[Footnote 79: Dampier was of opinion, from the inattention of the people of New Holland whom he fell in with, that they had some defect in vision, so that they could not see at the usual distance. But this opinion has been long abandoned. Other savages have occasionally exhibited as strong marks of indifference to objects, one should think, well fitted to attract their admiration and astonishment. A certain degree of civilization seems absolutely requisite to rouse the human mind to feelings of curiosity. Under this degree, man resembles a vegetable, much more than that animated and intelligent being he becomes in cultivated society.—E.]
At six o’clock in the morning, we were abreast of some small islands, which we called Frankland’s Isles, and which lie about two leagues distant from the mainland. The most distant point in sight to the northward bore N. by W. 1/2 W. and we thought it was part of the main, but afterwards found it to be an island of considerable height, and about four miles in circuit. Between this island and a point on the main, from which it is distant about two miles, I passed with the ship. At noon, we were in the middle of the channel, and by observation in the latitude of 16 deg. 57’ S. with twenty fathom water. The point on the main, of which we were now abreast, I called Cape Grafton: Its latitude is 16 deg. 57’ S., and longitude 214 deg. 6’ W., and the land here, as well as the whole coast for about twenty leagues to the southward, is high, has a rocky surface, and is thinly covered with wood: During the night we had seen several fires, and about noon some people. Having hauled round Cape Grafton, we found the land trend away N.W. by W., and three miles to the westward of the Cape we found a bay, in which we anchored about two miles from the shore, in four fathom water with an oozy bottom. The east point of the bay bore S. 74 E., the west point S. 83 W., and a low, green, woody island, which lies in the offing, N. 35 E. This island, which lies N. by E. 1/2 E. distant three or four leagues from Cape Grafton, I called Green Island.
As soon as the ship was brought to an anchor, I went ashore, accompanied by Mr Banks and Dr Solander. As my principal view was to procure some fresh water, and as the bottom of the bay was low land covered with mangroves, where it was not probable fresh water was to be found, I went out towards the Cape, and found two small streams, which however were rendered very difficult of access by the surf and rocks upon the shore: I saw also, as I came round the Cape, a small stream of water run over the beach, in a sandy cove, but I did not go in with the boat, because I saw that it would not be easy to land. When we got ashore, we found the country every where rising into steep rocky hills, and as no fresh water could conveniently be procured, I was unwilling to lose time by going in search of lower land elsewhere: We therefore made the best of our way back to the ship,