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Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 14.
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.”—­ G.F.

SECTION IV.

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.

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