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net, which, from the size of the meshes, was probably intended to catch turtle; upon another was a young shark; and these, with their paddles and spears, seemed to constitute the whole of their earthly riches.
Two of the three men were advanced in years, and from the resemblance of feature were probably brothers. With the exception of two chiefs at Taheity, these were the tallest Indians I had ever seen; the' two brothers being from three to four incites higher than my coxswain, who measured five feet eleven. They were not remarkable for being cither stout or slender; though like most of the Australians, their legs did not bear the European proportion to the size of their heads and bodies. The third native was not so tall as the other two; and he was, according to our notions, better vii>portioned. Their features did cot much differ from those of their countrymen on the South and East Coasts; but they had each of them lost two front teeth from the upper jaw. Their hair was short, though not curly; and a fillet of net work, which the youngest man had wrapped round hU head, was the sole ornament or clothing seen amongst them. The two old men appeared, to my surprise, to have undergone cirvtuncision; but the posture of the vsingest, who remained sitting UKtwu. did not allow of observa*%*u hctng made upon him.
.Vftcr being live minutes with VK*u. the old men proposed to go V v*rt Ivat: and this being agreed *\ %»proceeded together, hand ■i« ^.«h! But they stopped half %«vj *•* retreating a little, the
eldest made a sh*rt hanag*
which conclude*! with the »*6. jalirtc! pronounced with coukui sis; they then returned to u* rafts, and dragged them towaru theu° three companions who we: sitting on the furthest rot*? These I judged to be women, *u that the proposal of the men w ga to our boat was a feint to gel k? further from them; it did os seem, however, that the woxsfii were so much afraid of us, as t£* men appeared to be ou theksicount; for although we walked back, past the rafts, much nearer than before, they remained very quietly picking oystess- it **» not my desire to annoy these poor people; and therefore, leatia? them to their own way, we toe* an opposite direction to examiae the island.
This low piece of land is between one and two miles long, and from its form received the name of Horse-shoe Island; there is very little soil mixed with the sand on its surface, and except the mangrove trees upon the shore, it bears nothing larger than bushes. We did not had any huts; but the dried grass spread round two or three neighbouring fire places, marked tie last residence of the Indian;. Near it were lying several large spiral shells, probably the vessels in which they had brought water from the main land; for none was found on the island, nor was there any appearance that it could be procured. Shells and bones of turtle, some of them fresh, were plentifully scattered around; upon the beach also .there were turtle tracks, and several of these animals wore seen in the water during
r\t\g t} ie day; but it was not our fortune to take one of them.
I shall now sum up into one view, the principal remarks made ♦luring our stay amongst these YAlaxids. The stone most commonly seen on the shores is an iron ore, in some places so strongly impregnated, that 1 conceive it would be a great acquisition to a co\ony fixed in the neighbourhood. Above this is a concreted mass of coral, shells, coral sand, and grains of iron ore, which sometimes appears at the surface, but is usually covered either with sand or vegetable earth, or a mixture ■of both. Such appeared most generally to be the consistence of ail the islands; but there are many local varieties.
The soil, even in the best parts, la far behind fertility; but the small trees and bushes which grow there, and the grass in some of the less covered places, save the larger islands from the reproach of being absolutely sterile. The principal woods are eucalyptus and casuarma, of a size too small in general to be fit for other purposes than the fire; the pandamts grows almost every where, but most abundantly in the sandy parts; and the botanists made out a long list of plants, several of which were quite new to them.
We saw neither quadruped nor Teptile upon the islands. Birds were rather numerous; the most ■useful of them were ducks of several species, and bustards; and one of these last, shot by Mr. Bauer, weighed between ten and twelve pounds, and made us an excellent dinner. The flesh of this bird L> distributed in a man
ner directly contrary to that, of the domestic turkey, the white meat being upon the legs, and the black upon the breast. Jn the woody parts of the islands were seen crows and white cockatoos; as also cuckoo-pheasants, pigeons, and small birds peculiar to this part of the country. On the shores were pelicans, gulls, sea-pies, ox-birds, and sand-larks $ but except the gulls, none of these tribes were numerous. The sea afforded a variety of fish; and in such abundance, that it was rare not to give a meal to all the ship's company from one or two hauls of the seine. Turtle abound amongst the islands; but it seemed to be a fatality that we could neither peg any from the boat, nor yet catch them on shore.
Indians were repeatedly seen upon both Bentinck's and Sweer's Islands; but they always avoided us, and sometimes disappeared in a manner which seemed extraordinary. It is probable that they hid themselves in caves dug in the ground; for we discovered in one instance a large hole, containing two apartments (so to call thein), in each of which a man might lie down. Fire places under the shade of the trees, with dried grass spread around, were often met with; and these I apprelu'nd to be their fine-weather, and the. caves their foul-wcathcr residences. The fern or some similar root, appears to form a part of their subsistence; for there were some places in the sand and in the dry swamps, where the ground had been so dug up with pointed sticks that it resembled the work of a herd of swine.
Whether these people reside 2 N 2 constantly constantly upon^the islands, or come over at certain seasons from the main, was uncertain; canoes, they seemed to have none, but to make their voyages upon rafts similar to those seen at Horse-shoe Island, and of which some were found on the shore in other places. I had been taught by the Dutch accounts to expect that the inhabitants of Carpentaria were ferocious, and armed with bows and arrows as well as spears. I found them to be timid; and so desirous to avoid intercourse with strangers, that it was by surprise alone that our sole interview, that at Horse-shoelsland, was brought about; and certainly there was then nothing ferocious in their conduct. Of bows and arrows not the least indication was perceived, either at these islands or at Coen River; and the spears were too heavy and clumsily made, to be dangerous as offensive weapons: in the defensive, they might have some importance.
It is worthy of remark, that the three natives seen at Horseshoe Island had lost the two upper front teeth; and Dampier, In speaking of the inhabitants of the North-west Coast, says, "the two front teeth of the upper jaw are wanting in all of them, men and women, old and young." Nothing of the kind was observed in the natives of the islands in Torres' Strait, nor at Keppel, Hervey's, or at Glass-house Bays, on the East Coast; yet at Port Jackson, further south, it is the custom for the boys, on arriving at the age of puberty, to have one of the upper front teeth knocked out, but no more; nor are the girls objected to the same operation. At
Two-fold Bay, still further soutV no such custom prevail*, nor die i observe it at Port Phillip or Kfcs George's Sound, on the Sobm Coast; but at Van Diemen i Land it seems to be used parualir for M. Labillardiere says (p. 9sio of the London translation), "ft observed some, in whom one of the middle teeth of the upper jar was wanting, and others in \rbc~ both were gone. We could ex learn the object of this custom, but it is not general, for tb; greater part of the people had aC their teeth." The rite of circuttcision, which seemed to have bees practised upon two of the three natives at Horse-shoe Island, and of which better proofs werefbnu! in other parts of the Gulph of Carpentaria, is, I believe, novel in the history of Terra Australb
On Sweer's Island, seven human skulls and many bones were found lying together, near three extinguished fires: and a square piece of timber, seven feet lone, which was of teak wood, and according to the judgment of the carpenter had been a quarterdeck calling of a ship, was throws up on the western beach. On Bentinck's Island I saw the stamp* of at least twenty trees, which had been felled with an axe, or some sharp instrument of iron: and not far from the same place were scattered the broken remains of an earthen jar. Putting the* circumstances together, it seemed probable that some ship from the East Indies had been wrecked here, two or three years hack ;— that part of the crew had been killed by the Indians ;—and that the others had gone away, perhaps to the main land, upon rafi« constructed
"constructed after the manner of the uatives. This could be no more than conjecture; but it seemed to be so supported by the ■facts, that I felt anxious to trace •tKe route of the unfortunate people, and to relieve them from the distress and danger to which they must be exposed.
ADDITIONAL ACCOUNTS OF THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO, ANDTHE PRECEDING ACTIONS.
Prussian Official Report.
It was on the 15th of this month (June) that Napoleon, after having collected on the 14th five corps of his army, and the several corps of the guard, between Maubeuge and Beaumont, commenced hostilities. The points of concentration of the four Prussian corps were Fleurus, Namur, C\ney, and Hannut, the situation of which made it possible to unite the army in one of these points in 24 hours.
On the 15th, Napoleon advanced by Thuin, upon the two banks of the Sambre, against Charleroi. General Ziethen had collected the first corps near Fleurus, and had on that day a very warm action with the enemy, who, after having taken Charleroi, directed his march upon Fleurus. General Ziethen maintained himself in his position near that place.
Field Marshal Blucher intending to fight a great battle with the enemy as soon as possible, the three other corps of the Prussian army were consequently directed . upon Sombref, a league and a half from Fleurus, where the 2d and 3d corps were to arrive on the 15th, and the 4th corps on the 16th.
Lord Wellington had united his army between Ath and Nivelles, which enabled him to assist Field Marshal Blucher, in case the battle should be fought on the 15th.
JUNE 16. BATTLE OF LI6NY.
The Prussian army was posted on the heights between Brie and Sombref, and- beyond the last place, and occupied with a large force the villages of St. Amond and Ligny, situated in its front. Mean time only three corps of the army had joined; the 4th, which was stationed between Liege and Hannut, had been delayed in its march by several circumstances, and was not yet come up. Nevertheless, Field Marshal Blucher resolved to give battle; Lord Wellington having already put in motion to support him a strong division of his army, as well as his whole reserve stationed in the environs of Brussels, and the fourth corps of the Prussian army being also on the point of arriving.
The battle began at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The enemy brought up above 130,000 men. The Prussian army was 80,000 strong. The village of St. Amand was the first point attacked by the enemy, who carried it after a vl» gorous resistance.
He then directed his efforts »gainst Ligny; it is a large vil» lage, solidly built, situated on a rivulet of the same name. It was there that a contest began which may be considered as one of tho most obstinate recorded in history. Villages have often been taken and retaken; but here the combat continued for five hours in tho villages themselves, and the movements merits forward or backwards were confined to a very narrow space. On- hoth sides fresh troops continually came up. Each army had behind the part of the ullage which it occupied great masses of infantry, which maintained the combat, and were continually renewed by the reinforcements which they received from their rear, as well as from the heights ou the right and left. About two hundred cannon were directed from both sides against, the village, which was on fire in several places at once. From time to time the combat extended along the whole line, the enemy having also directed numerous troops against the third corps; however, the main contest was near Ligny. Things seemed to take a favourable turn for the Prussian troops, a part of the village of St. Amaud having been retaken by a battalion commanded by the Field Marshal in person; in consequence of which advantage we hod regained a height, which had been abandoned after the loss- of St. Amnnd. Nevertheless, the battle continued about Ligny with the same fuiy. The issue seemed to depend upon the arrival of the English troops, or on that of the fourth corps of the Prussian army; in fact, the arrival of this last division would have afforded the Field Marshal the means of making, immediately, with the right w ing, an attack, from which great success might be expected: but news arrived that the English division destined to support us was violently attacked by a corps of the French army, and that it was with great difficulty it had maintained it jclf in its position at Quatre Bras,
The fourth .corps of the army did not appear, so that -we were forced to maintain alone the contest »isi an army greatly superior in cumbers. The evening was alreadj much advanced, and the cotubti about Ligny continued with tfct same fury and the same equality of success; we invoked, bib. ia vain, the arrival of those succours which were so necessary; the danger became every hour more and more urgent; all the uivisieci were engaged, or had already been to, and there were not aay corps at hand able to support them. Suddenly a division of the enemy's infantry, which by favour of the night had made a circuit round the village without being observed, at the same time that some regiments of cuirassiers bud forced the passage on the other side, took in the rear the main body of our army, which was posted behind the house. Thii surprise on the part of the enemy was decisive, especially at the moment when our cavalry, also posted on a height behind the village, was repulsed by the enemy's cavalry in repeated attacks.
Our infantry posted behind Ligny, though forced to retreat, did not suffer itself to be discouraged, either by being surprised by the enemy in the darkness, a circumstance which exaggerates in the mind of man the dangers to which he finds himself exposed, or by the idea of seeing itself surrounded on all sides. Formed in masses, it coolly repulsed all the attacks of the cavalry, and retreated in good order upon the heights, whence it continued its retrograde movement upon Tilly. In consequence of the sudden irruption