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were in appearance anything but attractive. The men particularly, being tatooed in all the different fantastic styles of that art. At a short distance they had the appearance of being clad in chain armor, painted blue. The women are much fairer than the men, and only tatoo the face, with a few disfiguring spots on the lips. We saw several Polynesian Bibles in the huts of the natives, nearly all of whom claim to be Christians. Yet from all accounts we were among the decendants of veritable man eaters; people who practice all the heathenish and superstitious rites of their ancestors; and roast and eat their prisoners of war. Many of the islands of this group have well watered, beautiful valleys, well suited to the cultivation of coffee, sugar, cotton and other tropical products.
From the Marquesas we sail nearly due south, to that vast collection of coral islands known on maps and charts as the Low Archipelago or Paumotu Group. There are in all about seventy-eight islands and like the Marquesas and Society groups, are under a French protectorate. All except twenty of them are inhabited. The natives are a lawless and savage set, their greatest merit being the smallness of their numbers. However, some improvement has been noticeable among them lately, especially in their houses, clothing, and mode of living; the trade in pearls, pearl shell, and cocoanut oil, the principal products of this group, affording them the means for this desirable adVancement.
ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ.
Still further south and to the east, in latitude 34 deg. about 400 miles west from Valparaiso, lies Juan Fernandez, in size some thirteen miles long by four miles wide, discovered in 1563 by the famous pilot and navigator, whose name it bears. It will always retain a marked prominence in island histories, being at one time the home of that celebrated, castaway Alexander Selkirk, whose life and adventures have been made so intensely interesting to youthful minds, and older ones too, for that matter, by Defoe in his wonderful book, “Robinson Crusoe.” Selkirk was sailing master of the war galley Cinque Porte, and through a quarrel with Captain Straddling, asked to be put ashore on the island, which request was granted, and such supplies furnished him, as might be most needed in his lonely hermitage.
THE HOME OF CRUSOE.
In 1868 the officers of H. M. S. Topaze erected a tablet at the mouth of a small valley that traversed the land, and which gave the only clear outlook to the ocean from the island. At the northern end of this gap may be seen the tablet, with inscription reading: “In memory of Alexander Selkirk, mariner, a native of Laigo, in the county of Fife, Scotland, who was on this island in complete solitude for four years and four months. He was landed from the Cinque Porte, galley, 96 tons, 16 guns, in 1704, A. D., and was taken off by the Duke, privateer (Captain Wood Rogers), 12th of February, 1709. He died lieutenant of the Weymouth, in 1723, A. D., aged forty-seven years. This tablet was erected near ‘Selkirk's Lookout,' by Commodore Powell and officers of H. M. S. Topaze, 1868, A. D.”
In justice to the author of Crusoe, I quote still further, from the journal of the officers of H. M. S.
Zealous: “We left Torne on December 21st, and arrived at the island of Juan Fernandez early in the morning of the 24th. It is difficult to imagine a more impressive bit of scenery than that which greets the eye on coming on deck, and seeing it for the first time after anchoring. We lay close to the shore, which went up almost perpendicular to a height, in some places, of 3,000 feet, towering above us like a huge giant. These heights faced us in the shape of a semi-circle, and to all appearances we lay in the middle of an extinct crater, of which the other half of the circle had been thrown into the sea, and now formed our anchorage. Every appearance justified this idea. No doubt a vast eruption took place many years ago, which produced this wonderful formation. At night particularly it looks very grand, and from its closeness and height, appears to be right over your head, standing out clear and distinct against the sky.
“The island belongs to Chili, and there are now resident on it five families, possessing nineteen children, three cows, four sheep, several horses, and goats innumerable, which latter abound on the other side of the island. The principal personage in this little community spoke English remarkably well. He told us they were perfectly happy, never were ill, and had no desire to leave the island. A state of bliss comprised in these three statements difficult to be understood; but though only attributable to the lowered state of the intellectual faculties, a state which it would be good to meet with more frequently amongst cultivated nations. Juan Fernandez was discovered in 1567, but from that time, I should imagine, no advantage was taken of its discovery—except occasional visits of buccaneers—till the year 1705, when