WILLIAM DAMPIER, OR A SEA-KING OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

On the 25th, Dampier gave the name of Saint Matthias to a mountainous island, thirty miles long, situated above and to the east of the Admiralty Islands. Further on at the distance of twenty-one or twenty-four miles, he discovered another island, which received the name of Squally Island, on account of violent whirlwinds which prevented him from landing upon it. Dampier believed himself to be on the coast of New Guinea, while he was in reality sailing along that of New Ireland. He endeavoured to land there, but he was surrounded by canoes carrying more than 200 natives, and the shore was covered by a large crowd. Seeing that it would be imprudent to send a boat on shore, Dampier ordered the ship to be put about. Scarcely was the order given, when the ship was assailed by showers of stones, which the natives hurled from a machine of which Dampier could not discover the shape, but which caused the name of Slingers' Bay to be given to this locality. A single discharge of cannon stupefied the natives, and put an end to hostilities. A little further on, at some distance from the coast of New Ireland, the English discover the Islands of Denis and St. John. Dampier is the first to pass through the strait which separates New Ireland from New Britain, and discovers Vulcan, Crown, G. Rook, Long Reach and Burning Islands.

Battle in Slingers' Bay
Battle in Slingers' Bay.

After this long cruise, distinguished by important discoveries, Dampier again steered towards the west, reached Missory Island, and at length arrived at the Island of Ceram, one of the Moluccas, where he made a somewhat long stay. He went afterwards to Borneo, passed through the Strait of Macassar, and on the 23rd of June anchored at Batavia, in the Island of Java. He remained there until the 17th of October, when he set out for Europe. On arriving at the Island of Ascension on the 23rd of February, 1701, his vessel had so considerable a leak that it was impossible to stop it. It was necessary to run the ship aground and to put the crew and cargo on shore. Happily there was no want of water, turtles, goats, and land-crabs, which prevented any fear of dying of hunger before some ship should call at the island, and transport the shipwrecked sailors to their country. For this they had not long to wait, for on the 2nd of April an English vessel took them on board and carried them to England. We shall have occasion again to speak of Dampier with relation to the voyages of Wood Rodgers.