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After leaving America, he returned to the south, and then sailed in a westerly direction, across the Pacific Ocean, to the coast of China; and thence to Manilla, a large Spanish town in the Island of Luzon; one of the Philippine group.
In Luzon, La Perouse went into the country, and saw a good many of the natives. He found them nearly equal to Europeans in most respects. They had clever goldsmiths, blacksmiths, and other workmen. They seemed honest, pleasant, and friendly.
La Perouse was anxious to get all the information he could about the islands and shores of the Pacific Ocean, and so he sailed from Manilla, and went to various places along the eastern coast of Asia. In this manner he continued, and at length reached Kamtchatka and the Navigator Islands.
These islands are ten in number, and inhabited by a very savage race of people. When the vessels approached the shore of one of these islands, they saw the natives sitting under the cocoa-nut trees, apparently enjoying the beautiful prospect around them.
At length, La Perouse came to the large island of Maona. Here his vessel was soon surrounded by two hundred boats, full of people. These brought a great many hogs, pigeons, fowls, and fruits, to exchange for beads, axes, clothes, and other articles. In the meantime, La Perouse sent boats ashore, to fill some casks with water, and bring them off to the vessels.
La Perouse himself went on shore. He found the houses very comfortable, and the people seemed quite happy. Nothing, indeed, can be more delightful than the climate of these islands. It is always summer; and the inhabitants are able to live with very little labor. The trees are loaded with fruit, and the shores abound in fish.
There are large sea-turtles along the shores, and the people catch them thus:
They go into the water and seize the turtle, turn it on its back, and then take it ashore. The creature is quite helpless when on its back.
Obtain the consent of, get to agree to. ·
Fate, what had happened. I must now tell you about M. de Langles. He commanded one of the vessels under La Perouse. On the day of their arrival, he went in his boat with some men to a small bay, at the distance of two or three miles. Here he found a delightful spot, with a very pretty village.
De Langles was so much charmed with the place, that he obtained the consent of La Perouse to visit it again the next day. He now took with him four boats and sixty men, wishing to procure water.
When he arrived at the bay, he found it not so good a place to obtain water as he had thought. He was about to return to the vessels, but the people on shore invited the voyagers to land, and they went accordingly.
At first there were about two hundred natives, and these had all something to sell. Some had hogs, and some had various kinds of fruit. While the French people were trading with them, more of the natives continued to arrive, and in an hour or two there were at least twelve hundred on the spot.
De Langles now became alarmed, for he suspected that the . Indians intended some mischief. He ordered the men to get the casks, which they had filled, into the boats as soon as possible. This was scarcely done, before the savages began to hurl stones at the people in the boats. De Langles was himself knocked down and killed.
The Frenchmen fired upon the natives, and shot many of them, Ten men and officers, besides De Langles, were killed by the stones of the savages. At length the French succeeded in getting their boats out upon the water. They were followed by the islanders, who came breast deep into the sea, to attack them.
The French, however, made great exertions, and forty-nine out of sixty-one persons who had landed in the morning, returned in safety to the ship. When La Perouse heard of the attack upon the boats he was very angry; but he thought it best to leave these people, and so he went away.
La Perouse now went to several other places, and finally to Botany Bay, in Australia. Here he stayed a short time, and then put to sea again. But from that time nothing was heard of him till long afterwards. He wrote letters at Botany Bay, and sent them to his friends in France, saying he should return in the spring of 1788.
For a long time he was expected; but by-and-by it began to be feared that some great calamity had befallen himself, the two ships, and all on board. Such was the anxiety in France, ou account of them, that some vessels were fitted out, with orders to proceed to the Pacific Ocean, and, if possible, discover their fate.
These vessels, having cruised about for some time, at length came to some islands near Australia. Here they learnt the whole truth. The two ships had been driven on the rocks in a storm, and all on board had perished. Not a single individual escaped to tell the melancholy story. The inhabitants of the islands had picked up some pieces of the wreck, and a few articles that had belonged to the vessel were found in their huts. Such is the sad story of La Perouse.
Mutiny, a revolt of sailors against their captain.
[p.m. THE MUTINY OF THE BOUNTY. CAPTAIN Bligh having been sent out by King George III. to establish friendly relations with the Otaheitan king, entirely succeeded in his mission ; and was returning with a cargo of breadfruit when the following incident took place :
On the 27th April, 1787, Captain Bligh found himself between the islands Tofoaa and Kotoo, advancing in a course of uninterrupted prosperity, and attended with circumstances in the highest degree pleasing. On leaving the deck at night, he gave directions as to the course to be steered: the master bad the first watch, the gunner the middle one, and Mr. Christian that of the morning.
But just before sun-rise on the 28th, while he was yet asleep, the last-named officer, Charles Churchill, ship’s corporal John Mills, gunner's mate, and Thomas Barkitt, seaman, went into his cabin, and seizing him, tied his hands with a cord behind his back, threatening him with instant death if he spoke or made the least noise. He called, however, as loud as he could, in the hope of finding assistance; but they had already secured the officers who were not of their party, by placing sentinels at their doors. Christian had only a cutlass in his hand, the others had muskets and bayonets. They hauled him out of bed, forced him on deck in his shirt, suffering great pain, says he, "from the tightness withi which they had tied my hands. I demanded the reason of such violence, but received no other answer than abuse for not holding my tongue.”
The boatswain was ordered to hoist the launch out, with a threat, if he did not do it instantly, of severe measures. When the boat was out, Mr. Hayward and Mr. Hallet, two of the midshipmen, and another person, were commanded to descend into it. The commander desired to know the cause of such behaviour, and tried to persuade the people near him not to persist in such acts of violence; but the only answer he received was “Hold your tongue, Sir, or you are dead this instant.” Mr. Bligh states in his narrative that he continued his endeavours to turn the tide of affairs, when Christian changed the cutlass which he had first drawn for a bayonet that was brought to him, “and holding me with a strong gripe by the cord that tied my hands, he threatened to kill me immediately if I would not be quiet: the villains round me had their pieces cocked and their bayonets fixed.”
“Particular persons were called to go into the boat, and were hurried over the side of the vessel; whence I concluded that with these people I was to be set adrift. I therefore made another effort to bring about a change, but with no other effect than to be threatened to have my brains blown out.” The boatswain and seamen who were to go in the boat were allowed to collect twine, canvas, lines, sails, cordage, with a cask of water containing twenty-eight gallons; and the clerk got one hundred and fifty pounds of bread, with a small quantity of
rum and wine, and also a compass; but he was forbidden on pain of death to touch either map, chart, or any surveys or drawings.
The officers and men being in the boat, Mr. Christian, the chief mutineer, advanced to his prisoner, and said, “Come, Captain Bligh, your officers and men are now in the boat, and you must go with them. If you attempt to make the least resistance, you will instantly be put to death.” Without further ceremony he was forced over the side, when they untied his hands; and the small bark being drawn astern by a rope, the party, amounting in all to nineteen individuals, were immediately cast loose in the open ocean.
“Notwithstanding the roughness with which I was treated," says the commander, “the remembrance of past kindnesses produced some signs of remorse in Christian. When they were forcing me out of the ship, I asked him if this treatment was a proper return for the many instances he had received of my friendship ? He appeared disturbed at my question, and answered with much emotion, 'That, Captain Bligh—that is the thing !-I am in hell—I am in hell!""
Turn adrift, cast lvose.
Booby, a fowl like a pelican. After he was turned adrift with his eighteen companions in distress, they heard a shout on board, several times "repeated, “ Huzza for Otaheite!” Now, the chiefs were so much attached to our people that they had encouraged their stay among them, and had even made them promises of large possessions. Under these and many other attendant circumstances, it is not perhaps much to be wondered at, though scarcely possible to have been foreseen, that a set of sailors, most of them having no relations at home who could engage their thoughts, should have been led away; especially when, in addition to such powerful inducements, they imagined it in their power to fix themselves in the midst of plenty on one of the finest islands in the world, where, without any labor, the comforts of life are beyond anything that can be conceived.