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Sometime afterwards, when he had gained acquaintances of respectable name in London, to whom he had related his story, they went with it to the same gentleman, telling him that the young man seemed honest, and they doubted not the truth of what he had stated. The gentleman refused at first to credit him, unless he would bring some written evidence. Upon further inquiry, however, he was better satisfied, and sent for Ledyard to come to his house. This invitation was declined in no very gracious manner; and when money was sent to him afterwards by the same person, who had heard that he was in distress, he rejected it with great indignation, and commanded the bearer to
carry it back to his master, and tell him that he belonged not to the race of the Ledyards. Such was the end of his dreams about his rich relations, and it must be acknowledged, that his own haughty spirit seems to have been the chief enemy to his success. He would, probably, have called it magnanimous self-respect; and name it as we will, since it operated wholly against himself, he must certainly be freed from any charge of mean motives or selfish ends.” p. 32.
At this period, the celebrated circumnavigator, Captain Cook, was making preparations for his third voyage. The young adventurer was ambitious of uniting his fortunes with those of so renowned a leader; and having, after he had enlisted in the marine service, succeeded in obtaining an introduction to Cook, was made by him a corporal of marines. Ledyard kept a journal of the voyage, but this, together with all other private diaries and notes, were, according to established usage, taken from their respective authors on their arrival in England, until an account could be first published under the authority of the admiralty-a precaution which, as far we can see, may do quite as much harm as good, and prevent the dissemination of truth as well as the circulation of falsehood. These
never regained, but when he returned to Hartford, about two years afterwards, he published a short account of the voyage from his recollections, and with the aid of a brief sketch of it which had already appeared in England.
The expedition, consisting of two ships, commanded by Captains Cook and Clark, left England in July, 1776—proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope, and thence to Van Diemen's Land, where Ledyard thus comments on the natives : “ They are the only people (he observes) who are known to go with their persons entirely naked, that have ever yet been discovered. Amidst the most stately groves of wood, they have neither weapons of defence, nor any other species of instruments applicable to the purposes of life; contiguous to the sea, they have no canoes; and exposed, from the nature of the climate, to the inclemency of the seasons, as well as to the annoyances of the beasts of the forests, they have no houses to retire to, but the temporary
shelter of a few pieces of old bark laid transversely over some poles. They appear also to be inactive, indolent, and unaffected with the least curiosity." These remarks, as well as thuse made by him on the natives of New Zealand, and the other South-Sea Islands, have been fully confirmed by subsequent voyagers, and shew him to have been, even at that early age, an acute and accurate observer of human nature.
While they were at New-Zealaud, they found that Oinai, a native of Otaheite, whom Captain Cook had, on a former voyage, carried to England, was able to converse with the NewZealanders, though he had never previously seen one; and thus was able to act as their interpreter. This curious fact found a ready explanation by what afterwards occurred at the Island of Watteeo. The voyagers having stopt at this island, Omai, to his great joy and surprise, met there with three of his countrymen. Their story was briefly this. A party of about twenty had, twelve years before, attempted to pass in a large canoe from Otaheite to a neighbouring island-they were taken by a storm, and driven out to sea, where, in the course of thirteen days, they all perished of hunger and fatigue, except four, one of whom had since died. During this time they had been wafted by the winds and currents to Watteeo, where they had been kindly treated, and had remained ever since. The distance between Otaheite and Watteeo is about five hundred milés, (not fifteen hundred, as Mr. Sparks, by a strange inadvertence states it be) and the incident shews that these people, in the rudest state of navigation, possessed the means of passing to distant islands by the mere agency of the elements. The affinities in language, manners and character, which have been generally perceived among the inhabitants of the islands in the Pacific and Southern Oceans, leave, indeed, little room to doubt a common origin, but the diffi'ulty has been in accounting for their passing from one cluster of islands to another, and this difficulty, the before-mentioned casual voyage is sufficient to
It was in this same island of Watteeo that they met with the philological fact which has furnished materials for so much metaphysical speculation. We perceive a slight variance between the statement of it by Ledyard and that by Captain Cook ; but slight as it is, it has an important bearing on the ingenious theories to which the occurrence has given rise. The fact is thus mentioned by Ledyard :-"as dogs and hogs were the only animals found on the islands, and of course the only ones ever before seen by the inhabitants, they seemed completely puzzled to know what to make of these new orders of the creation. The sheep
and goats they called birds; but the hores, cows, cats and rabbits were nondescripts, for which no place had been assigned in their scientific arrangement.'
This addition of " cats and rabbits,” to horses and cows, which alone bad been mentioned by Captain Cook, sets at nought the plausible solution of Brown, (Philosophy of the Human Mind, lect. 47) and weakens the reasoning of Stewart, (Elements c. 4) as well as that of Kerr, (Collection of Voyages, vol. xv. p. 314) who, objecting to Mr. Stewart's solution, offers one of his own.*
Whether the fact is stated most correctly by Cook or Ledyard, it seems difficult to explain wherefore the islanders classed sheep and goats with birds, rather than with dogs and hogs; and, if they did class. a part of the new animals with others to which they bore so little resemblance, why they did not also comprehend the rest. Possibly a more intimate acquaintance with their language would have afforded a satisfactory explanation of these seeming anomalies. Thus, if the generic term used by these people to signify birds, were sometimes in a larger, and sometimes in a more limited sense. as occasionally takes place, they might, in the latter sense, have applied it to birds, and in the former, to the sheep and goats. Our own rustic dialect affords an example of this in the word “ creature,” which is sometimes used by the vulgar to designate cattle, or even horses, though those who thus use it, know that it also signifies every
* For that class of our readers to whom the operations of human thought are always interesting, the several views alluded to will be here briefly stated. Captain Cook thus accounts for the strange misnomer. “These people seemed to know nothing of the existence of any other land-animals besides hogs, dogs and birds.Our sheep and goats, they could see, were very different creatures from the two first, and therefore they inferred that they must belong to the latter class, in which they knew there is a considerable variety of species."
Mr. Stewart, after.quoting the preceding passage, remarks, “that the mistake of these islanders probably did not arise from their considering a sheep or a goat as bearing a more striking resemblance to a bird than to the two classes of quadrupeds with which they were acquainted; but from the want of a generic word, such as quadruped, comprehending these two species; which men in their situation would no more be led to form, than a person who bad only seen one individual of each species, would think of an appellative to express both, instead of applying a proper name to each. In consequence of the variety of birds, it appears that they had a generic name comprehending all of them, to which it was not unnatural for them to refer any new animal they met with.”
Kerr, in a long note to Cook's Voyages, combats the reasoning of Stewart on several grounds, and suggests that the islanders “ were struck with some fanciful and distant resemblance to certain birds they were acquainted with, from which they hastily inferred identity of nature, notwithstanding some very visible discrepancies; whereas the remarkable dissimilarity betwixt the new quadrupeds and those they were previously acquainted with, impressed their minds with the notion of complete contrariety."
Dr. Brown, approving Mr. Stewart's views, adds, tbat the reason the islanders did not class cows and horses, as well as the goats and sheep, with birds, was on account of their greater bulk, the goats and sheep being of a size that implied no remarkable opposition to that involved in their silent, mental definition of a bird.”
species of animal. Or, if the same generic term comprehended dogs and hogs, as well as sheep, and was analogous to our term live-stock, as is somewhat more probable by their being all articles of food in those islands, then they would feel less hesitation in arranging goats and sheep under the same class, than either cows and horses, or cats and rabbits, which not only differed in form from the quadrupeds they previously knew, but were also much larger or smaller. These remarks are made, not as affording probable conjectures of the truth, but to shew how unsatisfactory all theorizing must be on such insufficient data as were here possessed.
Ledyard relates an occurrence at the Friendly Islands, which conflicts with another metaphysical theory which denies the existence of an original, visual beauty.
In Tongataboo was a chief called Feenou, a man of fine personal appearance, graceful and commanding in his carriage, frank in bis disposition, generous, enterprising, and bold; in short he was the idol of the people, and throughout all the isles there was no chief, whose renown was so loudly and heartily trumpeted as that of Feenou. He was the man, whom the great Poulaho delighted to honor above others. When the strangers came, Feenou was their early and devoted friend, and his attachment and kind offices held out to the last. “If they lost any goods, and these were carried either to the interior of Tongataboo, or to any of the detached islands, their only confidential resour was Feenou; or if any other emergency required despatch, policy, courage, or force, Feenou was the man to advise and act." Such were the character and deeds of this chief. He could subdue the hearts of men, and the strength of an enemy, but he could not conquer the tyranny of habit. From day to day he had gazed with inward raptures upon the gaudy plumage of the peacocks, which had been brought with much care and trouble from England; their charms were irresistible; just as the vessels were about to sail the peacocks disappeared: Feenou was also out of the way ; he had stolen the birds, and concealed himself with his booty." p. 59.
From the Friendly Islands the expedition proceeded to the Sandwich Islands, on the opposite side of the Equator, and they were yet further astonished to find that the natives spoke nearly the same language as in New Zealand, and the Society Islands, the first nearly three thousand miles distant, and the last about four thousand. From thence they sailed to Nootka Sound, on the western coast of this continent, which, distant as it is from his native home, naturally awakened in Ledyard's bosom a lively feeling of the love of country. “All the deep emotions, he observes, incident to natural attachments and early prejudices, played around his heart, and he indulged them.” While he was at Nootka, he clearly foresaw the advantages which the fur trade
from this coast to China presented, and which have been so industriously and successfully improved since that period, both by British traders, and our own enterprising countrymen.
“ The light, he remarks, in which this country will appear most to advantage respects the variety of its animals, and the richness of their furs. They have foxes, sables, hares, marmosets, ermines, weazles, bears, wolves, deer, moose, dogs, otters, and a species of weazle called the glutton. The skin of this animal was sold at Kamtschatka, a Russian factory on the Asiatic coast, for sixty rubles, which is near twelve guineas, and had it been sold in China, it would have been worth thirty guineas. We purchased, while here, about fifteen hundred beaver, besides other skins, but took none but the best, having no thoughts, at that time, of using them to any other advantage, than converting them to the purposes of clothing; but it afterwards happened that skins, which did not cost the purchaser sixpence sterling, sold in China for one hundred dollars. Neither did we purchase a quarter part of the beaver and other fur skins we might have done, had we known of meeting the opportunity of disposing of them to such an astonishing profit." p. 73.
Both at Nootka and the Sandwich Islands, Ledyard saw human flesh prepared for food—a single instance at each place; and he attributes the practice of cannibalism to that of making religious sacrifices of human victims, which he supposes to be general among rude nations. From Nootka, they continued their course northwardly to Behring's Strait, in passing through which, he says, that “both continents were distinctly seen at the same time.”
While they remained on the north-west coast, and lying off the island of Onalaska, Captain Cook having received, by one of the natives, a small present, accompanied with a note, which he supposed to be in the Russian language, he was induced to open a communication with them, and “Corporal Ledyard, of the marines, an intelligent man, “to use Cook's language, was selected for the purpose. He set out accompanied by three of the natives--was conducted by them to a Russian party, who had been for five years conducting a fur factory in the Island-saw the identical vessel in which Behring had made his discoveries—and after an absence of a few days, returned to his ship with three of the Russians, having gained great credit for the diligence and prudence with which he had executed his commission. Ledyard, it seems, had been recommended to Captain Cook for this duty by Lieutenant, afterwards Captain Gore, a Virginian by birth, between whom and his countryman, a great intimacy subsisted.
On returning from the north-west coast to the Sandwich Islands, they discovered the island Owhyhee, a discovery to which Cook attached peculiar importance, little dreaming that he was