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fifteen or sixteen miles in length, with fringe reefs along the shore, but apparently no off-lying dangers. The north point near the center of the island was found to be in latitude 10 deg. 40 min. south, and longitude 166 deg. 3 min. The high land extends close out on its northeast side, but towards the northwest the hills slope at some distance from the extremes, leaving a considerable extent of low land near the coast. The island is well wooded and watered, the streams in some places running through the villages into the sea.
"The natives are a fine athletic race, and came off readily to the ship, bringing pigs, bread-fruit and yams. Mats, in the manufacture of which great skill is displayed, are also offered for sale. The appearance of the canoes, houses, etc., evinces great ingenuity. Canoes with outriggers, and mostly lime-washed, have a neat appearance; they have also large seagoing double canoes. The villages are large, and houses surrounded by stone fences. On the north side, the villages are close to the sea, with from 300 to 400 inhabitants each. The natives are apparently merry and good-natured, but are not to be trusted, for without any known reason they attacked the boat of the Bishop, on leaving the village of the northwest . extremity of the island, and nearly succeeded in cutting it off. Three of the crew were wounded with arrows, and of these two died from the effects of their wounds. Their bows are formidable looking weapons, being seven feet in length, with arrows in proportion."
North by west from Santa Cruz is the Solomon Archipelago, so named by Mendana, the discoverer, in 1568, supposing the islands to contain all the wealth and riches like unto that of the ancient king. They were re-discovered by Phillip Carteret, in 1767. The group is very extensive, ranging many hundreds of miles northwest and southeast, although but eight or ten are well enough known to afford data for a description. The principal are Malayta, Ysabel, Guadalcanal Bougainville, San Christoval and Choiseul. They are of large size, some being fully 100 miles long by twenty or thirty miles wide, with lofty ranges of mountains sloping gradually to the sea, well watered and covered with trees and ferns, with here and there beautiful valleys, and streams of water meandering through them to the sea.
The inhabitants are active and energetic, and are great mariners, their canoes being well built, and handled with consummate skill. Some of their warcanoes are fully eighty feet long, with beam of five feet, and carry sixty men. They are very skillful in carving, while many of their weapons and industrial implements are inlaid with the mother-of-pearl shell. CHAPTER V.
Deep in the wave is a coral grove,
Where the purple mullet and gold fish rove.
James Gates Perc1val.
THE Caroline group, extending almost from the 'equator to 12 deg. north latitude, and ranging from 135 deg. to 177 deg. east longitude, comprises over 500 islands. Dotting the great Pacific Sea with lands of indescribable fertility and fabulous commercial possibilities, they are almost beyond the description of tongue or pen. If anything were needed to substantiate the grandeur and extent of some of the islands and atolls of the Pacific, the following description would alone suffice.
THE GREAT ATOLL OF HOGOLEU.
Lying at the eastern end of the great Caroline group, it surrounds and contains within its limits a principality. If one could imagine a strip of land five to eight miles wide, varied in its topography by mountain, hill and valley, traversing the ocean for nearly 300 miles, in almost the form of a circle, and this strip covered with the most beautiful tropical foliage, of fruit and other valuable trees, some idea of the outward form of Hogoleu might be obtained. Enclosed in this great circle of land lies the lagoon, with four greater and twenty smaller islands dotting the surface, on whose broad expanse of waters the combined navies of the world might ride at safe and roomy anchorage. With three main outlets to the ocean, whose width and depth render them perfectly safe for the passage of the greatest ships, the lagoon forms an inland harbor unequalled in any other part of the world. The islands in the lake, some of which are thirty to forty miles in circumference, are covered with valuable timber, and abound in all the tropical fruits, of the cocoanut, citron, bread-fruit, oranges, bananas and mangoes, with trees of the sago and date palm, and timber of the toa, tomano, prima vera, and great quantities of sandalwood. Fine streams of fresh water flow through the valleys, while to add to the gorgeous beauty of the scene, birds with the most beautiful and valuable plumage give life and animation to the forests and glades. Here, too, the beche-de-mer, the tortoise and turtle find their favorite breeding-grounds, in the water and along the shores. The great lake teems with fish of nearly all the species found in the South Sea, many of whose brilliant hues and colors are only equalled by the pearl shell that line the bed of the lagoon. The latter is found here in great abundance, of the largest size and finest quality, covering the bottom of the lake wherever it can be seen, and of course in just as great if not greater abundance in the depths not reached by the eye.
Our limited stay at Hogoleu hardly gave me time to form a just opinion of the character and manners of the natives, for which I have been forced to rely upon the valuable experiences and writings of others.
"In judging of the character of the Caroline Islanders, one must remember that there are always two sides to a question; and in connection with this matter, I may refer to a fact which I regard as very significant. All Englishmen are familiar with the story of the wreck of the Antelope at the Pelew Islands in 1793, and of the Prince Lee Boo, who accompanied Captain Wilson to England. These same Pelew Islanders, who at that time treated the shipwrecked Englishmen with such generous hospitality for a period of four months, seeking no return for the same, are now regarded as piratical miscreants of the most atrocious type—and not without reason, for they have got into a bad habit of going out to sea in their fast-sailing proas, and attacking, off the coasts of their islands, such vessels as may be becalmed or entangled among the shoals; in which nefarious practice they have, on several occasions, so far succeeded as to have plundered the vessels and massacred their crews. This change of behavior is easily accounted for. In some cases it has arisen from ill treatment which they have experienced at the hands of strangers, but in most cases it has been the result of evil example by a set of scoundrels who disgrace humanity, and are to be found strolling about these seas, making themselves at home