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In the evening of the 29th of October, we observed that luminous appearance of the sea, which has been so often mentioned by navigators, and of which such various causes have been assigned; some supposing it to be occasioned by fish, which agitated the water by darting on their prey, some by the putrefaction of fish and other marine animals, some by electricity, and others referring it to a great variety of different causes. It appeared to emit flashes of light exactly resembling those of lightning, only not so considerable; but they were so frequent that sometimes eight or ten were visible almost at the same moment. We were of opinion that they proceeded from some luminous animal, and upon throwing out the casting-net our opinion was confirmed. It brought up a species of the Medusa, which when it came on board had the appearance of metal violently heated, and emitted a white light. With these animals were taken some very small crabs, of three different species, each of which gave as much light as a glow-worm, though the creature was not so large by nine-tenths. Upon examination of these animals, Mr. Banks had the satisfaction to find that they, were all entirely new.*
Augustus, Gcor. 3-17. But several other places in the Mediterranean afforded this precious article. Thus Horace speaks of Spartan purple,
"Nec Laconicas mihi
Od. lib. ii. 18. The English reader will be much pleased with several interesting remarks as to the purple and other colours known to the ancients, given in President Goguet's valuable work on the origin of laws, arts, &c. &c., of which a translation by Dr. Henry was published at Edinburgh in 1761.Hawksworth.
* The reader is referred to the account of Captain Krusenstern's circumnavigation, for a very satisfactory relation of an experiment on this subject, which clearly proves the truth of the opinion above stated, as to the cause of the shining appearance so often noticed at sea. It is too long for quotation in this place.-Kerr.
On the 6th of November, being in latitude 19° 3' south, longitude 35° 50' west, the colour of the water was observed to change, upon which we sounded, and found ground at the depth of thirty-two fathoms; the lead was cast three times within about four hours, without a foot difference in the depth or quality of the bottom, which was coral rock, fine sand, and shells; we therefore supposed that we had passed over the tail of the great shoal which is laid down in all our charts by the name of Abrothos, on which Lord Anson struck soundings in his passage outwards. At four the next morning we had no ground with 100 fathom.
As several articles of our stock and provisions now began to fall short, I determined to put into Rio de Janeiro, rather than at any port in Brazil or Falkland's Islands, knowing that it could better supply us with what we wanted.
It is remarkable, that, during the last three or four days of our staying in the harbour, the air was loaded with butterflies. They were chiefly of one sort, but in such numbers that thousands were in view in every direction, and the greatest part of them above our mast-head.
The country, at a small distance round the town, which is all that any of us saw, is beautiful in the highest degree; the wildest spots being varied with a greater luxuriance of flowers, both as to number and beauty, than the best gardeps in England.
Upon the trees and bushes sat an almost endless variety of birds, especially small ones, many of them covered with the most elegant plumage ; among which were the humming-bird. Of insects too there was a great variety, and some of them very beautiful ; but they were much more nimble than those of Europe, especially the butterflies, most of which flew near the tops of the trees, and were
therefore very difficult to be caught, except when the seabreeze blew fresh, which kept them nearer to the ground.
When the boat which had been sent on shore returned, we hoisted her on board, and stood out to sea.
On the 9th of December, we observed the sea to be covered with broad streaks of a yellowish colour, several of them a mile long, and three or four hundred yards wide. Some of the water thus coloured was taken
and found to be full of innumerable atoms pointed at the end, of a yellowish colour, and none more than a quarter of a line, or the fortieth part of an inch long In the microscope they appeared to be fascicula of small fibres interwoven with each other, not unlike the nidus of some of the phyganeas, called caddices ; but whether they were animal or vegetable substances, whence they came, or for what they were designed, neither Mr. Banks nor Dr. Solander could guess. The same appearance had been observed before, when we first discovered the continent of South America.
On the 3d of January, 1769, being in latitude 470 17' S. and longitude 61° 29' 45" W., we were all looking out for Pepy's island, and for some time an appearance was seen in the east which so much resembled land, that we bore away
for it; and it was more than two hours and a half before we were convinced that it was nothing but what sailors call a fog-bank.
The people now beginning to complain of cold, each of them received what is called a Magellanic jacket, and a pair of trowsers. The jacket is made of a thick woollen stuff, called Fearnought, which is provided by the government. We saw, from time to time, a great number of penguins, albatrosses, and sheer-waters, scals, whales, and porpoises ; and on the 11th, having passed Falkland's Islands, we discovered the coast of Terra del Fuego, at the distance of
about four leagues, extending from the W. to S.E. by S. We had here five-and-thirty fathom, the ground soft, small slate stones. As we ranged along the shore to the S. E. at the distance of two or three leagues, we perceived smoke in several places, which was made by the natives, probably as a signal, for they did not continue it after we had passed by.
At two o'clock on the 15th of January, we anchored in the bay of Good Success; and after dinner I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, to look for a watering-place, and speak to the Indians, several of whom had come in sight. We landed on the starboard side of the bay near some rocks, which made smooth water and good landing; thirty or forty of the Indians soon made their appearance at the end of a sandy beach on the other side of the bay, but seeing our number, which was ten or twelve, they retreated. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander then advanced about one hundred yards before us, upon which two of the Indians returned, and, having advanced some paces towards them, sat down ; as soon as they came up, the Indians rose, and each of them having a small stick in his hand threw it away, in a direction both from themselves and the strangers, which was considered as the renunciation of weapons in token of peace. They then walked briskly towards their companions, who had halted at about fifty yards behind them, and beckoned the gentlemen to follow, which they did. They were received with many uncouth signs of friendship ; and, in return, they distributed among them some beads and ribbons, which had been brought on shore for that purpose, and with which they were greatly delighted. A mutual confidence and good-will being thus produced, our parties joined; the conversation, such as it was, became general; and three of them accompanied us back to the ship. When they came on board, one of them, whom we took to be a priest, performed much the same ceremonies which M. Bougainville describes, and supposes to be an exorcism. When he was introduced into a new part of the ship, or when anything that he had not seen before caught his attention, he shouted with all his force for some minutes, without directing his voice either to us or his companions.
* The incident related by Bougainville, to which the allusion is made, is somewhat affecting. An interesting boy, one of the savages' children, had unwarily, and from ignorance of its dangerous nature, put some bits of glass into his mouth which the sailors gave him. His lips and palate, &c., were cut in several places, and he soon began to spit blood, and to be violently convulsed. This excited the most distressing alarm and suspicion among the savages. One of them, whom Bougainville denominates a juggler, immediately had recourse to very strange and unlikely means in order to relieve the poor child. He first laid him on his back, then kneeling down between his legs, and bending himself, ho pressed the child's belly as much as he could with his head and hands, crying out continually, but with inarticulate sounds. From time to time he raised himself, and seeming to hold the disease in his joined hands, opened them at once into the air, blowing, as if he drove away some evil spirit. During those rites, an old woman in tears howled with great violence in the child's ears. These ceremonies, however, not proving effectual, but rather, indeed, as might have been expected, doing mischief, the juggler disappeared for a little in order, as should seem, to procure a peculiar dress, in which he might practise his exorcism with greater confidence of success, and to bring a brother in the trade, similarly apparalled, to aid him in his labours. But so much the worse for the wretched patient, who was now pummelled and squeezed all over, till his body was completely bruised. Such treatment, it is almost unnecessary to say, aggravated his sufferings, but accomplished no cure. The jugglers at last consented to allow the interference of the French surgeon, but appeared to be very jealous of his skill. The child became somewhat easier towards night; however, from his continual sickness, there was much room to apprehend that he had swallowed some of the glass, and died in consequence; for "about two o'clock in the morning,” says Bougainville, “we on board heard repeated howls, and at break of day, though the weather was very dreadful, the savages went off. They doubtless fled from a place defiled by death, and by unlucky strangers, who, they thonght, were come merely to destroy them.” It is very probable that the person whom Cook supposed a priest,