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Caroline isles. This is a very numerous group, but they are not very much known. The Pelew islands are near them.
The inhabitants of the Caroline isles are tattooed, and live in large and comfortable · houses, made of palm leaves and bamboo, woven so firmly together as to exclude both wind and rain. They do not worship idols, but pay their adoration to invisible deities. They salute each other when they meet, by touching their noses together. :
They are very fond of dancing, which they execute with great spirit and grace. They bore large holes in their ears, and if presents are given to them, such as knives, hooks, and the like, they tie them into these holes in their ears, and wear them. .
They are fond of war, and the inhabitants of the different islands are always engaged in strife with each other, with one exception. In the island of Ulea, war is unknown; here the inhabitants are always at peace. I cannot tell
you why this island is so much unlike the rest, but I think the people must be far wiser, and happier than those of the other islands.
To the north of the Caroline isles, are the Ladrones or Marion isles, or the islands of robbers. This name is given to them because the inhabitants are great thieves. The number of these islands is about fifteen. The climate is very delightful, but hurricanes sometimes visit the islands. The people color their teeth black, and paint their bodies red..
Thus I have told you of some of the principal groups of islands, in the eastern and northern part of the Pacific ocean. Taken together, these islands are sometimes called Polynesia, a term signifying many islands. The climate in them all, is very agreeable, seeming to combine the beauties of spring and summer. The trees, fruits, and animals, are nearly the same in all. The inhabitants are very similar in complexion ; almost all practice tattooing, are given to thievery, and, on common occasions, go nearly naked. There are shades of difference between them; but there is a general resemblance in their appearance, their customs, opinions, and modes of life.
The ship approaches the Philippine isles. A hurricane.
Volcanic eruption. Ship is wrecked on the coast of Luzon. Parley and two sailors only are saved. They are kindly treated by the natives. They travel to Manilla.
I MUST now return to my story. After sailing to the westward, for several weeks, with a steady breeze, we supposed ourselves to be near the Philippine islands. It is said that this group consists of more than a thousand islands. The largest of these is Luzon.
Well! in a short time we discovered some high rocky mountains, looking like clouds in the distance. These, we had no doubt, were the mountains of Luzon. It was not our intention to stop there, so we kept on our way.
But as night set in, a storm commenced, and before morning, it blew a hurricane. About midnight, we had the misfortune to have the rudder of our ship broken and carried away. This left us at the mercy of the storm. All our attempts to rig up a temporary rudder were unsuccessful, and we were driven before the wind with the greatest violence.
The night was so dark that we could see nothing around us. We had reason to suppose, however, that we were drifting toward the rocky shores of Luzon, and that we were not far from them.
In this state of uncertainty, the captain, myself, and every sailor on board the ship, were making every exertion for our safety; yet we were all preparing our minds to meet the event which seemed inevitable.
The storm continued with unabated fury, The noise of the waves, the rush of the tempest, and the roar of the sea, filled the ear with their almost deafening sounds. But a sudden noise, louder than these, now burst upon us.