CAPTAIN COOK'S PREDECESSORS, III

Bougainville—A notary's son metamorphosed—Colonization of the Malouine Islands—Buenos Ayres and Rio Janeiro—The Malouines relinquished to the Spaniards—Hydrography of the Strait of Magellan—The Pecherais—The Quatre Facardius—Tahiti—Incidents of the stay there—Productions of the country and manners of the inhabitants—Samoa Islands—The Land of the Holy Spirit or the New Hebrides—The Louisiade—The Anchorite Isles—New Guinea—Boutan—From Batavia to St. Malo.

Whilst Wallis completed his voyage round the world, and Carteret continued his long and hazardous circumnavigation, a fresh expedition was organized for the purpose of prosecuting new discoveries in the Southern Seas.

Under the old régime, when all was arbitrary, titles, rank, and places were obtained by interest. It was therefore not surprising that a military officer, who left the army scarcely four years before with the rank of colonel, to enter the navy as a captain, should obtain this important command.

Strangely enough, this singular measure was amply justified, thanks to the talents possessed by the favoured recipient.

Louis Antoine de Bougainville was born at Paris, on the 13th of November, 1729. The son of a notary, he was destined for the bar, and was already an advocate. But having no taste for his father's profession, he devoted himself to the sciences, and published a Treatise on the Integral Calculus, whilst he obtained a commission in the Black Musqueteers.

Of the three careers he thus entered upon, he entirely abandoned the two first, slightly neglected the third, for the sake of a fourth—diplomacy, and finally left it entirely for a fifth—the naval service. He was destined to die a member of the senate after a sixth metamorphosis.

Portrait of Bougainville
Portrait of Bougainville.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

First aide-de-camp to Chevret, then Secretary of the Embassy in London, where he was made a member of the Royal Society, he left Brest in 1756, with the rank of captain of Dragoons, to rejoin Montcalm in Canada. Becoming aide-de-camp to this general, he distinguished himself on various occasions, and obtained the confidence of his chief, who sent him to France to ask for reinforcements.

That unhappy country was just then overwhelmed with reverses in Europe, and had need of all her resources. Therefore, when young Bougainville entered upon the object of his mission to M. de Choiseul, the minister answered brusquely,—

"When the house is on fire, one does not worry oneself about the stables!"

"At least," replied Bougainville, "no one can say that you speak like a horse!"

This sally was too witty and too stinging to conciliate the minister. Ultimately Madame de Pompadour, who appreciated witty people, introduced Bougainville to the king, and although he did not succeed in obtaining much for his general, he gained a colonelcy, and the order of St. Louis for himself, although he had only seen seven years' service. Returning to Canada he was anxious to justify Louis XIV.'s confidence, and distinguished himself in various matters. After the loss of the colony he served in Germany under M. de Choiseul-Stainville.

His military career was cut short by the peace of 1763. His active spirit and love of movement rebelled against a garrison life. He conceived the strange idea of colonizing the Falkland Islands in the extreme south of South America, and of conveying there free of expense the emigrants from Canada who had settled in France to escape the tyrannous yoke of England. Carried away by this idea, he addressed himself to certain privateers at St. Malo, who, from the commencement of the century, had been in the habit of visiting the group, and who had named them Malouine Islands.

Having gained their confidence, Bougainville brought the advantages (however problematical) of this colony to the minister's notice, maintaining that the fortunate situation of the island, would secure a good resting-place for ships going to the Southern Seas. Having high interest, he obtained the authority he desired, and received his nomination as ship-captain.

It was the year 1763. There is little reason to suppose, that marine officers, who had passed all the grades of the service, looked with gratification upon an appointment which no past event justified. But that mattered little to the Minister of Marine, M. de Choiseul-Stainville. Bougainville had served under him, and was far too grand a personage to trouble himself about the grumbling of the ship's officers.

Bougainville having brought his uncle and cousin, MM. de Nerville and d'Arboulin, to look favourably upon his venture, caused the Eagle of twenty guns, and theSphinx of twelve, to be built at St. Malo, under the auspices of M. Guzot Duclos. Upon these he embarked several Canadian families.

Leaving St. Malo on the 15th of September, 1763, he rested at St. Catherine's Island, on the coast of Brazil, and at Montevideo, where he took horses and cattle, and landed at the Malouines in a large bay, which appeared to him wholly suited to his purpose, but he was not long in discovering that what had been taken by preceding navigators for woods of moderate height, were only reeds. Not a tree, not a shrub grew in the islands. Fortunately an excellent turf did for fuel in their stead, whilst fish and game offered good resources.

The colony consisted at first of only twenty-nine persons, for whom huts were built and also a provision warehouse. At the same time a fort, capable of holding fourteen guns, was planned and commenced. M. de Nerville agreed to remain at the head of the establishment, whilst Bougainville returned to France on the 5th of April. There he recruited some more colonists, and took a considerable cargo of provisions of every kind, which he disembarked on the 5th of January, 1765. He then went to the Strait of Magellan in search of a cargo of wood, and having, as we have already narrated, met Commodore Byron's squadron, followed it to Port Famine.

There he took in more than ten thousand saplings of different growths, which he intended to transport to the Malouines. When he left the group on the 27th of April following, the colony already numbered eighty persons, comprising a staff paid by the king. Towards the end of 1765, the same two vessels were sent back with provisions and new colonists.

The colony was beginning to make a show, when the English settled themselves in Port Egmont, reconnoitred by Byron. At the same time Captain Macbride attempted to obtain possession of the colony, on the ground that the land belonged to the English king, although Byron had not recognized the Malouines in 1765, and the French had then been settled there two years.

In the meantime Spain laid claim to it in her turn, as a dependency of Southern America. England and France were equally adverse to a breach of the peace, for the sake of this archipelago, which was of so little commercial value, and Bougainville was forced to relinquish his undertaking on condition that the Spanish Government indemnified him for his expenses. In addition, he was ordered by the French Government to facilitate the restoration of the Malouines to the Spanish Commissioners.

This foolish attempt at colonization was the origin and groundwork of Bougainville's good fortune, for in order to make use of the last equipment, the minister ordered Bougainville to return by the South Sea, and to make discoveries.

In the early days of November, 1766, Bougainville repaired to Nantes, where his second in command, M. Duclos-Guiyot, captain of the fire-ship, and an able and veteran sailor, who grew grey in the inferior rank because he was not noble, superintended the equipment of the frigate La Boudeuse, of twenty-six guns.

Bougainville left the roadstead of Minden at the mouth of the Loire, on the 15th of November, for the La Plata river, where he hoped to find two Spanish vessels, theEsmeralda and the Liebre. But scarcely had the Boudeuse gained the open sea when a furious tempest arose. The frigate, the rigging of which was new, sustained such serious damages that it was necessary to put for repairs into Brest, which she entered on the 21st November. This experience sufficed to convince the captain that theBoudeuse was but little fitted for the voyage he had before him. He therefore had the masts shortened, and changed his artillery for less heavy pieces, but in spite of these modifications, the Boudeuse was not fit for the heavy seas and storms of Cape Horn. However, the rendezvous with the Spaniards was arranged, and Bougainville was obliged to put to sea. The staff of the frigate consisted of eleven officers and three volunteers, among whom was the Prince of Nassau-Sieghen. The crew comprised 203 sailors, boys, and servants.

As far as La Plata the sea was calm enough to allow of Bougainville's making many observations on the currents, a frequent source of the errors made by navigators in their reckonings.

On the 31st of January, La Boudeuse anchored in Montevideo Bay, where the two Spanish frigates had been awaiting her for a month, under the command of Don Philippe Pelicis Puente.

The long stay Bougainville made in this part, and also at Buenos Ayres, enabled him to collect facts about the city, and the manners of the inhabitants, which are too curious to be passed over in silence. Buenos Ayres appeared to them too large for its population, which amounted only to 20,000, the reason being that the houses are of only one story, and have large courts or gardens. Not only has this town no fort, but it has not even a jetty. Thus ships are forced to discharge their cargoes on to lighters, which convey them to the little river, where carts come to take the bales and convey them to the town.

The number of religious communities, both male and female, in Buenos Ayres, adds to the originality of its character.

Bougainville says, "The year is full of Saint days, which are celebrated by processions and fireworks. Religious ceremonies supply the place of theatres. The Jesuits incite the women to greater austerity in their piety than any other order. Attached to their convent they have an institution intitled, Casa de los egericios de las mugeres, that is, 'house for the devotion of women.' Women and girls, without the permission of husbands or fathers, enter the retreat for twelve days, to increase their sanctity."

They were lodged and boarded at the expense of the company. No man ever set foot in this sanctuary unless in the cowl of St. Ignatius. Servants even of the female sex were not allowed to accompany their mistresses. The devotional services consisted of meditation, prayer, catechizings, confession, and flagellation. "We were shown the stains on the walls of the chapel, made by the blood which flowed under the hands of these Magdalens as they did penance."

The environs of the town were well cultivated and brightened by a large number of country houses named "quentas," but scarcely two or at most three leagues from Buenos Ayres were immense plains, with scarcely a single undulation, given up to bulls and horses, which are almost the only inhabitants. Bougainville says,—

"These animals were so abundant, that travellers, when they needed food, would kill a bull, consume what they could eat, and leave the rest to be devoured by wild dogs and tigers."

The Spaniards had not yet succeeded in subduing the Indian tribes on the two shores of the La Plata River. They were called "Indios bravos."

"They are of medium height, very ugly, and almost all infected with the itch. Their complexions are very dark, and the grease with which they perpetually rub themselves, makes them even blacker. Their sole garment is the skin of the roe-buck, which reaches to the heels, and in which they wrap themselves.

"These Indians pass their lives on horseback, at least near the Spanish settlement. They occasionally come there with their wives to buy eau de cologne, and they never cease drinking until drunkenness literally deprives them of the power to move. Sometimes they assemble in droves of two or three hundred to carry off the cattle from the Spanish lands, or to attack the caravans of travellers.

"They pillaged, massacred, and carried off slaves. It was an evil without remedy. How was it possible to subdue a wandering nation in a vast and uncultivated country where it was difficult even to meet with them?

"Commerce was far from flourishing, as no European merchandise was allowed to pass by land to Peru or Chili."

Nevertheless Bougainville saw a vessel leaving Buenos Ayres carrying a million piastres, "And if," adds he, "all the inhabitants of this country had the traffic of their hides in Europe, that of itself would be enough to enrich them."

The anchorage of Montevideo was safe, although several times they were visited by "pamperos," a scourge of the South-West, accompanied by violent tempests. The town offered nothing of interest. The environs are so uncultivated that it is necessary to import flour, biscuits, and everything necessary for the boats. But fruits, such as figs, peaches, apples, lemons, &c., are plentiful, as well as the same quantity of butcher's meat as in the rest of the country.

These documents, which are a hundred years old, are curious when compared with those furnished by contemporary navigators, especially by M. Emile Daireaux, in his work on La Plata. In many respects this picture is still correct, but there are other details (such for instance as regards instruction, of which Bougainville could not speak, as it did not exist) in which it has made immense progress. When the victuals, the provision of water, and the cattle were embarked, the three vessels set sail on the 28th of February, 1767, for the Malouines. The voyage was not fortunate. Variable winds, heavy weather, and a running sea, caused much damage to the Boudeuse. On the 23rd of March she cast anchor in French Bay, where she was joined on the morrow by the two Spanish vessels, which had been much tried by the tempest.

Upon the 1st of April the restitution of the colony to the Spaniards was solemnized. Very few French profited by their king's permission to remain in the Malouines; almost all preferred to embark upon the Spanish frigates upon their leaving Montevideo. As for Bougainville, he was forced to await the provisions, which the fly-boatEtoile was to bring him, and which was to accompany him upon his voyage round the world.

However, the months of March, April, and May passed, and no Etoile appeared. It was impossible to cross the Pacific with only six months' provisions, which was all the Boudeuse carried.

Bougainville decided at last, on the 2nd of June, to reach Rio Janeiro, which he had mentioned to M. de la Gerandais, the commander of the Etoile as a rendezvous, should unforeseen circumstances prevent his reaching the Malouines.

The crossing was made with such favourable weather, that only eighteen days were needed to reach the Portuguese Colony. The Etoile, which had been awaiting her for four days, had left France later than was expected. She had been forced to seek shelter from the tempest at Montevideo, from whence, following her instructions she gained Rio.

Well received by the Count of Acunha, Viceroy of Brazil, the French had opportunities of seeing the comedies of Metastasio given at the opera by a Mulatto troupe, and of hearing the works of the great Italian masters executed by a bad orchestra, conducted by a deformed abbé in ecclesiastical dress.

But the cordial relations with the viceroy were not lasting. Bougainville, who with the viceroy's permission had made some purchase, found the delivery of it refused for no reason. He was forbidden to take wood he needed from the royal timber-yard, although he had concluded a contract for it, and lastly, he was prevented from lodging with his staff, during the repairs of the Boudeuse, in a house near the town, placed at his disposal by a friend. To avoid altercation, Bougainville hurried the preparations for departure.

Before leaving the capital of Brazil, the French commander entered into various details of the beauty of the port, and the picturesque nature of its surroundings, and finished by a very curious digression upon the prodigious riches of the country, of which the port was the emporium.

"The mines called 'general,'" he says, "are the nearest to the town, although they are seventy-five leagues away from it. They yield the king a yearly revenue by his right to a fifth share of at least a hundred and twelve arobas of gold. In 1762, they brought him in a hundred and nineteen. Under the captaincy of the 'general' mines, those of the 'Rio des Morts,' Sabara, and Sero Frio were included—the last named, in addition to all the gold it produces, yields all the diamonds which come from the Brazils. No precious stones, except diamonds, are contraband. They belonged to the speculators, who were obliged to keep an exact account of the diamonds they find and to restore them to the possession of an intendant named by the king for this purpose. He immediately places them in a casket bound with iron, and fastened with three locks. He retains one key, the king has another, and the 'Provedor de hacienda reale' the third. This casket is enclosed in a second, stamped with the seals of the three persons named, and containing the three keys of the smaller one."

But in spite of all these precautions, and the severe punishment visited upon diamond robberies, an enormous contraband trade was carried on. It was, however, not the only source of revenue; and Bougainville calculated, that deducting the maintenance of troops, the pay of the civil officers, and all the expenses of the administration, the King of Portugal drew no less than ten million francs from the Brazils.

From Rio to Montevideo no incident occurred, but upon the Plata, during a storm, the Etoile was run down by a Spanish vessel, which broke her bowsprit, her beak head, and much of her rigging. The damages and the shock increased the leak of the ship, and forced her to return to Encenada de Baragan, where repairs were more easily managed than at Montevideo. It was impossible therefore to leave the river until the 14th of November.

Map of New Zealand
Gravé par E. Morieu.

Thirteen days later, both ships came in sight of Virgin Cape at the entrance to the Strait of Magellan, which they hastened to enter.

Possession Bay, the first they met with, is a large space, open to all winds and offering very bad anchorage. From Virgin Cape to Orange Cape is about fifteen leagues, and the strait is throughout seven or eight leagues wide. The first narrow entrance was easily passed, and anchor cast in Boucault Bay, where half a score of officers and men landed.

They soon made acquaintance with the Patagonians, and exchanged a few trifles, precious to the natives, for swansdown and gunaco skins.

The inhabitants were tall, but none of them reached six feet.

"What struck me as gigantic in their proportions," says Bougainville, "was their enormous breadth of shoulder, the size of their heads, and the thickness of their limbs. They are robust and well-nourished, their muscles are sinewy, their flesh firm, and in fact they are men who, having lived in the open air and drawn their nourishment from juicy aliments, have reached their highest point of development."

The distance from the first to the second opening may have been six or seven leagues, and was passed without accident. This opening is only one and a half leagues in width, and four in length. In this part of the strait the ships easily reconnoitred St. Bartholomew and St. Elizabeth Islands.

At the latter the French landed. They found neither wood nor water. It was an absolutely desert land.

Leaving this place, the American side of the strait is amply furnished with wood. But although the first advances had been fortunate, Bougainville was to find plenty to try his patience.

The distinctive character of the climate lies in the rapid atmospheric changes, which succeeded each other so quickly that it is quite impossible to forecast their sudden and dangerous variations. Hence the damages which it is impossible to foresee, which retard the passage of the ships, even if they do not force them to seek shelter for repairs.

Guyot-Duclos Bay provides an excellent anchorage, with six or eight fathoms of water and sound bottom. Bougainville remained there long enough to fill several casks, and endeavoured to procure fresh meat, but he only met with a few wild animals. St. Anne's point was reached. At that place Sarmiento had founded the colony of Philippeville in 1581.

In a preceding volume we have narrated the fearful catastrophe which procured the name of Port Famine for this spot.

The French reconnoitred several bays, capes, and harbours at which they touched. They were Bougainville Bay, where the Etoile was repainted, Port Beau Bassin, Cormadière Bay, off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, and Cape Forward, which forms the most southerly point of the strait and of Patagonia, Cascade Bay in Tierra del Fuego, the safety, easy anchorage, and facilities for procuring water and wood of which, render it a most desirable haven for navigators.

The various ports which Bougainville discovered are particularly valuable, as they offer favourable points for doubling Cape Forward, one of the most difficult routes for sailors on account of the violent and contrary winds which prevail there.

The year 1768 opened for the adventurers in Fortescue Bay, below which is Port Galant, the plan of which had been taken with great exactitude by M. de Gennes. Detestable weather, of which the worst winter in Paris can give no idea, detained the French expedition for three weeks. It was visited by a band of Pecheians, the inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, who boarded the ship.

"We made them sing," says the narrative, "dance, listen to instruments, and above all eat. Everything was pleasant to them, bread, salt meat, tallow, they devoured everything that was given them. They showed no surprise either at the sight of the vessels or that of the various objects which were shown to them, no doubt because to feel surprise at works of art, one must have elementary ideas. These men, akin to brutes, treated chef-d'oeuvres of human industry as they treated the laws and phenomena of nature.

"These savages are small, ugly, thin, and smell abominably. They are all but naked, having only clothing of seal-skin too small to cover them.

"These women are hideous, and the men appear to care little for them. They live all together, men and women and children, in one hut, in the centre of which a fire is lighted.

"Their food is chiefly shell-fish. Still they have dogs and snares set with whalebone. On the whole they appear to be a good sort of people, but so weak that one overlooks their faults.

"Of all the savages I have met with, the Pecherais are the most destitute."

We made them sing
"We made them sing."

A painful event occurred whilst the crew were in this port. A child of about twelve years of age came on board, and glass beads and bits of glass were given to it, with no suspicion of the use to which they would be put. It would appear that these savages are in the habit of stuffing pieces of talc down their throats as talismans. This boy no doubt meant to do the same with the glass, for when they landed they found him vomiting violently and spitting blood. His throat and gums were lacerated and bleeding. In spite of the enchantments and violent rubbings of a juggler, or perhaps on account of this not too effective treatment, the poor child suffered dreadfully, and died shortly afterwards. This was the signal for a precipitate flight of the Pecherais. They no doubt entertained a fear that the French had cast a spell upon them, and that they would all die in a similar manner.

On the 16th of January, in endeavouring to reach Rupert Isle, the Boudeuse was driven by the currents half a cable's length from the shore. The anchor which was then heaved, gave way, and without the least land-breeze the vessel stranded.

It was necessary to regain Galant Harbour. It was just time, for next day a fearful storm was raging.

"After experiencing constantly adverse and variable winds for twenty-six days in Port Galant, thirty-six hours favourable breeze, for which we had not dared to hope, sufficed to take us into the Pacific Ocean. This I believe to be a solitary instance of a voyage without anchorage from Port Galant to the narrow channel. I estimate the entire length of this strait, from Virgin Cape to Cape Peliers, at about 114 leagues.

"We took fifty-two days to accomplish it. In spite of the difficulties we met with in the passage of the Straits of Magellan" (and in this Bougainville entirely agrees with Byron), "I should advise this route, in preference to that by Cape Horn from September to the end of March. During the remaining months of the year I should prefer the open sea.

"Contrary winds and heavy seas are not dangerous, whilst it is not wise to grope one's way between two coasts. One is sure to be detained for some time in the strait, but this delay is not time wholly lost. One meets with water in abundance, wood and shell-fish, and occasionally very good fish. And I am decidedly of opinion that a crew reaching the Pacific by doubling Cape Horn suffers more from the ravages of scurvy than that which proceeds by the Straits of Magellan."

Bougainville's opinion has met with many opposers up to the present time, and the route which he lauds so highly has been almost abandoned by navigators. One strong reason for which is that steam has completely transformed maritime experience, and entirely changed nautical science.

Scarcely had he entered the Southern Sea, when Bougainville, to his intense surprise, found the winds southerly. He was therefore obliged to relinquish his intention of reaching Juan Fernandez.

Bougainville had agreed with M. de la Giraudais, captain of the Etoile, that if a larger stretch of sea was discovered, the two vessels should separate, but not lose sight of each other, and that every evening the bugle should recall them within half a league of each other, so that, in the event of the Boudeuse encountering danger, the Etoilemight avoid it.

Bougainville for some time sought Easter Island in vain. At last he fell in during the month of March with the lands and islands erroneously marked upon M. Bellin's chart as Quiros Islands. On the 22nd of the same month he met with four islets, to which he gave the name of Quatre Facardins, which belonged to the Dangerous group, a set of madreporic islets, low and damp, which all navigators who have visited the Pacific Ocean by way of the Straits of Magellan appear to have noticed.

A little further discovery was made, of a fertile island inhabited by entirely naked savages, who were armed with long spears, which they brandished with menacing gestures, and thus it obtained the name of Lancers Island.

Lancer's Island
Lancer's Island.

We need not refer to what we have already repeatedly said of the nature of these islands, the difficulty of access to them, their wild and inhospitable inhabitants. Cook calls this very Lancers Island, Thrum Cape, and the island of La Harpe, which Bougainville found on the 24th, is identical with Cook's Bow Island.

The captain, knowing that Roggewein had nearly perished in these latitudes, and thinking the interest of their exploration not worth the risk to be run, proceeded southward and soon lost sight of this immense archipelago, which extends in length 500 leagues, and contains at least sixty islands or groups.

Upon the 2nd of April Bougainville perceived a high and steep mountain, to which he gave the name of La Boudeuse. It was Maïtea Island, already called La Dezana by Quiros. On the 4th at sunrise the vessel reached Tahiti, a long island consisting of two peninsulas, united by a tongue of land no more than a mile in width.

More than 100 pirogues hastened to surround the two vessels. They were laden with cocoa-nuts and many delicious fruits which were readily exchanged for all sorts of trifles.

When night fell, the shore was illuminated by a thousand fires, to which the crew responded by throwing rockets.

"The appearance of this shore," says Bougainville, "raised like an amphitheatre, offered a most attractive picture. Although the mountains are high, the land nowhere shows its nakedness, being covered with wood. We could scarcely credit our sight, when we perceived a peak, covered with trees, which rose above the level of the mountains in the southern portion of the island. It appeared only thirty fathoms in diameter, and decreased in size at its summit. At a distance it might have been taken for an immense pyramid, adorned with foliage by a clever decorator. The least elevated portions of the country are intersected by fields and groves. And the entire length of the coast, upon the shore below the higher level, is a stretch of low land, unbroken and covered by plantations. There, amid the bananas, cocoa-nut and other fruit-trees we saw the huts of the natives."

The whole of the morrow was spent in barter. The natives, in addition to fruits, offered fowls, pigeons, fishing instruments, working implements, stuffs, and shells, for which they asked nails and earrings.

Upon the morning of the 6th, after three days devoted to tacking about and reconnoitring the coast in search of a roadstead, Bougainville decided to cast anchor in the bay he had seen the first day of his arrival.

"The number of pirogues round our vessels," he says, "was so great, that we had immense trouble in making way through the crowd and noise. All approached crying, 'Tayo,' friend, and offering a thousand marks of friendship. The pirogues were full of women, who might vie with most Europeans in pleasant features, and who certainly excelled them in beauty of form."

Bougainville's cook managed to escape, in spite of all prohibitions, and gained the shore. But he had no sooner landed, than he was surrounded by a vast crowd, who entirely undressed him to investigate his body. Not knowing what they were going to do with him, he thought himself lost, when the natives restored his clothes, and conducted him to the vessel more dead than alive. Bougainville wished to reprimand him, but the poor fellow assured him, that however he might threaten him, he could never equal the terrors of his visit on shore.

As soon as the ship could heave to, Bougainville landed with some of his officers to reconnoitre the watering-place. An enormous crowd immediately surrounded him, and examined him with great curiosity, all the time crying "Tayo! Tayo!" One of the natives received them in his house, and served them with fruits, grilled fish, and water. As they regained the shore, a native of fine appearance, lying under a tree, offered them a share of the shade.

"We accepted it," says Bougainville, "and the man at once bent towards us, and in a gentle way, sung, to the sound of a flute which another Indian blew with his nose, a song which was no doubt anacreontic. It was a charming scene, worthy of the pencil of Boucher. Four natives came with great confidence to sup and sleep on board. We had the flute, bassoon, and violin played for them, and treated them to fireworks composed of rockets and serpents. This display excited both surprise and fear."

Before giving further extracts from Bougainville's narrative, it appears apropos to warn the reader not to accept these descriptions au pied de la lettre. The fertile imagination of the narrator embellished everything. Not content with the ravishing scenes under his eyes, the picturesque reality is not enough for him, and he adds new delights to the picture, which only overload it. He does this almost unconsciously. None the less, his descriptions should be received with great caution. We find a strange example of this tendency of the age, in the narrative of Cook's second voyage. Mr. Hodges, the painter who was attached to the expedition, wishing to reproduce the disembarkation of the English on the island of Middleburgh, paints personages who have not the smallest resemblance to the dwellers in the ocean regions, and whose togas give them the appearance of being contemporaries of Cæsar or of Augustus. Yet he had the originals before his eyes, and nothing could have been easier to him than to depict the scene as it really was.

We know better how to respect truth in these days. No additions, no embellishments are found in the narratives of our navigators. And if sometimes they prove but dry accounts, which give little pleasure to the general public, they are sure to contain the elements of earnest study for the scientific man, and the basis of works for the advancement of science.

With this preamble, let us follow the narrator.

Bougainville established his sick and his water-casks upon the shore of a small river which ran at the bottom of the bay, under a guard for their security. These precautions were not taken without arousing the susceptibility and distrust of the natives. They had no objection to seeing the strangers walk about their island all day, but they expected them to return on board at night. Bougainville persisted, and at last he was obliged to fix the length of his stay.

At this juncture, harmony was restored. A large shed was prepared for the sufferers from scurvy, in number thirty-four, and for their guard, which consisted of thirty men. The shed was closed on all sides and only one opening left, to which the natives crowded with the wares they wished to exchange. The only trouble they had was in keeping an eye upon everything that was brought on shore, for "there are no more adroit sharpers in Europe than these folks." Following a laudable custom, now becoming general, Bougainville presented the chief of this settlement with a pair of turkeys, and ducks and drakes, and then cleared a piece of land, where he sowed corn, wheat, rice, maize, onions, &c.

On the 10th, a native was killed by a gunshot. All Bougainville's inquiries failed to find out the perpetrator of this abominable assassination. Apparently the natives thought the victim in the wrong, for they continued to frequent the market with their former confidence.

The captain, however, knew that the harbour was not well-sheltered, and the bottom was entirely coral.

On the 12th, during a storm of wind, the Boudeuse, whose anchor cable had been cut by the coral, caused great injuries to the Etoile, upon which she was driven. Whilst all on board were busily occupied in repairing these injuries, and a boat had been despatched in search of a second passage, by means of which the ships might have left with any wind, Bougainville learned that three natives had been killed or wounded in their cabins by bayonets, and that owing to the general alarm all the inhabitants had hurried to the interior.

In spite of the risk run by his ships, the captain at once landed, and put the supposed perpetrators of this outrage (which might have brought the entire population upon the French) into irons. Thanks to these rigorous measures the natives calmed down, and the night passed without incident.

Still, Bougainville's worst apprehensions were not upon this score. He returned on board as soon as possible. But for a breeze which opportunely sprang up, both vessels would have been driven on shore by a strong squall, accompanied by a swell and thunder. The anchor cables broke, and the vessels had a narrow escape of striking on the breakers, where they must speedily have been demolished. Fortunately the Etoile was able to gain the open, and was soon followed by the Boudeuse, leaving in this foreign roadstead six anchors, which might have been of great use during the rest of the voyage.

So soon as they perceived the approaching departure of the French, the natives came in crowds with provisions of every variety. One of them, named Aotourou, asked, and finally obtained, permission to accompany Bougainville on his voyage. After his arrival in Europe, Aotourou lived eleven months in Paris, where he was received with cordiality and welcome in the highest society. In 1770, when he returned to his native land, the government took an opportunity of conveying him to the Isle of France. He was to return to Tahiti as soon as the weather permitted, but he died in the island without having been able to convey to his land the useful implements, grains, and cattle, which had been given to him by the French Government.

Tahiti, which was named Nouvelle Cythère by Bougainville, on account of the beauty of the women, is the largest of the Society's group. Although it was visited, as we have already narrated, by Wallis, we will give a little information which we owe to Bougainville.

The principal productions were cocoas, bananas, bread fruits, yams, sugar cane, &c. M. de Commerson, naturalist, who was on board the Etoile, recognized the Indian flora. The only quadrupeds were pigs, dogs, and rats, who multiplied rapidly.

Bougainville says, "The climate is so healthy that in spite of our fatigues, although our people were perpetually in the water, and under a burning sun, sleeping on the naked soil under the stars, no one was ill. The sufferers from scurvy whom we disembarked, and who had not enjoyed a single night's sleep, regained their strength, and were so soon restored, that some of them were completely cured on board."

In addition to this, the health and strength of the natives, who live in cabins open to every wind, and who scarcely cover the ground, which serves them as a bed, with a few leaves, the happy old age to which they easily attain, the sharpness of all their senses, and the singular beauty of their teeth, which they preserve to the greatest age, all testify to the salubrity of the climate, and the efficiency of the rules followed by the inhabitants.

In character the people seem gentle and good. It would not appear that they have civil wars among themselves, although the country is divided into little portions under independent chiefs. They are constantly at war with the inhabitants of the neighbouring islands. Not satisfied with massacring the men and male children taken in arms, they skin their chins with the beard, and keep this hideous trophy. Bougainville could only obtain very vague information of their ceremonies and religion. But he could at least assert the reverence they pay their dead. They preserve the corpses for a long time in the open air, on a sort of scaffold sheltered by a shed. In spite of the odour of decomposition, the women go every day to weep near the monuments, and bedew the sad relics of their beloved ones with their tears and with cocoa-nut oil.

The soil is so productive, and requires so little cultivation, that men and women live in a state of almost entire idleness. Therefore it is not astonishing that the sole care of the latter is to be pleasing. Dancing, singing, long conversations, teeming with gaiety, have developed a mobility of expression among the Tahitans, surprising even to the French, a people who themselves have not the reputation of being serious, possibly because they are more lively than those who reproach them with levity.

It is impossible to fix a native's attention. A trifle strikes them, but nothing occupies them. In spite of their want of reflection they were clever and industrious. Their pirogues were constructed after a fashion equally ingenious and solid. Their fish-hooks and all their fishing implements were of delicate workmanship. Their nets were like those of Europeans. Their stuffs manufactured of the bark of a tree, were generally woven and dyed of various colours.

In fact Bougainville's impression of the Tahitan people was that they were "lazzaroni."

At eight o'clock on the 16th of April, Bougainville was about ten leagues north of Tahiti, when he perceived land to windward. Although it had the appearance of three islands, it was in reality but one. It was named Oumaita after Aotourou. The captain, not thinking it wise to stop there, steered so as to avoid the Pernicious Islands, of which Roggewein's disaster had made him afraid. During the remainder of the month of April the weather was fine, with little wind.

On the 3rd of May, Bougainville bore down towards a new land, which he had just discovered, and was not long in finding others on the same day. The coasts of the largest one were steep; in point of fact, it was simply a mountain covered with trees to its summit, with neither valley nor sea coast. Some fires were seen there, cabins built under the shade of the cocoanut-trees, and some thirty men running on the shore. In the evening, several pirogues approached the vessels, and after a little natural hesitation, exchanges commenced. The natives demanded pieces of red cloth in exchange for cocoa-nuts, yams, and far less beautiful stuffs than those of the Tahitans; they disdainfully refused iron, nails, and earrings, which had been so appreciated elsewhere in the Bourbon Archipelago, as Bougainville had named the Tahitan group. The natives had their breasts and thighs painted dark blue; they wore no beards; their hair was drawn into tufts on the top of their heads.

Pirogue of the Marquesas islands
Pirogue of the Marquesas islanders.

Next day, fresh islands belonging to the archipelago were seen. The natives, who appeared very savage, would not approach the vessels.

"The longitude of these islands," says the narrative, "is pretty nearly similar to that which Abel Tasman reckoned it when he discovered Amsterdam and Rotterdam Islands, the Pilstaars, Prince William Island, and the low lands of Fleemskerk. It is also approximate to that assigned for the Solomon Islands. Besides the pirogues which we have seen rowing in the open sea, and to the south, indicate other islands in this locality. Thus it appears likely that these lands form an extended chain in the same parallel. The islands comprising the Navigator Archipelago, lie below the fourteenth southern parallel, between 170° and 172° west longitude from Paris."

As fresh victuals diminished, scurvy again began to appear. It was necessary to think of putting into a port again. On the 22nd and the following days of the same month, Pentecost Island, Aurora and Leper Islands, which belong to the archipelago of New Hebrides, were reconnoitred. They had been discovered by Quiros in 1606. The landing appearing easy, the captain determined to send an expedition on shore, which would bring back cocoa-nuts and other antiscorbutic fruits. Bougainville joined them during the day. The sailors cut wood, and the natives aided in shipping it. But in spite of this apparent good feeling, the natives were still distrustful, and carried their weapons in their hands. Those who possessed none, held large stones, all ready to throw.

As soon as the boats were laden with fruit and wood, Bougainville re-embarked his men. The natives then approached in great numbers, and discharged a shower of arrows, lances, and javelins, some even entered the water, the better to aim at the French. Several gunshots, fired into the air, having no effect, a well-directed general volley soon put the natives to flight.

A few days later, a boat seeking anchorage upon the coast of the Leper Islands, was in danger of attack. Two arrows aimed at them served as a pretext for the first discharge, which was speedily followed by a fire so well directed, that Bougainville believed his crew in danger. The number of victims was very large, the natives uttered piercing cries as they fled to the woods. It was a regular massacre. The captain, uneasy at the prolonged firing, sent another boat to the help of the first, when he saw it doubling a point, He therefore signalled for their return. "I took measures," he said, "that we should never again be dishonoured by such an abuse of our superior forces."

The easy abuse of their powers by captains is truly sad! The mania for destroying life needlessly, even without any object, raises one's indignation! To whatever nation explorers belong we find them guilty of the same acts. The reproach, therefore, belongs not to a particular nation, but to humanity at large.

Having obtained the commodities he needed, Bougainville regained the sea.

It would appear that the navigator aimed at making many discoveries, for he only reconnoitred the lands he found very superficially and hastily, and of all the charts which accompany the narrative, and there are many of them, not one gives an entire archipelago, or settles the various questions to which a new discovery gives rise. Captain Cook did not proceed in this way. His explorations, always conducted with care, and with rare perseverance, are for that very reason far superior in value to those of the French explorer.

The lands which the French now encountered, were no other than St. Esprit, Mallicolo, and St. Bartholomew, and the islets belonging to the latter. Although he was perfectly aware that these islands were identical with the Tierra del Espiritu Santo of Quiros, Bougainville could not refrain from bestowing a new name upon them, and called them the Archipelago des "Grandes Cyclades," to which however, the name of New Hebrides has been given in preference. "I readily believed," he says, "that it was its extreme southern point which Roggewein saw under the eleventh parallel, and which he named Tienhoven and Groningue. But when we arrived there everything led us to believe that we were in the southern land of Espiritu Santo. Every appearance seemed to coincide with Quiros's narrative, and the discoveries we made every day encouraged us in our search. It is singular that precisely in the same latitude and longitude as that which Quiros gives to his St. Philip and St. James' Bays, upon a shore which at first sight appeared like a continent, we found a passage equal in size to that which he gives to the opening of his bays. Did the Spanish navigator see badly, or did he wish to hide his discoveries?

"Had geographers merely guessed in making the Tierra del Espiritu Santo identical with New Guinea? To ascertain the truth, we must follow the same parallel for over 350 leagues. I resolved upon doing so, although the state and quantity of our provisions warned us to seek a European settlement as soon as possible. It will be seen that we narrowly escaped being the victims of our own persistance."

Whilst Bougainville was in these latitudes certain business matters required his presence on board the Etoile, and he there found out a singular fact, which had already been largely discussed by his crew. M. de Commerson had a servant named Barré. Indefatigable, intelligent, and already an experienced botanist, Barré had been seen taking an active part in the herborising excursions, carrying boxes, provisions, the weapons, and books of plants, with endurance which obtained from the botanist, the nickname of his beast of burden. For some time past Barré had been supposed to be a woman. His smooth face, the tone of his voice, his reserve, and certain other signs, appeared to justify the supposition, when on arriving at Tahiti suspicions were changed into certainty. M. de Commerson landed to botanize, and according to custom Barré followed him with the boxes, when he was surrounded by natives, who, exclaiming that it was a woman, were disposed to verify their opinion. A midshipman, M. Bommand, had the greatest trouble in rescuing her from the natives, and escorting her back to the ship. When Bougainville visited the Etoile, he received Barré's confession. In tears, the assistant botanist confessed her sex, and excused herself for having deceived her master, by presenting herself in man's clothes, at the very moment of embarkation. Having no family, and having been ruined by a law-suit, this girl had donned man's clothes to insure respect. She was aware, before she embarked, that she was going on a voyage round the world, and the prospect, far from frightening her, only confirmed her in her resolution.

Mdlle. Barré's adventure
Mdlle. Barré's adventure.

"She will be the first woman who has been round the world," says Bougainville, "and I must do her the justice to admit that she has conducted herself with the most scrupulous discretion. She is neither ugly nor pretty, and at most is only twenty-six or twenty-seven years old. It must be admitted that had the two vessels suffered shipwreck upon a desert island, it would have been a singular experience for Barré."

The expedition lost sight of land on the 29th of May. The route was directed westward. On the 4th of June, a very dangerous rock, so slightly above water that at two leagues' distant it was not visible from the look-out, was discovered in latitude 15° 50', and 148° 10' longitude. The constant recurrence of breakers, trunks of trees in large quantities, fruits and sea wrack, and the smoothness of the sea, all indicated the neighbourhood of extensive land to the south-east. It was New Holland. Bougainville determined to leave these dangerous latitudes, where he was likely to meet with nothing but barren lands, and a sea strewn with rocks and full of shallows. There were other urgent reasons for changing the route, provisions were getting low, the salt meat was so tainted, that the rats caught on board were eaten in preference. Bread enough for two months, and vegetables for forty days alone remained. All clamoured for a return to the north.

Unfortunately the south winds had ceased, and when they re-commenced, they brought the expedition within an inch of destruction.

On the 10th of June land was seen to the north. It was the bottom of the Gulf of the Louisiade, which had received the name of Cul-de-sac de l'Orangerie. The country was magnificent. On the sea shore, a low land covered with trees and shrubs, the balmy odours of which reached the ships, rose like an amphitheatre towards the mountains, whose summits were lost in the skies. However, it was impossible to visit this rich and fertile country, but, on the other hand, desirable to find to the east a passage to the south of New Guinea, which, by way of the Gulf of Carpentaria, would have led direct to the Moluccas. Did such a passage exist? Nothing was more problematic, for the notion was that land had been seen extending far to the westward. It was needful to hurry as fast as possible from the gulf where the ships had so incautiously involved themselves.

Map of Louisiade Archipelago
Louisiade Archipelago.
(Fac-simile of early engraving.)

But there is a wide difference between a wish and its fulfilment! The two vessels strove in vain up to the 21st of June to transport themselves to the west, from this coast, which was so full of rocks and breakers, and upon which the wind and currents bade fair to swallow them up. The fog and rain continued so closely with them, that the frigate could only proceed in company with the Etoile by a constant firing of guns. When the wind changed, they profited by it, and immediately proceeded to the open sea—but it soon veered again, and continued east-south-east, and thus they speedily lost the ground they had gained.

During this terrible cruise, the rations of bread and vegetables were obliged to be reduced, consumption of old leather was threatened with severe punishment, and the last goat on board was sacrificed.

It is difficult for the reader, tranquilly sitting in his chimney-corner, to imagine the anxiety of a voyage in these unknown seas,—threatened with the unexpected appearance of rocks and breakers, with contrary winds, unknown currents, and a fog which concealed all dangers. Cape Deliverance was only rounded on the 26th. It was now possible to start for the north-north-east.

Two days later, when they had made about sixty leagues northward, some islands were perceived ahead. Bougainville imagined they were a part of the Louisiade group, but they are more generally accepted as belonging to the Solomon Archipelago, which Carteret, who saw them the preceding year, as little imagined that he had reached, as the French navigator.

Several pirogues speedily surrounded the two ships. They were manned by natives, blacker than Africans, with long curling red hair. Armed with javelins, they uttered shrill cries, and showed dispositions far from peaceful. It was useless to attempt to reach them. The surge broke violently, and the coast was so narrow that it scarcely seemed as if there were one at all.

Surrounded on all sides by islands, and in a thick fog, Bougainville steered by instinct in a passage only four or five leagues in width, and with a sea so rough that theEtoile was forced to close her hatchways.

Upon the eastern coast a pretty bay was perceived, which promised good anchorage. Boats were told off to sound it. Whilst they were thus engaged, ten or more pirogues, upon which some hundred and fifty men armed with bucklers, lances, and bows, were embarked, advanced against them. The pirogues divided into two parties to surround the French boats. As soon as they were within sufficient reach, the natives showered a storm of arrows and javelins upon the boats. The first discharge failed to stop them. A second was necessary to disperse them. Two pirogues, the crews of which had jumped into the sea, were captured. Of great length and well made, these boats were decorated in front with a man's head carved, the eyes of which were formed of mother of pearl, the ears of tortoise-shell, and the lips painted red.

The water in which this combat took place was called the Warrior River, and the island received the name of Choiseul, in honour of the French Minister of Marine.

On leaving this strait a new land was discovered—Bougainville Island, the southern extremity of which, called Laverdy Cape, appears to join Bouka Island. The latter, which Carteret had seen the preceding year, and which he named Winchelsea, appeared densely populated—if the cabins which abounded were any criterion.

The inhabitants, whom Bougainville classifies as Negroes, probably to distinguish them from the Polynesians and Malays, are Papuans, of the same race as the inhabitants of New Guinea. Their short curly hair was painted red, and the betel-nut, which they perpetually chewed, had communicated the same colour to their teeth. The coast with its cocoanut and other trees, promised plentiful refreshments, but contrary winds and currents quickly drew the ships away.

On the 6th of July Bougainville cast anchor on the southern coast of New Ireland, which had been discovered by Schouten, in Port Praslin, at the very point where Carteret had stopped.

"We sent our casks on shore," says the narrative, "and began to collect water and wood, and commence washing, all of which was most necessary. The disembarkation was splendid—upon fine sand, with neither rock nor wave.

"Four streams flowed into the harbour in a space measuring four hundred paces. We selected three, according to custom; one to supply water for La Boudeuse, one for the Etoile, and one for washing purposes. Wood was plentiful on the shore, and there were various kinds of it, all good for burning, and several first-rate for carpentery, joinery, and even toy-making.

"The two vessels were in hearing of each other and close to the shore. Again this part and its neighbourhood to a great distance were uninhabited—a fact which secured us precious peace and liberty. We could not have hoped for a surer anchorage, or a more convenient spot for water, wood, or the various repairs needed by the vessels. We were able to send the sufferers from scurvy to range the woods. But with all these advantages, the port had a few inconveniences. In spite of active search, neither cocoanut-trees nor bananas were to be found, nor any of the resources which either by consent or by force, could have been gained in an inhabited country. Fish was not abundant, and we could expect only safety and strictly necessary things. There was every fear that the sick would not re-establish their health. We had indeed no serious cases, but several were infected, and no improvement took place, and their malady could not have increased more rapidly."

They had been only a few days in port, when a sailor found a leaden plate upon which was an inscription in English. It was easy to guess that they had found the very spot where Carteret had made a stay the preceding year.

The resources offered by this country to sportsmen were mediocre in the extreme. They did indeed catch sight of a few boars or wild pigs, but it was impossible to hit them. To make up for this they shot most beautiful pigeons, the bodies and necks of grey-white, and of golden green plumage, turtle-doves, parroquets, crested birds, and a species of crow, whose cry was so like the baying of a dog, as to be mistaken for it. The trees were large and magnificent, amongst them the betel, the areca, and the pepper-tree. Malignant reptiles swarm in these marshy lands, and in the ancient forests, serpents, scorpions, and other venomous reptiles abounded. Unfortunately, they were not only to be found on land. A sailor in search of marteaux, a very rare kind of bivalve mussel, was stung by a serpent. The fearful suffering and violent convulsions which followed only subsided at the expiration of five or six hours, and at last, the theriac which was administered to him after the bite, effected a cure. This accident was a sad damper to conchological enthusiasm. Upon the 22nd, after a severe storm, the ships were sensible of several slight earthquakes, the sea rose and fell several times in succession, which greatly alarmed the sailors who were occupied in fishing.

In spite of the rain and ceaseless storms which continued daily, a detachment started to search the interior for Bourbon palms, palm-trees, and turtle-doves. They expected to find wonders, but returned oftenest empty-handed and with the one result of being wet to the skin. A natural curiosity at some distance from the anchorage, a thousand times more beautiful than the wonders invented for the ornament of kingly palaces, attracted numberless visitors, who could never tire of admiring it. It was a waterfall, too beautiful for description! To form any idea of its beauty, it would be necessary to reproduce by the brush the sparkling gleam of the spray lit up by the rays of the sun, the vaporous shade of the tropical trees which dipped their branches into the water, and the fantastic display of light over a magnificent country, not yet spoiled by the hand of man!

As soon as the weather changed, the ships left Port Praslin, to follow the coast of New Guinea, until the 3rd of August. The Etoile was attacked by hundreds of pirogues, and forced to return the stones and arrows that assailed her by a few gunshots, which put the assailants to flight. On the 4th the islands named Matthias and Stormy by Dampier were sighted. Three days later Anchorite Island was recognized, so called because a number of pirogues occupied in fishing, took no notice of theEtoile and Boudeuse, disdaining to enter into relations with the strangers. After passing a series of islets half under water, upon which the vessels nearly struck, and which were named the Echiquiers by Bougainville, the coast of New Guinea appeared. Steep and mountainous, it ran west-north-west. On the 12th a large bay was discovered, but the currents, which so far had been unfavourable, were equally so in carrying the boats far from it. It was visible at a distance of twenty leagues from two gigantic mountains, Cyclops and Bougainville.

The Arimoa Islands, the largest of which is only four miles in length, were next seen, but the bad weather and the currents forced the two vessels to remain in the open sea and relinquish all exploration. It was necessary, however, to maintain a close watch in order to avoid missing the outlet into the Indian Ocean. Mispulu and Waigiou, the last at the extreme north of New Guinea, were passed in succession.

The "Canal des Français," the outlet for ships from this mass of little islands and rocks, was passed without mishap. From thence Bougainville penetrated to the Molucca Archipelago, where he reckoned upon finding the fresh provisions requisite for the forty-five sufferers from scurvy on board.

In absolute ignorance of the events which had occurred in Europe since he left it, Bougainville would not run the risk of visiting a colony in which he was not the strongest power. The small Dutch establishment, Boeton or Bourou Island, suited him perfectly, all the more that provisions were easily obtained there. The crew received orders to enter the Gulf of Cajeti with the greatest delight. No one on board had escaped scurvy, and half the crew, Bougainville says, were quite unfit for duty.

"The victuals remaining to us were so tainted and ill-smelling, that the worst moments of our sad days were those when we were obliged to partake of such disgusting and unwholesome viands.

"The charms of Boeton Island were enhanced by our wretched situation.

"About midnight a delicious odour, emanating from the aromatic plants with which the Molucca Islands are covered, had been wafted several leagues out to sea, and was hailed by us as a forerunner of the end of our woes.

"The appearance of the moderately sized town, situated below the gulf, with vessels at anchor, and cattle grazing in the pastures that surrounded it, caused pleasure in which I participated, but which I cannot describe."

Scarcely had the Boudeuse and the Etoile cast anchor, than the resident governor sent two soldiers to inquire of the French captain what reason he could assign for stopping at this place, when he must be aware that entrance was permitted to the ships of the India Company only. Bougainville immediately sent an officer to explain that hunger and sickness forced him to enter the first port which presented itself in his route. Also, that he would leave Boeton as soon as he had received the aid of which he had urgent need. The resident at once sent him the order of the Governor of Amboyna, which expressly forbade his receiving any strange ship in his harbour, and begged Bougainville to make a written declaration of the reason for his putting into port, in order that he might prove to his superior that he had not infringed his orders except under paramount necessity.

As soon as Bougainville had signed a certificate to this effect, cordiality was established with the Dutch. The resident entertained the officers at his own table, and a contract was concluded for provisions and fresh meat. Bread gave place to rice, the usual food of the Dutch, and fresh vegetables which are not usually cultivated in the island, were provided for the crews by the resident, who obtained them from the Company's gardens. It would have been desirable for the re-establishment of the health of the crew, that the stay at this port could have been prolonged, but the end of the monsoon warned Bougainville to set out for Batavia.

The captain left Boeton on the 7th of September, convinced that navigation in the Molucca Archipelago was not so difficult as it suited the Dutch to affirm. As for trusting to French charts, they were of no use, being more qualified to mislead vessels than to guide them.

Bougainville therefore directed his course through the Straits of Button and Saleyer; a route which, though commonly used by the Dutch, is but little known to other nations. The narrative therefore carefully describes, with mention of every cape, the course he took. We will not dwell upon this part of the voyage, although it is very instructive, and on that account interesting to seafaring men.

On the 28th of September, ten months and a half after leaving Montevideo, the Etoile and the Boudeuse arrived at Batavia, one of the finest colonies in the world. After touching at the Isle of France, the Cape of Good Hope, and Ascension Island, near which he met Carteret, Bougainville entered St. Malo on the 16th of February, 1769, having lost only seven men, in the two years and four months which had elapsed since he left Nantes.

The remaining particulars of the career of this fortunate navigator do not concern our purpose, and may be dismissed briefly.

He took part in the American war, and in 1781 participated in an honourable combat before Port Royal off Martinique. Made Chief of the fleet in 1780, he, ten years later, received a commission to re-establish order in the mutinous fleet of M. d'Albert de Rions. Created vice-admiral in 1792, he did not think it right to accept a high rank, which was, to use his own words, "a title without duties."

Nominated first to the Bureau of Longitudes, and then to the Institute, raised to the rank of senator, created a count by Napoleon I., Bougainville died full of years and honours, on the 31st of August, 1811.

Bougainville acquired popularity as the first Frenchman who accomplished a voyage round the world. Though the merit of discovering and reconnoitring, if not of exploring, many groups of islands little known and quite neglected before his time, has been ascribed to him, he owes his reputation rather to the charm and easy animation of his narrative, than to his labours. If he is better known than many other French naval officers, his competitors, it is not so much because he accomplished more than they, as because his style of narrating his adventures charmed his contemporaries.

As for Guyot Duclos, his secondary share in the enterprise, and his plebeian rank, excluded him from reward. He was afterwards given the cross of St. Louis, but he earned the title by his rescue of the Belle Poule. Although he was born in 1722, and had been in the navy since the year 1734, he was still only lieutenant in 1791. A succession of ministers of new views was needed to obtain the rank of ship-captain for him: a tardy recompense of long and signal services. Guyot Duclos died at St. Servan on the 10th March, 1794.