Hawkesworth Vol 2: Chapters 4-8. Wallis's Voyage
Guide to Color Coding:
- Geocoding: Matched Latitude and Longitude Readings
- Named Places
- Sailors' Health
- Food and Provisions
- Weather Commentary
- Ship Repairs
- Animal Sightings
- Land Sightings
- Island Discoveries
- Commentary on Natives
- Cultural First Contact
- Trade and Exchange
- Disciplinary Actions and Punishments
CHAP. IV. The Passage from the Streight of Magellan, to King George the Third's Island, called Otaheite, in the South Sea, with an account of the Discovery of several other Islands, and a description of their Inhabitants.--page 419--
AS we continued our course to the westward, after having cleared the Streight, we saw a great number of gannets, sheerwaters, pintado birds, and many others, about the ship, and had for the most part strong gales, hazy weather and heavy seas, so that we were frequently brought under our courses, and there was not a dry place in the ship for some weeks together.
At eight in the morning of the 22d, we had an observation, by which we found our longitude to be 95° 46′ W. and at noon, our latitude was 42° 24′ S. and the variation, by azimuth, 11° 6′ E.
By the 24th, the men began to fall down very fast in colds and fevers, in consequence of the upper works being open, and their cloaths and beds continually wet.
On the 26th, at four in the afternoon, the variation, by azimuth, was 10° 20′ E. and at six in the morning of the next day, it was 9° 8′ E. Our latitude, on the 27th at noon, was 36° 54′ S. our longitude, by account, 100° W. This day, the weather being moderate and fair, we dried all the people's cloaths, and got the sick upon deck, to whom we gave salop, --page 420-- and wheat boiled with portable soup, every morning for breakfast, and all the ship's company had as much vinegar and mustard as they could use; portable soup was also constantly boiled in their pease and oatmeal.
The hard gales, with frequent and violent squalls, and a heavy sea, soon returned, and continued with very little intermission. The ship pitched so much, that we were afraid she would carry away her masts, and the men were again wet in their beds .
On the 30th, the variation, by azimuth, was 8° 30′ E. our latitude was 32° 50′; longitude, by account, 100′ W. I began now to keep the ship to the northward, as we had no chance of getting westing in this latitude; and the surgeon was of opinion, that in a little time the sick would so much increase, that we should want hands to work the ship, if we could not get into better weather.
On the third of May, about four in the afternoon, we had an observation of the sun and moon, by which we found our longitude to be 96° 26′ W. the variation by the azimuth was 5° 44′ E. at six in the evening, and at six the next morning, it was 5° 58′ E. Our latitude, this day at noon, was 28° 20′ S. At four in the afternoon we had several observations for the longitude, and found it to be 96° 21′ W.; at seven in the evening, the variation was 6° 40′ E. by the azimuth, and the next morning at 10 it was, by amplitude, 5° 48′ E.; at three in the afternoon, the variation, by amplitude, was 7° 40′ E. This day we saw a tropic bird.
At six o'clock in the morning, of Friday the eighth of May, the variation of the needle, by amplitude, was 7° 11′ E. In the afternoon we saw several sheerwaters and sea swallows. At eight in the morning of the 9th, the variation by --page 421-- azimuth was 6° 34′ E. and in the morning of the 11th, by azimuth and amplitude, it was 40° 40′ E. Our latitude was 27° 28′ S. longitude, by account, 106° W. This day, and the next, we saw several sea swallows, sheerwaters, and porpoises, about the ship.
On the 14th of May, the variation, by four azimuths, was 2° E. About four o'clock in the afternoon, we saw a large flock of brown birds, slying to the eastward, and something which had the appearance of high land, in the same quarter. We bore away for it till sun-set, and it still having the same appearance, we continued our course; but at two in the morning, having run 18 leagues without making it, we hauled the wind, and at day-light nothing was to be seen. We had now the satisfaction to find our ailing people mend apace. Our latitude was 24° 50′ S. our longitude, by account, 106° W. During all this time, we were looking out for the Swallow.
At four in the afternoon of the 16th, the variation, by azimuth and amplitude, was 6° E. and at six the next morning, by four azimuths, it was 3° 20′.
The carpenters were now employed in caulking the upper works of the ship, and repairing and painting the boats, and on the 18th, I gave a sheep among the people that were sick and recovering.
On Wednesday the 20th, we found our longitude, by observation, to be 106° 47′ W. and our latitude 20° 52′ S.
The next day we saw several flying fish, which were the first we had seen in these seas.
On the 22d, our longitude, by observation, was 111° W. and our latitude 20° 18′ S. and this day we saw some bonettoes, dolphins, and tropic birds.--page 422--
The people who had been recovering from colds and fevers, now began to fall down in the scurvy, upon which, at the surgeon's representation, wine was served to them: wort was also made for them of malt, and each man had half a pint of pickled cabbage every day. The variation from 4 to 5 E.
On the 26th we saw two grampuses; on the 28th we saw another, and the next day several birds, among which was one about the size of a swallow, which some of us thought was a land bird .
Our men now began to look very pale and sickly, and to fall down very fast in the scurvy, notwithstanding all our care and attention to prevent it. They had vinegar and mustard without limitation, wine instead of spirits, sweet wort and salop. Portable soup was still constantly boiled in their peas and oatmeal; their birth and cloaths were kept perfectly clean; the hammocks were constantly brought upon the deck at eight o'clock in the morning, and carried down at four in the afternoon. Some of the beds and hammocks were washed every day; the water was rendered wholesome by ventilation, and every part between decks frequently washed with vinegar.
On Sunday the 31st of May, our longitude, by observation, was 127° 45′ W. our latitude 29° 38′ S. and the variation, by azimuth and amplitude, 5° 9′ E.
The next day, at three in the afternoon, our longitude, by observation, was 129° 15′ W. and our latitude 19° 34′ S. We had squally weather, with much lightning and rain, and saw several men of war birds.
On the 3d, we saw several gannets, which, with the uncertainty of the weather, inclined us to hope that land was not --page 423-- very far distant. The next day a turtle swam close by the ship; on the 5th we saw many birds, which confirmed our hope that some place of refreshment was near, and at 11 o'clock in the forenoon of the 6th, Jonathan Puller, a seaman, called out from the mast-head, "Land in the W. N. W." At noon it was seen plainly from the deck, and found to be a low island, at about five or six leagues distance. The joy which every one on board felt at this discovery, can be conceived by those only who have experienced the danger, sickness, and fatigue of such a voyage as we had performed.
When we were within about five miles of this island, we saw another, bearing N. W. by W. About three o'clock in the afternoon, being very near the island that was first discovered, we brought to, and I sent Mr. Faurneaux, my second lieutenant, my first lieutenant being very ill, with the boats manned and armed, to the shore. As he approached it, we saw two canoes put off, and paddle away with great expedition towards the island that lay to leeward. At seven in the evening the boats returned, and brought with them several cocoa nuts, and a considerable quantity of scurvy-grass; they brought also some fish hooks, that were made of oyster-shells, and some of the shells of which they were made . They reported that they had seen none of the inhabitants, but had visited three huts, or rather sheds, consisting only of a roof, neatly thatched with cocoa nut and palm leaves, supported upon posts, and open all round. They saw also several canoes building, but found no fresh water, nor any fruit but cocoa nuts. They sounded, but found no anchorage, and it was with great difficulty that they got on shore, as the surf ran very high. Having received this account, I stood off and on all night, and early the next morning I sent the boats out again to sound, with orders, if possible, to find a place where the ship might come to an --page 424-- anchor; but at 11 o'clock they returned, with no better success than before. The people told me that the whole island was surrounded by a reef, and that although on the weather side of the island there was an opening through it, into a large bason, that extended to the middle of the island, yet they found it so full of breakers, that they could not venture in; neither indeed had they been able to land on any part of the island, the surf running still higher than it had done the day before. As it would therefore answer no purpose to continue here, I hoisted the boats in, and stood away for the other island, which bore S. 22° E. distant about four leagues. The island which I now quitted, having been discovered on Whitsun-eve, I called it WHITSUN ISLAND. It is about four miles long, and three wide. Its latitude is 19° 26′ S. and its longitude, by observation, 137° 56′ W.
When we came under the lee of the other island, I sent Lieutenant Furneaux, with the boats manned and armed, to the shore, where I saw about fifty of the natives armed with long pikes, and several of them running about with firebrands in their hands. I ordered Mr. Furneaux to go to that part of the beach where we saw the people, and endeavour to traffick with them for fruit and water, or whatever else might be useful; at the same time, being particularly careful to give them no offence. I ordered him also to employ the boats in sounding for anchorage. About seven o'clock he returned, and told me that he could find no ground with the line, till he came within half a cable's length of the shore, and that there it consisted of sharp rocks, and lay very deep.
As the boat approached the shore, the Indians thronged down towards the beach, and put themselves upon their guard with their long pikes, as if to dispute the landing. Our men then lay upon their oars, and made signs of friendship, --page 425-- shewing at the same time several strings of beads, ribands, knives, and other trinkets. The Indians still made signs to our people that they should depart, but at the same time eyed the trinkets with a kind of wishful curiosity. Soon after some of them advanced a few steps into the sea, and our people making signs that they wanted cocoa nuts and water, some of them brought down a small quantity of both, and ventured to hand them into the boat: the water was in cocoa nut-shells, and the fruit was stripped of its outward covering, which is probably used for various purposes. For this supply they were paid with the trinkets that had been shewed them, and some nails, upon which they seemed to set a much greater value. During this traffick, one of the Indians found means to steal a silk handkerchief, in which some of our small merchandize was wrapped up, and carried it clear off, with its contents, so dexterously, that no body observed him. Our people made signs that a handkerchief had been stolen, but they either could not, or would not understand them. The boat continued about the beach, sounding for anchorage, till it was dark; and having many times endeavoured to persuade the natives to bring down some scurvy-grass, without success, she returned on board.
I stood off and on with the ship all night, and as soon as the day broke, I sent the boats again, with orders to make a landing, but without giving any offence to the natives, that could possibly be avoided. When our boats came near the shore, the officer was greatly surprised to see seven large canoes, with two stout masts in each, lying just in the surf, with all the inhabitants upon the beach, ready to embark. They made signs to our people to go higher up; they readily complied, and as soon as they went ashore, all the Indians embarked, and sailed away to the westward, being joined --page 426-- by two other canoes at the west end of the island. About noon, the boats returned, laden with cocoa nuts, palm nuts, and scurvy-grass. Mr. Furneaux, who commanded the expedition, told me that the Indians had left nothing behind them but four or five canoes. He found a well of very good water, and described the island as being sandy and level, full of trees, but without underwood, and abounding with scurvy-grass. The canoes, which steered about W. S. W. as long as they could be seen from the mast-head, appeared to be about thirty feet long, four feet broad, and three and an half deep. Two of these being brought along side of each other, were fastened together, at the distance of about three feet asunder, by cross beams, passing from the larboard gunwale of one, to the starboard gunwale of the other, in the middle and near to each end.
The inhabitants of this island were of a middle stature, and dark complexion, with long black hair, which hung loose over their shoulders. The men were well made, and the women handsome. Their cloathing was a kind of coarse cloth or matting, which was fastened about their middle, and seemed capable of being brought up round their shoulders.
In the afternoon, I sent Lieutenant Furneaux with the boats again on shore. He had with him a mate and twenty men, who were to make a rolling way for getting the casks down to the beach from the well. I gave orders that he should take possession of the island, in the name of King George the Third, and give it the name of QUEEN CHARLOTTE's ISLAND, in honour of her Majesty. The boats returned freighted with cocoa nuts and scurvy-grass, and the officer told me that he had found two more wells of good water, not far from the beach. I was at this time very ill, yet I went ashore with the Surgeon, and several of the people, --page 427-- who were enfeebled by the scurvy, to take a walk. I found the wells so convenient, that I left the mate and twenty men on shore to fill water, and ordered a week's provisions to be sent them from the ship, they being already furnished with arms and ammunition. In the evening I returned on board, with the Surgeon and the sick, leaving only the waterers on shore. As we had not been able to find any anchorage, I stood off and on all night.
In the morning, I sent all the empty water casks on shore: the Surgeon and the sick were also sent for the benefit of another airing, but I gave them strict orders that they should keep near the water-side, and in the shade; that they should not pull down or injure any of the houses, nor, for the sake of the fruit, destroy the cocoa trees, which I appointed proper persons to climb. At noon, the rolling-way being made, the cutter returned laden with water, but it was with great difficulty got off the beach, as it is all rock, and the surf that breaks upon it, is often very great. At four, I received another boat-load of water, and a fresh supply of cocoa nuts, palm nuts, and scurvy-grass; the Surgeon also returned with the sick men, who received much benefit from their walk. The next morning, as soon as it was light, I dispatched orders to the mate, to send all the water that was filled on board, and to be ready to come off with his people when the boats should return again, bringing with them as many cocoa nuts, and as much scurvy-grass as they could procure. About eight o'clock, all the boats and people came on board, with the water and refreshments, but the cutter, in coming off, shipped a sea, which almost filled her with water: the barge was happily near enough to assist her, by taking great part of her crew on board, while the rest freed her, without any other damage than the loss of the cocoa nuts, and greens that were on --page 428-- board. At noon, I hoisted the boats in, and there being a great sea, with a dreadful surf rolling in upon the shore, and no anchorage, I thought it prudent to leave this place, with such refreshments as we had got. The people who had resided on shore, saw no appearance of metal of any kind, but several tools, which were made of shells and stones, sharpened and fitted into handles, like adzes, chissels, and awls. They saw several canoes building, which are formed of planks, sewed together, and fastened to several small timbers, that pass transversely along the bottom and up the sides. They saw several repositories of the dead, in which the body was left to putrefy under a canopy, and not put into the ground.
When we sailed, we left a union jack flying upon the island, with the ship's name, the time of our being here, and an account of our taking possession of this place, and Whitsun Island, in the name of his Britannic Majesty, cut on a piece of wood, and in the bark of several trees.We also left some hatchets, nails, glass bottles, beads, shillings, sixpences, and halfpence, as presents to the natives, and an atonement for the disturbance we had given them. Queen Charlotte's Island is about six miles long, and one mile wide, lies in latitude 19° 18′ S. longitude, by observation, 138° 4′ W. and we found the variation here to be 4° 46′ E.
We made sail with a fine breeze, and about one o'clock, saw an island W. by S. Queen Charlotte's Island, at this time bearing E. by N. distant 15 miles. At half an hour after three, we were within about three quarters of a mile of the east end of the island, and ran close along the shore, but had no soundings. The east and west ends are joined to each other by a reef of rocks, over which the sea breaks into a lagoon, in the middle of the island, which, therefore, had --page 429-- the appearance of two islands, and seemed to be about six miles long, and four broad. The whole of it is low land, full of trees, but we saw not a single cocoa nut, nor any huts: we found, however, at the westermost end, all the canoes and people who had fled, at our approach, from Queen Charlotte's Island, and some more. We counted eight double canoes, and about, fourscore people, men, women, and children. The canoes were drawn upon the beach, the women and children were placed near them, and the men advanced with their pikes and firebrands, making a great noise, and dancing in a strange manner. We observed that this island was sandy, and that under the trees there was no verdure. As the shore was every where rocky, as there was no anchorage, and as we had no prospect of obtaining any refreshment here, I set sail at six o'clock in the evening, from this island, to which I gave the name of EGMONT ISLAND, in honour of the Earl of Egmont, who was then first Lord of the Admiralty. It lies in latitude 19° 20′ S. longitude, by observation, 138° 30′ W.
At one o'clock, on the 11th, we saw an island in the W. S. W. and stood for it. At four in the afternoon, we were within a quarter of a mile of the shore, and ran along it, sounding continually, but could get no ground. It is surrounded on every side by rocks, on which the sea breaks very high. It is full of trees, but not one cocoa nut, and has much the same appearance with Egmont island, but is much narrower. Among the rocks, at the west end, we saw about sixteen of the natives, but no canoes: they carried long pikes or poles in their hands, and seemed to be, in every respect, the same kind of people that we had seen before. As nothing was to be had here, and it blew very hard, I made sail till eight in the evening, and then brought to. To this island, which is about six miles long, and from --page 430-- one mile to one quarter of a mile broad, I gave the name of GLOUCESTER ISLAND, in honour of his Royal Highness the Duke. It lies in latitude 19° 11′ S. and longitude, by observation, 140° 4′ W.
At five o'clock in the morning, we made sail, and soon after saw another island. At 10 o'clock, the weather being tempestuous, with much rain, we saw a long reef, with breakers on each side of the island, and therefore brought the ship to, with her head off the shore. To this island, which lies in latitude 19° 18′ S. longitude, by observation, 140° 36′ W. I gave the name of CUMBERLAND ISLAND, in honour of his Royal Highness the Duke. It lies low, and is about the same size as Queen Charlotte's Island. We found the variation of the needle here to be 7° 10′ E. As I had no hope of finding any refreshment here, I stood on to the westward.
At day-break, on Saturday the 13th, we saw another small low island, in the N. N. W. right to windward. It had the appearance of small flat keys. This place I called PRINCE WILLIAM HENRY's ISLAND, in honour of his Majesty's third son. It lies in latitude 19° S. longitude, by observation, 141° 6′ W. I made no stay here, hoping, that to the westward I should find higher land, where the ship might come to an anchor, and such refreshments as we wanted be procured.
Soon after day-light, on the 17th, we saw land bearing W. by N. and making in a small round hummock. At noon, when it bore N. 64. W. distant about five leagues, its appearance greatly resembled the Mewstone in Plymouth Sound, but it seemed to be much larger. We found the ship this day, 20 miles to the northward of her reckoning, which I imputed to a great S. W. swell.--page 431--
At five in the evening, this island bore N. W. distant about eight miles. I then hauled the wind, and stood on and off all night. At ten, we saw a light upon the shore, which, though the island was small, proved that it was inhabited, and gave us hopes that we should find anchorage near it. We observed with great pleasure, that the land was very high, and covered with cocoa trees; a sure sign that there was water.
The next morning, I sent Lieutenant Furneaux to the shore, with the boats manned and armed, and all kinds of trinkets, to establish a traffick with the natives, for such refreshment as the place would afford. I gave him orders also to find, if possible, an anchoring place for the ship. While we were getting out the boats, several canoes put off from the island, but as soon as the people on board saw them make towards the shore, they put back. At noon, the boats returned, and brought with them a pig and a cock, with a few plantains and cocoa nuts. Mr. Furneaux reported, that he had seen at least an hundred of the inhabitants, and believed there were many more upon the island; but that having been all round it, he could find no anchorage, nor scarcely a landing-place for the boat. When he reached the shore, he came to a grapling, and threw a warp to the Indians upon the beach, who caught it and held it fast. He then began to converse with them by signs, and observed that they had no weapon among them, but that some of them had white sticks, which seemed to be ensigns of authority, as the people who bore them kept the rest of the natives back. In return for the pig and the cock, he gave them some beads, a looking-glass, a few combs, with several other trinkets, and a hatchet. The women, who had been kept at a distance, as soon as they saw the trinkets, ran down in a croud to the beach, with great eagerness, but were soon driven away by --page 432-- the men, at which they expressed much disappointment and vexation. While this traffick was carrying on, a man came secretly round a rock, and diving down, took up the boat's grappling, and at the same time, the people on shore who held the warp, made an effort to draw her into the surf. As soon as this was perceived by the people on board, they fixed a musket over the man's head who had taken up the grappling, upon which he instantly let it go, with marks of great terror and astonishment; the people on shore also let go the rope. The boats after this, lay some time upon their oars, but the officer finding that he could get nothing more, returned on board. Mr. Furneaux told me that both the men and women were cloathed, and he brought a piece of their cloth away with him. The inhabitants appeared to him to be more numerous than the island could support, and for this reason, especially as he saw some large double canoes upon the beach, he imagined there were islands of larger extent, not far distant, where refreshments in greater plenty might be procured, and hoped that they might be less difficult of access. As I thought this a reasonable conjecture, I hoisted in the boats, and determined to run farther to the westward. To this place, which is nearly circular, and about two miles over, I gave the name of OSNABURGH ISLAND, in honour of Prince Frederick, who is bishop of that see. It lies in latitude 17° 51′ S. and longitude 147° 30′ W.; the variation here was 7° 10′ E.
CHAP. V. An Account of the Discovery of King George the Third's Island, or Otaheite, and of several Incidents which happened both on board the Ship, and on Shore.--page 433--
AT two o'clock, the same day, we bore away, and in about half an hour, discovered very high land in the W. S. W. At seven in the evening, Osnaburgh Island bore E. N. E. and the new discovered land, from W. N. W. to W. by S. As the weather was thick and squally, we brought to for the night, or at least till the fog should break away. At two in the morning, it being very clear, we made sail again; at day-break we saw the land, at about five leagues distance, and steered directly for it; but at eight o'clock, when we were close under it, the fog obliged us again to lie to, and when it cleared away, we were much surprised to find ourselves surrounded by some hundreds of canoes. They were of different sizes, and had on board different numbers, from one to ten, so that in all of them together, there could not be less than eight hundred people. When they came within pistol shot of the ship, they lay by, gazing at us with great astonishment, and by turns conferring with each other. In the mean time we shewed them trinkets of various kinds, and invited them on board. Soon after, they drew together, and held a kind of council, to determine what should be done: then they all paddled round the ship, making signs of friendship, and one of them holding up a branch of the plantain tree, made a speech that lasted near a quarter of an --page 434-- hour, and then threw it into the sea. Soon after, as we continued to make signs of invitation, a fine, stout, lively young man ventured on board: he came up by the mizen chains, and jumped out of the shrouds upon the top of the awning. We made signs to him to come down upon the quarter-deck, and handed up some trinkets to him: he looked pleased, but would accept of nothing till some of the Indians came along side, and after much talk, threw a few branches of plantain tree on board the ship. He then accepted our presents, and several others very soon came on board, at different parts of the ship, not knowing the proper entrance. As one of these Indians was standing near the gang-way, on the larboard side of the quarter-deck, one of our goats butted him upon the haunches: being surprised at the blow, he turned hastily about, and saw the goat raised upon his hind-legs, ready to repeat the blow. The appearance of this animal, so different from any he had ever seen, struck him with such terror, that he instantly leaped over board; and all the rest, upon seeing what had happened, followed his example with the utmost precipitation: they recovered however, in a short time, from their fright, and returned on board. After having a little reconciled them to our goats and sheep, I shewed them our hogs and poultry, and they immediately made signs that they had such animals as these. I then distributed trinkets and nails among them, and made signs that they should go on shore and bring us some of their hogs, fowls and fruit, but they did not seem to understand my meaning: they were, in the mean time, watching an opportunity to steal some of the things that happened to lie in their way, but we generally detected them in the attempt. At last, however, one of the midshipmen happened to come where they were standing, with a new laced hat upon his head, and began to talk to --page 435-- one of them by signs: while he was thus engaged, another of them came behind him, and suddenly snatching off the hat, leaped over the taffarel into the sea, and swam away with it.
As we had no anchorage here, we stood along the shore, sending the boats at the same time to sound at a less distance. As none of these canoes had sails, they could not keep up with us, and therefore soon paddled back towards the shore. The country has the most delightful and romantic appearance that can be imagined: towards the sea it is level, and is covered with fruit trees of various kinds, particularly the cocoa nut. Among these are the houses of the inhabitants, consisting only of a roof, and at a distance having greatly the appearance of a long barn. The country within, at about the distance of three miles, rises into lofty hills, that are crowned with wood, and terminate in peaks, from which large rivers are precipitated into the sea. We saw no shoals, but found the island skirted by a reef of rocks, through which there are several openings into deep water. About three o'clock in the afternoon, we brought to, a-breast of a large bay, where there was an appearance of anchorage. The boats were immediately sent to sound it, and while they were thus employed, I observed a great number of canoes gather round them. I suspected that the Indians had a design to attack them, and as I was very desirous to prevent mischief, I made the signal for the boats to come aboard, and at the same time, to intimidate the Indians, I fired a nine pounder over their heads. As soon as the cutter began to stand towards the ship, the Indians in their canoes, though they had been startled by the thunder of our nine pounder, endeavoured to cut her off. The boat, however, sailing faster than the canoes could paddle, soon got clear of those that were about her; but some others, that --page 436-- were full of men, way-laid her in her course, and threw several stones into her, which wounded some of the people. Upon this, the officer on board fired a musquet, loaded with buck-shot, at the man who threw the first stone, and wounded him in the shoulder. The rest of the people in the canoes, as soon as they perceived their companion wounded, leapt into the sea, and the other canoes paddled away, in great terror and confusion. As soon as the boats reached the ship, they were hoisted on board, and just as she was about to stand on, we observed a large canoe, under sail, making after us. As I thought she might have some Chief on board, or might have been dispatched to bring me a message from some Chief, I determined to wait for her. She sailed very fast, and was soon along side of the ship, but we did not observe among those on board, any one that seemed to have an authority over the rest. One of them, however, stood up, and having made a speech, which continued about five minutes, threw on board a branch of the plantain tree. We understood this to be a token of peace, and we returned it, by handing over one of the branches of plantain that had been left on board by our first visitors: with this and some toys, that were afterwards presented to him, he appeared to be much gratified, and after a short time, went away.
The officers who had been sent out with the boats, informed me that they had sounded close to the reef, and found as great a depth of water as at the other islands: however, as I was now on the weather side of the island, I had reason to expect anchorage in running to leeward. I therefore took this course, but finding breakers that ran off to a great distance from the south-end of the island, I hauled the wind, and continued turning to windward all night, in order to run down on the east side of the island.--page 437--
At five o'clock in the morning, we made sail, the land bearing N. W. by W. distant 10 leagues; and there seemed to be land five leagues beyond it, to the N. E.; a remarkable peak, like a sugar loaf, bore N. N. E. when we were about two leagues from the shore, which afforded a most delightful prospect, and was full of houses and inhabitants. We saw several large canoes near the shore, under sail, but they did not steer towards the ship. At noon, we were within two or three miles of the island, and it then bore from S. ¾ W. to N. W. by W. We continued our course along the shore, sometimes at the distance of half a mile, and sometimes at the distance of four or five miles, but hitherto had got no soundings. At six o'clock in the evening, we were a-breast of a fine river, and the coast having a better appearance here than in any other part that we had seen, I determined to stand off and on all night, and try for anchorage in the morning. As soon as it was dark, we saw a great number of lights all along the shore. At day-break, we sent out the boats to sound, and soon after, they made the signal for 20 fathom. This produced an universal joy, which it is not easy to describe, and we immediately ran in, and came to an anchor in 17 fathom, with a clear sandy bottom. We lay about a mile distant from the shore, opposite to a fine run of water; the extreams of the land bearing from E. S. E. to N. W. by W. As soon as we had secured the ship, I sent the boats to sound along the coast, and look at the place where we saw the water. At this time, a considerable number of canoes came off to the ship, and brought with them hogs, fowls, and fruit in great plenty, which we purchased for trinkets and nails. But when the boats made towards the shore, the canoes, most of which were double, and very large, sailed after them. At first they kept at a distance, but as the boats approached the --page 438-- shore, they grew bolder, and at last three of the largest ran at the cutter, staved in her quarter, and carried away her out-rigger, the Indians preparing at the same time to board her, with their clubs and paddles in their hands. Our people being thus pressed, were obliged to fire, by which one of the assailants was killed, and another much wounded. Upon receiving the shot, they both fell overboard, and all the people who were in the same canoe, instantly leaped into the sea after them: the other two canoes dropped a-stern, and our boats went on without any farther interruption. As soon as the Indians, who were in the water, saw that the boats stood on without attempting to do them any farther hurt, they recovered their canoe, and hauled in their wounded companions. They set them both upon their feet to see if they could stand, and finding they could not, they tried whether they could sit upright: one of them could, and him they supported in that posture, but perceiving that the other was quite dead, they laid the body along at the bottom of the canoe. After this some of the canoes went ashore, and others returned again to the ship to traffick, which is a proof that our conduct had convinced them that while they behaved peaceably they had nothing to fear, and that they were conscious they had brought the mischief which had just happened upon themselves.
The boats continued sounding till noon, when they returned with an account that the ground was very clear; that it was at the depth of five fathom, within a quarter of a mile of the shore, but that there was a very great surf where we had seen the water. The officers told me, that the inhabitants swarmed upon the beach, and that many of them swam off to the boat with fruit, and bamboos filled with water. They said that they were very importunate with them to come on shore, particularly the women, who came down to the --page 439-- beach, and stripping themselves naked, endeavoured to allure them by many wanton gestures, the meaning of which could not possibly be mistaken. At this time, however, our people resisted the temptation.
In the afternoon, I sent the boats again to the shore, with some barecas, or small casks, which are filled at the head, and have a handle by which they are carried, to endeavour to procure some water, of which we began to be in great want. In the mean time, many of the canoes continued about the ship, but the Indians had been guilty of so many thefts, that I would not suffer any more of them to come on board.
At five in the evening, the boats returned with only two barecas of water, which the natives had filled for them; and as a compensation for their trouble, they thought fit to detain all the rest. Our people, who did not leave their boat, tried every expedient they could think of to induce the Indians to return their water vessels, but without success; and the Indians, in their turn, were very pressing for our people to come on shore, which they thought it prudent to decline. There were many thousands of the inhabitants of both sexes, and a great number of children on the beach, when our boats came away.
The next morning, I sent the boats on shore again for water, with nails, hatchets, and such other things as I thought most likely to gain the friendship of the inhabitants. In the mean time, a great number of canoes came off to the ship, with bread-fruit*, plantains, a fruit resembling an apple only better, fowls, and hogs, which we purchased with beads, nails, knives, and other articles of the like kind, so --page 440-- that we procured pork enough to serve the ship's company two days, at a pound a man.
When the boats returned, they brought us only a few calibashes of water, for the number of people on the beach was so great, that they would not venture to land, though the young women repeated the allurements which they had practised the day before, with still more wanton, and, if possible, less equivocal gestures. Fruit and provisions of various kinds were brought down and ranged upon the beach, of which our people were also invited to partake, as an additional inducement for them to leave the boat. They continued, however, inexorable, and shewing the Indians the barecas on board, made signs that they should bring down those which had been detained the day before: to this the Indians were inexorable in their turn, and our people therefore weighed their grapplings, and sounded all round the place, to see whether the ship could come in near enough to cover the waterers, in which case they might venture on shore, in defiance of the whole island. When they put off, the women pelted them with apples and bananas, shouting, and shewing every mark of derision and contempt that they could devise. They reported, that the ship might ride in four fathom water, with sandy ground, at two cables' length from the shore, and in five fathom water at three cables' length. The wind here blew right along the shore, raising a great surf on the side of the vessel, and on the beach.
At day-break, the next morning, we weighed, with a design to anchor off the watering-place. As we were standing off, to get farther to windward, we discovered a bay about six or eight miles to leeward, over the land, from the --page 441-- mast-head, and immediately bore away for it, sending the boats a-head to sound. At nine o'clock, the boats making the signal for 12 fathom, we hauled round a reef, and stood in, with a design to come to an anchor; but when we came near the boats, one of which was on each bow, the ship struck. Her head continued immoveable, but her stern was free; and, upon casting the lead, we found the depth of water, upon the reef or shoal, to be from 17 fathom to two and a half: we clewed all up as fast as possible, and cleared the ship of what lumber there happened to be upon the deck, at the same time getting out the long-boat, with the stream and kedge anchors, the stream cable and hauser, in order to carry them without the reef, that when they had taken ground, the ship might be drawn off towards them, by applying a great force to the capstern, but unhappily without the reef we had no bottom. Our condition was now very alarming, the ship continued beating against the rock with great force, and we were surrounded by many hundred canoes, full of men: they did not, however, attempt to come on board us, but seemed to wait in expectation of our shipwreck. In the anxiety and terror of such a situation we continued near an hour, without being able to do any thing for our deliverance, except staving some water casks in the fore-hold, when a breeze happily springing up from the shore, the ship's head swung off. We immediately pressed her with all the sail we could make; upon which she began to move, and was very soon once more in deep water.
We now stood off, and the boats being sent to leeward, found that the reef ran down to the westward about a mile and a half, and that beyond it there was a very good harbour. The master, after having placed a boat at the end of the reef, and furnished the long-boat with anchor and hausers, --page 442-- and a guard to defend her from an attack of the Indians, came on board, and piloted the ship round the reef into the harbour, where, about twelve o'clock, she came to an anchor in 17 fathom water, with a fine bottom of black sand.
The place where the ship struck appeared, upon farther examination, to be a reef of sharp coral rock, with very unequal soundings, from six fathom to two; and it happened unfortunately to lie between the two boats that were placed as a direction to the ship, the weathermost boat having 12 fathom, and the leewardmost nine. The wind freshened almost as soon as we got off, and though it soon became calm again, the surf ran so high, and broke with such violence upon the rock, that if the ship had continued fast half an hour longer, she must inevitably have been beaten to pieces. Upon examining her bottom, we could not discover that she had received any damage, except that a small piece was beaten off the bottom of the rudder. She did not appear to admit any water, but the trussle-trees, at the head of all the masts, were broken short, which we supposed to have happened while she was beating against the rock. Our boats lost their grapplings upon the reef, but as we had reason to hope that the ship was sound, they gave us very little concern. As soon as the ship was secured, I sent the master, with all the boats manned and armed, to sound the upper part of the bay, that if he found good anchorage we might warp the ship up within the reef, and anchor her in safety. The weather was now very pleasant, a great number of canoes were upon the reef, and the shore was crouded with people.
About four in the afternoon the master returned, and reported, that there was every where good anchorage; I therefore determined to warp the ship up the bay early in --page 443-- the morning, and in the mean time, I put the people at four watches, one watch to be always under arms; loaded and primed all the guns, fixed musquetoons in all the boats, and ordered all the people who were not upon the watch, to repair to the quarters assigned them, at a moment's warning there being a great number of canoes, some of them very large, and full of men, hovering upon the shore, and many smaller venturing to the ship, with hogs, fowls, and fruit, which we purchased of them, much to the satisfaction of both parties; and at sun-set, all the canoes rowed in to the shore.
At six o'clock the next morning, we began to warp the ship up the harbour, and soon after, a great number of canoes came under her stern. As I perceived that they had hogs, fowls, and fruit on board, I ordered the gunner, and two midshipmen, to purchase them for knives, nails, beads, and other trinkets, at the same time prohibiting the trade to all other persons on board. By eight o'clock, the number of canoes was greatly increased, and those that came last up were double, of a very large size, with twelve or fifteen stout men in each. I observed, with some concern, that they appeared to be furnished rather for war than trade, having very little on board except round pebble stones; I therefore sent for Mr. Furneaux, my first lieutenant being still very ill, and ordered him to keep the fourth watch constantly at their arms, while the rest of the people were warping the ship. In the mean time more canoes were continually coming off from the shore, which were freighted very differently from the rest, for they had on board a number of women who were placed in a row, and who, when they came near the ship, made all the wanton gestures that can be conceived. While these ladies were practising their allurements, the large canoes, which were freighted with --page 444-- stones, drew together very close round the ship, some of the men on board singing in a hoarse voice, some blowing conchs, and some playing on a flute. After some time, a man who sat upon a canopy that was fixed on one of the large double canoes, made signs that he wished to come up to the ship's side; I immediately intimated my consent, and when he came along side, he gave one of the men a bunch of red and yellow feathers, making signs that he should carry it to me. I received it with expressions of amity, and immediately got some trinkets to present him in return, but to my great surprise he had put off to a little distance from the ship, and upon his throwing up the branch of a cocoa-nut tree, there was an universal shout from all the canoes, which at once moved towards the ship, and a shower of stones was poured into her on every side. As an attack was now begun, in which our arms only could render us superior to the multitude that assailed us, especially as great part of the ship's company was in a sick and feeble condition, I ordered the guard to fire; two of the quarter-deck guns, which I had loaded with small shot, were also fired nearly at the same time, and the Indians appeared to be thrown into some confusion: in a few minutes, however, they renewed the attack, and all our people that were able to come upon deck, having by this time got to their quarters, I ordered them to fire the great guns, and to play some of them constantly at a place on shore, where a great number of canoes were still taking in men, and pushing off towards the ship with the utmost expedition. When the great guns began to fire, there were not less than three hundred canoes about the ship, having on board at least two thousand men; many thousands were also upon the shore, and more canoes coming from every quarter: the firing, however, soon drove away the canoes that were about the ship, and put a stop to the --page 445-- coming off of others. As soon as I saw some of them retreating, and the rest quiet, I ordered the firing to cease, hoping that they were sufficiently convinced of our superiority, not to renew the contest. In this, however, I was unhappily mistaken: a great number of the canoes that had been dispersed, soon drew together again, and lay some time on their paddles, looking at the ship from the distance of about a quarter of a mile, and then suddenly hoisting white streamers, pulled towards the ship's stern, and began again to throw stones, with great force and dexterity, by the help of slings, from a considerable distance: each of these stones weighed about two pounds, and many of them wounded the people on board, who would have suffered much more, if an awning had not been spread over the whole deck to keep out the sun, and the hammocks placed in the nettings. At the same time several canoes, well manned, were making towards the ship's bow, having probably taken notice that no shot had been fired from this part: I therefore ordered some guns forward, to be well pointed and fired at these canoes; at the same time running out two guns abaft, and pointing them well at the canoes that were making the attack. Among the canoes that were coming toward the bow, there was one which appeared to have some Chief on board, as it was by signals made from her, that the others had been called together: it happened that a shot, fired from the guns forward, hit this canoe so full as to cut it asunder. As soon as this was observed by the rest, they dispersed with such haste that in half an hour there was not a single canoe to be seen; the people also who had crouded the shore, immediately fled over the hills with the utmost precipitation.
Having now no reason to fear any further interruption, we warped the ship up the harbour, and by noon, we were --page 446-- not more than half a mile from the upper part of the bay, within less than two cables' length of a fine river, and about two and a half of the reef. We had here nine fathom water, and close to the shore there were five. We moored the ship, and carried out the stream-anchor, with the two shroud hausers, for a spring, to keep the ship's broad-side a-breast of the river; we also got up and mounted the eight guns which had been put into the hold. As soon as this was done, the boats were employed in sounding all round the bay, and in examining the shore where any of the inhabitants appeared, in order to discover, whether it was probable that they would give us any further disturbance. All the afternoon, and part of the next morning, was spent in this service; and about noon, the master returned, with a tolerable survey of the place, and reported, that there were no canoes in sight; that there was good landing on every part of the beach; that there was nothing in the bay from which danger could be apprehended, except the reef, and some rocks at the upper end, which appeared above water; and that the river, though it emptied itself on the other side of the point, was fresh water.
Soon after the master had brought me this account, I sent Mr. Furneaux again, with all the boats manned and armed, the marines being also put on board, with orders to land opposite to our station, and secure himself, under cover of the boats and the ship, in the clearest ground he could find. About two o'clock the boats landed without any opposition, and Mr. Furneaux stuck up a staff, upon which he hoisted a pendant, turned a turf, and took possession of the island in his Majesty's name, in honour of whom he called it KING GEORGE THE THIRD's ISLAND: he then went to the river, and tasted the water, which he found excellent, and mixing some of it with rum, every man drank his Majesty's health. --page 447-- While he was at the river, which was about twelve yards wide, and fordable, he saw two old men on the opposite side of it, who perceiving that they were discovered, put themselves in a supplicatory posture, and seemed to be in great terror and confusion. Mr. Furneaux made signs that they should come over the river, and one of them complied. When he landed, he came forward, creeping upon his hands and knees, but Mr. Furneaux raised him up, and while he stood trembling, shewed him some of the stones that were thrown at the ship, and endeavoured to make him apprehend that if the natives attempted no mischief against us, we should do no harm to them. He ordered two of the water casks to be filled, to shew the Indian that we wanted water, and produced some hatchets, and other things, to intimate that he wished to trade for provisions. The old man, during this pantomimical conversation, in some degree recovered his spirits; and Mr. Furneaux, to confirm his professions of friendship, gave him a hatchet, some nails, beads, and other trifles; after which he reimbarked on board the boats, and left the pendant flying. As soon as the boats were put off, the old man went up to the pendant, and danced round it a considerable time: he then retired, but soon after returned with some green boughs, which he threw down, and retired a second time: it was not long, however, before he appeared again, with about a dozen of the inhabitants, and putting themselves in a supplicating posture, they all approached the pendant in a slow pace, but the wind happening to move it, when they were got close to it, they suddenly retreated with the greatest precipitation. After standing some time at a distance, and gazing at it, they went away, but in a short time came back, with two large hogs alive, which they laid down at the foot of the staff, and at length taking courage, they began to dance. When they had performed --page 448-- this ceremony, they brought the hogs down to the water side, launched a canoe, and put them on board. The old man, who had a large white beard, then embarked with them alone, and brought them to the ship: when he came along side, he made a set speech, and afterwards handed in several green plantain leaves, one by one, uttering a sentence, in a solemn slow tone, with each of them as he delivered it; after this he sent on board the two hogs, and then turning round, pointed to the land. I ordered some presents to be given him, but he would accept of nothing; and soon after put off his canoe, and went on shore.
At night, soon after it was dark, we heard the noise of many drums, with conchs, and other wind instruments, and saw a multitude of lights all along the coast. At six in the morning, seeing none of the natives on shore, and observing that the pendant was taken away, which probably they had learnt to despise, as the frogs in the fable did King Log, I ordered the lieutenant to take a guard on shore, and if all was well, to send off, that we might begin watering: in a short time I had the satisfaction to find that he had sent off for water casks, and by eight o'clock, we had four tons of water on board. While our people were employed in filling the casks, several of the natives appeared on the opposite side of the river, with the old man whom the officer had seen the day before; and soon after he came over, and brought with him a little fruit, and a few fowls, which were also sent off to the ship. At this time, having been very ill for near a fortnight, I was so weak that I could scarcely crawl about; however, I employed my glasses to see what was doing on shore. At near half an hour after eight o'clock, I perceived a multitude of the natives coming over a hill at about the distance of a mile, and at the same time a great number of canoes making round the western point, and --page 449-- keeping close along the shore. I then looked at the watering-place, and saw at the back of it, where it was clear, a very numerous party of the natives creeping along behind the bushes; I saw also many thousands in the woods, pushing along towards the watering-place, and canoes coming very fast round the other point of the bay to the eastward. Being alarmed at these appearances, I dispatched a boat, to acquaint the officer on shore with what I had seen, and order him immediately to come on board with his men, and leave the casks behind him: he had, however, discovered his danger, and embarked before the boat reached him. Having perceived the Indians that were creeping towards him under shelter of the wood, he immediately dispatched the old man to them, making signs that they should keep at a distance, and that he wanted nothing but water. As soon as they perceived that they were discovered, they began to shout, and advanced with greater speed. The officer immediately repaired to the boats with his people, and the Indians, in the mean time having crossed the river, took possession of the water casks, with great appearance of exultation and joy. The canoes now pulled along the shore, towards the place, with the utmost expedition, all the people on land keeping pace with them, except a multitude of women and children, who seated themselves upon a hill which overlooked the bay and the beach. The canoes from each point of the bay, as they drew nearer to that part of it where the ship was at anchor, put on shore, and took in more men, who had great bags in their hands, which afterwards appeared to be filled with stones. All the canoes that had come round the points, and many others that had put off from the shore within the bay, now made towards the ship, so that I had no doubt but that they intended to try --page 450-- their fortune in a second attack. As to shorten the contest would certainly lessen the mischief, I determined to make this action decisive, and put an end to hostilities at once; I therefore ordered the people, who were all at their quarters, to fire first upon the canoes which were drawn together in groups: this was immediately done so effectually, that those which were to the westward made towards the shore as fast as possible, and those to the eastward, getting round the reef, were soon beyond the reach of our guns. I then directed the fire into the wood in different parts, which soon drove the Indians out of it, who ran up the hill where the women and children had seated themselves to see the battle. Upon this hill there were now several thousands who thought themselves in perfect security; but to convince them of the contrary, and hoping that when they saw the shot fall much farther than they could think possible, they would suppose it could reach them at any distance, I ordered some of the guns to be let down as low as they would admit, and fired four shot towards them. Two of the balls fell close by a tree where a great number of these people were fitting, and struck them with such terror and consternation, that in less than two minutes not one of them was to be seen. Having thus cleared the coast, I manned and armed the boats, and putting a strong guard on board, I sent all the carpenters with their axes, and ordered them to destroy every canoe that had been run ashore. Before noon, this service was effectually performed, and more than fifty canoes, many of which were sixty feet long, and three broad, and lashed together, were cut to pieces. Nothing was found in them but stones and slings, except a little fruit, and a few fowls and hogs, which were on board two or three canoes of a much smaller size.--page 451--
At two o'clock in the afternoon, about ten of the natives came out of the wood with green boughs in their hands, which they stuck up near the water side, and retired. After a short time, they appeared again, and brought with them several hogs, with their legs tied, which they placed near the green boughs, and retired a second time. After this they brought down several more hogs, and some dogs, with their fore legs tied over their heads, and going again into the woods, brought back several bundles of the cloth which they use for apparel, and which has some resemblance to Indian paper. These they placed upon the beach, and called to us on board to fetch them away. As we were at the distance of about three cables' length, we could not then perfectly discover of what this peace-offering consisted: we guessed at the hogs and the cloth, but seeing the dogs, with their fore legs appearing over the hinder part of the neck, rise up several times, and run a little way in an erect posture, we took them for some strange unknown animal, and were very impatient to have a nearer view of them. The boat was therefore sent on shore with all expedition, and our wonder was soon at an end. Our people found nine good hogs, besides the dogs and the cloth: the hogs were brought off, but the dogs were turned loose, and with the cloth left behind. In return for the hogs, our people left upon the shore some hatchets, nails, and other things, making signs to some of the Indians who were in sight, to take them away with their cloth. Soon after the boat had come on board, the Indians brought down two more hogs, and called to us to fetch them; the boat therefore returned, and fetched off the two hogs, but still left the cloth, though the Indians made signs that we should take it. Our people reported, that they had not touched any of the things which --page 452-- they had left upon the beach for them, and somebody suggesting that they would not take our offering because we had not accepted their cloth, I gave orders that it should be fetched away. The event proved that the conjecture was true, for the moment the boat had taken the cloth on board, the Indians came down, and with every possible demonstration of joy, carried away all I had sent them into the wood. Our boats then went to the watering-place, and filled and brought off all the casks, to the amount of about six tons. We found that they had suffered no injury while they had been in the possession of the Indians, but some leathern buckets and funnels which had been taken away with the casks, were not returned.
The next morning I sent the boats on shore, with a guard, to fill some more casks with water, and soon after the people were on shore, the same old man who had come over the river to them the first day, came again to the farther side of it, where he made a long speech, and then crossed the water. When he came up to the waterers, the officer shewed him the stones that were piled up like cannon balls upon the shore, and had been brought thither since our first landing, and some of the bags that had been taken out of the canoes which I had ordered to be destroyed, filled with stones, and endeavoured to make him understand that the Indians had been the aggressors, and that the mischief we had done them was in our own defence. The old man seemed to apprehend his meaning, but not to admit it: he immediately made a speech to the people, pointing to the stones, slings, and bags, with great emotion, and sometimes his looks, gestures, and voice were so furious as to be frightful. His passions, however, subsided by degrees, and the officer, who to his great regret could not understand one --page 453-- word of all that he had said, endeavoured to convince him, by all the signs he could devise, that we wished to live in friendship with them, and were disposed to shew them every mark of kindness in our power. He then shook hands with him, and embraced him, giving him at the same time several such trinkets as he thought would be most acceptable. He contrived also to make the old man understand that we wished to traffick for provisions, that the Indians should not come down in great numbers, and that they should keep on one side of the river and we on the other. After this the old man went away with great appearance of satisfaction, and before noon a trade was established, which furnished us with hogs, fowls, and fruit in great abundance, so that all the ship's company, whether sick or well, had as much as they could use.
CHAP. VI. The Sick sent on Shore, and a regular Trade established with the Natives; some Account of their Character and Manners, of their Visits on board the Ship, and a Variety of Incidents that happened during this Intercourse.--page 454--
MATTERS being thus happily settled, I sent the Surgeon, with the Second Lieutenant, to examine the country, and fix upon some place where the sick might take up their residence on shore. When they returned, they said, that with respect to health and convenience, all the places that they had seen upon the island seemed to be equally proper; but that with respect to safety, they could recommend none but the watering-place, as they would be there under the protection of the ship and the guard, and would easily be prevented from straggling into the country, and brought off to their meals. To the watering-place therefore I sent them, with those that were employed in filling the casks, and appointed the gunner to command the party that was to be their guard. A tent was erected for them as a shelter both from the sun and the rain, and the Surgeon was sent to superintend their conduct, and give his advice if it should be wanted. It happened that walking out with his gun, after he had seen the sick properly disposed of in the tent, a wild duck flew over his head, which he shot, and it fell dead among some of the natives who were on the other side of the river. This threw them into a panic, and --page 455-- they all ran away: when they got to some distance they stopped, and he made signs to them to bring the duck over: this one of them at last ventured to do, and, pale and trembling, laid it down at his feet. Several other ducks happening at the instant to fly over the spot where they were standing, he fired again, and fortunately brought down three more. This incident gave the natives such a dread of a gun, that if a musquet was pointed at a thousand of them, they would all run away like a flock of sheep; and probably the ease with which they were afterwards kept at a distance, and their orderly behaviour in their traffick, was in a great measure owing to their having upon this occasion seen the instrument of which before they had only felt the effects.
As I foresaw that a private traffick would probably commence between such of our people as were on shore, and the natives, and that if it was left to their own caprice, perpetual quarrels and mischief would ensue, I ordered that all matters of traffick should be transacted by the gunner, on behalf of both parties, and I directed him to see that no injury was done to the natives, either by violence or fraud, and by all possible means to attach the old man to his interest. This service he performed with great diligence and fidelity, nor did he neglect to complain of those who transgressed my orders, which was of infinite advantage to all parties; for as I punished the first offenders with a necessary severity, many irregularities, that would otherwise have produced the most disagreeable consequences, were prevented: we were also indebted for many advantages to the old man, whose caution kept our people perpetually upon their guard, and soon brought back those who straggled from the party. The natives would indeed sometimes pilfer, but by the terror of a gun, without using it, he always found means to make them bring back what was stolen. A fellow had one day the --page 456-- dexterity and address to cross the river unperceived, and steal a hatchet; the gunner, as soon as he missed it, made the old man understand what had happened, and got his party ready, as if he would have gone into the woods after the thief: the old man, however, made signs that he would save him the trouble, and immediately setting off, returned in a very short time with the hatchet. The gunner then insisted that the offender should be delivered up, and with this also the old man, though not without great reluctance, complied. When the fellow was brought down, the gunner knew him to be an old offender, and therefore sent him prisoner on board. I had no intention to punish him otherwise, than by the fear of punishment, and therefore, after great entreaty and intercession, I gave him his liberty, and sent him on shore. When the natives saw him return in safety, it is hard to say whether their astonishment or joy was greatest; they received him with universal acclamations, and immediately carried him off into the woods: the next day, however, he returned, and as a propitiation to the gunner, he brought him a considerable quantity of bread-fruit, and a large hog, ready roasted.
At this time, the people on board were employed in caulking and painting the weather-work, over-hauling the rigging, stowing the hold, and doing other necessary business, but my disorder, which was a bilious cholic, increased so much, that this day I was obliged to take to my bed; my First Lieutenant also still continued very ill, and the Purser was incapable of his duty. The whole command devolved upon Mr. Furneaux, the Second Lieutenant, to whom I gave general directions, and recommended a particular attention to the people on shore. I also ordered that fruit and fresh provisions should be served to the ship's company as long as they could be procured, and that the boats should never be --page 457-- absent from the ship after sun-set. These directions were fulfilled with such prudence and punctuality, that during all my sickness I was not troubled with any business, nor had the mortification to hear a single complaint or appeal. The men were constantly served with fresh pork, fowls, and fruit, in such plenty, that when I left my bed, after having been confined to it near a fortnight, my ship's company looked so fresh and healthy, that I could scarcely believe them to be the same people.
Sunday the 28th was marked by no incident; but on Monday the 29th, one of the gunner's party found a piece of saltpetre near as big as an egg. As this was an object of equal curiosity and importance, diligent enquiry was immediately made from whence it came. The surgeon asked every one of the people on shore, separately, whether he had brought it from the ship; every one on board also was asked whether he had carried it on shore, but all declared that they had never had such a thing in their possession. Application was then made to the natives, but the meaning of both parties was so imperfectly conveyed by signs, that nothing could be learnt of them about it: during our whole stay here, however, we saw no more than this one piece.
While the gunner was trafficking for provisions on shore, we sometimes hauled the seine, but we caught no fish; we also frequently crawled, but with no better success: the disappointment, however, was not felt, for the produce of the island enabled our people to "fare sumptuously every day."
All matters continued in the same situation till the 2d of July, when our old man being absent, the supply of fresh provisions and fruit fell short; we had, however, enough to --page 458-- serve most of the messes, reserving plenty for the sick and convalescent.
On the 3d, we heeled the ship, and looked at her bottom, which we found as clean as when she came out of dock, and to our great satisfaction, as sound. During all this time, none of the natives came near our boats, or the ship, in their canoes. This day, about noon, we caught a very large shark, and when the boats went to fetch the people on board to dinner, we sent it on shore. When the boats were putting off again, the gunner seeing some of the natives on the other side of the river, beckoned them to come over; they immediately complied, and he gave them the shark, which they soon cut to pieces, and carried away with great appearance of satisfaction.
On Sunday the 5th, the old man returned to the market-tent, and made the gunner understand that he had been up the country, to prevail upon the people to bring down their hogs, poultry, and fruit, of which the parts near the watering-place were now nearly exhausted. The good effects of his expedition soon appeared, for several Indians, whom our people had never seen before, came in with some hogs that were larger than any that had been yet brought to market. In the mean time, the old man ventured off in his canoe, to the ship, and brought with him, as a present to me, a hog ready roasted. I was much pleased with his attention and liberality, and gave him, in return for his hog, an iron pot, a looking-glass, a drinking-glass, and several other things, which no man in the island was in possession of but himself.
While our people were on shore, several young women were permitted to cross the river, who, though they were not averse to the granting of personal favours, knew the --page 459-- value of them too well not to stipulate for a consideration: the price, indeed, was not great, yet it was such as our men were not always able to pay, and under this temptation they stole nails and other iron from the ship. The nails that we brought for traffick, were not always in their reach, and therefore they drew several out of different parts of the vessel, particularly those that fastened the cleats to the ship's side. This was productive of a double mischief; damage to the ship, and a considerable rise at market. When the gunner offered, as usual, small nails for hogs of a middling size, the natives refused to take them, and produced large spikes, intimating that they expected such nails as these. A most diligent enquiry was set on foot to discover the offenders, but all to no purpose; and though a large reward was offered to procure intelligence, none was obtained. I was mortified at the disappointment, but I was still more mortified at a fraud which I found some of our people had practised upon the natives. When no nails were to be procured, they had stolen lead, and cut it up in the shape of nails. Many of the natives who had been paid with this base money, brought their leaden nails, with great simplicity, to the gunner, and requested him to give them iron in their stead. With this request, however reasonable, he could not comply; because, by rendering lead current, it would have encouraged the stealing it, and the market would have been as effectually spoiled by those who could not procure nails, as by those who could; it was therefore necessary, upon every account, to render this leaden currency of no value, though for our honour I should have been glad to have called it in.
On Tuesday the 7th, I sent one of the mates, with thirty men, to a village at a little distance from the market, hoping --page 460-- that refreshments might there be bought at the original price; but here they were obliged to give still more than at the water-side. In the mean time, being this day able to get up for the first time, and the weather being fine, I went into a boat, and rowed about four miles down the coast. I found the country populous, and pleasant in the highest degree, and saw many canoes on the shore; but not one came off to us, nor did the people seem to take the least notice of us as we passed along. About noon I returned to the ship.
The commerce which our men had found means to establish with the women of the island, rendered them much less obedient to the orders that had been given for the regulation of their conduct on shore, than they were at first. I found it necessary therefore, to read the articles of war, and I punished James Proctor, the corporal of marines, who had not only quitted his station, and insulted the officer, but struck the Master at Arms such a blow as brought him to the ground.
The next day, I sent a party up the country to cut wood, and they met with some of the natives, who treated them with great kindness and hospitality. Several of these friendly Indians came on board in our boat, and seemed, both by their dress and behaviour, to be of a superior rank. To these people I paid a particular attention, and to discover what present would most gratify them, I laid down before them a Johannes, a guinea, a crown piece, a Spanish dollar, a few shillings, some new halfpence, and two large nails, making signs that they should take what they liked best. The nails were first seized, with great eagerness, and then a few of the halfpence, but the silver and gold lay neglected. Having presented them, therefore, with some nails and halfpence, I sent them on shore superlatively happy.--page 461--
From this time, our market was very ill supplied, the Indians refusing to sell provisions at the usual price, and making signs for large nails. It was now thought necessary to look more diligently about the ship, to discover what nails had been drawn; and it was soon found that all the belaying cleats had been ripped off, and that there was scarcely one of the hammock nails left. All hands were now ordered up, and I practised every artifice I could think of to discover the thieves, but without success. I then told them that till the thieves were discovered, not a single man should go on shore: this however produced no effect, except that Proctor, the corporal, behaved in a mutinous manner, for which he was instantly punished.
On Saturday the 11th, in the afternoon, the gunner came on board with a tall woman, who seemed to be about five and forty years of age, of a pleasing countenance and majestic deportment. He told me that she was but just come into that part of the country, and that seeing great respect paid her by the rest of the natives, he had made her some presents; in return for which she had invited him to her house, which was about two miles up the valley, and given him some large hogs; after which she returned with him to the watering-place, and expressed a desire to go on board the ship, in which he had thought it proper, on all accounts, that she should be gratified. She seemed to be under no restraint, either from diffidence or fear, when she first came into the ship; and she behaved, all the while she was on board, with an easy freedom, that always distinguishes conscious superiority and habitual command. I gave her a large blue mantle, that reached from her shoulders to her feet, which I threw over her, and tied on with ribands; I gave her also a looking-glass, beads of several sorts, and many other things, of which she accepted with a very good --page 462-- grace, and much pleasure. She took notice that I had been ill, and pointed to the shore. I understood that she meant I should go thither to perfect my recovery, and I made signs that I would go thither the next morning. When she intimated an inclination to return, I ordered the gunner to go with her, who, having set her on shore, attended her to her habitation, which he described as being very large and well built. He said, that in this house she had many guards and domesticks, and that she had another at a little distance, which was enclosed in lattice-work.
The next morning I went on shore for the first time, and my princess, or rather queen, for such by her authority she appeared to be, soon after came to me, followed by many of her attendants. As she perceived that my disorder had left me very weak, she ordered her people to take me in their arms, and carry me not only over the river, but all the way to her house; and observing that some of the people who were with me, particularly the First Lieutenant and Purser, had also been sick, she caused them also to be carried in the same manner, and a guard, which I had ordered out upon the occasion, followed. In our way, a vast multitude crouded about us, but upon her waving her hand, without speaking a word, they withdrew, and left us a free passage. When we approached near her house, a great number of both sexes came out to meet her: these she presented to me, after having intimated by signs that they were her relations, and taking hold of my hand, she made them kiss it. We then entered the house, which covered a piece of ground 327 feet long, and 42 feet broad. It consisted of a roof, thatched with palm leaves, and raised upon 39 pillars on each side, and 14 in the middle. The ridge of the thatch, on the inside, was 30 feet high, and the sides of the house, to the edge of the roof, were 12 feet high; all below the --page 463-- roof being open. As soon as we entered the house, she made us sit down, and then calling four young girls, she assisted them to take off my shoes, draw down my stockings, and pull off my coat, and then directed them to smooth down the skin, and gently chafe it with their hands: the same operation was also performed upon the First Lieutenant and the Purser, but upon none of those who appeared to be in health. While this was doing, our Surgeon, who had walked till he was very warm, took off his wig to cool and refresh himself: a sudden exclamation of one of the Indians who saw it, drew the attention of the rest, and in a moment every eye was fixed upon the prodigy, and every operation was suspended: the whole assembly stood some time motionless, in silent astonishment, which could not have been more strongly expressed if they had discovered that our friend's limbs had been screwed on to the trunk; in a short time, however, the young women who were chafing us, resumed their employment, and having continued it for about half an hour, they dressed us again, but in this they were, as may easily be imagined, very aukward; I found great benefit, however, from the chafing, and so did the Lieutenant and Purser. After a little time, our generous benefactress ordered some bales of Indian cloth to be brought out, with which she clothed me, and all that were with me, according to the fashion of the country. At first I declined the acceptance of this favour, but being unwilling not to seem pleased with what was intended to please me, I acquiesced. When we went away, she ordered a very large sow, big with young, to be taken down to the boat, and accompanied us thither herself. She had given directions to her people to carry me, as they had done when I came, but as I chose rather to walk, she took me by the arm, and whenever we came to a plash of water or dirt, she lifted me over with as --page 464-- little trouble as it would have cost me to have lifted over a child if I had been well.
The next morning I sent her by the gunner, six hatchets, six bill-hooks, and several other things; and when he returned, he told me that he found her giving an entertainment to a great number of people, which, he supposed, could not be less than a thousand. The messes were all brought to her by the servants that prepared them, the meat being put into the shells of cocoa nuts, and the shells into wooden trays, somewhat like those used by our butchers, and she distributed them with her own hands to the guests, who were seated in rows round the great house. When this was done, she sat down herself, upon a place somewhat elevated above the rest, and two women, placing themselves one on each side of her, fed her, she opening her mouth as they brought their hands up with the food. When she saw the gunner, she ordered a mess for him; he could not certainly tell what it was, but he believed it to be fowl picked small, with apples cut among it, and seasoned with salt water; it was, however, very well tasted. She accepted the things that I sent her, and seemed to be much pleased with them. After this correspondence was established with the queen, provisions of every kind became much more plenty at market; but though fowls and hogs were every day brought in, we were still obliged to pay more for them than at the first, the market having been spoiled by the nails which our men had stolen and given to the women; I therefore gave orders that every man should be searched before he went on shore, and that no woman should be suffered to cross the river.
On the 14th, the gunner being on shore to trade, perceived an old woman on the other side of the river, weeping --page 465-- bitterly: when she saw that she had drawn his attention upon her, she sent a young man, who stood by her, over the river to him, with a branch of the plantain tree in his hand. When he came up, he made a long speech, and then laid down his bough at the gunner's feet: after this he went back and brought over the old woman, another man at the same time bringing over two large fat hogs. The woman looked round upon our people with great attention, fixing her eyes sometimes upon one, and sometimes upon another, and at last burst into tears. The young man who brought her over the river, perceiving the gunner's concern and astonishment, made another speech, longer than the first: still, however, the woman's distress was a mystery, but at length she made him understand that her husband, and three of her sons, had been killed in the attack of the ship. During this explanation, she was to affected that at last she sunk down unable to speak, and the two young men, who endeavoured to support her, appeared to be nearly in the same condition: they were probably two more of her sons, or some very near relations. The gunner did all in his power to sooth and comfort her, and when she had in some measure recovered her recollection, she ordered the two hogs to be delivered to him, and gave him her hand in token of friendship, but would accept nothing in return, though he offered her ten times as much as would have purchased the hogs at market.
The next morning, I sent the Second Lieutenant, with all the boats, and sixty men, to the westward, to look at the country, and try what was to be got. About noon he returned, having marched along the shore near six miles. He found the country very pleasant and populous, and abounding as well with hogs and fowls, as fruit, and other vegetables of various kinds. The inhabitants offered him no molestation, --page 466-- but did not seem willing to part with any of the provisions which our people were most desirous to purchase: they gave them, however, a few cocoa-nuts and plantains, and at length sold them nine hogs and a few fowls. The Lieutenant was of opinion, that they might be brought to trade freely by degrees, but the distance from the ship was so great, that too many men would be necessary for a guard. He saw a great number of very large canoes upon the beach, and some that were building. He observed that all their tools were made of stone, shells, and bone, and very justly inferred, that they had no metal of any kind. He found no quadrupeds among them, besides hogs and dogs, nor any earthen vessel, so that all their food is either baked or roasted. Having no vessel in which water could be subjected to the action of fire, they had no more idea that it could be made hot, than that it could be made solid. As the queen was one morning at breakfast with us on board the ship, one of her attendants, a man of some note, and one of those that we thought were priests, saw the Surgeon fill the teapot by turning the cock of an urn that stood upon the table: having remarked this with great curiosity and attention, he presently turned the cock, and received the water upon his hand: as soon as he felt himself scalded, he roared out, and began to dance about the cabbin with the most extravagant and ridiculous expressions of pain and astonishment: the other Indians, not being able to conceive what was the matter with him, stood staring at him in amaze, and not without some mixture of terror. The Surgeon, however, who had innocently been the cause of the mischief, applied a remedy, though it was some time before the poor fellow was easy.
On Thursday the 16th, Mr. Furneaux, my Second Lieutenant, was taken very ill, which distressed me greatly, as --page 467-- the First Lieutenant was not yet recovered, and I was still in a very weak state myself: I was this day also obliged once more to punish Proctor, the corporal of marines, for mutinous behaviour. The queen had now been absent several days, but the natives made us understand, by signs, that the next day she would be with us again.
Accordingly the next morning she came down to the beach, and soon after a great number of people, whom we had never seen before, brought to market provisions of every kind; and the gunner sent off fourteen hogs, and fruit in great plenty.
In the afternoon of the next day, the queen came on board, with a present of two large hogs, for she never condescended to barter, and in the evening she returned on shore. I sent a present with her, by the Master, and as soon as they landed, she took him by the hand, and having made a long speech to she people that flocked round them, she led him to her house, where she clothed him, as she had before done me, according to the fashion of the country.
The next morning, he sent off a greater quantity of stock than we had ever procured in one day before; it consisted of forty-eight hogs and pigs, four dozen of fowls, with bread-fruit, bananas, apples, and cocoa-nuts, almost without number.
On the 20th, we continued to trade with good success, but in the afternoon it was discovered that Francis Pinckney, one of the seamen, had drawn the cleats to which the main sheet was belayed, and, after stealing the spikes, thrown them over board. Having secured the offender, I called all the people together upon the deck, and after taking some pains to explain his crime, with all its aggravations, I ordered that he should be whipped with nettles while he ran --page 468-- the gauntlet thrice round the deck: my rhetoric, however, had very little effect, for most of the crew being equally criminal with himself, he was handled so tenderly, that others were rather encouraged to repeat the offence by the hope of impunity, than deterred by the fear of punishment. To preserve the ship, therefore, from being pulled to pieces, and the price of refreshments from being raised so high as soon to exhaust our articles of trade, I ordered that no man, except the wooders and waterers, with their guard, should be permitted to go on shore.
On the 21st, the queen came again on board, and brought several large hogs as a present, for which, as usual, she would accept of no return. When she was about to leave the ship, she expressed a desire that I should go on shore with her, to which I consented, taking several of the officers with me. When we arrived at her house, she made us all sit down, and taking off my hat, she tied to it a bunch or tuft of feathers of various colours, such as I had seen no person on shore wear but herself, which produced by no means a disagreeable effect. She also tied round my hat, and the hats of those who were with me, wreaths of braided or plaited hair, and gave us to understand that both the hair and workmanship were her own: she also presented us with some matts, that were very curiously wrought. In the evening she accompanied us back to the beach, and when we were getting into the boat, she put on board a fine large sow, big with young, and a great quantity of fruit. As we were parting, I made signs that I should quit the island in seven days: she immediately comprehended my meaning, and made signs that I should stay twenty days; that I should go two days journey into the country, stay there a few days, bring down plenty of hogs and poultry, and after that leave the island. I again made signs that I must go in seven days; --page 469-- upon which she burst into tears, and it was not without great difficulty that she was pacified.
The next morning, the gunner sent off no less than twenty hogs, with great plenty of fruit. Our decks were now quite full of hogs and poultry, of which we killed only the small ones, and kept the others for sea stores; we found, however, to our great mortification, that neither the fowls nor the hogs could, without great difficulty, be brought to eat any thing but fruit, which made it necessary to kill them faster than we should otherwise have done: two, however, a boar and a sow, were brought alive to England, of which I made a present to Mr. Stephens, Secretary to the Admiralty; the sow afterwards died in pigging, but the boar is still alive.
On the 23d, we had very heavy rain, with a storm of wind that blew down several trees on shore, though very little of it was felt where the ship lay.
The next day, I sent the old man, who had been of great service to the gunner at the market-tent, another iron pot, some hatchets and bills, and a piece of cloth. I also sent the queen two turkies, two geese, three Guinea hens, a cat big with kitten, some china, looking-glasses, glass bottles, shirts, needles, thread, cloth, ribands, peas, some small white kidney beans, called callivances, and about sixteen different sorts of garden seeds, and a shovel, besides a considerable quantity of cutlery wares, consisting of knives, scissars, bill-hooks, and other things. We had already planted several sorts of the garden seeds, and some peas in several places, and had the pleasure to see them come up in a very flourishing state, yet there were no remains of them when Captain Cook left the island. I sent her also two iron pots, and a few spoons. In return for these things, the gunner brought off eighteen hogs, and some fruit.--page 470--
In the morning of the 25th, I ordered Mr. Gore, one of the mates, with all the marines, forty seamen, and four midshipmen, to go up the valley by the river as high as they could, and examine the soil and produce of the country, noting the trees and plants which they should find, and when they saw any stream from the mountains, to trace it to its source, and observe whether it was tinctured with any mineral or ore. I cautioned them also to keep continually upon their guard against the natives, and directed them to make a fire, as a signal, if they should be attacked. At the same time, I took a guard on shore, and erected a tent on a point of land, to observe an eclipse of the sun, which, the morning being very clear, was done with great accuracy. The immersion began, by true time, at 6 hours 51 minutes 50 seconds. The emersion, by true time, was at 8 hours 1 minute 0 seconds. The duration of the eclipse was 1 hour 9 minutes 10 seconds. The latitude of the point, on which the observation was made, was 17° 30′ S. the sun's declination was 19° 40′ N. and the variation of the needle 5° 36′ E.
After the observation was taken, I went to the queen's house, and shewed her the telescope, which was a reflector. After she had admired its structure, I endeavoured to make her comprehend its use, and fixing it so as to command several distant objects, with which she was well acquainted, but which could not be distinguished with the naked eye, I made her look through it. As soon as the saw them, she started back with astonishment, and directing her eye as the glass was pointed, stood some time motionless and silent; she then looked through the glass again, and again sought in vain, with the naked eye, for the objects which it discovered. As they by turns vanished and re-appeared, her --page 471-- countenance and gestures expressed a mixture of wonder and delight which no language can describe. When the glass was removed, I invited her, and several of the Chiefs that were with her, to go with me on board the ship, in which I had a view to the security of the party that I had sent out; for I thought that while the queen, and the principal people were known to be in my power, nothing would be attempted against any person belonging to the ship on shore. When we got on board, I ordered a good dinner for their entertainment, but the queen would neither eat nor drink; the people that were with her eat very heartily of whatever was set before them, but would drink only plain water.
In the evening our people returned from their excursion, and came down to the beach, upon which I put the queen and her attendants into the boats, and sent them on shore. As she was going over the ship's side, she asked, by signs, whether I still persisted in my resolution of leaving the island at the time I had fixed; and when I made her understand that it was impossible I should stay longer, she expressed her regret by a flood of tears, which for a while took away her speech. As soon as her passion subsided, she told me that she would come on board again the next day; and thus we parted.
CHAP. VII. An Account of an Expedition to discover the inland Part of the Country, and our other Transactions, till we quitted the Island to continue our Voyage.--page 472--
AFTER the mate came on board, he gave me a written account of his expedition, to the following effect:
"At four o'clock in the morning, of Saturday the 25th of June, I landed, with four midshipmen, a serjeant and twelve marines, and twenty-four seamen, all armed, besides four who carried hatchets and other articles of traffick, and four who were loaded with ammunition and provisions, the rest being left with the boat: every man had his day's allowance of brandy, and the hatchet men two small kegs, to give out when I should think proper.
"As soon as I got on shore, I called upon our old man, and took him with us: we then followed the course of the river in two parties, one marching on each side. For the first two miles it flowed through a valley of considerable width, in which were many habitations, with gardens walled in, and abundance of hogs, poultry, and fruit; the soil here seemed to be a rich fat earth, and was of a blackish colour. After this the valley became very narrow, and the ground rising abruptly on one side of the river, we were all obliged to march on the other. Where the stream was precipitated from the hills, channels had been cut to lead the water into gardens and plantations of fruit trees: in these gardens we found an herb which had never been brought down to the --page 473-- water-side, and which we perceived the inhabitants eat raw. I tasted it, and found it pleasant, its flavour somewhat resembling that of the West Indian spinnage, called Calleloor, though its leaf was very different. The ground was fenced off so as to make a very pretty appearance; the bread-fruit and apple trees were planted in rows on the declivity of the hills, and the cocoa nut and plantain, which require more moisture, on the level ground: under the trees, both on the sides and at the foot of the hills, there was very good grass, but no underwood. As we advanced, the windings of the stream became innumerable, the hills on each side swelled into mountains, and vast crags every where projected over our heads. Travelling now became difficult, and when we had proceeded about four miles, the road for the last mile having been very bad, we sat down to rest ourselves, and take the refreshment of our breakfast; we ranged ourselves upon the ground under a large apple tree, in a very pleasant spot; but just as we were about to begin our repast, we were suddenly alarmed by a confused sound of many voices, and a great shouting, and presently afterwards saw a multitude of men, women, and children upon the hill above us; our old man seeing us rise hastily, and look to our arms, beckoned to us to sit still, and immediately went up to the people that had surprised us. As soon as he joined them they were silent, and soon after disappeared; in a short time, however, they returned, and brought with them a large hog ready roasted, with plenty of bread-fruit, yams, and other refreshments, which they gave to the old man, who distributed them among our people. In return for this treat, I gave them some nails, buttons, and other things, with which they were greatly delighted. After this we proceeded up the valley as far as we could, searching all the runs of water, and all the places where water had run, for --page 474-- appearances of metal or ore, but could find none, except what I have brought back with me. I shewed all the people that we met with, the piece of saltpetre which had been picked up in the island, and which I had taken with me for that purpose, but none of them took any notice of it, nor could I learn from them any thing about it. The old man began now to be weary, and there being a mountain before us, he made signs that he would go home: before he left us, however, he made the people who had so liberally supplied us with provisions, take the baggage, with the fruit that had not been eaten, and some cocoa nut-shells full of fresh water, and made signs that they should follow us up the side of the mountain. As soon as he was gone, they gathered green branches from the neighbouring trees, and with many ceremonies, of which we did not know the meaning, laid them down before us: after this they took some small berries with which they painted themselves red, and the bark of a tree that contained a yellow juice, with which they stained their garments in different parts. We began to climb the mountain while our old man was still in sight, and he, perceiving that we made our way with difficulty through the weeds and brush-wood, which grew very thick, turned back, and said something to the natives in a firm loud tone; upon which twenty or thirty of the men went before us, and cleared us a very good path; they also refreshed us with water and fruit as we went along, and assisted us to climb the most difficult places, which we should otherwise have found altogether impracticable. We began to ascend this hill at the distance of about six miles from the place where we landed, and I reckoned the top of it to be near a mile above the river that runs through the valley below. When we arrived at the summit, we again sat down to rest and refresh ourselves. While we were --page 475-- climbing we flattered ourselves that from the top we should command the whole island, but we now saw mountains before us so much higher than our situation, that with respect to them we appeared to be in a valley; towards the ship indeed the view was enchanting: the sides of the hills were beautifully clothed with wood, villages were every where interspersed, and the vallies between them afforded a still richer prospect; the houses stood thicker, and the verdure was more luxuriant. We saw very few habitations above us, but discovered smoke in many places ascending from between the highest hills that were in sight, and therefore I conjecture that the most elevated parts of the country are by no means without inhabitants. As we ascended the mountain, we saw many springs gush from fissures on the side of it, and when we had reached the summit, we found many houses that we did not discover as we passed them. No part of these mountains is naked; the summits of the highest that we could see were crowned with wood, but of what kind I know not: those that were of the same height with that which we had climbed, were woody on the sides, but on the summit were rocky and covered with fern. Upon the flats that appeared below these, there grew a sedgy kind of grass and weeds: in general the soil here, as well as in the valley, seemed to be rich. We saw several bushes of sugar-cane, which was very large and very good, growing wild, without the least culture. I likewise found ginger and turmerick, and have brought samples of both, but could not procure seeds of any tree, most of them being in blossom. After traversing the top of this mountain to a good distance, I found a tree exactly like a fern, except that it was 14 or 15 feet high. This tree I cut down, and found the inside of it also like a fern: I would have brought a piece of it with me, but found it too cumbersome, and I knew not --page 476-- what difficulties we might meet with before we got back to the ship, which we judged to be now at a great distance. After having again recruited our strength by refreshment and rest, we began to descend the mountain, being still attended by the people to whose care we had been recommended by our old man. We kept our general direction towards the ship, but sometimes deviated a little to the right and left in the plains and vallies, when we saw any houses that were pleasantly situated, the inhabitants being every where ready to accommodate us with whatever they had. We saw no beast, except a few hogs, nor any birds, except parrots, parroquets, and green doves; by the river, however, there was plenty of ducks, and every place that was planted and cultivated, appeared to flourish with great luxuriance, though in the midst of what had the appearance of barren ground. I planted the stones of peaches, cherries, and plums, with a great variety of garden seeds, where I thought it was most probable that they would thrive, and limes, lemons, and oranges, in situations which resembled those in which they are found in the West Indies. In the afternoon, we arrived at a very pleasant spot, within about three miles of the ship, where we procured two hogs and some fowls, which the natives dressed for us very well, and with great expedition. Here we continued till the cool of the evening, and then made the best of our way for the ship, having liberally rewarded our guides, and the people who had provided us so good a dinner. Our men behaved through the whole day with the greatest decency and order, and we parted with our Indian friends in perfect good-humour with each other."
About 10 o'clock, the next morning, the queen came on board according to her promise, with a present of hogs and fowls, but went on shore again soon afterwards. This day, --page 477-- the Gunner sent off near thirty hogs, with great plenty of fowls and fruit. We completed our wood and water, and got all ready for sea. More inhabitants came down to the beach, from the inland country, than we had seen before, and many of them appeared, by the respect that was paid them, to be of a superior rank. About three o'clock in the afternoon, the queen came again down to the beach, very well dressed, and followed by a great number of people. Having crossed the river with her attendants and our old man, she came once more on board the ship. She brought with her some very fine fruit, and renewed her solicitation, that I would stay ten days longer, with great earnestness, intimating that she would go into the country, and bring me plenty of hogs, fowls, and fruit. I endeavoured to express a proper sense of her kindness and bounty, but assured her that I should certainly sail the next morning. This, as usual, threw her into tears, and after she recovered, she enquired by signs when I should return: I endeavoured to express fifty days, and she made signs for thirty: but the sign for fifty being constantly repeated, she seemed satisfied. She stayed on board till night, and it was then with the greatest difficulty that she could be prevailed upon to go on shore. When she was told that the boat was ready, she threw herself down upon the arm-chest, and wept a long time with an excess of passion that could not be pacified; at last, however, though with the greatest reluctance, she went into the boat, and was followed by her attendants and the old man. The old man had often intimated that his son, a lad about fourteen years of age, should go with us, and the boy seemed to be willing: he had, however, now disappeared for two days; I enquired after him when I first missed him, and the old man gave me to understand that he was gone into the country to see his friends, and would return time --page 478-- enough to go with us; but I have reason to think that, when the time drew near, the father's courage failed, and that to keep his child he secreted him till the ship was gone, for we never saw him afterwards.
At break of day, on Monday the 27th, we unmoored, and at the same time I sent the barge and cutter to fill the few water-casks that were now empty. When they came near the shore, they saw, to their great surprise, the whole beach covered with inhabitants, and having some doubt whether it would be prudent to venture themselves among such a multitude, they were about to pull back again for the ship. As soon as this was perceived from the shore, the queen came forward, and beckoned them; at the same time guessing the reason of what had happened, she made the natives retire to the other side of the river: the boats then proceeded to the shore, and filled the casks, in the mean time she put some hogs and fruit on board, and when they were putting off would fain have returned with them to the ship. The officer, however, who had received orders to bring off none of the natives, would not permit her; upon which she presently launched a double canoe, and was rowed off by her own people. Her canoe was immediately followed by fifteen or sixteen more, and all of them came up to the ship. The queen came on board, but not being able to speak, she sat down and gave vent to her passion by weeping. After she had been on board about an hour, a breeze springing up, we weighed anchor and made sail. Finding it now necessary to return into her canoe, she embraced us all in the most affectionate manner, and with many tears; all her attendants also expressed great sorrow at our departure. Soon after it fell calm, and I sent the boats a-head to tow, upon which all the canoes returned to the ship, and that which had the queen on board came up to the gun-room port, where her --page 479-- people made it fast. In a few minutes she came into the bow of her canoe, where she sat weeping with inconsolable sorrow. I gave her many things which I thought would be of great use to her, and some for ornament; she silently accepted of all, but took little notice of any thing. About 10 o'clock we were got without the reef, and a fresh breeze springing up, our Indian friends, and particularly the queen, once more bade us farewel, with such tenderness of affection and grief, as filled both my heart and my eyes.
At noon, the harbour from which we sailed bore S. E. ½ E. distant about twelve miles. It lies in latitude 17° 30′ S. longitude 150° W. and I gave it the name of Port Royal Harbour.
CHAP. VIII. A more particular Account of the Inhabitants of Otaheite, and of their domestic Life, Manners, and Arts.--page 480--
HAVING lain off this if island from the 24th of June to the 27th of July, I shall now give the best account of its inhabitants, with their manners and arts, that I can; but having been in a very bad state of health the whole time, and for great part of it confined to my bed, it will of necessity be much less accurate and particular than I might otherwise have made it.
The inhabitants of this island are a stout, well-made, active, and comely people. The stature of the men, in general, is from five feet seven to five feet ten inches, though a few individuals are taller, and a few shorter; that of the women from five feet to five feet six. The complexion of the men is tawney, but those that go upon the water are much redder than those who live on shore. Their hair in general is black, but in some it is brown, in some red, and in others flaxen, which is remarkable, because the hair of all other natives of Asia, Africa, and America, is black, without a single exception. It is generally tied up, either in one bunch, in the middle of the head, or in two, one on each side, but some wear it loose, and it then curls very strongly: in the children of both sexes it is generally flaxen. They have no combs, yet their hair is very neatly dressed, and those who had combs from us, made good use of them. It is a universal custom to anoint the head with cocoa-nut oil, in--page 481-- which a root has been scraped that smells something like roses. The women are all handsome, and some of them extremely beautiful. Chastity does not seem to be considered as a virtue among them, for they not only readily and openly trafficked with our people for personal favours, but were brought down by their fathers and brothers for that purpose: they were, however, conscious of the value of beauty, and the size of the nail that was demanded for the enjoyment of the lady, was always in proportion to her charms. The men who came down to the side of the river, at the same time that they presented the girl, shewed a stick of the size of the nail that was to be her price, and if our people agreed, she was sent over to them, for the men were not permitted to cross the river. This commerce was carried on a considerable time before the officers discovered it, for while some straggled a little way to receive the lady, the others kept a look-out. When I was acquainted with it, I no longer wondered that the ship was in danger of being pulled to pieces for the nails and iron that held her together, which I had before puzzled myself to account for in vain, the whole ship's company having daily as much fresh provision and fruit as they could eat. Both men and women are not only decently but gracefully clothed, in a kind of white cloth, that is made of the bark of a shrub, and very much resembles coarse China paper. Their dress consists of two pieces of this cloth: one of them, a hole having been made in the middle to put the head through, hangs down from the shoulders to the mid-leg before and behind; another piece, which is between four and five yards long, and about one yard broad, they wrap round the body in a very easy manner. This cloth is not woven, but is made, like paper, of the macerated fibres of an inner bark, spread out and beaten together. Their ornaments are feathers, flowers, --page 482-- pieces of shells, and pearls the pearls are worn chiefly by the women, from whom I purchased about two dozen of a small size: they were of a good colour, but were all spoiled by boring. Mr. Furneaux saw several in his excursion to the west, but he could purchase none with any thing he had to offer. I observed, that it was here a universal custom both for men and women to have the hinder part of their thighs and loins marked very thick with black lines in various forms. These marks were made by striking the teeth of an instrument, somewhat like a comb, just through the skin, and rubbing into the punctures a kind of paste made of foot and oil, which leaves an indelible stain. The boys and girls under twelve years of age, are not marked; but we observed a few of the men whose legs were marked in chequers by the same method, and they appeared to be persons of superior rank and authority. One of the principal attendants upon the queen, appeared much more disposed to imitate our manners than the rest; and our people, with whom he soon became a favourite, distinguished him by the name of Jonathan. This man, Mr. Furneaux clothed completely in an English dress, and it sat very easy upon him. Our officers were always carried on shore, it being shoal water where we landed, and Jonathan, assuming new state with his new finery, made some of his people carry him on shore in the same manner. He very soon attempted to use a knife and fork at his meals, but at first, when he had stuck a morsel upon his fork, and tried to feed himself with that instrument, he could not guide it, but by the mere force of habit his hand came to his mouth, and the victuals at the end of the fork went away to his car.
Their food consists of pork, poultry, dog's flesh, and fish, bread-fruit, bananas, plantains, yams, apples, and a four fruit which, though not pleasant by itself, gives an agreeable--page 483-- relish to roasted bread-fruit, with which it is frequently beaten up. They have abundance of rats, but, as far as I could discover, these make no part of their food. The river affords them good mullet, but they are neither large nor in plenty. They find conchs, muscles, and other shell-fish on the reef, which they gather at low water, and eat raw with bread-fruit before they come on shore. They have also very fine cray-fish, and they catch with lines, and hooks of mother of pearl, at a little distance from the shore, parrotfish, groopers, and many other sorts, of which they are so fond that we could seldom prevail upon them to sell us a few at any price. They have also nets of an enormous size, with very small meshes, and with these they catch abundance of small fish about the size of sardines; but while they were using both nets and lines with great success, we could not catch a single fish with either. We procured some of their hooks and lines, but for want of their art we were still disappointed.
The manner in which they dress their food is this: they kindle a fire by rubbing the end of one piece of dry wood upon the side of another, in the same manner as our carpenters whet a chissel; then they dig a pit about half a foot deep, and two or three yards in circumference: they pave the bottom with large pebble stones, which they lay down very smooth and even, and then kindle a fire in it with dry wood, leaves, and the husks of the cocoa-nut. When the stones are sufficiently heated, they take out the embers, and rake up the ashes on every side; then they cover the stones with a layer of green cocoa-nut-tree leaves, and wrap up the animal that is to be dressed in the leaves of the plantain; if it is a small hog they wrap it up whole, if a large one they split it. When it is placed in the pit, they cover it with the hot embers, and lay upon them bread-fruit and yams, which are--page 484-- also wrapped up in the leaves of the plantain; over these they spread the remainder of the embers, mixing among them some of the hot stones, with more cocoa-nut-tree leaves upon them, and then close all up with earth, so that the heat is kept in. After a time proportioned to the size of what is dressing, the oven is opened, and the meat taken out, which is tender, full of gravy, and, in my opinion, better in every respect than when it is dressed any other way. Excepting the fruit, they have no sauce but salt water, nor any knives but shells, with which they carve very dexterously, always cutting from them. It is impossible to describe the astonishment they expressed when they saw the Gunner, who, while he kept the market, used to dine on shore, dress his pork and poultry by boiling them in a pot, having, as I have before observed, no vessel that would bear the fire, they had no idea of hot water or its effects: but from the time that the old man was in possession of an iron pot, he and his friends eat boiled meat every day. The iron pots which I afterwards gave to the queen, and several of the Chiefs, were also in constant use, and brought as many people together, as a monster or a puppet-show in a country fair. They appeared to have no liquor for drinking but water, and to be happily ignorant of the art of fermenting the juice of any vegetable, so as to give it an intoxicating quality: they have, as has been already observed, the sugarcane, but they seemed to make no other use of it than to chew, which they do not do habitually, but only break a piece off when they happen to pass by a place where it is growing.
Of their domestic life and amusements, we had not sufficient opportunity to obtain much knowlege, but they appear sometimes to have wars with each other, not only from their weapons, but the scars with which many of them were--page 485-- marked, and some of which appeared to be the remains of very considerable wounds, made with stones, bludgeons, or some other obtuse weapon: by these scars also they appear to be no inconsiderable proficients in surgery, of which indeed we happened to have more direct evidence. One of our seamen, when he was on shore, run a large splinter into his foot, and the Surgeon being on board, one of his comrades endeavoured to take it out with a penknife; but after putting the poor fellow to a good deal of pain, was obliged to give it over. Our good old Indian, who happened to be present, then called over one of his countrymen that was standing on the opposite side of the river, who having looked at the seaman's foot, went immediately down to the beach, and taking up a shell, broke it to a point with his teeth; with this instrument, in little more than a minute, he laid open the place, and extracted the splinter; in the mean time the old man, who, as soon as he had called the other over, went a little way into the wood, returned with some gum, which he applied to the wound upon a piece of the cloth that was wrapped round him, and in two days time it was perfectly healed. We afterwards learned that this gum was produced by the apple tree, and our Surgeon procured some of it, and used it as a vulnerary balsam with great success.
The habitations of these happy people I have described already; and besides these, we saw several sheds inclosed within a wall, on the outside of which there were several uncouth figures of men, women, hogs, and dogs, carved on posts, that were driven into the ground. Several of the natives were from time to time seen to enter these places, with a slow pace and dejected countenance, from which we conjectured that they were repositories of the dead. The area within the walls of these places, was generally well paved--page 486-- with large round stones, but it appeared not to be much trodden, for the grass every where grew up between them. I endeavoured, with particular attention, to discover whether they had a religious worship among them, but never could find the least traces of any.
The boats or canoes of these people, are of three different sorts. Some are made out of a single tree, and carry from two to six men: these are used chiefly for fishing, and we constantly saw many of them busy upon the reef: some were constructed of planks, very dexterously sewed together: these were of different sizes, and would carry from ten to forty men. Two of them were generally lashed together, and two masts set up between them; if they were single, they had an out-rigger on one side, and only one mast in the middle. With these vessels they sail far beyond the sight of land, probably to other islands, and bring home plantains, bananas, and yams, which seem also to be more plenty upon other parts of this island, than that off which the ship lay. A third sort seem to be intended principally for pleasure and show: they are very large, but have no sail, and in shape resemble the gondolas of Venice: the middle is covered with a large awning, and some of the people sit upon it, some under it. None of these vessels came near the ship, except on the first and second day after our arrival; but we saw, three or four times a week, a procession of eight or ten of them passing at a distance, with streamers flying, and a great number of small canoes attending them, while many hundreds of people ran abreast of them along the shore. They generally rowed to the outward point of a reef which lay about four miles to the westward of us, where they stayed about an hour, and then returned. These processions, however, are never made but in fine weather, and all--page 487-- the people on board are dressed; though in the other canoes they have only a piece of cloth wrapped round their middle. Those who rowed and steered were dressed in white; those who sat upon the awning and under it in white and red, and two men who were mounted on the prow of each vessel, were dressed in red only. We sometimes went out to observe them in our boats, and though we were never nearer than a mile, we saw them with our glasses as distinctly as if we had been upon the spot.
The plank of which these vessels are constructed, is made by splitting a tree, with the grain, into as many thin pieces as they can. They first fell the tree with a kind of hatchet, or adze, made of a tough greenish kind of stone, very dexterously fitted into a handle; it is then cut into such lengths as are required for the plank, one end of which is heated till it begins to crack, and then with wedges of hard wood they split it down: some of these planks are two feet broad, and from 15 to 20 feet long. The sides are smoothed with adzes of the same materials and construction, but of a smaller size. Six or eight men are sometimes at work upon the same plank together, and, as their tools presently lose their edge, every man has by him a cocoa nut-shell filled with water, and a flat stone, with which he sharpens his adze almost every minute. These planks are generally brought to the thickness of about an inch, and are afterwards fitted to the boat with the same exactness that would be expected from an expert joiner. To fasten these planks together, holes are bored with a piece of bone that is fixed into a stick for that purpose, a use to which our nails were afterwards applied with great advantage, and through these holes a kind of plaited cordage is passed, so as to hold the planks strongly together: the seams are caulked with dried rushes, and the whole outside of the vessel is paid with a--page 488-- gummy juice, which some of their trees produce in great plenty, and which is a very good succedaneum for pitch.
The wood which they use for their large canoes, is that of the apple tree, which grows very tall and strait. Several of them that we measured, were near eight feet in the girth, and from 20 to 40 to the branches, with very little diminution in the size. Our carpenter said, that in other respects it was not a good wood for the purpose, being very light. The small canoes are nothing more than the hollowed trunk of the bread-fruit tree, which is still more light and spongy. The trunk of the bread-fruit tree is six feet in girth, and about 20 feet to the branches.
Their principal weapons are stones, thrown either with the hand or sling, and bludgeons; for though they have bows and arrows, the arrows are only fit to knock down a bird, none of them being pointed, but headed only with a round stone.
I did not see one turtle all the while I lay off this island, but upon shewing some small ones which I brought from Queen Charlotte's Island, to the inhabitants, they made signs that they had them of a much larger size. I very much regretted my having lost our he-goat, which died soon after we left Saint Iago, and that neither of our she-goats, of which we had two, were with kid. If the he-goat had lived, I would have put them all on shore at this place, and I would have left a she-goat here if either of them had been with kid; and I doubt not, but that in a few years they would have stocked the island.
The climate here appears to be very good, and the island to be one of the most healthy as well as delightful spots in the world. We saw no appearance of disease among the inhabitants. The hills are covered with wood, and the vallies--page 489-- with herbage; and the air in general is so pure, that, notwithstanding the heat, our flesh meat kept very well two days, and our fish one. We met with no frog, toad, scorpion, centipied, or serpent of any kind: and the only troublesome insects that we saw were ants, of which there were but few.
The south-east part of the island seems to be better cultivated and inhabited than where we lay, for we saw every day boats come round from thence laden with plantains and other fruit, and we always found greater plenty, and a lower price, soon after their arrival, than before.
The tide rises and falls very little, and being governed by the winds, is very uncertain; though they generally blow from the E. to the S. S. E. and for the most part a pleasant breeze.
The benefit that we received while we lay off this island, with respect to the health of the ship's company, was beyond our most sanguine expectations, for we had not now an invalid on board, except the two Lieutenants and myself, and we were recovering, though still in a very feeble condition.
It is certain that none of our people contracted the venereal disease here, and therefore, as they had free commerce with great numbers of the women, there is the greatest probability that it was not then known in the country. It was, however, found here by Captain Cook, in the Endeavour, and as no European vessel is known to have visited this island before Captain Cook's arrival, but the Dolphin, and the Boudeuse and Etoil, commanded by M. Bougainville, the reproach of having contaminated with that dreadful pest, a race of happy people, to whom its miseries had till then been unknown, must be due either to him or to me, to England or to France; and I think myself happy to be able to exculpate myself and my country beyond the possibility of doubt.--page 490--
It is well known, that the Surgeon on board his Majesty's ships keeps a list of the persons who are sick on board, specifying their diseases, and the times when they came under his care, and when they were discharged. It happened that I was once at the pay-table on board a ship, when several sailors objected to the payment of the Surgeon, alleging, that although he had discharged them from the list, and reported them to be cured, yet their cure was incomplete. From this time, it has been my constant practice when the Surgeon reported a man to be cured, who had been upon the sick list, to call the man before me, and ask him whether the report was true: if he alleged that any symptoms of his complaint remained, I continued him upon the list; if not, I required him, as a confirmation of the Surgeon's report, to sign the book, which was always done in my presence. A copy of the sick list on board the Dolphin, during this voyage, signed by every man in my presence, when he was discharged well, in confirmation of the Surgeon's report, written in my own hand, and confirmed by my affidavit, I have deposited in the Admiralty; by which it appears, that the last man on board the ship, in her voyage outward, who was upon the sick list for the venereal disease, except one who was sent to England in the Store ship, was discharged cured, and signed the book on the 27th of December 1766, near six months before our arrival at Otaheite, which was on the 19th of June 1767; and that the first man who was upon the list for that disease, in our return home, was entered on the 26th of February 1768, six months after we left the island, which was on the 26th of July 1767, so that the ship's company was intirely free fourteen months within one day, the very middle of which time we spent at Otaheite; and the man who was first entered as a venereal patient, on our return home, was known to have contracted the disease at the Cape of Good Hope, where we then lay.