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round the room, but, at the same time, joining heartily in the general mirth and glee. The healths of our king and Royal Family were toasted with much respect, and the anniversary of his majesty's accession was a day of real jubilee at Napafoo. The sovereign of Lewchew, the queen and princes, were proposed by our party; whilst our hosts (never deficient in politeness) toasted the wives and children of their friends the Engelees. In dining on board the ship, Captain Maxwell had given confectionary to those who were married, in parcels, proportioned to the number of children they had; and on this occasion they returned the compliment; in the distribution of which the greybeards were highly amused on observing some of the young midshipmen acquiring at once wives and large families.
Some personal presents from the captains were on this day offered to the chiefs, consisting of various articles as before, adding some damask table cloths, and elegantly cut decanters and glasses, which they seemed greatly to admire. Specimens of their manufactures in cloth were sent on board the ships in return.
At their departure, the prince attended the party nearly to the landing-place; and, when about to take his leave, two small additional presents (at the suggestion of Captain Hall) were given to him, as memorials. One was a very neat pocket thermometer (the use of the larger ones having been explained to him on board,) and the other a cornelian seal set in gold, with a ribband attached to each; they were hung round his
neck; and the ceremony, being in public, had the appearance of investing him with an order, with which he seemed to be highly gratified. As the boats shoved off from the landing-place, the crews, whom they had handsomely entertained, gave them three cheers, which they returned in their own style of salutation; and in this manner followed the boats along the pier, to the mouth of the river. They had sent on board the ship a great number of coloured paper lanterns, for the purpose of illuminating her at night, in honour of our king. This was done after dark, the lanterns being regularly ranged along the yards and rigging, the maindeck ports illuminated, sky-rockets thrown up, and blue lights burnt at the yard-arms, bowsprit, and spanker-boom ends, with a feude-joie of musquetry, thrice repeated round the ship. The whole had a very brilliant effect from the shore, where thousands of the natives had collected to view this display.
The occurrences of this day, so novel and remarkable, will often be recalled with delight by all who witnessed the pleasing scene of two people differing widely in national manners, language, and dress; distinct, in fact, in every thing that is exterior, yet so harmoniously united in hearty goodwill and convivial friendship.
The period of our departure being now fixed, all the stores were embarked on the evening of the 26th October. The next morning, as the ships unmoored, the Lewchewans, as a mark of respect, arrayed themselves in their best apparel, and, proceeding to the
temple, offered up to their gods a solemn sacrifice, invoking them to protect the Engelees, to avert every danger, and restore them in safety to their native land! In the manner of this adieu there was an air of sublimity and benevolence combined, by far more touching to the heart than the most refined compliment of a more civilized people. It was the genuine benignity of artless nature, and of primitive innocence. Immediately following this solemnity, our particular friends crowded on board to shake hands, and say "Farewell!" whilst the tears which many of them shed, evinced the sincerity of their attachment.
NARRATIVE OF THE SHIPWRECK.
A course was now shaped to avoid the numerous rocks and shoals, not well defined, which lie in that part of the Chinese sea more immediately to the westward of the Philippines, and to the north-westward of Borneo; and having by the 14th passed the whole, and got into the usual track for the passage of either the Straits of Banca or Gaspar, it was resolved to proceed through the latter, as being more direct and less subject to calms than the former, and considering them equally safe, from the latest surveys and directions being on board, some of them by those who had personally examined them. At day-light in the morning of the 18th we made Gaspar Island, exactly at the time expected, and, passing it, stood on for the straits. As is customary in approaching any coast or passage whatever, but more especially one that all are not familiarly ac
quainted with, the utmost precaution was taken by keeping the leads going in both chains, men looking out at the mast-heads, yard-arms, and bowsprit end; the captain, master, and officer of the watch, on whom the charge of the ship at such a time more particularly devolves, having been vigilantly on deck during the whole of the previous night and this morning. Steering under all these guarded circumstances, the soundings exactly corresponding with the charts, and following the express line prescribed by all concurring directions to clear every danger (and the last danger of this sort between us and England), the ship about half-past seven in the morning struck with a horrid crash, on a reef of sunken rocks, and remained immoveable !
It was very soon indeed but too evident that any attempt to move her would be attended with the most fatal consequences; for, on each side of the rocks on which she hung, the water deepened from ten to seventeen fathoms immediately around her; and, from the injury received, she must have gone down in a few minutes, had she forced her way over this narrow reef. The best bower anchor was therefore let go, to keep her fast; and the pumps were soon abandoned, being clearly of no avail.
The boats were hoisted out, and Lieutenant Hoppner, with the barge and cutter, ordered to proceed with the embassador and suite; and all those not essentially required, to the nearest part of the island, which seemed about three miles and a half distant. Meanwhile every exertion was used by
the captain and officers, who remained by the ship, to secure what provisions and stores could be obtained; a task of considerable labour and difficulty, for all was under water, which now rose above the orlop-deck.
When she struck, the tide must have been rising, for towards the afternoon it fell outside, and consequently inside the ship several feet; thereby enabling us to save ourselves from absolute starvation by laying hold of some articles of provender which floated up, assisted by divers, and which the boats were employed in convey ing to the shore. A raft was also constructed, on which were placed the heavier stores, with some baggage, and towed towards the island. By the return of those boats which carried his Excellency on shore we learnt the very great difficulty of effecting a landing, the mangrove trees growing out to a considerable distance in the water; and it was not until after ranging alongshore for nearly three miles from the place they at first attempted, that a small opening appeared, through which, by scrambling from rock to rock, they at last obtained a footing on terra firma. Here, by cutting away a quantity of the smaller jungle at the foot of a hill (for the island was completely overgrown with wood), a space was cleared away, where, under the shade of the loftier trees, they bivouacqued for that day and night.
On board the ship the work went on with activity, endeavouring to save whatever might be most useful on such an occasion; but, as the tide rose, the swell of VOL. LIX.
the sea lifting her from the rocks, she dashed on them again with such violence, as to render it necessary about midnight to cut away the topmasts. At day-light, on Wednesday the 19th, Mr. M'Leod landed with two men who had been severely wounded by the fall of the masts, and with a report from the captain to Lord Amherst. The spot in which our party were situated was sufficiently romantic, but seemed at the same time the abode of ruin and of havoc. Few of its inhabitants (and among the rest the embassador) had more than a shirt or pair of trowsers on. The wreck of books, or, as it was not unaptly termed,
a literary manure," was spread about in all directions; whilst parliamentary robes, court-dresses, and mandarin habits, intermixed with check shirts and tarry jackets, were hung around in wild confusion on every tree.
On his lordship being informed that no fresh water had as yet been obtained from the ship, and that it was barely probable some might be got by scuttling the lower deck, he desired every body might be called around him, and ordered that a gill of that which had been sent on sent on shore the day before (what happened to be on deck in the dripstones and water-jugs), with half that quantity of rum, should be equally served out to every man without distinction, and, taking his own share with perfect good humour, afforded to others an example of calm fortitude; and a cheerful readiness to share in
every privation, which never fails on such occasions to have a powerful and beneficial effect, more 2 F especially
especially when that example is found, where it ought to be, in the first rank.
Parties were now returning, who had been searching for water in vain, every attempt to dig for it having proved fruitless; or, being too near the sea, salt water alone had oozed into the pits. At one spot they found the skeleton of a man, and the horrid idea of his having died from thirst rushed on every mind. Those who went into the wood, on these excursions, were obliged to notch the trees, and leave marks as they advanced, in order to find their way back. In the forenoon Captain Maxwell came on shore, to confer with Lord Amherst on the best mode to be adopted in the perilous situation in which they were then placed. The boats were utterly incapable of conveying half our number any where; and, as some must necessarily go to the nearest friendly port for assistance, Captain Maxwell judged it best that his excelleney and suite should proceed with a proper guard for Batavia, or whatever part of Java they could fetch, from whence vessels could be despatched to bring off those who remained behind.
This being what is termed the north-west monsoon, there was every likelihood of the boats reaching Java (the current being also in their favour) in three days; and by this arrangement, which very happily was settled without loss of time, two grand purposes were answered, the nearest to the captain's heart and his first duty; viz. the immediate conveyance of the embassador and suite to a place
of safety; and, by their safety, ensuring more effectually than by any other means that of the officers and men who remained with himself upon this desert isle. It was thought probable that rowboats might be despatched from Batavia after the arrival of his excellency, so as to reach the island (even against wind and current) in twelve or fifteen days; and, as Mr. Ellis volunteered to return with the first boat or vessel that shoved off to our assistance, an additional assurance was thus given, that, combined with the influence of the embassador with the Dutch government, no delay would occur in forwarding relief. After a short, and very slender féte champetre in this wilderness (in which salt was viewed with the same horror as arsenic), his lordship, about five in the evening, accompanied by the gentlemen of his suite, by Lieutenant Hoppner, in command of the boats, Mr. Mayne to navigate, Lieutenant Cooke, R. M. (with a party, as officer of the guard, in the event of falling in with any of the Malay pirates who infest these seas), Mr. Blair, midshipman, and Mr. Somerset (who had come to see the world a little), waded out to the edge of the reef, and embarked in the barge and cutter. were in all forty-seven persons, and had with them a small stock of provisions, consisting of a side of mutton, a ham, a tongue, about twenty pounds of coarse biscuit, and some few more of fine; seven gallons of water, the same of beer, as many of spruce, and about thirty bottles of wine. This was all that could be spared; and,
oeing deemed equal to sustain nature for four or five days, in which period they must either make the land, or be so disposed of as to require no provisions, it was considered sufficient by the party themselves, and they looked for no more. After pulling outwards a little way to clear all the rocks, they made sail to the southward, attended by the best wishes of every man on the island, and were soon out of sight. The number left behind was two hundred men and boys, and one woman.
The first measure of Captain Maxwell, after fixing a party to dig a well in a spot which was judged, from a combination of circumstances, the most likely to find water, was to remove our bivouac to the top of the hill, where we could breathe a cooler and purer air; a place in all respects not only better adapted to the preservation of our health, but to our defence in case of attack. A path was cut upwards, and a party employed in clearing away and setting fire to the underwood on the summit. This last operation tended much to free us from myriads of ants, and of snakes, scorpions, centipedes, and other reptiles, which in such a place and climate generally abound. Others were employed in removing upwards our small stock of provisions, which were deposited (under a strict guard), in a sort of natural magazine, formed by the tumbling together of some huge masses of rock on the highest part of this eminence. On board the wreck a party was stationed, endeavouring to gain any accession they could to our stock of provisions
and arms, and to save any public stores that could be found. There was a communication for this purpose between the shore and the ship whenever the tide permitted. For the last two days every one had experienced much misery from thirst a small cask of water (the only one which could be obtained from the ship) was scarcely equal to a pint each in the course of that period; and perhaps no question was ever so anxiously repeated, as "What hope from the well ?'' About eleven at night the diggers had got, by rather a tortuous direction (on account of large stones), as far down as twenty feet, when they came to a clayey or marly soil, that above it being a red earth, which seemed rather moist, and had nothing saline in the taste. At a little past midnight a bottle of muddy water was brought the captain as a specimen, and, the moment it was understood to be fresh, the rush to the well was such as to impede the workmen; therefore it became necessary to plant sentries to enable them to complete their task, and permit the water to settle a little. Fortunately about this time a heavy shower of rain fell, and, by spreading sheets, tablecloths, &c. and wringing them, some relief was afforded. There are few situations in which men exposed without shelter to a torrent of rain would, as in the present instance, hail that circumstance as a blessing: bathing in the sea was also resorted to by many in order to drink by absorption, and they fancied it afforded relief.
Thursday, 20th. This morning 2 F2