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cility than diligence; and had not been there quite four months, when he suddenly disappeared, without the privity of any one. He is understood to have wandered to the borders of Canada, and among the Six Nations, with whose language and manners he formed an acquaintance, which was afterwards of much service to him, in his intercourse with savages in various parts of the world. Nearly four months elapsed, before he returned to his college; and, in the course of a few more, conceiving himself ill-treated, in consequence of some reproof for breach of discipline, he resolved to escape altogether. The mode of his flight was equally curious and characteristic. With the aid of some of his fellow-students, he felled, on the margin of the Connecticut river, a majestic forest tree, and fashioned its trunk into a canoe, fifty feet long and three wide. We shall adopt his biographer's account of the remarkable sequel :
“ The canoe was finished, launched into the stream, and, by the further aid of his companions, equipped and prepared for a voyage. His wishes were now at their consummation, and bidding adieu to these haunts of the muses, where he had gained a dubious fame, he set off alone with a light heart to explore a river, with the navigation of which he had not the slightest acquaintance. The distance to Hartford was not less than one hundred and forty miles, much of the way was through a wilderness, and in several places there were dangerous falls and rapids.
“With a bearskin for a covering, and bis canoe well stocked with provisions, he yielded himself to the current, and floated leisurely down the stream, seldom using his paddle, and stopping only in the night for sleep. He told Mr. Jeffer. son in Paris, fourteen years afterwards, that he took only two books with him, a Greek Testament, and Ovid, one of which he was deeply engaged in reading when his canoe approached Bellows's Falls, where he was suddenly roused by the noise of the waters rushing among the rocks through the narrow passage. The danger was imminent, as no boat could go down that fall without being instantly dashed in pieces. With difficulty he gained the shore in time to escape such a catastrophe, and through the kind assistance of the people in the neighbourhood, who were astonished at the novelty of such a voyage down the Connecticut, his canoe was drawn by oxen around the fall, and committed again to the water be. low. From that time, till he arrived at his place of destination, we hear of no accident, although he was carried through several dangerous passes in the river. On a bright spring morning, just as the sun was rising, some of Mr. Seymour's family were standing near his house on the high bank of the small river, that runs through the city of Hartford, and empties itself into the Connecticut river, when they espied at some distance an object of unusual appearance moving slowly up the stream. Others were attracted by the singularity of the sight, and all were conjecturing what it could be, till its questionable shape assumed the truc and obvious form of a canoe ; but by what impulse it was moved forward none could determine. Something was seen in the stern, but apparently without life or motion. At length the canoe touched the shore directly in front of the house ; a person sprang from the stern to a rock in the edge of the water, threw off a bearskin in which he had been enveloped, and behold John Ledyard, in the presence of his uncle and connexions, who were filled with wonder at this sudden apparition, for they had received no intelligence of his intention to leave Dartmouth, but supposed bim still there diligently pursuing his studies, and fitting himself to be a missionary among the Indians.
“However unimportant this whimsical adventure may have been in its results, or even its objects, it was one of no ordinary peril, and illustrated in a forcible manner the character of the navigator. The voyage was performed in the last part of April or first of May, and of course the river was raised by the recent melting
of the snow on the mountains. This circumstance probably rendered the rapids less dangerous, but it may be questioned whether there are many persons at the present day, who would willingly run the same hazard, even if guided by a pilot skilled in the navigation of the river.”
Ledyard next appears in the character of an enthusiastic student of divinity. For some time, he sought the station of a parish minister; until wearied with unexpected obstacles in the pursuit, and unable to obtain a license to preach, he abandoned his theological researches, and pious designs, in despair and mortification. The transition is startling-from the character of a candidate for the pulpit, to that of a common sailor, in which capacity, we quickly find him on board of a vessel bound to Gibraltar, under the command of one of his father's old friends, by whom he was treated rather as a friend and associate, than a member of the crew. At Gibraltar, struck with a military parade, he enlisted, “thinking the profession of a soldier well suited to a man of honour and enterprise." Urged by the captain of the vessel, the British commanding officer released his new recruit, who, however, would have been content to remain, to follow out his adventure.
At the expiration of a twelvсmonth, when he was brought back to New-London, he had gained only a knowledge of the duties and sufferings of a sailor. Poverty stared him in the face; dependence upon the bounty of his friends, was intolerable to his lofty spirit; yet no sedentary or common-place occupations, comported with the temper and ambition of a genuine rover. He remembered to have heard from his father, that he had wealthy relatives in England. For that country, he suddenly resolved to embark, with the vision before his fancy, of kind patronage, by means of which he might attain competency and distinction, in some yet undetermined sphere of life. After working his passage, as a sailor, to Plymouth, in England, he remained destitute of means to reach London. Fortune threw him into the company of an honest Irishman, whose plight exactly resembled his own; and the two friends agreed to set out together on foot for the capital. Begging, by turns, on the road, they succeeded fully in their objects. The first business of our adventurer, in London, was to discover his opulent relations. A glimpse of the family name on a carriage, heightened his ardour; but when he presented himself at the house of a Ledyard, with all simplicity, as an American cousin, he was so coolly received, that his dreams vanished; and his pride prevented him from ever renewing the attempt to be recognised. It was just at this period, that Captain Cook was preparing for his third and last voyage round the world. The idea of accompanying him struck Ledyard with so much force, that he at once enlisted in the British marine service, and soon contrived to gain an introduction to
Captain Cook. His success in his purpose, is thus well stated and explained by Mr. Sparks :
"It may be presumed, that on an occasion of so much moment to him, he would set himself forward to the best advantage; and he had great power in recommending himself to the favour of others, whenever he chose to put it in action. His manly form, mild but animated and expressive eye, perfect self-possession, a boldness not obtrusive, but showing a consciousness of his proper dignity, an independent spirit, and a glow of enthusiasm giving life to his conversation and his whole deportment, these were traits which could not escape so discriminating an eye as that of Cook ; they formed a rare combination peculiarly suited to the hardships and perils of his daring enterprise. They gained the confidence of the great navigator, who immediately took him into his service, and promoted him to be a corporal of marines.”
Ledyard embarked accordingly, with the great circumnavigator, and performed the whole voyage. He kept a private journal, but it was surrendered to the commanding officer, on the return of the ship to England. His papers were never recovered. Two years. asterwards, however, he prepared an account at Hartford, which was printed in a duodecimo volume; and from which his biographer has drawn the materials of three very instructive and engaging chapters. The latter remarks of it, generally, that several of its descriptions are written with a vivacity, discrimination, and force, which the writers of the other narratives of the same voyage, have not equalled. As it was composed under no official dictation, and without the fear of any official authority, its statements are more free and bold, than the British ; particularly with regard to the causes and circumstances of Captain Cook's lamented fate. Neither Captain King, nor Captain Burney, who have described the tragical issue, was on shore with Cook; but Ledyard landed with the commander, and must have been near him, from the time he left the ship until he was fatally pierced. His relation deserves, therefore, to be preferred, as it is that of an eye-witness, of the strictest veracity, who entertained and always expressed the highest respect for the victim. We fear that very few instances can be cited, of sanguinary hostilities between the European race and the untutored tribes whom that race call savages, which do not present the former as the aggressors, by some species of imprudent or criminal provocation. Ledyard has put it beyond a doubt, that the natives of Owhy hee were exceedingly ill-treated by the English crews, before they were converted into enemies; and that Captain Cook owed his death, in a great degree, to his own injustice and rashness. The first appearance and impressions of the people, by whose vengeance he was to be sacrificed, are in broad contrast with the catastrophe :
“ At length the ships entered a commodious bay on the south side of Hawaii, extending inland about two miles and a half, having the town of Kearakekua on one side, and Kiverua on the other. These towns contained fourteen hundred houses. The crowds of people that flocked to the shore, as the vessels sailed
in and came to anchor, were prodigious. They had assembled from the interior and the coast. Three thousand canoes were counted in the bay, filled with men, women, and children, to the number of at least fifteen thousand, besides others that were swimming and sustaining themselves on floats in the water. The scene was animated and grotesque in the extreme. “The beach, the surrounding rocks, the tops of houses, the branches of trees, and the adjacent hills, were all covered; and the shouts of joy and admiration, proceeding from the sonorous voices of the men, confused with the shriller exclamations of the woinen, dancing and clapping their hands, the oversetting of canoes, cries of the children, goods afloat, and hogs that were brought to market squealing, formed one of the most curious prospects that can be imagined.' But amidst this immense concourse, all was peace, harmony, hilarity, and good nature. Many of the natives were contented to gaze and wonder; others, by their noise and actions, gave more imposing demonstrations of their joy and admiration; while others were busy in bartering away hogs, sweet potatoes, and such provisions as they had, for articles that pleased their fancy.
“ Cook's first visit to the shore was attended with a good deal of ceremony. Two chiefs, with long white poles as ensigns of their authority, made a passage among the canoes for his pinnace, and the people, as he was rowed along, covered their faces with their hands. When he landed, they fell prostrate on the beach before him, and a new set of officers opened a way for him through the crowd. The same expressions of awe were manifested, as he proceeded from the water's edge. “The people upon the adjacent hills, upon the houses, on the stone walls, and in the tops of the trees, also hid their faces, while he passed along the opening, but he had no sooner past them, than they rose and followed him. But if Cook happened to turn his heall or look behind him, they were down again in an instant, and up again as soon, whenever his face was reverted to some other quarter. This punctilious performance of respect in so vast a throng, being regulated solely by the accidental turn of one man's head, and the transition being sudden and short, rendered it very difficult even for an individual to be in proper attitude. If he lay prostrate but a second too long, he was pretty sure not to rise again until he had been trampled upon by all behind him, and if he dared not to prostrate himself, he would stumble over those before him who did. This produced a great many laughable circumstances, and as Cook walked very fast to get from the sand into the shades of the town, it rendered the matter still more difficult. At length, however, they adopted a medium, that much better answered a running compliment, and did not displease the chiefs; this was to go upon all fours, which was truly ludicrous among at least ten thousand people. This confusion ceased, however, before long, for Cook was conducted to the Morai, a sacred enclosure, which none but the chiefs and their attendants were allowed to enter. Here he was unmolested, and the presents were distributed."
No pains were taken to preserve the reverence, and keep alive the benevolent feelings, of the natives. They were disgusted by profligacy and outrage, and mutual exasperation was the speedy consequence. As the loss of Cook is still a subject of generous regret and literary interest, and we wish to exhibit an adequate specimen of Ledyard's composition, we shall transcribe the greater part of his circumstantial account--the only accurate one extant-of that unlucky occurrence:--
“Our return to this bay was as disagreeable to us, as it was to the inhabitants, for we were reciprocally tired of each other. They had been oppressed, and were weary of our prostituted alliance, and we were aggrieved by the consideration of wanting the provisions and refreshments of the country, which we had every reason to suppose, from their behaviour antecedent to our departure, would now be withheld from us, or brought in such small quantities as to be worse than none. What we anticipated was true. When we entered the bay, where before we had the shouts of thousands to welcome our arrival, we had the mortification not to see a single canoe, and hardly any inhabitants in the towns. Cook was chagrined, and his people were soured. Towards night, however, the canoes came in, but the provisions both in quantity and quality plainly informed us, that times were altered ; and what was very remarkable was the exorbitant price they asked, and the particular fancy they all at once took to iron daggers or dirks, which were the only articles that were any ways current, with the chiefs at least. It was also equally evident from the looks of the natives, as well as every other appearance, that our former friendship was at an end, and that we had nothing to do but to hasten our departure to some different island, where our vices were not known, and where our extrinsic virtues might gain us another short space of being wondered at, and doing as we pleased, or, as our tars expressed it, of being happy by the month.
“Nor was their passive appearance of disgust all we had to fear, nor did it continue long."
“On the thirteenth, at night, the Discovery's large cutter, which was at her usual moorings at the bower buoy, was taken away. On the fourteenth the captains met to consult what should be done on this alarming occasion ; and the issue of their opinions was, that one of the two captains should land with armed boats and a guard of marines at Kiverua, and attempt to persuade Teraiobu, who was then at his house in that town, to come on board upon a visit, and that when he was on board he should be kept prisoner, until his subjects should release him by a restitution of the cutter ; and if it was afterwards thought proper, he, or some of the family who might accompany him, should be kept as perpetual hostages for the good behaviour of the people, during the remaining part of our continuance at Kearakekua. This plan was the more approved of by Cook, as he had so repeatedly on former occasions to the southward employed it with success. Clerke was then in a deep decline of his health, and too feeble to undertake the affair, though it naturally devolved upon him, as a point of duty not well transferable; he therefore begged Cook to oblige him so much, as to take that part of the business of the day upon himself in his stead. This Cook agreed to, but previous to his landing made some additional arrangements, respecting the possible event of things, though it is certain from the appearance of the subsequent arrangements, that he guarded more against the Aight of Teraiobu, or those he could wish to see, than from an attack, or even much insult. The disposition of our guards, when the movements began, was thus. Cook in his pinnace with six private marines; a corporal, sergeant, and two lieutenants of marines went ahead, followed by the launch with other marines and seamen on one quarter, and the small cutter on the other, with only the crew on board. This part of the guard rowed for Kearakekua. Our large cutter and two boats from the Discovery had orders to proceed to the mouth of the bay, form at equal distances across, and prevent any communication by water from any other part of the island to the towns within the bay, or from those without. Cook Janded at Kiverua about nine o'clock in the morning, with the marines in the pinnace, and went by a circuitous march to the house of Teraiobu, in order to evade the suspicion of any design. This route led through a considerable part of the town, which discovered every symptom of mischief, though Cook, blinded by some fatal cause, could not perceive it, or too self-confident, would not regard it.
“ The town was evacuated by the women and children, who had retired to the circumjacent hills, and appeared almost destitute of men; but there were at that time two hundred chiefs, and more than twice that number of other men, detached and secreted in different parts of the houses nearest to Teraiobu, exclusive of unknown numbers without the skirts of the town, and those that were seen were dressed many of them in black. When the guard rcached Teraiobu's house, Cook ordered the lieutenant of marines to go in and see if he was at home, and if he was, to bring him out; the lieutenant went in, and found the old man sitting with two or three old women of distinction, and when he gave Teraiobu to understand that Cook was without, and wanted to see him, he discovered the greatest marks of uneasiness, but arose and accompanied the lieutenant out, hold.11g his hand. When he came before Cook, he squatted down upon bis hams