The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks 1768–1771 [Volume Two]
1. Distant as the land was a very Fragrant smell came of from it realy in the morn with the little breeze which blew right off shore, it resembled much the smell of gum Benjamin;1 as the sun gatherd power it dyed away and was no longer smelt. All the latter part of the day we had calms or light winds all round the compass, the weather at the same time being most intolerably hot.
2. Fresh breeze again at E. In the morn the sweet smell of yesterday was observd tho in a much smaller degree. In the even it was almost calm and again intensely hot.
1 The corrupt form of gum benzoin, the odoriferous gum of the ‘Benjamin tree’, Styrax benzoin, a native of Malacca, Sumatra and Java.
1 The ship, having turned False Cape, was now in the large bight on the western coast of New Guinea, very sketchily laid down in eighteenth century charts, and not at all well-known, though mapped, even today. The landing appears to have been made at a bay which appears on some maps as Cook's Bay, with the Cook River running into it (about latitude 6° 20′ S), names no doubt based on this visit of 1770; but the identification made may be rather conjectural. It is really impossible to reconcile the maps to which Cook refers, those in de Brosses's Histoire des Navigations aux Terres Australes, with the present-day chart, though Banks and Cook describe the nature of the country and its seaward approaches accurately enough.
2 Cook refused to have the trees cut down—‘nothing but the utmost necessity would have oblige'd me to have taken this Method to come at refreshments’—in spite of later suggestions from his officers.—p. 410.
3 On the ship this activity was at first taken for the discharge of fire-arms, as Banks later notes; ‘by what means this was done or what purpose it answer'd we were not able to guess’, says Cook (p. 409). ‘I thought the Combustible matter was containd in a Reed or peice of small Bamboo which they gave a swing round in the hand and caused it to go off.’ This was accurate observation: the natives carried smouldering tinder in hollow canes for their fire-making, utilization of which was no doubt part of their demonstration of force. The technique of carrying fire was a sort of refinement on the live firebrands carried about by other New Guinea people.
The place where we landed we judgd to be near Cabo de la Colta de Santa Bonaventura, as it is calld in the French charts,1 about 9 or 10 lgs to the Southward of Keer Weer.2 We were not ashore upon the whole more than two hours so can not be expected to have made many observations.
1 These charts were those drawn by the well-known cartographer, Robert de Vaugondy, for de Brosses. It is impossible to identify this cape with real confidence, but I think it was De Jong's Point, to the north-eastward of the opening of Prinses Marianne Strait. ‘Colta’ is a corruption of ‘Costa’, found on older charts. I have discussed these maps in my introduction to Cook I, pp. clvii-xi, and in the notes to pp. 409–11; but the subject still needs some clarification.
2 This was a name conferred on an indentation in the coast—I think probably Flamingo Bay—and dates from Carstenz's expedition of 1623 with the yachts Arnhem and Pera, the main result of which was the discovery of the Australian Arnhem Land. See Wieder, Monumenta Cartographica, pl. 126. Keer Weer: ‘blind alley’ or ‘turn about’.
|Cyperus ….||Eugenia Butonica Mscr.|
|Commelina communis Linn.||Vitex trifolia Linn.|
|Convolvulus Brasiliensis Linn.||Hibiscus tiliaceus Linn.|
|Solanum nigrum Linn.||Glycine speciosa Mscr.|
|Morinda citrifolia Linn.||Dolichos giganteus Mscr.|
|Chaitea Tacca Mscr.||Abrus precatorius Linn.|
|Lobelia Plumierii Linn.||Hedysarum umbellatum Linn.|
|Arum macrorizum Linn.||Sitodium altile Mscr.|
|Coix Lacryma Jobi Linn.||Casuarina equisetifolia Mscr.|
|Guilandina Bonduccela Linn.||Musa Paradisaica Linn.|
|Cocos nucifera Linn.|
1 The only New Guinea specimen from this list detected in B.M.[N.H.] Herbarium by Mr Eric Groves is Coix lacrymi-jobi, which coll. was also noticed by Britten, who pencilled the fact in the Banks Catalogue (p. 20, Ms). Perhaps such well known strand spp. were not preserved by Banks since they had been observed and collected earlier on the voyage.
2 This opinion is probably correct: these Papuans have now the bow and arrow, but it seems to have been a comparatively late acquisition, and some variety of throwing stick to have been used earlier.
The house or shed that we saw was very mean and poor. It consisted of 4 stakes drove into the ground, 2 being longer than the other two: over these were layd cocoa nut leaves loose and not half enough to cover it. By the cutting of these stakes as well as of the arrows or darts which they threw at us we concluded that they had no Iron among them.
As soon as ever the boat was hoisted in we made sail and steerd away from this land to the No small satisfaction of I beleive thre[e] fourths of our company, the sick became well and the melancholy lookd gay. The greatest part of them were now pretty far gone with the longing for home which the Physicians have gone so far as to esteem a disease under the name of Nostalgia;1 indeed I can find hardly any body in the ship clear of its effects but the Captn Dr Solander and myself, indeed we three have pretty constant employment for our minds which I beleive to be the best if not the only remedy for it.
4. Brisk trade and fine weather. The alterd Countenances of our common people were still more perceivable than they were yesterday. Two thirds allowance had I beleive made the cheif difference with them, for our provisions were now so much wasted by keeping that that allowance was little more than was necessary to keep life and soul together.
1 This is an early use of the word in non-technical writing. The O.E.D. gives it the date 1678 as a modern Latin translation of the German heimweh, and 1780 as its entrance into literature (‘Homesickness’ is dated 1756). It is of course precisely the sort of word that Banks, with his ranging scientific mind, would pick up, though he was by no means a good Latinist. The 1780 example is from James Thacker's Military Journal during the American war, 1775–83 (London 1823): ‘many perplexing instances of indisposition, … called by Dr. Cullen nostalgia’. The Scotsman William Cullen (1710-90) was for many years the greatest teacher of medicine in Britain. The doctors may have caught on to the word generally, and some of them passed it on to Banks, or he may have got it from Solander. A minor problem is why Hawkesworth ignored this picturesque bit.
2 Probably Karang and Enu, the most southerly of the Aru Islands.
6. Pleasant trade: our water deepned to 180 fathm. A tropick bird5 and 2 black and white Gannets6 seen about the ship. At Noon a large high Island was in sight, possibly Timor Land, tho if so the charts have laid it down much too far to the Southward.7 The supposition of its being so made us think of Timor, which had been visited by our countrey man Dampier;8 this thought made home recur to my mind stronger than it had done throughout the whole voyage: the distance I now conceivd to be nothing very great.
7. Trade as brisk and pleasant as ever. Infinite flying fish about the ship, some nectris's and Man of War Birds, many Gannets also seen; at Night 2 Bobies were caught.
8. Much less wind today; many Gannets and Bobies were seen. At Night 2 of the latter were taken.
9. Light breezes and almost calm. Myself in my small boat a shooting killd 3 dozn. of Bobies and gannets; the last provd to be the Pelicanus Piscator of Linnæus.9 At night a strong appearance of very high Land was observd to the Westward which causd many different opinions; the Seamen however in general insisted on its being clouds, an opinion which its unusual hight above the horizon considerd with respect to the faintness with which it appeard seemd much to favour.
2 Fregata sp. The commonest here is F. ariel.
3 This is a puzzling record, as shearwaters are apparently completely absent from this area nowadays (D. L. Serventy, personal communication).
4 There appears to be no note or description that tallies with this specimen.
5 Probably the Red-tailed Tropic Bird.
6 Both the Blue-faced and the Red-footed Booby occur in this region. Banks distinguished Sula species with brown upper parts as boobies, and the mainly white birds as gannets.
7 Timorlaut, now called the Tanimbar islands, east of Timor.
8 Dampier visited Timor in September 1699 and May 1700, on his voyage in the Roebuck.
9 Sula piscator was a valid name for the Red-footed Booby (Townsend and Wetmore, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard, 63, No. 4, p. 167, 1919); Solander's brief description (p. 21), although undated, clearly refers to this species, as he gives the page and date of the revision of the species by Linnaeus himself, which is discussed by the above authors.
11. By day Break in the morn another shark was caught: the two together weighing 126 lb were servd to the ships company and every man in her, I may venture to affirm, from the Captn to the Swabber dind heartily upon it. Many smoaks ashore.
12. As soon as the light was pretty clear the Land again appeard 5 or 6 Lgs off; by 7 the Wind came to west so we stood in for it. It was very high rising in gradual slopes from the hills which were in great measure coverd with thick woods; among them however we could distinguish bare spots of a large extent which at least look's as if cleard by art; many fires were also seen on all parts of the hills, some very high up. At night fall we were within 1 and ½ miles of the Beach just abreast of a little inlet. The countrey seemd to answer very well the description which Dampier has given of Timor,1 the land close to the beach being coverd with high spiring trees which he likens to Pines (Casuarina) behind which was great appearance of Salt water creeks and many mangroves; in Parts however were many Cocoa nut trees close down to the Beach. The flat land seemd to reach in some places 2 or 3 miles before the rise of the first hill. We saw no appearance of Plantations or houses near the sea but the land lookd most fertile, and from the many fires we had seen in different parts we could not help having a good opinion of its population.
1 In his Continuation of a Voyage to New Holland, Chap. I (Voyages, ed. Masefield, II, pp. 464–5). Banks goes close to quoting him. He writes, ‘the low land bounds the sea hath nothing but red Mangroves [Bruguiera], even from the Foot of the Mountains till you come within a hundred and fifty or two hundred paces of the Sea: and then you have Sandbanks, cloath'd with a sort of Pine; so that there is no getting Water on this side, because of the Mangroves’. His illustration of Casuarina, 1729 ed. III (Masefield, II at p. 448), pl. 4, fig. 1, is unmistakable. Mrs H. N. Clokie has kindly examined the Dampier specimen (labelled as from Australia, not Timor) in the Sherardian Herbarium, at Oxford, and writes: ‘A note in Professor Osborn's hand says "this is probably the actual specimen used in drawing the figure referred to". The specimen is identified as C. equisetifolia by C. A. Gardner. There can therefore be no doubt about it’. Cf. T. G. B. Osborn and C. A. Gardner, ‘Dampier's Australian plants’, Proc. Linn. Soc., Session 151: 44–50. 1939.
14. Our Westerly wind still continued and we plyd with our usual success. Infinite albecores and bonetos2 were about the ship attended (as they always are when near land) by some species of Sterna; these were Dampiers New Holland Noddies3 which flew in large flocks hovering over the shoals of fish. Many Man of War birds also attended and Entertaind us by very frequently stooping at albecores so large that 20 times their strengh could not have lifted them, had they been dextrous enough to seize them which they never once effected.
15. Wind came fair today and left our melancholy ones to search for some new occasion of sorrow. There was much less of it than we could have wishd and yet enough to alter the appearance of the countrey very sensibly. The Island was now Hilly tho not near so high as it had been; the Hills in general came quite down to the sea and where they did not, instead of flats and mangrovy land, were immense groves of Cocoa nut trees; about a mile up from the Beach began the plantations and houses almost innumerable standing under the shade of large grovesof Palms appearing like the Fan Palm (Borassus);4 the Plantations which were in general enclosd with some kind of Fence reach'd almost to the tops of the Hills, but near the Beach were no certain marks of habitations seen. But what surpr[i]zd us most was that notwithstanding all these indisputable marks of a Populous countrey we saw neither people nor any kind of cattle stirring all the day, tho our glasses were almost continualy employ'd.
1 i.e., the ship having had a favourable wind over a long period, the professional grumblers were now sure it had betrayed them before they could reach a port for refreshment. Cook's great fear at the Endeavour River had been that the delay to the voyage there might mean his being caught by the change of monsoon and prevented for a whole season from getting to Batavia.
2 The most plentiful shoaling tunnies in this area are Kishinoella tonggol (Bleeker) and Euthynnus alletteratus (Rafinesque) which are commonly attended by terns; other species include Nethunnus macropterus and Katsuwonus pelamis (D. L. Serventy, personal communication).
3 Dampier describes this noddy at length in his Voyage to New Holland (Masefield ed., II, p. 437), and gives a cut of it. Possibly these were not Brown-winged or Bridled Terns (cf. p. 660, n. 2 above) but the Wide-awake or Sooty Tern, Sterna fuscata, which breeds in Java and New Guinea. The two species are easily confused on the wing.
4 Lontar, Borassus flabellifer, the widely distributed Palmyra or Fan palm.
5 Roti is a small island off the south-west end of Timor.
About 10 O'Clock a Phænomenon appeard in the heavens in many things resembling the Aurora Borealis but differing materialy in others: it consisted of a dull reddish light reaching in hight about 20 degrees above the Horizon: its extent was very different at different times but never less than 8 or 10 points of the compass. Through and out of this passd rays of a brighter colourd light tending directly upwards; these appeard and vanishd nearly in the same time as those of the Aurora Borealis, but were entirely without that trembling or vibratory motion observd in that Phænomenon. The body of it bore from the ship Sse: it lasted as bright as ever till near 12 when I went down to sleep but how much longer I cannot tell.5
1 i.e., between Roti and Timor—Roti Strait.
2 According to Professor C. G. G. J. van Steenis, these ‘brushy trees’ were Schleichera oleosa Merr.
3 Semau or Samau, north of Roti and lying off Kupang, the old Concordia, Dutch capital of Timor; it is separated from Timor by the narrow Semau Strait.
5 The description here given can fit nothing but a display of the Aurora Australis. Auroral displays are seldom observed in low latitudes, and as the latitude of Timor is only about 10° S, this particular display must have been tremendous indeed. There can be no doubt about it, because Parkinson (p. 161) also gives a short description, and the possibility is attested by the record of the display seen from Samoa in 1921. The cause of the aurora seems to be some form of electrical discharge, attested otherwise by rapid and sometimes (when the display is not brilliant) violent variation of the magnetic needle, and linked with the appearance of sun-spots. There was light solar activity in 1770 and in September of that year. It is perhaps odd that nothing of the sort was seen earlier in the year by the Endeavour’s company, or in 1769, a year of sun-spot maximum, when the ship was in much higher latitudes.
6 The island of Savu.
After a very short stay he returnd bringing word that he had seen Indians in all respects as colour, dress &c. much resembling the Malays; that they very civily invited him ashore and conversd with him by signs but neither party could understand the other; they were totaly unarmd except the knives which they wore in their girdles and had with them a Jackass, a sure sign that Europeans had been among them.
1 S has here the note, ‘cleared of wild Woods. The Palms being what they encouraged much as possible’.
2 It was Gore that Cook sent on this reconnaissance.
3 Banks has had some difficulty with his adverb here: he first writes a word now indecipherable, superimposes on it ‘humanely’, and then crosses that out heavily in favour of the conventional ‘politely’.
4 Presumably a sand-bank or shelf giving good anchorage.
After a stay of about an hour and a half the boat made a signal of having had intelligence of a harbour to Leeward and we in consequence bore away for it. The boat following soon came on board and told us that the people had behavd in an uncommaly civil manner; that they had seen some of their principal people who were dressd in fine linnen and had chains of gold round their necks; that they had not been able to trade, the owner of the Cocoa nut trees not being there, but had got about 2 dozn of Cocoa nuts given as a present by these principal people, who accepted of Linnen in return and made them plainly understand by drawing a map upon the sand that on the Lee side of the Island was a bay in which we might anchor near a town and buy Sheep, hogs, fruits, fowls &c; they talkd much of the Portugese and of Larntuca on the Island of Ende,1 from which circumstance it was probable that the Portugese were somewhere on the Island tho none of the natives could speak more than a word or two of the Language, and the more so as one of the Indians in speaking of the Town made a sign of something we should see there which would shew us that we were right, by crossing his fingers, which a Portugese who was in the boat immediately interpreted into a cross, a supposition that appeard very probable;2 that just before they put off the man in a European dress Came towards them, but the officer in the boat not having his commission about him thoug[h]t proper to put off immediately without staying to speak to him or know what countrey man he was.
We saild along shore and after having passd a point of Land found a bay shelterd from the trade wind in which we soon discoverd a large Indian town or village, on which we stood in hoisting a Jack on the foretopmast head.3 Soon after to our no small surprize Duch Colours were hoisted in the town and 3 guns fird. We however proceeded and just at dark got soundings and anchord about 1½ miles from the shore.
1 This is very confused. Both Larantuka and Ende are on the large island of Flores, midway in the chain of islands (the Lesser Sunda Islands) between Timor and Java. Ende was a bay and village on the south coast, and Larantuka on the easternmost point. Savu is due south of Flores, about halfway between Roti and Sumba. The phrase ‘somewhere on the Island’ seems to refer to Savu, where the ship now was, and not to the ‘Island of Ende’.
3 This seems to have been the roadstead of Seba, inland a little distance from which, at Seba village, the rajah of Savu still has his residence.
We landed and walkd up to the town which consisted of a good many houses, some tolerably large, each being a roof of thach covering a boarded floor supported by Pillars 3 or 4 feet from the ground. Before we had been long there it began to grow dark and we returnd on board, having only just tasted their Palm wine which had a very sweet taste and suited all our palates very well, giving us at the same time hopes that it might be servicable to our sick, as being the fresh and unfermented juice of the tree it promisd antescorbutick virtues.
1 Malay negeri, country but used loosely of any settlement, town or land. Below, pp. 158–9, Banks calls them ‘principalities’. Presumably if the island were divided into several independent rajahdoms, each would be a negeri.
Before dinner Mynheer Lange had mentiond to us a letter which he had in the morn receivd from the Governor of Timor: the particulars of it were now discussd. It acquainted him that a ship had been seen off that Island and had Steerd from thence towards that which we were now upon: in case such ship was to touch there in any distress she was to be supplied with what she wanted but was not to be allowd to make any stay more than was necessary, and was particularly requird not to make any large presents to the inferior People, or to leave any with the Principal ones to be distributed among them after he was gone. This we were told did not at all extend to the Beads or small peices of cloth which we gave the Natives in return for their small civilities, as bringing us palm wine &c. Some of our Gentlemen were of opinion that the whole of this Letter was an imposition but whether it was or not I shall not take upon myself to determine.
1 S has the note, ‘A Basket made of Palm leaves.’
In the Evening we had intelligence from our trading place that No Buffelloes or hogs had been brought down, a few sheep only, which were taken away before our people who had sent for money could procure it; some few fouls however were bought and a large quantity of a kind of Syrup made from the Juice of the palm tree,1 which tho infinitely superior to melasses or treacle sold at a very small price. We complaind to Mynheer Lange. He said that as we had not ourselves been down upon the Beach the Natives were afraid to take money of any one else least it should be false. On this the Captn went immediately down but could see no cattle. While he was gone Mr Lange complaind that our people had yet offerd no gold for any thing; this he said the Islanders were dis-pleasd at who had expected to have gold for their stock.
20. In the morning early the Captn went ashore himself to purchase Buffeloes. He was shewn two, one of which they valued at five guineas the other a musquet; he offerd 3 guineas for the one and sent for a musquet to give for the other. The money was flatly refus'd and before the Musquet could be brought off Dr Solander, who had been up at the town in order to speak to Mr Lange, returnd followd by 86 Spearmen and 20 musqueteers sent by the King to tell us that this day and no more would be allowd us to trade, after which we must be gone. This was the message that Dr Solander had from the Radja by Mr Lange's interpretation, but a Portugese Indian who came from Timor, probably Next in command to Mr Lange, carried it much farther, telling us that we might stay ashore till night if we pleasd but none of the natives would any more be allowd to trade with us; after which he began to drive away those who had brought hens, syrup &c. To remedy this an old sword which lay in the Boat was given to the Prime minister as I have calld him, Mannudjame, who in an instant restord order and severely chid the officer of the guard, an old Portugese Indian, for haveing gone beyond their orders.2 Trade now was as brisk as ever, fowls and syrup were bought cheap and in vast plenty, but now we will see what treatment Dr Solander met with in the Town.
1 A number of different palms were used to produce palm-wine or toddy and the syrup derived from it—the Sugar-palm, the Coconut, and what is probably meant here, to judge from Banks's later description, p. 162 below, the Fan palm, Borassus flabellifer.
2 Cook, whose account of Savu is briefer and less circumstantial than Banks's, is here a little more dramatic: ‘There happen'd to be an old Raja at this time upon the beach whose Intrest I had secure'd in the Morning by presenting him with a Spy glass, this man I now took by the hand and presented him with an old broad sword, this effectually secure'd him in our Intrest for the Moment he got it he began to flourish it over the old Portuguese and made him and the officer that commanded the party to set down at his backside’.—pp. 420–1.
In the morn when he arriv'd there it was a long time before he could find the Radja; at last however he did and receivd many civilities from him. Mr Lange was however not to be found so no conversation could pass for want of an interpreter. After some time a number of men came and taking their arms rangd themselves in the yard; the Radja then appeard cross but shewd nothing but civility to the Dr.
One of our servants who was trading now came into the yard, having a garter tied over his shoulder for which he askd a cock: the Radja went to him and askd him for it: he, ignorant of his quality, refusd unless he had a Cock on which he was orderd to be turnd out of the yard, as were all our people but the Dr who still was in the assembly house totaly ignorant of what was going on. The Radja however now told him that Mr Lange was at such a house, a hint to be gone but which was not taken as such, for the Dr wanted nothing so much as to see Mr Lange and consequently went directly to him. Mr Lange returnd to the Radjas with him and told him that the People were almost in rebellion on account of the Radjas permitting us to trade with goods instead of money, and that this day was positively the last on which we could be allowd to do so, that he was much offended also at the servant who had refus'd the garter. These storys were too ridiculous to be taken much notice of therefore he still stayd in hopes of learning something more. The guards were orderd to exercise which they did clumsily enough with their spears: the Dr pleasd with the sight desird he might see the excersise of their Sabres also. You had better not desire it, said the duch man, the People are very much enrag'd. Now the Dr found Mr Lange's intention which was to frighten him and us: it however had no part of the design'd effect, we were too well convinc'd that both King and people desird nothing so much as to trade with us to regard these political menaces.
The Dr However set out for the Beach in order to tell us who were there the state of the Case and with him came this formidable troop who behavd as before mentiond. The state of the case appeard now Plain: Mr Lange was to have a share of what the Buffeloes were sold for and that share was to be paid in money; the Captn therefore, tho sore against his will, resolvd to pay 5 guineas apeice for one or 2 Buffeloes and try to buy the rest for musquets. Accordingly no sooner had he hinted his mind to the Portugese Indian than a Buffeloe was brought down but a very small one, and five guineas given for it; 2 more larger followd immediately for one of which a musquet and for the other 5 guineas was given. There was now no page 157 more occasion for money, 2 large herds of Buffeloes were brought down and we pickd them just as we chose for a musquet apeice. We bought nine, as many we thought as would last us to Batavia, especialy as we had little or no victuals, but so ill were we provided with cords that 3 of the nine broke from us; 2 of these the Indians recoverd but the third got quite off tho our people assisted by the Indians followd him 3 hours.
In the Evening Mr Lange came down to the Beach softned by the money which no doubt he had receivd: he who was in the morn as sour as verjuice was now all sweetness and softness. The Dr who spoke German but little was loth to mention to him any of the transactions of the morning, he however took frequent occasions of letting us know that if we pleasd we might come ashore the next day. Our business was However quite done, so to fullfill a promise we had made he was presented with a small cagg of Beer and we took our leave as good freinds as possible.
The refreshments we got consisted of 8 Buffeloes, 30 Dzn of fowls, 6 sheep, 3 hogs, some few but very few limes and cocoa nuts, a little garlick, a good many eggs above half of which were rotten, an immense quantity of Syrup which was bought for trifles, several hundred gallons at least—upon the whole more than live stock enough to carry us to Batavia and syrop for futurity.
I have been very diffuse and particular in mentioning every trifling circumstance which occurd in this transaction, as this may perhaps be the only opportunity I shall ever have of visiting an Island of great consequence to the Duch and scarce known to any other Europaeans even by name. I can find it in only one of the Draughts and that an old one printed by Mount and Page1 the Lord knows when, which has it by the name of Sou but confounds it with Sandel Bosch2 which is layd down very wrong. Rumphius mentions an Island by the name of Saow and say[s] it is that which is calld by the Duch Sandel Bosch, but no chart that I have seen lays either that, Timor or Rotte, or indeed any Island that we have seen hereabouts in any thing near its right place.
1 Mount and Page were a well-known firm of stationers and map and chart publishers, c. 1733–86. Their shop was on Tower Hill.
2 Sandel Bosch, Sandalwood Island, a name given to Sumba, many times the size of Savu, and to the west of it.
I shall proceed now to give such an account of the Island as I could get together during our short stay, which short as it was was so taken up with procuring refreshments, in which occupation every one was obligd to exert himself, that very little I confess is from my own observation; almost every thing is gatherd from the Conversation of Mr Lange who at first and last was very free and open and I am inclind to beleive did not deceive us in what he told us, how much soever he migh[t] conceal, except perhaps in the strengh and warlike disposition of the Islanders, which account seems to contradict itself, as one can hardly imagine those people to be of a warlike disposition who have continued in peace time out of mind. As for the other Islands in this neighbourhood his information alone was all we had to go upon; I would not however neglect to set it down, tho in general it was of little more consequence than to confirm the policy of the duch in confining their spices to particular Isles, which being full of them cannot furnish themselves with provisions.2
1 We can well believe this anecdote of the conscientious but in this case tactless Parkinson. He would naturally have roused suspicion, for the Dutch were most jealous of their control of spice production and trade, and Lange was evidently a faithful servant in this respect.
2 S has the note, ‘The Dutch keep the Spices upon small Islands, that they may be able to defend them easily: and keep other Islands in the Neighbourhood, to furnish those Spice Islands with Provisions.’
3 The position of Tanjong (cape) Merebu, a few miles from the western extremity of the island, has been fixed as lat. 10° 37′ S, long. 121° 50′ E.
4 Negeri; cf. p. 153, n. 5 above.
The appearance of the Island especialy on the windward side where we first made it was allowd by us all to equal in beauty if not excell any thing we had seen, even parchd up as it was by a drought which Mr Lange informd us had continued for seven months without a drop of Rain interveening, the last rainy season having intirely faild them. Verdure indeed there was at this time no signs of, but the gentle sloping of the hills which were cleard quite to the top and planted in every part with thick groves of the fan Palm, besides woods almost of Cocoa nut trees and Arecas2 which grew near the sea side, filld the eye so compleatly that it hardly lookd for or missd the verdure of the earth, a circumstance seldom seen in any perfection so near the line. How beautifull it must appear when coverd with its springing crop of Maize, Millet, Indigo &c. which covers almost every foot of ground in the cultivated parts of the Island imagination can hardly conceive: the verdure of Europe set of by the stately pillars of India—Palms I mean, especialy the Fan palm3 which for streightness and proportion both of the stem to itself and the head to the stem far excells all the Palms that I have seen—requires a poetical imagination to describe and mind not unaquainted with such sights to conceive.
The productions of this Island are Buffaloes, sheep, hogs, fowls, Horses, Asses, Maize, Guinea corn, Rice, Calevanses,4 Limes, oranges, Mangoes, Plantains, Water melons, Tamarinds, Sweet sops (annona squamosa),5 Blimbi (Averhoa Bilimbi),6 besides Cocoa
1 There are in fact two islands: Rai Jua, separated from Savu by a channel 2½ miles wide, and Dana, about 18 miles south-westward of Rai Jua. Banks no doubt refers to Rai Jua. Pulo or pulau simply means island.
2 Areca, a sort of palm; the name is also given to its fruit or nut. It is the nut of Areca cathecu, the betel palm or Pinang, which is rolled up in betel-leaves and chewed; S has the note, ‘Areca Tree which bears the Nut they are so fond of chewing with Betle etc.’ The binomial is often spelt Areca catechu, which Merrill and others accept as intended orthography, but Moore and Fosberg retain the original spelling (cf. Gentes Herbarum 8: 449, 1956).
3 Borassus flabellifer.
4 Pulse or small beans, Dolichos spp.
5 The text, with its deletions and alterations, displays some uncertainty over this fruit, hesitating between sweet sops (Anona squamosa) and custard apples (Anona reliculata), finally settling for the former.
6 Bilimbi, Averrhoa bilimbi, the acid fruits of which are used in a variety of dishes.
nuts and Fan palm which last is in sufficient quantities should all other crops fail to support the whole Island, people, stock and all, who have been at times oblig'd to live upon its sugar Syrup and wine for some Months. We saw also a small quantity of European garden herbs as Cellery, Marjoram, Fennel and garlick and one single sugar cane. Besides these necessaries it has for the supply of luxury Betel1 and Areca, Tobacco, Cotton, Indigo, and a little Cinnamon—only planted for curiosity said Mr Lange; indeed I almost doubt whether or not it was genuine cinnamon as the Duch have been always so carefull not to trust any spices out of their proper Islands. Besides these were possibly many other things which we had not an opportunity of seeing and Mr Lange forgot or did not chuse to inform us of.
All their Produce is in amazing abundance, so we judgd at least from the Plantations we saw, tho this year every crop had faild for want of Rain. Most of them are well known to Europeans. I shall however spend a little Ink in describing such only as are not, or as differ at all in appearance from those commonly known. To begin then with Buffaloes of which they have good store, these beasts differ from our Cattle in Europe in their ears which are considerably larger, their skins which are almost without hair, and their horns which instead of bending forwards as ours do bend directly backwards, and also in their total want of Dewlaps. We saw of these some as big as well sizd European oxen and some there must be much larger, so at least I was led to beleive by a pair of horns which I measurd; they were from tip to tip 3 feet 9½; across their widest diameter 4 ft 1½; the whole sweep of their semicircle in front 7 ft 6½. One caution is however exceedingly necessary in buying these beasts, which is that one of them of any given size does not weigh above half as much as an ox of the same size in England; by this we who were ignorant of the fact were very much deceivd, those which we guessd at 400 1b, the larger sort that were bought, not weighing above 250, and the smaller which we guessd at 250 not above 160. This vast difference proceeded first from total want of fat, of which there was not the least sign, but more especialy from the thinness of the flanks and thin peices which were literaly nothing but skin and bone. Their flesh notwi[th] standing this was not bad, it was well tasted and full of gravy, not that I can put it upon a footing with the leanest beef in England yet I should suppose it better than a lean ox would be in this burnt up climate.
1 Piper betle, the leaf of which, with the red fruit of the betel palm, makes the favourite masticatory.
Mr Lange told us that when the Portugese first came to this Island there were horses upon it, an opinion from which I confess I rather apostatize, 1but to wave the dispute Horses are now very plentifull. They are small, generaly 11 or 12 hands high, but very brisk and nimble especialy in Pacing which is their common step. The inhabitants seem to be tolerable Horsemen riding always without a saddle and generaly with only a Halter instead of a bridle. This is not however the only Benefit that these Islanders receive from them, for they use them as food and preferr their flesh to that of Buffaloes and every other sort but swines flesh, which holds the highest rank in their opinion.
Their sheep are of that kind which I have seen in England under the name of Bengall sheep; they differ from ours in having hair instead of wool, in their ears being very large and flapp down under their horns almost streight, and in their noses which are much more arch'd than those of our European sheep. These sheep are I beleive very frequently calld Cabritos from their resemblance to goats, which tho I cannot say appeard to me at all striking yet had such an effect upon the whole ships company, officers and seamen, that not one would beleive them to be sheep till they heard their voices, which are precisely the same as those of European ones. Their flesh was like the Buffaloes, lean, and void of flavour, to me the worst mutton I have ever eat. Their fowls are cheifly of the game breed and large but the eggs the smallest I have ever seen.
Besides these animals here are vast plenty of dogs, some cats and rats and a few Pidgeons—I saw 3 or 4 pair—nor are any of these animals exempted from furnishing their part towards the support of Polyphagous man except the Rats which alone they do not eat.
Fish appeard to us to be scarce, indeed it was but little valued by these Islanders, none but the very inferior people ever eating it and these only at the times when their duty or business requird them to be down upon the sea beach. In this case every man was furnishd with a light Casting net which was girt round him and servd for a part of his dress; with this he took any small fish that might happen to come into his way. Turtles are scarce; they are esteemd a good food but are taken only seldom.
1 Horses were not endemic here but possibly some had been brought from India or China before Europeans arrived.
2 Altered from ‘the custard apple is a delicious fruit’: this uncertainty argues that Banks may not have been writing from personal experience. See p. 159, n. 5 above.
The Fruit, which is least esteemd, is also in the least plenty. It is a nut about as big as a childs head coverd like a cocoa nut with a fibrous coat, under which are 3 Kernels which must be eat before they are ripe, otherwise they become to[o] hard to chew; in their proper state they resemble a good deal in taste the kernel of an unripe Cocoa nut and like them probably afford but a washy nutriment. The excellence of the Palm wine or Toddy which is drawn from this tree makes however ample amends for the poorness of the fruit: this is got by cutting the buds which are to produce flowers soon after their appearance and tying under them a small basket made of the leaves of the same tree, into which the liquor drips and must be collected by people who climb the trees for that purpose every morning and evening. This is the common drink of every one upon the Island and a very pleasant one. It was so to us even at first only rather too sweet; its antescorbutick virtues as the fresh unfermented juice of a tree cannot be doubted.
1 Rumpf mentioned its use in Bali, and before him Jacob de Bondt, in Java.
1 Jagara, an Indo-Portuguese word, whence the English ‘jaggery’, for a coarse dark brown sugar made by evaporation from the sap of palms—e.g. Borassus flabellifer; but principally (in India) the wild date Phoenix sylvestris, in part of the Ganges valley north of Calcutta. Elsewhere the received importance for the purpose of Borassus flabellifer is witnessed by its alternative name, Toddy tree, used by Banks. Both the words jagara and sugar are derived from the Sanskrit sakar. The interested tourist may still see lumps of the stuff exposed for sale in the less respectable markets of Colombo.
The Syrup or Gula which they make in this manner is so nourishing that Mr Lange told us it alone fed and fatned their hogs, dogs and fouls, and that even the men themselves could and had sometimes livd upon it alone for a long time when by bad seasons or their destructive feasts which I shall mention by and by they have been deprivd of all other nourishment. We saw some of the swine upon this Island whose uncommon fatness surprizd us much, which very beasts we saw one evening serv'd with their suppers consisting of nothing but the outside husks of Rice and this syrup disolvd in water, and this they told us was their constant and only food. How far it may be found consonant to truth that sugar alone should have such nourishing qualities I shall leave to others to determine; I have only accounts not experience to favour that opinion.
The people of this Island are rather under than over the midling size, the women especialy most of whoom are remarkably short and generaly squat built. Their colour is well ting'd with brown, in all Ranks and conditions nearly the same, in which particular they differ much from the inhabitants of the South sea Isles where the better sort of people are universaly almost whiter than their inferiors. The men are rather well made and seem to be active and nimble; among them we observd a greater variety of features than usual; the women on the other hand are as I said before generaly low and clumsey, are far from hansome and have a kind of sameness of features among them which might well account for the chastity of the men for which virtue this Island is said to be remarkable. The Hair of Both sexes is universaly Black and lank; the men wear it long and fastned upon the tops of their heads with a comb, the women have theirs also long and tied behind into a kind of club, not very becomeing.
1 I have looked in vain through the Gentleman's Magazine for the article referred to.
The distinction of the womens dress except only the head consists merely in the manner of wearing their cloths, which are of the same materials and in the same quantity as the mens: their waist cloths reach down below their knees and their body cloths are tied under their arms and over their breasts Keeping up the strictest decency. Both sexes eradicate the Hair from under their armpits, a custom in these hot climates almost essential to cleanliness; the men also pluck out their beards, for which purpose the better sort carry always a pair of silver pincers hanging round their necks. Some however wear a little hair on their upper lips but that they never suffer to grow long.
2 For this word S substitutes ‘petticoat’; no doubt Sophia (or should one refer to her as Sarah ?) thought she had superior knowledge on the garb of women.
Almost all the men had their names tracd upon their arms in indelible characters of Black; the women had a square ornament of flourishd lines on the inner part of each arm just under the bend of the elbow. On enquiring into the antiquity of this custom, so consonant with that of Tattowing in the South Sea Islands, Mr Lange told us that it was among these people long before the Europeans came here but was less us'd in this than in most Islands in the neighbourhood, in some of which the people usd to mark circles round their necks, breasts &c.
Both Sexes are continualy employd in chewing Betle and Arec, the consequence of which is that their teeth as long as they have any are dyed of that filthy black colour which constantly attends the rotteness of a tooth; for it appears to me that from their first use of this custom which they begin very young their teeth are affected and continue by gradual degrees to waste away till they are quite worn to the stumps which seems to happen before old age. I have seen men in appearance between 20 and 30 whose fore teeth were almost intirely gone, no two being of the same lengh or the same thickness but every one eat into unevenesses as iron is by rust. This loss of the teeth is attributed by all whose writings upon the subject I have read to the tough and stringy coat of the Areca nut but in my opinion is much easier accounted for by the well known corrosive quality of the lime, which is a necessary ingredient in every mouthfull and that too in no very insignificant quantity. This opinion seems to me to be almost put out of dispute by the manner in which their teeth are destroyd: they are not loosned or drawn out as they should be by the too frequent labour of chewing tough substances but melt away and decay as metals in strong acids, the stumps always remaining firmly adhering to the jaws just level with the gums. Possibly the ill effects which sugar is beleivd by us Europeans to have upon the teeth may proceed from the same cause as it is well known that refin'd or loaf sugar contains in it a large quantity of lime.1
1 S has here a reference foward to the remarks on the chewing habits of the Bat-avians (p. 222 below) and their use of slaked lime: ‘which shows that at Batavia at least, Arec is not prejudicial to the teeth. I can hardly suppose the difference of climate, and food, etc. makes its qualities so totaly opposite: but think (without a doubt) that at Savu the decay of their teeth is owing to their using unslacked Lime. Don't know whether at Savu they could prevent if they pleased the blackness of their teeth, but at Batavia they can clean it off at pleasure.’
Their houses are all built upon one and the same plan differing only in size according to the rank and riches of the proprietors, some being 3 or 400 feet in lengh and others not 20. They consist of a well boarded floor raisd upon posts 3 or 4 feet from the ground; over this is raisd a roof shelving like ours in Europe and supported by pillars of its own independent of the floor; the Eaves of this reach within 2 feet of the floor but overhang it as much; this open2 serves to let in air and light and makes them very cool and agreable. The space within is generaly divided into two by a partition which takes off one third. From this partition forward reaches a loft shut up close on all sides and raisd about 6 feet from the ground, which occupies the center third of the house; besides this are sometimes one or two small rooms taken off of the sides of the house. The uses of these different apartments we did not learn only were told that the loft was appropriated to the women.
1 A side-light on the personal habits of Banks—it appears that he was no smoker. The reader who can tolerate any other viewpoint on ‘betel-chewing’ is recommended to the delightful pages of E. M. Forster on ‘Pan’, in Abinger Harvest, pp. 309–14.
2 Sic; he may have meant ‘opening’, but ‘open’ makes sense. S and P open. The word could still be used as a substantive in this sense in the eighteenth century, though rather archaic.
One Chirurgical operation of theirs Mr Lange mentiond to us with great praises which indeed appears sensible: it is a method of curing wounds which they do by first washing the wound in water in which Tamarinds have been steepd, then pluging it up with a pledget made of fat of fresh pork; in this manner the wound is thouroughly cleans'd and the pledget renewd every day: he told us that by this means they had a very little while ago curd a man in three weeks of a wound of a lance which had peircd his arm and half through his body. This is the only part of either their medicinal or chirurgical art which came to our knowledge, indeed they did not seem to outward appearance to have much occasion for either, but on the contrary appeard healthfull and did not shew by scarrs of old sores or any scurvyness upon their bodies a tendency to disease. Some indeed were pitted with the small pox which Mr Lange told us had been now and then among them; in which case all who were seizd by the distemper were carried to lonely places far from habitations where they were left to the influence of their distemper, meat only being daily reachd to them by the assistance of a long pole.
How the police of their villages is carried on I cannot say I saw, page 169 but must allow that they excelld in the article of cleanliness both in their houses and without. In one thing particularly, which is their ordure, they are certainly very clever, for during our stay of 3 days not one among us that I could find out saw the least signs of it notwithstanding the populousness of the countrey, a circumstance which I beleive few of the most polishd cities in Europe can boast of.
Their religion according to the account of Mr Lange is a most absurd kind of Paganism, every man chusing his own god and also his mode of worshiping him, in which hardly any two agree. Notwithstanding this their morals are most excellent, Mr Lange declaring to us that he did not beleive that during his residence of ten years upon the Island a theft had been committd. Polygamy is by no means permitted, each man being allowd no more than one wife to whoom [he] is to adhere during life; even the Radja himself has no more. In favour of their chastity he also said that he did not beleive that a Duch man had ever receivd a favour from a woman of this Island.
The Duch boast that they make many converts to Christianity, 600 sayd Mr L. in the township of Seba where we were: what sort of christians they are I cannot say as they have neirther clergyman nor church among them. The Company have however certainly been at the expence of Printing versions of the New Testament, cathechism &c. &c. in this and several other Languages, and actualy keep a Duch Indian or half bred Duchman whose name is Fredrick Craay1 in their Service who is paid by them for instructing the youth of this Island in reading, writing and the principles of the Christian religion. Dr Solander was at his house and saw not only the Testaments and Catechisms before mentiond but also the copy books of the scolars, about 50 in number, many of whoom wrote a very fair and good hand.
1 Hawkesworth gives the name as Craig. P Craay, S Craaig.
After the Radja we could hear of no ranks of People but Landowners, respectable according to their quantity of land more or less, and slaves the property of the former, over whoom however they have no other power than that of selling them for what they will fetch when convenient, no man being able to punish his slave without the concurrence and approbation of the Radja. Of these slaves some men have 500, others only 2 or 3; what was their price in general we did not learn, only heard by accident that a very fat hog was of the value of a slave and often sold and bought at that price. When any great man stirs out he is constantly attended by 2 or more of these slaves, one of whoom carries a sword or hanger whose hilt is comm[o]nly of Silver and ornamented with large tassels of horse hair; the other carries a bag which contains Beetle, Areca, Lime, Tobacco &c. In these attendants all their Idea of Shew and grandeur seems to be centerd for the Radja himself had on no occasion which we saw any more.
1 This has nothing to do with the Black Prince, as one might infer: ‘prince's stuff’ was a corded textile material, used for academic gowns or other such civil uniforms, and would therefore have for Banks an appearance of formality.
Every Radja during his life time sets up in his capital town or Nigrie a large stone which serves futurity as a testimony of his reign—in the Nigrie Seba where we lay were 13 such stones, besides many fragments the seeming remains of those which had been devourd by time. Many of these were very large, even so much so that it would be dificult to conceive how the strengh of man alone unassisted by engines had been able to transport them to the top of a hill where they now stand, were there not in Europe so many far grander instances of the Perseverance as well as strengh of our own forefathers. These Stones serve for a very peculiar use. Upon the Death of a Radja a general feast is proclaimd throughout his dominions and in consequence all his subjects meet about these stones. Every living Creature that can be caught is now killd and the feast lasts a longer or shorter number of weeks or months according to the stock of Provisions the kingdom happens to be furnishd with at the time, the stones serving for tables on which the whole, Buffaloes &c, are servd up. After this madness is over the whole kingdom is obligd to fast and live upon syrup and water till the next crop, nor are they able to eat any flesh meat till some years after when the few animals that escapd the general slaughter, were preserv'd by policy, or acquird from the Neighbouring kingdoms have sufficiently Encreasd their species.
The five kingdoms say'd Mr Lange of which this Island consists have been for time immemorial not only at peace but in strict alliance with each other, notwithstanding which they are of a warlike disposition, Constant freinds but implacable Enemies and have always courageously defended themselves against foreign invaders. They are able to raise on a very short notice 7300 men armd with musquets, Lances, spears and Targets: of these the different kingdoms bear their different proportions: Laai 2600, Seba 2000, Regëeuä 1500, Timo 800, and Massara 400. Besides the arms before mentiond every man is furnishd with a large chopping knife like a streigh[t]ned wood Bill1 but much heavier, which must be a terrible weapon if these people should have spirit enough to come to close quarters. Mr L upon another occasion took an opportunity of telling us that they heave their Lances with surprizeing dexterity, being able at the distance of 60 feet to strike a mans heart and peirce him through.
1 ‘Bill’ in the sense of knife, for pruning or cutting wood; its edge was concave. He may also have had a bill-hook in mind.
How far these dreadfull accounts of their martial prowess might be true I dare not take upon myself to determine: all I shall say is that during our stay we saw no signs either of a warlike disposition or such formidable arms. Spears and Targets indeed there were in the Duch house about 100, the greatest part of which Spears servd to arm the people who came down to intimidate us; but so little did these doubty heroes think of fighting or indeed keeping up apearances that instead of a Target each was furnishd with a cock, some tobacco or something of that kind which he took this opportunity of bringing down to sell. Their spears seemd all to have been brought to them by Europeans, the refuse of old armories, no two being of any thing near the same lengh, the whole verying in that particular from 6 feet to 16; as for their Lances not one of us saw one of them; their musquets tho clean on the outside were honey-combd with rust on the inside; few or none of their Cartridge boxes had either powder or ball in them and to compleat, all the swivels and patereroes1 at the Duch house were all laying out of their carriages, and the one great gun which lay before it on a heap of stones was not only more honeycomb'd with rust than any peice of artillery I have ever seen but had the touchhole turnd downwards, probably to conceal its size which might not be in all probability much less than the bore of the gun itself.
The Duch however use these Islanders as auxiliaries in their wars against the inhabitants of Timor where they do good service, their lives at all events not being2 near so valuable as those of Duchmen.
1 A version of a word more often spelt in English ‘pederaro’, from the Spanish pedrero; it was a small gun mostly used on ships, originally to discharge stones (hence the name) but also any sort of small or broken iron, and to fire salutes.
2 S here has a note, ‘to Europeans’.
In return for this each Radja agrees that neither he nor his subjects shall trade with any person except the company unless they had the permission of their resident; that they should yearly supply a certain quantity of Rice, Maize and Calevanses, so many sloop loads. The Maize and Calevances are sent off to Timor in sloops which are kept on the Island for that purpose, each navigated by ten Indians; the Rice is taken away by a ship which at the time of that harvest comes to the Island annualy bringing the companies presents and anchoring by turns in each of the three bays.
1 Arrack, distilled from rice, sugar and coconut-juice. The Endeavour was supplied with too gallons, at Cook's request, as part of her stores when she left England.
|Momonne||a man||Tooga||the thighs|
|Mobunnee||a woman||Rootoo||the knees|
|Catoo||the Head||Baibo||the legs|
|Row Catoo||the Hair||Dunceala||the feet|
|Matta||the eyes||Kissooei yilla||the toes|
|Row na Matta||the eyelashes||Camacoo||the arms|
|Sivanga||the nose||Wulaba||the Hand|
|Cavaranga||the cheeks||Cabaon||A Buffaloe|
|Wo deeloo||the ears||Djara||a horse|
|Vaio||the Tongue||Vavee||a hog|
|Lacoco||the neck||Doomba||a sheep|
|Loosoo||the breasts||Kesavoo||a goat|
|Caboo Soosoo||the nipples||Gnaca||a dog|
|Dulloo||the belly||Maio||a cat|
|Assoo||the navel||Mannu||a fowl|
|Rangoretoo||the beak||Carow||the tail|
|Maänadoo||a fish hook||8.||Arru|
|Wurroo||the moon||11.||Singooring Usse &c|
|Aidassee||the Sea||20.||Lhuangooroo &c|
|Ailei||water||100.||Sing Assu &c|
|Maate||to dye||10000.||Selacussa &c.|
|Tabudje||to sleep||100000.||Serata &c|
|Ta teetoo||to rise||1000000.||Sereboo &c|
1 Rai Jua. Cf. p. 159, n. 1 above.
Timor is the cheif Island in these parts belonging to the Duch,1 all the others in the neighbourhood being subject to it so far as that the residents on them go there once a year to pass their accounts. It is now in nearly the same state as it was in Dampiers time. The Duch have their fort of Concordia where are storehouses which according to Mr L's account would have supplyd our ship with every article we could have got at Batavia, even salt Provisions and Arrack. The Duch are however very frequently at war with the natives even of Copang2 their next neighbours in which case themselves are obligd to send to the neighbouring Isles for provisions. The Portugese still possess their towns of Laphao and Sesial on the North side of the Island.
About two years ago a French ship was wreckd upon the East coast of Timor; she lay some days upon the shoal when a sudden gale of wind coming on broke her up at once and drown'd most of the Crew among whoom was the Captn. Those who got ashore among whoom was one of the lieutenants made the best of their way towards Concordia,3 where they arrivd in four days having left several of their party upon the road. Their number was then above 80 who were supplyd with every necessary and had assistance given them in order to go back to the wreck and fish up what they could; this they did and recoverd all their Bullion which was in chests and several of their guns which were large. Their companions which they had left upon the road were all missing; the Indians it was supposd had either by force or persuasion kept them among them, they being very desirous of having Europeans among them to instruct them in the art of war. After a stay of two months at Concordia their company was dimini[s]hd more than half by sickness's, cheifly in consequence of the great fatigues they had endurd on those days when they got ashore and traveld to that place; these were then furnishd with a small ship in which they saild for Europe.
1 The Dutch made good their ownership only of the western part of Timor, the eastern part remaining to the Portuguese, who had settled early in the sixteenth century. The first Dutch landing was in 1613, and the Raja of Kupang allowing them to settle, their presence has been continuous since 1616. Kupang, at the south-west end of the island, remained the Dutch capital.
2 Kupang or Koepang, is the present name of the old Dutch fortified town of Concordia. Banks seems here to be speaking of it as a district.
3 See previous note. Concordia remained the name of the Dutch fort.
The inhabitants of each of these different Islands speak different languages and the cheif Policy of the Duch is to prevent them from learning each others language, as by this means they keep each to their respective Island, preventing them from entering into trafick with each other or learning from mutual intercourse to plant such things as would be of greater value to themselves than their present produce tho at the same time less beneficial to the Duch East Indian Company; and at the same time secure to themselves alone the benefit of supplying all their necessities at their own rates, no dout not very moderate. This may possibly sufficiently account for the expence they must have been at in printing Prayer books, catechises &c. at their expence and teaching them to each Island in its own language rather than in Duch, which in all probability they might have as easily done, but at the risque of Dutch becoming the common language of these Islands and consequently the natives by its means gaining an intercourse with each other.
1 Cook, ’Seman as it is call'd in the Charts’. Banks has a marginal note, ’the real name is Seman’. See p. 149, n. 3 above.
2 The Solor Islands, Adunara, Solor and Lomblen.
3 On the name Ende see p. 151, n. 1 above.
22. Still but little wind. Many very large Albecores were leaping about the ship at night; some bobies but none were fools enough to settle on the Rigging.
23. Weather, Bobies and Albecores much as Yesterday. These light winds which would have been almost intolerable to empty stomachs sat pretty easily on our full ones.3
24. Breeze freshning by very gradual degrees together with a long swell heaving in from the Southward, sure sign that there was now no more land to interrupt us in that direction, was an agreable subject of conversation. Infinite flying fish and bobies; some Gannets seen.
25. Trade, fish, Gannets, bobies and Conversation much as yesterday.
26. Trade rather slacker than it had been. Eat today a buttock of Buff- aloe which had been 3 days in salt: it eat so well and had so thouroughly taken salt that it was resolvd to Salt meat for the ships company when our biggest Buffaloes who would weigh above 300 1b were killd.
27. Trade fresher and more to the S. Men of War birds, Gannets and Black Shearwaters4 in abundance.
1 The island was Rai Jua, already mentioned. I do not know what other name Banks was guessing at, if any other.
3 This sentence has nothing to do with sea-sickness, but refers to the ship's speed: if they had been short of food her slow progress would have been intolerable.
4 Possibly the Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Puffinus pacificus (Gm.).
29. Fresh trade. More Gannets and Man of War birds than usual were seen, and one tropick bird which seemd to be of a brownish or buff colour but stayd a very short time about the ship.
30. Two more Buff colourd Tropick birds were about the ship in the morn in company with a white one which was one third at least larger than they were; From thence I am inclind to think that they may be the Paille-en-cul fauve of Brisson, Vol. VI, p. 489 and realy a distinct species.1 Besides these many Birds were about the ship, Man of War, Bobies, Gannets &c, who all flew nearer the ship and shewd less fear of her than usual; in the Eve many very small whiteish birds were seen which flew in flocks.2 We had all this day stood in directly for the Land, yet night came and tho many had seen Capes and Headlands in the air yet no real land was seen which made us rather uneasy, as we had great reason to suppose that we had overshot the Mouth of the Streights, no very agreable Idea. We had made 15’ 30" of Longitude from the South end of Timor and thought our selves quite safe as La Neptune Oriental3 makes the difference to be 18’ 40", yet when we recollected that our Countrey man Dampier makes only 144 we had reason to be uneasy; so at sun set we clap'd close upon a wind in order to make the best of our bargain howsoever it might turn out.
1 This ’buff’ tinge is well known in tropic birds, particularly in the White-tailed. Brisson's bird is considered to be one of these.
2 A description too vague for the purpose of identification.
3 J. B. N. D. d'Après de Mannevillette, Le Neptune Oriental, ou routier général des côles des Indes Orientales et de la Chine (ed. 1, 1745; ed. 2, 1775). This was freely copied by British hydrographers, e.g. in A New Directory for the East Indies, by William Herbert (1758 and later editions), The East India Pilot or Oriental Navigator (c. 1780), etc
4 A slip for 140. In fact, Cook's longitudes were erroneous; he had been unable to check by astronomical observation since leaving Savu, and the westerly current had put his dead reckoning out. Hence the uneasiness which prevailed.