2 MAY 1840, Page 13


MR. BENNETT is a surgeon and naturalist and, incited apparently by the opportunities of' observation it would affbrd him, he accom- panied the South Sea whaler Tuscan as a medical attendant during her voyage round the globe in 1533-3(3. The vessels engaged in this fishery are found and provisioned for three years, which is the period of their general absentee from England : their employment during the interval is to cruise throughout the Pacific in search of prey, touching occasionally at New Zealand, or sonic of the Polynesian groupes, for water and fresh provisions, or to repair any damage which the :essel mav have received, and perhaps to vary the monotony of a sea life. Their cruising-grounds extend from the meridian of Japan to beyond Australia and New Zealand, and longitudinally may be said to embrace the whole circumference of the u.lohe, though usually confined between Cape Horn and the Indio, Archipelago. or in otle:r words, to the Pacific Ocean. The stores, and provisions, are of couese provided by the owners; but the officers and misers gererallv depend for their pay upon the profits of the voyage, the value a the cargo being di: ided in fixed proportions between thi,r proprietors and crew. The instructions given to the captains allow a wide discretion in their course and conduct but, althow,:h they have the world. before them,where to choose, different men ch:efly c oafine themselves to different groonds, some cruising in the higio.r Southern latitudes, others frequenting the _Irchipelago which stretches between New Holland and China, some taking the middle Pacific. and others standing Northward as high as Nootka Sound,—confidence and habit very probably ren- dering men more successffil on their favourite stations than they would be in a strange place. The outward course of the Tuscan was by Cape horn, her homeward through the Australian Archipelago by the Cape of Good Hope : the first land she touched outward was Tahiti. (the Otaheite of' ('oolie) to land sonic missionaries : whence we infer her owners 1 are religious and her officers und crew decorous men. Her inter- mediate cruises were bet wecn the Society and Sandwich Islands, with an occasional stretch to the Northward : and these two groupes were her chief sojourning-places. The description of California, which figures in the titlepage. is limited to a single visit to a solitary grazing-station to purchase in.ef: the Indian Archipelago was merely seen in passing through it on the vessel's way to Timor : and the oIarquesans, with several isles or islets, were only visited once or twice. But after stating these particulars, the work must be pro- nounced as alike useful and agreeable. It conveys one of the latest and most unbiassed descriptions of the present state of the Polyne- sian Islands, and in the tidiest and most discriminating mannor. It presents a very succinct account of the habits and anatomy of the sperm whale; as well as of the manner of conducting the fishery, and the history and statistics of the trade. It also contains, in an appendix, a large contribution to natural science, in accounts of the most striking subjects, both animal and vegetable, which fell under Mr. BEN:Km-es observation in his three years' voyage of circum- navigation.

The spots visited have many attractions to the genuine lover of voy::gc-, mid travels, eithc-r t'or themselves or their associations. At Pitcairn's Island, there is the singular little community, founded by tine e mutineers of the Bounty who escaped the sea, the law, the Polynesians, and, more fital than all, their own bnil passions : and the sketch, independent of its curiosity. will gratify those Nvho have lingered over Birauts..Y,trratire or BYRON'S /4 Ad. In the smaller isles there are many points to attract the curious, in their peculiar formation. or tInf successive stages of growth they present, from the mere coral bank wills scarely soil upon it. up to the key cross nA.,d with verdure and resorted to by birds. but as yet deficient in ooe grand necessary of animal life—water. The larger and inhabited Crust: es have. greeter aztractions iii the natural fee- tut, s of their landscape. alternating with monntain and valley, and crow tied with intligenons t ropical Vegetation ; whilet their seas teem wills fish. and their chore s are girt with that sin;olar coral reef, the characteristic of the d'ol neeian cour ;ries, V. i hati,rms a wall of rock end surf imp:las:1bl; save by a few earrea openings, Nvhere the vcssel may :slide. :a a mominst irons the trouldees tossing of the ocean to the calmness of a lagoon. NOT is social state without grout interest. Those who are familiar with the voyages of Come may eomisare the present ;condition of the islanders with what it was when he described and in truth diseovered them tracing the effects which commerce and missionarv preach- ing, have produced. 'nose who go no further than the present, will find source:: of amusement and instruct km. At the M argue- sans they will see a monarch prepared to become a convert himself, and impel his sui■jects in the same direction. upon the principle of the tbot man who hind no`gbjeetion to go to church if it was con- sidered in his wages. At ()caliche. (or 0 Talliti--tho Tahiti) there is the spcetaele of a population throurcd by nature, by cli- mate, and by soil, yet sunk in idleness through the very advantages

they possess, whilst their neglected country induces diseases. At the Sandwich Islands, a less favoured people, with a colder climate and a more sterile soil, have acquired a higher character and greater wealth, through the necessity which has forced them to struggle with difficulties.

A person perfectly qualified to travel through these regions is rarely found; nor would such a man be inclined to coop himself up in a South Sea whaler for several years. But there are many worse voyagers than Mr. BENNETT. He has natural good sense ; his education and studies have given him more extended views than the generality of visitants to such distant places possess; land where he would, he had various objects of remark, in earth, air, ocean, plants, animals, and man ; and he brought to their observation a trained ability. Ills style is frequently graphic, always clear and lively ; and he avoids the fault of overlaying his subject. An important and curious point of study, both at the Society and Sandwich Islands, is the influence of civilization on a people too numerous and advanced in the arts of life to be dispossessed of their lands by individuals, yet not affording any inducement for na- tional conquest. Mr. BENNETT'S experience upon this point was not sufficiently extensive, nor his inquiries apparently directed to the subject with sufficient system, to enable a positive judgment to be formed ; but, so far as his facts go, the balance is in favour of civi- lization—not of course by whalers, but by permanent residents, especially by missionaries. Mr. BENNETT does not affect to be their panegyrist. He mentions their influence over the minds of the chiefs, and the priestly interference with secular government which follows ; and Ile censures the anomaly of their engaging in commercial pursuits, with the unfair advantage they possess over - casual visitants, from their residence and their influence : but, whatever flailts may be chargeable upon them, or whatever acts individuals may be guilty of, he holds thcm as a body decidedly beneficial both to natives and to Europeans. Wherever, in ap- proaching an island, the house and garden of a missionary are seen, a vessel may anchor in safety. Their residence is generally fol- lowed by an improvement in the people, their absence by relapse. But Mr. BENNETT Conceives their success chiefly temporal, not spiritual. They have succeeded in abolishing some of the grosser customs ; they restrain the chiefs from many freaks of tyranny ; they have introduced education, and more of public order ; gene- ral morality may be somewhat improved, and a much greater out- ward decorum is visible. Beyond formal worship, however, Mr. BENNETT does not conceive their religion extends; and he holds that any further change can only he effected in another generation. All that the missionaries can do with the present is to bold their ground. The principal cause of general injury to the natives is the old one of spirituous liquors : and, strange to say, it would appear that the most s■.stetnatic importers of them are the American tem- perance-ships. Their eflbcts, however, seem less universal upon these islanders than upon the Red Indians; and the islanders can exercise a greater control over themselves, but when they do drink it is to excess.

" The systematic manner in which the natives intoxicate themselves is not the least curious kature in their character. They will retbin long from spirits, or very abruptly relinquish their use; but whet inclined to indulge, nothing short of the most complete inebriety will sasi,-ty them. 3I tiny amongst them consider that a moderate use of ardent spirits is tantalizing and disagreeable, and will often refilse to partake of any, itubas they can obtain enough. to pro- duce the ' heroic st effects. During our prtssitt visit to llaiaten the vice of intoxicat lOu IllS not so prevalent as we found it at a subsequent period ; yet, on every fresh it:Ter:lama of liquor from Boraltora. it was common to See the more debauched islasders parading the :ettlenent in a state of riotous

cation, linked tine-in-arm for mutual suntort, asti a:1 11 bottles of spirits sluno round their bodies and coca-nut shells in their Lauds, tteretionally ;musing to drink, tlam renewieg their route, yelling like &moils, until incapable of furthee advance, they expseded their last gleam of reason in seeking the nearest shed for a swinish repose."

Here is a pleasing description of one of' the great wonders of the globe.


Few natural objects are so well calculated to excite wonder in the human mind as the coral censti ections, in all their Protean forms, that surround tile greater tilni,Ler of Pei; nesian islands, and which demonstrate so perILA:tly the power of tature to effect her vast tlesietts this-melt apparently keble and ineffi- cient agents. It !alpines, indeed, liii Lutihtuate 11C4iliallitillire lib the habits of the lithoplates, and ocular proof of their labours, to credit e het stupendous submariue reefs, aial islands many miles in compass, ale indebted for tit least their entire Visible struct lire', (0 the secretory or Glebe I illy areld beets. Iti such ex:111110v, 1ittiat6a is not deficient. On the contrary, she is indebted for a large share rd. her natural beauties, as wi II 1,, c0000ereial otivaotagus, to the coral thistles Ishich .surround her shores. .•-s chit tly obtain ill the form of reefs; of which lIce nature and use tozy 1, b• A untlesstood by coin ideting them muter iitvii natural divisions of a tartio I. and it shorl• nfj: Tile former encirels- the islets's as a break-water or sea-wall, at the distance of one and it half or tm. Iniks from the land ; presenting a pr, Viii Cons htse to the ocean, to receive ti,- :ts•eollt if its billows, but encroaching itt a superaial and capricious manner mien tiei• :soon water it encloses. The shore- net' is continuous with the laind around tl.e entire coast, and stretches latto the H:a 10 It variable, but usually to a vsryI .11-iluhahle distance. Its greater portion is covered with shallow water, a kelt ill niany parts does not excecd, and is often less than It foot in depth ; its ,Itter margin shelves irregularly, and terminates abruptly in a deep channel uI wit, water. This a.m.,' L ich continued round the island) furnishes a natural div ision between the 1111111 (VI 1311 reefs, as well as a convenient passage tor navigation. Coral islets, shoals, or whatever other form the madreporic rock nmy assume, can be distinctly traeed to one or the other of these apparently distinct reefs, but never oecur us the productions of botht conjointly.

coral, contrasting so strongly with the rocky and unornamental structu

which it is planted, as to Justify a doubt if both are constructed by there ; animals. The summit of this reef is flat, several yards in breadth, but raised above the level of the sea, and washed by a heavy surf, which br °L- egal:1st its sea-aspect, courses over its level surface, an(dirf:lalsmgiertietteleys,siabilied;eaabsti:bt were by a hue of -cascades, into the placid basin on the opposite side. At et,- tide, {Olen the surf is less in amount, this reef is partly when the tide is high, or the weather tempestuous, the sea, raised into loftvt and magnificent arches, beats over the sticky barrier with terrific grandeur, ads with a rolling or thundering sound, lehich may be heard, on a tranquil aniitellitotugaiti the distauce of several miles. To persons unaccustomed to such scenes, matting is more deeply and agreeably impressive than the view of a majestic surf thui lashit.ig the coast of au island ripposed to the play of a mighty it is incomprehensible or revolting to a sailor to hear beauty associated 1.veitolitaia, scene which only conveys to his mind anxious ant unpleasant refl.ecitioits,,.1 %qui presented in the occashmal apertures that exist in its fabric, and which are or sufficient breadth and depth of water to permit ships to throuel 11 e facility. shore-reef is chiefly composed of amorphous rock, or block A curious and mysterious kature in the construction of' the barrier-reef, is though tree-coral is also abundant upon it, as well as extensive beds of stud: In many parts, where the water is deep, it presents a submarine picture ofex- and mingling hues of pink, blue, white, and yellow, appear through the trail. beauty : extensive coral groves, planted in beds of smooth and aid,teieteusiartreisy, sparent sea • numerous small fish, of brilliant colours, glide (wee the settee thread the labyrinths of the coral branches, or, when alanned, dart rapidly for shelter into the recesses of the stony thickets : the whole affording a r pleasing and almost kaleidoscopic effect.


There is, however, no feature itt the scenery of this coast that strikes the European observer tts more novel and lovely than the verdant islets, or motus, which strew the expanse of smooth sea between the harrier-reef and the tuain land. They are composed entirely of coral; are raised scarcely three feet above the level of the surrounding water ; and appear to he peculiar to the barrier- reef. They are most usualry based upon the shoals which constitute the lateral boundaries of the reef apertures. It is probable that they are formed from mature coral shoals, which, after they bad been raised to the surfitee or the sea, had caused the water to recede from their centre by the increase and elevatiou of their circumference ; the near approach to a circular form they invariably present, being in favour of this supposition A motu may occasionally be seen in an incipient state: a shoal with little depth of water, projecting but a lbw superficial feet of its centre above the sea, rocky, and covered with two or three stunted bushes struggling for existence, affording it structure intermediate to an inundated shoal and a complete islet. The more extensive and ornamental loofas possess some rich vegetable mould, covered with brushwood, or with cocoa-nut and other Moral trees. They are destitute of fresh water ; aunt none of them are inhabited, excepting by ma- sional visiters from the main -land, who repair hither for the benefit of the purer sea air when sulfuring from sickness.

There are very many passages in the work descriptive of the habits, character, industry, and amusements of the natives of the different groupes of islands ; but we must pass over these for a few shorter extracts of a miscellaneous kind.


The day of ems arrival being the Sabbath at this island, I lasded in time to attend divine service at Papeete Church, where Mr. C. Pritchard, the indefitti- gable missionary a this district, officiated to a large congregation of natives, Including the Queen, Airman, and her husband. The conditct of the two latter personages was not, on this occasion, calculated to set a good example to their subjects. The Queen was playful and inattentive ; and her husband did not even enter the church, but, seated ou t he threshold, amused himself during the time of service with cutting sucks, playing lit It children, or in the enjoy. intuit of passing events in the road without,—pastimes ton which he was ma. sionally rebuked by an elderly chief tvho stood near him.


A plot of ground at the sea-side is used as a market, where the natives briug thr sale the produce of their lauds. Owing to the number of foreigners now settled on this island, exert ising. vavieu- trades and keeping well-stot•hed shops, 51111111 is of almost every description cm: he obtained at Ilottortint with the same facility RS at It second-rate sea•port in England ; ttliii several hotels, sr beard- ing-houses of different grades, IL well-equipped bowliee-alleys, lotteries, auctions, and emateur theatricals, atforll much itecutamodation aud untusement to the fereign resident.


TIIC British tuan-of-war brig, ielna which atm lay at anchor in Papeete harbour, was the only ship of war we net %visit daviog the vovege. ller Mtn and well-disciplined appearance recalled many agreeable thoughts of our native land ; and from her commander and officers we received many polite and valu- able attentions. The presence of it inan-of- war in their port seemed to pro- duce any thing but a joyous elfeet on the natives ; since they derive hut little amusement or prolit front a ship a this character ; and the rigour or her dial- pline is not at all minuted to their taste. There was at this time, however, an unumal degree of bustle end activity amongst the nativee on the coast, the greater number being employed in ga- thering bark for the manufact are a native cloth ; addle in a large shed at Papeete, more than filly s•uuug females, their heads heilecked with ;hovers, assembled daily to make tlte welkin ring with the sound or their cloth mallets. They all told me that they %vele war',ing Mr the Queen ; and I imagined they were preparing some customary trihnte, until I. was infierniell by the European residents, that stielt display invasiebly attends the presence of a foreign ship of war in the port, and is intended to impress the leaval officers with altvour- able opinion of native industry.


()II approaching the laud, we flaind that the barrier-reef which eneirele: it afforded but one narrow entrance; and even this was occupied by. powertbl and rapid rollers, which were ans. thing but in% itiug. A canoe, fishing in tie ofs linos enabled us to obtain a pilot ; when, taking advantage of it tranquil inter- var, we pushed through the swell, and passed by an abrupt transition into the vast expanse of lagoon water that intervenes between the reef aud the main land. It is impossible to imagine a scene more perfectly beautiful than the one presented to our liCW as we glided through this placid sea, and towards the land, which rose towering, rocky, and isolated, at the distance of' about thwe miles ahead of Its. On every side a broad sheet of Nvater, mapped out in various: hues eorrespolit ill., with its depth, contrasted stroitgly 'Willi the turbuleliee.o.1 the ocean outside 'the reef ; while the bosom of the lagoon was strewn vath many coral islets, level, circular, and often of great extent ; their shores girded by a sandy beach of dazzling whiteness, and their soil covered with eocott-itut palms, Pandanus and Casuarina trees, as well as with a short and verdant pas- turage unencumbered by any other underwood than a few bushes of Cape jessamine. Here and there a solitary hut appeared amidst the foliage of these motes; and some small goats (probably kit here by a ship) ceased to browse

ur appro h, and followed the boats along the beach, bleating forth a plain- ac tive recognition. The serenity of the morning, and the sweet odour of Pan- does flowers, combined to increase the attractions of this enchanting spot, and to convey to us an mipression on which memory yet dwells with extreme pleasure. FAccpt an occasional incident, Mr.BENNErr. judiciously reserves his description of whales and whaling for the conclusion of his nar- rative; and his account, though not long, forms one of the most complete we have met with,—embracing the anatomical and physio- logical characteristics of the animal, its habits and haunts, the mode mid perils of its capture, and the manner of cutting up and mantilladuring its carcass. Front this section we glean a few extracts to conclude.


NottN;11,1,, tiding its unwieldy bulk, this wilt& is not deficient in activity. 110ten first pierced by the harpoon, it will tow the attached boat at the rate of more than fifteen miles an hour ; but this velocity of motion is the effect of extreme excitement, and does not continue long. Under ordinary circum- stances of alarm, us vlien conscious of being pursued by enemies, its speed swims ;luso eight or ten miles an hour. \V hale-hosts propelled by both sails awl oars, and a ship having the mlvantage of a strong breeze, will often succeed in 0' ertaking the whales they pursue, or, by their near approach, corn- refuge in the deep. When swimming rapidly, the Cachalot corn- el them to sesh: troves with an etsv, regular, and majestic pace, the head being much raised above the surface ;if the sea, and a portion of the back being occasionally ex- hibited, in the action of leaping. The individuals composing a retreating party ,cill$0111Aiiill'i move in lines, like a troop of horse, and exert their peculiar icapittg 111:NVIIICIIIC, descend, rise, and often even spout simultaneously. A LIT; ;%! party of cachalots gambling on the BIll'fileC of the ocean is one of the ne,,t curious and imposing spectacles a whaling voyage affords; the huge size and uncouth agility of 1 he monsters exhibiting a strange combination of the !trawl and ridiculous. ()II such occasions, it is not unusual to observe a wide 1:f the largest sire leap from the water with the activity ot a salmon, dis- hy tbc entire of his gigantic frame suspended at the height of several feet in the air. and asain plunge into the sea with a helpless and tremendous fail, which e:iiiu' I lie surrounding water to shoot up in broad and lofty columns rapped with foam ; whilst others of the school leap, or "breach,, in a lcs donee, sportively brandish their broad and fan-shaped flukes in the air, or pro- trtide their heads perpendicularly above the waves, -like columns of black rock.


When a Issa has approached a whale within a reasonable distance, the

harpooner 1.1s oar and stands in the bow with the harpoon in his hand, until the c I lions of the rest of the crew have advanced the boat sufficiently close, and in a litvourahle position to strike. The tirst harpoon is then darted, and pierces the body of the tvliale; the second almost instantaneously follows, with equal success and the effects become visible at a great distance, as the wounded WOE lvr i'dunges convulsively, casting its flukes- high in the air, and raising clamis of foam and lofty columns of water, which obscure and threaten to overn helm the attacking party. After this first display of surprise mid may. the %shah? sets olf w ith great swiftness along the SRIiitee of the water, &win!, nfter it the attarbed boat ; the line being secured around the logger- head, la r ears :Teak and bristling from either side, :oul her bow raised high above the level a and enveloped in spray ; whilst the water displaced by the vslocity of her motion, rises on each side of the depressed stern con- siderably above the level of the gunwale, threatening an inundation which she mealsmmii Ir It) evade hy her speed.

All this Iliac, the oflicce in command resigns the steer mar to the bar- poner, anh t,:l.e, bis station in the bow of the boat, %%here, armed with the lance he hiteself of every opportunity to haul up close to the whale and dart • into its body.

ui,miliimilight in the bori:tontal direction hestillicient for escape, the whale

endear:mi . f lode his pursuers liv" soundings or descending perpendicu- larly to i. silt ; hut this attempt is equally itleircetual with the first ;and after a • 1:-. : . val he r, appears on the surface, the Imutt agaitt approaches, and the altar1, t be knee I.; renewed, until exhausted by loss of blood and his stt:etilW!!- i mm.Mies tO the animal becomes perceptihly more feeble in his • the s, a f,r some distance around is crinisonvd with his blood, and th foinOts1 with bluish) as it rises at each aspiration, is scathi, • usly iii time air, like shreds of te.tarlet cloth. After the

slew I.:cm, ;1,0 mm tr.h., and his gem ral air of languor, as well as the jets of dark Idea e•et fri011 his spiracle, scarce higher than the crests of the waves, would le.al to the idea that his clhats are at an end, he again draws the at- tachol 1; 1 I pidly over t he t voter, and the contest appears to be renewed ; but this mm. hist stingle of the tlyim, cachalot, or, as it is termed, " the

flurr.-; •• log about, beatiog the IVIIVL-6 with his tail, the creature Mises a casnis, itsni a direct course, then turns on his side, his lower jaw fall., aul t monarch of the Iload" Boats a. lifeless mass, over which the wave, im. ml1, a low and confused surf.

This is 1! m' successful attack. Sometimes the whale escapes by his on au t. s‘houtimes by the destruction of the boat or the crew;

for, mac Greenland species, the sperm NVII:11U is both cun- ning and tm Ii. I fere is a singular instance of daring and pertina- cious attacks on one of the Tusean's boats.

`` IC C of the 2;fflli, we bail sperm whales again in sight, and

several ti o 001: were noticed during the day. They were, however, equally wary \kith Case we 1,a,I te 'mmmi' seen, ;1;4 it was not wit late in the afternoon that 11,vI ti!•1 ii ii:voarahly approoched, when each bit.d harpooned a whale. hum' ml ft m mi'imiuml the:r pl Ic ti q!Cedny mmmiii Miti1011t MI:1(1CM ; Ina ill,: /Wirth 1:1 Icti a mischievt,es or ' fighting ' whale of the most dan- gerous 11121%!Cill% Th1:3 l'am,haltli, which was a young nude, had been pierced with tw■■ mm,l p;:llied harpoons ; hut instead of living from his enemies, nffil"''',,;'1.tIt, mitt iii them whenever they approached him for the purpose must effort was to rush against the boat with his head. Baffled 111 this 10 ml . crew steering clear of the contact, he moat attempted to crush it with his jaws ; n hen, failing through the unaccommodating position of his mouth, he reintAed this delt:ct with much sagacity in his last and more sue- eessful ;,•shult :mpproacbiog impetuously from a distance of ahout forty yards, iii turovtl up o: hi . back, misitig his lower jaw to grasp the boat from above ii ; lance-"1"lluth bowe:,er, caused hint to close his mouth and resume a natural posture before he bad obtained his object ; but. continuing to advance, he struck the holt 1111 Ii a tbfre that nearly overturned it, aud cent:hided by again

turning MI ill' m11111 threstins- his lower jaw through the planks. The boat filled with pimust immisliatelv, souk with its gunwale to the level of

the sea, and was rendered capable of retitining its crew only by the ex iedient a lashhe, the oars across its sides. The harMon-line was cut, ' and time whale made oir without doirg further mischief. above The' wrecked boat, scarce perceptible the waves, crowded with a half-immersed crew, and with two whifts jing as a signal of distress, presented a truly forlorn appearance. The ship and disengaged boats bore down to its assistance; and after rescuing, the crew and stores, took it on board to repair."