seen." The best he can say for the Australian blacks is that they "seem to be less cunning, bold, and ill-natured" than the blacks of Papua. Great quantities of human bones seemed to prove them to be man-eaters.

Cars tenz in the Pera reached Amboyna on the 8th of June without news of the Arnhem, which had deserted him with malice prepense, intending, as he suspected, to make for Aru and have a good time. The Aruese, however, told him that they "had not seen the said yacht." It turned out that the Arnhem had arrived at Banda three weeks before the Pera. "They have done nothing worth mentioning," wrote the Governor of Banda to the new Governor-General Carpentier, who had just arrived to take the place of Coen. Yet, though no journal of the Arnhem's voyage has been preserved, there is proof that on its way home an important discovery was made. In 1636 Commander Pool was instructed to sail to "Arnhems and Speultsland, situated between 9 and 13 degrees, discovered A.D. 1623. They are vast lands." On the return of Pool's ships it was reported that they had "discovered vast lands to which they gave the names of Van Diemen's and Maria land, and which we suspect to be Arnhem's and Speult's islands, though they extend in another direction than the latter." "Owing to untimely separation," says a record of 1644, "the yacht Arnhem, after discovering the large islands of Arnhem and Speult, returned to Amboyna."

Later maps enable us to interpret these phrases with certainty, and to understand with some exactness what happened to the Arnhem after separation "with malice prepense" from the Pera. On the following days Easterly winds blew. If the crew of the Arnhem had intended to go to Aru to have a good time, they had to abandon that intention. They were blown across the great Gulf, the existence of which had been suspected; and, on the other side, they discovered "islands" and "vast lands," to which they gave the names of their ship and of the Governor of Amboyna who had sent them. "Speultland," the land of the wicked governor, villain of the Amboyna massacre, has happily vanished from the map. Professor Heeres guesses that it was Groote Eylandt. But the land to the West of the Gulf is still named "Arnhem's Land." It is the same vast land which Pool's men rediscovered in 1636, and named after the new Governor-General Van Diemen and his wife Maria, the vast land round the gulf which is still named Van Diemen's Gulf.

To the business mind the voyages of the Pera and the Arnhem were complete failures. They had found "nothing worth mentioning." Yet their services to the growth of geographic knowledge had been considerable. In terms of the modern map they had traced the length of the Eastern coast, and had obtained some knowledge of the Western coast, of the great Gulf which eventually received the name of Governor-General Carpentier. We must, however, be careful to observe that there was as yet no knowledge of the bottom of the Gulf, no knowledge even that it was a Gulf. It was still possible to guess that it was rather the opening of some great Ocean passage to the South, dividing the land of Nova Guinea (Cape York peninsula) from Arnhem's Land, and the Great South land of Eendracht.

In January 1627 a voyage of singular interest was made, of which we have hardly any information. "The Daily Register of what has happened here at Batavia from the 1st of January, 1627" has, Professor Heeres tells us, this entry: "On the 10th of April there arrived here from the Netherlands the ship Gulden Seepaart, fitted out by the Zealand Chamber, having on board the Hon. Peter Nuyts, Extra-ordinary Councillor of India, having sailed from there on the 22nd of May, 1626."



45. PART OF KEPPLER'S MAP, 1630. (From Coote, Remarkable Maps.)

"The Daily Register" gives no hint that anything remarkable had happened on the voyage and no journal or letter has survived to tell its story. Yet there is evidence that this ship, which sailed under skipper François Thijssen, had made discoveries of very remarkable interest. Gerritz's map of 1627 ends Southward at the "Landt van de Leeuwin," discovered in 1622. But there is another map by Gerritz,* which, though dated 1618, contains facts of a later date. One is inclined to guess that 1618 is a printer's mistake, and that the true date is 1628. And on this map the coastline runs Eastwards from the land of Leeuwin, past (to use modern terms) King George's Sound, past the Mount Barrens and Mount Arids described by Flinders, past the hundred and forty-five leagues of cliffs which line the Australian Bight, and past the head of the Bight to Fowler's Bay; while, slightly further again to the South-East, are shown two groups of tiny islands which are called, as they are still called on the modern map, the islands St. Francis and St. Peter. At the back of the long bare coastline is the inscription "'t Landt van P. Nuyts, discovered by the Gulden Zeepaerdt of Middleburgh, 26 Jan., 1627." Our only other information is the statement in a document of 1644 that, "in the year 1627, the South coast of the great South-land was accidently discovered by the ship the Gulde Zeepaert, outward bound from the Fatherland, for the space of one thousand miles" (250 Dutch miles).**

[* End of Heeres' Part borne by the Dutch. Cf. Keppler's map of 1630. Illustration 45, above.]

[** Tasman, ed. Heeres, p. 148. It will be noted that the name of the ship is spelt in various ways. Heeres writes Gulden Zeepaard.]

That is the whole of our knowledge. For the rest, we are left to conjecture. We may guess that the Gulden Seepaart, sailing by accident out of the ordinary route, saw the South coast Eastward of the Land of Leeuwin, and, remembering perhaps the scheme which Coen had drawn up in 1622, was tempted to follow the unknown coast Eastward, did so for what seemed to them one thousand miles, and, then returning, gave the new land the name of their distinguished passenger the Hon. Pieter Nuyts, and called the two little groups of islands which marked their furthest East by the sanctified names of the same "Extraordinary Councillor" and of the ship's skipper.

What report the Councillor and the Skipper made as to the character of land discovered we do not know. But we may form a guess sufficiently accurate by reading the reports of the navigators who next followed in their tracks—a century and three-quarters later! In 1792 the French captain Dentrecasteaux sailed along the Western portion of the coast surveyed by the Dutch in 1627, as far as the head of the Australian Bight. He gave high praise to the accuracy of the Dutch chart, and he gave French names to the Dutch discoveries! "It is not surprising," he writes, "that Nuyts has given no details of the barren coast; for its aspect is so uniform that the most fruitful imagination could find nothing to say of it." In January and February 1802, Flinders surveyed with most exact carefulness the whole length of the coastline discovered by the Dutch to its furthest East at Fowler's Bay, and the islands of St. Francis and St. Peter. The furthest East of 1627 was still the furthest East of 1802. In what direction the unknown coast trended, "whether to the South Eastward for Bass's Straits, or Northward for the Gulf of Carpentaria was," writes Flinders, "altogether uncertain"; and he was there, in the days of George III., to solve the problem suggested by Dutch voyages which had taken place when Charles I. sat on the English throne.

From 133° to 146° was still "traced upon the Charts under the title of unknown coast." Like the French captain, Flinders paid his tribute to the excellence of the Dutch Chart; "making allowance for the state of navigation at that time, it is as correct in form as could reasonably have been expected." And, like the French captain, he wrote an account of the aspect of the coast likely to suggest that the reason why De Nuyts told so little of what he saw was that there was so little to see that was worth the trouble of telling. We read of mountains called "West, Middle, and East Mount Barren," of "sand and stone without the slightest covering of vegetation," of soil producing "a delightful harvest to the botanist," but producing nothing to the herdsman and cultivator; "not a blade of grass, nor a square yard of soil from which the seed delivered to it could be expected back, was perceivable to the eye in its course over those arid plains." The monotonous line of cliffs, five hundred feet high, and one hundred and forty-five leagues long, looked like the "exterior line of a vast coral reef," and suggested an interior of flat sandy plains or water. The interior was, in fact, the "dreary and barren region" afterwards described by Eyre in his narrative of one of the most dreadful journeys ever taken by land. At Fowler's Bay, the point at which the Dutch gave up their survey of the coastline, Flinders found "the same ridge of barren land." In the islands he, like the Dutch, found good anchorage, but he found no other good thing. The islands were made of rocks and sand and chalk and "arid sterility." The thermometer showed 98° in the shade and 125° in the sand. No wonder that the Councillor Extraordinary, who visited the islands in January, thought the time had come to sail home. One more voyage had resulted in "nothing worth mentioning."

In 1628 an important discovery was made on the North-West coast. A ship named Vyanen was driven ashore in about 21°. "She was forced to throw overboard eight or ten lasts of pepper, and a quantity of copper, upon which, through God's mercy, she got off again, without further damage." The Dutch then sailed two hundred miles along the coast, but came home without obtaining any considerable information respecting the situation and condition of this vast land, it only having been found that it has barren and dangerous coasts, green fertile fields, and exceedingly black barbarian inhabitants." The new discovery is recorded in the chart of Gerritz of "1618," which was apparently brought up to date in 1628. To the North-East of Willem's River, is drawn a detached stretch of coastline with the legend "G. F de Witsland, discovered 1628." We have evidence that a man named Gerrit Frederikszoon de Witt sailed on board the Vyanen. Opposite the coast are a number of islands which are identified with "the chain of islands of which the Monte Bello and the Barrow islands are the principal, and certain islands of the Dampier Archipelago."

But the coast that was always interesting to the Dutch was the coast of "the land of D'Eendracht." They had made this a regular landmark on their way from the Cape to Batavia; and the difficulty was to see it in about 26° without running on the almost invisible Abrolhos in about 28½°. The cartography of the coast had never been successfully accomplished, and Dutch ships were, said Coen, in "daily peril." In September 1627; as he returned to Java for a second period of government, his ship suddenly one afternoon "came upon the land of D'Eendracht" in 28½°. "We were," he says, "at less than half a mile's distance from the breakers before perceiving the same. If we had come upon this place in the night time, we should have been in a thousand perils with our ship and crew." The danger, he explains, was largely due to the fact that Dutch ships made use of various types of maps, and that these various types placed the Abrolhos in very different places. According to the "plane Charts," the ship was between three hundred and fifty miles from land. According to the "Chart with increasing degrees," land was a hundred miles away. According to the "terrestrial globe," it was fifty miles away. And, according to facts, they were almost on top of it. Here were matters to which most seamen pay little attention, but they were "still daily bringing many vessels into great perils."

Next year (1629) the greatness of the peril was shown by the shipwreck of the Batavia, sailing under François Pelsart. The shipwreck is the one coloured picture in the drab Dutch narrative, and it is coloured in hues so ghastly that one is made inclined to praise the usual drab. On the night of the 4th of June, Pelsart, sick in bed, "felt the ship strike the rocks with a violent horrible shock." The "Master," who had been in charge of the steering, defended himself by saying that he thought the whiteness of the froth was caused by the rays of the moon; and when asked what was to be done, and in what part of the world they were, replied that "God only knew, and that the ship was on an unknown reef." It was evident, however, that the unknown reef was among the Abrolhos, and that they were surrounded by rocks and shoals. No land was in sight that seemed likely to remain above water at high tide, save "two small islets or cliffs" and, "moved by the loud lamentations raised on board by women, children, sick people, and faint-hearted men," they thought it best to land the greater part. Pelsart tells the story in detail; the difficult landing of one hundred and eighty persons on one barren rocky island, of forty on another; the brutal behaviour of the crew who made themselves drunk with wine; the discovery that water had been forgotten; the failure of the attempt to communicate with the fast-breaking ship, which had at last to be left with seventy men on board "on the very point of perishing."

The survivors on the waterless islands were "not in much better condition." It was resolved that Pelsart should take a crew in the pinnace, should seek water on the neighbouring islands or on the coast, and, if none were found, should "at the mercy of God, continue the voyage to Batavia." They found only brackish water on the islands. The coast was "barren and rocky," they failed to land, and were nearly overwhelmed by a storm. They sailed North, and the coast "seemed to us a barren accursed earth, without leafage or grass." In 24° they saw smoke; and, concluding that smoke meant men and water, six men swam ashore on "a steeply rising coast, full of rocks and stones, and with the surf running violently." They saw four black men, stark naked, creeping up to them on all fours, who ran away in full career when approached. But they found no water, and swam on board grievously wounded by the rocks. They landed again in 23°, and found rain-water in the cavities of a rock, and "somewhat quenched our cruel thirst, which almost prevented us from dragging ourselves along." But still there was no running water, and the higher ground was still barren and unpromising, without trees, shrubs or grass. They saw high ant-hills in all directions, which from afar somewhat resembled huts for the abode of men. And multitudes of flies "perched on our mouths, and crept into our eyes." They went on to 22° 17', and then struck for Batavia, where they arrived on the 7th of July, "God be thanked and praised!" Pelsart in his pinnace had sailed from 281/3° to 22° 171/3', i.e. from the Abrolhos to North-West Cape. All this coast had been seen before, but not at such close quarters. Pelsart's voyage established its reputation; the reputation of a coast where there were no harbours or good landings, no water, plenty of ant-hills and flies, a barren and cursed soil, and bad black natives.

Pelsart was given a frigate for the rescue of the people on the Abrolhos. When he reached them on the 17th of September, he observed that smoke still rose from two islands. He approached one of them, and a boat came alongside with four men who told a tale of horror.

Jerome Cornelis, supercargo of the Batavia, was one of the seventy men whom Pelsart had been forced to leave upon the wreck. He floated thence upon the mainmast for two days, and came to land on the larger of the two islands. In the course of the voyage he had plotted with the pilots and some others to seize the ship, and use her for purposes of piracy. He now resumed the old plan, and he and his friends signed a compact to seize the ship in which Pelsart would come to their rescue. They murdered all those on the island whom they distrusted, thirty or forty altogether; but forty-five joined pieces of wood together, and drifted to a third island on which a man named Weybehays had found water. But the murderers attacked those on the smaller island, and killed all the men. Then Cornelis broke open the chests of merchandise, and clothed his body-guard in scarlet, embroidered with gold and silver. But his attack on the company under Weybehays failed, and he was taken prisoner. This was the story that Weybehays now told Pelsart, warning him that the pirate's still designed to surprise him. And in fact two boats at once came alongside, filled with men "covered with embroidery of gold and silver, and with weapons in their hands." Pelsart threatened to sink them, they surrendered, and were put in irons. The wreck was found to be broken into a hundred pieces, but several chests of silver were recovered. Then Pelsart held a Council to determine whether the prisoners should be tried on the spot, or should be carried to Batavia. Their numbers were large, and treasure was on board. It was decided that delay would be dangerous, and the prisoners were tried, condemned, and executed. Then Pelsart sailed from "these luckless Abrolhos." They managed to land on the coast, and put ashore two criminals;—"God grant that this punishment may ultimately redound to the service of the Company, and that the two delinquents may come off with their lives, so as to be able to give trustworthy information about these parts."

Thus concludes a horrid story that seems to establish the bad character, not only of D'Eendrachtsland, but also of the service of the Dutch Company. In Pelsart's narrative there is only one pleasant remark. He saw on the islands, he says, "a species of cat, which are very strange creatures; they are about the size of a hare, their head resembling the head of a civet-cat; the fore-paws are very short, about the length of a finger. Its hind legs are upwards of half an ell, and it walks on these alone." Thus for the first time is introduced to the European reader the tribe of Kangaroo.


CHAPTER XV. TASMAN'S VOYAGE OF 1642

AUTHORITIEs:


Meanwhile nothing had been done to carry forward the plan for systematic exploration, which had been devised by Coen in September 1622. "Our Masters" in Holland were "instantly recommending the discovery of the South-land," and the Batavian officials were very willing; but they lacked ships, and were "prevented by voyages of greater necessity." In January 1636, however, there became Governor-General a man whose name is very famous in our story, Anthony Van Diemen. As usual we learn very little about our Dutchman, and as usual the little that we do learn is not altogether satisfactory. "Our manuscript memoirs," wrote Du Bois in 1763,* "tell us that it was to escape the pursuit of his creditors that he decided to go to the Indies, under a borrowed name, and with a title that hardly distinguished him from the common soldiers; but his extraordinary skill in the art of writing, and certain Placets which he drew up for his comrades, were so admired that the Governor-General of the time took him as clerk in the secretariate." The fortunate clerk soon became "Ordinary Councillor of the Indies," "Director General," Admiral of the fleet, "First Councillor and Director General," and finally Governor-General in January 1636. So good was it in Batavia to have this "extraordinary skill in the art of writing."

[* Du Bois, p. 116.]

Van Diemen was a reader as well as a writer. He read those memorials of Quiros that had been printed and translated, and he hoped to realise some of the great Spanish ambition in Dutch form. But his first thought was to push the scheme of exploration which had been mapped by his patron Coen. And, in February 1636, he issued "Instructions for Commander Gerrit Thomasz Pool," who was to explore the lands East of Banda, and furthermore "the South-lands thence extending to the South-West."

Let us realise what in 1636 was known, and what was unknown, of the coasts of "the South-lands." The Dutch knew the West coast of Cape York Peninsula. They called it Nova Guinea, and thought that it was probably continuous with our New Guinea, which they called "the West end of Nova Guinea." They had some little knowledge also of Arnhem Land; but they had no knowledge of any land between Cape York Peninsula and Arnhem Land. They called the sea between these two lands the Gulf of Carpentaria, apparently because, when the Pera and the Arnhem returned from the voyage of 1623, the name of the Governor-General was Carpentier. But was it a Gulf? Or was it the opening of a passage to the South Sea? Who could say? Then West of Arnhem Land, again, there was a huge gap in Dutch knowledge, till you came to our Barrow Island and North-West Cape in about 21°, where began the land of D'Eendracht, well enough known as a very dangerous landmark. Was this huge gap between Arnhem Land and D'Eendracht Land all land, or was it all water, or was it islands and Ocean passages? From D'Eendracht Land, the Dutch drew the outline of the coast Southward and then Eastward, all the way to our Fowler's Bay, and to the Islands of St. Francis and St. Peter. And there knowledge ended. Was there land further East? Or would it be possible to sail thence Northward up an East coast of D'Ecndracht Land, till you found yourself in the Gulf of Carpentaria with Nova Guinea on your right? Here were problems that were interesting, and whose solution might be profitable. Landings had so far been disappointing; but the early landings of Columbus had also been disappointing. Here in the South was Marco Polo's land of "Beach," and any moment you might sail into a rich and civilised Kingdom, abounding in spices, in elephants, and in gold.

Van Diemen instructed Pool to sail from Banda to Arnhem Land. Then he was to cross to Nova Guinea, and to sail down its coast to 17° 8', the furthest South of the voyage of 1623, and then beyond! Van Diemen believed that this land of Nova Guinea joined the land of D'Eendracht by an unbroken coastline, though no doubt this was an uncertain speculation. Pool was therefore instructed to attempt to follow the coast from 17° 8' to "as far as Houtman's Abrolhos in 28° and 29°, and further still, if your provisions hold out, if the condition of your crews will allow it, and if your yachts are proof against the rough seas that prevail in the Southern Ocean in 33 and 34 degrees." Thence he was to return to Batavia, and to try, in passing, "to touch at the Trials, that further information about this rock, and its situation may be obtained."

Everywhere, and especially in the Northern part of the voyage, Pool was to keep a sharp look out for the discovery of channels or openings that might give passage into the South Sea, or prove that the South-land consisted of islands. Such channels, if found, were to be explored. In case it is found that the Gulf of Carpentaria is no gulf but an opening of a great Ocean passage, Pool is to sail the whole length of that passage along its Eastern side till he reaches the islands of St. Peter and St. Francis, discovered by the Zeepaart in 1627. Thence he is to sail back Northwards along the Western side of the passage to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and thence proceed on the route previously prescribed, Westward and Southward to 33 or 34 degrees.

Pool is to look for the "Dutch delinquents" marooned by Pelsart in 1629, and is to grant them a passage "if they should be alive to show themselves, and should request you to bring them hither." He is also to look in the coast between 26 and 28 degrees for some "fitting place for obtaining refreshments and fresh water, seeing that mainly about that Latitude scorbut and other diseases begin to show themselves, at times carrying off numbers of men." The natives are to be treated with "great kindness, wary caution, and skilful judgement. Whoever endeavours to discover unknown lands and tribes, had need to be patient and long-suffering, noways quick to fly out, but always keen on ingratiating himself."

This grand scheme was not accomplished. In April 1636 Pool sailed for New Guinea, but was "murdered by the barbarous inhabitants at the same place where the skipper of the Arnhem was killed in 1623." The voyage was continued under Pietersen. But winds blew him to "a new land," which he called Van Diemen's Land, and afterwards identified with Arnhem Land. He came home with the report that he had seen "many fires and frequent clouds of smoke, but no natives, houses, prows, or fruit-trees, though he had paddled close along the shore with an orangebay, and gone ashore in places, finding the shore wild and barren." The addition made to Dutch knowledge was that Arnhem Land or Van Diemen's Land was as "wild and barren" as all the other parts of the South-land hitherto explored.

But Van Diemen did not abandon his high hopes. On the contrary they rose higher. To complete discovery of the South-land was an obvious scheme. But the South-land itself was but one part that was being cut out of the unknown Southern world. In 1642 he and his Councillors devised the plan of a general survey of the whole of the South Pacific. They had been busily reading Quiros; and the prologue to the "Instructions" which they issued on the 13th of August, 1642, sounds like a curious Dutch echo of a Quiros Memorial. It mentions "the highly renowned naval heroes, Christopher Columbus and Americus Vesputius"; likewise "the famous Vasco Da Gama, and other Portuguese captains." "With what invaluable treasures, profitable trade-connection, useful trades, excellent territories, vast powers and dominions, have the Kings of Spain and Portugal, by these discoveries and their consequences, enriched their Kingdoms and crowns!" And what "numberless multitudes of blind heathen "have thereby" been introduced to the blessed light of the Christian religion! "Yet, in spite of these splendid facts," up to this time no Christian Kings, Princes, or Commonwealth have seriously endeavoured to make timely discovery of the remaining unknown part of the terrestrial globe, situated in the South, and presumably almost as large as the Old and the New Worlds, though there are good reasons to suppose that it contains many excellent and fertile regions, like the gold and silver-bearing provinces of Peru and Chili, which stand in the same Southern Latitude, "so that it may be confidently expected that the expense and trouble that must be bestowed in the eventual discovery of so large a portion of the world will be rewarded with certain fruits of material profit and immortal fame."*

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 131.]

The argument was the argument of Quiros, and the thought about the salvation of "numberless multitudes of blind heathen" sounds strangely in the mouth of a Commercial Company whose representative in Japan was complaining that profits were being diminished by the false and scandalous accusation that the Dutch were interested in the progress of Christianity. The Councillors came to firmer ground when they claimed that the Dutch possessed great advantages in the prosecution of the work in which the Spaniards had failed. They had as permanent base of their work the city of Batavia, "which is, as it were, the centre of East India, both known and unknown." Backed by the resources of a strong and rich Commercial Company, the able Dutch skipper, with carefully chosen cargo on board, and nought in his mind but pounds, shillings, and pence, would have far better chance of profitable discovery than Don Quixote of Spain in command of a ship containing all the virtues and all the vices of mankind. It was the day of the Oceanic Gradgrind, and the Pacific was a matter of fact.*

[* "Thomas Gradgrind, Sir, a man of realities. A man of Facts and Calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that 2 and 2 are 4, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over! With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, Sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to" (Dickens's Hard Times).]

The man to whom the Governor-General chiefly looked for technical advice was "the renowned Pilot, Frans Visscher," a man who had good knowledge of all the regions of the Eastern seas, and who was thought to have "greater skill in the surveying of coasts and the mapping out of lands than any of the steersmen present in these parts."* So valuable was his assistance considered, that Van Diemen, impatiently chafing against "the unexampled delay in the arrival of ships from Persia and Surat," was forced sorely against his will "to detain him in this roadstead (Batavia) for the space of nine months."**

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 100.]

[** Ib. p. 105.]

Visscher spent the time well. In January 1642 he wrote a "Memoir touching the discovery of the South-land,"* which laid down the lines on which the famous voyage actually sailed, and which is, moreover, of singular interest as indicating the vast schemes now breeding in the minds of Dutch Pilots. The ships, he says, should sail from Batavia about the middle of August, or the 1st of September at latest. By so doing they would "use the main part of the summer season and the long days for making discoveries." It was desirable to call at Mauritius to get water and firewood. This meant a voyage of a month, and a stay of fifteen to twenty days. Then they should "sail South with the sun" as far as 52° or 54°. By that time it would be the beginning of November, "when in those Southern regions the longest days are approaching, together with the most favourable weather, and Northerly winds from time to time." This would give three or three and a half months to make the discoveries with minute care. In 52° or 54°, in case they have met with no land, they should sail Eastward till they met with land, or till they reached the Longitude of the East side of New Guinea. Then, in the latter case, they should sail North by West in order to fetch up New Guinea. Or, as an alternative plan, they might run further Eastward as far as the Longitude of the Solomons, and then keep a Northward course in order to "discover the said islands which be spread over so vast an area that we could hardly miss them." "This seems to us the best way of going to work, since we do not in the least doubt that divers strange things will be revealed to us in the Solomon Islands." They might return by way of the North coast of New Guinea.

[* Ib. p. 141. See Tasman's map, Illustration 46, immediately below.]



46. SKETCH FROM TASMAN'S MAP OF HIS VOYAGES, 1642-1644

But the scheme, adds Visscher, might take a larger form. The ships might start from the Netherlands, sail to the Cape, run Southward to 54°, and then, on an Eastward course, explore the whole South Pacific to the Longitude of the Solomons. Or, a still larger variation, they might sail from the Netherlands to the Straits of Le Maire—i.e. the straits through which Le Maire had sailed in 1615 between Tierra del Fuego and Staten Land—thoroughly explore Staten Land (suspected to be part of Terra Australis), and then sail Eastward right away to the Longitude of the Solomons, in a voyage that would explore the South Atlantic as well as the South Pacific; "in which way one would become acquainted with all the utterly unknown provinces of Beach"—Marco Polo's Beach, still waiting, full of elephants and spices and gold, for its new discoverer—"and could return to Amboyna or Banda by the aforesaid route Northward of New Guinea."

This would leave only one region of the Southern world unexplored, the region between Cape Horn and the Longitude of the Solomons. Visscher suggests that it would be well, in order to attack this difficult problem, that the Dutch should possess "some fitting refreshing station on the coast of Chili. Hence ships might run with the trade wind to the Latitude 12° to 15°, "where the Solomon Islands are currently believed to lie." If the current belief proved correct, the ships could get refreshment at the Solomons. Then "one would have to do one's best to get to the South and to fall in with the Westerly winds, even if it were as far South as 50° or until land were met with." With these Westerly winds one could sail Eastward again as far as the Straits of Le Maire, or the ancient Straits of Magellan; by which methods one will be enabled to discover "the Southern portion of the world all round the Globe, and to find out what it consists of, whether land, sea, or icebergs, all that God has ordained there." All that would then remain unexplored would be the region between Nova Guinea and D'Eendrachtsland. Visscher recommends a plan for its exploration similar to that which Van Diemen had recommended in his instructions to Pool. Let ships sail down the coast of Nova Guinea, and go on till they come to 22°.

Had Visscher been able to accomplish these great schemes he would have left Cook little to do save to admire the work of his predecessor. It was determined that an attempt should be made at least to accomplish some large part of them. All conditions were favourable. Governor-General and Councillors were "greatly inclined to forward the navigation." The "Worshipful Masters" in Holland highly approved. There was "no want of able skippers and skilful steermen, much less, thanks to God, of victuals, and all sorts of necessaries required for such voyage."*

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 137.

The trouble, as usual, was to find ships and sailors that could be spared from "voyages of greater necessity." But the new peace with Portugal gave an opportunity, "though for how long the good God only knows!" Visscher had to be kept nine months in Batavia, because of unexampled delay in the return of ships from Persia and India. But, at last, difficulties were overcome, and on the 1st of August, 1642, Governor-General and Council passed a resolution "to despatch for the discovery and exploration of the supposed rich Southern and Eastern lands, etc., the ship Heemskerck, and the flute Zeehan." The commander is to be the Hon. Abel Janssen Tasman, who "is now strongly inclined to this discovery," and he is to be "seconded by the Pilot Major Frans Visscher."

Of the Hon. Abel Janssen Tasman we have little knowledge, and it is doubtful that we should wish to have more. The complete researches of our modern Dutch scholar, Professor Heeres, while robbing him of the one touch of humanity that used to be attributed to him—his supposed love of the daughter of a Governor-General who, it turns out, was daughterless—have discovered not one fact, save superior technical skill, that could give him favourable distinction among the crowd of "able skippers and Skilful seamen," of whom there was "no want" in Batavia. His services, remarkable as they now appear, were appreciated by his employers in a singularly critical and grudging spirit. On the one occasion in which his personal action came into prominence it was greatly to his discredit, and seemed to reveal a nature coarse-grained, and even brutal. The society of Batavia was not a society likely to be squeamish in its moral judgment, but it thought that Tasman in his later years was unworthy to serve it as Church elder. In short, we are forbidden to imagine Tasman as a man of heroic nature, of high ideals, or of personal charm. We must be content to take him as Van Diemen and his Council took him;—an able and businesslike skipper, whom they could wisely trust to command the ships that were to make the Pacific a Dutch Ocean.

Our modern scholar has proved that Tasman was born in 1603 in the little village of Luytjegast in the province of Groningen. Of his early years we know nothing, save the fact that he learned to write, and "even showed no inconsiderable talent in committing his ideas and experiences to paper; a gift uncommon among servants of the Company."* A document of December 1631, which records his intention to marry a second time, describes him as a "common sailor," and as living in one of the poorest quarters in Amsterdam. In 1633 he came to Batavia, as servant of the Company. In 1634 he was skipper of a yacht; and from that time "we can trace his career from day to day." We find him, in the records, seeking safe routes among the dangerous seas, chastising rebellious islanders, cruising in search of smugglers. His crew on one occasion accused him of having sold their victuals to the natives; but the accusation is held by the modern critic to be not proven.

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 7.]

In 1639 Tasman sailed, as second in command, in a voyage to discover famous islands which, according to a persistent story, existed in the North Pacific, Eastward of Japan. Long ago, the story said, Spanish ships had been driven by a storm to "a large and high-rising island," where "gold and silver were almost to be picked up at discretion on the shore," and where "the kettles and other cooking utensils of the natives were made of these metals."* Attempts to rediscover the island had failed; and it was piously believed that "the Lord God, considering the wickedness of the Spanish projects, may have frustiated their plan, being unwilling to allow the poor natives to be robbed of their heritage and possessions." The Lord God, in short, was reserving another good thing for His Dutchmen. The Government at Batavia, then, thought well of the plan. Likely enough the islands would be found to contain good gold and silver, and would provide an excellent market for cloth. The Directors in Holland pushed the proposal with enthusiasm. "The gold-bearing island" would be the one thing that the Company needed "to get over its heavy burdens, and come into the real enjoyment of the profits of the East Indian trade."

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 18.]

In June 1639 two ships sailed on this quest under a seaman named Quast, with Tasman second in command. In case they failed to find the golden islands, they were to explore Corea and Tartaria; for trade with these countries, it was believed, would prove some compensation in case, "contrary to our hopes, the trade to Japan should prove less profitable in the future." If unfavourable winds made this plan impossible, the ships were to sail to the Ladrones "in order to find out the exact Rendezvous of the Spanish ships" that sailed from America to Manila, so that "the Company's ships may be enabled to cruise with more hope of success in search of that rich booty."

These instructions show once more how far-reaching were the Dutch plans. North Pacific as well as South Pacific must be included in the Dutch Ocean. But the voyage was a failure. They sailed over six hundred leagues to the East of Japan, but they did not find the golden islands. They resolved to explore the coasts of Corea and Tartaria, but were prevented by disease. They came back "in very bad plight," having lost nearly half their men.

But the Dutch did not know when they were beaten. Though they "had not seen any land, they had observed numerous unmistakable signs of the same." Tasman was eager to be off again on the same voyage, and the Directors determined to send him "in the course of next year 1641." He made a Chart, which together with Quast's journal, formed the basis of later exploration in the North Pacific. But when the Dutch ships next sailed North, it was in 1643, and under another captain. Tasman was busy elsewhere. In 1641 he was engaged in the very lucrative but very precarious trade in Japan, where the Dutch were vainly protesting that they, unlike the Portuguese, might be trusted to make no attempt to convert people to Christianity. He was also in Cambodia, chasing Cambodian ships that sought to carry Portuguese goods to Japan. Early in 1642 he was in Sumatra, dealing with a certain Chinaman, high in favour at court, and "putting great affronts upon us." Tasman lured him on board by pretence of friendship, put him in irons, and shipped him to Batavia. Six weeks later, he was ready to take command of the voyage "for the discovery and exploration of the supposed rich Southern and Eastern lands," and "strongly inclined to this discovery." Tasmania was to be not in North Pacific but in South.

On the 13th of August, 1642, Tasman's "Instructions" were issued.* They had been drafted by the Hon. Justus Schouten, Councillor Extraordinary of India, and approved by the Governor-General and Council. The prologue, as we have seen, was a Dutch echo of the call of Quiros, whose name and exploits, however, are not mentioned. But the business part of the instructions was "drawn up in conjunction with Pilot Visscher," and in the main expressed the recommendations of his Memoir. Tasman was to sail next day, the 14th of August, with the South-East trade-wind for Mauritius, where he was to take in water, fire-wood, and refreshments. Then he was to sail Southward till he got into the West trade-wind; and again further South "till you come upon the unknown South Land, or as far as S. Lat. 52° or 54°." In case he did not discover land here, he was to sail due East to the Longitude of the Eastern point of New Guinea, or of the Solomon Islands, or even eight hundred miles beyond. If land was met, it was to be coasted Eastward to the same point; and all its features were to be surveyed and mapped out by the able draughtsmen. Tasman was to be careful to waste no time, and to make the most of the summer season, and the favourable weather "when you will be able to sail on by day, and by night alike." A great deal was to be discovered in a short time.

[* Cf. the summary of objects in the letter of the Governor-General and the Council to the Seventeen, 12th December, 1642 (Heeres' Tasman, p. 138). They are asked to pray that the voyage "may redound to the benefit and increase of God's Church, and to the conversion of many blinded heathen, to the profit of the Company's shareholders, and to the credit of our country, and especially to the honour of the discoverers." The letter also insists on the hope of discovering "a better and shorter route from here to Chili."]

Tasman, however, was given permission to sail a different route, should he choose to do so. Instead of sailing Eastward so far as the Longitude of the Solomons, he might, if he preferred, seek to complete the work of the Gulden Zeepaart, and to solve the problem, which in fact remained unsolved to the time of Flinders, as to whither the coastline of the South-land went from the point, near the islands of St. Peter and St. Francis, at which the explorers of 1627 had left it. Tasman might, if he chose, sail Northward to this point, and thence follow the coast Eastward "to ascertain how far it extends, and whether the discovered South-land joins Nova Guinea" (i.e. whether the coast of the Australian Bight is connected in an unbroken way with Cape York Peninsula) "or whether it is separated from the same by channels or passages." In case Tasman found that the latter alternative was the truth, he might sail through the channel or passage to its Northern end, and thence, turning Westward, explore the mainly unknown region between Cape Keerweer (on Cape York Peninsula), and Willem's River (the Ashburton River?), the Northernmost limit of the land of D'Eendracht. Tasman might take this course if, after mature consideration, he thought it best to do so. But the Governor-General and Council considered it probable that no such channel existed. They thought it to be most likely that those lands (Nuytsland and Nova Guinea) join each other without a break. And their judgment was that it would prove better to follow the route first proposed, and to keep on a far-Southward line as far East as the Longitude of East New Guinea, or the Solomons, or eight hundred miles beyond. One great object was to find a short route to Chili, in order to "do great things with the Chilese, and to snatch rich booty from the Castilian." And, on the whole, this Easterly course seemed to offer the best chance of finding this route.

From his Easternmost point Tasman was, assuming it proved practicable, to sail with the south-East trade-wind for the Solomons. He was to explore them if he could find them; and thence he was to "sail Northward and Westward, South or North of the islands, if such they are, towards the East coast of New Guinea." He was given a "Spanish description of New Guinea and of the Solomons," and a "vocabulary of certain words of the languages of the Solomons, New Guinea, and the adjacent islands." It was hoped that he would come home able to throw light on the baffling geographical problems bequeathed by Mendaña, Quiros, and Le Maire.

Having found the East coast of New Guinea, Tasman was to sail the North coast in the tracks of Le Maire. At the Western extremity he was to find some passage Southward, and to sail through it, if possible, about "the unsettled month of April, in order to reach Cape Keerweer (on Cape York Peninsula) before the Eastern monsoon begins to stiffen." Then he was to sail Westward with this monsoon till he came to Willem's River (Ashburton River?) i.e. the Northern limit of the land of D'Eendracht. He was definitely to endeavour to ascertain whether in the course of the unknown region he would pass, and especially near Cape Keerweer and Willem's River, there were channels or passages Southward, for such channels and passages would be "of the utmost importance for getting speedily into the South Sea." It was expected that Tasman would reach Willem's River between May and July 1643, and he was to sail thence straight to Java.

The natives were to be treated with kindness, and none were to be carried off against their will. But caution also was to be shown, "seeing it is well known that the Southern regions are peopled by fierce savages." In spite of the expectations that had been expressed—in words stolen from Quiros—of wealthy lands in the unknown South, it is now declared, in plain Dutch, to be "unlikely" that Tasman would "happen to come to any country peopled by civilised men." If he did so, however, he was to treat them with respect, and not to annex their country till he had obtained their consent. He was to bring them to profitable trade, and to conceal the fact that the Dutch valued gold and silver. The ships sailed well prepared for any trade they might come to. The Bill of Lading shows the Voyage of the South-land debtor to the Office of Batavia for f.2965.16.12 for goods on board, which are enumerated in detail in lists which illustrate the extensiveness of Dutch commerce. Among the goods for which it was hoped to find customers in the South-lands were silk, Guinea linen, Golconda blankets, sandal-wood, Dutch steel and Surat chintzes.

Sixty men sailed on the Heemskerk, and fifty on the Zeehaen. The ships were victualled for twelve months, and had rice for eighteen. Two days a week were meat days, and one day was bacon day. One mutchkin and a half of arrack was allowed each day.

Tasman was instructed to keep "an ample and elaborate journal," and the instruction was well obeyed. He kept a "daily register," illustrated by careful drawings, and on this record was based the "Journal or Description" which he handed in, under his signature, to the Governor-General and Council as the official report of his voyage. Extracts from it were afterwards printed. Cook and Banks had one of these extracts on board the Endeavour, and highly interesting they found it. Later,Banks managed to buy a complete copy of the Journal. Recently Professor Heeres has published a facsimile of the original manuscript which still exists in the Colonial Archives at the Hague. It is written in the hand, not of Tasman, but of some unknown Government official. But it bears Tasman's signature, and is evidently based on the "daily register," which, it seems, has disappeared.* Thus it begins:—"Journal or Description drawn up by me Abel Janssen** Tasman, of a voyage made from Batavia in East India, for the discovery of the unknown South-land, in the year of our Lord 1642, the 14th of August. May God Almighty vouchsafe His blessing on this work. Amen."

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 67.]

[** The second name is sometimes spelled Janssen, sometimes Janszoon. Tasman in his signature wrote Jansz.]

They came to Mauritius on the 5th of September, having accomplished in twenty-two days a voyage for which Visseher had allowed at least a month. They came in condition so bad that some explanation is needed beyond the difficulty of getting ships for a voyage of discovery. The Governor of the island wrote that "their outfit for a voyage of such a nature was hopelessly unsatisfactory," and that the upper work of the Zeehaen was "so rotten that a great part had to be repaired and renewed." They left Mauritius on the 8th of October, having spent thirty-three days there instead of the fifteen or twenty allowed by Visscher's time-table. They were still, however, in good time. His point had been that they must be at work far South by the beginning of November; and on the 1st of November they were already in 47°. On the 6th they were in 49° 4', which was to be their furthest South. The weather had not been as good as weather should be in early summer. A few days before they had been beset by "dense fog and darkness," that made it "hardly possible to survey known shores, let alone to discover unknown land." And now "the sea ran very high, and our men began to suffer badly from severe cold." This was discouraging. The plan had been to sail as far South as 52° or 54°. But now, on the 6th of November, Visscher handed in a formal note advising that they should make for 44°, should sail along that line of Latitude to the 150th degree of Longitude (i.e. the 130th from Greenwich), then Northward to 40° S. Lat., then once more Eastward to the 20th degree of Longitude (the 160th from Greenwich), whence they should make Northward for the Solomons.*

[* Walker, p. 203.]

Visscher's advice was accepted by the Council of Officers on the Heemskerk. In order to get the opinion of those on the Zeehaen, the documents were enclosed "in a wooden canister-shot-case duly waxed, and closely wrapped up in a tarred canvas, which was set adrift from the stern-part of the poop"; and "those of the Zeehaen hoisted the Prince-flag in sign of approbation." So, by the 9th of November, they were in Latitude 44°, and sailing an Easterly course. It was noted that the sea was "still running high from the South-West," which seemed to show that there was no mainland in that direction. On the 17th, they calculated that in Longitude they had "already passed the South-land, known up to the present, that is so far as Pieter Nuyts had run to Eastward." There seems to have been no thought of taking advantage of the permission that had been given to pick up the thread of De Nuyts's discovery, and to ascertain whither his coastline trended. Visscher preferred "gradually to deviate more to the Northward"; a decision which left to Flinders, one hundred and sixty years later, the task of discovering what lay to the East of Fowler's Bay, and the islands of St. Peter and St. Francis.

On the 23rd of November, they estimated they were in Latitude 42° 50', Longitude 162° 5' (from Teneriffe), and that "the West side of New Guinea must be North of us. Next day, in the afternoon about 4 o'clock, we saw land bearing East by North of us at about ten miles distance by estimation; the land we sighted was very high; towards evening we also saw East-South-East of us three high mountains, and to the North-East two more mountains, but less high than those to the Southward...This land being the first we have met with in the South Sea, and not known to any European nation, we have conferred on it the name of Anthony van Diemenslandt, in honour of the Hon. Governor-General, our illustrious master, who sent us to make the discovery; the islands circumjacent, so far as known to us, we have named after the Hon. Councillors of India, as may be seen from the little chart which has been made of them."

Tasman had come to the West coast of the island that now bears his name. "It is probable," writes Mr. Walker,* "that the first land seen was the mountainous country to the North of Macquarie Harbour." The two mountains were identified by Flinders, the voyager who next sailed that way, in 1798, and were named by him Mount Heemskerck and Mount Zeehan. Sailing South, Tasman noted on the 28th "an islet which in shape resembles a lion ("the Mewstone"), and on the 29th "we passed two rocks of which the Westernmost" ("Peter's Banks," says Mr. Walker, p. 130) "was like Pedra Branca off the coast of China; the Easternmost was like a tall obtuse square tower." "In the evening about 5, we came before a Bay, which seemed likely to afford a good anchorage; upon which we resolved with our ship's Council to run into it. We had nearly got into the Bay, when there arose so strong a gale that we were obliged to take in sail, and to run out to sea again under reduced sail, seeing that it was impossible to come to anchor in such a storm." The Bay is named on Tasman's Chart "Storm Bay."** Furneaux anchored in it in 1773, and called it "Adventure Bay." Tasman's name of "Storm Bay" has been transferred to the wider opening, at the entrance to which lies his Storm Bay. The gale which prevented him from anchoring where Furneaux anchored one hundred and thirty years later prevented him also from sailing the modern Storm Bay, and the River Derwent, to the site of Hobart.

[* Walker, p. 129.]

[** See Illustration 48.]

Driven off from the shore by wind and current so far that they "could barely see the land," they rounded "Tasman's eyland" ("the Pillar" in modern maps), and "De Suyd Cap" (the modern Tasman peninsula), and sailed Northward up the East coast. On the afternoon of the 1st of December, it was resolved "to touch at the land both to get better acquainted with its condition, and to procure refreshment for our own behoof; and, about one hour after sunset, we dropped anchor in a good harbour, for all which it behooves us to thank God Almighty with grateful hearts." "The position of the anchorage as shown in Tasman's Chart," explains Mr. Walker,* "is North-west of the rocks now called Green Island, just North of the basaltic cliffs of Cape Frederick Henry."** The scenery, Mr. Walker tells us, is "unaltered after two and a half centuries." The coast is still "wild and rugged and scarcely known except to the hardy fisherman...The country inland is poor, almost without water, covered with thin gum forest, scrub, and meagre grass. It is only the shore that is interesting. The rocky headlands, cliffs, and islands, against which the ocean dashes are rent and scarred by sudden fissures and chasms, into which the waves rush roaring and tumbling. Between the points lie a variety of lovely bays, now a broad white beach with long rollers of broken surf, now a rocky nook, now a quiet and sheltered cove."***

[* P. 131.]

[** In the Admiralty chart this point is named C. Frederick Hendrik. See J. Moore-Robinson's. Record of Tasmanian Nomenclature, and Clive L. Lord's The Early Explorers of Tasmania.]

[*** Walker, p. 132.]



47. MODERN MAP OF PART OF TASMANIA

Next day (2nd December), early in the morning, Visscher was sent in command of the boats to a bay four miles to the North-West—the modern Blackman's Bay. They returned, bringing samples of vegetables and making a report which, Mr. Walker tells us,* is still "thoroughly characteristic of the Eastern shores of Blackman's Bay." They had "found high but level ground, covered with vegetation, not cultivated, but growing naturally by the will of God, abundance of excellent timber, and a gently sloping watercourse in a barren valley, the said water, though of good quality, being difficult to procure, because the watercourse was so shallow that the water could be dipped with bowls only."

[* Ib. p. 134.]



48. TASMAN'S MAP OF ANTHONY VAN DIEMEN'S LAND
(From The Journal of Tasman, ed. by J. E. Heeres.)

They had heard certain human sounds, and also sounds nearly resembling the music of a trump or a small gong, not far from them, though they had seen no one. They had "seen two trees about two or two and a half fathoms in thickness, measuring from sixty to sixty-five feet from the ground to the lower-most branches, which trees bore notches made with flint implements, the bark having been removed for the purpose. These notches, forming a kind of steps to enable persons to get up trees and rob the birds' nests in their tops, were fully five feet apart, so that our men concluded that the natives must be of very tall stature, and must be in possession of some sort of artifice for getting up the said trees. On the ground they had observed certain footprints of animals, not unlike those of a tiger's claws. They brought on board a small quantity of gum of a seemingly very fine quality, which exuded from trees and bore some resemblance to gum-lac. The land is generally covered with trees, standing so far apart that they allow a passage everywhere, and a look-out to a great distance, so that, when landing, our man could always get sight of natives and wild beasts, unhindered by dense shrubbery and underwood, which would prove a great advantage in exploring the country."

Next day (3rd December), the two boats put off again for the shore to take formal possession. "We carried with us a pole with the Company's mark carved into it, and a Prince-flag to be set up there, that those who come after us may become aware that we have been here, and have taken possession of the said land as our lawful property."A stiff wind and a high sea compelled one boat to pull back, and prevented the other from landing. "We then ordered the carpenter to swim to the shore alone, with the pole and flag. We made him plant the said pole about the centre of the Bay"—Prince of Wales's Bay, says Mr. Walker*—"near four tall trees, easily recognisable, and standing in the form of a crescent exactly before the one standing lowest," which is a tree crowned by two long dry branches, which "look like the large antlers of a stag," while one of its lower branches looks like "the upper part of a larding pin." Then "we pulled back to the ships, leaving the abovementioned as a memorial for those who shall come after us, and for the natives of this country, who did not show themselves, though we suspect some of them were at no great distance and closely watching our proceedings." Those who came after Tasman could not have failed to recognise his landmarks had they come after him in reasonable time; but a century and a half was to pass before they arrived.

[* Walker, p. 134.]

Next day, the 4th of December, Tasman sailed Northward to seek a better watering-place. He sailed past islands to which he gave the names of Maria—who was the wife, not the daughter, of the Governor-General—and the two Councillors Schouten and Verdelius; the last of these islands has proved to be a peninsula. "At this point the land fell off to the North-West, so that we could no longer steer near the coast here, seeing that the wind was almost ahead." A full Council was called, and it was decided to resume the plan that had been interrupted by the discovery of Van Diemen's Land, that is, to sail due Eastward to the Longitude of the Solomons. This decision did not please the Governor-General and Council. Some censure seems to be implied in the words of their Report to the Masters at Amsterdam:—"which land they have christened Anthony Van Diemen's land, without, however, being aware how far it extends to North-West and North-East, and without communicating with any of its inhabitants." Why did they not insist on an interview with the giants who could climb trees in five-feet strides? Why did they not inquire whether Van Diemen's Land was connected with Nuyts's Land to the North-West, or with Nova Guinea to the North? Tasman sailed away, and left these problems to be solved by Flinders and Bass in 1798.

As Tasman sailed Eastward, he noted that heavy swells continued from the South-West, which again proved that there was no mainland in that direction. On the 13th of December, towards noon, he saw "a large high-lying land being South-East of us at about sixty miles distance." He had reached the West coast of the South Island of New Zealand. He sailed Northwards, describing, both in Journal and in Charts, the prominent features of the coast in such a way that they can be easily identified by the modern student.* On the 16th, he reached a point at which "the land fell off so abruptly that we did not doubt that this was the furthest extremity." In fact it was the Cape which the next visitor, Cook in 1770, called Cape Farewell, the Northernmost point of the South Island. Rounding this point, they "saw a large open bay" and resolved to "try to get ashore here and find a good harbour" (18th December). They anchored,** and two prows came towards them. "The men began to call out to us in a rough hollow voice, but we could not understand a word of what they said." They also blew several times on an instrument of which the sound was "like that of a Moorish trumpet." The Dutch trumpeters replied, and the natives paddled home.

[* See exact explanation of the detail in M'Nab's From Tasman to Marsden, pp. 4 to 15.]

[** Tasman's anchorage was "in Golden Bay, off Waramanga Beach, two miles W. by N. ½ N. of Separation Point" (M'Nab's From Tasman to Marsden, p. 9).]

Next day, they came again, but the Dutch again failed to understand their speech by use of their vocabularies of New Guinea and the Solomons. They got a good view, however, of the men, and wrote the first European description of the Maori. "As far as we could observe, these people were of ordinary height. They had rough voices and strong bones. The colour of their skin was between brown and yellow. They wore tufts of black hair right upon the tops of their heads, tied fast in the manner of the Japanese at the back of their heads, but somewhat longer and thicker, and surmounted by a large, thick, white feather. Their boats consisted of two long narrow prows side by side, over which a number of planks or other seats were placed. Their paddles are upwards of a fathom in length, narrow and pointed at the end. With these vessels they could make considerable speed. For clothing it seemed to us some of them wore mats, others cotton stuffs. Almost all of them were naked from the shoulders to the waist." The draughtsman drew a picture of them in exact accordance with this description.



49. TASMAN'S PICTURE OF MAORIS
(From the Journal of Tasman, ed. by J. E. Heeres.)

The Dutch invited them on board by showing white linen and knives. But they would come no nearer than a stone's throw, and again paddled away. The Dutch, however, thought that their meaning was friendly, and determined to anchor as near shore as they could. Seven prows came out, but again no business could be done. So the skipper of the Zeehaen launched his cock-boat, no doubt with friendly meaning. Whereupon the people in one of the prows began to paddle furiously, and rammed the cock-boat. Then "the foremost man in this prow of villains with a long blunt pike thrust the quartermaster Cornelis Joppen in the neck several times, with so much force that the poor man fell overboard. Upon this the other natives, with short thick clubs, which we at first mistook for heavy blunt parangs (i.e. knives for cutting wood), and with their paddles, fell upon the men in the cock-boat, and overcame them by main force, in which fray three of our men were killed, and a fourth got mortally wounded through the heavy blows. The quartermaster and two sailors swam to our ship (the Heemskerk), whence we had sent our pinnace to pick them up, which they got into alive. After this outrageous and detestable crime, the murderers sent the cock-boat adrift, having taken one of the dead bodies into their prow, and thrown another into the sea."

The Dutch "diligently fired muskets and guns," but the prows got away. So the Dutch named the place "Murderers' Bay," and set sail, "seeing we could not hope to enter into any friendly relations with those people, nor to be able to get water or refreshments here." They decided to sail Eastward along the coast in search of these things.

And what was this second land that had been discovered? "It seems," wrote Tasman, "to be a very fine country, and we trust this is the mainland coast of the unknown South-land." That is, he thought that New Zealand was probably a Northern promontory of the great Southern or Magellanican continent, which was still drawn on the maps. Now in 1616, as we have seen, Le Maire sailing on the East coast of Tierra del Fuego had seen a land which is really a rather small island, but which he thought was probably part of the Southern Continent, and he had called it Statenlandt. The idea in Tasman's mind was that Le Maire and he had discovered parts of the same continent, and that it would therefore be well to use the same name. "In honour of their High Mightiness," he wrote, "we gave to this land the name of Staten Landt, since we deemed it quite possible that this land is part of the great Staten Landt, though this is not certain."* To the passage between Van Diemen's Landt and the new Staten Landt "we have given the name of Abel Tasman Passage, because he has been the first to navigate it."

[* Heeres, p. 118, writes: "The Statenland discovered by Tasman had afterwards conferred on it the name of Nova Zeelandia or Nieuw Zeeland...The name was most probably given after the voyage by Brouwer in 1643 had removed all doubts as regards the insular character of the Statenland South of South America." The earliest instance of Nova Zeelandia seems to be on Blaeu's Globe which Coote dates 1647-1656. Cf. Heeres, p. 76.]

The main object now was to fight a way through or round this block of South-land, in order to make the shortest route to Chili; a matter which the rulers of the Company regarded as "the main point of the voyage."* For this reason it had been resolved to sail Eastward along the coast. If Tasman had persisted in this resolution, he would have proved that he was right, and would have discovered Cook's Straits. And in fact he did sail one hundred and twenty miles (30 Dutch miles) into a Bay, "nothing doubting that we should here find a passage to the open South Sea."** But to his "grievous disappointment, it proved quite otherwise." The land seemed to close in upon them from all sides, and they concluded that it was a Bay, and not a Strait. They tried to get out of it Westward in order to follow the coast to the North. But wind and tide baffled them, they were blown and dragged forwards and backwards across the Bay, and they anchored at last behind an island, in a place which they called "Tasman's Road." Here Tasman noticed that a strong tide was running from the South East. This seemed to make it at least likely that a strait did after all exist, and he proposed that, as soon as wind and tide should permit, they should investigate the matter. Wind and tide, however, did not permit. When the weather cleared, the wind was in the East. The search for the Strait was abandoned. Tasman sailed Westward out of the Bay, and then steered a Northward course, hoping that, since he had failed to get through the obstacle, he would be able to get round it. The Dutch, then, remained uncertain whether they had sailed into a Bay or into the mouth of a Strait. Tasman's map made it a Bay—"Zeehaen Bight." But Pilot Visscher's Chart*** showed an opening, that suggests, at all events, the probability of a Strait. Cook in 1770 found his extract from Tasman of especial interest at this point; and he would have been still more interested had he been able to consult the map of Visscher.

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 144.]

[** Ibid., p. 21.]

[*** Ibid., p. 112.]

From the 26th of December to the 4th of January, Tasman sailed along the West coast of the North island in search of a passage round it that would open the way to Chili. His Chart shows a continuous coastline with features that can be identified. Then, on the 4th of January, 1643, he saw a cape and an island. He gave the cape the name of the Governor-General's wife, Maria Van Diemen; and he named the island Drie Coningen Island, "because we came to anchor there on Twelfth night even." "There was a heavy sea running from the North-East, which gave us great hopes of finding a passage here. The land falls away to Eastward."

Next day, Tasman sent the boats to see if they could get water in the island. They returned with the report that they had seen "good fresh water coming down in great plenty from a steep mountain, but that, owing to the heavy surf, it was highly dangerous, nay well-nigh impossible, for us to get water there." They had also seen in several places on the highest hills from thirty to thirty-five persons of tall stature, so far as they could see from a distance, armed with sticks or clubs, who called out to them in a very loud rough voice certain words which our men could not understand. They had noticed that "these people in walking took enormous steps or strides"; and, no doubt, they thought them akin to the gigantic tree-climbers of Van Diemen's Land.

Tasman had failed even to make landing on the new country, and he decided to run on. The Eastward fall-away of the land, together with the heavy sea running from the Eastward, seemed to prove that he had rounded Staten Land, and had shown an open ocean passage to Chili for those who wished to do great business, or to damage the Castilians. His experience during the next two days confirmed the belief. "The sea," he noted as he sailed North, "is running very high from the Eastward," so that "the great swells," he wrote next day, "now come from the South-East. This passage from Batavia to Chili is in smooth water, so that there is no objection to following it." It seemed to him that he had achieved the main object of his voyage. His employers, the Governor-General and Council, however, took a different view. To them it seemed that the existence of the passage had not been proved. If Tasman had run a few more degrees to the South he might, not unlikely, have come upon land again; for Staten Land itself might extend to Le Maire's Straits on the East of Tierra del Fuego, and there was no information about the region between the discoveries of Tasman and Le Maire. "All this," they said, "is mere guesswork, and nothing positive can be laid down respecting unknown matters." Tasman had been "somewhat remiss" in his investigations, and "as regards the main point, had left everything to be more closely inquired into by more inquisitive successors."*

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 554.]

Tasman little expected these arm-chair criticisms. To him it seemed that he had been sufficiently inquisitive in murderous Staten Land, and that he had made a good voyage. He now determined to sail Northward for home. Anyone who wishes to understand the incredible difficulties of navigation in the Pacific at this time should read the baffling account that is given in the Journal of this part of the voyage. The plan was to call for water and refreshments at Le Maire's islands of Horn and Kokus, and thence to sail by way of the Solomons for New Guinea. But though they had fair knowledge of their Latitudes, their Longitudes were a matter of wild guess-work. They did not know where Le Maire's islands were; they did not know where the Solomons were; and they did not know where they themselves were. And on all these insoluble problems learned skippers and pilots debated and reported, as they groped a way through the huge, unknown, and highly dangerous ocean.

Their first object was to make sure that they were to the Eastward of the islands which they sought. They therefore sailed North-East, and, on the 19th of January, came to a group of islands which Cook later named "the Friendly Islands." They called the largest island "Amsterdam," "because of the abundance of refreshments we got there." Another island they called "Rotterdam," "seeing that here we got our casks filled with water." There was much friendly traffic in cocoanuts, yams, and hogs, in exchange for nails and beads. They dressed a chief in a shirt and pair of drawers, "in which he thought himself very gallantly attired." Dutch musical experts performed on the trumpet, the violin, and the German flute; "at which music they were greatly astonished." It was noticed that the prows were shaped like those described by Le Maire. They called the Roadstead Van Diemen's Road; and "to the Bay, near which the King resides, we have given the name of Maria Bay, in honour of the Honourable Consort of the Honourable Governor-General Anthony Van Diemen." We note this unanswerable evidence that Maria, whose name Tasman was writing on every island of the Pacific, was the "Honourable Consort," and not the Honourable daughter, of the "Honourable Governor-General."

Tasman was now sure that he was Eastward enough, and made sail North or North-West, keeping a good look out for Le Maire's islands, which were in Lat. 17°. On the night of the 5th of February in Lat. 17½° they saw land, and next day they found themselves "entangled between islands and shoals to such a degree that we could with difficulty keep clear. The islands are eighteen or twenty in number as we can count them, though it is quite possible that there are more." They were, explains the modern student, among the Fiji Islands.

But Tasman was puzzled. He believed that he was in the track of Le Maire, yet Le Maire "did not find any such islands." The "Great Chart of the South Sea" showed islands in this Latitude, but these were eight hundred miles further West. But after a voyage so long and so stormy "the proverb which says that guess-work often shoots wide of the mark may well be applicable to us, and we be so far out of our reckoning." In short the Dutch had not the least idea where they were, and knew enough to be aware of their ignorance. Perhaps the islands were Le Maire's islands. Perhaps they were the Solomons. Perhaps they were the islands of Quiros. Perhaps they fringed the Eastern coast of New Guinea. Tasman thought it wise to ask for a formal expression of opinion from Visscher, and the other chief officers, as to the best course. His own opinion was that "we should from here run due North, as far as 4° S. Lat., and then due West as far as the coast of Nova Guinea, seeing that the weather we now have is such that one might easily miss a known coast, let alone an unknown one, and that we are in the bad season here, when the South-East trade-wind and the North monsoon meet each other."

The opinions of Visscher and the other officers were to the same effect. Their problem was virtually the same as that which had been discussed, and in a locality not very distant, by Le Maire and Schouten twenty-six years before. Le Maire had wished to sail hence Westward in search of Terra Australis. Schouten had victoriously answered that this course would bring them on the South side of New Guinea, among unknown and dangerous coasts, where a passage was at best uncertain; for there was no knowledge of the route of Torres. So argued Visscher now. It was true that their "Instructions" seemed to suggest, in a phrase of horrible obscurity, that from the Latitude of the Solomons, which were supposed to stretch from 7° to 15°, they should sail Westward towards the East coast of New Guinea. But, argued Visschcr, "this could not be done without incurring the risk of being cast aside into a Bay from which it might be difficult or impossible to beat out again; and, since the East coast of New Guinea is still unknown, it is quite possible that there may be plenty of small islands and shoals to the Eastward of the said land of New Guinea, such as we have already met with before; and, having no secure anchorage in such rough weather, in which it is impossible to keep a proper lookout, we might happen to be cast on the shores, before we had become aware of the same." His advice, therefore, was that they should sail Northward as far as 4° or 5° S. Lat., in order to avoid all risks, and "prevent our being thrown on a lee-shore."

Thus in 1642, as in 1616, the Dutch declined a voyage that might have made them first discoverers of East Australia, and second discoverers of Torres Strait. From the Fijis they made Northward, in the tracks of Le Maire and Schouten, sailing wide of the Solomons, coasting New Ireland and New Hanover, which were thought to be parts of New Guinea, and coming to the North coast of New Guinea in April. They hoped to find a passage through New Guinea, sailing through which they would have had time to explore the unknown regions between Cape Keerweer and Willem's River. The Journal gives a view of "De bocht van Goede Hoop" (the Bay of Good Hope), where "we hoped, but in vain, to find a passage." They had to sail the whole long length of the North coast of New Guinea, identifying the islands on Schouten's Chart, and making use of Le Maire's vocabulary to ask the natives for hogs, fowls, cocoa-nuts, and bananas. In the end of May, they came to "the extremity of New Guinea," which, says Tasman, "consists of broken land that would take more time in mapping out than we think necessary to bestow upon it." It was already too late in the season for the voyage by Cape Keerweer to Willem's River. Tasman made for home, and on the 14th of June anchored at Batavia. "Item, the 15th do. In the morning at daybreak, I went to Batavia in the pinnace. God be praised and thanked for this happy voyage. Amen."


CHAPTER XVI. TASMAN'S VOYAGE OF 1644

AUTHORITY:


Governor-General and Council heard Tasman's "happy" news with calmness. He had discovered two lands of an apparently unprofitable character, and he claimed that he had discovered a passage from the Indian Ocean into the South Sea through which ships might sail to the gold-bearing coast of Chili; a claim that needed investigation by more inquisitive successors. He had "found no treasures or matters of great profit." Yet officers and crew should have their reward: the former two months' pay, the latter one month's pay. "Our Masters" in Amsterdam heard the news with calmness so great that they did not think it worth while to say anything about it.

Governor-General and Council, however, thought the news about the alleged passage "promising" enough to justify another voyage, which should seek to make way thereby to Chili, form alliance and trade connections with the Chilese, and with God's aid obtain some good booty in the South Sea. But the plan for a voyage in October 1643 was frustrated by new war with "the over bold Portuguese," who were, no doubt, "bringing about their own destruction," but were, unhappily, at the same time "doing the Spaniards such staunch service that for the moment we are forced to leave the latter unmolested in the South Sea, and elsewhere." But they resolved to stand by the plan, and to send the voyage in September or October 1644, and "this time arms in hands." They are certain, they write, that "something profitable will ultimately turn up in Chili." By this time they had thought more wisely of the industry and inquisitiveness of Tasman and Visscher. They had formed the opinion that the voyage of 1642 was "a remarkable voyage, in the course of which the great unknown Staten and Van Diemen's Land were discovered, and a long-desired passage into the South Sea was found." So Tasman and Visscher were again to take command. And meanwhile, "in order to prevent their being idle in the interim," it was decided to send them in February 1644 on a preliminary voyage which should seek to clear up once for all the great doubtful questions of the South-land, and above all the question whether there was or was not a passage through it, that would enable ships to take a short cut for the new route to Chili.

The "Instructions"* directed Tasman to sail in command of three ships—the yachts Limmen and Zeemeeuw, and the galiot Bracq. He was to leave Banda at the close of February with the Western monsoon, and was to follow the coast of Nova Guinea to 9°. He was "cautiously to cross the Shallow Bay situated there" (i.e. Torres Strait), and to bring the yachts to anchor on the South side. Here he was to "reconnoitre the situation of the land, sending in the meantime the Bracq into the Bay for two or three days to ascertain whether in this large Bay there is any passage to the South Sea, a question which may be in a short time investigated, either in this way, or by the direction of the current."

[* Heeres' Tasman, p. 147.]

Having settled this question, Tasman was to "skirt the West coast of Nova Guinea" (i.e. Cape York Peninsula), as far as the farthest point discovered in 17°, and then to follow its line Westward or Southward, "that it may be decided once for all whether this land is separated from the unknown Southland; a fact which might easily be ascertained from the heavy and slow swell of the seas." In case a channel was found, separating Nova Guinea (Cape York Peninsula) from the South-land (West Australia), Tasman was to sail down it to the newly-discovered Van Diemen's Land of the South; and at the same time he was to ascertain whether Van Diemen's Land was an island, or was united to Nova Guinea or to Nuyts's Land. Then, after a visit to the islands of St. Francis and St. Peter, he was to sail back Northward, skirting the Eastern coast of the South-land. Emerging into the open sea at the Northern end of the supposed channel, he was to follow the coast Westward to Willem's River; "after which the whole of the known South-land would have been circumnavigated, and found to be the largest island in the world."

This was the voyage that was desired. A passage between Nova Guinea and the South-land (i.e. between East Australia and West Australia), with another passage between Nova Guinea and Van Diemen's Land, would provide a splendid short cut for ships making from Batavia for the Northern end of Staten Land (New Zealand), with a view to explore the "promising" route to Chili. The "Instructions," however, admit that "it seems likely enough that the land of Nova Guinea (East Australia) joins the South-land (West Australia) without any channels, and consequently forms a whole with it." The Gulf of Carpentaria, it is feared, is a Gulf and is not the entrance to a passage. If this should prove to be so, Tasman was to trace the coastline to Willem's River, "and fully discover the same." Then, if wind and weather were favourable, he was to sail on to Houtman's Abrolhos, and try to fish up the chest of dollars which had been sunk with the Batavia, and which Pelsart had, failed to get because a heavy cannon had fallen on top of it. Then Tasman was to look for the two delinquents, whom Pelsart had set ashore. And, at the same time, he was to seek a convenient place, about 26° or 28°, for obtaining water and refreshments, "which would be a thing highly desirable for ships bound to India from the Netherlands." He was to take possession of land by erecting a structure with an inscription declaring "your fixed intention to send a body of men thither by the first opportunity to secure this property by founding a permanent colony there."

Tasman's Journal of the voyage has disappeared. Careful research has only discovered the binding which once contained it.* There remain, however, two testimonies that give a fairly adequate report of the main results of the voyage, though they leave us entirely ignorant of the detail of discovery.

[* Heeres' Tasman, P. 74.]

Firstly, we have a letter written by the Governor-General and Council to the Seventeen Directors at Amsterdam, which gives a short but plain account of the voyage and of its worth. The yachts, they say, sailed in February, but "found no open channel between the half-known Nova Guinea, and the known land of D'Eendracht or Willem's River; they found, however, a large spacious Bay or Gulf (the Gulf of Carpentaria), as shown in the annexed Chart and Journal. Nor did they make any profit by bartering transactions, having only met with naked beach-roving wretches, destitute of rice, and not possessed of any fruits worth mentioning, excessively poor, and in many places of a very malignant nature, as your Worships may in great detail gather from the Batavia minutes." Tasman "continually sailed in shallow water along the coast "to Willem's River, and thence returned to Batavia in August. "What there is in this Southland, whether above or under the earth, continues unknown, since the men have done nothing beyond sailing along the coast; he who makes it his business to find out what the land produces must walk over it, which these discoverers pretend to have been out of their power, which may be true to some extent. Meanwhile this vast and hitherto unknown South-land has, by the said Tasman, been sailed round in two voyages, and is computed to comprise eight thousand miles of land (2000 Dutch miles), as shown by the delineation of the coasts, which we subjoin for Your Worships' inspection. Now it can hardly be supposed that no profits of any kind should be obtainable in so vast a country, situated under various zones, the South-Eastern part extending between 43½° and 2½° S. Lat...Such things should not be done in a hurry, and we would request Your Worships to rest assured that whenever opportunity serves, we shall from time to time have everything diligently and closely investigated by persons more vigilant and courageous than those who have hitherto been employed on this service."* Thus, once more, the arm-chair critics!

[* Heeres' Tasman,p. 156.]

Secondly, we have another very useful source of information. This is a chart made by Tasman in the same year 1644, which shows on a single sheet the geographic results of the two voyages,* and supplements in an interesting way the meagre story of the official letter. Heeres says that, when he wrote, the original of the map was possessed by Prince Roland Bonaparte, who refused permission to reproduce it. Heeres assures us, however, that the copy which he gives is "sufficiently serviceable."** On it we follow the tracks of the three ships down the Southern coast of New Guinea, and across the "Shallow Bight" (Torres Strait), to the anchorage on its South side. The Eastern coast of the "Shallow Bight" is drawn with a firm hand. Tasman, if we take the map as complete evidence, had satisfied himself that there was no strait. If, however, the lost Journal were discovered, we might possibly find that, as in the case of the similar question in New Zealand,*** Tasman knew that exploration had not been completed, and that the problem was unsolved.****

[* Ib. p. 72. See Illustration 46.]

[** Ib. p. 71.]

[*** See earlier, in Chapter XV ("The main object now...").]

[**** Tasman's map has the inscription: "The Company's Nieuv Nederland. In the East the large country of Nova Guinea with the first discovered South-land, forming all one continent together, as may be seen from the dotted line near the yachts Limmen and Zeemeeuw and the 'quel' de Brak. A.D. 1644." {Heeres' Tasman, p. 73: a somewhat different translation is given on the map which Heeres prints.} But the "dotted line" near the track of the ships suggests, not continuous land, but continuous difficulty. The firm line, representing land, is drawn far away to the East, so far away that land which existed there could not possibly have been seen from the ships. It is a line which seems merely to express the opinion that exploration beyond the "dotted line" of difficulty was not worth while. Visscher's map seems to have had the same meaning. It has been lost: but there is a careless English copy of it, probably made in 1687, in the British Museum. It has the inscription:—"This large land of New Guinea was first discovered to joyne to ye south land by ye Yot Lemmen as by this chart Francois Jacobus Vis. Pilot Major Anno 1643." But, here again, it is the "dotted line" of difficulty which is near the dotted line which marks the ship's course: the firm line is far away to the East, and quite out of sight. See Major's Early Voyages, p. xcvi, and Heeres' Tasman, p. 73.]

Then we follow the track down the coast past Cape Keerweer, past Carstenz's furthest South in 17°, and further along to the coast now for the first time explored. We note Tasman's vain gropings for a passage that should lead through the too-solid Continent to Van Diemen's Land, the South Sea, and the route to Chili. Again and again a promising opening proves itself a Shallow Bight and not a Strait. Then the voyage goes along the Western coast of what has been proved to be a great Gulf. Arnhem's Land is rediscovered, and is proved to be the same land as the Van Diemen's Land of the North, part of the island-continent now at last coming into visible and connected being. Then the hitherto unknown coastline is traced from Van Diemen's Land of the North to Willem's River; and then, the time allotted having expired, Tasman abandons thought of the dollars at the bottom of the sea at the Abrolhos, and sails to Batavia, to be reproached because he has not walked over the land, and has not increased the Company's dividends by trading with the "naked beach-roving wretches" who were its only inhabitants.

As we look, then, at this map of 1644, we see the outlines of "the Company's New Netherlands" as conceived after Tasman's two voyages. From Cape York Peninsula to the head of the Australian Bight, and a little beyond, the outlines are rightly understood, though there are inaccuracies in detail which, in view of the circumstances, seem marvellously little. The South coast of Tasmania is known, but what lies between it and the coast of the Australian Bight is not known. There may be a strait North of Tasmania, but the probability perhaps is that Tasmania is part of the continent. New Guinea is also part of the continent, though it is true that even Tasman's definite verdict left men doubting whether after all the Shallow Bight did not end in a practicable strait. The South coast of New Guinea is well known, and also the North coast as far Eastwards as New Britain and New Ireland, which are supposed to be part of New Guinea. But nothing whatever is known about the Eastern coast of New Guinea, though it has a persistently bad reputation, and seamen strike North of it with the greatest care. Nor is anything known of the region between New Guinea and Tasmania, which must contain the Eastern coast of the continent. Tasman can only draw a shaded line bulging widely towards the East, to indicate a coastline which must exist somewhere to connect what he had seen in the North with what he had discovered in the South.

Tasman's voyages had been profitable to geographers, but very unsatisfactory to shareholders. He had mapped the outline of a huge continent, but it seemed to be as useless as it was huge. Van Diemen and the Councillors, however, did not despair. On the contrary their schemes grew larger. New trouble with the Portuguese and the lack of fitting yachts compelled them to abandon the voyage, that had been planned for September 1644, to make sure there was a clear way round Staten Land to Chili. But they were "strongly inclined," they wrote to the managers in December 1644, "to further discovery of Tartary, and the Northern parts of America, together with the South-lands recently discovered in the East, and the Solomon Islands"; truly big enough projects! They were convinced that gold and silver would be found, and convinced also that mines were necessary to the Company's prosperity. They still hoped also, with God's aid, "to attempt some good booty by taking the enemy at unawares." As for Tasman's voyages, they had no doubt been disappointing. But he had at all events outlined an island of eight thousand miles, and it would be odd if nothing good were found between 22° and 43½° S. Lat.! "Thorough exploration of newly-discovered lands is no work for the first comer...God grant that in one or other part of the world some prolific silver- or gold-mine be hit upon, to the solace of the shareholders, and to the signal honour of the discoverer."

But the Directors in Amsterdam were weary of Van Diemen's brilliant policy. They had no interest in what Sir Joseph Banks called "voyages of curiosity." Exploration must lead to business, and Tasman had brought home nothing save the cargoes with which he had sailed. Why desire to reach beyond one's grasp? The Company already knew far more countries than it could possibly trade with. Discoveries further afield would probably end in the advantage of other more populous nations, who would burn Dutch inscriptions, and gain a footing in the Eastern world fatal to Dutch monopoly.* Directors did not think Tasman's voyage worth comment; and they poured a deluge of cold water on the suggestion of further exploration by more vigilant and courageous men. "We cannot anticipate any great results from the continuation of such discoveries, which entail further expenditure from the Company, since they require more yachts and sailors." Nor did the Managers think well of the proposal to seek gold- and silver-mines. "Gold and silver are not extracted from the earth without excessive outlay, as some would seem to imagine. These plans of Your Worships somewhat aim beyond our mark, the gold- and silver-mines that will best serve the Company's turn have already been found;—which we deem to be our trade over the whole of India, and especially in Formosa and Japan, if only God be graciously pleased to continue the same to us." The Directors thought they could make more money North than South; and they were right.

[* Cf. Temple, quoted by Major in Early Voyages, p. vi. "I have heard it said among the Dutch that their East India Company have long since forbidden, and under the greatest penalties, any further attempts of discovering that continent, having already more trade in those parts that they can turn to account, and fearing some more populous nation in Europe might make great establishments of trade in some of those unknown regions, which might ruin or impair what they have already in the Indies."]

Van Diemen did not live to read this letter. He died in April 1645. His schemes were never again undertaken. The Directors, who had hitherto urged a policy of exploration, had changed their minds. The land of "Beach" was not what Marco Polo had proclaimed. The dream of Quiros had been proved to be vanity and vexation. The Company's New Netherlands was no second Peru. It was a land as useless as it was huge, providing not even food and water, and its people were beach-roving wretches, the poorest in the world, and among the most malignant. The prospect of trade and booty in Chili ceased to attract; for the Dutch West India Company regarded these things as covered by their Charter. In short, the shoemaker must stick to his last. The Company's business was trade, and trade in the East. They already traded with "the whole of India." That sufficed, provided that they maintained their monopoly.

So Tasman's work in the South was finished. He was busy enough, however, in other directions. Governor-General and Council had damned his second voyage with even fainter praise than that with which they had damned the first. But, on further thought, they were willing to admit that he had "given reasonable satisfaction," and possessed "the courage required to do additional good service to the Company." They raised his salary from eighty guilders a month to one hundred. He was employed to devise a better plan for the waylaying of Spanish ships at the Ladrones. He was made a member of the Court of Justice, with the duty of inspecting the ships' journals, and reporting on them to the Council. He planned better courses for ships sailing from Batavia to Ceylon, and to Manila. He was sent to Djambi "to steal a march on our English friends" by buying up pepper in enormous quantities and at any price. In 1648 he was sent as "an intelligent, experienced, and courageous leader," in command of a fleet of warships, to "harass and injure our hereditary enemy the Castilian" in the Philippines, the Moluccas, and the Malay Peninsula. He achieved some "notable feats";—captured a Spanish fortress, intercepted a silver-ship, and did considerable damage in the Spanish islands.

But, on his return from this voyage, he was accused before the Court of Justice of having committed a dastardly crime. Returning to the ships one night, it was said, after banqueting all day in a certain monastery, he had seized hold of two young sailors, had accused them of breaking a camp-order, and had been "bold enough to appear as accuser, judge, and executioner all at once and in the same person." He had made a halter with "a piece of tow-match," had placed it with his own hands round a sailor's neck, had made him stand on a bench, had ordered a soldier to climb a tree and hang him, had taken the bench from beneath his feet, and had proceeded to make a halter for the second sailor. But meanwhile the soldier hangman, "becoming aware of the sufferer's exceeding agony, and perceiving that the man had almost passed from life to death," let go the rope so that the victim fell to the ground, where he lay like a dead man for a while, the wales caused by the halter remaining visible for more than three weeks. Such was the accusation. Tasman denied its truth, and told a story which claimed to prove that he had punished a serious offence in a lenient way. But the Court refused to believe him. He was condemned to pay a large sum to the plaintiff. He was suspended from the exercise of his office and functions, and from the enjoyment of his pay. And he was ordered to declare with uncovered head in the public court that he had "against all forms of law, and of his own will, personally inflicted the said infamous treatment on the aforesaid C. Jansen." On the same day the Church Vestry gave notice that Tasman would be removed from its membership.

The Council of Justice had "suspended" Tasman "from the exercise of his office and functions," but had refused, in its mercy, to pronounce him "incapable of holding any public functions whatever." His reputation in morality was destroyed; but he was too useful a man to remain unemployed. In the following year (1650) he was at work again, and calmly requested a rise in rank and in salary. The Governor-General and Council, "having taken into account his abilities and services rendered," replied with equal calmness that these "do not as yet deserve a higher reward." He must wait, they said, "until such time as he shall be employed on more important services." In January 1651, however, he was restored to rank and pay "at his urgent request, and seeing that, in divers parts of the world, he has rendered the Company good services, and may in time to come continue to do so."

Of further service to the Company, however, we have no news. In 1653 he was referred to as an "ex-commander." He was sailing a "private vessel" to trade on his own account. He was, moreover, one of the largest landowners in Batavia. Here he died in October 1659, bequeathing a sum of money to the poor of his native Dutch village, and dividing his estate between his wife, his daughter, and his grandchildren.

Tasman's character, as illustrated by the records, seems singularly unattractive. The crime on the island of Baviauw disgusted even the tough-hearted Dutchmen of Batavia. And there is not one hint that could suggest a better side of his nature. Of his capacity as a navigator there can be no question. His employers with curious persistence disparaged the exploits that deservedly made him famous. But their criticisms are unconvincing, and they continued to employ him, even after he had been convicted of brutality. The two voyages are of the first importance in the development of our story. The voyage of 1642 proved that Australia existed, separated from any Southern Continent by a wide expanse of ocean. The voyage of 1644 brought three sides of Australia into accurate existence on the map. Eastern Australia from Cape York to the Bight still remained unknown, save for the unconnected strip of coast in the far South which Tasman had discovered, and had named Van Diemen's Land. Torres Strait remained unknown, the record of its discovery growing dusty in some Spanish office. New Zealand was thought to be some out-jutting Northern promontory of the great Southern or Antarctic Continent that still remained unknown. Tasman had made these great discoveries; and he had no successor till Cook. When, a century and a quarter later, Cook sailed into Australian seas, he knew no more about them than was told by his mutilated abstract from Tasman's Journal, save that the reading of Arias's Memorial had led Alexander Dalrymple to believe that the tangled region to the South of New Guinea was not a Shallow Bay but a Strait.

The surprising thing is that Cook knew what Tasman knew. The Dutch Empire was founded on the principle of monopoly of trade; and the best protection of monopoly of trade was monopoly of knowledge. "It were to be wished," wrote the Directors in 1645, on hearing of some fertile islands, "that the said land continued still unknown and never explored, so as not to tell foreigners the way to the Company's overthrow." In view of statements like this, it seems surprising that foreigners were allowed to know that Tasman had mapped the outlines of an island eight thousand miles in circuit, that he had touched the coast of what seemed a solid part of a great Southern Continent which, he believed, stretched from Tierra del Fuego to New Zealand, and that he had discovered rich tropical islands inhabited by friendly people. But it seems that the free atmosphere of the Netherlands was unfavourable to the spirit of monopoly in the sphere of knowledge. Linschoten's voyage, we remember, had been quickly published, and had shown to English as well as to Dutch the way to the Moluccas. Le Maire's Voyage had also been quickly published, and several other Dutch voyages that had taken Drake's way through the Straits. And now again the same liberal policy was used. Already in 1652 a map was published, which was dedicated to a Director of the Amsterdam Chamber of the East Indian Company, and which showed the results of Tasman's two voyages. In 1648 the people of Amsterdam began to build a new Town Hall, and inlaid its floor with a map of the two hemispheres—in order, wrote a Dutch poet-wit in 1656, to teach us to trample on the World and to look up to heaven—and on this map the discoveries of Tasman were depicted. In the following years they were drawn in several maps, and became geographical commonplaces. In 1701 Dampier, sailing the North-West coast of Australia in the Roebuck, had "Mr. Tasman's draught on board," and thought "he came not so near the shore as his line shows." In 1674 an abstract of the Journal of 1642 was published, and in 1726 Valentijn published the abstract which was so carefully studied by Cook and Banks, as they solved the problem that had baffled Tasman in New Zealand, and set forth Westward on a voyage which sought to hit the Northern limit of Tasman's discoveries in Van Diemen's Land.


CHAPTER XVII. THE ENDING OF THE DUTCH PART

AUTHORITIES:


With Tasman's voyage of 1644 the interest of the Dutch story ceases. The Directors adopted a policy which regarded discovery as a misfortune, likely to attract the Serpent—probably an English Serpent—into the Garden of Eden. The rest must be told briefly.

Dutch ships continued to sail from the Cape to Batavia by the route that brought them near their dangerous landmark in Eendrachtsland. From time to time, ships were wrecked, and more ships were sent to rescue the crews, recover the freight, and chart the dangerous coasts. In 1656, for example, the Vergulde Drack was wrecked "on the coast of the South-land, on a reef stretching out to sea about a mile and a half in Latitude 302/3°." Of one hundred and ninety-three souls, only seventy-five reached the shore. The news was brought to Batavia by one of the boats, with a crew of seven sailors, after a month's voyage. Governor-General and Council sent a quick-sailing boat to rescue the sixty-eight shipwrecked men, to explore the coast, and to put it down on a map with its capes, inlets, bays, rocks, sands, and shoals. The shipwrecked men were never found; nor was anything seen of the ship except wreckage. But exact charts of the coast were made, which still exist, and have been printed by modern students.*

[* Major, p. 81; Heeres' Part borne by the Dutch, pp. 77, 78, 80.]

The usual unfavourable report was made on the character of the land. "The South-land has on its coasts downs covered with grass and sand so deep that, in walking, one's foot is buried ankle-deep, and leaves great traces behind it...Further from the coast there is a raised ground tolerably level, but of a dry and barren aspect."*

[* Major, p. 89.]

In 1685 a Dutch ship, making the voyage from the Cape to Batavia, failed to arrive, and there was no news of her. In 1696, after an unexplained interval of eleven years, Willem de Vlamingh was ordered, on his way to Batavia, to search for news of the missing ship. His search was fruitless, but in the course of it he made a minute examination of the coast from about the Swan River to North-West Cape, and drew a map which still exists,* showing with accuracy and detail Swan River, Rottenest Island, Hartog's Road, Shark Bay, and North-West Cape. He also left an account of his voyage that should have interest, at all events, to West Australians.

[* Heeres' Part borne by the Dutch, p. 86. See Illustration 50, directly below.]



50. SKETCH OF VLAMINGH'S CHART, 1696-1697
(From an engraving in Heeres' Part bona by the Dutch.)

He made a careful survey, he says, of Rottenest Island, which chiefly consists of "white and rocky sand," with no animals except "a kind of rat as big as a common cat." They landed on the opposite coast, and, "after an hour's march, came to a hut of a worse description than those of the Hottentots." Then they came to "a large basin of brackish water," which they found to be a river. They ate the nuts of a fruit-tree, and, three hours later, says the record, "we began to vomit so violently that we were as dead men." Then they rowed up the river, six or seven leagues, though some thought they had rowed ten, but "without discovering anything of importance." The country was sandy, and the shrubs bore no fruit, and were full of prickles and thorns. They saw plenty of black swans and other birds, and they "heard the song of the nightingale." And they saw, or thought they saw, "a crowd of men." But "the men, the birds, the swans, the rotganzen, the geese, the cockatoos, the parroquets all fled at the sight of us." The best thing was that there were no vermin; "but in the day-time one is terribly tormented with the flies." Thus wrote one of the first boatful of Europeans who rowed up the Swan River, and visited the site of Perth.

Then Vlamingh sailed North, making careful surveys, and landing here and there. Everything he saw was very bad: "the soil dry and sandy, and but little adapted for the habitation of animals, still less of men"; "a great plain very barren"; "the country twice as barren as what we had seen before." They saw mountains, and walked to the top, greatly fatigued by the excessive heat; it was the 25th of January. There was no water, and they nearly fainted from thirst. "We could see our ships, and wished a thousand times over that we were on board again." At last they found a great pool of water "slightly brackish"; and made way back to the ships with very sore eyes.

Then they sailed to Dirck Hartog's Road, and found that what had been thought a peninsula was an island. On the island, nailed to a half-rotten post, was the "common pewter dish" with the inscription recording Dirck Hartog's visit on the Eendracht eighty years before. Vlamingh took it away for a marvel, and erected a new pole with a new pewter dish, which recorded both Hartog's visit and his own, and which was found by the next visitors over a hundred years later. Then Vlamingh explored the great Bay behind Dirck Hartog's island. Here, if anywhere, one would expect to find the long-sought place of refreshment for ships sailing from the Cape to Batavia. The Dutch caught "three great sharks." Dampier, a few years later, had a similar experience in the same place and named it Sharks Bay. The Dutch also caught turtles, each big enough to provide a meal for twenty-four. But the coast was "rocky, dry, and forbidding." They dug holes to get water, but it was so salt that it could not be drunk without injury to health. Sharks Bay was evidently not the place for a half-way settlement. Vlamingh sailed on round North-West Cape to Willem's River, where he "found ground but little suited for anchoring."

From the business point of view, the voyage was the final condemnation of West Australia. It had been minutely surveyed from Swan River to North-West Cape, and it was an utterly hopeless country from end to end. "Nothing has been discovered," report the Governor-General and Council, "but a barren bare desolate region. Neither have they met with any signs of habitation, some fires excepted, and a few black naked men. Neither were any remarkable animals or birds observed, except, principally in the Swan River, a species of black swans, three of which they brought to us alive, and they would have been sent to your Nobilities had they not died one by one shortly after their arrival here." And this was Marco Polo's Beach!

In 1705 ships were sent to explore the North-West coast. In spite of Tasman's map, the idea persisted that, somewhere between Cape Keerweer and Willem's River, existed a passage leading Southward or Eastward to the South Sea. In 1699 Dampier sailed along the North-West coast in the Roebuck, and had "a strong suspicion" that Tasman's solid coastline was in reality "a kind of archipelago of islands," and that somewhere behind this screen there was perhaps "a passage to the South of New Holland and New Guinea into the great Eastward." Dampier sailed on to Timor, and perhaps explained his views to the Dutch Governor there, whom he describes as "a civil, genteel, and sensible man." But it is also likely enough that the Dutch were already aware of the inevitable imperfections of Tasman's survey. Indeed one may reasonably guess that Tasman himself gave information in his Journal of 1644, which is now lost, that would indicate these imperfections, and the necessity of further search on the long and difficult coast.

The Dutch, then, in 1705 thought it worth while to go over the North-West again. The "Instructions" were to sail to "Van Diemen's Land in Hollandia Nova" (i.e. the Van Diemen's Land not of the South-East, but of the North-West), "which is said to consist altogether of islands, a matter which will then be cleared up." They were to sail thence Eastward, and to explore the whole Gulf of Carpentaria. They were diligently to observe whether there was any passage. But, in case such a passage was found, they were to take special care not to run too far into it, "lest you should be carried away by currents."

The Dutch seamen returned with the report that they had thoroughly explored the "North-West corner of Van Diemen's Land"—still the Van Diemen's Land of the North—and their Chart still exists to prove the excellence of their work. It covers, however, only the stretch of coast from Bathurst Island to Coburg Peninsula. And, though the survey is far more accurate than that of Tasman, the main features of this very difficult coast are still misunderstood. Bathurst Island and Melville Island are still represented as promontories. And Van Diemen's Gulf, which separates them from the mainland, is still represented as a deep bay. Into this "bay" the Dutch had sailed forty miles, without finding any diminution in the saltness of the water. And it was "supposed by our people that this inlet runs right through to the South side of New Holland," and that there were other passages, both to East and to West. "From this it seems to follow that the South-land in a great measure consists of islands, a supposition not at all improbable, considering that on its South side, from the point called Leeuwin to Nuytsland, it is entirely girt and surrounded by innumerable islands." The theory seemed to be confirmed by "the rude and barbarous character and malicious disposition" of the natives; for "such serious defects are much more generally found among islanders than among the inhabitants of continents." North-West, in short, was as bad as West; the best hope was that you might be able to get through it to some better land.*

[* King, vol. i, p. to6, writes of this voyage: They explored "the great bay of Van Diemen, but did not reach its bottom, having been very likely prevented by the strong tides, which in the entrance of Dundas Strait are altogether uncommon."]

To the Dutch the most interesting part of the South-land was the Abrolhos, and on those fearful rocks our study of their story shall end. Ships continued to be wrecked on them. Dampier heard over and over again from several able seamen that ships ran aground there, when they thought themselves to be a great way off. He guessed that the Dutch had given that part of the land the name of "Indraught," to warn sailors that it magnetically drew ships in too fast; though, in his opinion, "it is the nearness of the land rather than any whirlpool or the like that surprises them."* The Dutch charts, he believed, made the South Sea too wide, and the Indian Ocean too narrow. Whatever the cause, the shipwrecks continued, and the Abrolhos became a museum of Dutch antiquities. In 1840 some Englishmen visited the islands.** They found remnants of a ship, and near them a copper coin of the East India Company dated 1620, which seemed to suggest the wreck of Pelsart's Batavia in 1628. On another island were relics of another ship, with a coin dated 1700, which perhaps had been lost by some passenger on the Zeewyk in 1727. "On this island we found a large number of small glass bottles about the size and form of Dutch cheeses, very orderly arranged in rows on the ground; a few very large bottles of similar form; some large brass buckles which had been gilded, and much of the gilt still existed, also numerous small clay pipes, which served to solace our crew with the help of tobacco, as doubtless they had done long ago for former owners, and one brass gun with vermilion paint still on the muzzle."

[* Dampier, vol. i. p. 301.]

[** Major's Early Voyages, p. 179.]


CHAPTER XVIII. DAMPIER

AUTHORITIES:


Again and again people had tried to find in the South Seas something that was worth finding; and again and again they had failed. The golden continent of the imagination had changed into the Nova Hollandia of fact, eight thousand miles of sheer uselessness. By the middle of the seventeenth century all hope was abandoned by those who entered Australia.

And yet it was just at this time that a motive was stirring the mind which was destined to accomplish that in which missionary zeal and commercial push had failed, the motive of scientific curiosity. It was, as Mr. J. R. Green has explained, in the days of the English Restoration that the appeal of Francis Bacon was first heard. With apparent suddenness the reign of Theology ended, and the reign of Science began. The Royal Society was founded, and scientific work was for the first time organised and endowed. And Science could take for its province no region less extensive than the World. The early transactions of the Royal Society show an ignorance that would amaze the schoolboy; but they show also the birth of that determined curiosity which was to launch ships to complete the work of Quiros and of Tasman. And the first representative of this determined curiosity was the pirate Dampier.

That Dampier was a pirate was an accident. The fact was due not to his character but to his times. In character he was akin, not to Morgan and Kidd, but to Sir Joseph Banks and Charles Darwin. He was a born naturalist of the most fervent class. The Somerset farmer's boy came into the world in 1652 dowered with an everlasting curiosity, an insatiable appetite for new experiences, the thorough instincts of the scientific student, and an admirable capacity for describing what he called "observables" in plain, accurate, vivid English. He had it in his bones to be a traveller. His joy would have been to travel like Banks in the Endeavour, or like Darwin in the Beagle. But he was born a century too soon for "voyages of curiosity." In another age his determination to travel might have made him a missionary. He found as much interest in missions as in other "observables," and his views about "virtue" and "the fundamental truths of Christianity" were as orthodox as those of a bishop. But, in the late seventeenth century, missionary-voyages were not in fashion. Travel somehow he must, and the best people to travel with in his days were pirates. Therefore Dampier became a pirate.

He passed his boyhood on his father's farm, studying the varieties of soil which it contained, and the natural produce of each variety; a fact which he mentions in explanation of the scientific character of his description of agriculture in Sumatra. At school he learnt Latin, that stuck to him through life. Once in Tonquin he had an interesting conversation with a French priest. The priest told the pirate "what progress the gospel was like to make in the Eastern nations"; the pirate told the priest how to make gunpowder; and both priest and pirate were highly interested in the conversation, though the pirate knew no French, and the priest knew no English. They talked in Spanish; "and when," says Dampier, "I was at a loss in my Spanish, I had recourse to Latin, having still some smattering of what I learnt of it at school."*

[* Dampier, vol ii. p. 21.]

When his parents died, his guardian placed him with the master of a ship, "complying with the inclination I had very early of seeing the world." In 1670 he went a summer voyage to Newfoundland, but was so pinched by the rigour of the climate, that he determined never to go to that part of the world again. Then, receiving "the offer of a warm voyage and a long one," he sailed in an East-Indiaman for Java, where he stayed two months, gaining no doubt some knowledge of, and more interest in, the world in which Java was the centre, learning what the Dutch knew about the Philippines, and the Moluccas, and the great dim regions of the South. Returning to England, he soon grew weary of staying ashore, enlisted in the navy, and was present in battles against the Dutch in 1673.



51. WILLIAM DAMPIER
(From the painting by Thomas Murray in the National Portrait Gallery.)

Then in 1674 Dampier became sub-manager in a Jamaica plantation. Soon, finding himself "clearly out of his element," he went to sea again, and by coasting voyages became acquainted with all the ports and bays about Jamaica. And now his fate was certain. Jamaica was the metropolis of the pirate-world. Every sensible Jamaican seaman was a pirate, and Dampier went with the others. But the pirate-trade was in a bad way. It had been born in war against Spain. But the unforgivable Spaniards had made peace, and the "privateers, who had hitherto lived upon plundering them, were now put to their shifts." The idler sort were content to continue in "the privateer trade," which still went on in a meagre and unsatisfying sort of way. The "more industrious sort" went to cut logwood in the Bay of Campeachy; but even these "thought it a dry business to toil at cutting wood." In fact the pirate wood-cutter was probably the driest person in history. One of them, named Mr. John Hooker, was once invited into a cabin where a great bowl of punch containing six quarts had been brewed for the entertainment of the company. "Mr. Hooker, being drunk to by Captain Rawlings, lifted the bowl to his lips, and pausing a moment to say that he was under an oath to drink but three draughts of strong liquor a day, he swallowed the whole without a breath, and so, making himself drunk, disappointed us of our expectations, till we made another bowl."

Dampier sailed to Campeachy under a captain who vainly sought to assuage this great dryness by deluges of rum and punch. Dampier himself had no gift in the way of drink, and, as he somewhere says, "abhorred drunkenness." He was in fact an abstemious and meagre student, hardly worth eating, as a fat pirate captain afterwards told him, when there was talk of mutiny and cannibalism. But the life in the tropical forest was exactly the life he wanted. There was plenty of money to be got, he says, "if men would be diligent and frugal"; a phrase which surely suffices to stamp him as the most ridiculous pirate that ever sailed ship! But, in truth, Dampier cared no more for money than for drink. He went to Campeachy for the same reason that took Wallace to Borneo. He enjoyed the tropical forest as only a scientific enthusiast enjoys one. Taking with him hatchets, axes, knives, saws, wedges, a pavilion to sleep in, and a gun with powder and shot, he studied the habits of monkeys, ant-bears, sloths, armadillos, spiders, and other natives of the fascinating jungle.

But the logwood-cutter was a pirate out of work. When trade was bad, he cut wood and drank rum. When trade revived, he preferred to plunder and drink rum. Dampier went, without enthusiasm, the way of his companions. They sacked Portobello, getting thirty pounds a man. Dampier does not mention the fact among his "observables." No one ever hated more than he to talk shop. He omits all professional details, not because he is ashamed of them, but because he thinks them uninteresting. If you wish to know these facts, he advises you to read the professional work on piracy by "my ingenious friend Mr. Ringrose." Dampier gets rid of uninteresting Portobello with a phrase:—"the first expedition was to Portobel, which being accomplished"—and he passes on to tell how his companions, disdaining the dwindling and over-done trade on the Atlantic side, "resolved to march by land over the isthmus of Darien upon some new adventure in the South Seas."

They followed Drake's way over the isthmus, and tried to follow Drake's way in raids on Spanish towns on the Pacific. But here Dampier's narrative hurries at prodigious pace. And indeed his ingenious friend Mr. Ringrose has a poor story to tell. The attacks were muddled, and failed. They got as far as the island of Juan Fernandez; the island which gave Defoe, who got all that was worth getting from pirate-stories, the suggestion of Robinson Crusoe, though for some reason he chose to shipwreck him, not on his proper home, but on an island in the estuary of the Orinoco. The pirates were told that many years ago a ship had been cast away on the island. Only one man had survived, who had lived alone for five years before a ship came: Robinson Crusoe the First. And now the pirates themselves provided the island with Robinson Crusoe the Second. Three Spanish ships suddenly appeared. The pirates hurried away, leaving an Indian who happened to be on shore hunting goats. They did not return. Trade went from bad to worse. Failures led to quarrels, and Dampier joined a party who marched back over the isthmus to the "North side." Here they joined various gangs of ruffians, Dutch and French as well as English, and sailed about the West Indies in the ordinary dull and dirty routine of the trade, while Dampier busily wrote notes in his precious Journal; four pages, for example, on the manatee or sea-cow, and two on the cocoa-tree. At last the gang broke up, and Dampier went with his share to Virginia in 1682.

Dampier lived in Virginia for thirteen months. Then came a ship under a captain who, says Dampier, "was a sensible man and had been some years a privateer." He and his friends had now "a ship of good force in which they resolved to make a new expedition into the South Seas." Dampier and his "fellow travellers" were easily persuaded to travel with them. His motive was as plain as could be. The "trade" he regarded as "lawful" but uninteresting. But he came into these seas the second time, he says in plain and honest language, "more to indulge in my curiosity than to get wealth." One feels, in fact, that Dampier was hardly treating his friends fairly, and they also felt this. Piracy is a serious trade, and a man who undertakes it should undertake it in a piratical spirit. A man who has no particular objection to the ten commandments, and cannot even raise a thirst when in the Tropics, has no right to be a pirate. Dampier was making use of an honourable trade to serve his personal convenience. When he should have been thinking about murder and loot, he was thinking about crocodiles and beetles. No wonder his exasperated comrades talked of eating him. And, looking at his portrait and remembering his habits, no wonder they didn't.

The "travellers" sailed round Cape Horn, and made for Juan Fernandez. The Indian, who had been left behind on the earlier voyage, came down to the sea-side to "congratulate our safe arrival." He had lived a Robinson Crusoe life for three years, in such picturesque detail that Defoe had little to do but describe and elaborate. Then they got down to business on the coasts of Chili and Peru. Dampier gives only enough trade detail to make the story hang together. But he has several pages about the varieties of turtles in the Gallapagos Islands. Business was still bad. The wicked Spaniards, when attacked, defended themselves. The pirates waited for a treasure ship, and, when it came, had to run away from it, glad to escape.

Then Dampier joined the Cygnet of London under Captain Swan. Swan had been sent by London merchants to trade with Spaniards and Indians, but his men had forced him to turn pirate. They suspected, however, and with good reason, that Swan was on the look-out for some opportunity to return to London as honest trader. He was now persuading his pirates that a good plan would be to sail North to Mexico, thence take the Spanish route to the Philippines, and "cruise off Manila." Dampier welcomed the new opportunity to indulge his curiosity.

In Mexico the Spaniards caught fifty pirates in an ambush, and killed every one; but Dampier was happy, and wrote page after page about Mexican indigo, cochineal, and vinello. The discouraged pirates came to like Swan's idea of a cruise off Manila. But they were "almost daunted" by the thought of the long unbroken voyage from Mexico to Guam in the Ladrones, the half-way place of call for Spanish ships. The Spaniards estimated the distance, with fair accuracy, at two thousand three hundred to two thousand four hundred leagues, and the length of the voyage at sixty days. But the pirates had less than sixty days' provisions. Swan told them that the English books made the distance less than two thousand leagues, and that Drake and Cavendish, the last Englishmen who had sailed that way, had done the distance in less than fifty days.* "His reasons," says Dampier, "were many but weak." However, they prevailed, and the voyage was made in fifty-one days. Dampier afterwards learnt that the pirates had planned, in case provisions failed, first to eat fat Captain Swan, and then all those who had promoted the voyage. "Ah, Dampier," said the Captain, "you would have made them but a poor meal." Dampier, indeed, had lived on a very short allowance, and—even apart from the suggestion of cannibalism—thought that his health had greatly benefited by his abstinence.

[* In fact, Drake did the voyage in 68 days, Cavendish in 45.]

At Guam, Swan sought not booty but refreshment. Spanish Governor and pirate captain changed presents and compliments. Then they jogged for Mindanao, one of the islands of the Philippines that had not been subdued by the Spaniards. The idea was to get a commission from the prince of the island to plunder ships about Manila, "for our men, it should seem, were very squeamish of plundering without license." They were made welcome. It was thought that they were a company sent by the English East India merchants to settle a Factory; and there was disappointment when they explained that they had merely called for provisions. This put great thoughts into Dampier's head. Why not accept the suggestion, and establish an English factory at once? The natives had long "desired the English to settle among them, and had offered them any convenient place to build a fort in, giving this reason that they do not find the English so encroaching as the Dutch or the Spaniards." Mindanao was an excellent business site. Most, if not all, of the Philippines were rich in gold. The Spaniards would trade in spite of government restrictions; for "Spaniards can and will smuggle as well as any nation I know." Thus the English would at last regain their lost foothold in the Spice Islands. Their enemy would still be the Dutch, who "being seated among the Spice islands, have monopolised all the trade into their own hands, they will not suffer the spice to grow on the uninhabited islands, but send soldiers to cut the trees down." Yet spice was still to be found by those who knew, and might be had in spite of "the little deceitful arts of the Dutch seamen in these parts—I believe there are nowhere greater thieves."

The pirates, Dampier thought, would make excellent merchants. There were men among them who understood every useful trade. "We had sawyers, carpenters, joiners, brickmakers, bricklayers, shoemakers, and tailors;, we only wanted a good smith for great work, whom we might have had at Mindanao." "We had a great advantage above raw men sent from England, who proceed usually too cautiously, coldly and formally to compass any considerable design, for we were all inured to hot climates, hardened by many fatigues, and in general daring men, and such as would not be easily baffled."

Dampier discusses his proposal in a thorough way that enables him to explain his views about the whole problem of the Pacific. Suppose you have an English factory in the Philippines; how are English men to get there, and how are they to get back? Not by the Cape of Good Hope, for sailing that way you would have to pass the Strait of Malacca, or the Strait of Sunda, or some other Dutch-commanded Strait. To avoid the Dutch, you must go round Cape Horn. Then you might sail up the American coast as far as you chose, and thence make for the Philippines. But there is a still better plan in Dampier's mind. Why not take the opportunity, as you go out or come home, to get some news of "Nova Hollandia" and "Terra Australis"? The reason of men's ignorance of these countries is that, after rounding Cape Horn, they have "designed some business on the Peruvian or Mexican coast," and have therefore sailed North instead of sailing North-West. Dampier suggests that, after rounding Cape Horn, you might "stretch over towards Nova Hollandia." And again, "returning, you may probably touch somewhere on Nova Hollandia, and so make some profitable discovery without going out of your way." And, apart from Nova Hollandia, as Tasman had shown, "all that vast tract of Terra Australis which bounds the South Sea, is as yet undiscovered."* And Dampier can himself add an interesting bit of information about Terra Australis. For Captain Davis, one of his pirate friends, had told him lately that, sailing in Latitude 27° S., about five hundred leagues from Chili, he saw a small sandy island, and that Westward of it was "a long tract of pretty high land, tending away towards the North-West out of sight." "This," comments Dampier, "might probably be the coast of Terra Australis Incognita."

[* Dampier writes very curiously about the relations of Nova Hollandia and Terra Australis. His map shows knowledge of Tasman's voyage. Yet he writes, "New Holland a part of Terra Australis" (vol. i. p. 450); and also, "New Holland is a very large tract of land. It is not yet determined whether it is an island or a main continent; but I am certain that it joins neither Asia, Africa, nor America." (!) Sometimes he uses Terra Australis as equivalent to Nova Hollandia.]

Dampier thought that Captain Swan might easily have managed this excellent design of a Factory, for at sea he "had his men as much under command as if he had been in a King's ship." But at the island they were getting out of hand. Those who had money lived ashore with their Delilahs, buying them a ring or a wristband or an armlet with half an ounce of gold at a time. Those who had no money lived on board, and sent ashore for "rack and honey to make punch, wherewith they grew drunk and quarrelsome." Then, by chance, some of them came across the Captain's journal, in which he had "inveighed bitterly against most of his men." Thereupon they sailed away, leaving Swan and thirty-six men ashore. Dampier chanced to be on board.

The plan now was "to cruise before Manila." They took some ships, and Dampier wrote greatly about canes, and tar-trees, and mangoes, and turtles, and bats as big as ducks. He was weary of "business," and longed "to give them the slip." But they sailed to Tonquin and Cochin China—where "women sit in the streets selling dishes of tea hot and ready-made"—to Formosa, to the Bashee islands, and Dampier makes us well acquainted with all those seas. Then they determined to go to Cape Comorin. The direct way was the Strait of Malacca; but they feared islands and shoals, and, they feared still more English and Dutch ships. So they decided to "go round on the East side of all the Philippine islands, and so, keeping South towards the Spice islands, to pass out into the East Indian Ocean about the island of Timor." This was "a very tedious way," and there would be shoals in plenty but there would be no English or Dutch ships "which were their greatest fear." "I," writes Dampier, "was well satisfied enough, knowing that, the further we went, the more knowledge and experience I should get, which was the main thing I regarded, and should also have the more variety of places to attempt an escape from them, being fully resolved to take the first opportunity of giving them the slip."

They sailed through the dangerous tangle of Spice Islands, and came to Timor. "Being now clear of all the islands, we stood off South, intending to touch at New Holland, a part of Terra Australis Incognita, to see what the country would afford us." On the 4th of January, 1688, they saw land in Latitude 16° 50', and came to "a point of land," about three leagues to the Eastward of which was "a pretty deep bay with abundance of islands in it, and a very good place to anchor in, or hale ashore." In 1821 Captain King, after making a careful survey of the coast, decided that the "point of land" was Cape Lévêque, the Cape at the West side of the opening of King's Sound. King called the pretty deep bay "Cygnet Bay," and the abundance of islands "Buccaneer's Archipelago."

Dampier had seen many lands and many peoples, but never had he seen land or people so unpleasing as Australia and Australians. The land was "a dry and dusty soil," that was "destitute of water except you make wells," and that was entirely destitute of food. The only trees they could recognise were the "dragon trees," which were "about the bigness of our large apple trees, and about the same height. The rind is blackish and somewhat rough; the leaves are of a dark colour; the gum distils out of the knots or cracks that are in the bodies of the trees." The other trees "were not known to any of us," and none "bore fruit or berries." There was nothing to eat except turtle and manatee, very little to drink, and nothing whatever to carry away.

And the people were worthy of their land. They are, writes Dampier, "the miserablest people in the world. The Hodmadods of Monomatapa, though a nasty people, yet for wealth are as gentlemen to these; who have no houses and skin garments, sheep, poultry and fruits of the earth, ostrich eggs, etc., as the Hodmadods have; and setting aside their human shape, they differ but little from brutes. They are tall, straitbodied, and thin, with small long limbs. They have great heads, round foreheads, and great brows. Their eyelids are always half-closed, to keep the flies out of their eyes; they being so troublesome here, that no fanning will keep them from coming to one's face; and, without the assistance of both hands to keep them off, they will creep into one's nostrils, and mouth too, if the lips are not shut very close...They have great bottle noses, pretty full lips, and wide mouths. The two fore-teeth of their upper jaw are wanting in all of them...Neither have they any beards. They are long visaged and of a very unpleasing aspect, having not one graceful feature in their faces. Their hair is black short and curled, like that of the negroes; and not long and lank like the common Indians. The colour of their skins, both of their faces and the rest of their body, is coal black, like that of the negroes of Guinea. Their costume consisted of a piece of the rind of a tree, and a handful of grass or bough."*

[* Cf. picture of "natives of Western Australia" in Stokes's Discoveries in Australia, 1846. Stokes describes, in vol. i. pp. 88, 89, the natives of the districts visited by Dampier. Cf. Martin's "Journal of Exploration in N.W. Australia" in Journal of Royal Geographical Society, vol. 35, p. 284. When Banks examined the natives on the Eastern coast, he noted that they differed from Dampier's Westerners, especially in two respects. (1) Their "absolute colour" seemed to be rather chocolate than black, and (2) the hair "in some was as lank as a European's, in others a little crisped, but in none resembling the wool of the negroes." Banks thought that, for once, Dampier might have been careless in his observations. The description of Stokes, and later explorers, however, show that Dampier was substantially right. The colour of the Westerners is black and their hair is often "curled" or "frizzled," though not, we are told, woolly like a negro's.]

One of their "camps" was visited, but it proved to be "only a fire with a few boughs before it" to keep off the wind. "They have no houses, but live in the open air, without any covering; the earth being their bed, and the heaven their canopy...Their only food is a small sort of fish, which they get by making weirs of stone across little coves or branches of the sea; every tide bringing in the small fish, and there leaving them a prey to these people, who constantly attend there to search for them at low-water. This small fry I take to be the top of their fishery...What Providence has bestowed on them they broil on the coals and eat it in common. Sometimes they get as many fish as makes them a plentiful banquet; and at other times they scarce get everyone a taste...When they have eaten, they lie down till the next low-water, and then all that are able march out, be it night or day, rain or sun, 'tis all one; they must attend the weirs, or else they must fast. For the earth affords them no food at all. There is neither herb, root, pulse, nor any sort of grain for them to eat that we saw; nor any sort of bird or beast that they can catch, having no instruments wherewithal to do so." Their weapons were wooden swords and a sort of lance.

Dampier illustrates the degree of their civilisation by an incident that happened in the course of a visit to a small island on which camped about forty of them. There were some wells of water there, and the Englishmen proposed to take some of it on board in small six-gallon barrels. It occurred to them that it would be troublesome to carry the barrels, and that it would be a good plan to bribe the natives to carry them by a present of "finery." So they put on one "an old pair of breeches," on another "a ragged shirt," and on a third "a jacket that was scarce worth owning, which yet would have been very acceptable at some places where we had been. Then we brought these new servants to the wells, and put a barrel on each of their shoulders for them to carry them to the canoe. But all the signs we could make were to no purpose, for they stood like statues, without motion, but grinned like so many monkeys, staring one upon another; for these poor creatures seem not accustomed to carry burdens; and I believe that one of our shipboys of ten years old would carry as much as one of them. So we were forced to carry our water ourselves, and they very fairly put the clothes off again, and laid them down, as if clothes were only to work in. I did not perceive that they had any great liking to them at first, neither did they seem to admire anything that we had."

The pirates had touched at New Holland to see "what the country would afford them." It had afforded them exceedingly little; though Dampier had satisfied his desire, for "more knowledge and experience" by vision and study of the miserablest and most ungentlemanly people in the world. The pirates made a stay of nine weeks, till the 12th of March, 1688; and it seems surprising that they stayed so long. Dampier had been trying to persuade them to go to some English factory, but "was threatened to be turned ashore and left here for it." However, at the Nicobar Islands, he and two others managed to make their slip away. They bought for an axe a canoe "about the burden of one of our London wherries," and, in company with four Malays and "a mongrel Portuguese," sailed for Achin in Sumatra. They met a storm so ferocious that "our little ark was in danger to be swallowed by every wave; and, what was worst of all, none of us thought ourselves prepared for another world"; and Dampier describes his reflections in a passage that might have been written by Robinson Crusoe. On the twentieth day, however, they came to shore, in desperate condition.

To recover his health he took a trip to Tonquin. Here, having two dollars in pocket, he determined to have a walking tour, giving one dollar to a Tonquinese guide, and reserving the other for travelling expenses. In spite of his guide, he very nearly got into serious trouble in one place, by mistaking a funeral feast for a meat-market, and offering to buy a pound or two. Later he had the interesting Spanish-Latin conversation over "a glass or two of wine" with the French priest, which gave him opportunity in his Journal to describe his own religious views. "The English and the Dutch in those parts of the world," he says, "are too loose livers to gain reputation to their religion. The Romanists are the only men who compass sea and land and gain proselytes." On the other hand while "the gross idolatry of the Papists" gives them an advantage in their efforts to convert pagan idolaters, such conversion from one idolatry to another seems to him of little religious value. The first care of missionaries, says the ex-pirate, "should be to bring the people to be virtuous and considerate, and their next, to give them a plain history and scheme of the fundamental truths of Christianity, and show how agreeable they are to natural light, and how worthy of God." However, the Catholic converts were, he understood, falling off again "as rice grew plentiful."

Commercial rambles in the Eastern seas passed the time for a year and a half. Dampier can tell you all about Tonquin and Cambodia and Sumatra and Malacca, and many less known places. Then he spent five months at Fort St. George by Madras—"as agreeable a landscape as I have anywhere seen"—and another five months as gunner in the English factory of Bencouli, on the Western coast of Sumatra. Everywhere he describes all things, from Christian missions to Mangostan and Pumple Nose. But his main note is the call to English merchants to wake up, and claim their share of the rich Oriental trade, which the Dutch have monopolised. "Though men ought not to run inconsiderately into new discoveries or undertakings, yet, when there is a prospect of profit, I think it not amiss for merchants to try for a trade. If our ancestors had been as dull as we have been of late, 'tis probable we had never known the way so much as to the East Indies...What care was formerly taken to get us a trade with the East Indian and other countries!...But now, as if cloyed with trade, we sit still contented, saying with Cato, 'Non minor est virtus quam quaerere parta tueri.'" Had, for example, the chief of the English factory at Tonquin been "a man of spirit," he might have got "a trade with Japan; and to China as much as they pleased."

At last Dampier began to long for his native land. He had acquired a half-share in a "painted prince," whose tattooings he describes in enthusiastic detail. No small advantage, he thought, would be gained by showing him in England. Then, with bags of gate-money in pocket, the showman would return to the prince's island, and engage in lucrative trade, under the prince's patronage. Dampier reached England in 1691. But he "fell among rooks," and had to sell his share in the painted prince, who was afterwards shown as a sight, and died of the smallpox at Oxford.


CHAPTER XIX. THE VOYAGE OF THE ROEBUCK

The painted prince was dead; but, in spite of "rooks," one asset remained, the precious Journal so diligently written, and so carefully preserved through all adventure and disaster. It was both a fascinating account of travel in strange lands, and a scientific study of things seen. Students of science were now organised in the Royal Society, and were there debating, with plentiful and ingenious ignorance, subjects concerning which the ex-pirate had first-hand and exact knowledge. In 1697 a large part of the Journal was printed in a book dedicated to the President of the Royal Society, Charles Montague, Earl of Halifax, one of the most important politicians of the time. Dampier hopes that, as the scene of his travels "is not only remote, but for the most part little frequented also, so there may be some things in them new even to you; and some not altogether unuseful to the public." He avows "a hearty zeal for the promoting of useful knowledge, and of anything that may never so remotely tend to my country's advantage." And he is "desirous to bring in my gleanings here and there in remote regions to that general magazine of the knowledge of foreign parts, which the Royal Society thought you most worthy the custody of, when they chose you for their president." He trusts that Lord Halifax will "judge him capable of serving his country."

The President of the Royal Society judged Dampier capable of serving his country. He introduced him to the First Lord of the Admiralty, who consented to Dampier's proposal that he should be sent in command of a ship to explore New Holland. One is at first thought somewhat surprised to find that Dampier's special wish was to explore New Holland. But he justly refused to accept the few leagues of miserable country he had seen as a fair sample of "this large and hitherto almost unknown tract of land, situated so very advantageously in the richest climates of the world." To his sun-worshipping nature it appeared that New Holland would have in it "all the advantages of the torrid zone, as being known to reach from the Equator itself (within a degree) to the Tropic of Capricorn and beyond it." "In coasting round it," he wrote in his Journal, "which I designed by this voyage, if possible, I could not but hope to meet with some fruitful lands, continents or islands, or both, productive of any of the rich fruits, drugs or spices (perhaps minerals also) that are in the other parts of the torrid zone, upon equal parallels of Latitude; at least a soil and air capable of such upon transplanting them hither, and cultivation. I meant also to make as diligent a survey as I could of the several smaller islands, shores, capes, bays, creeks, and harbours, fit as well for shelter as defence, upon fortifying them; and of rocks, and shoals, the soundings, tides and currents, winds and weather variation; whatever might be beneficial for navigation, trade, and settlement;...I intended especially to observe what inhabitants I should meet with, and to try to win them over to somewhat of traffic and useful intercourse, as there might be commodities among them that might be fit for trade or manufacture...Though, as to the New Hollanders hereabouts, by the experience I had had of their neighbours formerly, I expected no great matters from them."

The voyage, then, was to be—to use Sir Joseph Bank's useful phrase—"a voyage of curiosity," a voyage "mainly" aiming, as Dampier always "mainly" aimed, at "more knowledge and experience." But there was also hope that this increased knowledge and experience would lead to increased trade. Tropical New Holland, including under that name New Guinea and the adjacent islands, was fairly well in the Latitude of the Spice Islands. Why should it not be made the centre of an English spice trade that should eclipse that of the Dutch? It was an argument that persisted for a century, and was used by those who, like Sir Joseph Banks and Mr. Matra, urged the foundation of a colony in New South Wales.*

[* Part of it (N.S.W.) lies in a climate parallel to the Spice Islands, and is well fitted for the production of that valuable commodity, as well as the sugar cane, tea, coffee, silk, cotton, indigo, tobacco, and the other articles of commerce that have been so advantageous to the maritime powers of Europe," Matra's Proposal, 1783; Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. i. part 2, p. 2.]

Dampier was a man in some ways well qualified to conduct a voyage of curiosity. He was probably the most curious adult Englishman then alive; and his curiosity was that of a scientific mind trained by ample experience. He was, moreover, a learned and skilful navigator and Pilot. He had made special study of winds and currents, and was an acknowledged expert in all the arts needed in the navigation of a ship. He had some part of the equipment of a Captain Cook, as well as some part of the equipment of a Sir Joseph Banks. On the other hand, say our modern critics, he lacked the qualities that were necessary to success, the qualities that make a leader of men. And our modern critics are probably right.

And yet one feels that Dampier had been set a task in which many a leader of men would have failed. The ship that was given him for this voyage of exploration in distant and unknown seas was the Roebuck of 290 tons. On the return journey she "foundered through perfect age," after an attempt to mend the leak had shown that "the plank was so rotten that it broke away like dirt." The crew that was to sail this aged and rotten ship to the end of the earth and back were men whose morality was probably as bad as that of Dampier's pirate comrades, and whose ability was certainly very much less. The seaman of Dampier's day, writes Mr. Clark Russell, after a compliment to that seaman's intrepidity, had the characteristics of the savage. He was "a ruffian in his behaviour; he was a brute in his tastes; he conversed in a dialect that was almost wholly formed of oaths, and he pursued his calling in a skin soaked with liquor that was served out to him by the gallon at a time." Dampier describes his seamen with his usual scientific detail; and he makes me believe that they were, to write with becoming shortness, incompetent, dirty, smellful,* rebellious, murderous,** arid—worst of all—" heartless enough to the voyage at best." Dampier, the ex-pirate, had undertaken to keep in order this gang of brutal ruffians; and, in dealing with them, he had to bear the blame of the piratical reputation unsupported by the strength of the piratical character. "Anyone," he says very justly, "who is sensible of these difficulties will be much more pleased at the discoveries and observations I have been able to make than displeased that I did not make more."***

[* They caused an ill-smell wherever they went and their hammocks would stink sufficiently."]

[** He found it was not safe to sleep in his cabin, and was forced to lie on the quarter-deck with such officers as he could trust, and "with small arms handy."]

[*** Voyages, vol. ii. p. 343.]

Dampier's excellent plan had been to sail round Cape Horn, and begin his discoveries upon "the Eastern or less known side of the Terra Australis." Had he donc so, he might have left Cook little to do. But this plan was thwarted, he says, by the time of the year. Sailing on the 14th of January, 1699—apparently he had to sail then or not sail at all—he would have been obliged to round Cape Horn in a very high latitude in the depth of winter, and this was one of the few ways in which the Sun-Worshipper was unwilling to add to his knowledge and experience. He therefore had to go by the usual Cape of Good Hope route. He spent a month in Brazil, at Bahia de Todos Santas—the modern San Salvador—and wrote a description of the place which occupies twenty-six pages in the modern edition of the Journal. In order to give his mutineers no chance—he was sleeping on the quarter-deck with arms handy—he did not call at the Cape, and jogged for New Holland. He followed the usual Dutch route, and on the 31st of July, like so many Dutch skippers, he saw land in the neighbourhood of Houtman's Abrolhos.

His plan had been to "coast round" New Holland. There were now two ways of doing so. He might sail Southward and then Eastward, following the line of the discovery of De Nuyts, connecting it with Tasman's discovery of Van Diemen Land, and then connecting this with Tasman's discoveries in New Guinea. Had he taken this route he might have been first to sail through Bass's Strait, first to coast Eastern Australia, second to sail through Torres Strait. But it was midwinter, and the voyage seemed too cold for one who believed that wealth was "directly under the sun." "I confess," he writes, "I was not for spending any time more than was necessary in the higher Latitudes; as knowing that the land there could not be so well worth the discovering as the parts that lay nearer the line, and more directly under the sun." He decided therefore to coast round New Holland the other way;—"to coast along to the Northward, and so to the East, and so thought to come round by the South of Terra Australis (i.e. New Holland) in my return back, which should be in the summer time there."

Dampier, therefore, sailed North, seeking "a Harbour to refresh us after our tedious journey." He came to the great bay behind Dirck Hartog's island, where Vlamingh had caught sharks three years before. Dampier also caught sharks, and called the place Sharks Bay. His account of the place is similar to that which Vlamingh gave three years before, and to that which Freycinet gave one hundred and two years later. The sharks were savoury, the raccoons (kangaroo rats?) were "very good meat," and the turtles "indifferent sweet meat." The bush flowers were beautiful and fragrant, and "for the most part unlike any I had seen elsewhere"; at last one really good thing had been seen in Australia! But the country was waterless. They dug wells again and again, but to no purpose.

Hence Dampier sailed northward along the coast, keeping at a distance, however, and believing that what he saw was more probably a screen of islands than a continuous coast. He came to the "range of islands" that is now called "Dampier's Archipelago." They all looked dry, rocky, and barren. Dampier despaired of getting water, but thought he might find "some sort of rich mineral or amber-greece." But he found nothing of interest save beautiful wild-flowers, and he named the island Rosemary Island after one of the shrubs. But the great multitude of islands, and the strong tides running between them, were putting questions. Dampier was sailing by Tasman's Chart, and was growing dissatisfied with it. "The shore is laid down as all along joining in one body or continent, with some openings like rivers; and not like islands as they really are." He concluded that Tasman "came not so near the shore as his line shows," and that his hard outline of coast was founded on ignorance and guess-work. It is unlucky that the loss of Tasman's Journal for the voyage of 1644 makes it impossible to know what his answer to this criticism would have been. Dampier, at least, could only see islands. There might be continent behind them, but Dampier doubted. All he saw from about 27° to about 20° looked like "nothing but ranges of pretty large islands against the sea, whatever might be behind them to the Eastward, whether sea or land, continent or islands." His own guess was that "here might be a kind of archipelago of islands, and a passage possibly to the South of New Holland and New Guinea into the great South Sea Eastward." It was possible indeed, that "the high tides and great in-draught" were "occasioned by the mouth of some great river." But it seemed more likely that there was "a channel or strait." It was impossible to make further exploration, for there was urgent need of water. But he thought that on his way home he might be able to seek the Eastern entrance of the supposed channel, which might be in the region of New Guinea, and to sail through it back to Rosemary Island.

Dampier's guess was wrong. But it seems, nevertheless, to have been a good guess, and bears good testimony to Dampier's scientific seamanship. A century later Flinders, summing up geographic knowledge before his own voyage of 1802, and the problems which he had hoped to solve in that voyage, wrote that Dampier's guess was supported by "a fair induction from facts." By that time Cook's voyage had proved that the supposed passage could not lead into the great ocean Eastward. But it was thought "possible that it might communicate with the Gulf of Carpentaria, and even probable that a passage existed from thence to the unknown part of the South coast beyond the Isles of St. Francis and St. Peter. But whether the opening were the entrance to a strait, separating Terra Australis into one or more islands, or led into a mediterranean sea, as some thought; or whether it were the entrance of a large river; there was, in either case, a great geographical question to be settled, relative to the parts behind Rosemary Island."* Flinders' own voyages proved that, if there were a passage behind Rosemary Island, that passage communicated neither with the South coast nor with the Gulf of Carpentaria. But the "geographical question relative to the parts behind Rosemary Island," which Dampier had asked with so much good judgment, remain unanswered till an even later date.**

[* Flinders, vol. i. p. lxvi.]

[** Cf. the voyages of King, and of Stokes.]

Dampier looked for an opening, but he looked far more eagerly for some water. In Latitude 18° 21', in the bay now called Roebuck Bay, he went ashore with a few men, armed with muskets and cutlasses, and carrying shovels and pick-axes to dig wells. They dug eight or nine feet, but there was no water. At last they found "a rundlet of brackish water," not fit to drink, but good enough to boil their oatmeal porridge, whereby they might save their other water for drinking. The country was so barricaded with a long, chain of sandhills that they could see nothing of what was further inland. What they could see were "Savannahs" bearing a sort of thin coarse grass, and a poor scrub of woodland. Standing in the savannahs were "several things like haycocks." They looked like Hottentot's houses, but were found to be "so many rocks." If Dampier had looked more closely he would probably have found that they were so many ant-hills. Two or three dingoes were seen "like hungry wolves, lean like so many skeletons, being nothing but skin and bones."

There was a "rencounter" with the natives, who were even worse to look at than the dingoes. They refused friendship and ran away. Dampier with two men chased them, hoping to learn whence they got water. A nimble young man overtook them, but they attacked him with wooden lances, and Dampier had to shoot one of them. Their chief was "a young brisk man painted with a circle of white paste about his eyes, and a white streak down his nose;...his painting adding very much to his natural deformity; for they all of them have the most unpleasant looks and the worst features of any people that ever I saw, though I have seen great variety of savages." Apparently they were even worse than "the miserablest people in the world" whom, in the previous voyage, he had seen forty or fifty leagues to the North-East. "These were much the same blinking creatures (here being also abundance of the same flesh-flies teasing them), and with the same black skins, and hair frizzled, tall and thin, as those were." Like them also they seemed to live chiefly on shell-fish and small fry, caught in holes in the sand at low water.

Dampier had now "spent about five weeks in ranging off and on the coast of New Holland, a length of about three hundred leagues." He had landed at three several places to see what there might be thereabouts worth discovery, and especially to recruit his stock of fresh water and provisions. He had found nothing worth discovering, nothing to eat, nothing to drink. He now thought to sail to the place where the Cygnet had anchored, that happy place where you could get water by sufficient digging. But everlasting "shoals" made it "a very tedious thing to sail along the shore." He "edged further off to sea," lost sight of land, and got North of the place he aimed at. He was "almost weary" of the shores of New Holland. The shoals seemed endless; the coast was unknown, save for Tasman's unsatisfying chart, and the tides were strong, high, and dangerous. He decided that the best plan was to go forward to New Guinea, and steered away for Timor.

In Timor both Portuguese and Dutch had forts. Dampier came first to the Dutch fort. The Governor took them for plundering pirates, but Dampier explained that this time he was in a King's ship, and only wanted water. "The Governor replied that he had orders not to supply any ships but their own East India Company; neither must they allow any Europeans to come the way that we came. 'You are come to inspect into our trade and strength, and I will have you therefore be gone with all speed.'" On better acquaintance, however, the Governor proved to be "a civil, genteel, and sensible man," asked Dampier to dinner, and gave him one of the best entertainments he ever had while abroad. "Our liquor," he quaintly writes, "was wine, beer, toddey, or water, which we liked best after dinner." Later he called at the Portuguese fort, where the Deputy gave him a handsome present of animals and fruit.

Thoroughly refreshed, Dampier sailed for New Guinea on the 12th of December, 1699. He saw New Guinea on New Year's Day 1700, rounded the Western end, and then sailed on an Eastern course, wide of the coast, till he came to the point of the island of New Hanover. The three islands of the modern map,—New Hanover, New Ireland, and New Britain,—were drawn by Tasman as one land, and as part of New Guinea. Dampier did not notice the passages that separate New Ireland from New Hanover and from New Britain. But, sailing down the hitherto unknown Eastern coast of New Britain, he discovered the passage that separates New Britain from New Guinea. He sailed through this passage, Dampier Strait, and, having proved that "this Eastland does not join to New Guinea," he named it "Nova Britannia." He wrote of the island, in a passage that attracted much attention, with very high praise. "The mountains and lower lands were pleasantly mixed with wood-land and savannahs. The trees appeared very green and flourishing; and the savannahs seemed to be very smooth and even; no meadow in England appears more green in the Spring than these...It is also very well inhabited with strong well-limbed negroes, whom we found very daring and bold at several places...It is very probable the island may afford as many rich commodities as any in the world; and the natives may be easily brought to commerce." Dampier had been right. Wealth existed "directly under the sun." Here was the English Spice-island.*

[* See Dampier's map, directly below].



52. MAP IN DAMPIER'S Voyages. (Vol. iii., London, 1729.)

MAP IN DAMPIER'S Voyages.

Dampier had meant to sail round New Holland, and, according to this plan, should now have sought to round the Eastern end of New Guinea, with a view to sailing down the unknown Eastern coast of New Holland, and then of coming round its South coast in the Summer. Another plan had been to seek, somewhere to the South of New Guinea, the Eastern entrance of the Channel which, he believed, reached its Western entrance between Rosemary Island and Roebuck Bay. But these plans had become impossible. "The many difficulties I at this time met with, the want of convenience to clean my ship, the fewness of my men, their desire to hasten home, and the danger of continuing in these circumstances in seas where the shoals and coasts were utterly unknown, and must be searched out with much caution and length of time; hindered me from prosecuting any further my intended search." He sailed back along the North coast of New Guinea to Timor.

He had intended to make for the coast of New Holland in about 20°, and to seek for the "Trial Rocks," for he believed that the discovery of them would be of great use to merchants trading to these parts. But he fell ill; his men were "very negligent" when he was not on deck; he could not trust them to navigate the ship; and he thought it wisest to make for Batavia. Here he was allowed to buy provisions, and an attempt was made to patch the rotten ship for the voyage home. By miracle they got as far as the Island of Ascension, where the ship sprang a leak. Attempts to mend it made it worse, for "the plank was so rotten it broke away like dirt." The ship foundered, but the crew got safely to land, though many of Dampier's precious books and papers were lost. The crew were rescued by British men-of-war that chanced to come that way.

Dampier's welcome home was a court-martial. The accuser was Lieutenant Fisher, whom Dampier had put in irons, and had left in prison at Bahia in Brazil. Fisher accused Dampier of being a bad navigator, cruel to trustworthy seamen, and over kind to pirate friends. Dampier accused Fisher of calling him "Old Rogue, Old Dog, Old Cheat," and so incensing the men against their captain. The court-martial, which included Sir George Rooke and Sir Cloudesley Shovel, gave the verdict "that Captain William Dampier has been guilty of very hard and cruel usage towards Lieutenant Fisher." He was "fined all his pay to the Chest at Chatham." And, further, it was the opinion of the Court that "the said Captain Dampier is not a fit person to be employed as commander of any of Her Majesty's ships" (June 1702).

I bow with respect to the verdict of a court-martial. But it seems to me that another court-martial should have been held before Dampier's trial: a court-martial to consider the character of the First Lord of the Admiralty, who had deliberately appointed in ex-pirate to command a ship whose planks were as rotten as dirt, manned by a crew whose morality was in the same condition as the planks. When the crime of the First Lord had been suitably condemned, it might perhaps have sufficed to say to the ex-pirate that he had failed to achieve the impossible, and to congratulate him on his miraculous survival.

It does not seem, however, that the verdict was taken very seriously. Dampier still retained the reputation, which he did not very well deserve, of being a first-rate pirate chief with a speciality in the South Sea. When, in the same year (1702), war broke out against Spain and France, a syndicate of London merchants was formed, as syndicates had been formed in the days of Elizabeth, to gain big dividends by "privateering" in the South Sea; and they chose Dampier to sail as captain in a ship named the St. George, with a commission from the Lord High Admiral, who was the Queen's own husband. The story was a tenth-rate pirate story not worth the telling, save for one incident. Dampier hunted the Spaniards in consort, for a time, with a tiny ship called the Cinque Ports, whose captain was a ruffian named Stradling, and whose mate was named Alexander Selkirk. According to our modern critic, Selkirk was "on the whole about as troublesome a seaman as ever stepped a deck"; but Dampier thought him "the best man in the ship"; and possibly both statements are true. After quarrelling with Dampier, Stradling called at Juan Fernandez, the island in which already in our story two men had played the part of Robinson Crusoe. Here Selkirk chose to land, partly because he hated Stradling with good reason, and partly because, again with good reason, he was convinced that the Cinque Ports would shortly go to the bottom. Here for four years he lived the life of Robinson Crusoe the Third.*

[* It is likely that Defoe had read all these three Robinson Crusoe stories. It is curious that he placed his hero, not in Juan Fernandez, but in an island in the estuary of the Orinoco. He describes "the great draft and reflux of the mighty river Oroonoko, in the mouth or gulf of which river, as I found afterwards, our island lay; and this land, which I perceived to the W. and N.W., was the great island Trinidad." Friday was a Carib from Trinidad.]

Meanwhile Dampier was cruising in the St. George, fighting French and Spanish ships; taking some small prizes, but on the whole giving little satisfaction to his greedy and quarrelsome crew. Two parties of malcontents, one after the other, got possession of barks, and made the perilous voyage to the East Indies. Dampier was left in the St. George, with twenty-eight men and boys, "to make war upon a whole nation." Moreover the St. George was a ship whose bottom was like that of the Roebuck. When examined, it was found to resemble a honeycomb; nowhere was the plank much thicker than an old sixpence; and you could easily thrust your thumb through it. The carpenter stopped the holes with tallow and charcoal; but did not dare to drive a nail. At last Dampier took a small Spanish bark, in which he also made the voyage to the East Indies. The Dutch seized the ship, and Dampier, says an English writer in 1744,* "returned naked to his owners, with a melancholy relation of his and their misfortunes, occasioned chiefly by his own odd temper, which made him so self-sufficient and overbearing that few or none of his officers could endure him." Dampier may have had an "odd temper" as ship commander; but, again, there were other reasons for his nakedness. In spite of failure, he was "introduced to the Queen, had the honour to kiss her hand, and to give her some account of the danger he had run through."

[* Campbell, the editor of the 1744-1748 edition of Harris's Voyages.]

It seems pretty clear that Dampier was a very good Pilot and a very bad Captain. He could not handle the seamen of his period, but he knew as much about navigation as any man living. These facts were recognised when, in 1708, a syndicate of Bristol merchants sent two ships to wage war on the enemy, and at the same time to earn big dividends for shareholders. The command was given to Woodes Rogers, a friend of Dampier, and an able captain. Dampier was Pilot. It was the business of Rogers to quell the mutinies, and order the battle against the great Spanish treasure-ship. It was the business of Dampier to advise what courses should be taken in the seas he knew so well. They called for refreshment at Juan Fernandez, and "our pinnace returned from the shore, and brought abundance of crayfish, and a man clothed in goatskins, who looked wilder than the first owners of them." It was Alexander Selkirk, who gave an account of his life more vivid, though less detailed, than that which Defoe wrote in his famous book a few years later. Selkirk, who had been Dampier's friend, joined the ship as mate. The voyage was well-managed, and was very profitable. We seem to be once more in the spacious days of Drake. With astonishing ease Spanish towns were sacked, and Spanish ships were captured. Then they ran along Dampier's old route to Guam, and then sailed among the islands off New Guinea; and Rogers agreed with Dampier's opinion that these islands should be of special interest to commercial Englishmen. "It is most certain these islands would all of them bear spice, and afford immense riches to this nation if they were settled." They came to Batavia, where the seamen got arrack for eight pence a pound, and thought themselves in Paradise. They were home in September 1711, and the syndicate made a nett profit of £170,000.

Here ends knowledge of Dampier's life. "He vanishes," says the modern biographer, "like a puff of tobacco smoke."* He died in 1715. He is important in our story, not as a discoverer, but as a student and as a writer. He discovered nothing that had not been discovered before, save the Eastern coast of New Britain, and the strait between that island and New Guinea. But his writings, immensely and deservedly popular, made people understand the interest of the South Sea. Englishmen had hitherto known nothing and thought nothing of the South Sea. The learned might read old records of the voyages of Quiros, Le Maire and Tasman; but they read them without interest and without faith, as one would read a rather dull fairy-tale. For the unlearned there was nothing to read. To both learned and unlearned Dampier's narratives revealed a new and a strange world, crowded with things interesting to men of all sorts and conditions. The young lady of Queen Anne's reign could afford to leave the latest novel, even by Defoe, uncut upon her table; for the best things in the latest novel were taken, without acknowledgment, from the pages of Dampier and his "fellow travellers." Men of science found a new world of deeper interest; they could study the only exact account of tropical plants and animals in a book that was a vivid record of strange adventure.

[* Clark Russell, p. 182.]

It was from Dampier that Banks learnt of the strange and beautiful bush-flowers that he sought at Botany Bay. To the geographer he explained precisely that which was known, and that which remained unknown, and he pointed to the paths of practicable exploration. To the merchants he suggested that voyages of curiosity might lead to voyages of profit, that enormous possibilities of lucrative trade awaited them in Southern and in Eastern seas. With both hands Dampier had poured forth such wealth of fascinating information, that for the first time Englishmen felt at home in the South Sea, able to find their way about, and beginning to think that it might be worth while to contend with the Dutch for trade settlement therein.


CHAPTER XX. THE PLANS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

AUTHORITIES:


Yet, half a century passed before another Englishman landed in New Holland. Dampier's books were good reading, but his argument was not strong enough to induce men to put their hands into their pockets. The power of pure science was still too slight to launch ships on voyages of curiosity. The main chance was the appeal to men of commerce, who were powerful enough to do almost anything they liked. But the men of commerce thought there were more important things to attend to. As for New Holland, the Dutch had known thousands of miles of it for a century, and had not thought it worth while to found a single factory. What the Dutch could not turn to profit must be pretty bad, and Dampier himself had proved that it was very bad indeed. New Britain, it was true, seemed to be in a fertile place. But New Britain was a long way off. Its exploitation would be expensive, and money could be better spent in nearer places.

Thus, so far as action is concerned, the first half of the eighteenth century was a period of singularly little interest in our story. The Dutch had already discovered far more than they could use, and thought that further exploration would be a mistake. "To reduce a continent near three thousand miles broad," explains an English writer in 1744, "is a prodigious undertaking, and to settle it by degrees would be to open to all the world the importance of that country." The day of the Dutch as a progressive world-power was waning. They stood nervously in defence of a gigantic monopoly, that was wonderfully out of proportion to their numbers and their strength. The day that was coming was the day of the British and the French. But, in the early eighteenth century, British and French were fighting out their rivalry in the Atlantic. When America's question was settled, they would have spare time for Australasia. Meanwhile the Dutch were allowed another century's lease of their monopoly.

And yet this period has an interest of its own—an interest that consists, not in voyages, but in the growth of ideas which led to voyages.

In 1717 and 1718 Jean Pierre Purry, a servant of the Dutch East India Company, wrote two Memorials, which urged the Company to found a colony in Nuytsland. He pointed to the enormous length of the country that had been discovered in the South. There were five or six hundred leagues from Edelsland to the islands of St. Francis and St. Peter; and who could say what lands existed between these islands and New Zealand, another six or seven hundred leagues away? All this huge country was in the best climate in the world. It must contain many excellent lands, and the trouble would be to choose the best. True, the country bore a bad reputation. But all that was known about it was that the bare coast-line was inhabited by ignorant savages. Of course, here as elsewhere, must be deserts and mountains, but who could reasonably say that the whole country was worthless? Exploration would probably show that it contained mines of gold and silver as rich as those of Mexico and Peru.

It was reasonable enough to guess that, within its vast limits, would be found "one of the best countries in the world," a country able to produce grain, silk, tobacco, wine, and oil. A colony founded here would be of the greatest service, as a place of refreshment for the Company's ships, and as a source of supply to all the Company's settlements in the Indies. It could be easily formed by labourers from Java, who would appreciate the change of climate, or by slaves. Five hundred or six hundred picked soldiers should be sent to reconnoitre; for it was possible that the natives were giants, and that they possessed forts and "machines of war better than our bombs and cannons."

And there was need of haste. If the Dutch did not grasp the opportunity of using a land which contained "perhaps more riches than any other part of the world," the British or the French would certainly do so. Would Hollanders be content to abandon "New Holland" to strangers? The British were especially to be dreaded. "One must confess there is no people in all the universe so alive, so active, so enterprising." For they are colonists as well as merchants;—"they themselves go to live in a good land." And, if ever British or French made a settlement in Nuytsland, and formed there a basis for warfare, with difficulty would the Dutch be able to maintain their position in the East Indies.

Purry argued with eloquence and with truth; but he did not convince. Colonisation and fortification, he admitted, cost much money. The Company, he said, could get the money back by taking one-fifth of the wine, oil, grain, and fruit produced. But the Company did not believe him. It preferred to take the chance of a British or French settlement.


In 1721 there was a Dutch voyage that is interesting not from what it did but from what it suggested. The voyage of Roggeveen* looks back to the earlier Spanish story, and looks forward to the British story to which we shall come. Since the days of Le Maire (1615), the Dutch had thought little about the great golden continent, Terra Australis Incognita. Their concern had been with the "Company's New Netherland," the huge island they had cut out of Terra Australis, and found to be a land of incredible badness. Tasman, indeed, thought that "Staten Land" (New Zealand) was a promontory of Terra Australis Incognita, but it seemed an even more murderous place than the Company's New Netherland, and his only thought was how to get through it or round it, in order to find a way to Chili. But now the argument of Quiros once more inspired a Dutch navigator. A gentleman named Roggeveen, who had made a fortune in Batavia, persuaded the Dutch West India Company to send him, in command of three ships, to search for the unknown continent, for which Quiros had searched in 1606 and Le Maire in 1616.

[* "Two, if not three accounts of Roggeveen's expedition were published soon after his return to Europe, from the pens of persons who sailed with him." Two of these are translated in Campbell, de Brosses, Callender and Dalrymple. "It was not until 1836, however, that the official log of the commander himself came to light: it was printed a couple of years later at Middleburg, in the original Dutch." The part which tells the story of the discovery of Easter Island is translated by Corney in The Voyage of Captain Don Felipe Gonzalez (Hakluyt Society).]

He touched at the Falkland Islands which he called "Belgia Australis," because its inhabitants would be strictly antipodes to the inhabitants of the Low Countries. The land looked beautiful and fertile, but Roggeveen postponed examination till he should return from the discovery of the Continent. To make sure that he would get round Cape Horn he sailed as far South as 62° 50'. Huge icebergs seemed to prove that the Southern Continent extended to the Pole; for it was held that such vast hills of ice could not be produced in the sea, and therefore proved the existence of big rivers. The great number of birds also seemed to prove that this continent could not be far away. Then, sailing Northward, Roggeveen visited the island of Juan Fernandez, and appreciated its advantages so highly that he thought of settling it, as a place of shelter and refreshment to ships bound to Southern lands. That plan, however, he also postponed till his return.

Then he began the real business of the voyage, the search for that part of Terra Australis which must exist, as he believed, between the 30th and the 36th degree; and experience proved, he argued, that between these degrees, both in the North and in the South, are the richest, pleasantest, and most fruitful countries in the world.

First, he sought for that part of Terra Australis which the English privateer Captain Davis declared he had seen in 28° in the year 1680. But Roggeveen could only find there a little island, which he called Easter Island, because he discovered it on Easter Day. It is now agreed that this most interesting of Pacific islands is the same land that Davis had seen. But Roggeveen sailed on puzzled and disappointed. We cannot exactly make out his course. So says Captain Cook, and so says Captain Cook's modern editor. He sailed eight hundred leagues without discovering land. Then, in about 15°, he discovered exceedingly beautiful islands, which modern writers tell us were the Samoan group. But Roggeveen despaired, and decided to sail to the East Indies, in spite of the protest of officers who urged that he should winter in the land of Quiros, which, they said, could not be above one hundred and fifty leagues away. He found islands in about 11°, which some thought were part of Terra Australis Incognita. At last he reached Java, where, as in Le Maire's story, his ships were confiscated by the East India Company, as the ships of an interloper.

Once more, the search for Terra Australis Incognita had failed. But, once more, it had failed in a way that enabled the party of Quiros to argue that the existence of the unknown continent had not been disproved; that, on the contrary, things had been observed that tended to strengthen the belief that the continent would in the end be found by those who sought in faith. Roggeveen's voyage was inspired by Quiros. It gave strength to the movement of ideas that sent forth Cook.

The story turns to notice British plans. In 1744-1748 a writer named Campbell brought out a new edition of the Collection of voyages that had been published by Harris in 1705. Campbell's plan was to tell the story in such a way that it would point a moral. He printed the original narratives, and he added prefaces, introductions, and remarks which explained the lessons which Englishmen should learn from their reading. The chief lesson was the importance of commerce. His work was dedicated to the "Merchants of Great Britain," and he sought to prove that "to commerce we owe our wealth." It was to commerce also that we owe our strength; for "whoever is master at sea must be master at land likewise."

And it is in order to show one way by which commercial wealth and strength may grow, that he prints and explains the narratives of travel in the South Sea. Very interesting to us are the geographical conclusions which he founds upon them. "It is most evident from Tasman's voyages," he writes "that New Guinea, Carpentaria (i.e. Cape York peninsula), New Holland, Van Diemen Land, and the country discovered by Quiros make all one continent, from which New Zealand seems to be separated by a strait, and perhaps is part of another continent." The outlines of the continent which centres in New Holland are well known. The only "Terra Australis" that now remains "incognita" is the continent which, as we must assume, lies between New Zealand and America: a continent which probably includes New Zealand itself, and the various promontories that had been seen by Quiros, Le Maire, Davis, Roggeveen, and others.

Campbell was deeply interested in this Terra Australis Incognita. He quoted with acceptance Roggeveen's arguments, mainly taken from Quiros, to prove its existence and its richness. British merchants were always grumbling about the decay of the old trades. They should find out new trades. The war gave an excellent opportunity to exploit the South Sea. Anson had sailed on his famous voyage in 1741, and returned in the year of the publication of Campbell's book. There was no reason either to be complaisant to the Spaniard or to fear him. Nor need British maritime power dread the wrath of the Dutch. The British should adopt Roggeveen's excellent plan for settlement at Belgia Australis (the Falkland Islands), and at Juan Fernandez. "By the help of those two colonies undoubtedly the Southern Indies had been by this time effectively discovered." Whatever nation shall revive and prosecute the plan will become in a few years "master of as rich and profitable a commerce as the Spaniards have to Mexico and Peru, or the Portuguese to Brazil." The Englishman had dreamed the dream of Quiros—with a difference.



53. PART OF MAP IN HARRIS'S Voyages
(Ed. Campbell, 1744.)

The search for Terra Australis Incognita must, no doubt, be "left to the industry of future ages." For practical men of business the interesting continent was Terra Australis Cognita: "the great Southern Continent which Tasman surrounded, and the bounds of which are tolerably well known"; tolerably well known, at least, to the Dutch, though to other nations New Holland was still a "chimera." The Dutch had discovered the continent, but they had made no use of it, and never would make use of it "till either their trade declines in the East Indies, or till they are obliged to exert themselves to exclude other nations." And they have taken all possible pains to prevent any relation being published that might invite or encourage any other nation to make attempts that way. True, Pelsart's voyage had been published. It had been published because it had been thought likely to frighten people away. Tasman's voyages had never been published entire, and probably the Company had never intended that they should be published at all. True, again, a map showing his discoveries had been made on the floor of the Amsterdam Town Hall. But no description had been published. Strangers might gape at the map as a curiosity. Wise Dutchmen would say:—"Behold the wisdom of the East India Company! A resource for the benefit of posterity!"

When the Dutch said that New Holland was a worthless country, there was no reason to believe them. It was incredible that a land so huge was everywhere altogether bad. No doubt in the Tropic of Capricorn the weather would be very hot, and the country unwholesome and disagreeable. But, both Northward and Southward, life would be pleasant. The climate of the continent was, on the whole, the happiest in the world. The climate of Van Diemen's Land was like that of the South of France. The Northern regions, under the sun, would be hot, but they would also be exceedingly rich. The lands which Quiros discovered (Espiritu Santo, the modern New Hebrides) are part of this great island-continent, and Quiros declared that they abounded in gold, silver, pearls, and spices. Dampier's description of New Britain praised its rich fertility. The narratives of Le Maire and Roggeveen confirm faith in the existence of lands very attractive to merchant and to settler. To make settlement in this part of the world would, no doubt, be difficult to any nation except the Dutch, who could easily have done so from Batavia, from the Moluccas, or from the Cape. But the British have no reason to fear the Dutch dog in the manger. The British East India Company, helped perhaps by Parliament, should send a small squadron to sail in Tasman's tracks, and to get exact up-to-date information, so that "we might know, as well and as certainly as the Dutch, how far a colony settled there might answer our expectations." "By this means all the back (East) coast of New Holland and New Guinea might be thoroughly examined." If the East India Company refused to do its duty, this would give opportunity to the Royal African Company, who might establish a colony in Madagascar, and thence trade with New Guinea, or better still, with New Britain, "the properest place for them to settle in," and a convenient centre for trading with the East Indies on the one side, and with Terra Australis on the other. If the Royal African Company also refused, here would be the chance for the South Sea Company to do something to justify its name. The Company had not yet sent a single ship on voyage of discovery in the South Sea. Here they might gain some equivalent of the lost Assiento Contract. They should first settle Juan Fernandez. Sailing thence, they might take slaves from New Guinea to Peru. Thence also they might sail, in a two months' voyage, to Van Diemen's Land. They might make a settlement on the South coast of Terra Australis (Nuyts-land?), and get perchance a trade in gold and spices.

Meanwhile, the French enemy also was thinking of the Southern Continent, and the direction of his thought was determined by a curious historical incident. In 1663 there was published in Paris a book with the title "Memoirs concerning the establishment of a Christian Mission in the Austral Land." The author signed himself "J.P.D.C. Prêtre Indien." He had a curious story to tell. In 1503 the Sieur de Gonneville sailed South, with the design of sailing in the course of Vasco de Gama to the East Indies. He was driven from this course by a furious storm, and came to a large country which he called Southern India, where he stayed six months. Then he sailed home, accompanied by a native prince, whom he promised to return to this country "instructed in the European arts, and particularly the art of making war, which these Australians desired with an incredible passion." But the promise was not kept. The Indian prince remained in France, was baptised, and married a relative of Gonneville. His great-grandson was the "prêtre indien," who told the story in order to urge that he should be sent as missionary to the land of his Australian ancestors.

Unhappily he was unable to say where that land was. Gonneville's ships had, on the return journey, been captured by an English privateer, who robbed him of his journal, and everything he had. On landing, he had on the 19th of July, 1505, made a judicial declaration, authenticated by all the proper forms of law. In this declaration he had given some description of the Austral land he had discovered—it was a very fertile land, and the natives were wondrously affable, and received the French as "angels from heaven"—but by inexplicable mischance he had said no word that could throw light on the question of its locality, and no one had the least idea where this Southern India was. No wonder that the longing of the "Indian priest" of the seventeenth century to visit the land of his great-grandfather did not avail to take him there.

It was, however, a story that interested his French fellow-countrymen, and it was much talked of in France in the early eighteenth century. Patriotic French geographers held that Gonneville's voyage "secured without difficulty to the French nation the honour of the first discovery of the Austral lands sixteen years before the departure of Magellan."*

[* De Brosses, vol. i. p. 103.]

Frenchmen began to grow ashamed that they had so long delayed to make good the claim conferred by first discovery. The trouble, however, remained that, while the "Land of Gonneville" certainly belonged to France, no one knew where the land of Gonneville was. Some thought it was in the region of the "Cape of the Austral Lands," that had been marked on the maps of the South Atlantic in Latitude 42°, Longitude 7° (from Teneriffe), on the evidence perhaps of some unknown seaman who had seen Tristan d'Acunha or Gough Island. Captain Lozier Bouvet thought that it was in this Longitude but that the Latitude was perhaps 48°.* He persuaded the French East India Company that this was the very place they needed for the refreshment of their ships. It would also be a good basis to trade with the Spaniards of La Plata and the Portuguese of Brazil. The affable natives would again receive the French "as angels from Heaven." There would be lucrative commerce, and millions of infidels would be converted to the Christian Faith. Lozier Bouvet was of the school of Quiros. He dreamed a French dream of prosperous discovery in Terra Australis Incognita. Only the French dream was to come true in the South Atlantic.

[* De Brosses, vol. i. p. 104; Rainaud, p. 396.]

In July 1738 he sailed with two ships, commissioned by the Company to discover "the Austral lands." He searched for "the Cape of the Austral lands," that was marked in the Charts in Latitude 42°. But he found no cape, and thought that perhaps its discoverer had seen an iceberg in the middle of a fog. But on New Year's Day 1739, in Latitude 54°, and in Longitude slightly Westward of the Cape of Good Hope, he saw land, or thought he saw land, high and rugged, covered with snow and almost hidden in fogs, which he called the Cape of the Circumcision, in memory of the Festival of the day. For several weeks he saw what looked like land, but fogs and ice prevented approach. Some thought that "the Cape" was, not the tip of a continent, but a small island; and apparently it was in fact the small island which now bears the name of its discoverer. But Bouvet returned to France convinced that he had actually "coasted the Austral continent from Longitude 7° to 50°:—I say the Austral continent, for I believe that the ice, the penguins, the sea-wolves, amphibious animals, which we constantly found for the space of 48° of Longitude, can make good this opinion." He admits that this part of the continent "will be of little use to Europeans, if all the years are like the year we experienced."

But he was in no way discouraged. He had found the continent, and the continent was the continent that had been described by Quiros, From the Cape of Circumcision he wished to sail round the South of Ncw Holland to Espiritu Santo, and then to return by Cape Horn. He was in love with Espiritu Santo, its spices, its gold, its pearls, its silk. In the spice trade alone, the French might undersell the Dutch, and make ten million a year. The French would find, as Dutch and British had found, that only a great trade can sustain a great navy. So argued the enthusiastic Bouvet. But the French Company was like other Companies, and said No.

But France was waking up. The new Renaissance which made the modern world was stirring French minds. Old world-problems were being re-surveyed from the points of view of Science and of Humanity. A new spirit of active inquisitiveness was at work, insisting that more knowledge must be gained in order that the world might be put into order, and that human happiness might be increased.

In this new spirit, Maupertuis wrote letters to Frederick of Prussia "on the progress of the Sciences," summing up what had been learnt, and what remained to be learnt, and recommending research in special directions as "useful for the human race, and curious for scholars." He drew attention to the peculiar interest of the problem of the South. All the world knows that in the Southern Hemisphere is "an unknown space in which may be situated a new part of the world greater than any of the other four." Maupertuis is astonished that no prince has had the curiosity to explore these immense solitudes, and to ascertain if they are occupied by land or by sea. He is convinced that huge lands will be found. All those who have navigated the South Sea have seen "points and capes and sure signs of a continent near at hand." Bouvet had seen continual signs of land in the South Atlantic for forty-eight degrees of Longitude, and the enterprise had been abandoned too soon, for Science shows that the visit was a month too early. But a better field of exploration exists in the South Pacific, where the Austral lands approach much more nearly to the Equator, in climates where the most precious products of nature are found.

And Maupertuis pointed to the special interest which these Southern lands will possess both for the man of science and for the man of commerce. "They form so-to-say a world apart, in which one cannot foresee that which exists. The discovery of these lands, therefore, may offer the greatest utilities for commerce, and the most marvellous spectacles for Science." It is in isles of the South Sea that travellers say that they have seen savage hairy men with tails, "a kind of mean between the monkeys and ourselves." And Maupertuis would rather have an hour's conversation with the Missing Link than with the greatest genius in Europe.

Maupertuis' Letters were read as a lecture to a learned Society. When the lecture was over, one of the audience, Charles de Brosses, President of the Parliament of Dijon, made a speech of half an hour on discoveries in the South Seas. His ideas were similar to those of Maupertuis. He had long studied the subject, both "as citizen and as geographer," and he knew a great deal about it. The learned Society was so impressed by the curious and novel character of what he said, that he was requested to write a Memoir, and to read it at the next meeting. The Memoir was highly appreciated, and he was persuaded to develop his opinions in other memoirs. Finally, at the urgent request of scientific friends, de Brosses published in 1756 a book entitled "History of Navigations to the Southern lands; containing what is known of the manners and the products of the countries discovered to the present time; treating also of the utility of making more ample discoveries, and of the means of forming a settlement there." In these volumes, much used by Cook and Banks on the Endeavour, de Brosses gave extracts from narratives of forty-seven voyages in the South Sea. But the parts that are of interest to us are Book I, in which he discusses "the utilities of discovery," and Book V, in which he discusses "the means of forming a settlement in Southern lands."

When the President of the Parliament of Dijon wrote of the "utilities of discovery" he wrote not as a bagman but as a gentleman of honour. The first thought must be not of dividends but of glory;—the glory that belongs to the hero who has greatly benefited both his country and humanity. The discovery of Terra Australis will be, not only the most useful, but also the most noble enterprise whereby a sovereign may make glorious his name." To add to the Globe a new world, to enrich the old world with all the natural products, and all the useful usages of the new world, this would be the effect of such a discovery." How compare the glory of war with the glory of so splendid a service to mankind? What modern King can compare his glory to the glory of Columbus and Vespucci? Are not the Phoenicians, who discovered and civilised Europe, more famous than the conquering Assyrians and Egyptians? The princes of Portugal by their studies, their constancy, their courage, their generosity, made their tiny country great, and brought a renaissance to all Europe. And "it is not a paradox to say that it is by geographical enterprises that a King may gain the greatest glory, and that the most famous of modern sovereigns will be he who will give his name to the Southern World."

For this is work that must be done by the Head of a State. It is beyond the strength of an individual, and it is beyond the spirit of a Commercial Company. For the merchant has not the spirit of the gentleman. He seeks immediate profit, and his only curiosity is curiosity for gain. Hence the abandonment of Bouvet's enterprise. But a State should take large and long views, and should pursue its aims with persistency till they are achieved. It should think in centuries, and should build for eternity.* Thus a State can see the wisdom of making foundations deep and strong. It can undertake discovery in the spirit of pure curiosity, though this spirit may rightly be fortified by the reflection that eventually the things discovered will be of great service to mankind. It is wrong to expect that a voyage of curiosity will pay a dividend. But it is right to be sure that "advantages without number, foreseen and unforeseen, will be drawn from a vast unknown continent, which extends from the Line to the Antarctic Circle."

[* De Brosses, vol. ii. p. 368.]

And if a State should undertake with ardour and with constancy this glorious work, it should be France! It was the French Gonneville who "first discovered the Austral world!" Yet his countrymen, "forgetting next day the happy chance of an enterprise so honourable, have by their natural levity lost all advantage, and have allowed themselves to be robbed by Spaniards and Portuguese of all honour of the first discovery."* And now's the day that the French should press their claim to this glory. In a voyage of curiosity, knowledge must be the first thought; but let it be remembered that knowledge will give wealth and strength. Discovery means commerce, and commerce means Sea Power. What time more fitting to think of Sea Power than the year 1756, "when a neighbouring Power (Great Britain) visibly affects the universal monarchy of the Sea without respect or consideration for any other nation!" In such circumstances, a voyage of curiosity is of interest to the citizen as well as to the geographer.

[* De Brosses, vol. i. p. 11.]

And what, shortly, is the argument that proves the proposal to be useful, as well as noble? Observe, first, the enormous extent of the region that is covered by our phrase "the Southern Lands." It is a region that includes everything South of the Cape of Good Hope, of the Moluccas, and of the Straits of Magellan. It is a region of eight or ten million square miles, and is more than one-third of the Globe!

Now the contents of this huge region are partly known, partly unknown. The known Southern lands are the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Van Diemen's Land, New Holland, Carpentaria, and New Guinea. The unknown Southern land is the vast continent, that must exist further South, though only "Capes" have hitherto been seen. It must exist because it has to balance the land in the North. The laws of physics show that, but for this unknown Southern continent, the earth would rotate by the Poles, instead of rotating by the Equator. It centres in the South Pole, and its promontories project far northwards in various places, and especially between New Zealand and America.

And how inconceivably great must be the interest of these Southern lands, known and unknown, which occupy one-third of the Globe! How can one doubt that they will furnish objects of curiosity, and opportunities of profit, equal to all that has been furnished by America? How many peoples, differing amongst themselves, and greatly differing from ourselves, in figure, in manners, in usages, in ideas, in religion! How many animals, insects, fishes, plants, trees, fruits, drugs, precious stones, fossils, and metals! And, no doubt, in all these genera there are millions of species of which we have not even a notion, since this world has never had communication with ours, and is to us, so to say, almost as strange as would be another planet. What branches of trade in skins, silks, spices, medicines, dye-woods, gold and jewels! And, again, what a chance of selling our coloured glass-beads, our brandy, our sixpenny mirrors, at a profit as enormous as that gained in the first voyage to the East Indies!

And it will be a trade profitable to both sides. The natives want iron as much as we want gold. "The Australian" will make profit by giving anything he has for a pair of scissors; and, in addition to the pair of scissors he will gain French culture, and those will become men who have now nothing human but their figures. As the Phoenicians discovered and civilized the Europeans, so will the French discover and civilize the Australians, who after all are not likely to be much more brutal than were the Europeans. True, the coast-people seem "completely barbarous," but this in no way proves that one who penetrates this prodigious extent of country will not find civilized nations from whom we ourselves may learn an infinity of things. Even America seemed barbarous enough till Mexico and Peru were discovered.

For convenience of discussion, let us divide this huge Southern third of the world into three parts, corresponding to the three seas. The South Atlantic may be called "Magellanica," the South Pacific "Polynesia," and the South Indian Ocean "Australasia"—a word now first coined.

In "Magellanica," Bouvet's discovery should be followed. Ice no doubt is a difficulty, but ice means land; the more land the more ice, and the more ice the more land. The best physicists hold that the open sea does not freeze even near the poles. Ice-fields prove great rivers, and great rivers prove a great continent. Bouvet should have gone on. Away from the great rivers the coast would have been accessible, and even the great rivers would be open in summer. Probably the soil in this Latitude is barren; yet there may be the same opportunities of trade as in Hudson's Bay. And, apart from trade, the discovery cannot fail to be of scientific interest. It will furnish to the observer phenomena that will throw light on the configuration of the earth, on astronomy, on navigation, on gravity, on the oscillations of the pendulum, on magnetism. Here is the chance for an enthusiasm of curiosity. More than two centuries have passed since the world was first circumnavigated by sailing from West to East. One day some one will undertake to make the circuit by sailing from North to South, and will succeed in spite of cold and winds!

In "Magellanica" also are the islands visited by Roggeveen and others (the Falkland Islands), concerning which "the English do not conceal their opinion that, if one could find there a place of refreshment, one would draw from it an inconceivable advantage, and that the master of a place so advanced towards the South would, in time of war, be master of the two seas." Moreover, in this region are Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, with products of value, such as skins, wools, dyes, and whales. A settlement here could make lucrative trade with China. It could also at last determine the much debated question, are the Patagonians of gigantic stature?

The best way to pass from "Magellanica" to "Polynesia" is not through the Straits but round Cape Horn. And Polynesia is a very fascinating field for exploration. No one has visited the Solomon Islands since Mendana in 1567, and no one has visited Espiritu Santo since Quiros in 1606. Later navigators have taken a Northerly course across the Pacific, and have left unexplored the huge region in the South which must contain a continent. Yet they have already discovered innumerable islands, healthy, fertile, charming, the happiest lands in the world. None of these islands are occupied by Spain, except Guam in the Ladrones, and thus Polynesia still offers a virgin field. The natives of some islands are friendly, and inclined to trade, and it will be easy to found a colony that would be very useful both to men of science and to seamen.

The man of science would find himself in a new world, in which everything would be singular—men, land and sea. He would find interest in the problem presented by chains of tiny islands, which seem to suggest a submerged mountain ridge, showing its summits above water. He would find interest also in studying the manners of peoples isolated for so many centuries from the rest of mankind, and still preserving, perhaps, the life of the primitive man. Here, we find, says Le Maire, as in the first age of which the poets write, man wholly simple, as produced by nature. What an opportunity for French philosophers of the age of Rousseau! And, further, we would be able to study not only man brutal and savage, like the natives of New Holland, who live like fierce animals in herds in the woods, but also men who have made some advance in civilization, by using "the portion of intelligence that Heaven has given them."

Meanwhile, from such a colony the seamen might explore the Southern Continent, find out what New Zealand is, where no European has ever set foot, rediscover the land where Drake had landed, and the country which Davis had seen, and which Roggeveen had failed to find. Juan Fernandez, one of the finest places in the universe, should be settled and fortified. Spain would much prefer that it should be in the hands of French friends rather than remain a safe refuge for British pirates, who by pillage and smuggling devastate the Spanish coasts.

But "Australasia" has still greater attractions as a place of settlement. Here are solid masses of land that are known to exist, New Holland, Van Diemen's Land, Carpentaria (Cape York Peninsula), New Guinea, New Britain, New Zealand; though these lands are probably not one continent, but huge islands separated by unknown straits. Here is the opportunity for France to do things on a large scale, and in the grand style. "If Spain, Portugal, and Holland have immortalised their names by discoveries and colonies, they have left to France a great and noble task; to France, to whom are due the earliest maritime enterprise in the discovery of the Canaries and Guinea, and of Australasia itself; France, who now sees herself able, by reason of the flourishing condition of her East India Company, to make progress, soon if she wishes, that will place her level with the three other nations, and give her even in these distant regions the rank that she holds in the European Republic!"

Which of the Australasian lands shall have the honour to be the scene of French enterprise? New Zealand and Van Diemen's Land are too distant, too Southerly, too unknown. In New Holland landing seems to be everywhere difficult. Pelsart's voyage shows that the West coast is beset by an infinite number of little islands. The land near the sea is sterile and naked, like soil that the ocean has only just left uncovered, before the action of sun and rain, or accumulation of vegetable matter, have had time to make a soil in which plants and trees may grow and flourish. That on the coast looks stillborn. It offers no curiosity except a wood that can be used for dyeing, gum trees, and shells of wonderful beauty and size, The natives are brutal and stupid, unable to work, insensible of the advantages of commerce. Dampier writes about a dangerous labyrinth of waterless islands. Carpentaria also has a difficult and unattractive coast. New Holland, then, is unsuitable for enterprise at present, though later explorations in the interior may reveal rich and civilized natives, the Mexicans and Peruvians of Australasia. On the other hand, "the Austral Land of the Holy Spirit" is, according to the report of Quiros, exceedingly attractive; but it has not been explored for a century and a half, and is therefore not the place for immediate settlement. There are agreeable descriptions of New Guinea, but its coasts though beautiful are very high and difficult. Fertile islands further West are near Batavia, and the Dutch would certainly trouble a new settlement.

The conclusion is that the best site for a colony is New Britain. The words of Dampier and Roggeveen suffice as testimony to its fertility, and to its commercial advantages. Situated in the Latitude of the Spice Islands, it will produce spices as good as the spices of the Moluccas. If spices do not grow there, they can be planted, and will certainly flourish. Thus the French will share the lucrative monopoly of the Dutch. New Britain has also an admirable geographical situation. It is near the Moluccas and the Philippines, yet not too near. It is conveniently placed for trade with China, with the Ladrones, with the innumerable islands of the Pacific. It will form an excellent "entrepôt de commerce." It will be a suitable basis for the exploration of Carpentaria, the Austral Land of the Holy Spirit, New Holland, New Zealand, and Van Diemen's Land, whether these lands are one continent, as some think, or are separated by straits, as seems more probable. One would learn what these lands are, and what are their utilities. Discovery might gradually extend from the Tropics to the South Polar Circle. A ship might be sent to see if there is a strait behind Rosemary Island, as Dampier suspected; to see if some arm of the sea separates Carpentaria from New Holland; to find if the land of Quiros is as promising as he says; to make the grand tour of Australasia as Tasman made it. Thus the geography of this great part of the world would be made clear; an exploit sufficient by itself to make men immortal.

The expedition should sail, not from France, but from Pondicherry, the French fort in India. Three ships should be sent, and they should be well equipped. For it is an enterprise truly royal, and glory must be preferred to profit. It would be well to explore the West coast of New Britain, hitherto unvisited;—a suggestion that might have brought the French to Rabaul.

Thus de Brosses sketched the outline of a scheme which, he hoped, would make France mistress of the New World of the South. Honour and glory were to be won, not by conquest, but by discovery, by commerce, and by settlement. And it is important to notice the stress that was placed on settlement. Frenchmen were not merely to discover, and to trade; they were also to colonize, to form permanent communities that were to be the roots of further enterprises, and to give political and military power. It was a proposal to found a French Empire in the South.

And de Brosses faced the great question that he had raised. Is it, or is it not, desirable that a European nation should possess colonies that would make it a World Empire? There were Some who held that a State is weakened by colonization. The Spanish Empire, it was argued, had been fatal to the Spanish nation. Spain had been neglected, in order that gold mines might be exploited. Is it not better to be a healthy and prosperous Nation than a diseased and decadent Empire?

De Brosses discusses this question in a passage that is very interesting. Colonization, rightly understood and rightly managed, should be, he argues, not the destruction of the Nation, but its expansion. It should tend, not to diminish the population, but greatly to increase it. A Frenchman who becomes a colonist doss not cease to be a Frenchman. He is a Frenchman living in favourable circumstances, that enable him to render the French State special services. Mother country and colony should help each other to grow. The mother country founds the colony and protects it. The colony enriches the mother country with the products of the earth, and provides work and wages for more artificers, manufacturers, fishermen, and seamen. Thus from its colonies a European Nation should gain increased wealth, increased population, and increased Power of the Sea; and one cannot too often say in France, and in 1756, that "he who is master of the Sea is master of the Land." In short the future belongs not to the European Nation as it is, but to the European nation expanded by colonization into a World Empire.

And, to descend from high to low, there is one particular way in which mother country and colony should be useful to each other. A State, like a house, requires a sewer. There must be some arrangement for the discharge of uncleanness, and the outlet should be placed at a reasonable distance. If the matter is properly managed the uncleanness disappears, and nothing remains save the fecundity it has given to the soil. A criminal is intolerable in a civilised community, but he may render good service in a young colony, and may eventually become a respectable freeman. Rome herself was founded by a gang of bandits. Criminal women would be especially useful in this way; for "a woman who bears a child each year is a treasure to an infant colony." Common beggars and vagabonds will also be useful colonists, and Foundling Hospitals will be a "species of reservoir distributing streams of population to the colonies." It would not be wise to found a colony with this material. But, when a colony has been established, the deportation of criminals will greatly increase its prosperity.

As for the Spanish Empire, it is not a model to be copied, but an example to be avoided. Frenchmen should take their lessons not from the Spaniards but from the Dutch, who have generally aimed, not at conquest, but at commerce and cultivation, and who have made their colony at the Cape one of the most agreeable and rich possessions in the world. In the cantons of Terra Australis, Frenchmen should found colonies which should exhibit the Dutch virtues, and be exempt from the Dutch faults. "A colony placed in a land analogous to that from which the Dutch get their precious products, sustained by a strong marine in the motherland, frequently visited by her ships, often recruited both by young free citizens and by criminal slaves, distributed gratuitously at first among the colonists, who will not be able to buy the expensive slaves of Africa, such a colony, I say, cannot fail to grow and to bear fruit." For a commercial colony is far more valuable than a gold colony. It produces a greater navigation, and a greater population; more wealth, and more strength.


De Brosses' discourses were written by a very patriotic French gentleman who regarded Great Britain as his country's worst enemy. Yet they are now far more interesting to Englishmen than to Frenchmen. Reading them, we find ourselves for the first time in touch with the ideas which sent forth Cook and Banks to explore the Pacific, which founded the convict colony in New South Wales, and which have given the British race supremacy in the Southern lands.

And British students saw at once the interest of de Brosses' argument. In 1766 John Callender published the first volume of his Terra Australis Cognita—the second and third volumes were published in 1768—a work which is in the main a free translation of de Brosses, with additions, omissions, and modifications, which are made with the object of showing that the arguments which the Frenchman addressed to his fellow-countrymen have still greater force when addressed to the British.

Though it may be true, argues Callender, that French de Gonneville first discovered the Austral lands, it is also true, as de Brossés' own volumes show, that "the best and surest accounts of this Terra Australis are deduced from our own navigators, Drake, Narborough, Cavendish, Dampier, and others." And the British are far better able to achieve the Empire of the South than are the French. De Brosses, writing in 1756, had bitterly complained that Great Britain was "visibly affecting the monarchy of the sea." When Callender wrote ten years later, Great Britain had won the war, and her possession of Sea Power was indisputable. Insolent is the victors' triumph! "Vain," writes Callender, "are the repeated exhortations of the French writer, addressed to a nation which is so far from being able to prosecute new discoveries that they have been stripped by the late war of the best foreign settlements they possessed; and by the ruin of their marine seem totally disabled at present to attempt anything of moment in this way. Far other is the case of this happy island. United among ourselves, respected by foreigners, with our marine force entire, and (humanly speaking) invincible, aided by a set of Naval officers superior in every respect to those of the nations around us, with a Sovereign on the throne who is filled with the most ardent and laudable desire of seeing his native country great and flourishing. These, I say, are incitements that seem to render everything possible to Great Britain. The extensive countries of the Terra Australis, hitherto untouched, open to us a field worthy of our attention in every respect." And Callender proceeds, with amazing coolness, to steal every one of de Brosses' arguments and to address them to his British readers. He thinks—as de Brosses had thought before him, and as Dampier and Campbell had thought before de Brosses—that the best place for a settlement is New Britain, the island discovered, he reminds his readers, by "our celebrated navigator, Dampier." De Brosses had said that the flourishing condition of the French East India Company would enable it to found the colony. Well, the French East India Company had now ceased to flourish, while on the other hand the English East India Company, after the deeds of Clive, will find it "easy to extend themselves into Australasia." The expedition should start not from Pondicherry, but from Madras. Australasia, argues Callender, must fall to Great Britain because Great Britain possesses the Sea Power. And Callender was right.

We have been studying in this chapter the growth of the ideas which produced the South Sea voyages of those navigators among whom Cook stands pre-eminent. It remains to mention a writer whose book, like that of de Brosses, was in the Library of the Endeavour, and which was carefully considered by the voyagers.

Alexander Dalrymple was a servant of the British East India Company. In his youth he had been fascinated by the stories of Columbus and Magellan, and had longed himself to be the hero in some great voyage of discovery. At Madras he studied the old records of the Company, and was impressed by the great value of the commerce in the Eastern islands from which the English had been driven by the Dutch. In 1759 he refused a good position at Madras, and took command of a small ship in which he made voyages to "the Eastern parts." He obtained exact knowledge of those parts, and won the reputation of a highly skilled hydrographer. In 1765 he returned to England, and engaged in eager study of the forgotten documents which told the story of the exploration of the South Sea. He obtained possession of the Memorial of Arias; and, studying a sentence* in the light of recent discoveries, he saw that Torres must have sailed through a Strait between New Guinea and New Holland some thirty-eight years before Tasman had declared in his map that there was no Strait but only a Shallow Bight.

[* Arias said that Torres sighted "a very extensive coast which he took for that of New Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); from thence he sailed Westwards, having constantly on the right hand the coast of another very great land which he continued coasting, according to his own reckoning, more than six hundred leagues, having it still on the right hand." Dalrymple did not obtain Torres' own letter till a much later date. His translation of it was first published in Burney's Voyages in 1806, with a remark that it had "lately" been obtained.]

But the main result of Dalrymple's studies was that he became a disciple of Quiros, a fervent believer in the great rich unknown continent of the South. In the South Seas still remained the opportunity for a new Columbus, a more successful Quiros. And Dalrymple hoped that he would himself be the hero of the last great story of discovery. He hoped to obtain command of a South Sea expedition. And meanwhile he busied himself in preparing for the press his Collection of Voyages to the South Seas, a work which was published in, 1770. But Dalrymple wrote not primarily for the student of History. His main purpose was to point out, not how much had been done, but how much remained to do. And already in 1767 he had in print a tiny volume, not published till 1769, entitled Discoveries in the South Pacific to 1764, in which he summed up once more the argument which claimed to prove that the Southern Continent exists, and that it is well worth finding. The volume, which was to play an important part in the voyage of the Endeavour, had a map which marked Torres' route through his Strait, and which illustrated the argument of the text that a continent must occupy the unknown South.*

[* See Illustration 54, immediately below.]

Once more it is urged that the existence of the continent is based on nothing less than physical necessity. Land in the South must balance land in the North. Now, within the Tropics, it is true, the lands to the South do fairly balance those to the North. But in the temperate regions there is nothing in the known South to balance the great mass of land in the North. Therefore, in the unknown South a continent must exist. Dalrymple's conclusion is that "the space unknown from the Tropics to 50° S. Lat. must be nearly all land."* And, though this fact has not been proved by "absolute experience," proof has been given sufficiently convincing to the eye of faith. Again and again land had been seen exactly where, according to laws of physical necessity, land must be. In the late sixteenth century, Juan Fernandez had found West of Chili in 40° a very "fertile and agreeable continent, inhabited by a white and well-proportioned people." In 1599 Gerrards in 64° had seen mountains which seemed to extend to the Solomons. In 1606 Quiros had seen indications of land in 26°, and again in 17°. In 1616 Le Maire had seen the same in 51c°, in 1624 the crew of the Orange Tree had seen the continent in 50°, and again in 41°.

[* P. 94.]



54. PART OF MAP IN DALRYMPLE'S Discoveries made in the South Pacifick Ocean previous to 1764
(London, 1767.)

In 1685 Davis had seen it in 28°. It is true that in 1722 Roggeveen had failed to rediscover Davis Land; but in the same locality he had discovered Easter Island, an island of singular interest in respect to the continent which must lie near at hand. "It is from the descriptions of that island that we are enabled to form some idea of the continent adjoining; no voyage hitherto performed points out so strongly the original of the Peruvian manners and religion. That country whence Mango Capac introduced arts, laws, manufactures, and all the comforts of civilised life, cannot fail of amply rewarding the fortunate people who shall bestow letters instead of quippus, and iron in place of more awkward substitutes." Easter Island is not the Southern Continent, but its archaeological relics confirm the theory that this continent was the source of the civilization of Peru.*

[* See elaborate description of these relics in Mrs. Routledge's Easter Island.]

What, then, is the geographical conclusion? It is that the coast of the Southern Continent runs Northward on a line "but a very little West of the common track towards Juan Fernandez island," that it turns Westward about 28°, and joins the land of which Quiros saw signs in 26° and in 17°. Thence it probably runs South-West to Tasman's Staten Land (New Zealand), which may, no doubt, be islands, but which is more likely to be the Western side of the continent. It appears, then, that in Latitude 40° the continent extends over one hundred degrees of Longitude, that is to say it is larger than the whole of Asia from Turkey to the extremity of China, and it has the riches of the country from which the first Inca came to Peru! What a country, he added in the edition of 1770, for the British merchant now in trouble about declining trade in America! The American colonies have a population of two million. The Southern Continent probably has a population of fifty millions!" The scraps from this table would be sufficient to maintain the power, dominion, and sovereignty of Britain by employing all its manufacturers and ships."

Dalrymple had good hopes that he might be given the opportunity to be the Columbus of the South. In 1768 the British Government consented to the request of the Royal Society that a ship should be sent to some island in the South Seas to observe the transit of Venus. It was understood that the opportunity would be taken to explore the South Seas, and to endeavour to solve their problems. Dalrymple had commended himself to the Royal Society, and had apparently persuaded them that his views deserved at least to be tested. They recommended him to the Government as "a proper person to be sent to the South Seas, having a particular turn for discovery, and being a naval navigator, and well-skilled in observations." But now came a fatal hitch. The Government was willing that Dalrymple should go as a scientific observer; but the commander of a King's ship must be an officer of the King's Navy. Dalrymple, in reply, would go as commander or he would not go at all! The end was that the man, who had spent his life in navigation and in study of tropical seas, had to stay at home, and the command was given to Lieutenant Cook, who had never even crossed the Equator! Dalrymple never forgave the supplanter. But he gave a copy of his booklet, which had been printed but not yet published, to a young aristocrat, Mr. Joseph Banks, member of the Royal Society, who also sailed on the Endeavour.


CHAPTER XXI. THE PRECURSORS OF COOK

AUTHORITIES:


In the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) Great Britain and France fought their long fight in America to an end. But the spirit of fight in them was stronger than ever, and it seemed possible that the new battlefield would be Australasia. Neither country greatly desired supremacy in the Pacific, but neither country was willing that the other should attain it. There are curious personal links connecting the fight that had ended in Canada and the fight that seemed likely to begin in the Pacific. Bougainville, who nearly discovered Eastern Australia in 1768, had been the favoured and brilliant Aide-de-Camp of Montcalm.* Cook, who actually discovered it in 1770, had sounded the St. Lawrence while Bougainville fought on its banks.

[* See Parkman's Wolfe and Montcalm.]

The war ended in 1763. In the same year the French government determined to form that settlement on the Falkland Islands which, according both to French and English geographers, would give supremacy in the South Sea. The chivalrous Bougainville, representative of qualities that have made French soldiers loved even while feared, offered to found the settlement at his own expense. "He has talent," Montcalm had written to his wife, "a warm head and a warm heart. He will ripen in time." Bougainville had ripened. He had fought the Canadian fight to an end; a bitter end made sweet by brave sacrifice.



55. LOUIS ANTOINE DE BOUGAINVILLE
(Prom Bonnechose, Montcalm el le Canada Français. Paris, 1881.)

The field was lost, but all was not lost. French honour remained, unstained and shining. The British had won the West. But the South remained a virgin field for the chivalry of France. "The French nation," wrote Bougainville, "is capable of conquering the greatest difficulties, and nothing is impossible to her efforts, as often as she will think herself equal at least to any nation in the world."

Bougainville's offer was accepted. He chose for his colonists "several Acadian families, a laborious intelligent set of people, who ought to be dear to France on account of the inviolable attachment they have shown, as honest but unfortunate citizens"; and with them he founded the first French colony in the South. In the middle of the fort he erected a small obelisk. "The King's effigy," he wrote, "adorned one of its sides, and under its foundations we buried some coins, together with a medal, on one side of which was graved the date of the undertaking, and on the other the figure of the King, with the words 'Tibi serviat ultima Thule.'"

But the British Government also was thinking about "ultima Thule." The Falklands, it was explained, had been discovered by Englishmen in the days of Elizabeth, and the claim was good though old. So in 1764 it sent Byron with instructions to take possession, and then to proceed on a voy.age of discovery in the Pacific. Byron came to the Falklands in January 1765, "touched to the Westward of our settlement," says Bougainville, "and took possession of these islands for the Crown of England, without leaving a single inhabitant there!" Then Byron, promising his sailors double pay for a big and dangerous venture, sailed through the straits in weather "dreadful beyond all description." Taking a West-North-West course he came to the Northern end of the Society Islands, but missed Tahiti. Thence he sailed North-West for the Ladrones. He discovered a few small islands, but, writes Besant, "like Magellan, he seemed to avoid discovering the archipelagos between which he passed by a kind of miracle." He came home in 1766.

His ship, the Dolphin, was sent out again in the same year under Wallis. With her sailed the Swallow under Carteret, who in vain pointed to the fact that the ship was rotten. They also took the route through the straits, and spent four months in passing them! The Swallow sailed so badly, that Wallis in the Dolphin got far ahead, and never saw her again. Wallis's chief discovery was Tahiti, which he named "King George the Third's Island." Then, like Byron, he took the well-worn route to the Ladrones and Java, and came home in 1768. It was a quick voyage, only six hundred and thirty-seven days, but unsatisfying to curiosity.

Meanwhile Carteret, in his rotten little ship, was making a brave voyage. He came to Pitcairn Island, touched the Southern groups of the Society Islands, and sailing thence on a course Southward of that taken by Byron and Wallis, he rediscovered Santa Cruz and the Solomon Islands. Two hundred years had passed since Mendaña had left these islands. No other European, so far as we know, had visited them; no one knew where they were, and some doubted their existence. Tasman thought he was among them when, in reality, he was among the Fijis. Carteret rediscovered them, but did not recognise them. Thence, compelled by extreme distress to abandon his desire to make discoveries in the unknown South, he sailed for New Britain, discovered the strait between that island and New Ireland, sailed through it, and discovered the Admiralty Islands. Bougainville overtook him as he neared home. "His ship," wrote the Frenchman, "was very small, went very ill, and when we took leave of him, he remained as it were at anchor. How much he must have suffered, in so bad a vessel, may well be conceived." Carteret came home in March 1769, nearly a year after Wallis's return.

If Englishmen sailed the Pacific, Frenchmen must do the same, and must do it better. In November 1766—three months after Wallis and Carteret had sailed—Bougainville also sailed with two ships, the Boudeuse and the Etoile. His orders were "to proceed to the East Indies by crossing the South Seas between the Tropics." On his way he was to give the Falklands to France's ally Spain, who claimed them as belonging to South America. This business delayed him; it was not till December 1767 that he entered the straits, a year behind the Englishmen, whose initials and names he found cut on Patagonian trees. He noted, for the benefit of scientific friends, that the Patagonians are tall but not gigantic.

Then he began systematic search for Terra Australis. He looked in vain for Davis Land, and "according to M. de Bellin's Chart," he writes, "I must have sailed over it." Then he looked for the coast marked in the Charts in about 18° to 20°, and described as "lands and islands seen by Quiros." There were plenty of islands but no trace of a continent, and Bougainville concluded that geographers had deceived themselves. "Upon the whole," he writes with admirable sense, "I know not on what grounds our geographers lay down, after these isles, a beginning of land seen, as they say, by Quiros, to which they give seventy leagues of extent...If any considerable land existed hereabouts, we could not fail meeting with it...I agree that it is difficult to conceive such a number of low islands, and almost drowned lands, without supposing a continent near them. But geography is a science of facts; in studying it, authors must by no means give way to any system formed in their studies, unless they would run the risk of being subject to very great errors, which can be rectified only at the expense of navigators."

Bougainville found no continent, but he found that which made amends. In April 1768 he came to the lovely island which Wallis had visited ten months before. Wallis had called it "King George the Third's Island." Bougainville, for sufficient reasons; called it "New Cythera"; but he found that the natives called it "Taiti" (Tahiti). He described its charms with the words of a lover. Every prospect pleased, and men and women—especially women—pleased still more. Tahiti became the Paradise of the sensual man, who has forgotten the Ten Commandments, and desires to enjoy "the ease of the golden age."

Before sailing from Tahiti, Bougainville "buried an act of taking possession, inscribed on an oak plank, and a bottle well corked and glued, containing the names of the officers of both ships." A native named Aotourou begged that he might be allowed to sail with them, and Bougainville assented, thinking that he would be of use on their island-voyage, and that his eventual return, enriched by useful knowledge, would cement the French alliance "with a powerful people living in the midst of the finest countries in the world." In 1916 we saw in Sydney Tahitian soldiers on their way to fight the battle of France.

Sailing from Paradise, after only a fortnight's stay, on a course more Southerly than that taken by the British, Bougainville came in May 1768 to the group of islands which he called "the Archipelago of the Navigators," and which we call Samoa. Hence he took a very bold course, slightly South of West, precisely the course which again and again in the course of one hundred and fifty years had been deliberately declined by seaman after seaman—by Schouten, Tasman, Roggeveen—as certain to lead to great danger on the unknown coast South of New Guinea. It was a course which had been taken only once before, by Torres in 1606.

Sailing on this course, Bougainville came in May to a group of islands of singular interest in our story. He named them "the Isle of Pentecost," "Aurora," "Pic de l'Etoile," and "the Isle of Lepers." On the last of these islands he landed, collected wood and fruit, and "buried at the foot of a tree the Act, taking possession of these isles, engraved on an oak plank." But the natives seemed bad, and the fruit was not as good as in New Cythera. But there were other lands to the South and to the West; in fact "we saw land in all parts of the horizon; we were, so to say, shut up in a great gulf." It was hard to make out whether the lands were continuous, or were divided by passages. Bougainville sailed along the Western side of the "great gulf," by a fine shore covered with trees, and with patches of land apparently cultivated, and he came to a "great inlet" with an opening five or six leagues wide. He sailed into it two or three leagues, and came to a "fine bay." No bottom could be found with a two hundred fathom line. Two boats were landed to reconnoitre. The natives shot a couple of arrows, which served the sailors as a pretext for a general discharge of muskets. "The negroes howled excessively in the woods, where we could hear their drum beating. I immediately made signal to the boat to come on board, and I took my measures to prevent our being dishonoured in the future by such an abuse of the superiority of our power."

Bougainville's words bring memories to the student's mind, and these memories were in his own mind as he wrote. He called the group of islands "the archipelago of the Cyclades." But "as for ourselves," he writes, "everything conspired to persuade us that it was the 'Tierra Austral del Espiritu Santo.' Appearances seemed to conform to Quiros's account; and what we daily discovered encouraged our researches. It is singular enough that, exactly in the same Latitude and Longitude where Quiros places his bay of St. Philip and St. James, on a coast which at first sight seemed to be that of a continent, we should find a passage exactly of the same breadth which he assigns to the entrance of his bay."

Bougainville was right when he believed that he had stumbled on Quiros's Espiritu Santo, unvisited since 1606. But he was, it seems, wrong when he believed that he had entered the bay of St. Philip and St. James. His chart seems to show that he did not visit the North Side of Santo, where lies that bay. He sailed through the passage between Santo and Malicolo, and apparently the "great inlet" was somewhere in the passage.

However, he was in Espiritu Santo where Quiros and Torres had been. And the geographical problem before him now was something like that which Torres had faced when he sailed hence. But, whereas Torres had plunged South-West in search of an unknown Terra Australis, Bougainville knew that in that direction was the unknown Eastern coast of New Holland. How far away was this coast it was impossible to guess. Campbell had declared in 1744 that Espiritu Santo was actually part of New Holland. And de Brosses' book of 1756 had printed a map which gave the same view. But de Brosses' text, as Cook afterwards pointed out, in defiance of de Brosses' map, declared that "all the vast interval lying between Leeuwin and Quiros's discovery is so unknown that one cannot tell what part of it is land, and what part is sea," and had thought "more likely" the view that the unknown was, not one continent, but "large islands, separated from each other by canals or arms of the sea." Bougainville had now proved that, in respect to Espiritu Santo, de Brosses' map was wrong, and de Brosses' text was right. The same fact, we remember, had been proved one hundred and sixty years before by Torres; but the route of Torres was known, it seems, only by Dalrymple, and Dalrymple, who told the fact to Mr. Banks, did not tell it to Bougainville. All that Bougainville knew was that, somewhere to the West, must be the East coast of New Holland, and he bravely resolved to sail Westward for three hundred and fifty leagues. "I resolved," he writes, "to do it, though the condition and the quantity of our provisions seemed to give us reason to make the best of our way to some European settlement."

He therefore sailed West in Latitude 15°. Had he persevered he would have come to the Australian coast near Cooktown, and would, likely enough, have been wrecked where Cook was wrecked two years later. But, after a week's sail, he found himself in the midst of dangers. He saw sandbanks and shoals, a low land to the South-West, and breakers to the North-West that appeared to stretch without end. "The sea broke with great violence on the shoals, and some summits of rocks appeared above water. This last discovery was the voice of God, and we were obedient to it...I gave orders to steer North-East by East, abandoning the scheme of proceeding further Westward in the Latitude of 15°." He concluded that the Eastern coast of New Holland was not much better than the Western coast which Dampier had seen in the same Latitude. "I should willingly believe, as he does, that this land is a cluster of isles, the approach to which is made difficult by a dangerous sea, full of shoals and sandbanks. After such an explanation, it would be rashness to risk running in with a coast from whence no advantage could be expected, and which one could not clear but by beating against reigning winds. We had only bread for two months, and pulse for forty days; the salt meat was in great quantities, but it was noxious, and we preferred the rats. Thus it was by all means time to go to the Northward, and even to deviate a little to the Eastward of our course."

He sailed three days, and then "a delicious smell announced the vicinity of the land." Bougainville had "seen but few lands which bore a finer aspect; a low ground, divided into plains and groves, lay along the seashore, and from thence rose like an amphitheatre to the mountains whose summits were lost in clouds." He was on the South side of New Guinea near the Eastern end, not far away from the point at which Torres in his voyage from Espiritu Santo had made land. Torres, greatly daring, had turned Westward, and had found his Strait. But Bougainville had read no account of Torres' route, and, though he thought it "probable" that a strait existed, he dared not face the risk. Had he, like Cook, two years later, had on board Dalrymple's Chart, showing the track of Torres, it seems likely enough he would have turned Westward, and that a French and not an English captain would have been second to thread the Strait.

Not daring to sail West, Bougainville had to sail East, and "to endeavour to get out of this gulf as soon as possible." He found himself in a position of extreme danger, caught in a huge gulf, bristling with shoals and reefs and islets, while a South-Eastern swell was heaving him towards the land. During a dreadful fortnight, he fought to keep the ship off land, and gradually groped a way Eastward. For days the fog was so thick that the two ships were obliged to fire guns in order to keep company. "In the dark, in the midst of a sea strewn with shoals, we were obliged to shut our eyes to all signs of danger." Provisions were failing. The allowance of bread and pulse was lessened. The pet dog and the pet goat were eaten, and it was found necessary for medical reasons to forbid the eating of old leather.

Bougainville was trying to get round the immense chain of islets, reefs, and shoals that makes the Eastern tail of New Guinea. At last he succeeded. "The Cape which we had so long wished for" he named "Cape Deliverance," and the Gulf of which it formed the Eastern point "Gulf of the Louisiade." "I think," he justly adds, "we have well acquired the right of naming these parts." Earlier navigators had "all followed the same track; we opened a new one and paid dear for the honour of the first discovery."



56. PART OF MAP IN BOUGAINVILLE'S Voyage autour du Monde (Paris, 1771.)

Bougainville's aim now was to round the North of New Britain. A glance at the map shows that it was very likely that he would come to the North-West Islands of the Solomons. We remember that Carteret had seen some islands of the group the year before, and had not recognised them. Bougainville also had no thought that he was even near them. In the map, which he constructed, on his return, he placed them in the Latitude of the Equator, and in a Longitude slightly to the West of the Navigator Islands (Samoa); and he wrote by them the curious words, "Solomon Islands of which the existence and position are doubtful." His doubtful guess of the position of islands that might not even exist, placed them five to ten degrees too far to the North, and about thirty degrees too far to the East. Yet, when he drew this map, he had just returned from a voyage in the course of which he had visited, unknowingly, two of the largest islands in the group.*

[* See Illustration 56, directly above.]

He came to the island which he named Choiseul in July 1768. As the French were anchoring in a fine bay, they were suddenly attacked by ten war canoes, with one hundred and fifty men on board, armed with bows, lances, and shields. They fought with savage bravery, and a second discharge was needed to put them to flight. The French captured two war-canoes, on one of which was carved the head of a man with eyes of mother-of-pearl and ears of tortoise-shell, the whole figure resembling a mask with a long beard.* The cargo included the jaws of a man half-broiled. "These islanders," writes Bougainville, "are black and have curled hair, which they dye white, yellow, or red. Their audacity in attacking us, their custom of bearing arms, and their dexterous management of them, prove that they are almost constantly at war." In short, though he did not suspect it, they were Solomon Islanders, the artistic and murderous descendants of the artistic and murderous enemies of Mendaña.

[* The Solomon Islanders, says Lord Amherst, are "the artists of the Pacific."]

From Choiseul he sailed North-West, past the long hilly coast of the island which is now called by his name. Then he passed a smaller island which he named "Bonka," after the cry of natives, who pretended to give cocoanuts, and then shot arrows. And then he sailed away, still doubting that the Solomons existed!*

[* See The Discovery of the Solomon Islands, p. lxxiv.]

And now where was New Guinea? Quiros had guessed that the Solomons were near New Guinea. Bougainville thought that, if they existed at all, they existed about twenty-five degrees away from New Guinea. His voyage was to prove that he was wildly wrong, and that Quiros was wonderfully right. Two days after losing sight of the Solomons, Bougainville was at anchor in a bay of New Britain. A sailor, looking for shells, found buried in the sand a piece of lead with the remains of English words. The plate had been nailed, but the savages had torn it down, and had broken it in pieces. It was evidence to the French that Carteret had been there before them, and they found vestiges of the English camp. "This," comments Bougainville, "in a very strange chance by which we, among so many lands, came to the very spot where the rival nation had left a monument to an enterprise similar to ours."

The French had anchored in St. George's Bay in Dampier's New Britain, the island which French and British geographers had agreed to recommend as the best site for a colony in all Australasia. They were in urgent need of refreshment, for they were in desperate health, suffering from scurvy and "cruel famine." But their search was strangely fruitless. To them New Britain was a land of snakes and scorpions and earthquakes, strange insects, beautiful shells, and tremendous cascades. They found little to eat except a few thatch palms and cabbage trees, which they must dispute with gigantic ants. Dampier's luck, explains Bougainville, had taken him to Port Montague, "an inhabited district, which promised him refreshments, and whereof the productions gave him room to conceive great hopes concerning the country; and we, who were as indigent as he was, fell in with a desert, which instead of supplying all our wants, has only afforded us wood and water."

Bougainville, unlike Carteret, did not discover that St. George's Bay was the opening of a passage separating New Britain and New Ireland. He sailed round the North coast of New Ireland, believing, as Dampier had believed, that it was part of New Britain. Distress increased, but not one Frenchman was downhearted. "The officers set the example, and the seamen never ceased dancing in the evenings, as well in the time of scarcity as in that of the greatest plenty. Nor was it necessary to double their wages!" So, with light hearts in sick bodies, the French sailed the long coast of New Guinea, which seemed "an everlasting chain of islands." In fact, Bougainville formed the opinion that "all New Guinea itself is a heap of great islands." At length he found a passage which he called "the French passage," and made his way to the little Dutch factory at Boero, and obtained refreshment. It was full time. Not a man was free from scurvy. Half the crews were unable to do duty. "If we had kept the sea another week, we should have lost great numbers, and all would have fallen sick."

Boero was next best to Tahiti. The Dutch Governor's duty was to explain that he was expressly forbidden to receive foreign ships into port. But he accepted Bougainville's plea of urgent necessity, and invited him to a supper, which was "one of the most delightful moments" of his life. The Hollanders, he says, were so amazed by the French hunger, that "none of them durst eat anything for fear of wronging us. One must have been a sailor, and reduced to the extremities which we had felt for several months together, in order to form an idea of the sensations which the sight of greens and a good supper may produce."

The passage to Batavia was one of the most difficult parts of the voyage. The Dutch refused information, and "took the greatest precaution to keep their charts secret," while the French charts were "more proper to cause the loss of ships than to guide them." However, the French arrived; and Bougainville's opinion was that the Dutch deliberately exaggerated the dangers of the navigation. He anchored in Batavia in September, 1768.

The people of Batavia tried to make the Frenchmen's stay agreeable. There were feasts in town and country, concerts, and charming walks. Bougainville was not ungrateful, but it was the duty of a French patriot to say what advantages might be gained by his country. His hosts were very wealthy, and they were also very weak. Exclusive commerce had made the Company "more like a powerful republic than a society of merchants"; but "the time is nigh at hand when their monopoly will receive a mortal stroke. To desire the destruction of this exclusive trade would be enough to effect it. The great safety of the Dutch consists in the ignorance of the rest of Europe concerning the true state of these isles, and in the mysterious clouds which wrap this Garden of the Hesperides in darkness." The Dutch build forts, but they are destroyed by earthquakes. They send soldiers, seamen, and workmen; but the malignant climate destroys two-thirds. The water is so bad that the rich drink seltzer imported at great cost. It is true that the Company destroys the spices that it cannot sell; but there are spice islands that it does not know, and others that it cannot conquer. The British frequent those parts, and not without design. The voyages of Wallis and Carteret have meaning. And so, though he does not say so, has the voyage of Bougainville. "Our author," comments the English translator, "endeavours to make it highly probable that the spice trade will soon be divided among the English and the French." From Batavia Bougainville sailed with a very sick crew for the Isle of France. Then he called at the Cape, where he admired the settlement of La Rochélle, formed by Protestant Frenchmen who still loved France. Carteret, whom he wished to overtake, was still eleven days ahead. At Ascension Bougainville had gained six days, and between Ascension and the Azores he caught up. The two brave captains had friendly conversation, and Carteret gave Bougainville an arrow he had found on his voyage round the world, "a voyage that he was far from suspecting we had likewise made." Then Bougainville sailed, left behind the rotten little English ship, which seemed "as it were at anchor," and came home in March 1769. In spite of distress and disease, he had lost only seven in a voyage of two years and four months. And the gallant soldier-seaman ends his admirable book with words from his well-loved Virgil:—"Puppipus et laeti nautae imposuere coronas."


CHAPTER XXII. THE VOYAGE OF THE ENDEAVOUR

AUTHORITIES:




57. EXTRACT FROM THE "CORNER" COPY OF COOK'S JOURNAL
(The marginal note is in Cook's hand-writing.)

On the 24th of November, 1639, an Englishman, the ingenious Mr. Horrocks, first observed the transit of Venus across the sun.* Towards the end of the seventeenth century, another Englishman, Mr. Halley, the Astronomer Royal, foretold that the event would occur again in 1761 and in 1769, and he implored the English astronomers of those dates not to neglect their duty.** In 1760 the Royal Society, mindful of these things, wrote to the Lords of the Treasury, urging that expeditions should be sent to St. Helena, and to Bencoolen in Sumatra, to observe an event that had been "predicted in the last century by an Englishman, and never observed but once since the world began, and then by another Englishman." Englishmen in 1760 were reading of new victories by land and sea in each day's paper. Were they at the same time to be defeated in the Heavens by some French scientist!

[* Welde's History of the Royal Society, vol. ii. p. 33. Grant's History of Physical Astronomy, p. 419, Dictionary of National Biography.]

[** Welde's History of the Royal Society, vol. ii. p. 7.]

The request was granted, and the astronomers sailed. The Rev. Nevil Maskelyne went to St. Helena. He estimated that his food would cost six shillings a day, his liquors five shillings, and his washing ninepence. His report was that his observations had been spoilt by "very cloudy weather." The ship of the astronomers for Bencoolen was attacked by a French frigate. They were so discouraged, that they concluded that they could not get to Bencoolen in time, and that it would be best to make the Observations from the Cape.

The failures of 1761 made the Royal Society the more anxious to make good arrangements for the observations of the Transit of the 3rd of June, 1769. In February 1768 they wrote to the King. They praised his "remarkable love of science," and they explained to the royal enthusiast the urgency of the occasion:" the like appearance will not happen for more than a hundred years." Moreover, it was a matter that would appeal to the feelings of a King who gloried in the name of Briton. French, Danes, Swedes, and Russians were planning to intrude their observations on a celestial phenomenon, which the British nation had discovered and had annexed:—"the British nation justly celebrated in the learned world for their knowledge of astronomy, in which they are inferior to no nation in the world, ancient or modern." British astronomers should be sent to Spitzbergen or the North Cape, to Hudson's Bay, and to some place in the South Seas, not exceeding 30° S. Lat., and between 140° and 180° Long. W. The expense would be four thousand pounds.*

[* Welde, vol. ii. p. 33.]

This request was also granted. It remained to choose the commanders and the observers. The Society had ready its list of men well qualified to observe. Among them was Dalrymple, the British apostle of the Southern Continent, who had printed his booklet in the previous year. But Dalrymple would not go as observer, unless he was also appointed commander, and the Admiralty replied that the appointment, as commander, of a seaman who was not in the Royal Navy would be "entirely repugnant to its regulations." It became necessary, therefore, to look for an officer of the Royal Navy, who was also a man of science. The two qualifications seldom went together.* But it happened that there was a man, well known both to the Admiralty and to the Royal Society, who combined them in a very remarkable way:—James Cook, late "Master" of H.M.S. Northumberland, now engaged in surveying the coasts of Newfoundland, who had just written a learned paper, founded on his own observation of the eclipse of the sun.

[* The writer of Anson's Voyage complains that naval officers regarded scientific study as "effeminate." It is a mistake, he argues, to suppose that "the perfection of sea-officers consists in a turn of mind and temper resembling the boisterous element they have to deal with."

James Cook, like William Dampier, was a farmer's boy. In a time when "property was power," he won the highest distinction, and even earned, at the age of thirty-nine, so much as five shillings a day, without the smallest help from birth, education, or influence. These facts show that, in the navy of the late eighteenth century, the career was not wholly closed to talent. But they show, far more distinctly, how extraordinary was the talent which opened the career.

As one might, perhaps, have inferred from his works, James Cook was Yorkshire by birth and Scotch by ancestry. His grandfather was a Kirk-elder, and the kirk-elder's son migrated to Yorkshire. "God send you Grace," said his mother, and God sent him a wife of that name. In a tiny two-roomed cottage in the tiny village of Marton, James was born in October 1728. The Register of Baptism described him as "James, the son of a day-labourer." Later, the day-labourer rose to be a "hind" or bailiff; and, later still, he was a builder, so well-lettered that he was able to carve his and his wife's initials on a house he built in 1755. He died in 1778, ending life as he began, for the Register of Deaths described him as a "day-labourer."

As for son James, he went to school and learned reading, writing, and arithmetic; I doubt that he ever got Dampier's power in Latin. Local tradition afterwards told that, as a birds'-nester, he had shown "a resolute adherence to his own plans"; which we easily believe. Then he helped his father in farm work, was perhaps a stable-boy for a short time, served customers in a grocer's shop in a fishing village for eighteen months, and in 1746 became "prentice" in a big coal-shipping business at Whitby. For nine years he made voyages in coal-boats, getting loving acquaintance with the type of ship which, he afterwards said, was by far the best fitted for the business of exploration. His advance was rapid, and in 1755 he was offered the position of "Master." He declined. In that year the first shot was fired in the war that made Canada and India parts of the Empire. Experienced seamen were scarce in the Royal Navy. Cook saw the tide in his affairs, and volunteered, "having a mind to try his fortune that way."

From 1755 to 1758, Cook served on ships which cruised the Channel, and fought what fights they could get. Unhappily he told no stories of his fights, and it is the exasperation of biographers that others told no stories about him. Imagination has to make the best of baldest statements, like this account of a sea-fight:—"We killed her fifty men, and wounded her thirty; she killed us ten men and wounded us eighty." Then, in 1758, Cook sailed for Canada in the British fleet under "Wry-necked Dick" Boscawen, and took his modest part in the famous deeds at Louisburg and Quebec. Did Cook, during the endless monotony of voyage, ever tell stories of Wolfe? Probably not. Cook was a very matter-of-fact man. To him a brave deed was a brave deed; it was your duty to do it, to describe it in plain prose words, and then to do another. Doubtless Cook fought what fights came his way with courage and ability, but of them we know nothing.

What we do know is that he now first gave proof of that extraordinary skill in the charting of unknown coasts, which, says Admiral Wharton, "enabled him to originate, as it may truly be said he did, the art of modern marine surveying." How he acquired the considerable knowledge of trigonometry, that was needed for this work, is beyond the powers of explanation possessed by a person of my degree of mathematical ignorance. His school education had been elementary. In the winter evenings at Whitby, a kindly house-keeper had "allowed him a table and a candle, that he might read and write by himself, while the other apprentices were engaged in idle talk" and, no doubt, he read and wrote with terrible industry. Yet, we are told by our best authority,* that, when he began to survey the St. Lawrence, he "had never been taught drawing, and was not known to have ever used a pencil before." However we may explain miracles, Cook won a solid and well-deserved reputation by his surveys of "the Pilotage of the. St. Lawrence," and later of the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, his charts of which, writes Admiral Wharton, are "not yet wholly superseded," and "their accuracy is truly astonishing." Meanwhile, he was diligently studying mathematics and astronomy, "without other assistance than what a few books and his own industry afforded him." In August 1766 he made observations of an eclipse of the sun, which, in April 1767, were communicated to the Royal Society, whose Transactions described him as "a good mathematician, and very expert in his business." In April 1768 a new surveyor was appointed "in the absence of Mr. Cook who is to be employed elsewhere." In May, a Council of the Royal Society was held, and "Mr. Cook," says the record, "was called in."

[* Young, p. 11.]

Mr. Cook was now a man of thirty-nine. His appearance may be easily imagined from the description written, when all was over, by one who had sailed in the last voyage. "His person was above six feet high, and, though a good-looking man, he was plain both in address and appearance. His head was small; his hair, which was dark brown, he wore tied behind. His face was full of expression, his nose exceedingly well-shaped, his eyes, which were small and of a brown cast, were quick and piercing; his eyebrows prominent, which gave his countenance altogether an air of austerity." These things the Councillors saw. And probably they guessed something good concerning the qualities of spirit and of mind in the man who stood before then. "Nature," says the same witness in words which our whole story will illustrate, "Nature had endowed him with a mind vigorous and comprehensive, with a clear judgment, strong masculine sense, and the most determined resolution; with a genius peculiarly turned for enterprise, he pursued his object with unshaken perseverance; vigilant and active in an eminent degree; cool and intrepid among dangers; patient and firm among difficulties and distress; fertile in expedients; great and original in all his designs, active and resolved in carrying them into execution...He was a modest man, and rather bashful; of an agreeable lively conversation, sensible and intelligent. In his temper he was somewhat hasty, but of a disposition the most friendly, benevolent, and humane." In short, Cook's temper was Scotch—"good but short."

The Council saw, heard, and guessed enough to cause them to agree with the Admiralty's proposal. They offered Cook a gratuity of one hundred guineas for taking the observation. He and his fellow-observer, Mr. Green, were to have £120 a year between them for victuals. He was to be raised to the rank of First-Lieutenant, and he was to have a wage of five shillings a day. Cook accepted the offer, and accepted it with pride.*

[* "His pride must have been great when he found he was to receive a commission as Lieutenant" (Wharton, p. xxv).]

Meanwhile the Navy Board, acting probably with Cook's advice, had bought "a cat-built bark in burden 368 tons, and of the age of three years and nine months." A "cat- built bark"—the word comes from Norwegian 'kati,' a ship—is a bark that has "round bluff bows, a wide deep waist, and tapering towards the stern."* It was the type of ship which Cook, writing after the voyage was ended, described as by far the most useful for a voyage of discovery. The danger was that the ship would run aground on an unknown savage coast. She must therefore be able to sail in shallow waters; she must bear to take the ground, and to be safely laid on shore for repairs; and yet, on the other hand, she must be big enough to carry great quantities of provisions. These qualities, says Cook, are only to be found in "North Country built ships, or such as are built for the Coal-trade." A ship of this sort had been chosen. She had been built in Whitby, and was like the ships which Cook had sailed for many years in the coal trade. Her name was "the Earl of Pembroke," but she was now re-named "the Endeavour Bark." Her price was £2,800, and £2,294 was spent on sheathing and fitting her for the voyage.

[* Kitson, p. 88.]

With Cook sailed a young gentleman, whose voyage was destined to be of great consequence. Mr. Joseph Banks of Revesby was representative of a wealthy Lincolnshire family. Father and grandfather had been men of special culture, keenly interested in local history and antiquities. Born in 1743, Banks went to school at Harrow, and later at Eton. An old schoolfellow, who became the father of Lord Brougham, afterwards described him as "a remarkably fine-looking strong and active boy, whom no fatigue could subdue, and no peril daunt; and his whole time out of school was given up to hunting after plants and insects." Banks himself told how, strolling one day down a lane, he exclaimed, "How beautiful! Would it not be far more reasonable to make me learn the nature of those plants than the Greek and Latin I am confined to!"* At Oxford he continued his botanical studies. The fame of the Professor of the subject rests secure on the fact that, "during his thirty-six years' occupancy of the Chair, he is said to have delivered only one lecture, and that not a successful one."* Why he gave one lecture I do not know. Banks searched Cambridge, found a botanist, and brought him to Oxford.

[* "My father," writes Brougham, "always said that his friend Joe cared mighty little for his book, and could not understand any one taking to Greek and Latin."]

[** Dict. of Nat. Biog. "In the University of Oxford," wrote Adam Smith, late scholar of Balliol, "the greater part of the public professors have for these many years given up altogether even, the pretence of teaching." Cf. Gibbon's illustrations of "the silence of the Oxford professors" in his Autobiography, pp. 32-43.]

Leaving Oxford in 1763, he lived on the great estate at Revesby, studied natural history, and angled days and nights. His neighbour, Lord Sandwich, also liked fishing, and a friendship grew that perhaps had consequences, for Lord Sandwich was a member of the Government when the Endeavour sailed. The two enthusiasts formed a plan, which failed, for suddenly draining the Serpentine in the hope that this would "throw much light on the state and habits of the fish," Meanwhile Banks was forming friendships in London among more serious students of science. In 1766 he was elected member of the Royal Society. In the same year he voyaged to Newfoundland, and made careful study of people, birds, fish, and plants. Then came tours in England, examination of barrows and ancient monuments, and everlasting "botanising."



58. JOSEPH BANKS
(From an engraving of the portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A.)

Then came the chance of a voyage in the South Seas. Friends advised him to prefer the usual "grand tour" of Europe. "Every blockhead," he replied, "does that! My grand tour should be one round the world." He never found reason to regret his choice. Nearly half a century later, he wrote a letter to a young scientist whose friends were seeking to dissuade him from a voyage to Java, on the ground that the climate was unhealthy. "They seek," wrote he, "to force you to adopt the advice of Sardanapalus, to eat, drink, and propagate;—a serene, quiet, calm, sober way of slumbering away life!...I was about twenty-three when I began my peregrinations...you may be assured that if I had listened to a multitude of voices, that were raised to dissuade me from my enterprise, I should have been now a quiet country gentleman, quite ignorant of a number of matters I am now acquainted with, and probably have attained to no higher rank in life than that of country Justice of the Peace."* So wrote, with just self-esteem, the friend of the King, the adviser of statesmen, the President of the Royal Society, and the Father of New South Wales!

[* Smith, p. 297.]

It is pleasant to think of him as he started on his "grand tour" of the world, radiant in youth, health, and strength, brimming with joy of life, eager to see, to know, and to achieve. His wealth enabled him to do things in the grand style. His "suite" included Dr. Solander, the friend and pupil of Linnaeus, and also three artists, an assistant draughtsman, and four servants, two of whom were negroes;—a very different affair from poor Dampier's voyages. "No people," wrote Mr. John Ellis, F.R.S., to Linnaeus, who showed the keenest interest in the voyage, "no people ever went to sea better fitted out for the purpose of Natural History, nor more elegantly." And he gave a list of scientific apparatus that makes one realize how far Science had travelled since the days of Dampier. "In short," he concludes, "Solander assured me the expedition would cost Mr. Banks £10,000."

Unhappily, Cook's "Instructions" have disappeared. We learn their nature from a short description in his Journal, and from what he did. "I was ordered," he writes, "to proceed directly to Otaheite"—the gorgeous island which Wallis had discovered and annexed,—"and, after the astronomical observations should be completed, to prosecute the design of making discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean by proceeding to the South as far as the Latitude 40°; then, if I found no land, to proceed to the West, between 40° and 35°, till I fell in with New Zealand, which I was to explore, and then to return to England by such route as I should think proper." That is to say, Cook was to explore the South Pacific, with a view especially to testing the theory of the geographers that the space between America and New Zealand was mainly occupied by a gigantic continent. It should be carefully observed that Cook and Banks were continually referring to the volumes of de Brosses and the booklet of Dalrymple. Dalrymple, as we have noticed, had hoped that he would himself command the ship, and would make the last great discovery—the discovery of a Southern Continent as big as Asia! He had been treated, so he believed, with cruel injustice. But this should not prevent him from placing at the disposal of the supplanter the precious information which he alone possessed. "In spite of the injury done me," he afterwards wrote, "I gave Mr. Joseph Banks all the information I could, and accordingly he carried with him the Octavo "Account of the Discoveries made in the South Pacific Ocean," with the Chart, which I printed several months before, though I did not publish it till after Bougainville's return."* One main purpose of the voyage was to see whether Dalrymple's Southern Continent existed.

[* Dalrymple's Letter to Dr. Hawkesworth.]

They sailed on the 26th of August, 1768, "all in excellent health and spirits," says Banks, "perfectly prepared (in mind at least) to undergo with cheerfulness any fatigues or dangers that may occur." On the 10th of September they "dined in Africa, and took leave of Europe for Heaven knows how long, perhaps for ever"; and the memory of friends made Banks sigh once, but not twice! Five precious days he botanised in Madeira. One of them had to be sacrificed to the "unsought honour of an official visit from the Governor"; but Banks revenged himself on his Excellency by sending ashore an electrical machine which "shocked him fully as much as he chose." At the Equator, all who had not crossed before must be ducked, from Cook and Banks to dogs and cats, or must buy off in brandy. At Rio there was trouble, for the Governor declared that Cook was the usual English pirate, and locked up his sailors in loathsome dungeon on the ground that they were smuggling. Cook's suspicion was that they were "smuggling" the clothes off their own backs for rum. His Scotch temper rose, and he and the Governor bombarded one another with "memorials." On Christmas Day they were at sea, and, says Banks, "all good Christians, i.e. all good hands got abominably drunk, so that all through the night there was scarce a sober man in the ship. Weather, thank God, moderate, or the Lord knows what would have become of us." They took the route round Cape Horn, and, on the East coast of Tierra del Fuego, Banks led a botanical expedition to some distant hills. They were surprised by a snow-blizzard, and had to camp for the night. Two seamen and a negro got the rum-bottle; the negro and one seaman died; and the other seaman was unable to walk. Buchan the artist fell in a fit, and fat unhappy Solander lay down on the snow, and said he must sleep. But the weather cleared next day; the survivors reached the ship; and the botanists were soon supremely happy, collecting shells and plants.

They sailed from Tierra del Fuego on the 21st of January, 1769. Their task now was to look for the continent which, according to Dalrymple, ran "but a very little West of the common track towards Juan Fernandez." Cook and Banks were unbelievers, and their unbelief grew. On the 1st of March they were in Latitude 38½ and five hundred and sixty leagues West of Chili. They were, in fact, sailing through the thick of Dalrymple's continent! Yet Cook noted that there were not even any currents:—"a great sign that we have been near no land of any extent, because near land are generally found currents." Banks's unbelief was outspoken and contemptuous. "It is some pleasure," he wrote on the 20th of March, "to disprove that which only exists in the opinions of theoretical writers...They have generally supposed that every foot of sea over which they believed no ship to have passed to be land, although they have little or nothing to support that opinion except vague reports, many of them mentioned only as such by those authors who first published them." He points to the flimsy character of the historical evidence. And he even writes with disrespect of the argument of physical necessity. "Till we know how this globe is fixed in that place, which has been since its creation assigned to it in the general system, we need not be anxious to give reasons how any one part of it counterbalances the rest."

On the 13th of April, 1769, they came to anchor at the island where they were to observe the transit on the 3rd of June. Wallis had discovered it, and had called it King George III.'s Island. Bougainville had called it Cythera, but had understood the natives to say that they called it Taiti. Cook understood them to say Otaheite. The modern geographer spells it Tahiti. The observation was made with complete success on a "day perfectly clear without so much as a cloud intervening"; the only trouble was that the sailors took advantage of the observers' absence to purloin a great part of the nails for sinful traffic with native women.

But astronomy fills few of the glowing pages in which Banks paints Otaheite. Like Bougainville he loves the island, and all things in it; and tremendous boyish enjoyment combines with keenest scientific curiosity to give fascination to the nightly jottings in his journal, written so hastily that he feared he would scarcely understand his own language when he read it again! The island was "an Arcadia of which we were going to be Kings." It was not only the "very pretty girl with a fire in her eyes." The men were only less delightful than the women. Banks gave them classical nick-names:—Lycurgus, Hercules, and Epicurus, who "ate most monstrously." They in return pronounced English as they pleased. Cook became "Toote," Solander "Torana," Banks "Tapane"; and they drank the health of King George under the name of "Kilnargo." With their new friends the English kept perpetual holiday. Even their one fault added to gaiety. They were thieves, but they were thieves of a genius that turned thieving into miracle. If ever a man slept with one eye open, that man was Cook; yet they stole his stockings, he says, "from under my head, and yet I am certain I was not asleep the whole time." Banks was chief thief-catcher; and very seriously and very happily he played the game;—"away we set at full cry, much like a pack of foxhounds; we ran and walked and walked and ran for, I believe, six miles";—to find that, very early in the chase, the criminal had turned aside to take a quiet bath in a brook.

But Banks was a man of science as well as a man of pleasure. His special interest was Botany. But nothing done by men, animals, fishes, or plants was alien to his mind. With infinite vigour and with infinite happiness he studied Nature in all its forms. In company with Monkhouse—fat Solander this time wisely left behind—he had a long day's walk inland, past the hill slopes planted with bread-fruit trees, past the last of the houses, whose owners refreshed them with cocoanuts, up among steep rocks and cascades, where long strips of bark served as ropes by which to scramble from ledge to ledge, though, even on the ledges, none but goats or Indians could stand. For minerals Banks looked in vain. But he observed that "the stones everywhere showed manifest signs of having been at some time or other burnt." His conjecture was that the island owed its origin to a volcano now extinct. And, for the comfort of the "theoretic writers," whose theories Cook had already in part demolished, Banks suggests that their "necessary continent may have been sunk by dreadful earthquakes and volcanoes two or three thousand fathoms under the sea, the tops of the mountains only remaining above the water in the shape of islands."

As a sociologist, his methods of study were equally thorough. The only way to get understanding of native customs was "to act a character," and he was very willing. "I was prepared by stripping off my European clothes, and putting on a small strip of cloth round my waist, the only garment I was allowed to have. They then began to smut me and themselves with charcoal and water, the Indian boy was completely black, the women and myself as low as our shoulders; we then set out." He gives a lively account of the ceremony, and of "the surprise of our friends" at the Fort. The end was "we went into the river, and scrubbed one another until it was dark before the blacking came off." Better fun and better science than the blockhead's "grand tour" in weary old Europe!

Both Cook and Banks wrote elaborate descriptions that show how modern science had at last come to vigorous being. It may be doubted that, even now, more intelligent and accurate accounts of primitive society are often written than those recorded by the radiant young aristocrat, and the son of the Yorkshire labourer. Cook's formal businesslike style naturally lacks the vivacity that gives special charm to the joyful writings of Banks. But one is amazed—when one thinks of early days in farm and stable, behind grocer's counter, and in collier-ship—to notice the breadth and strength of mind, the appreciation of the points of special scientific interest, the exactness of observation, and the careful detail of style. Nor are touches lacking that reveal the man. The decay of the great "Marai" or Temple shows, he says, that "this island hath been in a more flourishing state than it is at present, and that religious customs are (like most other nations) by these people less observed...The mysteries of religion are very dark, and not easily understood even by those who profess them." We have travelled far from the days of Quiros. We are in the days of Benjamin Franklin, and Cook has come to sweep the cobwebs of the South Sea with the dust-broom of victorious common sense.

On the 13th of July, 1769, they sailed from Otaheite. With them sailed a native named Tupia, "a most proper man, well-born, chief Tahowa or priest of this island." Banks had added him to his "suite." "Thank Heaven," he says, "I have a sufficiency, and I do not know why I may not keep him as a curiosity as my neighbours do lions and tigers." The pious priest often prayed for a wind, and boasted of the success of his prayers, which, adds Banks, he "never began till he perceived a breeze so near the ship that it generally reached him before his prayer was finished." Under the guidance of Tupia and his winds, Cook visited the neighbouring islands, and named the group "the Society Isles," because "they lay contiguous to one another." Then, on the 9th of August, 1769, they "launched out into the Ocean in search of what chance or Tupia might direct us to."

Cook's "Instructions" were that from this point he should prosecute the design of making discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean by proceeding to the South as far as the Latitude 40°. Then, if he found no land, he was to proceed to the West between 40° and 35° till he fell in with New Zealand, which he was to explore. His business was to test the confident statement of the geographers, and especially of Dalrymple, that the unknown South must be nearly all land, that in Latitude 40° a continent stretched from the coast said to have been seen on the East by Juan Fernandez to the coast that had been seen on the West by Tasman, a continent as rich as Peru, and as large as the whole of Asia from Turkey to China. Cook had already sailed in deep water over much of the Eastern part of this "theoretic" continent. He had now to explore its Northern coast, and then the Western.

The geographers represented its Northern coast by a line drawn in the neighbourhood of Tahiti, with the inscription "Lands and islands seen by Quiros." Bougainville had looked for this coastline in vain, and had been puzzled to know on what authority the geographers had drawn it. Cook made a much more thorough search. He sailed Southward to 40° 22', a point at which, according to Dalrymple, he should have been in the middle of a con tinent as big as, Asia. Cook could see "not the least visible signs of land," and the most that Banks could see were some seaweed and a seal, which he thought might signify something. Cook had intended to sail even further Southward, but the weather grew so tempestuous that he thought it wise to abandon the plan, and to sail Northward into better climate. He admits that his search for "the land seen by Quiros" was not exhaustive. It might conceivably exist in the angle to the South-East of Tahiti that was still unexplored. But Cook knew of no better argument for its existence there than the fact that it did not exist elsewhere. He agreed with Bougainville's criticism of the historical evidence on which the geographers had built their huge structure. Dalrymple said that Quiros saw to the Southward very large hanging clouds, and a very thick horizon, with other known signs of a continent. "Other accounts of their voyage," writes Cook, "say not a word about this; but, supposing this to be true, hanging clouds and a thick horizon are certainly no sign of a continent...I have had many proofs to the contrary in the course of this voyage."

It remained to explore New Zealand,* with a view especially to testing the theory that had been suggested by Tasman, and was believed by Dalrymple and "most thoughtful people" (says Banks), that it was the Western coast of the Unknown Continent. They had in their library "a short extract of Tasman's Journal," and they heartily wished that they had the whole Journal. They knew that Tasman had raised three questions, which still remained unsolved. Firstly, he had called the land which he had discovered Staten Land, believing that it was continuous with the Staten Land which Le Maire had seen Eastward of Tierra del Fuego. Long ago it had been proved that Le Maire's Staten Land was a small island. But it still remained possible that Tasman's Staten Land was part of a continent. Secondly, cruising in the neighbourhood of "Murderers' Bay," he had noticed currents which had caused him to think it likely that there existed a passage. Thirdly, "when he came the length of Cape Maria van Diemen, he observed hollow waves to come from the North-East, from whence he concluded it to be the northernmost part of the land." Cook was to test Tasman's three guesses. He found that the first was wrong, and that the second and the third—which had been much distrusted, we remember, by Tasman's employers—were quite right, and very much to the credit of his seamanship.

[* Cook, p. 214, wrongly says that the name New Zealand was given by Tasman. The name given by Tasman was Staten Land. It was changed to Nova Zeelandia, however, before 1657. See p. 278, note.]

On the 7th of October land was seen.* Cook named the point Young Nick's Head, after the boy who first saw it. He sailed into a Bay which he named Poverty Bay, "because it afforded us no one thing we wanted."** Natives appeared in canoes, and Cook, wishing to capture them and gain their friendship, fired over their heads. He expected them, it seems, to jump overboard and surrender. It was a primitive method of seeking friendship, but might possibly have succeeded in Tahiti. Instead of surrendering, the Maoris took their arms, and attacked with such ferocity that the Englishmen had to kill two or three to save their own lives. Cook admits that he had made a bad mistake; but one cannot consent, he adds, to be knocked on the head. Then he sailed South, past the Great Bay which he called Hawke Bay after the First Lord of the Admiralty. He followed the coast to Latitude 40° 34'; and then, "seeing no likelihood of meeting with a harbour, and the face of the country visibly altering for the worse," he decided that his time would be better spent by examining the coast to the Northward. He gave Cape Turnagain its name "because here we returned." Sailing North, he rounded East Cape, visited "the Bay of Plenty," observed the transit of Mercury in Mercury Bay, explored "a very fine river" which he named the Thames, because it was "as broad as the Thames at Greenwich," anchored in the Bay of Islands, and, rounding Cape Maria van Diemen and the Three Kings, proved that Tasman had been right when he had claimed the discovery of a sea-way to Chili. Off the Three Kings the sailors celebrated their second Christmas "in the old-fashioned way," ate goose-pie, and "in the evening all hands were as drunk as our forefathers used to be upon like occasions." Then Cook sailed down the West coast, charting its features with "a mingled audacity and caution "that are greatly admired by the modern hydrographer. He passed the islands which screen Auckland with the remark that they probably "formed some good harbours." He noted the noblest hill he had ever seen, and named it Mount Egmont. Then he came to a "very broad and deep Bay or Inlet, the Southern side of which seemed to form several Bays." Into one of these Bays he determined to go, in order to careen the ship and to obtain refreshment. He sailed up an inlet which he named Queen Charlotte Sound, and anchored in "a very snug cove," which he named Ship Cove. He calculated that Tasman's Murderers' Bay was fifteen miles away; in reality it was seventy miles away. The natives heaved a few stones, but became friendly after conversation with Tupia. They had no tradition of Tasman's visit; and, in fact, the tribe which had murdered the Dutchmen in 1642 had itself been murdered long before 1770.

[* See Illustration 69.]

[** He first wrote "Endeavour Bay," then struck out that name, and wrote "Poverty Bay" ( See Authorities for this chapter), a singularly inappropriate name, say New Zealanders (M'Nab's Historical Records of New Zealand, vol. ii. p. 5).]

The business now was to determine whether Tasman had been right when he had inferred from the currents that the great Bay was in reality the entrance to a passage. Cook made the same inference and proved that it was right. While Banks and Solander were botanising, he "climbed to the top of a hill, and in about an hour returned in high spirits, having seen the Eastern Sea and satisfied himself of the existence of a strait communicating with it." An old native further told him that the land South of the passage was not a continent, but consisted of two islands that might be circumnavigated in a few days. On the 7th of February, 1770, he sailed through "our new straits"—which, says Banks, "are to be called Cook's Straits"—feeling "the force of the tide which roared like a millstream, and ran at four knots at least when it flowed fastest." Some of the officers still thought it possible that the land they had now three-quarters circumnavigated might nevertheless be united to a continent by an isthmus somewhere between Cook's Straits and Cape Turnagain. To determine this question in a final way, Cook sailed North till Cape Turnagain was seen from the South. "I then," says Cook, "called the officers upon the deck, and asked them if they were now satisfied that this land was an island, to which they answered in the affirmative, and we hauled our wind to the Eastward."

It remained to be seen whether the land to the South was also, as the old man had told them, no part of a continent but two islands that might be circumnavigated in a few days. They sailed Southward, and Banks, who, in spite of sceptical tendencies, was an enthusiastic "continent-monger," noted with regret that "the land inclined a good deal to the West." "We on board," he writes, "were of two parties, one who wished that the land in sight might, the other that it might not, be a continent. I myself have always been most firm in the former wish, though sorry I am that my party is so small, that I firmly believe that there are none more heartily desirous of it than myself and one poor midshipman; the rest begin to sigh for roast beef"; an accusation marvellously unjust to Cook, to whom discovery was meat and drink, and who would have preferred a continent, and indeed something very much smaller, to all the roast beef of Old England.

By the 10th of March, it had become evident, "much to the regret of us continent-mongers," that the coast was falling away to an end. They supposed Stewart Island to be a peninsula, and were carried round the point, "to the total destruction of our aerial fabric called Continent." They coasted Northward, noting "steep hills covered with prodigious fine woods," a beautiful and fertile country, yet without the smallest sign of inhabitants. On the 25th of March, they were once more in the Western entrance of Cook's Straits, and two days later anchored in a Bay which was called Admiralty Bay. Cook noticed another Bay to his Westward which he did not explore. He called it Blind Bay, and believed that it was Tasman's Murderers' Bay. And he was nearly right. Murderers' Bay is a small Bay in the North-West of Cook's Blind Bay.

The search for Dalrymple's continent had come to an end. Cook had sailed over it East, North, and West. He had met with no land, and "no visible signs of land." He had seen flocks of birds and plenty of seaweed. But the birds were of the sort that fly far. And who knows how far seaweed may drive to sea? Beans, that grow nowhere save in the West Indies, are yearly thrown on the coasts of Ireland and Scotland, twelve thousand leagues away. Had such things been found floating in the South Sea, geographers would have concluded that land was hardly out of sight, "so apt are we to catch at everything that may point out to us the favourite object we are in pursuit of." Cook believed he had proved that "there is left but a small space to the Northward of 40° where the grand object can lay," i.e. the triangle to the South-East of the Society Islands. South of 40°, however, there remained plenty of space still unexplored, and Cook was very eager to explore it. "To return by the way of Cape Horn was what I most wished, because by this route we should have been able to prove the existence or non-existence of a Southern continent, which yet remains doubtful; but, in order to ascertain this, we must have kept in a higher Latitude, in the very depth of winter, but the condition of the ship was not thought sufficient for such an undertaking." He suggests that one more voyage might now suffice to clear up "this thing which has been the object of many ages and nations." The best plan would be that the ship should call at the Cape, thence proceed to Queen Charlotte Sound, leave that place by the end of September, "when you will have all the summer before you," and run to the Eastward in as high a latitude as you please, and then either return home by Cape Horn, or haul to the Northward, visit the lands already known, or seek to rediscover those named in the old voyages. "Thus the discoveries in the South Sea would be complete." Cook had sketched the outline of his second voyage.

Banks, in more free and easy style, reached the same conclusion. The Endeavour had, he claimed, sailed over three-quarters of the continent of "the theoretical continent-makers." "As for the reason about the balancing of the two poles, which always seemed to me a most childish argument, we have already shorn off so much of the supposed counter-balance in land, that, by their own account, the South Pole would already be too light, unless what we have left should be made of very ponderous materials." Had the despised "continent-makers" read the records of recent Antarctic exploration, they would have been able to make, if not a good, at least a plausible reply to Banks's taunt. "A gigantic tableland, as extensive as Europe and Australia put together, and with an average height of 6,000 feet, is surely," they might have urged, "a pretty ponderous makeweight. Our only mistake was that we built our continent too flat, and therefore too extensive. Exploration has proved, as we always said it would, the soundness of our theory that there must be a weighty continent in the South." Thus the continent-makers might plausibly have argued; and yet, it seems, their argument would have been ill-based. A continent, and even a mountainous continent, say our modern geologists, is not a particularly weighty affair. The Himalayas rise to heaven, not because they are heavy but because they are light—mere handfuls of dust when compared with the metal stuffs which drag down the ocean-bed. There is due weight in the South, but it lies under water.*

[* These statements are based on information kindly given me by my friends, Professor T. W. E. David and Professor L. A. Cotton. See note, earlier, in Chapter VI.

Banks, however, was still "continent-monger" enough to believe firmly in the existence of a Southern continent, though much smaller than that imagined by the theorists. There was the ice South of Cape Horn, and ice means fresh water, and fresh water means land. And he had seen seaweed and a seal South of Tahiti. He confesses that his "reasons were weak," and no doubt Cook told him so. But he eagerly agreed with Cook that another voyage was well worth while. As "a voyage of mere curiosity," it should be promoted by the Royal Society, helped by His Majesty.

"Cook," writes Mr. Reeves, "found New Zealand a line on the map, and he left it an archipelago." He had proved that it was not part of a golden continent; but he had proved also that it consisted of two large islands, fertile, beautiful, fascinating, in all ways fit to be a home of Englishmen. As one reads the journals, one becomes aware that the writers are not merely men of science eager to know; they are also British patriots, thinking of colonization. Banks notes that the coast abounds in good harbours. "The Bay of Islands and Queen Charlotte Sound are as good as any which seamen need desire to come into." The soil is generally good. "The outer ridge of land which is open to the sea is (as I believe is the case in most countries) generally barren, especially to the Southward, but, within that, the hills are covered with thick woods quite to the top, and every valley produces a rivulet of water." The South and West sides seemed the most barren, but on the North and the East were seen very large tracts of land which "promised great returns to the people who would take the trouble of cultivating them." From the botanist's point of view the vegetation seemed monotonous; but "the entire novelty of the greater part of what we found recompensed us as natural historians for the want of variety." The richness of the soil was shown by gigantic trees, the straightest, cleanest, and largest Banks had ever seen. The timber appeared "fit for any kind of buildings, and thick enough to make masts for vessels of any size." Banks also has high praise for "the plant which serves them instead of hemp or flax," and believes that it would be "a great acquisition to England."

In fact, New Zealand is an excellent place for a British colony. "It was the opinion of everyone on board," writes Cook, "that all sorts of European grain, fruit, plants, etc., would thrive here; in short, was this country settled by an industrious people, they would very soon be supplied not only with necessaries, but many of the luxuries of life...Should it ever become an object of settling this country, the best place for the first fixing of a colony would be either in the River Thames or the Bay of Islands." Both these places have good harbours. In the River Thames ships might be built and settlements might easily extend inland. Banks also votes for the River Thames, as "in every respect the most proper place we have yet seen for establishing a colony." Both journalists believe that a colony might subsist in spite of the warlike character of the natives. "So far," writes Cook, "as I have been able to judge of the genius of these people, it does not appear to me at all difficult for strangers to form a settlement in this country; they seem to be too much divided amongst themselves to unite in opposition; by which means, and kind and gentle usage, the colonists would be able to form strong parties among them." And he writes an admirable account of the noble barbarian, stout, clean-limbed, active, cruel, ferocious, given to unpleasing customs like cannibalism, yet living by a standard of moral excellence, capable of patriotic discipline, possessing high intelligence and artistic skill, and showing characteristics that promised capacity for living peaceably with a civilized race, and gradually accepting its civilization.

Reading these accounts of New Zealand, our wonder is that its colonization was so long delayed.


CHAPTER XXIII. THE DISCOVERY OF EASTERN AUSTRALIA

Cook had first seen New Zealand on the 7th of October, 1769. He sailed from Cape Farewell on the 1st of April, 1770, having spent nearly six months in a most profitable way. His "Instructions" ordered that, after exploration of New Zealand, he should return to England by such route as he should think proper. He wished to return by way of Cape Horn in order to settle the business of the Southern Continent. "But," writes Banks, "our sails and rigging, with which, the former especially, we were at first but ill-provided, were rendered so bad by the blowing weather we had met with off New Zealand, that we were by no means in condition to weather the hard gales which must be expected in a winter passage through high latitudes." The suggestion that they should sail directly to the Cape of Good Hope was laid aside on the ground that no discovery of any moment could be hoped for on that route. They had still six months' provisions at two-thirds allowance, much more than enough to carry them to any port in the East Indies, and on this route there was hope of discoveries of great importance both to geographer and to merchant. "It was therefore resolved upon leaving this coast to steer to the Westward until we fall in with the East coast of New Holland, and then to follow the direction of that coast to the Northward, and what other direction it might take us, until we arrive at its Northern extremity; and, if this should be found impracticable, then to endeavour to fall in with the land or islands discovered by Quiros."

What was Cook's conception of New Holland as he, first of Europeans, sailed towards its Eastern coast? All the maps—founded mainly on Tasman's—showed a continuous coastline on the North, on the West, and on the South as far as the islands of St. Peter and St. Francis. The huge vacancy Eastward of those islands and of Cape York was broken only by Quiros's Espiritu Santo, and Tasman's Van Diemen's Land. To the North was New Guinea, known Eastward only as far as New Britain on the one side and Cape York on the other. What were the relations of these coasts to one another? There were two ways of thinking, one "dry" and the other "wet." These various lands were either one continent, or they were an archipelago of islands. "It is most evident," Campbell, representing the dry school, had written in 1744, "that New Guinea, Carpentaria, New Holland, Van Diemen's Land, and the countries discovered by Quiros make all one continent." "In this immense stretch of land," de Brosses, representative of the wet school, had written in 1756, "we are acquainted only with some parts of the coast lying separated from each other, without being able to affirm whether they compose one continent or (as is more likely) they are large islands, separated from each other by canals or arms of the sea, the narrowest of which have been supposed by navigators to be the mouths of rivers...Neither are we yet assured if New Holland joins New Guinea on the North, or Van Diemen's Land on the South...In running along the Eastern coast of the country towards the Equator, we find the Austral land of the Holy Ghost, discovered by Quiros. But all this vast interval lying between Leeuwin and Quiros's discovery is so little known that we cannot tell what part of it is land, and what part is sea." De Brosses is an agnostic; he does not know; but he inclines to the wet theory rather than to the dry theory. But, as Cook points out, the maps which were published in de Brosses' volumes are not agnostic at all; they are dogmatic, and dogmatic in a curiously irrational way. Van Diemen's Land and the Austral Land of the Holy Ghost are drawn as parts of New Holland. On the other hand New Holland and New Guinea are drawn as separate lands with a well-defined strait between them, though de Brosses had said in his text, "we are not yet well assured if New Holland joins New Guinea"! On this point Dalrymple's chart gave the strongest support to the view expressed in de Brosses' map. And Dalrymple's view, as we have seen, was based on the knowledge that Torres had actually sailed through a strait between New Holland and New Guinea; and he had marked Torres' track on the chart included in his booklet, an advance copy of which he had given to Banks. He had not, however, printed his evidence for the opinion that Torres had sailed on this route, viz. the Memorial of Arias; though he had apparently explained his knowledge of the matter to Banks.

Thus there must have been three geographical questions in Cook's mind as he sailed West: (i) Was New Holland one land with Van Diemen's Land? (2) Was it one land with Espiritu Santo? (3) Was it one land with New Guinea? On the first question, Cook had, for the present, no material for even forming a guess. On the second question, he agreed with Dalrymple's view that New Holland and Espiritu Santo were not connected; he did not know that Bougainville had just proved this fact. As to the third question, Cook had always understood that New Holland and New Guinea were one land; but he seems to have been impressed by the map of de Brosses (in spite of the contradiction of de Brosses' text), and still more by the map of Dalrymple, as explained by Banks. He expected to find a passage between New Holland and New Guinea; but he considered that the evidence on the subject was so conflicting and so ancient that it would remain a "doubtful point with geographers" till the passage was sailed.

Cook's aim was to "fall in with Van Diemen's Land as near as possible at the place where Tasman left it." In this way he would be able to prove that Van Diemen's Land was, or was not, one land with New Holland. Unluckily, he got a little too far to the North. Banks suspected that the ship was drawn that way by the distant scent of roast beef. "The compass," he says, "showed that the hearts of our people hanging that way caused a considerable Northern variation, which was sensibly felt by our navigators, who called it a current, as they do everything which makes their reckonings and observations disagree." But Banks's suspicions were again ill-founded. Cook's Journal shows that he was aiming at the point of Tasman's departure, and with good chance of hitting it. On the 18th of April, he was on a course which, says Wharton, "would have made the Northern end of the Foveaux Group, and probably have discovered Bass's Strait." But on that day Cook records, "Winds Southerly, a hard gale with heavy squalls attended with showers of rain, and a great sea from the same quarter." Before the Southerly gale he ran, with the result that Bass's Strait remained undiscovered till 1798. At 6 a.m. on the 20th of April Lieutenant Hicks saw land, "sloping hills covered in part with trees and bushes, but interspersed with large tracts of sand." Cook named the land Point Hicks.* They could see no land to the South. Van Diemen's Land ought to be there, and "the soon falling of the sea after the wind abated" seemed to prove that it was there. But the coast "trended South-West, or rather more to the Westward," and this made Cook "doubtful whether they are one land or no. However," he adds, "every one who compares this journal with that of Tasman's will be as good judge as I am."

[* It seems that Point Hicks is the Cape which Stokes in 1843 unfortunately named Cape Everard. See elaborate discussion of Cook's landfall in a paper by Scott in the Victorian Historical Magazine, December 1912.

From Point Hicks Cook sailed North looking for a harbour. On the 22nd of April, he noted Bateman's Bay as a place "very little sheltered, and yet the only likely anchoring place I have yet seen on the coast." Next day he vainly sought an anchorage in the neighbourhood of "the Pigeon House." On the 26th he noted that Jervis Bay appeared to be sheltered from the North-East wind; but the appearance was not favourable enough to induce him to "lose time in beating up to it." On the same day Banks compared the country to "the back of a lean cow, covered in general with long hairs, but, nevertheless, where her scraggy hip bones have stuck out further than they ought, accidental rubs and knocks have entirely bared them of their share of covering." On the 28th they tried to land in the yawl at some place near Wollongong,* but they were prevented by "the great surf which beat everywhere upon the shore." Banks had to be content to "gaze upon the products of nature" in one of the most lovely and fertile regions in Australia.

[* Cf. Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. i. part i. p. 214. Pickersgill writes: "The shore appeared very pleasant, with tall trees, having little or no underwood, and some very fine plains in the woods; they saw some trees like cabbage-trees, a hut, and two small boats, ill-made."]

Next morning, the 29th of Apri1,* "the land appeared different, barren, without wood." But "at daylight," writes Cook, "we discovered a Bay which appeared to be tolerably well sheltered from all winds, into which I resolved to go with the ship." As they approached the South Head, a small smoke rose from a very barren and rocky place, and, directing their glasses that way, they saw ten "Indians," who soon left the fire, and "retired to a little eminence, whence they could conveniently see the ships." Cook sent the master in the pinnace to sound the entrance. Some of the Indians followed, and, coming down to a cove a little within the harbour, "invited our people to land by many signs and words." It was observed, however, that they were "armed with long pikes and a wooden weapon made like a short scimitar"—a throwing-stick for the pike. Meanwhile other Indians remained on the rocks opposite the ship. The bodies of some were painted with broad white strokes, resembling a cross-belt, garters, and bracelets.

[* Dr. Frederick Watson writes in the Sydney Morning Herald, 15th September, 1920:

"The accepted date for the landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay appears in official publications and most histories as April 28, 1770. This is erroneous, the correct date being April 29; The mistake originated with John Hawkesworth, LL.D., when he edited Cook's voyage in the Endeavour for the British Government (published in 1773), and the mistake has continued ever since. The error has arisen in the following way:

"In all the log books or journals except one, which were kept on the Endeavour, the landing is described as taking place in the p.m. of Sunday, April 29. These log books and journals, with the one exception, were kept in nautical time, and the p.m. of April 29 in such reckoning corresponded to the afternoon of April 28 civil time. In the one exception, a log book attributed to Charles Green, the astronomer, the landing is described as taking place in the p.m. of April 28. This log is presumably kept in astronomical time, and the p.m. of the 28th would correspond to the afternoon of April 28 civil time.

"But Captain Cook, before touching on the coast of Australia, had sailed from England, via Cape Horn. In the logs and journals, no allowance was made for the day lost in sailing west across the 180th meridian of longitude until he arrived at Batavia, when Thursday, October 11, 1770, was eliminated from the ship's calendar.

"The corrected reading of the logs and journals, kept in nautical time, for the day of the landing at Botany Bay should be therefore in the p.m. of Monday, April 30, instead of "Sunday, April 29," and, in the log kept in astronomical time, April 29, instead of April 28. These dates correspond to the afternoon of April 29, 1770, according to the civil method of reckoning time.

"Similar corrections must be made for most of the accepted dates relating to the visit of Captain James Cook to the eastern coast of Australia."

Dr. Watson has very kindly corrected the dates throughout this chapter.]



59. COOK'S MAP OF BOTANY BAY
(From Hawkesworth's Cook's Voyages.)

By noon the Endeavour was "within the mouth of the inlet." Natives were seen on both heads of the Bay. Under the South head were four small canoes, "the worst canoes," says Cook, "I ever saw, made of one piece of bark, drawn or tied up at one end, with the middle kept open by a stick." In each canoe was one man "who held in his hand a long pole, with which he struck fish, venturing with his little embarkation almost into the surf. These people seemed to be totally engaged in what they were about; the ship passed within a quarter of a mile of them, and yet they scarcely lifted their eyes." At 2 p.m. the Endeavour anchored under the South shore, abreast of a small village of six or eight houses. An old woman came in from the bush with some sticks. She looked at the ship, but expressed neither surprise nor concern, and lit a fire. The fishermen landed and dressed their dinner, totally unmoved by the sight of the ship about half a mile away. The Englishmen also dined, and then manned the boats. "But, as soon as we approached the rocks, two of the men came down, each armed with a lance about ten feet long, and a short stick, which he seemed to handle as if it was a machine to throw the lance." They showed themselves "resolved to dispute our landing to their utmost, though they were but two, and we thirty or forty." A parley of a quarter of an hour was fruitless. The Indians "remained resolute." Muskets with small shot were fired, lances were thrown, and the two defenders of Australia ran away. The Englishmen went to the "houses," threw beads and ribbons to the children, and took away some forty or fifty lances.

Cook's chief wish was for water. He dug in the sand, and found a little. He crossed to the North side, and found some pools on the rocks. He returned to his diggings in the South, "by which means, and a small stream they found fresh water sufficient to water the ship." "A very fine stream" was afterwards found on the North Shore, "in the first sandy cove within the island, before which the ship might lay almost land-locked, and wood for fuel may be got everywhere."

On the 2nd of May a party of ten explored the South Shore, and "walked," says Banks, "till we completely tired ourselves." The country, he notes, "consists of either swamps or light sandy soil," and its products are gum trees, and "vast quantities of grass." Cook's impression was more favourable. The country, he says, was "diversified with woods, lawns, and marshes...The woods are free from underwood of every kind, and the trees are at such a distance from one another, that the whole country, or at least great part of it, might be cultivated without being obliged to cut down a single tree.* We found the soil everywhere, except in the marshes, to be of a light white sand, and produceth a quantity of good grass, which grows in little tufts about as big as one can hold in one's hand, and pretty close to one another; in this manner the surface of the ground is coated." One hesitates to criticise the agricultural notions of a farmer's son, especially when the farmer's son is James Cook. But may one ask is "light white sand" particularly suitable for "cultivation"? In fact, no cultivators have yet tried the experiment, and the "light white sand" still remains unfurrowed and undug a few miles away from a population of three quarters of a million. I understand, however, that there arc horses in the bush who agree with Cook that the grass which it produceth is "good."

[* Parkinson, Banks's botanical draughtsman, wrote that the country was "very level and fertile." Pickersgill also says that the soil was "fertile."

On the 4th of May, while Banks devoted the day to drying his "collections of plants, now grown immensely large," Cook went in the pinnace "almost to the head of the inlet." Here he landed, and travelled some distance inland. The country was as before, but "much richer," for "instead of sand," writes Cook, "I found in many places a deep black soil, which we thought was capable of producing any kind of grain. At present it produceth, besides timber, as fine meadow as ever was seen;* however, we found it not all like this, some places were very rocky, but this I believe to be uncommon. The stone is sandy, and very proper for building."

[* Where were Cook's meadows? The question was asked with bitterness by the first colonists, and is still discussed by Sydney historians. "The pinnace," wrote Cook, "went to the head of the Bay...After which we took water, and went almost to the head of the inlet." Was "the inlet" George's River? Cook's map (Illustration 59) marks its estuary up to Tom Ugly's Point and a little beyond. In 1788 Lieut. King saw, apparently near Sans Souci, "an exceedingly fine black mould, with some excellent timber trees, and very rich grass." And Tench, after going up George's River, wrote that "the country around far exceeded in richness of soil that about Cape Banks and Cape Solander." Or was "the inlet" Cook's River? It is marked on Cook's map to a point near Tempe railway station. Tench's opinion was that "Cook's meadows" were the swamps about the estuary of Cook's River, in which he plunged knee deep, in his hunt after Indian murderers. "We had passed," he wrote, "through the country which the discoverers of Botany Bay extol as 'some of the finest meadows in the world.' These meadows, instead of grass, are covered with high coarse rushes growing in a rotten spongy bog, into which we were plunged knee-deep at every step." Tench's Complete Account, p. 102. "Inland," wrote Banks in his description of New Holland, "you sometimes meet with a bog, upon which the grass grows rank and thick, so that no doubt the soil is sufficiently fertile." Did Cook omit to notice that the "deep black soil," which produced the "fine meadows" was a bog? This seems the most probable opinion.]

On the afternoon of the 5th, Cook crossed to the North Shore, and walked three or four miles towards the future site of Sydney. "We met," he says, "with nothing remarkable; great part of the,country, for some distance inland from the sea coast, is mostly a barren heath diversified with marshes and morasses." One may to-day take Cook's afternoon walk, and still find "a barren heath diversified with marshes and morasses," though a suburb is now at last on its fringe. It is a lovely bush walk, on the side of still lovelier coastal scenery. But Cook was thinking, not of scenery, but of commerce and colonies; and the Sydney side showed "nothing remarkable."



60. LANDING OF CAPTAIN COOK AT BOTANY BAY
(From the painting by E. Phillips Pox in the National Gallery, Melbourne. Reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees.)

What name shall we give to this Bay, so "spacious, safe, and commodious"? Two things had seemed specially remarkable, the fish and the wild-flowers. Shall we name it after its stingrays or after its botany? The stingrays seemed likely to prevail. The seamen's journals are full of praises of their number and of their size. But, though Banks ate stingrays with reasonable appetite—a stingray, he says, "was not quite so good as a skate nor was it much inferior"—his mind centred in his collection of plants, now grown so immensely large that it had become necessary to take extraordinary care lest they should spoil in the books. One day, he says, he "carried ashore all the drying paper, nearly two hundred quires, of which the greater part was full, and spreading them upon a sail in the sun, kept them in this manner exposed the whole day, and sometimes turning the quires in which there were plants inside out. By this means they came on board at night in very good condition." They are still in very good condition, in spite of a bad soaking in the Endeavour River, and some of them are now in the Mitchell Library in Sydney, a few miles from the spot where they were gathered a century and a half ago. No wonder if Banks began to think them more worthy than a 336 lbs. stingray to give name to the Bay.

It was a doubtful matter. Should the Bay be named after a delight of the body, or after a delight of the mind? Eighteenth-century seamen were carnal men, and the stingray won. The Logs, which Cook and several other seamen wrote from day to day, all tell that on the evening of the 6th of May the Bay was named Stingray Harbour. Both Cook and Banks also wrote the same name in their farewell notice of the coast of New Holland. An officer named Pickersgill made a map, and wrote on it Stingray Harbour. The plan at the Admiralty has the same name.* The author of the Journal of a Voyage Round the World, published September, 1771, wrote:—"We sailed from the bay which we named Stingray Bay."

[* Wharton, p. 247.]

Yet, when we look at the copy of Cook's Journal that was sent home from Batavia, we read the following curious passage. "In the evening the yawl returned from fishing, having caught two stingrays, weighing near six hundred pounds. The great quantity of plants Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander found in this place occasioned my giving it the name of Botany Bay." The passage is curious because the second sentence is not what the first sentence would lead us to expect. It was time to name the Bay, and the first sentence suggests that the catch of gigantic stingrays occasioned Cook to give it the name of Stingray Bay. And, when we look at the passage which Cook wrote in his Log on the evening of the 6th of May, we find that this was the case. He wrote down the sentence about the catching of stingrays, which was afterwards copied into the Journal; and then in the next sentence he wrote, exactly as we would expect a logical Scotchman to write,—"The great quantity of these sort of fishes found in this place occasioned my giving it the name of Stingray Harbour." And when we look at the manuscript copy of Cook's Journal—written in the handwriting of a clerk; but signed by Cook's hand—we find that here also the name first written was Stingray Harbour. But we observe that the clerk has re-written his sentence, and has changed "fishes" into "plants," and "Stingray" into "Bottany."* It seems clear that, before this copy of the Journal was sent home from Batavia, Banks had persuaded Cook that the fame of the Bay was not in its perished Stingrays but in its immortal Botany.** So the clerk was told to turn over the pages of the Journal, and to write "Botany" for "Stingray"; and when Cook drew his final map of the Bay he entitled it "A Sketch of Botany Bay." Banks also, somewhat carelessly, turned over the pages of his own journal, in which in several places he had written "Stingray Bay." In two places*** he corrected "Stingray" to "Botany"; but in two places "Stingray" escaped his eye, and still stands to prove that it held its own to the departure from New Holland.**** And on the vacant top of the pages on which he had written the story of the visit, he wrote the headline "Botany Bay."

[* "These sort of fishes" and "Stingray" are erased, and "plants Mr. Banks" and "Bottany" are written in their places. "And Dr. Solander" is written above the line. See Illustration 61, directly below.]

[** Mr. Kitson, in the 1912 popular edition of his Life of Cook, p. 149, says that "the only page known to exist of the Journal of the first voyage written by Cook" has, under 6th May, 1770, the following sentence: "The great number of New Plants etc. our Gentlemen Botanists have collected in this place occasioned my giving in (sic) the name of Botanist Bay."

It is unlucky that Mr. Kitson omitted to mention that this sentence was written over another sentence which had been partially erased. What Cook first wrote was as follows: "Sunday 6th. In the evening the yawl returned with two stingrays one of them weighed [spces] and the other [spaces] exclusive of the tails and entrails. The great number (erasure) fish found at this place occasioned my naming it Sting Ray Bay." The passage seems to show that the first change was to Botanist. Banks, in the Journal now at Auckland, which seems to be mainly a digest of Cook's Journal, wrote Botanists Bay. Later the name was changed to Botany. The unfortunate clerk, when told to make the correction, spelt the word as he pleased. Under 23rd May he wrote "Bottonist" and "Botany" on the same page.]

[*** MS. Journal, vol. ii. pp. 204, 218. When numbering his pages, at a later date, Banks made a mistake which may cause confusion. He numbered p. 301, and then, turning over, numbered the other side 202, and went through the 200's again. Hence, e.g. there are two pages numbered 204. The reference is to the second of these pages.]

[**** MS. Journal, vol. ii. pp. 283 and 288. It is curious that the name was written in the passage entitled "Some account of New Holland," a passage which Banks must have written after leaving Cape York.]



61. EXTRACT FROM THE "CORNER" COPY OF COOK'S JOURNAL

When we look through the manuscript copy of Cook's Journal, we observe several other similar corrections. Port Stephens, Cape Hawke, and Rockingham Bay, for example, are written in places where earlier names have been erased. One can imagine the enthusiastic word of Banks that, in this instance, convinced Cook of his mistake. Banks had spent his last day in the Bay in "collecting specimens of as many things as we possibly could, to be examined at sea." As day by day this examination proceeded, as it was realised that their treasure would revolutionise the realm of Botany, how would the stingray be forgot!*

[* The "Admiralty" Journal has "Botany Bay," which proves that this part of it must have been written later than the "Corner" Journal. Parkinson wrote: "From the number of curious plants we met with on shore we called the Bay Botany Bay." As Parkinson died on the voyage from Batavia to the Cape, this passage confirms the statement that the name was changed before the Cape was reached. The author of the Journal of a Voyage round the World, published September, 1771, says rightly that the Bay was named "Stingray Bay"; and, somewhat curiously, omits to mention that the name was changed to Botany Bay.]

The week's visit to Botany Bay fixed the site of the first British colony in the Pacific. In 1779 Banks was examined by a committee of the House of Commons, that had been appointed to consider the question, what shall we do with our convicts? If it was thought expedient to establish a colony of convicted felons in a distant part whence escape would be difficult, and where from the fertility of the soil they might be enabled to maintain themselves after the first year with little or no help from England, what place did Mr. Banks think best? His answer was—Botany Bay! The seven months' voyage, he said, would make escape very difficult. The natives were few and cowardly. The climate was like that of the South of France. "The proportion of rich soil was small in comparison to the barren, but was sufficient to support a very large number of people." There were no beasts of prey, and sheep and oxen would thrive. There was fish in plenty. The grass was long and luxuriant. There were eatable vegetables. The country was well supplied with water. There was abundant timber for fuel and for buildings. The convicts would need one year's provisions, but "afterwards with a moderate portion of industry might undoubtedly maintain themselves without assistance from England." If they formed a civil government they would increase, would provide a market for European commodities, and it was not to be doubted that New Holland, a country larger than Europe, would furnish matter of advantageous return to the mother country. Banks's testimony was the main cause of the choice of Botany Bay as the site of the colony. And when the colony was founded, and after a prolonged period of desperate misery, began to prosper, he said that he had always known that this must happen. "The climate and soil," he wrote in 1797, "are in my own opinion superior to most that have been settled by Europeans. I have always maintained that assertion grounded on my own experience."

After reading these words, we turn with interest to Banks's account of his week at Botany Bay, and expect to find some glowing picture of the place which impressed his mind so favourably. We are disappointed, and even amazed! Not one word is there to suggest that, as he walked himself tired over the light sandy soil of the South Shore, tramped the sandy moors of the North,* or looked for shells on Bare Island, he was dreaming of a British colony on "soil superior to most that have been settled by Europeans." He had described Tahiti as "an Arcadia." He had recommended the River Thames in New Zealand as "the most proper place we have yet seen for establishing a colony." But we have no such winged word of suggestion for Botany Bay. Reading his Journal we get the impression that he thought Botany Bay to be a very good place for botanists, and a very bad place for colonists. And, if he thought that, he thought right.

[* He describes the soil as "very sandy and resembles somewhat our moors in England."

The curious thing is that, while Banks, the enthusiast, has no word of praise for anything in Botany Bay except its botany, Cook, the cautious, has praise for nearly everything. It is Cook who describes the Bay as "spacious, safe, and commodious," and who points to "the very fine stream" on the North Shore, in a place where "a ship might lay almost land-locked." It is Cook who makes the suggestive and misleading remark that the country might be cultivated without the cutting down of a single tree. It is Cook who found at the head of the inlet "a deep black soil capable of producing any kind of grain," and that did produce "as fine meadow as ever was seen." It is Cook again who notes that "the stone is sandy, and very proper for building." In short it is Cook who thought that Botany Bay would be a good place for a settlement. We do not know that he ever had the opportunity to testify publicly to this effect. But one must guess that his conversation impressed his friends, and among them Banks. Banks's recommendation of Botany Bay as a place of settlement leaves me puzzled. But we may note, in partial explanation, that, while it receives no support from his own Journal, it receives fairly good support from Cook's.

And Cook was entirely wrong. Botany Bay is "spacious" enough, but it is neither "safe" nor "commodious." When, eighteen years later, Governor Phillip sailed into the Bay with his seven hundred convict colonists, he found that there was no shelter from the East winds, and that the greater part was so shoal that ships of even a moderate draught of water were obliged to anchor with the entrance of the Bay open, and were "exposed to a heavy sea that rolls in when it blows hard from the Eastward."* "I did not see any site," he wrote, "to which there was not strong objection." The "very fine stream" on the North Shore was observed,** and Lapérouse must have used it when he anchored by that shore a week later. But to Phillip it seemed that the least bad of all bad places was near Point Sutherland, where there was a small run of good water, though in very insufficient quantity,*** and in a place which the ships could not approach.

[* "It will easily be perceived by looking at the draft of this Bay," wrote Hunter, after a careful ten days' survey in 1789, "that it is not possible to lie land-locked with a ship in any part of it; you will always be exposed to the large sea which tumbles in here with an easterly wind" (Hunter, p. 162, and Chart, p. 160).]

[** Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. ii. p. 589.]

[*** Tench writes: "Close to us was the spring at which Mr. Cook watered, but we did not think the water very excellent, nor did it run freely."]

The "light sandy soil" that might so easily be cultivated still remains uncultivated. Exasperated colonists searched in vain for "the fine meadows talked of in Cook's voyage." "I could never see them," writes Surgeon White, "though I took some pains to find them out; nor have I ever heard of a person that has seen any part resembling them."* In George's River, at the head of the Bay, "several good situations offered," wrote Phillip, "for a small number of people, but none that appeared calculated for our numbers," and "the swamps rendered the most eligible situation unhealthy." It was true that there was plenty of good stone, but the colonists were asking for bread. Botany Bay proved to be, as a London writer** summed up the news, "picturesque and pleasing to philosophers." In fact Cook's description seems inexplicably optimistic; though it is fair to remember that he was not thinking of convict colonists, and that he was in no way responsible for Banks's preposterous promise that they would be able to maintain themselves after one year without help from England. We seem to be led to the conclusion that Sydney owes its foundation to the fact that Cook, one of the most exact observers who have ever observed, once in his life made a singular series of mistakes.***

[* King, however, climbing a hill, apparently near San Souci, found "an exceedingly fine black mould, with some excellent timber trees, and very rich grass" (Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. ii. p. 541).]

[** Phillip's Voyages.]

[*** The opinions of early visitors were universally bad. "The whole country, as far as we saw," wrote Ross, "appeared to us to be either sand, rock or swamp, and unfit for any kind of cultivation." "A country and place so forbidding and so hateful as only to merit execration and curses," wrote White under date 17th April, 1790. Péron wrote in 1802: "Botany Bay is a humid, marshy, rather sterile place, and the anchorage for vessels is neither good nor sure." Tench admits that the country round George's River "far exceeds in richness the soil about Cape Banks or Point Solander, though it is just as dry" (Narrative, p. 52). But after a nine days' survey of the Bay in Sept. 1789, he wrote: "We were unanimously of opinion that, had not the nautical part of Cook's description been so accurate, there would exist the utmost reason to believe that those who have described the contiguous country had never seen it. On the sides of the harbour, a line of sea-coast more than 30 miles long, we did not find 200 acres that could be cultivated" (Tench's Settlement at Port Jackson, p. 30).]

Cook sailed from Botany Bay at daylight on the 7th of May. At noon they were two or three miles from land, and "abreast of a Bay wherein there appeared to be safe anchorage." Cook called the Bay Port Jackson, in honour of a Secretary of the Admiralty whose name had already been given to a Bay in New Zealand. Banks does not mention a Bay, but remarks that the coast "appeared broken and likely for harbours."* Eighteen years later Governor Phillip, exploring the coast for some harbour less bad than Botany Bay, came to Port Jackson, saw in a flash of the eye that it was "the finest harbour in the world," and dumped his convicts down on the banks of Sydney Cove, five miles from the heads. Cook, who sailed two or three miles from land, could see only a little way into the harbour, but his chart, says Wharton, "gives the shape of what he could see very accurately."

[* In the Journal now at Auckland, however, Banks wrote: "A Bay or Harbour in which appeared to be good anchorage, this was called Port Jackson. Then he crossed out "good," and wrote "safe"—Cook's word. The correction seems interesting and almost conclusive evidence that in this Auckland Journal Banks made a digest of Cook's Journal. Refer to the section BANKS'S MANUSCRIPT JOURNALS in the "Authorities" for Chapter XXII.]

Next day he saw "some broken land" that appeared to form a Bay, which he named "Broken Bay." Cook's "Broken Bay" was in the neighbourhood of Narrabeen. The Broken Bay of the modern map, that splendid entrance to a river which Anthony Trollope thought more beautiful than the Rhine, was a few miles to the North, and was not seen from the Endeavour. On the 11th Cook saw "a small round rock or island, laying close under the land," which has been identified with Nobby Head at the entrance of Newcastle Harbour. But Cook suspected the existence neither of this fine harbour, nor of the river which flows into it, draining a fertile valley, which would have been an incomparably better site for an infant colony than Botany Bay or even Port Jackson. Next day he noted an inlet which he named Port Stephens, which appeared to him, as he looked from the masthead, to be sheltered from all winds. He described the land Northward of Botany Bay as "diversified with an agreeable variety of hills, ridges, and valleys, and large plains all clothed with woods."

On the 17th he saw a "wide open Bay," which he named Moreton Bay. Banks thought there must be a river at the back of it, because the sea looked paler than usual; but Cook thought this appearance was explained by the fine white sandy bottom. "Be this as it may," he writes, "it was a point which could not be cleared up, as we had the wind; but, should anyone be desirous of doing it that may come after me, this place may always be found by three hills which lay to the Northward of it";—he named them the Glass Houses. The land was sandy, and had no signs of fertility. With these words Cook passed the Bay into which flows the river on which Brisbane stands. On the 23rd he anchored in "a large open Bay," where he found "room for a few ships to lay very secure, and a small stream of fresh water." They killed a bustard, and named the place "Bustard Bay." The country was visibly worse than at Botany Bay. Banks noticed some tropical plants, "sure mark that we were on the point of leaving the Southern temperate Zone." Some ants noticed him, and bit more sharply than any he had felt in Europe.

Northward from Bustard Bay, "the coast is encumbered with shoals," and Cook kept outside them.* Hence he passed Port Curtis without observation. Among islands and reefs he groped into "Thirsty Sound," so named "by reason we could find no fresh water." The land was again bad; "no sign of fertility was to be seen." After two days' stay, Cook sailed through a sea so "strewed with dangers" that our modern hydrographer is amazed that he "managed to keep his ship off the ground." He had sailed so close to the land that he was not aware of the Great Barrier Reef, which now began to near the coast. At sunset on the 11th of June, he saw the first coral shoal. He decided "to stretch off all night, as well to avoid the dangers we saw ahead, as to see if any islands lay in the offing, especially as we now began to draw near the Latitude of those discovered by Quiros, which some geographers, for what reason I know not, have thought proper to tack to this land." It was conceivable that he might see Espiritu Santo!

[* Wharton, p. 261.]

It was a clear moonlight night, and he sailed with a fine breeze of wind. The water deepened from twelve fathoms to twenty-one, and then suddenly fell to twelve, ten, eight. Cook ordered all to their stations, and prepared to anchor. But again they had twenty and twenty-one fathoms, and continued in that depth until a few minutes before 11 p.m., when they had seventeen;—and, before the man at the head could heave another cast, the ship struck. Banks, thinking the danger past, had gone to bed in perfect security; "but," he writes, "scarcely were we warm in our beds when we were called up with the alarming news of the ship being fast upon a rock, of which she in a few minutes convinced us by beating very violently against it...We were upon sunken coral rocks, the most dreadful of all on account of their sharp points and grinding quality, which cut through a ship's bottom almost immediately."

Cook "was upon deck in his drawers as the second blow was struck, and gave his orders with his wonted coolness and precision."* The ship had struck "about the top of high water" at 11p.m. The hope was to get off at the next high tide. They threw overboard forty or fifty tons, but the ship was not afloat by a foot or more.** The tide again ebbed, and again rose, and the leak gained upon the pumps.

[* So writes Brougham, giving the gist of a conversation with Banks. "I have heard Sir Joseph Banks describe his (Cook's) habit of nightly making all the arrangements, and giving all the orders which he deemed necessary when running along an unknown coast, and having a lee-shore under his bow. After the usual direction to call him if anything occurred, he would then calmly undress and go to bed, and he was immediately asleep. Upon that trying occasion he was upon deck in his drawers as the second blow was struck."]

[** "It is now known that on this coast it is only every alternate tide that rises to a full height" (Wharton, p. 276).]

"It was," writes Cook in careful language, "an alarming and terrible circumstance, and threatened immediate destruction." Banks despaired of the ship, packed what might possibly be saved, and prepared for the worst. The only hope now was to haul at the anchors. Yet, if the ship were got off the rocks, the leak would be still bigger, and the end would come at once. The land could be seen six or seven leagues away. But "we well knew," writes Banks, "that our boats were not capable of carrying us all ashore, so that some, probably most of us, must be drowned; a better fate, may be, than those would have who should get ashore without arms to defend themselves from the Indians, or provide themselves with food, in a country where we had not the least reason to hope for subsistence, so barren had we always found it; and, had they even met with good usage from the natives and food to support them, debarred from the hope of ever seeing again their native country, or conversing with any but savages, perhaps the most uncivilised in the world."

But the danger had to be faced. The capstan and windlass were manned, and they began to heave. At 10 p.m. she floated, and was hauled into deep water. To their delight and amazement she leaked no worse than before. By some miracle the desperàte peril had passed. The miracle was explained a little later. But for the present we should note that the escape was due not merely to miracle, but, also to skill, and still more to character. Cook seldom praised people, and, when he praised, he praised in measured words. His sailors got more floggings than compliments, and there are hints that he regarded "gentlemen" as a nuisance.* Yet he now allowed

himself to write:—"In justice to the ship's company I must say that no men ever behaved better than they had done on this occasion; animated by the behaviour of every gentleman on board, every man seemed to have a just sense of the danger we were in, and exerted himself to the utmost."

[* Cf. Cook's Journal under date 23rd May, 1770: "he (Magra) being one of those gentlemen frequently found on board King's ships that can very well be spared," and the original manuscript has another phrase which has been crossed out. With difficulty I have read the deleted words. They are: "to speak more plain, good for nothing." The note which Cook afterwards wrote with his own hand on the margin of the copy of his Journal—see Illustration 57—shows that he was led to take a less unfavourable view of Magra's conduct.]

Banks, who had worked with the rest for twenty-four hours till he was "much fatigued," writes in livelier language:—"The seamen worked with surprising cheerfulness and alacrity; no grumbling or growling was to be heard throughout the ship, not even an oath, though the ship was in general as well furnished with them as most in His Majesty's service." Their conduct seemed to Banks not only admirable but also somewhat surprising, for, "as soon as a ship is in desperate situation," the seamen, so he had always heard, "commonly begin to plunder and refuse all command." He attributed their virtue on this occasion to "the cool and steady conduct of the officers, who, during the whole time, never gave an order that did not show them to be perfectly composed and unmoved by the circumstances, however dreadful they might appear." Both officers and gentlemen proved themselves heroes. But let us not miss this opportunity to do justice to the seamen of the Endeavour. They were not wholly heroes. They got drunk whenever they could get drink. They had "tapped" every cask of wine on board, says Banks. They grumbled, and growled, and swore. Yet they were at least able to see something heroic in the man who ruled them, and to strive bravely and faithfully for their ship in face of appalling danger.

The leak, though less, still gave anxiety, and it was decided to "fother" the ship. Cook gave the job to Midshipman Monkhouse, who had seen the process in use. Banks describes it in detail. A large quantity of finely chopped oakum and wool was loosely stitched to a sail, which was sunk under the ship. The expectation was that the oakum and wool would be sucked into the leak, and would close it. The experiment was entirely successful. "In about a quarter of an hour to our great surprise the ship was pumped dry, and, upon letting the pumps stand, she was found to make very little water."

The boats were sent to look for a harbour, and returned with good news. They had found the mouth of a river, the entrance of which "was, to be sure, narrow enough and shallow, but, when once in, the ship might be moved afloat so near the shore that, by a stage from her to it, all the cargo might be got out and in again in a short time." Entangled among shoals, Cook cautiously groped towards the opening. Twice in the narrow channel the ship ran ashore. But, "by the evening, she was moored within twenty feet of the shore, and before night much lumber was taken out of her."

On the 22nd of June, at the place where Cooktown now stands, the Endeavour was beached and examined. It was found that the hole was large enough "to have sunk a ship with twice our pumps...The coral rock had cut through the plank, and deep into one of the timbers, smoothing the gashes before it, so that the whole might easily be imagined to have been cut with an axe." Then the rock had broken off, and had plugged the hole with a stone as big as a man's fist. Hence the miracle that the ship when hauled off had not sunk. The sheathing had been torn off, which, Cook feared, would "let the worm into her bottom, and be of bad consequence." But no thorough repair, no thorough examination even, could now be made. Cook did his best to believe the assurances of the "master" and the carpenter that no very serious damage had been done. He had to sail the ship to Batavia "through an unknown and perhaps dangerous sea," and he could only hope that she would get there. What repairs were possible were finished by the 26th of June. But they failed to get the ship afloat till the 4th of July. Cook was ready to put to sea on the 21st. But persistent South-East winds prevented sailing till the 6th of August.

It was a happy month for Banks. He and Solander were already ashore "plant-gathering," while the Endeavour was blundering up the Channel, and they enjoyed every hour. It was a time of zoological romance. A seaman told Banks that he had seen "an animal about the size of, and much like, a one gallon cagg. It was, says he, as black as the devil, and had wings; indeed I took it for the devil, or I might easily have catchcd it, for it crawled through the grass." In the end Banks concluded that the crawling devil was a large bat; the modern historian (Kitson) says it was a flying fox.

But greatest excitement was caused by news of "an animal as large as a greyhound, of a mouse colour, and very swift." Banks himself got an imperfect view of the strange monster;—"he was not only like a greyhound in size and running, but had a tail as long as any greyhound's; what to liken him to I could not tell; nothing that I have seen at all resembles him." Later, the monsters were chased by Banks's dog: "but they beat him owing to the length and thickness of the grass, which prevented him from running, while they at every bound leapt over the tops of it. We observed, much to our surprise, that, instead of going on all fours, the animal went only upon two legs, making vast bounds, just as the jerboa does." At last the Second Lieutenant "had the good fortune to kill the animal which had so long been the subject of our speculation. To compare it to any European animal would be impossible, as it had not the least resemblance to any one I have seen." Next day they ate it for dinner, and it "proved excellent meat." Later, they spent a day "hunting the wild animal," and killed "a very large one, weighing eighty-four pounds."

Banks saw many other remarkable things. The nests of white ants reminded him of Druidical monuments. The pinnace brought back cockles so large that one of them contained twenty pounds of meat, more than two men could eat. The coxswain, who was a little man, said that he had seen a shell so large that he had been able to get inside it. Cocoa-nuts were picked up crested with barnacles;—"a sure sign that they have come by sea," probably from the land discovered by Quiros. How far that land lay to Eastward Cook thought it hard to say. But at all events he had, so he claimed, made it "morally certain" that Quiros "never was upon any part of this coast." He did not know that, the year before, Bougainville had made the same thing absolutely certain by sailing from the land of Quiros to the reefs off New Holland.



62. THE Endeavour IN ENDEAVOUR RIVER
(From Hawkesworth's Cook's Voyages.

One day Banks and the Second Lieutenant walked a good way up the river, and Banks made the most favourable remark that he ever made about any part of Australia. The country, he said, was "generally low, thickly covered with long grass, and seemed to promise great fertility were the people to plant and improve it." They camped for the night on the banks of the river, and made a fire; but the mosquitoes "followed us into the very smoke, nay almost into the fire, which, hot as the climate was, we could better bear the heat of than their intolerable stings." Next day they hunted "the animal," and camped at night on a broad sandbank, lying on plaintain leaves under the shade of a bush. The mosquitoes did not trouble, and the weary were at rest;—"all of us slept almost without intermission." They returned to the ship next day, shooting some ducks, and observing a seven-foot alligator crawl from the mangroves into the water.

It was in the Endeavour River that the Englishmen made their only successful attempt to become acquainted with the natives. At Botany Bay these had remained sullenly hostile. At Bustard Bay and Thirsty Sound none had been seen. But at Endeavour River a very precarious friendship was established. For though the natives showed no interest in the Englishmen's toys, they showed a very deep interest in the turtles which the Englishmen caught on the reef. They came on board ship and asked for one, and, when their request was refused,—it was their reef, and therefore it was their turtle—they began to haul it away. And, when the unjust Englishmen took it from them, they started a bush-fire, which all but consumed Banks's tent. "I had little idea," he writes, "of the fury with which the grass burnt in this hot climate, nor of the difficulty of extinguishing it when once alighted."

The men of science were anxious to see if the natives of the East resembled the natives of the West, who had been described by Dampier, in general a "faithful relater." "They are," Dampier had written, "of a very unpleasing aspect, having no one graceful feature in their faces. Their hair is short and curled like that of the negroes, and not long and lank like the common Indians. The colour of their skins is coal-black like that of the negroes of Guinea." And he had mentioned that "the two fore-teeth of their upper jaw are wanting in all of them." Banks noticed that the appearance of the Eastern natives was different. They did not want front teeth. Their hair was lank, and neither woolly nor frizzled. Their outside appeared the colour of wood-soot; but, as they were covered with eternal filth, the native colour of the subterranean skin was hard to tell. Banks, with his usual scientific thoroughness, spat on his finger, and tried to penetrate the crust. As he worked deeper, the colour altered very little, but perhaps was nearer chocolate than coal-black. They had holes through their noses, with "sprit-sail yards rigged across," said the sailors. Still they were very much pleasanter to look at than had been the inhuman creatures whom Dampier had seen on the West. Cook thought their features "far from being disagreeable," and their voices "soft and tunable."

They lived, however, like Dampier's Westerners. "They seem," writes Cook, "to have no fixed habitation, but move about from place to place, like wild beasts in search of food...We never saw one inch of cultivated ground in the whole country. Their houses are mean small hovels, not much bigger than an oven...They have not the least knowledge of iron or any other metal; their working tools must be of stone, bone, and shell." Their darts, however, could be hurled by throwing-sticks to a distance of forty or fifty yards with almost, if not quite, as good an aim as an English musket. It was Cook's duty, as an eighteenth-century philosopher, to add that, though the natives of New Holland were apparently the most wretched people on the earth, they were "in reality far more happier than we Europeans, being wholly unacquainted with the necessary conveniences so much sought after in Europe; they are happy in not knowing the use of them." Banks expressed the same opinion; but, as we have seen, he had no wish to stay in New Holland to learn the happiness of the simple life.

Meanwhile Cook had been tied to the ship, anxiously supervising repairs, and sending out boats to seek a channel among baffling shoals and reefs. He never found time even to go to the head of the harbour. He climbed the hills, however, and saw "a melancholy prospect of the difficulties we are to encounter, for, in whatever direction we looked, it was covered with shoals as far as the eye could see." At last, on the 6th of August, he put to sea to face one of the most dangerous tasks that has ever been faced by seaman. He knew that the ship was in a bad state, though happily he did not know how very bad its state was. He had provisions only for three months, at short allowance. He had to race against time through a sea of which he had no knowledge save that, in the very face of him, it bristled with difficulties and dangers. If ever Cook in later years had bad dreams—though I do not believe he had—they were probably founded on his experiences between Endeavour River and Cape York. The voyage was a nightmare in navigation. Probably Cook did not dream about it; but he described it, in words as truc as they were simple, as "the most dangerous navigation that perhaps ever ship was in."

Sending the pinnace ahead to sound, Cook kept a look out from the mast-head. He could see no passage;—nothing but breakers extending endlessly to sea. He made a little way Northward, but his hopes were disappointed by more reefs and breakers, "in a manner all round us"; and in hot bad temper he called one deceiving headland Cape Flattery." Landing on an island, he climbed a high hill, whence he saw a reef of rocks, two or three miles away, extending out of sight, on which the sea broke very high. It was the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. He saw several breaks in the reef, and he determined to sail through one of them into the open sea. "By keeping in with the main land we should be in continual danger, besides the risk we should run in being locked in with reefs and shoals." So he sailed through the passage in the Barrier Reef that is now known by his name, and "found a large sea rolling in from the South-East," which gave him "no small joy." Ever since the 26th of May he had been "entangled among islands and shoals." He had "sailed above three hundred and sixty leagues by the lead, without ever having a leadsman out of the chains when the ship was under sail; a circumstance that perhaps never happened to any ship before, and yet it was here absolutely necessary."

Cook now sailed outside the Barrier Reef. But the course was unsatisfactory. He was missing the chance of surveying an unknown coast. He was also afraid of "overshooting the passage (between New Holland and New Guinea) supposing there to be one"; and he "firmly believed" there was one. And he now found that the dangers of the outside course were even greater than those of the inside. The "large hollow sea" proved that the ship had been damaged more than had been thought, and one pump had to be kept constantly at work. The trade wind blew them towards the reef, and they studied its formation with an interest that was keener than that of simple curiosity, and inspired an admirable description. "A reef such as one speaks of is scarcely known in Europe. It is a wall of coral rock, rising almost perpendicularly out of the unfathomable ocean, always overflown at high water, generally seven or eight feet, and dry in places at low water. The large waves of the vast ocean, meeting with so sudden a resistance, make a terrible surf breaking mountains high, especially in one case, where the general trade wind blows directly upon it."* The tide dragged them within eighty or a hundred yards of the breakers.

[* Banks, p. 294. The passage also appears in the "Admiralty" copy of Cook's Journal, which was written later than the "Corner" copy, and in this part is much fuller (Wharton, p. 303). It seems that the clerk in writing the Admiralty copy had the use of Banks's Journal.]

"The same sea that washed the side of the ship rose in a breaker prodigiously high the very next time it did rise; so that between us and destruction was only a dismal valley, the breadth of one wave, and even now no bottom could be felt with one hundred and twenty fathoms." Shipwreck seemed inevitable. Land was ten leagues away, and the boats could not possibly carry the crew. "All the dangers we had escaped were little in comparison of being thrown upon this reef, where the ship must be dashed to pieces in a moment."

Cook made for a small opening in the reef, not wider than the length of the ship. They reached it—just too late, "the tide of ebb rushing out like a mill-stream, so that it was impossible to get in." The boats, with the help of the tide, pulled them one and a half miles away; but the returning tide would certainly bear them back on the reef. Cook made for another opening, a quarter of a mile broad. "Narrow and dangerous as it was, it seemed to be the only means of saving her as well as ourselves. A light breeze soon sprang up at East-North-East, with which, the help of our boats, and a flood tide, we soon entered the opening, and were hurried through in a short time by a rapid tide like a mill-race." Once more the faulty men of the Endeavour had shown ability to grasp fortune. "In this truly terrible situation," says Cook, "not one man ceased to do his utmost, and that with as much calmness as if no danger had been near." They could not have been calmer than the men of science. When the danger was at its extreme height, they were taking a Lunar to obtain the Latitude. "These observations," records Mr. Green," were very good...We were about a hundred yards from the reef, where we expected the ship to strike every minute, it being calm, no soundings, and the swell heaving us right on."

Only a few days had passed since Cook had felt "no small joy" in his escape from the perils inside the reef. He had now by miracle escaped the far greater perils outside. His Journal betrays an unusual fatigue of mind and spirit in a passage of unusual frankness. "Such," he comments, "are the vicissitudes attending this kind of service, and must always attend an unknown navigation, where one steers wholly in the dark, without any manner of guide whatever. Was it not from the pleasure which naturally results to a man from his being the first discoverer, even was it nothing more than land or shoals, this kind of service would be insupportable." The explorer will certainly be accused, either of "timorousness and want of perseverance," or of "temerity, and perhaps want of conduct." Cook was certain that the first of these charges would never be brought against him. But he owns that he has engaged more among the islands and shoals upon this coast than perhaps in prudence he ought to have done with a single ship. But, had he not done so, he would have remained ignorant of its produce; in short, "it would have been far more satisfactory to me never to have discovered it." Thus Cook apologizes!

Cook had leapt from the frying-pan into the fire, and was now glad that a second leap had brought him back into nothing hotter than the frying-pan. He was again encompassed on every side by islands and shoals, "but so much does a great danger swallow lesser ones that those once dreaded spots were now looked upon with less concern." Moreover, he was determined to clear up once for all the ancient uncertainty whether or not a strait existed between New Holland and New Guinea. In this determination he was facing a great risk. If there proved to be not a strait but a bay, he would have to fight out, as Bougainville had fought out, against the trade wind, and in most dangerous seas. But he had been convinced, by Dalrymple's Chart, and by Banks's explanations, that it was very probable that there was a strait, and he had come "to the fixed resolution" to bring home exact news of it.

It is hard to trace his slow progress among shoals and islands, "by a route that no one has again followed,"* with boat all the time ahead signalling shallow water.** On the 21st of August they observed that "the main looked very narrow, so we began," says Banks, "to look out for the passage we expected to find between New Holland and New Guinea. At noon one was seen very narrow, but appearing to widen." Cook named the Northern Promontory York Cape "in honour of his late Royal Highness."

[* Wharton, p. xxxi.]

[** Wharton, p. 309.]

Ahead they saw islands, detached by narrow channels from the mainland. Cook sent the boats to sound the Channel next to the main. Shoals and rocks were discovered, and he signalled the boats to lead through the next channel to the Northward. The ship followed, and Cook satisfied himself that he "had at last found out a passage into the Indian Seas." He had now completed his survey of the Eastern coast of New Holland from Latitude 38°, a coast which he was confident had "never been seen or visited by any European before us."* He landed on an island (Possession Island) and, "a little before sunset, took possession of the country in his Majesty's name, and fired 3 volleys of small arms on the occasion, which was answered from the ship."**

[* In 1786 Dalrymple, moved by immortal hatred of a supplanter, wrote a statement which meant that the Portuguese-French maps of the sixteenth century proved that the Eastern coast had been seen and visited by Europeans 200 years before Cook's voyage; that Cook had known this fact perfectly well; and that he had sought to pose as first discoverer by stealing the old names (Major, p. xxxi.). The accusation was as ridiculous as it was malicious. If Cook had, in the circumstances imagined, wished to conceal the old discovery, he would carefully have avoided the old names. But it seems perfectly certain that in 1770 Cook had no acquaintance with these old maps. Even Dalrymple had no acquaintance with them in 1770; for in his Voyages, published that year, he does not mention them. It seems that Banks heard of one of these old maps after his return, bought it—at what date is not known—and gave it to the British Museum in 1790. Unluckily we do not know what he thought about the map. If the name Botany Bay had been given after the return to England, a possible though improbable view would be that it was suggested by the Coste des Herbaiges of the old map. But I am sure that the name Botany Bay was given in the course of the voyage, and that the sufficient suggestion came from Banks's collection of plants. In his second voyage, Cook named an island off New Caledonia Botany Island, "because it contained in so small a space a flora of thirty species" (Forster, vol. ii. p. 439). If Cook and Banks thought that the old map showed a previous discovery of the East coast, I have no doubt they said so, and without sense of diminished glory. Cook would have been as much pleased by identifying a Portuguese Botany Bay as he was pleased by identifying Quiros's Bay of St. Philip and St. James. See able discussions by Major, pp. xxxi. et seq., and by Bladen in Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. i. part i. pp. xxiii. and p. 161.]

[**

1 Cook's Private Log.]

With the pinnace feeling the way before her, the Endeavour sailed through the straits to which Cook gave the ship's name, passing safely over the great bank which nearly bars its Western end, and which has caused it to be disused in favour of the "deep though narrow channel"* North of Prince of Wales Island. He landed on Booby Island, "now the great landmark for ships making Torres Strait from the West."** A swell from the South-West, "together with other concurring circumstances," writes Cook, "left me no room to doubt but we had got to the Westward of Carpentaria, or the Northern extremity of New Holland, and had now an open sea to the Westward; which gave me no small satisfaction, not only because the dangers and fatigues of the voyage were drawing to an end, but by being able to prove that New Holland and New Guinea are two separate lands or islands, which until this day hath been a doubtful point with geographers. As I believe it was known before, I claim no other merit than the clearing up of a doubtful point." That is to say, Cook had been told by Banks, on the authority of Dalrymple, that Torres, according to a statement of Dr. Arias, had sailed through the strait in 1606. But he held that the truth of this statement needed to be proved by modern experience; and this proof he had now established. He had sailed through one channel, and he believed that a better channel would some day be discovered among the islands he could see to the North, "if ever it became an object to be looked for."

[* Wharton, p. 313.]

[** Wharton. p. 314.]

In his Log, written from day to day, Cook said that "possession was taken of the country"; no name is mentioned. Banks, in his Journal, described the country he was leaving under the headline "Some account of New Holland";—evidence again that no new name had been given. In the copy of Cook's Journal which he sent home from Batavia the country is named New Wales;* which seems to show that the name was given in the course of the voyage from Cape York to Batavia. In the two copies of Cook's Journal, which were written apparently on the voyage from Batavia to England,** the name is "New South Wales." And Banks, perhaps at the same date, corrected his headline as follows:—"Some account of that part of New Holland now called New South Wales."*** When Dr. Hawkesworth, using the Journals of Cook and Banks, wrote his account of the voyage, he generally called the country "New Holland"; but he wrote "New Wales" once (vol. iii. p. 649), and New South Wales twice (vol. iii. pp. 616 and 622).**** There seems to be no evidence as to Cook's reason for giving the name of New Wales, and for changing that name to New South Wales.*****

[* "New Wales" is written on a space from which other words had been erased. I thought that patient study of the erased words might throw light on this curious problem. But, as far as I can make out, what the clerk wrote first was "New Whales"! The pages of this part of the Journal are headed: "New Wales, or East Coast of New Holland."]

[** Cf. Banks's reference to "the Captain's own journals which the clerk has copied."]

[*** See Illustration 63.]

[**** Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. i. part i. p. 170.]

[***** In an interesting letter in the Sydney Morning Herald, 29th Jan., 1921, Captain James H. Watson, a very thorough and helpful student of early Australian history, points to the curious fact that a territory in Hudson's Bay was called New Wales, South Wales, and New South Wales. If Cook, on his homeward voyage, turned over the multitudinous leaves of Harris's Voyages, vol. ii.(1744-1748 edition)—I do not remember evidence that it was in the Endeavour's library, but surely it was—he would have read (p. 245) that in 1611 Thomas Button, a Welshman, discovered "a great continent called by him New Wales." On p. 413 he would have read that in 1621 Thomas James named the land "the Principality of South Wales." On p. 284 he would have read "all that country goes by the name of New South Wales; and on p. 404 that Button "discovered another country to which he gave the name of New South Wales." If he had turned to the atlas of Robert de Vaugondy, geographer of Louis XV., dated 1751—surely it also was in the Endeavour's library—he would have found that the author, after describing James's discovery, wrote "all the entrance of this bay was called New South Wales."

"This New South Wales," writes Captain Watson, "must have been known to Cook, as, being on the charts of the period, it must have come under his notice during the time he was engaged on survey work on the coast of Newfoundland and the St. Lawrence River." It would seem unlikely that Cook would have in mind this New South Wales of Hudson's Bay when he beat his brains for a name for the Eastern coast of New Holland. But the coincidence of the change from New Wales to New South Wales is certainly curious; and it is also noteworthy that, as Captain Watson has remarked, the "General Chart" of the world in the 1784 edition of Cook's Voyages has New South Wales not only in New Holland but also in Hudson's Bay. Cook had a way of naming places without giving his reasons; and, when his reasons are given by another, they are not always reasons that would have occurred to everybody. He gave the name New Hebrides, Forster explains, because "the Hebrides are the westernmost islands of Great Britain"; and the name of New Caledonia because it "suited not only the good disposition of the people, but also with the nature of the country." The natives, Cook wrote, "had little else than good nature to bestow, in which they exceed all the nations we have yet met with"; but he considered it unnecessary and superfluous to explain that it was for this reason that he called their country New Caledonia (see below). He may have had an equally good reason for giving the name of New Wales and New South Wales, but it remains unexplained. The best guess—in fact the only guess—is that there came into mind Thomas Button's discovery of "a great continent, called by him New Wales."]



63. EXTRACT FROM BANKS'S JOURNAL

Both Cook and Banks wrote systematic descriptions of the land which they had coasted for two thousand miles.

Banks's description of the country of which he was to become the Patron Saint was in the highest degree unfavourable. Patriotic Australians cannot resent his desscription, for it is a very accurate description of what he saw. But we may regret that our candid friend enjoyed no opportunity to see some of the more pleasing aspects of the country which he was to recommend nine years later as the best possible locality for a British settlement. One would imagine, as one reads his Journal, that his main purpose was to make quite sure that no Englishman would ever think of settling in New Holland.

"In the whole length of the coast which we sailed along, there was a very unusual sameness to be observed in the face of the country. Barren it may justly be called, and in a very high degree, at least as far as we saw. The soil in general is sandy and very light; on it grows grass tall enough, but thin set, and trees of a tolerable size, never however near together, being in general forty, fifty or sixty feet apart. This, and spots of loose sand, sometimes very large, constitute the general face of the country, as you sail along it, and, indeed, the greater part even after penetrating inland as far as our situation would allow us to do. The banks of the bays were generally clothed with thick mangroves, sometimes for a mile or more in breadth. The soil under these is rank, and always overflowed every spring tide. Inland, you sometimes meet with a bog, upon which the grass grows rank and thick, so that no doubt the soil is sufficiently fertile.* The valleys also between the hills, where runs of water come down, are thickly clothed with underwood; but they are generally very steep and narrow, so that, upon the whole, the fertile soil bears no kind of proportion to that which seems by nature doomed to everlasting barrenness. Water is a scarce article, or at least was so when we were there (April to August), which I believe to have been the very height of the dry season. At some places we saw not a drop, and at the two places where we filled for the ship's use (Botany Bay and Bustard Bay) it was done from pools not brooks.** This drought is probably owing to the dryness of a soil entirely composed of sand in which high hills are scarce.

[* See note, earlier.]

[** This statement does not seem consistent with the previous statement about "the hills where runs of water come down." But the hills and runs of water must have been at the Endeavour River, where Cook says there were "several fine rivulets." The "two places where we filled for the ship's use" must be Botany Bay and Bustard Bay. But Cook writes of "a small stream" at both those places.]

"A soil so barren, and at the same time entirely void of the help derived from cultivation, could not be supposed to yield much to the support of man. We had been so long at sea, with but a scanty supply of fresh provisions, that we had long been used to eat everything we could lay our hands upon, fish, flesh, or vegetables, if only they were not poisonous, yet we could only now and then procure a dish of bad greens for our own table, and never, except in the place where the ship was careened, did we meet with a sufficient quantity to supply the ship"; and Banks gives a list of the "bad greens" they had managed to eat. They had found no eatable fruits, save in the South a cherry with nothing but a slightly acid taste to recommend it, and in the North "a very indifferent fig." They tried some palm nuts, but were "deterred from a second experiment by a hearty fit of vomiting." The hogs ate the nuts with good appetite, and the men envied the hogs their powers of digestion; but two hogs died, and the rest were saved only by careful nursing. The only useful plants were the gum tree, and a bulrush which gave a resin of a bright yellow. In view of the barrenness of the soil, the variety of plants seemed wonderful, but they were as useless as they were various. Even the timber was so hard that the carpenter who cut firewood complained that his tools were damaged.

As to fish, flesh, and fowl, voyagers sick of sea-fare could eat with joy anything that was not salt and that was not poisonous. "A hawk or a crow was to us as delicate, and perhaps a better relished meal than a partridge or a pheasant to those who had plenty of dainties." But "Kangooroos" were scarce, and birds were shy. "A crow in England, though in general sufficiently wary, is, I must say, a fool to a New Holland crow, and the same may be said of almost all, if not all, the birds of the country." And, making an effort to say all that could be said for the country, he concludes as follows:—"Upon the whole, New Holland, though in every respect the most barren country I have seen, is not so bad but that, between the production of sea and land, a company who had the misfortune to be shipwrecked upon it might support themselves even by the resources that we have seen; undoubtedly a longer stay and a visit to different parts would discover many more."

That was the best that our Patron Saint could say in favour of our country. We cannot complain of his criticism, for it was just criticism of what he saw. But we may, perhaps, be permitted to wonder at the contrast between this criticism of 1770 and the praise of 1779 and of later dates. In 1797 he wrote that the soil of New Holland was in his opinion superior to most that have been settled by Europeans, and that this opinion was grounded on his own experience. Yet, immediately after he had gained this experience, he summed up New Holland as in every respect the most barren country he had seen. He wrote no words of suggestion that colonists would do well to settle there; and the nearest he got to that suggestion was in the remark that, "were any man to settle here," he would find the study of ants uncommonly interesting—"industrious as they are, their courage, if possible, excels their industry." One can only explain the contrast by some theory of the growing optimism of old age.

On the other hand, Cook's description shows that he had in mind the idea of colonization, and that he regarded New South Wales with favour. He states plainly, it is true, that "the land naturally produces hardly anything fit for man to eat," that "the natives know nothing of agriculture," and that "the country itself, so far as we know, doth not produce any one thing that can become an article in trade to invite Englishmen to fix a settlement upon it. However," he continues, "this Eastern side is not that barren and undesirable country that Dampier and others have described the Western side to be. We are to consider that we see this country in the pure state of nature; the industry of man has had nothing to do with any part of it, and yet we find all such things as nature had bestowed upon it in a flourishing state. In this extensive country, it can never be doubted but what most sorts of grain, fruit, roots, etc., of every kind would flourish here were they once brought hither, planted and cultivated by the hands of industry, and here are provender for more cattle at all seasons of the year than ever can be brought into the country." It is "indifferently well watered, even in the dry seasons, with small brooks and springs, but no great rivers unless it be the wet season." The soil, though sandy, is "indifferently fertile, and clothed with woods, long grass, shrubs, plants, etc." The coast North of 25° "abounds with a great number of fine bays and harbours, sheltered from all winds."

It was not Cook's way to write with enthusiasm. He said enough to show that he thought the soil of New South Wales would probably do "indifferently well" if "planted and cultivated by the hands of industry." But, as Adam Smith's political economy was based on the assumption that all men are Scotchmen, so, I am inclined to say, Cook's commendation of New South Wales as a place for settlement was based on the assumption that settlers are Ironside farmers from Scotland or Yorkshire. He certainly did not think of them as shiploads of convicts.

The voyage of discovery was finished. "On the West side," wrote Cook, "I can make no new discovery, the honour of which belongs to the Dutch navigators." He was henceforth in seas that had been charted by predecessors. He was using the charts published in the volumes of de Brosses, and found them "tolerable good." He tried the coast of New Guinea, but, like Torres, was driven off by everlasting shoals, after "one of the most fortunate escapes we have ever had from shipwreck." They managed, however, to land on a part of the coast that is "scarcely known to this day."* They tried to climb some cocoa-nut trees, but failed to do so. Cook, with remarkable humanity, refused to cut down the trees, because that would certainly have led to an attack by the natives, and to undeserved slaughter.

[* Wharton, p. 333.]

He determined to leave the New Guinea coast, and to keep on the South side of Java; for, as to the North side, "we were all utter strangers." The ever-suspicious Banks hints that their departure was due to growing home-sickness. No one in the ship, he declares, was free from this contemptible disease, except the Captain, Dr. Solander and himself; "and we three," he explains, "have ample employment for our minds."

Cook intended to land on Timor Laut, an island which, he believed, had not been settled by the Dutch. But he missed Timor Laut, and came to Timor, where, as in Dampier's days, was a strong Dutch Fort. The sailors wished to call for roast beef, but Cook refused, fearing the "jealous eye" of the Dutch. More by chance than by design; he came to the little Dutch island of Savu, and, when they actually saw before them "a flock of cattle grazing," the demand for roast beef became irresistible, and even the austere captain had to consent. The Dutch Factor allowed him to buy buffaloes—at an extortionate price. But he complained that the English were far too inquisitive about spices. And, indeed, Parkinson the draughtsman afterwards boasted that he had taken nutmegs and cloves ashore, and had ascertained that the people were acquainted with them.

Then Cook groped the way to the Straits of Sunda. He complained that either his Longitude was wrong, or that the Straits were faultily placed in all the charts. The fact was that his Longitude was wrong by three degrees; a fact that shows how impossible it was to determine Longitude even by the highest seamanship of the day, and makes one marvel once more that so many ships came home. On the 4th of October he was off Java, and got the news of the day, or rather of the year, from a Dutch ship. It was that "the Government in England was in the utmost disorder, the people crying up and down the streets 'Down with King George! King Wilkes for ever!'", that "the Americans had refused to pay taxes of any kind, and an English army had been sent to deal with the rebellion." He anchored at Batavia on the 11th of October.* He declared, with an economy of truth, that he came "from Europe."

[* "Wednesday, 10th, according to our reckoning, but by the people here Thursday, 11th." He dated the next day Friday, 12th. See previous note for the reason for the discrepancy.

The red ink with which the dates are marked gradually grows paler. From 6th October a brilliant dark red ink appears, drawn, no doubt, from a bottle bought in Batavia.]

It was evident that the Endeavour could not proceed without thorough examination and thorough repair. Cook found, to his great annoyance, that it would be necessary to place her in the hands of the Dutch shipwrights. The ship was shown to be in a condition far worse than had been supposed. "In one place two and a half planks near six feet long were within 1/8 inch of being cut through; and here the worms had made their way quite through the timbers, so that it was a matter of surprise, to everyone who saw her bottom, how we had kept her above water, and yet in this condition we had sailed some hundreds of leagues in as dangerous a navigation as in any part of the world, happy in being ignorant of the continual danger we were in." In the end Cook gave the Dutch shipwrights a very handsome testimony;—"I do not believe there is a marine yard in the world where work is done with more alertness than here, and where there are better conveniences for heaving ships down in point of safety and despatch." The Dutch methods were different from the English, and better.

In view of the delay, Cook forwarded to the Admiralty by a Dutch ship copies of his Journal and Charts. He also wrote a letter to Secretary Stephens that is of singular interest, as giving his own immediate impression of one of the most famous, most dangerous, and most fruitful voyages of British History. "Although," he wrote, "the discoveries made in the voyage are not great, yet I flatter myself they are such as may merit the attention of their lordships, and although I have failed in discovering the so much talked of Southern Continent (which perhaps do not exist), and which I myself had much at heart, yet I am confident that no part of the failure of such discovery can be laid to my charge. Had we been so fortunate not to have run ashore, much more would have been done in the latter part of the voyage than what was, but, as it is, I presume this voyage will be found as complete as any before made to the South Seas on the same account."*

[* See Illustration 64, immediately below. Note that Cook first wrote:—"as great and as compleat, if not more so, than...," and then made modest Corrections.]



64. EXTRACT FROM COOK'S LETTER FROM BATAVIA TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY,
DATED 23RD OCT. 1770

Cook stayed in Batavia from the 11th of October to the 26th of December. It was a dreadful time. When the Englishmen arrived, they were; thanks to Cook's system of anti-scorbutics and bathing, in insolent good health. Not one man had been lost by sickness during the whole voyage. There was not one sick man on board. The sailors, rosy and plump, "jeered and flaunted much" at the white-faced Dutch who came alongside. They were warned of the extreme unwholesomeness of the place. But they laughed, thinking themselves well-seasoned to any climate, and "trusting more than all," writes Cook, "to an invariable temperance in everything, which we had as yet unalteredly kept during our whole residence in the warm latitudes";—a statement which is, no doubt, true in some sense, but which nevertheless surprises readers who remember the events of Christmas days, and of other days. But in Batavia trust in "invariable temperance" was misplaced. Everyone fell sick. The only exception was the sailmaker, an old man of seventy or eighty—ages were vague in those days—who had been invariably intemperate;—"generally more or less drunk every day." Surgeon Monkhouse died. Tupia died;—"a shrewd, sensible, ingenious man," says Cook, "but proud and obstinate, which often made his situation on board both disagreeable to himself and to those about him."

Banks was "seized with a tertian, the fits of which," he says, "were so violent as to deprive me entirely of my senses, and leave me so weak as scarcely to be able to crawl downstairs." His servants were as bad as himself, and Solander became ill for the first time in his life. The two sick botanists bought a Malay woman apiece, "hoping that the tenderness of the sex would prevail even here, which, indeed, we found it to do." In charge of their nurses they went to a country-house, and gradually recovered strength. But, when the ship sailed, seven had died, forty or more were sick, and the rest were weakly. Cook said that Batavia was the unhealthiest place upon the globe.* "We came in here with as healthy a ship's crew as need go to sea, and, after a stay of not quite three months, left it in the condition of a hospital ship; and yet all the Dutch captains said we have been very lucky."

[* "The unwholesome air of Batavia is the death of more Europeans than any other place upon the globe of the same extent."]

Banks had not been too ill to use his eyes, and to take notes. The country reminded him of the flatness of his native Lincolnshire. The canals made carriage inconceivably cheap, but also made the air inconceivably unwholesome. He writes enthusiastic praise of the fertility and wealth of Java. He describes the elaborate organization of the spice business. Nutmegs, for example, have been extirpated in all the islands except Banda, "which easily supplies, the world, and would easily supply another, if the Dutch had another to supply." He understood, however, that there were spices in islands away to the East, which the Dutch had not examined. In a curious and not very pleasing passage, he discusses the chance of capturing Batavia, and decides that it is a very good one. The defences are weak; and, of every hundred soldiers who arrive, at the end of the year, fifty are dead, twenty-five in the hospital, and not ten in perfect health. Banks evidently thought, as Bougainville had thought two years before, that it would be well to claim a share in the spice trade, in the teeth, which were not very sound teeth, of the Dutch dog in the manger.

The Endeavour sailed from Batavia on the 26th of December in good repair, though "in the condition of a hospital ship:" But they were out at sea again, and there was no expectation of tragedy. But the disease was in them, and broken health grew worse. Disasters came fast, and Cook's Journal for this passage is mainly a collection of conscientious obituary notices. Corporal Trusslove died, "a man much esteemed by everybody on board"; then Mr. Sporing, "a gentleman belonging to Mr. Banks's retinue"; Mr. Sydney Parkinson, Natural History painter to Mr. Banks, who left, in addition to his pictures, an interesting Journal; Mr. Green, the very skilful, industrious, and courageous observer, who had taken a successful Lunar when a hundred yards distant from almost inevitable destruction on the Coral Reef, but who had "lived in such a manner as greatly promoted the disorders he had had long upon him"; Midshipman Monkhouse who had "fothered" the ship; John Ravenhill, the aged and much-drinking sailmaker, who perhaps had not been permitted to be so invariably intemperate on board as he had been on land. Twenty-three in all died; and those who did not die were hardly able to tend the sails, and to nurse the sick. Banks, who had himself "endured the pains of the damned almost," was the only stricken man who recovered.

At last the South-East trade-wind brought relief. They came to Capetown in March 1771, and stayed a month. The Australian, whose feelings have been a little hurt by Banks's statement that his country is in every respect the most barren country he had ever seen, is pleased to find that he thought South Africa more barren still. "The infinite and, to an European, almost inconceivable barrenness of the country," he wrote, "makes it necessary that people should spread themselves very widely"; and Cook wrote explicitly that no country seen this voyage—not even New Holland!—"afforded so barren a prospect as this, and not only so in appearance but in reality." The true importance of the Cape, it was rightly observed, was as the half-way house between Europe and Asia;—"the whole town may be considered as one great Inn fitted up for the reception of all corners and goers." Banks, as always, has interesting things to say about the ladies. "In general," he wrote, "they are handsome,...and when married, (no reflection upon my countrywomen), are the best housekeepers imaginable, and great child-bearers. Had I been inclined for a wife, I think this is the place of all others I have seen where I could have best suited myself." The fact, however, is that, when Banks was inclined for a wife, he suited himself in England.

They reached St. Helena on the 1st of May, and stayed until the 5th. Banks got an unfavourable impression, and he has a very hard saying about the English and Dutch as colony-makers:—"Were the Cape now in the hands of the English it would be a desert, as St. Helena in the hands of the Dutch would infallibly become a paradise." And he declared that the cruelties of the English to their slaves are both more frequent and more wanton "than ever their neighbours the Dutch, famed for inhumanity, are guilty of."

Cook was nearing home. On the 18th of June he got late political news from New England schooners cruising for whales. King George had behaved very ill for some time, but the colonists had brought him to terms at last. Disputes were at an end; "and, to confirm this, the Master said that the coat on his back was made in Old England." On the 13th of July Cook anchored in the Downs. "I flatter myself," he wrote to the Admiralty, "that the discoveries we have made, though not great, will apologize for the length of the voyage." Their Lordships replied that they extremely well approved of the whole of Cook's proceedings. Cook had an hour's talk with the King, who was also pleased to express his approbation. The Royal Society also was gratified. Cook had been well worth his five shillings a day, and the grant of four thousand pounds had proved more than was needed. The Society generously voted that the balance which Cook had saved should be expended on a bust;—a bust not, of course, of Cook, but of George.

"I have made no very great discoveries," Cook repeats in a letter to his old employer, Mr. Walker of Whitby, "yet I have explored more of the South Sea than all that have gone before me; in so much that little remains now to be done to have a thorough knowledge of that part of the globe." There is a curiously apologetic tone in all Cook's estimates of the value of his discoveries. He had to meet the accusation of geographers like Dalrymple that he had not discovered their Southern Continent. And he can only modestly suggest in self-defence that one reason of his failure is that that continent does not exist. But Banks, at all events, had no need to apologize. Geographical discoveries might not be satisfactory to geographers. Long fed on boundless hopes of Golden Continents, how angrily they spurned the scanty fare of New Zealand and New Holland! But botanical discoveries had far surpassed even the great expectations of the botanists. Mr. John Ellis, F.R.S., who had written to Linnaeus the great news that Banks and Solander were setting forth, now wrote to him the still greater news that they had returned;—returned "laden with the greatest treasure of natural history that ever was brought into any country at one time by two persons,"* Linnaeus implored his correspondent to persuade Solander to send him "some specimens of plants from Banksia in Terra Australis"; for, he added, "the new-found country ought to be named Banksia from its discoverer, as America from Americus." The great botanist will see these specimens as Moses saw Canaan. He has been distressed, and even deprived of sleep, by the report that Solander intends to set out on a new voyage before cataloguing what he has brought home:—this matchless and truly astonishing collection, such as has never been seen before, nor may ever be seen again. There were good reasons in those days to approve the change of name of Stingray to Botany! The week spent on its sandy shores was to make an epoch in botanical studies as well as in political geography. It led to the foundation of Sydney and to the British colonization of Australia. And it also, wrote a famous botanist of later date, "proved the example and spur of all that has been done for natural science during half a century, in Britain, perhaps in every quarter of the world."**

[* Maiden's Banks, p. 81.]

[** Maiden, p. 94.]


CHAPTER XXIV. THE END OF TERRA AUSTRALIS

AUTHORITIES:


I regret that in Australia we have not the material for a thorough study of Cook's second and third voyages. It seems that, after his return from the second voyage, Cook himself wrote a narrative, based on his own Logs and Journals, and on those of Furneaux, of the scientists, and of other officers. These documents exist in London, and have been used by Mr. Kitson, but they have never been printed. What was printed was an edition of Cook's narrative by the Rev. John Douglas, Canon of Windsor, and afterwards Bishop of Carlisle. I gather that this deceitful clergyman also edited the narrative of the third voyage, using the Logs and Journals as he pleased. "Though," writes Mr. Kitson, "he does not approach the absurdities of Hawkesworth, he has 'improved' Cook's manuscript to such an extent in many places that passages are quite irreconcilable with the original." I regret that I have had to use this untrustworthy edition.

Cook had not discovered the Southern Continent, but he had not proved that the Southern Continent did not exist. Somewhere in the huge vacancy of the Endeavour's zigzag a continent might lie hidden, rich and large, though not so large as Quiros and Dalrymple had imagined. Both Cook and Banks had urged another "voyage of curiosity," to complete the discovery of the South Sea:—a voyage which should prove once for all whether a continent did or did not exist, which should rediscover the forgotten discoveries of early voyages, connect things new and old, and get material for a full and exact map of the Pacific.

And there was another motive in mind, about which less was said, but which was perhaps even more compelling than the "curiosity" of the Royal Society. French men of science were as curious about the Pacific as British men of science. Bougainville had successors. Surville rediscovered New Zealand two months after Cook, and French and British navigators were on the New Zealand coast at the same time, though neither, it seems, was aware of the other's voyage.* Bougainville, after entertaining Aotanrou at Paris for eleven months, put him on board a ship for the Isle of France, with instructions that he was to be sent to Tahiti in a ship towards the equipment of which the chivalrous Frenchman had contributed one third of his whole fortune. The ship was to take tools, seed, and cattle; and the plan evidently was to form a French settlement in the beautiful island—an island discovered and annexed by Wallis! The French would probably take Tasman's route, make for New Zealand, and annex also those islands. Meanwhile in 1771 the French Captain Marion had sailed to the Pacific to search for the Southern Continent, still identified with the land of Gonneville. And, in the same year, another French Captain, Kerguelen, also sailed on the same quest. The British Government had no hot desire to annex the Pacific, but was determined that the French should not do so.**

[* The subject has been studied in the most complete and exact way by M'Nab, who comes to the conclusion that "during the next few days Cook and De Surville were within a few miles of one another, but neither was aware of the other's presence" (M'Nab's From Tasman to Marsden, pp. 46, 47. Cf. Forster, vol. i. p. 235, Historical Records of New Zealand, vol. ii. p. 266, and Kitson, p. 155).]

[** The Spaniards also regarded the British intrusion in the Pacific Ocean—their Ocean!—with bitter jealousy. Their feelings are illustrated in a very curious way in documents which have been edited for the Hakluyt Society by Mr. C. Corney in The Voyage of Captain Felipe Gonzalez, and The Quest and Occupation of Tahiti by Missionaries of Spain, during the years 1772-1776. The Spaniards were thrown into panic by the news of Byron's voyage. They suspected that the British were planning settlements in the Falkland Islands, in the Straits, in Patagonia, in Easter Island, in Tahiti;—in defiance of "our exclusive rights of navigation in the Seas of the Indies!" The British minister replied to the enquiries of the Spanish ambassador "in a bantering tone." The voyagers, he said, "had been out looking for giants." "I answered him that, if they had enquired of me for information concerning these folk, I would have given it them, and spared them the voyage...He asked me if the whole world was Spain's: and I replied that, as to that portion, yes." "Statesmen of Madrid," writes Mr. Corney, "believed that the alleged scheme of 'el famoso Capitán Santiago Cok,' as they were wont to call him, for observing at Tahiti the transit of Venus, was merely a pretext for penetrating, in the interests of political aggrandisement, seas and latitudes over which His Majesty of Spain claimed exclusive sovereignty." The Spaniards took the matter in great seriousness; sent ships to scour the seas for British settlements; rediscovered Easter Island in 1770, named it Carlos Island, and annexed it: and visited Tahiti in 1772. It was a bitter story to a patriotic Spaniard:—"the islands the aforesaid Wallace (Wallis) claims to have discovered are the same that were seen in the year 1605 by Quiros."

The head of the Admiralty was Banks's old angling friend, Lord Sandwich, who had plotted with him to drain the Serpentine in the interests of scientific knowledge. He easily consented to join in this larger plot, and—let us carefully remember what is perhaps the only good deed that has ever been ascribed to him—greatly astonished Cook by coming on board several times to inspect the ship:—"a laudable though rare thing in a First Lord of the Admiralty." It was resolved to send two ships,—Cook remembered his experiences among coral reefs too vividly to be content to sail again with only one—and the purpose of the voyage was "to settle whether the unexplored part of the Southern Hemisphere be only an immense mass of water, or contain a continent as speculative geography seemed to suggest." Cook was to command, and Banks was to have passage again at the head of a scientific "suite." He made preparations with his usual energy and generosity, and bought five thousand pounds' worth of goods for use on the voyage. Many of the receipts can still be seen in a volume of manuscripts, now in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, in which Banks bound the documents which tell the story of his industrious preparations. So busy was he in these preparations, that he was unable to find time to write an account of his voyage in the Endeavour, and therefore, like Cook, placed his Journal at the disposal of Dr. Hawkesworth.

But unhappily Banks did not sail. He and Cook had different opinions in respect to the choice of ships. Cook was a modest man, but he was also a sensible sea captain, and could stand no criticism of his ship. If one might believe him, the whole credit of his discoveries was due to the excellences of the Endeavour,* and he insisted that the new voyage must be sailed in a ship of the same type. The Endeavour happened to be away from England; but the Navy Board, taking Cook's advice, bought two ships built on the same lines by the same Whitby builder. The Resolution was of 462 tons, the Adventure of 336. They were fourteen or fifteen months old, and as well adapted to the intended service, says Cook, as if built for the purpose.

[* "It was the Endeavour that enabled us to prosecute discoveries in those seas so much longer than any ship ever did or could do,...to traverse a far greater space of sea till then unnavigated, to discover greater tracks of country in high and low South Latitudes, and to persevere longer in exploring and surveying more correctly the extensive coasts of those new discovered countries than any former navigator had done during one voyage."]

But Banks took a different view. While Cook's first thought was of navigation, Banks's first thought was of Science. About matters of personal comfort he was indifferent. Six feet square was enough for himself, and, whether the Sources of the Nile or the South Pole were to be visited, he was equally ready to embark.* But the ship on which he sailed must have accommodation for the needs of his men of science—even on the Endeavour, he complained, "my business was imperfectly done"—and he had recommended the use of a large East Indiaman. Finding Cook's ship "very improper for our purpose," he made protest to his friend Lord Sandwich, who accordingly ordered drastic changes. The result of the well-meaning attempt to please both Cook and Banks was that the ship, in the judgment of the former, was made so "crank" that "she could not put to sea." And Cook

got his own way, even when matched against Banks and Sandwich. The new structures were removed, and Cook again declared that the ship was the most proper ship for the service he had ever seen. Towards the close of his life Banks told the story of his defeat in words which showed that the injury still rankled. He was, he says, "again offered the alternative to go or let it alone, with a good deal of coolness." He had inadvertently allowed the Navy Board to see his Journal; and, knowing his ideas, they thought that they could do without his assistance. "As the alternative they had made rendered it impossible for my people to be lodged, or to do their respective duties, I resolved to refuse to go."**

[* Manuscript letter in the Mitchell Library, Sydney.]

[** Smith's Banks, p. 26 note.]

One must regret that Banks did not sail in this famous voyage. The two Forsters, who took his place, were competent men of science, and the younger Forster wrote a book which Besant calls "a very good book indeed." But they were doleful and querulous comrades. In the story of the second voyage one misses the radiancy of the human boy, and no doubt Cook missed it too. And still more must one regret the "coolness" between old comrades in adventure and in research. Fortunately, the letter which gives evidence of the "coolness" gives evidence also that warmth soon returned. "Dear Sir," wrote Cook to Banks from Capetown in November 1772, "some cross circumstances which happened at the latter part of the equipment of the Resolution created, I have reason to think, a coolness between you and me. But I can by no means think it was sufficient to me to break off a correspondence with a man I am under many obligations to." And he wrote a simple newsy letter, admirably calculated to restore an easy and friendly intercourse. When he returned from the voyage, he visited Solander, and sent his curiosities to him at the British Museum. "Captain Cook," wrote Solander to Banks, "desires his best compliments to you; he expressed himself in the most friendly manner towards you that could be; he said 'Nothing could have added to the satisfaction he has had in making this tour, but having had your company.'"* The hot-tempered generous Banks knew Cook too well to make a "coolness" into a quarrel. When Cook returned, the Royal Society awarded him the Prize Medal of the year. "I am obliged," he wrote to Banks, "to you and my other good friends for this unmerited honour." In 1784 Banks himself was President of the Royal Society, and he wrote a letter to Mrs. Cook requesting her to accept from the Fellows of the Society "a medal in gold struck in honour of your late husband." "As his friend, I rejoin to yours my sincere regret for the loss this nation has suffered in the death of so valuable a man, and that which the Royal Society feels in so valuable a member." The words were formal, but they would have satisfied Cook, and he would have liked the word "friend."

[* Hooker, p. xxviii.]

The two ships sailed in June 1772. Cook commanded the Resolution. The Captain of the Adventure was Furneaux, who had sailed under Wallis in the Dolphin. In November they left the Cape, and plunged South in search of the land which Bouvet had believed to be a promontory of the Southern Continent, and had called Cape Circumcision. There followed the first chapter in the story of Antarctic exploration. Hilly islands of ice two miles in circuit came into sight, and were sometimes mistaken for land; "a view that for a few minutes was pleasing to the eye, but, when we reflected on the danger, the mind was filled with horror; were a ship to get against the weather side of one of those islands when the sea runs high, she would be dashed to pieces in a moment." The ice-islands threatened to close in upon them, and "pack them"; and a man who had been in the Greenland trade told how they had been "packed" for six or nine weeks. Then there appeared "an immense field of low ice," to which they could see no end. They tried to round it, but again and again found themselves "quite embayed." They sailed through broken ice that reminded Cook of the Coral Islands of the Tropical Pacific. With admirable persistence he fought his way South to 67°. Enderby Land lay a little to the East, but Cook could see nothing but the ice-barrier, which stretched without the least appearance of an opening. He grew sceptical as to the argument that ice means land, and, as to birds, they were deceivers ever. He concluded that Bouvet had seen mountains of ice.

Sailing North, Cook looked in vain for the islands that had recently been discovered by the French navigators Marion and Kerguelen, and reported by them to be either near to or a part of the Southern Continent. He lost sight of the Adventure, and rightly supposed that Furneaux would visit Van Diemen's Land on the way to New Zealand. Again Cook went South. He saw deceitful birds and more deceitful clouds, and icebergs of appearance so "romantic" that they "could only be described by the hand of an able painter." Icebergs were handy when you wanted water,* but Cook was dismayed by the awful danger of being surrounded by them at night. Long hollow swells proved that, if there was land to the South, it must be at a great distance. They were in Latitude 58°, and the cold was far more intense that the cold in the same Latitude of the North. Winter was approaching, and in March 1773 Cook resolved to sail for the rendezvous in New Zealand, in order to seek the Adventure, and to obtain refreshment. He had "some thoughts, and even a desire, to visit the East coast of Van Diemen's Land," in order to satisfy himself if it joined the coast of New South Wales. But the winds were unfavourable, and he made straight for New Zealand.

[* According to Forster, they discovered the fact "that nature forms great masses of ice in the midst of the wide ocean, which are destitute of any saline particles, but have all the useful and salubrious qualities pf the pure element."]

At the end of. March 1773 he came to Dusky Bay in the South-West corner of the South island. He had observed and named the Bay on his first voyage. He found, as he had expected, good anchorage, and resolved to examine the Southern end of the island. Today one may see the stumps of the great rimu-trees which Cook's men cut down, covered with creepers and surrounded by the new jungle. They used the trees to brew a beer which Cook praised highly; but he was thinking of medicine rather than of drink, and his taste in liquor was probably utilitarian. They explored the neighbouring coves, "every place affording something, especially to us to whom nothing came amiss." Some climbed the mountains, but could see nothing inland but more "barren mountains with huge craggy precipices frightful to behold." They shot ducks in Duck Creek, landed geese in Geese Cove, and lunched in Luncheon Cove. For half an hour they had "chit-chat" with two native women, and the sailors made the laborious joke that "women did not want tongue in any part of the world." "Her volubility of tongue," says Cook of one of them, "exceeded every thing I have ever met with." Nevertheless, he summed up strongly in favour of Dusky Bay, not only as a place of refreshment, but also as a possible centre of British commerce; and "although," he wrote, "this country be far remote from the present trading parts of the world, we can by on means tell what use future ages may make of the discovery." He praised especially the magnificent timber, which was "large enough to make mainmast for a fifty-gun ship."

Thence Cook sailed to the rendezvous in Queen Charlotte Sound, where, on the 11th of May, he found the Adventure. Furneaux had anchored there six weeks before. After losing sight of the Resolution on the 7th of February, he had sailed for Van Diemen's Land. He had seen land on the 9th of March, and had found the soil "very rich." He thought he was on Tasman's South Cape. In reality he was on the South-West Cape. He sailed Eastward identifying the headlands with those named by Tasman, and identifying them all wrongly.* Owing to his initial mistake he always imagined that he was further to the East than was the case. He anchored in Adventure Bay in Bruny Island and thought that he was in Tasman's Frederick Henry Bay on the East coast. Later he realised that Frederick Henry Bay was further North, but he never realised that it was also further East. That is the reason why on the modern map that Bay is on the West side of Tasman's peninsula, and not, where Tasman put it, on the East. When he rounded Cape Pillar he thought he was rounding Maria Island. He intended to sail North till he came to Point Hicks, the first point seen by Cook on the East coast of New Holland. By so doing, he would finally settle the question, left undetermined by Cook, whether New Holland and Van Diemen's Land were or were not one land. He sailed as far North as the islands now called Furneaux Islands, but the wind was unfavourable to further progress. So he sailed for New Zealand, recording his opinion that "there is no strait between New Holland and Van Diemen's Land, but a very deep bay." Bayley the astronomer, however, thought it very "evident that this is the mouth of a strait which separates New Holland from Van Diemen's Land."**

[* Cf. Walker's Early Tasmania, p. 137. See Illustrations 47 and 48.]

[** M'Nab's Historical Records of New Zealand, vol. ii. p. 200.]

Cook himself had wished to visit Van Diemen's Land to determine this question. But he considered that Furneaux had "in great measure cleared up that point," and that he had no business there. On the 7th of June he sailed Eastward to see whether a continent was to be found between 40° and 46°. He calls attention to the date, and claims that this voyage will show that "it is practicable to go on discoveries even in the depth of winter." The search was fruitless, and Cook became confirmed in the opinion that "there is no Southern Continent between America and New Zealand." The "large hollow swell" proved that no land was near. If a Southern Continent existed, it existed in a very high Latitude, and, could only be discovered in a midsummer voyage.

So Cook sailed North to Tahiti, and arrived there in August. He was welcomed in that loving island with a warmth of affection that touched emotion. A venerable old lady could not look upon him without tears, and Cook found it almost impossible to refrain "mingling my tears with hers." When they sailed, Furneaux took with him a native named Omai as a present for Banks, who "kept him as an object of curiosity, to observe the workings of an untutored mind."* Lord Sandwich introduced him to the King, and the workings of the untutored mind led him to exclaim, "How do, King Tosh? "

[* Smith's Banks, p. 42.]

In September Cook sailed West, discovered the Harvey Islands, and rediscovered the islands of Amsterdam and Middleburg, which Tasman had discovered one hundred and thirty years before. Cook called them the "Friendly Islands." In November he was again in Queen Charlotte's Sound, but the Adventure did not arrive, and her story henceforth is apart from that of the Resolution. Cook renewed his study of the Maori character, which greatly interested him. The Maoris brought a broiled head aboard, and ate it in the presence of the Englishmen. Cook was horrified, but "curiosity got the better of indignation," and he ordered a piece of flesh to be broiled. His estimate of the Maori character shows how science was teaching men to understand rather than to condemn. He sees clearly that the Maoris, in spite of ancient and unpleasing habits, had reached "some state of civilisation." "Few," he writes, "consider what a savage man is in his natural state...The New Zealanders are certainly in some state of civilisation; their behaviour to us was manly and mild; they have some arts; are less addicted to theft than other islanders; are honest among themselves; their cannibalism is an ancient custom; they eat their enemies as their enemies would eat them." They are, in short, not wicked heathen, but old-fashioned and slow-learning Tories.

In November Cook buried a bottle containing information for Furneaux, and sailed to make thorough exploration of the huge region of the South-East Pacific, where, if anywhere, the unknown continent must exist. He plunged South-East, and touched the Arctic circle; then back North, till he approached his earlier tracks; then South once more to a point even further South than those reached before. The cold became so intense that it could hardly be endured. The ice-barrier seemed impassable. Cook counted "97 ice-hills within the field, looking like a ridge of mountains rising one above another till they were lost in the clouds." "Such mountains of ice," he thought, "never were seen in the Greenland seas." Petrels seemed to show there must be land further South, but it was impossible to sail further, and Cook thought that question would perhaps never be determined. "I will not say," he wrote with his usual carefulness, "it was impossible to get further South; but the attempting it would have been a dangerous and rash enterprise. It was my opinion that this ice extended quite to the Pole, and perhaps joined to some land to which it had been fixed from earliest time. I think there must be some land behind this ice...Yet I, who had ambition not only to go further than anyone had been before, but as far as it was possible for man to go, was not sorry at meeting this interruption." He was certain that "no continent was to be found in this ocean but what must lie so far to the South as to be wholly inaccessible on account of the ice."

Cook had now accomplished the main task. He had finally destroyed the theory that a Southern Continent extended into warm and temperate regions. The problem for the future was not the search for "Terra Australis," but "the siege of the South Pole," and that problem Cook willingly bequeathed to those who might think the game worth the candle.

But, though Cook felt no interest in the South Pole, he felt deep interest in the Pacific. Here much remained unknown that was knowable, and well worth knowing. "There remained room for very large islands in places wholly unexamined." And there also remained fascinating problems bequeathed by old navigators; islands which they had discovered, and which no one had seen for centuries, must now be rediscovered, and must be explained in relation to things known. A true map of the Pacific must be constructed, that would enable men to understand the story of two hundred years of exploration.

Cook therefore sailed North. He sought for the continent that had been seen by Juan Fernandez in the late sixteenth century, and he concluded that it could be "nothing but a small island." He saw plenty of birds; "but I do not believe," he wrote, with something like temper, "there is one in the whole tribe that can be relied on in pointing out the vicinity of land." In March 1774 he rediscovered Roggeveen's "Easter Island,"* and wrote an account of the big statues which seem to suggest a clue, not yet fully understood, to the problem of Pacific civilisation.** For the present, Cook pointed to the extraordinary fact that "the same nations have spread themselves over all the isles in this vast Ocean from New Zealand to this island, one quarter the circumference of the globe."

[* The Spaniards had rediscovered it before him in 1770, and had annexed it. See earlier note.]

[** See Mrs. Routledge's Easter Island.]

In the same month, March 1774, Cook rediscovered the Marquesas, islands unvisited since Mendaña and Quiros discovered them in 1595. He determined their exact situation, and thus obtained a clue to the geography of Mendaña's voyage. The change of civilisation was illustrated by the change of name. The Port Madre de Dios of Quiros became Cook's Resolution Bay. The natives of the Marquesas, he wrote, are "without exception the finest race of people in this sea"; a statement which makes the more sad R. L. Stevenson's sad description in 1888.

In April he was in Tahiti again, where he witnessed a grand naval review of one hundred and fifty large double canoes, each containing forty men. Once more he was plagued by the one fault of his friends; and he discusses, with admirable understanding and charity, the question how one may best deal with good-natured and even affectionate kleptomaniacs. He called at his old haunts in the Society Islands, and was everywhere received with affection, which he returned in a way so warm that one gets an insight into a sometimes unsuspected element in his austere and reticent character. He describes one chieftain as "a good man in the utmost sense of the word." Another friend asked him to come back again; and, when he found this could not be, "he asked," says Cook, "the name of my Marai or burying place. I told him Stepney, the parish in which I live when in London, and they shouted 'Stepney Marai no Toote.'"

Then he sailed again to the Friendly Islands, and thence sailed on to learn the truth about Quiros's Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. Bougainville, we remember, had rediscovered the land of Quiros in 1768, and had proved that it was no continent, but a group of Islands, which he named the Great Cyclades. Cook now explored them with far greater thoroughness, and thought himself justified in giving them a Scotch name,—"the New Hebrides."* He noticed how easily Quiros had misunderstood the geography of the discovery. "It was not without reason," he wrote, that Quiros thought the land to be "part of the Southern Continent, which at that time, and till very lately, was supposed to exist." Cook himself, like Quiros, saw "land further than the eye could reach."

[* "The Hebrides," explains Forster (vol. ii. p. 366), "are the westernmost islands of Great Britain."]

In interesting detail, Cook traced the geography of the story of 1606. He visited a Bay which, he was perfectly sure, was the Bay of St. Philip and St. James;—the Bay in which Quiros had founded the City of New Jerusalem which was never built. "I found the general points to agree so well with Quiros's description, that I had not the least doubt about it." He recognised the long deep harbour, and the passage up it gave him almost as much trouble as it had given Quiros that stormy night when he sought in vain to anchor. The whole topography of the place fitted the story which Quiros had told; the very deep water two cables from the beach, the freshwater stream so large and deep that boats could enter it at high tide, the luxuriant vegetation, the sides of the hills chequered with plantations, and every valley watered by a stream. Even the poisonous fish were there, and they poisoned Cook's men as one hundred and sixty years before their ancestors had poisoned the men of Quiros.* Cook thought the evidence sufficient, and he called the Eastern point of the Bay, Cape Quiros. (August 1774.)

[* Cook's men were poisoned by fish eaten in the island of Ambrym; but Forster recognised them as "of the same species" as those which had poisoned the Spaniards in the Bay of St. Philip and St. James. The Spanish pagrus is the red sea-bream (sparus erythrinus). Forster, vol. ii. pp. 237 and 244.]

Sailing Southward, he discovered (4th September) a large island which he called New Caledonia; he was in Scotch mood during this period of the voyage. He does not explain why he gave the name to this island, but we are to gather a hint from his statement that the inhabitants "had little else than good nature to bestow, in which they exceed all the nations we have yet met with."* The country seemed to be barren, and to resemble New Holland in the same Latitude. In fact he thought it possible that New Caledonia might be connected with New Holland by isles and sandbanks; but he heard later that the Frenchman Surville had proved that this was not the case. In spite of the barrenness of the island, it grew good timber;—a noteworthy fact, for Cook knew no island in the South Pacific, except New Zealand, where a ship could supply herself with masts and yards.

[* Forster (vol. ii. p. 378) explains: "The whole land, appearing to be very extensive, was honoured with the appellation of Nova Caledonia." He adds (p. 406) that the name "suited not only the good disposition of the people, but also with the nature of the country."]

Still sailing South, Cook discovered the tiny island which he named "Norfolk Island," "in honour of the noble house of Howard"; and he wrote a description which had the result of linking its history in sinister way with the convict colony in New South Wales. "If it had been of a greater size," wrote Forster, "it would have been unexceptionable for a European settlement."

In October he was once more in Queen Charlotte Sound. He gathered from the natives, who welcomed him by "jumping and skipping about like madmen," that the Adventure had come in soon after the departure of the Resolution. He also heard a story about the massacre of a boatful of Englishmen, but could make little of it. He retained his kindly view of the Maori character; "notwithstanding they are cannibals," he remarks quaintly and truthfully, "they are naturally of a good disposition, and have not a little humanity." Even later, when news of the massacre of the Adventure's men had been followed by news of the massacre of Captain Marion and his Frenchmen, Cook, after mentioning the facts, could add: "nevertheless I think them a good sort of people; at least I, have always found good treatment from them." Surely never was man better able than Cook to distinguish between essential and irremediable bad nature and a troublesome but passing phase of Toryism in a noble character.

He left New Zealand in November 1774, and now made the voyage thence to Cape Horn, which he had desired to make in the Endeavour in 1770. "I have now done with the South Pacific," he wrote, "and flatter myself that no one will think I have left it unexplored, or that more could have been done." Passing Cape Horn, he sought to explore the "extensive coast" laid down by Dalrymple in the South Atlantic. He discovered only an island—which had been discovered two and a half centuries before by Amerigo Vespucci*—and named it South Georgia. It was midsummer, and the island was no further South than 54° or 55°, yet it was wholly covered with snow;—a fact that made Cook reflect that perhaps after all he had been mistaken about Bouvet's Cape of Circumcision. Cook's thought, when he failed to discover that cape, had been that Bouvet had seen an iceberg, and had imagined it to be an island. In view of snow-covered South Georgia, Cook now thought that perhaps Bouvet had discovered an island, and that he (Cook) had imagined the island to be an iceberg. If one looks at a modern photograph of Bouvet Island, one realizes that Cook's second thought was likely enough to be true; the island, even at photographic distance, looks more like an iceberg.** Cook, therefore, would have liked to search once more for "Cape Circumscission"; but the ship needed repair, and the men needed refreshment; so he at last consented to steer for the Cape, where he arrived in March 1775. He found that Furneaux had brought the Adventure to the Cape twelve months before, and had given an account of the massacre of a boat's crew, which explained the story Cook had heard in New Zealand. He anchored at Spithead on the 30th of July, 1775, after an absence of three years and eighteen days.

[* See Fiske's Discovery of America, vol. ii. p. 104.]

[** Mills' Siege of the South Pole, p.40.4.]

The main object of the voyage had been to determine whether there was or was not a Southern Continent that extended from the South Pole into temperate and tropical regions. Cook had proved that such a continent did not exist. "A final end had been put," thus justly he summed things up, "to the searching after a Southern Continent, for near two centuries a favourite theory among the geographers of all ages." He believed, nevertheless, that a Southern Continent existed, and he thought it probable that he had actually seen it. Its neighbourhood seemed to be indicated by the excessive cold, and by the ice-islands. But the Southern lands that had actually been discovered—he refers apparently to South Georgia—were "lands doomed by nature to perpetual frigidness,...whose horrible and savage aspect," he wrote, "I have not words to describe." How much more horrible and savage must be the unknown continent of the still further South! "If any one should have resolution and perseverance to clear up this point by proceeding further than I have done, I shall not envy him the honour of the discovery; but I will be bold to say that the world will not be benefited by it."

Cook has a somewhat chilly way of insisting on the negative importance of his voyage. In the history of exploration, he is the apostle of the victorious common sense of his period, more anxious to brush away cobwebs than to stir men to new enthusiasms. He seems to take greater pleasure in the destruction of mistakes than in the discovery of truth. Yet it was a voyage of amazing fruitfulness. He had proved that the Southern Continent of the theorists did not exist; but he had also made it very probable that an Antarctic Continent did exist. He was the last seeker of the continent, which Mercator had drawn, and which Quiros had described. But he was also the first scientific explorer of the South Polar Regions, the precursor of Weddell and Ross, of Shackleton, Amundsen, and Scott. And, moreover, the work he had done by the way, the work of exploration in the temperate and tropical regions of the South Pacific, was of very great value. North, South, East, and West, Cook had voyaged through the immense ocean, with searchlight and measuring-rod, discovering islands, rediscovering the discoveries of earlier days, bringing into existence a map of the Pacific which, while much remained to be filled in, was at least correct in its outlines and conceptions. When the polite French navigator Lapérouse complained that Cook had left nothing for his successors to do but to praise him, the compliment was sincere, and, in the sense in which the words were spoken, it was true.

"Cook," wrote Lapérouse, "will always appear to me the greatest of navigators, the true Columbus of this country."* Cook made no such claim, and probably he would have willingly consented to the claim which Quiros had made to that title. His claim was only that he had done his "duty." He made, however, one modest boast. In a voyage of over three years only four men had died. Of the four only one had died of sickness, and his sickness had not been scurvy. Cook had not discovered the Southern Continent, but he had discovered something far more valuable. He had discovered that by the use of anti-scorbutics, by careful airing of the ship, by scrupulous attention to cleanliness, a very long voyage might be made through all variations of climates without injury to health. And he believed that this discovery would "make the voyage remarkable when disputes about a Southern Continent shall have ceased to engage attention." And the men of science agreed with him. In February 1776 Cook was elected member of the Royal Society, and he wrote a paper in explanation of the means he had used for the prevention and cure of scurvy. The Society awarded to him the Copley gold medal for the best paper contributed during the year. "If Rome," said the President, "decreed the Civic Crown to him who saved the life of a single citizen, what wreaths are due to that man, who, having himself saved many, perpetuates in your Transactions the means by which Britain may now, on the most distant voyages, preserve numbers of her intrepid sons, her mariners?"

[* Lapérouse was writing especially of the Sandwich Islands.]

In August 1775 Cook, now at the height of fame, was appointed Fourth Captain of His Majesty's Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich. His salary was £200 a year, with a residence, fire and light, and one shilling and twopence a day table-money. And yet, with all this mass of wealth, he was not happy! "The Resolution," he wrote to his old friend, Mr. Walker of Whitby, "was found to answer even beyond my expectation, and is so little injured by the voyage that she will be soon sent out again. But I shall not command her. My fate drives me from one extreme to another; a few months ago the whole Southern Hemisphere was hardly big enough for me, and now I am going to be confined within the limits of Greenwich Hospital, which are far too small for an active mind like mine. I must confess it is a fine retreat, and a pretty income, but whether I can bring myself to like ease and retirement, time will show."

Time soon showed. In February 1776 he offered to command the old ship, and his offer was accepted. He was happy as a lover. "I have quitted," he wrote to Mr. Walker, "an easy retirement, for an active, perhaps dangerous, voyage...I embark on as fair a prospect as I can wish." The second ship, the Discovery, sailed under Clerke, most charming of Cook's men, who had served him both in the Endeavour and in the Resolution.

Cook's third voyage is in the main off the track of our story. It was a voyage in the North Pacific. Its object was to find a Northern passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic; and the chief work accomplished was the discovery of the Sandwich Islands—a discovery which Cook regarded as "the most important that had hitherto been made by Europeans throughout the extent of the Pacific Ocean"—and the exploration of the West Coast of North America from Oregon to the extreme North-West point of the continent. Only the introductory part of the voyage comes within our view.

Cook sailed in July 1776. He called at the Cape, and when the Resolution left, "she was so stocked with animals that she resembled Noah's Ark." Compared as a sea-craft with Noah's Ark, however, she was in a bad way. "If I return in the Resolution," wrote Cook to Banks, "the next trip I may venture in a ship built of gingerbread." He passed the barren islands discovered by his French rival, Marion, and called at the barren island discovered by his other French rival, Kerguelen. In January 1777 he came to Adventure Bay in Van Diemen's Land, and repeated Furneaux's mistakes in his endeavours to identify Tasman's landmarks. He described Tasmanian timber as "tough, straight, suitable for spars, or even masts, if any means could be found to lighten it." The natives, he thought, had "less genius than even the half animated inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego." Unluckily, he did not think it worth while to sail Northward to Point Hicks to test Furneaux's opinion that Van Diemen's Land and New Holland are one land.

In February he was once more in Queen Charlotte Sound. The Maoris gave an account of the massacre of Furneaux's men, and he concluded that it would be neither just nor wise to seek vengeance. With all their Tory faults he loved them still. Yet he saw the faults clearly enough. The people of each hamlet by turn applied to him to destroy the others. "They must live," he explains, "under a perpetual apprehension of being destroyed by each other; the desire of a good meal may be no small incitement; war is their principal occupation." Their articles of commerce, he adds, are "curiosities, fish, and women."

He left New Zealand in the same month, visited the Hervey or Scott Islands, and spent two or three months in the Friendly Islands;—"future navigators," he writes, "may behold these meadows stocked with cattle brought by the ships of England." Once more he discusses with understanding and with charity the psychology of the innocent kleptomaniac; "great allowance should be made for the foibles of these poor natives of the Pacific, whose minds are overpowered with the glare of objects equally new and captivating." A flogging made no more impression on them than it would have made on the mainmast. But Clerke thought of a punishment that proved wonderfully effective; he shaved their heads. In August they came to Tahiti, and Ornai, the native whom Furneaux had taken to England, was restored to his fatherland. In November Cook sailed Northward, and passed out of our story of the South Pacific.

The sense of Cook's greatness grows in the student's mind. He does not storm our admiration as, for example, does Drake or Wolfe. There is a certain quietness and reticence in his life, as in his conversation, and as in his writings. He was, we are told, a good talker, yet none of his talk has lived. He wrote accounts of his own voyages in admirable English, but his object was to get the story told, and, as we read, we think rather of the story than of the man. In no one moment does Cook shine forth the evident hero. His character in some way reminds one of that of his greatest contemporary, George Washington—he who won a great war without winning a battle. His greatness appears as we think, not of one moment, but of the whole life. Heroism was so wrought into the texture of character, that he tells a heroic story in a way that makes one imagine it a matter-of-course affair. We think that the story lacks interest, when the fact is that it lacks egotism. Cook solves the riddle of the Pacific, and he tells you that he has done his duty, and has made "a complete voyage." We have to find for ourselves that none but Cook could have done this duty, or could have completed this voyage; that the reason of victory was greatness of mind, of will, and of spirit.

Cook possessed a marvellous combination of qualities. His physique was splendid; he could do anything, endure anything, eat anything, and digest almost anything;* he was only once seriously ill, and was then cured by eating the ship's dog in the way of soup. His activity of mind, both in speculation and in affairs was amazing. He had the full scientific temperament, alike enthusiastic—though he would have hated the word—and sceptical; eager to know, and to know nought save the truth. And he had wonderful judgment in the drawing of inferences, and in the balancing of argument. His eye for scientific problems was as keen as that of a professional student. He observed, for example, the curious problem of the precise relation of the peoples of New Holland and of New Guinea, and he discussed, a century before Darwin, the probable origin and growth of the coral islands.

[* His only failure was with poisonous fish in New Caledonia, which made him exceedingly ill, and exceedingly angry. Next time one was caught, "he ordered it to be cleaned and boiled, in spite of the earnest representations of all his messmatcs, who warned him against its pernicious effects. It was at last set before him, by his positive orders, and his friends found no other means to save him than to ridicule his mad design. Their humorous and satirical remarks had a better effect than friendly admonitions, and he desisted from the attempt" (Forster, ii. pp. 403 and 439).]

And he applied the same vigour of mind to the solution of practical questions. In the story of exploration he is the great organiser of victories. His was the policy of thorough. He first thought out in full and exact ways all the matters of necessary detail:—the choice of ships, the instruments of navigation, the methods of coastal survey, and, above all, the means of preserving health. And, having thought things out, he got things done. He not only did things himself, he persuaded others to do them. He was a Scotchman's son, and therefore a philosopher. Very remarkable are his quiet studies of psychology:—the psychology, for example, of affectionate South Sea island thieves, and of drinking, cursing, courageous, faithful British seamen. He understood them, and he knew how to persuade them to do what he wanted them to do, or as much of it as it was in any way possible that they should do; for, like Burke, he believed that a large part of wisdom is to know how much of the corruption of human nature it is wise to tolerate.

And dominant in the centre of things was character. Those who sailed with him said that his nature was very passionate. There are facts that illustrate this judgment; and on his last voyage he was guilty of actions which one would like to forget. But the witness who records these actions was himself amazed by them;—amazed, because they stood in inexplicable contrast to his usual conduct. In general, he ruled his passions with such apparent ease that one is tempted to wish that he had been a trifle less virtuous. British seamen in those days were still famous for what Mr. Forster, one of the scientific gentlemen on the Resolution, called the dreadful "energy of their language." Yet I do not remember that Cook ever used a phrase above the average. And he had his opportunities. What, for example, did he say when he found that the islanders had stolen his stockings from under his head while he was wide awake? The carnal man would like to know, but there is silence. We look eagerly into his virtuous life for some small redeeming vice. "Temperance in him," wrote Captain King, who sailed in the last voyage, "was scarcely a virtue; so great was the indifference with which he submitted to every kind of self-denial." Surgeon Samwell quarrels with this statement. Cook, he says "had no repugnance to good living; he always kept a good table, though he could bear the reverse without murmuring"; a statement which makes his virtue exceed the measure attributed by King. His "austerity" was due, not to lack of capacity for pleasure, but to perfection of moral self-control.

Cook, to use Cromwell's phrase, was a man of a spirit, and his spirit was the spirit of the gentlemàn. In his intercourse with men of high rank and great wealth, he was always courteous, always dignified, not claiming equality but assuming it. He was their equal and more than their equal, not because he was a great British navigator, but because he was a British gentleman. And he was a farmer's son, self-educated and self-made, and his pay when he named Port Jackson was five shillings a day. As a child cannot be too careful in choosing his grandfather, so a country cannot be too careful in choosing its discoverer; and a country with the ideals of New South Wales could have made no more happy choice.


CHAPTER XXV. THE SUCCESSORS OF COOK

AUTHORITIES:


The voyages of Cook are the triumph of our story. The hero has arrived, has done his work, and has ta'en his wages.* We expect the interest of discovery to dwindle. The big facts have been determined. The exploration of detail is a smaller business, and affords smaller scope for heroic venture. So we think as we close the last volume of Cook's Voyages. Yet many great things remained to be done, and the doing of these things called forth the energies of men of charming character and of heroic build. In fact there is no chapter in our story more rich in personality than the chapter which tells of the successors of Cook.

[* "He strives as an athlete all his life long, and then, when he has come to the end of his striving, he has what is meet." Plutarch, quoted in Gladstone's Diary. Morley, vol. iii. p. 87.]

Cook was the destroyer of the Southern continent. But while he destroyed he also discovered:—he discovered, in addition to small islands, the three great lands of the South. He first reconnoitred and roughly defined the outline of the Antarctic Continent, destined, in spite of Cook's discouraging remarks, to be besieged and stormed by heroes "dear to God and famous to all ages." He first called New Zealand into existence, with strong recommendation of its merits to those who thought of settlement. He first surveyed the Eastern coast of Australia, and he first believed that Australia would grow grain if "cultivated by the hands of industry." Cook himself placed no very high value on these three lands; he thought, apparently, that the Sandwich Islands were worth all three of them put together. Still, as we mark these things, we understand that our story has not lost interest, though the nature of the interest has changed. One does not like to compare Cook to a star, for he would have bitterly resented the comparison. But, if one were permitted to do so, one would be tempted to say that Cook was evening star of the old story, and morning star of a new story, not less heroic and far more fruitful.

For the present, we follow this new story only in one direction. The siege of the South Pole, its most heroic chapter, cannot now be told. The map of the Pacific Islands had been drawn by Cook with so much accuracy that little remained to be added, or to be corrected, save in the way of detail. New Zealand's geographic business had also been settled by Cook with thoroughness. But in Australia much remained to be learned. Even here Cook had "reaped the harvest of discovery," but, as Cook's greatest successor said, "the gleanings of the field remained to be gathered,"* and they were gleanings of very considerable value. In the introduction to the volumes in which Flinders told the story of his voyages, he showed in careful way the problems which Cook had bequeathed to his successors, and it is well that we should observe what those problems were.**

[* Flinders, p. lxxxiii.]

[** See Illustrations 68 and 69.]

Cook had surveyed the Eastern coast from Point Hicks to Cape York, and he had accomplished this task with a success, which, in view of its difficulties, was one of the greatest exploits in the history of navigation. But his map was a first sketch made with very imperfect instruments—for in 1768, says Flinders, "time-keepers were in their infancy, and he was not furnished with them"* and made also, generally, from a distance, without opportunity to examine even the most important features that were noticed. He had won his way to Torres Strait by a route of such incessant and prodigious dangers that the only service he had rendered to his successors was the knowledge that there was one route which no sensible seaman would ever again sail.** He had got through Torres Strait by a passage difficult and dangerous; but, apart from this one passage, the huge chaos of the Strait remained unexplored. The next British ships that sailed the Strait, under Bligh and Portlock in 1792, took nineteen days to get through;*** and the next, under Bampton and Alt in 1793, took seventy-two days; facts which "deterred all other commanders from following them." "Perhaps," wrote Flinders, "no space of three and a half degrees in length presents more dangers." Yet, if a passage "moderately free from danger" were found, ships might save "five or six weeks of their usual route by the North of New Guinea, or the more Eastern Islands."

[* Flinders, Preface, p. vii.]

[** Wharton, p. xxxi: "a route which no one has ever again followed."]

[*** See Ida Lee's Captain Bligh's Second Voyage to the South Sea. The writer also tells the story of Bligh's 3,600 mile row from Tahiti to Timor in the 23-feet long boat of the Bounty, in the course of which he passed through another channel in Torres Strait.]

Westward from Cape York, geography rested entirely on very old Dutch authority. There was good evidence that, in the early seventeenth century, the Dutch had carefully explored the Eastern side of the Gulf of Carpentaria to 17° Lat.; but "it was certain," wrote Flinders, "that those early navigators did not possess the means of fixing the positions and forms of lands with anything like the accuracy of modern science." And the geography of the South and West coasts of the Gulf, of Arnhem Land, and of the Northern Van Diemen's Land, rested on authority that was far less satisfactory. The maps, it was true, gave the outline with a firm hand. But there was no information whatever about the voyage which had produced the map. The "general opinion" was—and the general opinion was right—that the voyage was Tasman's voyage of 1644. But though Tasman's "Instructions" were extant—Flinders says that they had been "procured." by Banks, and had been printed by Dalrymple—no record survived of the voyage itself; and the map itself, thus unsupported, "was considered as little better than a representation of fairy land." A voyager might find the coast as it was drawn on the map; or he might find that there was no coast at all;—that the "Gulf," was not a Gulf, but was, as some early Dutch navigators had suspected, the opening of a passage which ran to the South, and divided the continent into two parts.

The North-West coast had also, it was understood, been mapped by Tasman. But Dampier, while using Tasman's map, had concluded that it was a superficial piece of work, and that it expressed a radical misconception. Dampier believed that what Tasman had drawn as a continuous coastline was in reality a collection of islands, and he believed, in particular, that somewhere behind Rosemary Island was the opening of a great channel that communicated with the Eastern and Southern coasts. Now Cook had proved that there was no channel with outlet on the Eastern coast. But it remained at least possible that there was a channel behind Rosemary Island with outlets in the Gulf of Carpentaria, in the Australian Bight, or in soma great mediterranean sea in the unknown heart of the continent. Or, again, instead of a channel there might be the mouth of a mighty river, the Amazon of New Holland. There was certainly "a great geographical question to be settled relative to the parts behind Rosemary Island."

The Chart of the Western coast seemed to be founded on good information as far South as Rottenest Island; "but, for its formation from thence to Cape Leeuwin, there were no good documents." And knowledge of the South, from Cape Leeuwin to the Island of St. Francis and St. Peter, rested on one voyage, that of the Gulden Zeepaart in 1627, a voyage of which no record remained, save the bare statement on the map that it had been made.* And Eastward of the Islands of St. Francis and St. Peter, all the way to Point Hicks was sheer vacancy, broken only by the fragmentary outline of Van Diemen's Land, as discovered by Tasman in 1642, with a slight extension to the North East that represented the small discoveries of Furneaux in 1773. It was this almost unbroken vacancy between the Eastern edge of Nuytsland and Point Hicks that offered the chief attraction to explorers. "Its investigation," wrote Flinders, "had formed a part of the instruction of the unfortunate French navigator Lapérouse, and afterwards of those of his countryman Dentrecasteaux; and it was, not without some reason, attributed to England as a reproach, that an imaginary line of more than two hundred and fifty leagues' extent in the vicinity of one of her colonies should have been so long suffered to remain traced upon the charts under the title of UNKNOWN COAST."

[* In 1791, however, Vancouver had sailed from King George III.'s Sound to Termination Island, and in 1792 Dentrecasteaux had sailed nearly as far as the Dutch turning-point. See earlier and later.]

The "unknown coast" presented problems of peculiar interest, both scientific and practical. Was Van Diemen's Land continuous with New Holland, or was it separated by a strait that would give a very useful passage to ships? Furneaux, the seaman who had best opportunity of knowing, had thought that they were one land, and that the region between Point Hicks and Furneaux Island was not a Strait but a Bay; and Cook had accepted Furneaux's opinion. On the other hand Governor Hunter, sailing across this region in 1789, had argued from the appearance of the sea, and from the set of the current, that there was "either a very deep gulf or a strait."

Still more fascinating was the problem offered by the gap between De Nuytsland and Van Diemen's Land or Point Hicks. It was a gap which, in terms of modern geography, contained the whole coast of South Australia, very nearly the whole coast of Victoria, and the North coast and most of the West coast of Tasmania. Such coasts were one possibility in the mind' of the explorer. But there were other possibilities of a peculiarly exciting character. Here in this "unknown coast," if anywhere, would be found the clue to the inexplicable riddle of the continent;—the fact that apparently it had no rivers! It was "scarcely credible," writes Flinders, "that, if this vast country were one connected mass of land, it should not contain some large rivers, and, if any, this unknown part was one of the two remaining places* where they were expected to discharge themselves into the sea." If, on the other hand, as the apparent want of rivers seemed to suggest, New Holland was in reality no continent, but a group of islands, then one outlet of the separating channels would most likely be found in "this unexplored part of the South coast." If, once again, the true explanation of the lack of rivers was that the interior was "principally occupied by a mediterrancan sea," then the entrance to this sea, if there was an entrance, might reasonably be looked for in the same "unknown coast."

[* The second, apparently, being the region behind Rosemary Island.]

Thus, when Cook had done his work, and ta'en his wages, much interest still remained in the study of Australian geography. It was an interest that touched not only men of science, but also merchants, and also statesmen; and not only the countrymen of Cook, but also the countrymen of de Brosses and Bougainville. It launched voyages of discovery, both British and French, whose records are among the most fascinating in the whole history of exploration. But, for us, it is only possible to note the facts which are of essential importance in the story of exploration that we have followed; and we will note them mainly in connection with the central figure of this last chapter, the boy of twenty-one, short, slight, alert, with noble brow, almost black hair, and eyes dark, bright, commanding, who sailed for Sydney on the Reliance in 1795.

Matthew Flinders, like Banks, was a Lincolnshire man, as students of his maps have reason to know. He was induced, he says, "to go to sea against the wishes of his friends from reading Robinson Crusoe." A fortnight before his death, in time of desperate illness and hard poverty, he subscribed to a new edition of that work. We note this clue to a character adventurous, patient, determined. At the age of fifteen he was midshipman on the Bellerophon, the famous ship on which, sixteen years later, Napoleon surrendered. Two years later he entered the school of Cook. He sailed under Bligh—who had sailed under Cook—in the voyage which brought the bread-fruit from Tahiti to the West Indies. The ships passed through Torres Strait by a passage Northward of that taken by the Endeavour, and Flinders had the chance of observing under a captain, who was as able in seamanship as he was incompetent in politics, the greatest difficulties in the way of navigation, and how to overcome them.



65. CAPTAIN MATTHEW FLINDERS, R.N.
(From an engraving, published 30th Sept. 1814, by Joyce Gold, Naval Chronicle Office.)

In 1794 Flinders, back again in the Bellerophon, was present at the battle of the 1st of June, and is said to have fired off a lot of guns without waiting orders, and to have explained that "he thought it a fair chance to have a shot at 'em." But "the passion for exploring new countries" grew strong; and in 1795 he gladly sailed on the Reliance with Governor Hunter, the second Governor of New South Wales, to the half-known land of the South. The ship-surgeon was George Bass, also a Lincolnshire man, now aged thirty-two, six feet high, of dark complexion, and of "a very penetrating countenance";—"a man," says Flinders, "whose ardour for discovery was not to be suppressed by any obstacles, nor deterred by danger; and with this friend a determination was formed of completing the examination of the East coast of New South Wales by all such opportunities as the duty of the ship, and procurable means, could admit." In order to make quite sure that the "means" would not be entirely wanting, the man with the "very penetrating countenance" had put on board "a little boat of eight feet keel and five feet beam," which he named Tom Thumb. He would penetrate at least as far as Tom Thumb could be made to go.

And in fact it turned out that Tom Thumb was the only "means procurable." Ships were scarce and small at Sydney in 1795, and many uses for them seemed more urgent than exploration. The plans of the young fellows were called "romantic" by officials who were wondering how they should get something to eat; and, "so far from any good being anticipated, even prudence and friendship joined in discouraging if not in opposing them." But the "penetrating Bass," though anxious to get state aid, believed that the best way to get state aid was the way of energetic private enterprise. Tom Thumb was not the sort of vessel one would choose for exploration of an unknown and dangerous coast. Eight feet length and five feet beam provided cramped accommodation at night off a stormy and rocky coast for two men of whom one was six feet tall, though the other luckily was only five feet six. But Tom Thumb would have been good enough for Robinson Crusoe, and it was good enough for Bass and Flinders. In it, in October 1795, they went to Botany Bay and explored the "winding course" of George's River. In January 1796 they went a second cruise in "another boat of nearly the same size," that had been built at Port Jackson. In it they explored the coast South of Botany Bay, entered beautiful Port Hacking, coasted fertile Illawarra, and met brave adventures by sea and land, dear to the heart of Robinson Crusoes.

The plans of the two adventurers were "romantic," but they now seemed likely also to be useful. Solid and kindly Governor Hunter, striving manfully against fearful odds for the good of his disreputable subjects, felt now that he was justified in granting state aid to those who had shown they could do so much without it. Midshipman Flinders, unhappily, was busy in duties connected with the repair of the Reliance, a ship so rotten that the Captain thought the safe voyage from London proved that he was "intended to be hung in room of being drowned." But Surgeon Bass was "less confined in his duty," and had been busy penetrating in all directions. In June 1796 he had tried to penetrate the Blue Mountains; but "his success," his friend has to admit, "was not commensurate to the perseverance and labour employed; the mountains were impassable." In August 1797 he had again explored the South coast, and had discovered the seam of coal that is worked to this day. Next month he had walked across unknown country from the Cowpastures to the South Coast. And now, at the end of 1797, he had asked Governor Hunter to allow him "the use of a good boat," and permission to "recruit her with volunteers from the King's ships." To the sober-minded Governor, Mr. Bass seemed "a young man of a well-informed mind, and an active disposition"; and he "accordingly furnished him with an excellent whaleboat, well-fitted, victualled, and manned to his wish, for the purpose of examining the coast to the Southward, and as far as he could with safety and convenience go."

The excellent whale-boat was twenty-eight feet seven inches long, and was fitted to row eight oars. She was manned by a crew of six British seamen, and she carried provisions for six weeks. Bass's proposal was to re-survey in detail the coast from Port Jackson to Point Hicks, which Cook had surveyed in outline twenty-eight years before. But the main interest of the voyage would begin at Point Hicks, for at that point the charted coastline broke. There was nothing on the map Southward of it till you came to Furneaux's Islands and Van Diemen's Land. And there was nothing Westward of it till you came to De Nuytsland. It remained to chart the intervening regions, and the first business was to determine whether the water to the South of Point Hicks was a Bay or a Strait, i.e. whether Van Diemen's Land was an island or a part of New South Wales. It was a question in which Governor Hunter, himself a capable surveyor, felt a special interest. In 1789, sailing from Furneaux Island to Point Hicks, he had argued from the appearance of the sea, and from the set of the current, that "there is reason to believe that there is in that space either a very deep gulf or a strait which may separate Van Diemen's Land from New Volland." No doubt he was very willing that the young man of well-informed mind and active disposition should have his chance to determine a question that was not only interesting to geographers, but also of great importance to navigators.

Bass, with his six, sailed on this famous voyage on the 3rd of December, 1797.* The three hundred miles of coast between Port Jackson and Point Hicks had been surveyed by Cook; but Bass—thus Flinders sums things up—"added a number of particulars which had escaped Captain Cook, and will always escape any navigator in a first discovery unless he have the time and means of joining a close examination by boats to what may be seen from the ship." He noticed the famous Kiama "blow-hole,"—"a deep ragged hole of about twenty-five or thirty feet in diameter, and on one side of it the sea washed in through a subterranean passage with a most tremendous noise." He discovered the lovely Shoalhaven valley, with "many thousand acres of open ground, whose soil is a rich vegetable mould"; but he thought, unwisely, that "the difficulties of shipping off the produce must ever remain a bar to its colonization." He entered Jervis Bay, and described it as "a wide open bay of a very unpromising appearance upon first entering it"; but he found an anchoring place where, he thought, ships "might at most or all times ride in safety." Bateman's Bay he thought ill of; "there is," he writes, "no shelter except merely from Northerly winds." "Barmouth Creek" (Bega River) he described as "the prettiest little model of a harbour we had ever seen," but the shallow bar made entrance almost impossible. He discovered Twofold Bay, which, he says "may be known by a red point on the South side, of the peculiar bluish hue on a drunkard's nose." "The nautical advantages of the Bay, notwithstanding the anchorage is but small, seem to be superior to any we have been in"; but, he has to add, "we had the mortification to find that the same sterility we had almost everywhere witnessed upon the coast still attended it."**

[* Bass's Journal is printed in Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. iii. p. 312 et seq.]

[** Flinders wrote later: "Twofold Bay is not of itself worthy of particular interest; but as nothing larger than boats can find shelter in any other part of this coast, from Jervis Bay round to Inlet Corner (near Wilson's Promontory) or to Furneaux's Isles, it thereby becomes of importance to whalers and to other ships passing along the coast."]

At Point Hicks—where he failed to distinguish the "Point"—he passed the Southernmost limit of Cook's survey, and began the exploration of unknown coast. Here, comments Flinders, "began the harvest in which Mr. Bass was ambitious to place the first reaping-hook." He rounded the great Southern promontory, which seemed "well worthy of being the boundary point of a large strait, and a corner stone of this great island New Holland." He named it Furneaux's Land, thinking that Furneaux had seen it in 1773. But Flinders afterwards showed that this was a mistake, and the name was changed to Wilson's Promontory, "in compliment," says Flinders, "to my friend Thomas Wilson, Esq., of London."

Bass intended now "to make the North coast of Van Diemen's Land." But Governor Hunter's "excellent whaleboat "was showing that some of its parts were not so excellent as others. "The water was observed to gush in through the boat's side pretty plentifully," and Bass thought it wisest to return to the promontory, and to coast Westward; "for the state of the boat," he writes, "did not seem to allow of our quitting the shore with propriety." They were in fact, comments Flinders—who has a useful way of saying things which his friend omits to mention—in "the greatest danger; but the good qualities of his little bark, with careful steerage, carried him through this perilous night." On a tiny island near the promontory, he discovered with amazement a party of seven convicts, mostly Irish, who had escaped from Sydney, and had been deserted by their companions. Bass relieved their extreme distress, and promised to call at the island on his return.

Then, coasting North-Westward, he discovered the "very extensive harbour," which, "from its relative position to every other known harbour on the coast," he named "Western Port." Here he stayed twelve days, receiving impressions that were only moderately favourable. "He had the satisfaction, however," comments Flinders—always afraid lest his friend's modesty should lead to an undervaluation of his work—"of placing, at the end of his new coast, an extensive and useful harbour, surrounded with a country superior to any other known parts of New South Wales."

Had Bass been able to sail round the Western Promontory of Western Port, he would have been the discoverer of Port Phillip, and would perhaps have been the first to observe the site of Melbourne. But he had perforce to turn for home. He had been given provisions for six weeks, and he had already been away for nearly seven. In his return voyage he noticed seals upon the island near the Promontory, and made the remark, which proved profitable to others, that "a speculation upon a small scale might be carried on with advantage." He took on board two of the distressed convicts, and, giving the other five a musket, fishing lines and a compass, he landed them on the continent, and advised them to walk to Sydney, five hundred miles away. He had done all that he could do for them, but they were never seen again.

When near the Promontory, Bass noticed the rapidity of the tide, and made an interesting remark. "Whenever it shall be decided," he wrote, "that the opening between this and Van Diemen's Land is a strait, this rapidity of tide, and that long swell upon the coast to the Westward will be accounted for." The phrase is comically cautious. It reminds one of the saying of the Oxford classical student who, when asked, after an examination in geometry, whether he had proved a certain proposition to be true, replied that, though he had not exactly proved it to be true, he believed he had shown it to be on the whole extremely probable. The fact was, however, as Flinders tells, that "Mr. Bass himself entertained no doubt of the existence of a wide strait separating Van Diemen's Land from New South Wales, and he yielded with the greatest reluctance to the necessity of returning before it was so fully ascertained as to admit of no doubt in the minds of others." But there was very little doubt in the minds of others. Governor Hunter wrote home that "we have much reason to conclude that there is an open strait"; and Flinders thought that no other proof of its existence was needed than that of sailing through it. Bass's odd phrase is interesting, as a singular illustration of the modesty of the man, and of the cautious language of the new scientific period. In earlier days, a seaman who saw a mile of land, or even a good-sized cloud, in the Pacific was prepared to swear that he had seen a continent which extended from Tierra del Fuego to the Solomons. Now Bass saw facts which proved that he had discovered the Strait, and he was content to say, in effect, that when someone else had discovered the Strait, the facts which he, Bass, had noticed would be accounted for. It is satisfactory that, in spite of all that Bass managed to leave unsaid, the Strait, thanks to friend Flinders, bears the name of the man who discovered it.

Bass reached Sydney on the 25th of February after an absence of eighty-four days. With "the assistance of occasional supplies of petrels, fish, seal's flesh, and a few geese and black swans, and by abstinence," he had made six weeks' provision serve for twelve. Flinders would have given many a week's wage to have had a share in the splendid venture and exploit. But, to the student, his absence was perhaps an advantage, for he was the better able to praise. Bass's own diary is modest, cautious, reticent, almost colourless:—the one touch of colour is the artistic description of the drunkard's nose by which you may recognize Twofold Bay, and that touch was no doubt forced upon him by irresistible reminiscence of things seen in Sydney; a city in which, as Dr. Lang said, nearly everyone at this time was either selling rum or drinking it. But when, sixteen years later, Flinders told the story he could tell the whole truth. "A voyage," he wrote, "expressly undertaken for discovery in an open boat, and in which six hundred miles of coast, mostly in a boisterous climate, were explored, has not perhaps its equal in the annals of maritime history. The public will award to its high-spirited and noble conductor, alas! now no more, an honourable place in the list of those whose ardour stands most conspicuous for the promotion of useful knowledge." And, in fact, the generally irreverent public of Sydney had already awarded that honourable place. In 1802, two French ships, of which we shall hear more, sailed into Port Jackson, and a very able French man of science, named Péron, wrote a description of Sydney that has great historical value and interest. He told of the discovery of the Strait "by a simple whaleboat, commanded by Mr. Bass, surgeon of the ship Reliance," and he continued:—"Consecrated, as I may say, by this grand discovery, this bold navigation, Mr. Bass's boat is preserved in this port with a kind of religious respect. Snuff-boxes made of its keel are relics, of which the possessors are as proud as they are careful, and the Governor himself (Governor King) imagined he could not make a more respectful present to our chief than a piece of wood from the boat, set in a large silver étui, round which were engraven the particulars of the discovery of Bass's Strait."

When Bass returned to Sydney, Flinders was away on a voyage. Duties on the Reliance had prevented him from joining his friend on the whale-boat. But luck came to him three weeks before Bass returned. Governor Hunter was sending the Francis to the Furneaux Islands to bring back the cargo of a ship which had been wrecked on one of them; and he gave Flinders permission to sail in her, in order "to make such observations; serviceable to geography and navigation, as circumstances might afford." Flinders made his surveys with his usual care and ability, and he wrote some interesting remarks about seals and sooty petrels or mutton birds. The seals, he said, reminded him of "a farmyard well stocked with pigs," while petrels could be had in any quantity by thrusting your arm into their holes, if you dared face the risk that at the end of the hole there might be a snake instead of a petrel. But Flinders' mind was chiefly concerned with the problem of the unexplored sea to the West, which Furneaux had thought to be a Bay. Flinders, like Bass, reached the conclusion that Furneaux had been satisfied with insufficient evidence. He observed from Furneaux Islands the same significant currents which Bass had just observed from Wilson's Promontory; and he came to the conclusion, by this independent observation, that "the great strength of the tides setting Westward past the islands could only be caused by some exceedingly deep inlet, or by a passage through to the Southern Indian Ocean."

Flinders arrived at Sydney on the 9th of March 1798. Bass had arrived a fortnight before. The friends exchanged notes, agreed that a Strait existed, and determined to sail through it. Flinders had first to make a trip to Norfolk Island. But, in September 1798, he was free, and he had his desire. Governor Hunter gave him the use for twelve weeks of the Norfolk, a sloop of twenty-five tons, which had been built in Norfolk Island of the famous pines. She was a bad boat in all respects, but she could float, and that sufficed. Sailing in her, Flinders was to prove that there was a Strait by sailing through it; and then to prove that Van Diemen's Land was an island by sailing round it. His special business would be to make observations serviceable to geography and navigation. "My friend Bass" was to accompany him, with special duty to make observations on the lands that would be visited. The crew were eight volunteers from the King's ships. Twelve weeks were allowed, and twelve weeks' provisions were put on board.

Flinders sailed from Sydney on the 7th of October 1798, and from Furneaux's Islands on the 1st of November.* He made for the North coast of Van Diemen's Land, and on the 3rd of November he observed an inlet with shores "covered with grass and wood to the water's edge," a remarkable contrast to "the rocky, sterile banks observed in sailing up Port Jackson." Entering, he discovered a harbour which he named Port Dalrymple, and it proved to be "an excellent place of refreshment." Into it flowed a beautiful river whose shores "presented an appearance of fertility that astonished an eye used to those of the rocky harbours of New South Wales." Here they spent sixteen happy days, Flinders surveying harbour and river, while Bass tramped the country with his dogs. He was especially impressed by sight of enormous flocks of black swans—he once counted three hundred of them swimming within a square quarter-mile. He heard the dying song of some scores of them, and he says that it "exactly resembled the creaking of a rusty ale-house sign on a windy day." Not more than two-thirds of the flock could fly; a fact which no doubt helped to form the opinion that Port Dalrymple was "an excellent place for refreshment." In fact, all things suggested a settlement; and six years later a settlement was formed forty miles up the river, which was named the Tamar, at a beautiful place which was named Launceston.**

[* Flinders' Journal is printed in Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. iii. p. 769. He also described the voyage in Terra Australis, vol. i. pp. cxxxviii. to cxciii. Bass's Journal is printed in Collins, vol. ii. pp. 143 to 194.]

[** Walker's Early Tasmania, p. 110.]

Westward from Port Dalrymple, the coast was found to trend towards the North-West, and the water appeared to be discoloured;—facts which seemed to indicate that "we were approaching the head of a bay rather than the issue of a strait." But on the 7th of December, they observed a tide from the West which they considered "a strong proof not only of the real existence of a passage between this land and New South Wales, but also that the entrance into the Southern Indian Sea could not be far distant." On the 9th they could see no main land to the West, and "a long swell was perceived to come from the South-West." The long swell "was likely to prove troublesome and perhaps dangerous"; but, writes Flinders, "Mr. Bass and myself hailed it with joy and mutual congratulation, as announcing the completion of our long-wished-for discovery of a passage into the Southern Indian Ocean."

Van Diemen's Land, then, was an island, and Flinders sailed along its Western coast, observing mountains—so writes the man from flat and fertile Lincolnshire—which seemed "amongst the most stupendous works of nature I ever beheld, and...the most dismal and barren that can be imagined. The eye ranges over these peaks and variously formed lumps of adamantine rock with astonishment and horror." On the 11th of December he identified Tasman's landfall, and named Mount Heemskirk and Mount Zeehan in memory of the Dutch ships. Then he sailed along the shores which Tasman had charted one hundred and fifty years before, recognizing the main landmarks and correcting the detail. Rounding "the rugged and determined front" which the extremity of Van Diemen's Land presents to the icy regions of the South Pole," he came on the 14th of December to Storm Bay.

He was now in a region that had been visited by several navigators. Tasman had surveyed the coast, and had given names to its prominent features. Furneaux and Cook had mistaken Tasman's landmarks in a way that produced permanent geographic confusion. In 1792 and 1793 the French navigator Dentrecasteaux had twice made long visits to the Channel which still bears his name; had explored with enthusiastic praise its fertile and beautiful shores; had explored—to use terms of modern geography—Norfolk Bay and Frederick Henry Bay; and had sailed twenty miles up the river Derwent, which he called the River of the North,—an unhappy name, comments Flinders, for a river in the far South. The hydrographer, Beaupré, had made charts which, wrote Flinders at a later date, "contain some of the finest specimens of marine surveying perhaps ever made in a new country";* but those charts were unknown to Flinders when he sailed into Storm Bay. He had, however, a rough chart which had been made by Hayes, a seaman who had been sent in 1794 by the East Indian Company to explore the Australasian part of the huge domain subject to their monopoly, and who, in ignorance of the French discoveries, had made these discoveries again, and had given them English names.

[* Flinders, p. xciii.; Walker, p. 8.]

Thus in the lovely region of Hobart there were no big things left for Flinders to discover. His main business was to make exact geographic reports, and to endeavour to get the confusion of geographic names into intelligible order; the latter task proved impracticable, and confusion became permanent.* Bass, meanwhile, explored with his dogs both sides of the river, and, first of Englishmen, enjoyed the delight—if a mountain ever can be a delight to a Lincolnshire man—of climbing Mount Wellington. His report was generally favourable, though his words sound faint praise to those who justly regard Hobart as one of the most perfectly situated cities in the world. To Bass the Derwent is a "dull and lifeless stream," with "a sleepy course." If it has "any claim to respectability, it is indebted for it more to the paucity of inlets into Van Diemen's Land than to any intrinsic merit of its own." The soil is, on the average, better than the soil of New South Wales, though the best in New South Wales is better than the best in Van Diemen's Land. Both these countries are "poor countries"; but, at all events, Van Diemen's Land "seldom sickens the hearts of its travellers with those extensive tracts which at once disarm industry, and leave the warmest imagination without one beguiling prospect." However, from the practical point of view, it sufficed that Van Diemen's Land, though poor, was less poor than New South Wales. "Many large tracts of land," Bass was able to say, "appear cultivateable both for maize and wheat, but which, as pastureland, would be excellent." The extensive valleys, he further admits, "contain an indeterminate depth of rich soil, capable of supporting the most exhausting vegetation." After all, there have been many countries, besides New South Wales, poorer than this. Bass especially recommended the land at the head of Risdon Creek, and his recommendation prevailed. In 1803 a settlement was made in this "fertile valley of great beauty." The site, however, proved unsuitable for a large town, and the little settlement moved next year to the neighbouring Sullivan Cove.**

[* E.g. "As I apprehend this is the place that Tasman called Frederick Henry Bay more than a century ago, I have prefixed that name to it in the chart" (Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. iii. p. 805)—a mistake which confirmed once more Furneaux's mistake, and placed on the West side of Tasman's peninsula a Bay which Tasman had placed on the East.]

[** See Walker's Early Tasmania, p. 59.]

Flinders sailed from the Derwent, after a fortnight's stay, on the 30th of December, and he reached Sydney on the 11th of January, 1799. He had lengthened the permitted twelve weeks to fourteen. The fruits of the voyage were of great value. It led to the colonization of Van Diemen's Land, and it determined the sites of its two chief cities. But its great distinction was the definite proof of the existence of a Strait between New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. This was a discovery, Flinders claimed, which shortened the passage from the Cape to Port Jackson by at least a week; and it also made easier the passage from the South Cape of Van Diemen's Land to the Cape of Good Hope or to India by removing "the fear of the great unknown bight between the South Cape and the South-West Cape of Leeuwen's Land." Ships sailing from South Cape could now safely make a West-North-West course, or call at King George the Third's Sound, that had been discovered by Vancouver; and "it is to be hoped," concluded Flinders, already thinking of the future rather than of the past, "that a few years will disclose to us many others (i.e. other Sounds) on the coast, as well as the verification or futility of the conjecture that a still larger than Bass's Strait dismembers New Holland." All these good things followed from the discovery of Bass's Strait, and "Bass's Strait," Flinders told Governor Hunter, the name must be. "This," he wrote at a later date, "was no more than a just tribute to my worthy friend and companion, for the extreme dangers and fatigues he had undergone in first entering it in the whaleboat, and to the correct judgment he had formed."

And this is our reverent and affectionate farewell to George Bass, that clear, bright, brave and loving spirit. His day of knightly venture was done, and the end no man knows. We follow the story of the equal friend, still determined to carry the common scheme to completion.

For to Flinders it still seemed morning. The rich gleanings of Cook's harvest remained on the field, and he was so to gather them that no straw would remain for his successors. "My greatest ambition," he wrote, "is to make such a minute investigation that no person shall have occasion to come after me to make further discoveries." All the problems of the Australian map crowded his mind, and, dominant among them, the problem of the still "unknown coast" between De Nuyts's discovery of the islands of St. Peter and St. Francis, and Bass's discovery of Western Port. Did this unknown coast contain, as was generally believed,* "a still larger than Bass's Strait," which "dismembered New Holland" by running Northward till it opened into the Gulf of Carpentaria? That was the question in Flinders' mind as he sailed back to Sydney, and the one thing certain was that, if he did not answer it, the fault would not be his.

[*

In September 1800, Governor King wrote that "a sea or strait running from the Gulf of Carpentaria into the Southern Ocean" was "a very favourite idea in this country."]

Luck went with him. In spite of repairs, the Reliance was so rotten that, in March 1800, Governor Hunter thought well to send her home, while there was still a chance that "she may be capable of performing the voyage." She performed the voyage, though with difficulty, and Flinders, sailing upon her, came to England in October 1800. He printed his "Observations" on the coasts he had discovered, and he dedicated the pamphlet to Sir Joseph Banks.

For Banks, whom we left at the end of his voyage a joyful boy of twenty-eight, was in 1800 a man of fifty-seven, still boylike in enthusiasms and energies, but with full powers to get those things done which his strong will and hot temper decided ought to be done. For twenty-three years he had been President of the Royal Society, and for twenty years longer he was to remain in that position. And, through all those years, he used character, influence, and money to organize scientific research as no one man ever organized scientific research either before him or after him. He was, as one of his political friends truly said, "His Majesty's Ministre des Affaires Philosophiques,"* and His Majesty was far more open to advice in affairs of philosophy than in affairs of politics; though, as Banks knew, he could muddle an affair of sheep as ignorantly and as obstinately as he muddled an affair of America. And, while the whole world was the province of Banks's studies, the country which he had made his own was the country which, when he was leaving it, he had described as in every respect the barrenest country he had ever seen. It was mainly his recommendation that had caused the Government to found the colony of New South Wales in 1788, and by March 1797 the enthusiasm of age had so grown in him that he was wishing that he could himself go to settle on the Hawkesbury, and was asking the question whether England might not revive in New South Wales when it had sunk in Europe.** It was to Banks, then, that British secretaries turned when they needed instruction about what seemed to them the indispensable nuisance of a convict colony, and Banks gave instructions that were vehement and minute. He recommended officials from Governors to Gardeners, and both Governors and Gardeners were his obedient servants and correspondents. It was certain that what things he thought should be done in New South Wales would at least be attempted. Wherefore it was to Sir Joseph Banks that Flinders dedicated his "Observations," and explained the need of a voyage that should make a full and exact exploration of all the coasts of Australia, "as well those which were imperfectly known as those entirely unknown."

[* Smith's Banks, p. 207.]

[** Smith, p. 219. "I see the future prospect of empires and dominions which cannot be disappointed. Who knows but that England may revive in New South Wales when it has sunk in Europe?"]



66. SIR JOSEPH BANKS, BART., P.C., K.B., F.R.S.
(From a painting by Thomas Phillips in the National Portrait Gallery.)

Sir Joseph thought well of Flinders and of his proposals, and he easily persuaded his friend Earl Spencer, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to give Flinders command of the best of the bad ships that could be spared from the present war. The Investigator was a sloop of three hundred and thirty-four tons, and "nearly resembled the description of the vessel recommended by Captain Cook." She was in a very weak and leaky condition—she began "to leak as soon as the channel was cleared"—but Flinders was told that "no better ship could be spared from the service," and "my anxiety," he explains, "to complete the investigation of the coasts of Terra Australis did not admit of refusing the one offered." In all matters of equipment the generosity of the Government was boundless. The Secretary told Banks that any proposal he made would be approved, and that the whole was left entirely to his decision. Banks told Flinders to fit out the ship as he should judge necessary, and Flinders' judgment was probably the best in England. Among the men of science whom Banks sent with him was the very famous botanist Robert Brown—Banks described him as "a Scotchman, fitted to pursue an object with constancy and a cold mind"—and among the midshipmen was John Franklin, one more famous Lincolnshire man, who was now first to learn the business of discovery.

Flinders' ambition was to explore with perfect and final exactness all the Australian coasts, "as well those which were imperfectly known as those entirely unknown." But the problem that dominated his mind was the problem of the "unknown coast" between De Nuytsland and Western Port, and especially the question whether it contained the entrance of a channel which "dismembered New Holland" by running to the Gulf of Carpentaria. And it was the exploration of this "unknown coast" which, in fact, was the most interesting part of the Investigator's voyage. The end of the story was that this "unknown coast" was discovered in four parts by four explorers. Of these four explorers Flinders was one. Two others were Grant and Murray in the Lady Nelson. And the fourth was the French navigator Baudin in Le Géographe. And, in order to follow Flinders' story with intelligence, we must know something of the stories of the other three explorers.

In 1799 Philip Gidley King, who perhaps knew as much about New South Wales as anyone, was in England and was preparing to sail back to Sydney as successor to Governor Hunter. He explained to Banks that a small boat was much needed in order to explore the shallow waters of rivers and bays; and it was finally agreed that the perfect boat for the purpose was a sixty ton boat, named the Lady Nelson, that had been built by Captain Schanck of the Admiralty with a sliding keel, the effects of which were vastly admired. In January 1800 this tiny boat—generally called, says Lieutenant Grant her proud commander, His Majesty's Tinder Box—sailed on her long voyage. When Grant reached the Cape, he received a letter, written after his departure by the Duke of Portland, which informed him of the discovery of Bass's Strait, and instructed him to sail through the Strait on his way to Sydney. In obeying this instruction, Grant made the first discovery of part of the unknown coast. On the 3rd of December he saw two capes which he named Cape Banks and Cape Northumberland. On the modern map they stand at the extreme South-Eastern corner of South Australia, on the border of Victoria. Sailing Eastward, he named Cape Bridgewater and Cape Nelson, sailed across an opening which he named Portland Bay, named Cape Otway, and thence sailed to Wilson's Promontory across an opening which he named King's Bay;* a Bay which, as he knew, contained Western Port, and which also contained, though he did not know it, Port Phillip. Grant's discovery, then, had been the coast from Cape Banks to Cape Otway, that is the Western half of the coastline of the State of Victoria; and, further, the map of his track** invited exploration of the great opening between Cape Otway and Wilson's Promontory, which included Port Phillip and the site of Melbourne. Grant described King's Bay as being one hundred miles wide, and so "deep" that he "could not see the bottom of it from the mast-head"; and he wondered whether this "very deep bay" was the entrance of a channel which led to the Gulf of Carpentaria and "insulated New South Wales." Bringing this news with him, Grant passed the Strait, the first seaman who passed it from West to East, and reached Sydney on the 16th of December, 1800, declaring that the Lady Nelson was equal to any vessel as a sea-boat"—a statement which had afterwards to be qualified by the admission of "the utter impossibility of her ever being able to beat off a lee-shore."

[* He wrote to Governor King, "One of the most extensive (Bays) I named after yourself, as it is the largest I met with, and is, by tolerable estimation from the ship's run on the log, one hundred and odd miles nearly due East and West from Cape to Cape" (Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. iv. p. 269).]

[** Grant's book (p. 69) gives his track. See Illustrtation 67, immediately below. King made a "rough eye copy" which is printed in Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. iv. p. 311; and also an "eye-sketch," which is printed in Ida Lee's Lady Nelson.]



67. PART OF MAP IN GRANT'S Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery.

In October 1801 the Lady Nelson was sent, under command of Lieutenant Murray, to make further exploration in Bass's Straits, and especially to explore the big gap of one hundred miles which Grant had noticed between Wilson's Promontory and Cape Otway. Sailing out of Western Port on the 5th of January 1802, Murray saw in the afternoon, "an opening in the land that had the appearance of a harbour," and, approaching nearer, he saw across a reef "a fine sheet of smooth water of great extent." The entrance, however, looked dangerous, the wind "blowed as much as our vessel likes," so Murray sailed on, and by the end of January returned to Western Port. Hence, on the 1st of February, he sent the launch under Mr. Bowen to seek a channel. "Mr. Bowen reported," writes Murray, "that a good Channel was found into this new harbour,...and according to his account it is a most noble sheet of water, larger even than Western Port, with many fine Coves and entrances in it." On the 15th of February 1802, Murray managed, with much suspicion and carefulness, to sail the Lady Nelson through what seemed the dangerous entrance into the harbour. "The young man," wrote Governor King to Banks, "did very well...He discovered a spacious harbour about six miles to the Westward of Western Port which I named Port Phillip, after my worthy and dear friend the Admiral, who, until now, had not had his name bestowed on either stick or stone in the colony."

Thus, before Flinders reached the "unknown coast," two parts of it had been discovered. Grant had discovered the coast from Cape Banks to Cape Otway in December 1800; and Murray and Bowen had discovered Port Phillip in January and February 1802. Flinders did not hear of these discoveries till he came to Sydney.*

[* Voyage, vol. i. p. 200.]

There is no reason to think that Flinders gave himself trouble about the rivalry of British seamen, but there was a foreign rival whose voyage was much in his mind. In May 1800 Napoleon authorised the despatch of two ships, Le Géographe and Le Naturaliste, under Baudin, with instructions to explore the Australian coasts, and in October 1800 the ships sailed. It was a voyage the meaning of which must be interpreted in the light of previous French plans and enterprises. Since the days when de Brosses had studied the problems of the Pacific, "both as geographer and as citizen," interest in those problems had burnt as steady and as keen in France as in Britain. As rivalry in the Atlantic ended, rivalry in the Pacific began. It took the form of "voyages of curiosity," but the voyagers were curious not only about affairs of philosophy, but also about affairs of politics. Their desire was knowledge, but their talk was also of commerce and of settlement. And they talked a good deal also of one another, and they followed one another in a way that reminds us of the old school game of Chevy Chase. Bougainville followed Wallis, and Cook followed Bougainville, and Marion and Kerguelen and Lapérouse followed Cook.

Then the plot hardened. In 1756 de Brosses had proposed a French convict colony in New Britain, and in 1788 Phillip, after a few days in Botany Bay, founded a British convict colony in Port Jackson. Eight days after Phillip had arrived in Botany Bay, two French ships sailed into the Bay under Lapérouse, and excellent books still make the comment that England only won Australia by those few days.* The comment is entirely wrong. There is not the smallest reason to suppose that Lapérouse had designs on New South Wales.** His voyage, as both Governmental Instructions and his own conduct show, was a voyage of curiosity; and, when he called at Botany Bay, he had three objects only in mind—knowledge, refreshment, and opportunity to put together a new long boat.*** He obtained what he sought, and sailed away; and, thirty-eight years afterwards, the relics of his ships were found at the bottom of the sea near an island in the Santa Cruz group. Lapérouse has no place in the story of Australian discovery, yet we would not willingly forget the radiant figure, true knight of Humanity, that stands so bright against the drab circumstances of our beginning.

[* Phillip arrived on January 18th. Lapérouse got sight of land on January 24th, but was unable to enter the bay till January 26th. Phillip left Botany Bay to explore Port Jackson on January 21st; and the British ships sailed to Port Jackson on January 25th and 26th, leaving the French, as Lapérouse wrote, "alone and masters of the Bay." He sailed on March 10th.]

[** Lapérouse's very elaborate "Instructions" had been drawn up in 1785 by the Comte de Fleurieu, who had probably more complete knowledge of the geographical problems of the Pacific than any other living man. The object of the voyage was to clear up these geographic problems. There was no suggestion of French settlement. It was declared that "the distance of the Pacific islands" seems likely to prohibit nations of Europe from forming establishments there." In Australasia, Lapérouse was to sail through "Endeavour Strait," to survey the Gulf of Carpentaria and the West coast, and "inspect more particularly the Southern coast, of which the greatest part has never been explored." Then he was to call at Van Diemen's Land, and to sail thence to Queen Charlotte Sound, where he was to discover if the British have made a settlement. No reference was made to Botany Bay, or to British plans of settlement there. Lapérouse's correspondence shows that, so late as the 7th of September, 1787, his intention was to sail from Avatscha, not to Botany Bay, but, in accordane with his Instructions, to New Zealand. On the 28th of September, however, he wrote to the French minister that, in consequence of orders just received from him, he will touch at Botany Bay. The French minister's letter has not, I think, been printed. It seems clear that it contained information about the proposed English settlement at Botany Bay, and that it ordered Lapérouse to call there. But it is impossible to believe that it contained instructions to annex New South Wales. New South Wales had been formally annexed by Cook in 1770. If Lapérouse had arrived at Botany Bay before Phillip, and had fronted him with a French annexation, the act would have been equivalent to declaration of war on Great Britain, for a locality which the French had shown no desire to possess. It seems certain that Lapérouse was told to visit Botany Bay in the spirit in which, in the original instructions, he had been told to visit New Zealand. It was to be a visit of curiosity, though the facts learned would be interesting to French politicians as well as to French philosophers. A Sydney soldier (Paterson) says that Lapérouse expected to find a town built and a market established.]

[*** Cf. Scott in Victorian Historical Magazine, Dec. 1912.]

Lapérouse was a hero to all Frenchmen, to the men of the Revolution as to the men of the old regime; and the romance of his name strengthened the determination that Frenchmen should take large share in the exploration of the Pacific. In 1791 the National Assembly decreed that two ships should be sent under Dentrecasteaux, to search for tidings of Lapérouse, and, while searching, to complete his work. The voyage was a failure. No trace of Lapérouse was found. No explanation of unknown Australia was made. In two places, however, noteworthy work was done. Dentrecasteaux surveyed that part of the South Coast which had been surveyed by the Gulden Zeepaart in 1627, and which had never been visited since that date. He did not, however, sail quite so far Eastward as the Dutch seaman had sailed, and the unknown coast remained unknown. The French hydrographer, Beaupré, gave high praise to the old Dutch chart, and himself made a chart of which Flinders says "no chart of a coast so little known as this was will bear a comparison with its original better." The voyage left on the map the names of Esperance Bay and Recherche Archipelago. The other place—a far more pleasant place—in which Dentrecasteaux did noteworthy work, was, as we have already seen, the lovely channel in Van Diemen's Land, which still bears his name. Here at last a thoroughly attractive region had been discovered, and it had been discovered by Frenchmen. Why not a French colony in fertile Dentrecasteaux Channel, to match the British colony in barren Port Jackson? True, the British had formally annexed the whole Eastern coast from Cape York to the South Cape of Van Diemen's Land. But it was certain that a British Government, which was willing to make peace by the cession of conquests like Cape Colony, would not prolong the war in order to keep Van Diemen's Land. These thoughts are not recorded, but it would be strange if French voyagers did not think them. It was a country, wrote Baudin in 1802, "which ought not to be neglected, and which a nation that does not love us does not look upon with indifference."

With these facts in mind, we can understand the meaning of the expedition which sailed under Baudin in October 1801. The plan of it was formed by French men of science, who were organized in the "Institute of France" somewhat as British men of science were organized in the Royal Society. It was, in its avowed purpose, solely a voyage of curiosity, just as the voyages of Cook and of Flinders, of Bougainville, Lapérouse and Dentrecasteaux had been solely voyages of curiosity. But, as with all these other voyages, the curiosity was a national curiosity, and was closely connected with national ambitions. Among the members of the Institute was Bougainville, the aide-de-camp of Montcalm, and the predecessor of Cook. And among them too was the Comte de Fleurieu, who had written the "Instructions" both of Lapérouse and Dentrecasteaux, who knew the problems of Pacific geography as well as Flinders knew them, and who was almost as eager as he that the prize of discovery should fall to his own countrymen. And it was as a voyage of national curiosity that Flinders thought of it, when he heard, in October 1800, that Baudin had actually sailed, with instructions to do precisely those things which Flinders had for years treasured in mind as dearest objects of British quest. Baudin was to make full and minute examination of the Australian coasts, and especially he was to explore the Southern coast, "where there is supposed to be a strait communicating with the Gulf of Carpentaria, and which consequently would divide New Holland into two large and almost equal islands." What danger that Flinders' discoveries would be discovered before Flinders arrived—and discovered by the French enemy!

And, though the confidential instructions of the Minister of Marine to Baudin declared that "the sole object" of the voyage was "the perfecting of scientific knowledge," it was very possible that it would also have other results. For French men of science were French patriots, and, anxious as they were to enlarge scientific knowledge, they were far more anxious to enlarge French dominions. When Péron, the brilliant man of science who sailed with Baudin, was being courteously entertained at Sydney, he made scientific studies that were careful and interesting; but, if we would know what he thought about with keenest interest during those Sydney days, we should read, not his scientific studies, but the explanation in his "Report on Port Jackson" of "the project of destroying this freshly-set trap of a great Power."* And though, as Professor Scott has abundantly proved, it was not Napoleon but the Institute of France who proposed Baudin's voyage, it was to Napoleon that the proposal was made, and it was Napoleon who approved it; Napoleon, who was becoming "weary of this old Europe," whose thoughts were growing less continental and more Oceanic, who was dreaming that France's future was on the sea,** and who was planning Empires in America, and in India, and why not beyond? There is no reason to think that, when Napoleon sanctioned the plan of the scientific gentlemen of the Institute, he expected Baudin to make straight the way for a Napoleonic Empire in Australia. He was, in 1800, far too busy in Europe, and far too weak on the sea, to be inclined to formulate concrete plans of annexation in Australia. But British statesmen in London, and British officials in Sydney, were convinced that a Napoleonic victory in Europe would be followed by a challenge to British sea power, that the ultimate aim would be to make the Napoleonic Empire not merely European but world-wide, and that there was reason to fear plans for a Terre Napoléon in New Holland. Therefore they regarded Baudin's search for "scientific knowledge" with suspicion, and their suspicion was just.***

[* Scott's Flinders, p. 464. Péron writes: "My opinion, and that of all those among us who have been particularly occupied with the organization of that colony, would be that we should destroy it as soon as possible. To-day we can do that easily; we shall not be able to do it in a few years to come." He adds that Lieutenant de Freycinet" has particularly occupied himself with examining at all points in the coast in the neighbourhood of Port Jackson that are favourable for the debarkation of troops." Freycinet's conclusion was that "the conquest of Port Jackson would be very easy to accomplish, since the English have neglected every species of means of defence." Napoleon, no doubt, had Freycinet's statements in mind when in 1810 he ordered the equipment of a squadron to "take the English colony of Port Jackson where considerable resources will be found." Baudin himself warned the French Minister of Marine "that the Colony of Port Jackson ought to engage the attention of this government...It seems to me that policy demands that by some means the preparations they are making for the future, which foreshadows great projects, ought to be balanced." See very interesting documents in Scott's Flinders.]

[** Cf. his instructions to De Caen in 1805. He intends some day to strike a blow for "that glory which perpetuates the memory of men throughout the centuries, and it is first necessary that we should become masters of the sea" (Scott's Flinders, p. 316).]

[*** Péron told De Caen: "It would be easy to demonstrate to you that all our natural history researches, extolled with so much ostentation by the government, were merely the pretext of the enterprise." Scott shows that scientific research was not merely a pretext. But Péron's words illustrate the fact that scientists were politicians, and were more interested in politics than in science.]

Such suspicions must have been in the minds of British ministers when, in June 1800, they granted passports to the two French ships as ships of discovery. And they were in the minds of the Directors of the East India Company when they voted £600 for the table-money of Flinders and his officers—"this voyage being within the limits of the Company's Charter." "I hope the French ships will not station themselves on the North-West coast of Australia," wrote one of the Company's Directors. And yet, in spite of these fears, there were intolerable delays. Baudin was away in October 1800. The Investigator was not ready till April 1802, and in May Flinders wrote to Banks to express his excessive anxiety to be off, for "the French are gaining time on us." It was not till July that he was permitted to sail. It was a race, and Baudin had nine months' start. If Flinders had enjoyed half that start there would have been nothing for Baudin to discover in the unknown coast.

But Baudin was a bad racer; in fact he did not race at all. He made very slow passage to Mauritius, stayed there forty days, and only reached Cape Leeuwin in May 1801, two hundred and twenty days after he had sailed from France. Then, as winter was coming, he thought it best to go North, so he sailed up the Western coast, making no important discoveries—the most interesting discovery was Vlamingh's "flattened pewter dish"*—and then made for Timor. Here he stayed for fifty-six days between the 18th of August and the 13th of November, and then sailed for Dentrecasteaux Channel in South Tasmania. Here he stayed—"picking up shells and catching butterflies," one of his officers complained—from January to March 1802, when he made for Bass's Strait, and at last began the exploration of the unknown coast, or rather the coast which had been unknown before Grant had discovered part of it in December 1800 and Murray another part of it in January 1802. What remained undiscovered, when Baudin entered the Eastern side of Bass's Strait in March 1802, was the region between the Dutch discovery in 1627 and Grant's discovery of 1800. Baudin, however, had not heard of the discoveries of Grant and Murray, and his belief was that he still had opportunity to be discoverer of the whole region from Western Port to Nuytsland. He commenced his discoveries, then, from Western Port, passed Port Phillip without seeing it,** followed the coast already discovered by Grant from Cape Otway to Cape Banks, sailed further Westward along fifty leagues of a particularly desolate shore, which, he said, scarcely deserved to be visited,*** and then, on the 8th of April, met a ship which came from the West, and which had made very careful survey of the Westward part of the unknown coast. It was the Investigator under Flinders, who had sailed nine months after Baudin, but who had nevertheless discovered nearly the whole of the "unknown coast" that remained unknown, and who would have discovered the whole but for an unlucky Easterly wind which had kept him back, while it blew Baudin forward to discover the fifty leagues of sterile coast, which were the French portion.****

[* Péron, p. 194. See above.]

[** See Scott's elaborate and convincing discussion of this question, Scott's Terre Napoléon, p. 48 et seq.]

[*** Cf. Baudin's letter in Scott's article in the Victorian Historical Magazine, Dec, 1912, p. 171.]

[**** When Flinders and Baudin met in Sydney a chart of the South coast was shown to Baudin, which defined the limits of his discovery. "Ah, Captain," remarked Freycinet, "if we had not been kept so long picking up shells and catching butterflies at Van Diemen's Land, you would not have discovered the South coast before us."

]

Flinders had sailed from London in July 1801, when Baudin was sailing the West coast of New Holland. He saw Cape Leeuwin in December, having made the voyage in one hundred and forty-one days. Thence he sailed along the utterly barren Southern coast which had been charted by the Dutch in 1627, and by the French in 1792. He reached the limit of the Dutch discovery at the Bay which he called Fowler's Bay, and the neighbouring islands of St. Peter and St. Francis. All the region between these points and Western Port was, so far as Flinders then knew, unknown coast; and, as we have noticed, its unknownness was made singularly attractive by a problem which had puzzled geographers for more than a century and a half. Flinders knew no better than Tasman had known whether the coast he was following would run South-Eastward for Bass's Strait, or Northward for the Gulf of Carpentaria. He was on the verge of solving what was probably the last great question of Australian coast geography, and the inclination was to expect that the solution would come in the form of a channel or channels that would either halve Australia, or cut her to pieces.

On the 20th of February, 1802, Flinders seemed on the edge of this solution. A strong tide was noticed from the North-Eastward, and the land ran to the North. There was talk that evening about "large rivers, deep inlets, island seas and passages into the Gulf of Carpentaria, and the prospect of making an interesting discovery seemed to have infused new life and vigour into every man in the ship." Flinders named a beautiful harbour Port Lincoln, "in honour of my native province," and sailed away to the North on a passage that might end in the Gulf of Carpentaria. But it soon became clear that they were sailing, not in a strait, but in a gulf—a gulf that proved to be one hundred and eighty-five miles long, and forty-eight miles in width at the mouth. The trip had to be finished in a rowing boat, which they rowed till their oars stuck in the mud. They had reached the head of the Gulf—which Flinders called Spencer's Gulf—"then a region of mangrove swamps and flat water, but now covered by the wharves of Port Augusta, and within view of the starting point of the trans-continental railway."* Then Flinders discovered Kangaroo Island, discovered and explored the Gulf of St. Vincent, and was proceeding Eastward when, on the 8th of April, the man at the masthead said he saw a white rock, which proved to be the sail of the Géographe under Baudin. After friendly and interesting conversations with Baudin, he went on his way, discovered on the 27th of April Port Phillip, which had been missed by Baudin, but had been discovered by Murray ten weeks before—and reached Sydney on the 8th of May, "in better health than on the day we sailed from Spithead, and not in less good spirits." The homesick Sydney people said that they had never been so strongly reminded of England as by the fresh colour of the seamen.

[* Scott's Flinders, p. 215.]



68. SKETCH FROM FLINDERS' MAP OF AUSTRALIA

Thus the facts which completed the discovery of Australia are quite clear, and they were quite clearly expressed in Flinders' maps. Cook discovered the coast Northward from Point Hicks. Bass discovered the coast from Point Hicks to Western Port. Grant discovered the coast from Cape Banks to Western Port, save Port Phillip which was discovered by Murray, and rediscovered ten weeks later by FIinders. Baudin discovered the fifty leagues of "sterile waste" between Cape Banks and Encounter Bay, where he encountered Flinders.* And Flinders discovered the coast from Fowler's Bay to Encounter Bay. These facts were correctly and fully given in Flinders' maps, save that he omitted to mark Murray's discovery of Port Phillip.

[* "The Terre Napoléon," writes Flinders, "is therefore comprised between Latitude 37° 36' and 35° 40' South, and the Longitudes 140° 10', and 138° 58' East of Greenwich; making with the windings, about fifty leagues of coast, in which, as Captain Baudin truly observed, there is neither river, inlet, nor place of shelter; nor does even the worst part of Nuytsland exceed it in sterility" (Voyage, vol. i. p. 201).]

This is the end of our story of discovery, though one regrets to end it in full view of events so full of interest. One would have liked to follow the rest of Baudin's unhappy voyage, and especially to notice the long holiday spent in Sydney, which gave Péron, the patriotic scientist, opportunity to write the most interesting description of the colony in its early days, and also to consider plans by which, when due time came, the French might "destroy it as soon as possible"—an exploit, reported Lieutenant Freycinet, which would be "very easy to accomplish since the English have neglected every species of means of defence." And one would have liked also—had not Professor Scott already done this with full equipment of learning and argument—to discuss the maps which the French men of science constructed, when they were safe in France, and when Flinders was safe in Mauritius!—maps which, ignoring all discoveries by Grant, Murray and Flinders, described the "unknown coast" from Western Port to the limit of the old Dutch discovery as "Terre Napoléon."*

[* Flinders notes that Grant's Voyage in the Lady Nelson to New South Wales was published in 1803, "five years previously to M. Péron's book; but no more attention was paid at Paris to Captain Grant's rights than to mine; his discoveries, though known to M. Péron and the French expedition in 1802, being equally claimed and named by them" (Voyages, vol. i. p. 201).

Professor Scott has shown that the accusation against the French geographers that they used Flinders' maps is untrue. Their excellent maps were generally founded on their own surveys. The only thing they stole was a survey of Port Phillip, which they apparently obtained during their stay in Sydney (Scott's Terre Napoléon, p. 105 et seq.). Apart from this falsehood, the charge against them is, not they stole information gained by the British voyagers, but that they ignored their discoveries, and thus falsely claimed priority. See Scott's Terre Napoléon and Life of Flinders.]

Still more one would have liked to follow the story of Flinders' life in its bravery and its patience, its tragedy and its triumph. And, indeed, one is tempted to say that his circumnavigation falls in some sense within the limits of our scheme. His voyage from Sydney worked