than the race of its inhabitants. To judge of
their numbers from the crowd we saw at Port Sandwich,
I should conclude, that they are far from inconsiderable;
but considering the great size of the island,
I cannot suppose it to be very populous. Fifty
thousand is, I think, the greatest number we can
admit, and these are not confined to the skirts
of the hills, as at Otaheite, but dispersed over
the whole extent of more than six hundred square miles.
We ought to figure their country to ourselves
as one extensive forest: They have only begun
to clear and plant a few insulated spots, which are
lost in it, like small islands in the vast Pacific
Ocean. Perhaps if we could ever penetrate
through the darkness which involves the history
of this nation, we might find that they have arrived
in the South Sea much later than the natives of
the Friendly and Society Isles. So much at
least is certain, that they appear to be of a race
totally distinct from these. Their form, their
language, and their manners, strongly and completely
mark the difference. The natives on some
parts of New Guinea and Papua, seem to correspond in
many particulars with what we have observed among
the Mallicollese. The black colour and woolly
hair in particular are characteristics common to
both nations. The slender form of the Mallicolese
is a character, as far as I know, peculiar to
them and the New Zealanders; but that nation hath
nothing in common with them in all other respects.
The features of these people, though remarkably
irregular and ugly, yet are full of great sprightliness,
and express a quick comprehension. Their
lips, and the lower part of their face, are entirely
different from those of African negroes; but the
upper part, especially the nose, is of very similar
conformation, and the substance of the hair is
the same. The climate of Mallicollo, and the adjacent
islands, is very warm, but perhaps not at all
times so temperate as at Otaheite, because the
extent of land is vastly greater. However, during
our short stay, we experienced no unusual degree
of heat, the thermometer being at 76 deg. and
78 deg., which is very moderate in the torrid zone.”—
An Account of the Discovery of several Islands,
and an Interview and Skirmish with the Inhabitants
upon one of them. The Arrival of the Ship at
Tanna, and the Reception we met with there.
Soon after we got to sea, we had a breeze at E.S.E.
with which we stood over for Ambrym till three o’clock
in the afternoon, when the wind veering to the E.N.E.
we tacked and stretched to the S.E. and weathered the
S.E. end of Mallicolo, off which we discovered three
or four small islands, that before appeared to be
connected. At sun-set the point bore S. 77 deg.
W., distant three leagues, from which the coast seemed
to trend away west. At this time, the isle of
Ambrym extended from N. 3 deg. E. to N. 65 deg.
E. The isle of Paoon from N. 76 deg. E. to S.