Page:A Voyage to Terra Australis Volume 1.djvu/86

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
lxiv
[Prior Discoveries.
INTRODUCTION.

Dampier.
1688.

hereabouts:And by the great tides I met with awhile afterwards, more to the north-east, I had a strong suspicion that here might be a kind of archipelago of islands; and a passage, possibly, to the south of New Holland and New Guinea, into the great South Sea, eastward."

Not finding fresh water upon such of the islands as were visited that day, captain Dampier quitted his anchorage next morning, and "steered away E. N. E., coasting along as the land lies." He seems to have kept the land in sight, in the day time, at the distance of four to six leagues; but the shore being low, this was too far for him to be certain whether all was main land which he saw; and what might have been passed in the night was still more doubtful.

Aug. 30, being in latitude 18° 21', and the weather fair, captain Dampier steered in for the shore; and anchored in 8 fathoms, about three-and-half leagues off. The tide ran "very swift here; so that our nun-buoy would not bear above the water to be seen. It flows here, as on that part of New Holland I described formerly, about five fathoms."

He had hitherto seen no inhabitants; but now met with several. The place at which he had touched in the former voyage "was not above forty or fifty leagues to the north-east of this. And these were much the same blinking creatures (here being also abundance of the same kind of flesh flies teizing them), and with the same black skins, and hair frizzled, tall and thin, &c, as those were. But we had not the opportunity to see whether these, as the former, wanted two of their fore teeth." One of them, who was supposed to be a chief, "was painted with a circle of white paste or pigment about his eyes, and a white streak down his nose, from his forehead to the tip of it. And his breast, and some part of his arms, were also made white with the same paint."

Neither bows nor arrows were observed amongst these people: they used wooden lances, such as Dampier had before seen. He

saw no houses at either place, and believed they had none; but