A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 794 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 13.
M. Bougainville, the person who had proposed the settlement, and in a considerable degree accomplished it, by carrying out several French families, and cultivating and stocking some parts of the islands, was appointed to execute a formal surrender; and he was further instructed, after doing so, to traverse the South Sea between the tropics, for the purpose of making discoveries, and to return home by the East Indies.  The fulfilment of these directions constitutes his voyage round the world, with a short, but it is believed satisfactory abstract of which, it is now intended to supply the reader.  The account of the voyage was drawn up and published by Bougainville himself, and has always been highly esteemed by his countrymen, who are commonly patriotic enough in their commendations.  In this instance, however, if one may judge from the concurrence in opinion of others, their praise has not been injudicious; though it must be admitted on the other hand, that the partiality is ridiculous, which would place it above the narratives of Anson’s and Cook’s Voyages.  Bougainville seems to have been a man of talents, of refined taste, and considerable literary acquirements; and his work, though, as he says in his introduction, written for seamen chiefly, yet presents some very interesting features to the general reader, and not a little information to scientific observers.  He has thought proper to apologize for his deficiency in composition; but it is questionable if this be not mere affectation, common with writers who are far from thinking too meanly of themselves, for the reasons they chuse to state in the way of deprecating critical severity, and abundantly disposed to attach magnitude of consequence to the very particulars which they have employed to indicate their own inferiority.  A translation of his work by Mr John Reinhold Forster, was published at London 1772, and contains additional notes.  This has principally been consulted in drawing up the present abstract, which is intended as a companion to the accounts of voyages it is the object of our work to give entire.  This is the proper place for its insertion, if it be right to insert it at all, and opportunities will present themselves as we proceed, for giving similar abstracts of other voyages.

Bougainville had under his command the frigate La Boudeuse, carrying 26 twelve-pounders, and the store-ship L’Etoile, appointed to supply him with provisions and stores, and to accompany him during the whole of his voyage.  His establishment consisted of eleven commissioned officers, three volunteers, and two hundred sailors, &c.  The prince of Nassau-Sieghen obtained leave from the king to go out on this expedition, and availed himself of it.  He sailed from Nantes on the 15th November, 1766, purposing to make the river La Plata, where two Spanish frigates, appointed to receive possession of the islands, were to wait for his arrival.  A squall of wind occasioned him much confusion, and forced him to put into Brest,

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