While in this harbour, as at Rio de Janeiro, Mr. Johnson, the chaplain, preached on board two of the transports every Sunday; and we had the satisfaction to see the prisoners all wear the appearance of perfect health on their being about to quit this port, the last whereat any refreshment was to be expected before their arrival in New South Wales.
As it was earnestly wished to introduce the fruits of the Cape into the new settlement, Captain Phillip was ably assisted in his endeavours to procure the rarest and the best of every species, both in plant and seed, by Mr. Mason, the king’s botanist, whom we were so fortunate as to meet with here, as well as by Colonel Gordon, the commander in chief of the troops at this place; a gentleman whose thirst for natural knowledge amply qualified him to be of service to us, not only in procuring a great variety of the best seeds and plants, but in pointing out the culture, the soil, and the proper time of introducing them into the ground.
The following plants and seeds were procured here and at Rio de Janeiro:
Coffee—both seed and plant
Cocoa-in the nut
Oranges—various sorts, seed and plant
Lemon—seed and plant
Prickly pear-plant, with the cochineal on it
Eugenia, or Pomme Rose—a plant bearing a fruit in shape like an apple,
and having the flavour and odour of a rose
Vines of various sorts
To these must be added all sorts of grain, as Rice, Wheat, Barley, Indian corn, etc. for seed, which were purchased to supply whatever might be found damaged of these articles that were taken on board in England.
During our stay here, the Ranger packet, Captain Buchanan, arrived after a passage of twelve weeks from Falmouth, bound to Bengal. She sailed again immediately. One officer alone of our fleet was fortunate enough to receive letters by her from his connexions in England.
At the time of our arrival the inhabitants of this agreeable town had scarcely recovered from the consternation into which they had been thrown by one of the black people called Malays, with whom the place abounded; and who, taking offence at the governor for not returning him to Batavia (where, it seemed, he was of consequence among his own countrymen, and whence he had been sent to the Cape as a punishment for some offence), worked himself up to frenzy by the effect of opium, and, arming himself with variety of weapons, rushed forth in the dusk of the evening, killing or maiming indiscriminately all who were so unfortunate as to be in his route,