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passage from the coast of Africa to the West India Islands. The galleon, as we have already observed, takes its route first towards thes outh, profiting by the north-west winds, which prevail on the northern coast of Mexico. When it arrives in the parallel of Manilla, it carries full sail to the west, having always a tranquil sea, and refreshing breezes from the point between the east and east-north-east”. Nothing interrupts the serenity of the heavens in these regions, except sometimes a slight squall, which is felt when the vessel arrives at the zenith. Don Francisco Maurelli, a pilot, had the boldness to cross the whole of the great ocean for a length of nearly three thousand marine leagues in a decked launch (lancha de navio); this launch, called the Sonora, was dispatched from San Blas, to carry to Manilla the news of the last rupture between Spain and England; and it is preserved in the Port of Cavite, as the boat in which the unfortunate Captain Bligh carried on his memorable navigation from the Society to the Molucca Islands ought to have been preserved at Timor. In the same proportion that the passage from Manilla to the coast of Mexico is long and painful, the passage from Acapulco to the Philippine Islands is short and agreeable. It generally lasts only from fifty to sixty days. From time to time within these few years the galleon touches at the Sandwich Islands to take in provisions and water, if the priests of the country have not taboued the watering place. As the passage is not long, and the chiefs of these islands are not always friendly disposed towards the whites, this delay, which is seldom necessary, is frequently dangerous. As the galleon advances towards the west the breezes become stronger, but at the same time more inconstant. The galleon touches at the island of Guahan or Guam, where the governor of the Mariana islands resides, in the town of Agana.” It has been truly observed that this island is the only point in the vast extent of the South Sea, strewed with innumerable islands, which contains a town built in the European manner, a church, and a fortification. However, this delicious country, which nature has enriched with the most varied productions, is one of those numerous possessions from which the court of Spain has never yet derived any advantage. The fanaticism of the monks, and the sordid avarice of the governors, formerly conspired to depopulate this archipelago. The commandant of the fort of Agana is one of the officers of the King of Spain, who can with the greatest impunity exercise an arbitrary power. He has no communication with Europe and the Philippine islands except once a year; and if the nao is intercepted, or if it is lost in a tempest, he remains for several years completely insulated. Although the distance from Madrid to Agana is 4,000 leagues east in a straight line, it is said that the governor of Guahan on seeing the galleon arrive two years in succession, expressed a desire to reside in an island more remote from Spain, that he might be less exposed to the control of ministers. The galleon carries to the colony of the Mariana islands (islasdelos Ladrones), besides the situado, that is to say, the money destined to pay the troops and the royal officers, woollens, linens, cottons, and hats for the dress of the small number of whites who inhabit this archipelago. The governor supplies the galleon with fresh provisions, particularly with pork and beef. Horned cattle have multiplied in a wonderful manner in this island, where there is a beautiful breed of white oxen with black ears. Commodore Byron" affirms having seen at the island of Saypan, situated to the north of Tinian, which
* Farther north, especially between the 20° and the Tropic of Cancer, the trade winds are not so constant in the great ocean as in the Atlantic.
has mountains of small elevation, huanacos like those of Peru. This observation deserves to be verified by naturalists. The Spaniards having introduced neither llamas nor huanacos nor alpacos into Mexico or the kingdom of New Granada, it appears very improbable, that they should ever have transported them into a group of islands in the vicinity of Asia." Besides the galleon of Acapulco, from time to time a vessel is also dispatched from Manilla to Lima. This navigation, one of the longest and most difficult, is ordinarily carried on by the same northern route with the passage from the Philippine islands to the coast of California. The galleon destined for Lima, after discovering the coast of Mexico, steers southwards to the 28° and 300 of south latitude, where the south-west wind prevails. When Peru, liberated from the yoke of the monopoly of the Philippine company, shall be allowed to trade without restriction to the East Indies, in returning from Canton to Lima, the preference will most likely be given to a track which goes to the south of New Holland, through seas where they are secure of favourable winds. . A few years before my stay at Lima, Don Josef Arosbide brought the galleon el Fillippino in ninety days, by a direct tract from west to east, from Manilla to the Callao. Favoured by light variable winds which blow especially by night in the vicinity of the South Sea islands, he ascended between the parallels of 6” and 10° south against the current of rotation. The dread of falling into the hands of English cruisers led him to make choice of a track so extraordinary and opposite to the direction of the trade winds. Forgetting that chance had a great share in the success of a voyage during which the calms were interrupted by squalls from the south and south-west *, M. Arosbide wished to try the route a second time; but after long struggling against the trade winds, he was obliged to ascend to high latitudes, and to follow the old method of navigation. He was obliged to put into the port of San Blas for want of provisions, where he died worn out with fatigue and disappointment. It has been asked how it was possible for Spanish vessels since the sixteenth century to cross the great ocean from the western coast of the New Continent to the Philippine islands, without discovering the isles with which that
* Voyage de Marchand, t. i. p. 436.
* M. de Fleurieu, a learned navigator, has very truly observed, that it is not uncommon, in the equinoctial region of the great ocean, and especially in the 15° and 18° of south latitude and the 114° and 118° of west longitude, for southsouth-west and even north-west winds to prevail, or several days. (Voyage de Marchand), t. ii. p. 269.