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its taste is insipid, with a slight sweetness, somewhat resembling that of the crumb of wheaten bread mixed with a Jerusalem artichoke. From such a description, it is not surprising that the West India planters should have felt desirous of introducing it into those islands; and accordingly the introduction of it was subsequently accomplished, notwithstanding the failure of the present voyage; it has not, however, been found to answer the expectation that had reasonably been entertained. The climate, as to latitude, ought to be the same, or nearly so, as that of Otaheite, but there would appear to be some difference in the situation or nature of the soil, that prevents it from thriving in the West India islands. At Otaheite, and on several of the Pacific islands,
"The bread-tree, which, without the ploughshare, yields
And bakes its unadulterated loaves
is, to the natives of those islands a most invaluable gift, but it has not been found to yield similar benefits to the West India islands.
On the 23d December, 1787, the Bounty sailed from Spithead, and on the 26th it blew a severe storm of wind from the eastward, which continued to the 29th, in the course of which the ship suffered greatly. One sea broke away the spare yards and spars out of the starboard main-chains. Another heavy sea broke into the ship and stove all the boats. Several casks of beer that had been lashed upon deck were broke loose and washed overboard; and it was not without great difficulty and risk that they were able to secure the boats from being washed away entirely. Besides other mischief done to them in this storm, a large quantity of bread was dam aged and rendered useless, for the sea had stove in the stern and filled the cabin with water.
This made it desirable to touch at Teneriffe to put the ship to rights, where they arrived on the 5th January, 1788, and having refitted and refreshed, they sailed again on the 10th.
"I now," says Bligh, "divided the people into three watches, and gave the charge of the third watch to Mr. Fletcher Christian, one of the mates. I have always considered this a desirable regulation when circumstances will admit of it, and I am persuaded that unbroken rest not only contributes much towards the health of the ship's company, but enables them more readily to exert themselves in cases of sudden emergency."
Wishing to proceed to Otaheite without stopping, and the late storm having diminished their supply of provisions, it was deemed expedient to put all hands on an allowance of two-thirds of bread. It was also decided that water for drinking should be passed through filtering-stones that had been procured at Teneriffe. "Inow," says Bligh, "made the ship's company acquainted with the object of the voyage, and gave assurances of the certainty of promotion to every one whose endeavours should merit it." Nothing, indeed, seemed to be neglected on the part of the commander to make his officers and men comfortable and happy. He was himself a thoroughbred sailor, and availed himself of every possible means of preserving the health of his crew. tinued rain and a close atmosphere had covered every thing in the ship with mildew. She was therefore aired below with fires, and frequently sprinkled with vinegar, and every interval of dry weather was taken advantage of to open all the hatchways, and clean the ship, and to have all the people's wet things washed and dried. With these precautions to secure health, they passed the hazy and sultry atmosphere of the low latitudes without a single complaint.
On Sunday, the 2d March, Lieutenant Bligh obE
serves, "after seeing that every person was clearl, divine service was performed, according to my usual custom. On this day I gave to Mr. Fletcher Christian, whom I had before desired to take charge of the third watch, a written order to act as lieutenant." Having reached as far as the latitude of 36° south, on the 9th March, "the change of temperature," he observes, "began now to be sensibly felt, there being a variation in the thermometer, since yesterday, of eight degrees. That the people might not suffer by their own negligence, I gave orders for their light tropical clothing to be put by, and made them dress in a manner more suited to a cold climate. I had provided for this before I left England, by giving directions for such clothes to be purchased as would be found necessary. On this day, on a complaint of the master, I found it necessary to punish Matthew Quintal, one of the seamen, with two dozen lashes, for insolence and mutinous behaviour. Before this I had not had occasion to punish any person on board."
The sight of New-year's Harbour, in Staaten Land, almost tempted him, he says, to put in; but the lateness of the season, and the people being in good health, determined him to lay aside all thoughts of refreshment until they should reach Otaheite. Indeed, the extraordinary care he had taken to preserve the health of the ship's company rendered any delay in this cold and inhospitable region unnecessary.
They soon after this had to encounter tremendous weather off Cape Horn, storms of wind, with hail and sleet, which made it necessary to keep a constant fire night and day; and one of the watch always attended to dry the people's wet clothes. This stormy weather continued for nine days; the ship began to complain, and required pumping every hour; the decks became so leaky that the commander was obliged to allot the great cabin to those
who had wet berths, to hang their hammocks in. Finding they were losing ground every day, and that it was hopeless to persist in attempting a passage by this route, at this season of the year, to the Society Islands, and after struggling for thirty days in this tempestuous ocean, it was determined to bear away for the Cape of Good Hope. The helm was accordingly put a-weather, to the great joy of every person on board.
They arrived at the Cape on the 23d May, and having remained there thirty-eight days to refit the ship, replenish provisions, and refresh the crew, they sailed again on the 1st July, and anchored in Adventure Bay, in Van Dieman's Land, on the 20th August. Here they remained taking in wood and water till the 4th September, and on the evening of the 25th October they saw Otaheite; and the next day came to anchor in Matavai Bay, after a distance which the ship had run over, by the log, since leaving England, of twenty-seven thousand and eighty-six miles, being on an average one hundred and eight miles each twenty-four hours. Of their proceedings in Otaheite a short abstract from Bligh's Journal will suffice.
Many inquiries were made by the natives after Captain Cook, Sir Joseph Banks, and others of their former friends. "One of my first questions," says Bligh, was after our friend Omai; and it was a sensible mortification and disappointment for me to hear, that not only Omai, but both the New-Zealand boys who had been left with him, were dead. There appeared among the natives in general great goodwill towards us, and they seemed to be much rejoiced at our arrival. The whole day we experienced no instance of dishonesty; and we were so much crowded, that I could not undertake to remove to a more proper station without danger of disobliging our visiters, by desiring them to leave the ship."
Otoo, the chief of the district, on hearing of the arrival of the Bounty, sent a small pig and a young plantain-tree, as a token of friendship. The ship was now plentifully supplied with provisions; every man on board having as much as he could consume. As soon as the ship was secured, Lieutenant Bligh went on shore with the chief, Poeeno, passing through a walk delightfully shaded with bread-fruit trees to his own house, where his wife and her sister were busily employed staining a piece of cloth red. They desired him to sit down on a mat, and with great kindness offered him refreshments. Several strangers were now introduced, who came to offer their congratulations, and behaved with great decorum and attention. On taking leave, he says, "the ladies, for they deserve to be called such from their natural and unaffected manners, and elegance of deportment, got up, and taking some of their finest cloth and a mat, clothed me in the Otaheitan fashion, and then said, 'We will go with you to your boat;' and each taking me by the hand, amid a great crowd, led me to the water-side, and then took their leave." In this day's walk, Bligh had the satisfaction to see that the island had received some benefit from the former visits of Captain Cook. Two shaddocks were brought to him, a fruit which they had not till Cook introduced it; and among the articles which they brought off to the ship, and offered for sale, were capsicums, pumpkins, and two young goats. "In the course of two or three days," says he, "an intimacy between the natives and the ship's company was become so general, that there was scarcely a man in the ship who had not already his tayo or friend."
Nelson, the gardener, and his assistant, being sent out to look for young plants, it was no small degree of pleasure to find them report, on their return, that according to appearances, the object of the voyage would probably be accomplished with ease; the