A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14
by Robert Kerr
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[2] Of this day's date we find an incident which very strikingly illustrates the consequences to the morals of the Otaheiteans, resulting from their acquaintance with strangers. "That our red feathers had infused a general and irresistible longing into the minds of all the people, will appear from the following circumstance. I have observed, in the former part of this narrative, that the women of the families of chiefs never admitted the visits of Europeans; and also that whatever liberties some unmarried girls might with impunity allow themselves, the married state had always been held sacred and unspotted at Otaheite. But such was the force of the temptation, that a chief actually offered his wife to Captain Cook, and the lady, by her husband's order, attempted to captivate him, by an artful display of her charms, seemingly in such a careless manner, as many a woman would be at a loss to imitate. I was sorry, for the sake of human nature, that this proposal came from a man, whose general character was in other respects very fair. It was Potatow who could descend to such meanness, from the high spirit of grandeur which he had formerly shewn. We expressed great indignation at his conduct, and rebuked him for his frailty."—G.F.

From this specimen of frailty, may be readily inferred the dissoluteness of those females, who had neither rank nor marriage to render chastity a virtue. But, alas! one need not visit the South Seas, to become acquainted with the possible extent of human infirmity. A cynic might, without such travel, be tempted to parody the words of Sir Robert Walpole, and say, that every woman had her price. The proposition is a harsh one, and the more so as obviously irrefutable. It does, however, read this most important lesson, that there is much greater safety in avoiding temptation, than in trusting to any power of resistance. They, it is to be feared, who are least sensible of this truth, and who feel most indignant at its being stated, stand most in need of its salutary influence.—E.

[3] Forster the father met with a serious accident during this excursion. In descending from the hills, rendered exceedingly slippery from the recent rains, he had the misfortune to fall, which both bruised his leg in a very severe manner, and also occasioned a rupture.—E.

[4] "The number of common women on board our ships considerably increased, since we had begun to deal in red feathers. Their mirth was often extravagant and noisy; and sometimes their ideas were so original as to give great amusement. We had a very weak scorbutic patient when we arrived at Otaheite; this man being somewhat recovered by means of fresh vegetable food, and animated by the example of the crew, wooed one of these girls; about dusk he led her to his birth, and lighted a candle. She looked her lover in the face, and finding he had lost an eye, she took him by the hand, and conducted him upon deck again to a girl that was one-eyed likewise, giving him to understand, that that person was a fit partner for him, but that for her part she did not choose to put up with a blind lover."—G.F.

[5] When here before, Captain Cook could not obtain this very singular article; but, at this time, according to Mr G.F., not less than ten complete mourning-dresses were purchased by different persons, who brought them to England. Captain Cook gave one to the British Museum, and Mr Forster another to the University of Oxford. A sailor sold a third on his return home for twenty-five guineas, but to whom Mr G.F. does not mention.—E.

[6] It is still more probable that both reasons concur. The higher orders, besides, it is certain, were far enough from being disinclined to exhibit their ingenuity in pilfering. We have seen instances of this sort before. Mr G.F. relates one of some interest, as presented in the king's own sister, a woman about twenty-seven years old, and who possessed great authority over her sex. Her high rank did not elevate her above some very vulgar propensities, of which, covetousness, though abundantly conspicuous, was not the most considerable. The only apology Mr G.F. makes for her, has little specific excellence to commend it. "In a country," says he, "where the impulses of nature are followed without restraint, it would be extraordinary if an exception should be made, and still more so, if it should be confined to those who are accustomed to have their will in most other respects. The passions of mankind are similar every where; the same instincts are active in the slave and the prince; consequently the history of their effects must ever be the same in every country." It is both mortifying and consolatory to think, that the utmost height to which ambition may aspire, will not exempt one from the polluting agency of "mire and dirt." Death, we see, is not the only leveller in the world.—E.


Preparations to leave the Island. Another Naval Review, and various other Incidents; with some Account of the Island, its Naval Force, and Number of Inhabitants.

In the morning of the 11th, a very large supply of fruit was brought us from all parts. Some of it came from Towha, the admiral, sent as usual by his servants, with orders to receive nothing in return. But he desired I would go and see him at Attahourou, as he was ill and could not come to me. As I could not well undertake this journey, I sent Oedidee along with Towha's servants, with a present suitable to that which I had in so genteel a manner received from him. As the most essential repairs of the ship were nearly finished, I resolved to leave Otaheite in a few days; and accordingly ordered every thing to be got off from the shore, that the natives might see we were about to depart.

On the 12th, old Oberea, the woman who, when the Dolphin was here in 1767, was thought to be queen of the island, and whom I had not seen since 1769, paid us a visit, and brought a present of hogs and fruit. Soon after came Otoo, with a great retinue, and a large quantity of provisions. I was pretty liberal in my returns, thinking it might be the last time I should see these good people, who had so liberally relieved our wants; and in the evening entertained them with fire-works.

On the 13th, wind easterly, fair weather. Nevertheless we were not ready to sail, as Otoo had made me promise to see him again; and I had a present to make him, which I reserved to the last. Oedidee was not yet come back from Attahourou; various reports arose concerning him: Some said he had returned to Matavai; others, that he would not return; and some would have it, that he was at Oparree. In order to know more of the truth, a party of us in the evening went down to Oparee; where we found him, and likewise Towha, who, notwithstanding his illness, had resolved to see me before I sailed; and had got thus far on his journey. He was afflicted with a swelling in his feet and legs, which had entirely taken away the use of them. As the day was far spent, we were obliged to shorten our stay; and after seeing Otoo, we returned with Oedidee on board.

This youth, I found, was desirous of remaining at this isle, having before told him, as likewise many others, that we should not return. I now mentioned to him, that he was at liberty to remain here; or to quit us at Ulietea; or to go with us to England; frankly owning that if he chose the latter, it was very probable he would never return to his country; in which case I would take care of him, and he must afterwards look upon me as his father. He threw his arms about me, and wept much, saying many people persuaded him to remain at Otaheite. I told him to go ashore and speak to his friends, and then come to me in the morning. He was well beloved in the ship; so that every one was persuading him to go with us; telling what great things he would see in England, and the immense riches (according to his idea of riches) he would return with. But I thought proper to undeceive him, as knowing that the only inducement to his going, was the expectation of returning, and I could see no prospect of an opportunity of that kind happening, unless a ship should be expressly sent out for that purpose; which neither I, nor anyone else, had a right to expect. I thought it an act of the highest injustice to take a person from these isles, under any promise which was not in my power to perform. At this time indeed it was quite unnecessary; for many youths voluntarily offered themselves to go, and even to remain and die in Pretanee; as they call our country. Otoo importuned me much to take one or two to collect red feathers for him at Amsterdam, willing to risk the chance of their returning. Some of the gentlemen on board were likewise desirous of taking some as servants; but I refused every solicitation of this kind, knowing, from experience, they would be of no use to us in the course of the voyage; and farther my views were not extended. What had the greatest weight with me was, the thinking myself bound to see they were afterwards properly taken care of, as they could not be carried from their native spot without consent.

Next morning early, Oedidee came on board, with a resolution to remain on the island; but Mr Forster prevailed upon him to go with us to Ulietea. Soon after, Towha, Potatou, Oamo, Happi, Oberea, and several more of our friends, came on board with fruit, &c. Towha was hoisted in and placed on a chair on the quarter-deck; his wife was with him. Amongst the various articles which I gave this chief, was an English pendant, which pleased him more than all the rest, especially after he had been instructed in the use of it.[1]

We had no sooner dispatched our friends, than we saw a number of war-canoes coming round the point of Oparree. Being desirous of having a nearer view of them, accompanied by some of the officers and gentlemen, I hastened down to Oparree, which we reached before all the canoes were landed, and had an opportunity of seeing in what manner they approached the shore. When they got before the place where they intended to land, they formed themselves into divisions, consisting of three or four, or perhaps more, lashed square and close along-side of each other; and then each division, one after the other, paddled in for the shore with all their might, and conducted in so judicious a manner, that they formed and closed a line along, the shore, to an inch. The rowers were encouraged to exert their strength by their leaders on the stages, and directed by a man who stood with a wand in his hand in the forepart of the middlemost vessel. This man, by words and actions, directed the paddlers when all should paddle, when either the one side or the other should cease, &c.; for the steering paddles alone were not sufficient to direct them. All these motions they observed with such quickness, as clearly shewed them to be expert in their business. After Mr Hodges had made a drawing of them, as they lay ranged along the shore, we landed and took a nearer view of them, by going on board several. This fleet consisted of forty sail, equipped in the same manner as those we had seen before, belonged to the little district of Tettaha, and were come to Oparree to be reviewed before the king, as the former fleet had been. There were attending on his fleet some small double canoes, which they called Marais, having on their fore-part a kind of double bed place laid over with green leaves, each just sufficient to hold one man. These, they told us, were to lay their dead upon; their chiefs I suppose they meant, otherwise their slain must be few. Otoo, who was present, caused at my request some of their troops to go through their exercise on shore. Two parties first began with clubs, but this was over almost as soon as begun; so that I had no time to make my observations upon it. They then went to single combat, and exhibited the various methods of fighting, with great alertness; parrying off the blows and pushes which each combatant aimed at the other, with great dexterity. Their arms were clubs and spears; the latter they also use as darts. In fighting with the club, all blows intended to be given the legs, were evaded by leaping over it; and those intended for the head, by couching a little, and leaping on one side; thus the blow would fall to the ground. The spear or dart was parried by fixing the point of a spear in the ground right before them, holding it in an inclined position, more or less elevated according to the part of the body they saw their antagonist intending to make a push, or throw his dart at, and by moving the hand a little to the right or left, either the one or the other was turned off with great ease. I thought that when one combatant had parried off the blows, &c. of the other, he did not use the advantage which seemed to me to accrue. As for instance, after he had parried off a dart, he still stood on the defensive, and suffered his antagonist to take up another, when I thought there was time to run him through the body.[2]

These combatants had no superfluous dress upon them; an unnecessary piece of cloth or two, which they had on when they began, were presently torn off by the by-standers, and given to some of our gentlemen present. This being over, the fleet departed; not in any order, but as fast as they could be got afloat; and we went with Otoo to one of his dock-yards, where the two large pahies or canoes were building, each of which was an hundred and eight feet long. They were almost ready to launch, and were intended to make one joint double pahie or canoe. The king begged of me a grappling and rope, to which I added an English jack and pendant (with the use of which he was well acquainted), and desired the pahie might be called Britannia. This he very readily agreed to; and she was named accordingly. After this he gave me a hog, and a turtle of about sixty pounds weight, which was put privately into our boat; the giving it away not being agreeable to some of the great lords about him, who were thus deprived of a feast. He likewise would have given me a large shark they had prisoner in a creek (some of his fins being cut off, so that he could not make his escape), but the fine pork and fish we had got at this isle, had spoiled our palates for such food. The king, and Tee, his prime minister, accompanied us on board to dinner; and after it was over, took a most affectionate farewell. He hardly ever ceased soliciting me, this day, to return to Otaheite; and just before he went out of the ship, took a youth by the hand, and presented him to me, desiring I would keep him on board to go to Amsterdam to collect red feathers. I told him I could not, since I knew he would never return; but that if any ship should happen to come from Britain to this isle, I would either bring or send him red feathers in abundance. This in some measure satisfied him; but the youth was exceedingly desirous of going; and if I had not come to a resolution to carry no one from the isles (except Oedidee if he chose to go), and but just refused Mr Forster the liberty of taking a boy, I believe I should have consented. Otoo remained alongside in his canoe till we were under sail, when we put off, and was saluted with three guns.

Our treatment here was such as had induced one of our gunner's mates to form a plan to remain at this isle. He knew he could not execute it with success while we lay in the bay, therefore took the opportunity, as soon as we were out, the boats in, and sails set, to slip overboard, being a good swimmer. But he was discovered before he got clear of the ship; and we presently hoisted a boat out, and took him up. A canoe was observed about half-way between us and the shore, seemingly coming after us. She was intended to take him up; but as soon as the people in her saw our boat, they kept at a distance. This was a pre-concerted plan between the man and them, which Otoo was acquainted with, and had encouraged. When I considered this man's situation in life, I did not think him so culpable, nor the resolution he had taken of staying here so extraordinary, as it may at first appear. He was an Irishman by birth, and had sailed in the Dutch service. I picked him up at Batavia on my return from my former voyage, and he had been with me ever since. I never learnt that he had either friends or connections, to confine him to any particular part of the world. All nations were alike to him. Where then could such a man be more happy than at one of these isles? where, in one of the finest climates in the world, he could enjoy not only the necessaries, but the luxuries of life, in ease and plenty. I know not if he might not have obtained my consent, if he had applied for it in a proper time.[3] As soon as we had got him on board, and the boat in, I steered for Huaheine, in order to pay a visit to our friends there. But before we leave Otaheite, it will be necessary to give some account of the present state of that island; especially as it differs very much from what it was eight months before.

I have already mentioned the improvements we found in the plains of Oparree and Matavai. The same was observable in every other part into which we came. It seemed to us almost incredible, that so many large canoes and houses could be built in so short a space as eight months. The iron tools which they had got from the English, and other nations who have lately touched at the isle, had no doubt greatly accelerated the work; and they had no want of hands, as I shall soon make appear.

The number of hogs was another thing that excited our wonder. Probably they were not so scarce when we were here before, as we imagined, and not chusing to part with any, they had conveyed them out of our sight. Be this as it may, we now not only got as many as we could consume during our stay, but some to take to sea with us.

When I was last here, I conceived but an unfavourable opinion of Otoo's talents. The improvements since made in the island convinced me of my mistake; and that he must have been a man of good parts. He had indeed some judicious sensible men about him, who, I believe, had a great share in the government. In truth, we know not how far his power extended as king, nor how far he could command the assistance of the other chiefs, or was controulable by them. It should seem, however, that all had contributed towards bringing the isle to its present flourishing state. We cannot doubt that there were divisions amongst the great men of this state, as well as of most others; or else why did the king tell us, that Towha the admiral, and Poatatou were not his friends? They were two leading chiefs; and he must have been jealous of them on account of their great power; for on every occasion he seemed to court their interest. We had reason to believe that they raised by far the greatest number of vessels and men, to go against Eimea, and were to be two of the commanders in the expedition, which we were told was to take place five days after our departure. Waheatoua, king of Tiarabou, was to send a fleet to join that of Otoo, to assist him in reducing to obedience the chief of Eimea. I think, we were told, that young prince was one of the commanders. One would suppose that so small an island as Eimea would hardly have attempted to make head against the united force of these two kingdoms, but have endeavoured to settle matters by negociation. Yet we heard of no such thing; on the contrary, every one spoke of nothing but fighting. Towha told us more than once, that he should die there; which, in some measure, shews that he thought of it. Oedidee told me the battle would be fought at sea; in which case the other must have a fleet nearly equal, if not quite, to the one going against them; which I think was not probable. It was therefore more likely they would remain ashore upon the defensive; as we were told they did about five or six years ago, when attacked by the people of Tiarabou, whom they repulsed. Five general officers were to command in this expedition; of which number Otoo was one; and if they named them in order according to the posts they held, Otoo was only the third in command. This seems probable enough; as being but a young man, he could not have sufficient experience to command such an expedition, where the greatest skill and judgment seemed to be necessary. I confess I would willingly have staid five days longer, had I been sure the expedition would have then taken place; but it rather seemed that they wanted us to be gone first. We had been all along told, it would be ten moons before it took place; and it was not till the evening before we sailed, that Otoo and Towha told us it was to be in five days after we were gone; as if it were necessary to have that time to put every thing in order; for, while we lay there, great part of their time and attention was taken up with us. I had observed that for several days before we sailed, Otoo and the other chiefs had ceased to solicit my assistance, as they were continually doing at first, till I assured Otoo that, if they got their fleet ready in time, I would sail with them down to Eimea: After this I heard no more of it. They probably had taken it into consideration, and concluded themselves safer without me; well knowing it would be in my power to give the victory to whom I pleased; and that, at the best, I might thwart some favourite custom, or run away with the spoils. But be their reasons what they might, they certainly wanted us to be gone, before they undertook any thing. Thus we were deprived of seeing the whole fleet equipped on this occasion; and perhaps of being spectators of a sea-fight, and by that means, gaining some knowledge of their manoeuvres.

I never could learn what number of vessels were to go on this expedition. We knew of no more than two hundred and ten, besides smaller canoes to serve as transports, &c. and the fleet of Tiarabou, the strength of which we never learnt. Nor could I ever learn the number of men necessary to man this fleet; and whenever I asked the question, the answer was Warou, warou, warou te Tata, that is, many, many, many, men; as if the number far exceeded their arithmetic. If we allow forty men to each war-canoe, and four to each of the others, which is thought a moderate computation, the number will amount to nine thousand. An astonishing number to be raised in four districts; and one of them, viz. Matavia, did not equip a fourth part of its fleet. The fleet of Tiarabou is not included in this account; and many other districts might be arming, which we knew nothing of. I however believe, that the whole isle did not arm on this occasion; for we saw not the least preparations making in Oparree. From what we saw and could learn, I am clearly of opinion that the chief or chiefs of each district superintended the equipping of the fleet belonging to that district; but after they are equipped, they must pass in review before the king, and be approved of by him. By this means he knows the state of the whole, before they assemble to go on service.

It hath been already observed, that the number of war-canoes belonging to Attahourou and Ahopata was a hundred and sixty; to Tettaba, forty; and to Matavia, ten; and that this district did not equip one-fourth part of their number. If we suppose every district in the island, of which there are forty-three, to raise and equip the same number of war-canoes as Tettaha, we shall find, by this estimate, that the whole island can raise and equip one thousand seven hundred and twenty war-canoes, and sixty-eight thousand able men; allowing forty men to each canoe. And as these cannot amount to above one-third part of the number of both sexes, children included, the whole island cannot contain less than two hundred and four thousand inhabitants, a number which at first sight exceeded my belief. But when I came to reflect on the vast swarms which appeared wherever we came, I was convinced that this estimate was not much, if at all, too great. There cannot be a greater proof of the riches and fertility of Otaheite (not forty leagues in circuit) than its supporting such a number of inhabitants.

This island made formerly but one kingdom; how long it has been divided into two, I cannot pretend to say; but I believe not long. The kings of Tiarabou are a branch of the family of those of Opoureonu; at present, the two are nearly related; and, I think, the former is, in some measure, dependent on the latter. Otoo is styled Earee de hie of the whole island; and we have been told that Waheatoua, the king of Tiarabou, must uncover before him, in the same manner as the meanest of his subjects. This homage is due to Otoo as Earee de hie of the isle, to Tarevatou, his brother, and his second sister; to the one as heir, and to the other as heir apparent; his eldest sister being married, is not entitled to this homage.

The Eowas and Whannos, we have sometimes seen covered before the king; but whether by courtesy, or by virtue of their office, we never could learn. These men, who are the principal persons about the king, and form his court, are generally, if not always, his relations; Tee, whom I have so often mentioned, was one of them. We have been told, that the Eowas, who have the first rank, attend in their turns, a certain number each day, which occasioned us to call them lords in waiting; but whether this was really so, I cannot say. We seldom found Tee absent; indeed his attendance was necessary, as being best able to negociate matters between us and them, on which service he was always employed; and he executed it, I have reason to believe, to the satisfaction of both parties.

It is to be regretted, that we know little more of this government than the general out-line; for, of its subdivisions, classes, or orders of the constituent parts, how disposed, or in what manner connected, so as to form one body politic, we know but little. We are sure, however, that it is of the feudal kind; and if we may judge from what we have seen, it has sufficient stability, and is by no means badly constructed.

The Eowas and Whannos always eat with the king; indeed I do not know if any one is excluded from this privilege but the Toutous. For as to the women, they are out of the question, as they never eat with the men, let their rank be ever so much elevated.

Notwithstanding this kind of kingly establishment, there was very little about Otoo's person or court by which a stranger could distinguish the king from the subject. I seldom saw him dressed in any thing but a common piece of cloth wrapped round his loins; so that he seemed to avoid all unnecessary pomp, and even to demean himself more than any other of the Earees. I have seen him work at a paddle, in coming to and going from the ship, in common with the other paddlers; and even when some of his Toutous sat looking on. All have free access to him, and speak to him wherever they see him, without the least ceremony; such is the easy freedom which every individual of this happy isle enjoys. I have observed that the chiefs of these isles are more beloved by the bulk of the people, than feared. May we not from hence conclude, that the government is mild and equitable?

We have mentioned that Waheatoua or Tiarabou is related to Otoo. The same may be said of the chiefs of Eimea, Tapamanoo, Huaheine, Ulietea, Otaha, and Bolabola; for they are all related to the royal family of Otaheite. It is a maxim with the Earees, and others of superior rank, never to intermarry with the Toutous, or others of inferior rank. Probably this custom is one great inducement to the establishing of the societies called Eareeoies. It is certain that these societies greatly prevent the increase of the superior classes of people of which they are composed, and do not at all interfere with the inferiors, or Toutous; for I never heard of one of these being an Eareeoy. Nor did I ever hear that a Toutou could rise in life above the rank in which he was born.

I have occasionally mentioned the extraordinary fondness the people of Otaheite shewed for red feathers. These they call Oora, and they are as valuable here as jewels are in Europe, especially those which they call Ooravine, and grow on the head of the green paraquet: Indeed, all red feathers are esteemed, but none equally with these; and they are such good judges as to know very well how to distinguish one sort from another. Many of our people attempted to deceive them by dying other feathers; but I never heard that any one succeeded. These feathers they make up in little bunches, consisting of eight or ten, and fix them to the end of a small cord about three or four inches long, which is made of the strong outside fibres of the cocoa-nut, twisted so hard that it is like a wire, and serves as a handle to the bunch. Thus prepared, they are used as symbols of the Eatuas, or divinities, in all their religious ceremonies. I have often seen them hold one of these bunches, and sometimes only two or three feathers, between the fore finger and thumb, and say a prayer, not one word of which I could ever understand. Whoever comes to this island, will do well to provide himself with red feathers, the finest and smallest that are to be got. He must also have a good stock of axes, and hatchets, spike- nails, files, knives, looking-glasses, beads, &c. Sheets and shirts are much sought after, especially by the ladies; as many of our gentlemen found by experience.

The two goats which Captain Furneaux gave to Otoo when we were last here, seemed to promise fair for answering the end for which they were put on shore. The ewe soon after had two female kids, which were now so far grown as to be nearly ready to propagate; and the old ewe was again with kid. The people seemed to be very fond of them, and they to like their situation as well; for they were in excellent condition. From this circumstance we may hope that, in a few years, they will have some to spare to their neighbours; and by that means they may in time spread over all the isles in this ocean. The sheep which we left died soon after, excepting one, which we understood was yet alive. We have also furnished them with a stock of cats; no less than twenty having been given away at this isle, besides those which were left at Ulietea and Huaheine.

[1] "The good old admiral was so ill that he could not stand on his legs; he was very desirous, however, to come upon deck; we therefore slung a chair on ropes, and hoisted him up in it, to his great delight, and to the astonishment of all his countrymen. Notwithstanding his illness, he told us he was determined to command the expedition against Eimea, saying it was of little consequence if they killed an old man, who could no longer be useful. He was very cheerful under his infirmities, and his way of thinking was nobly disinterested, and seemed to be animated by true heroism. He took leave of us with a degree of cordiality and emotion, which touched the heart, and might have reconciled a misanthrope to the world."—G.F.— Who does not see in this noble veteran the radical principles which characterize a British tar? There needs indeed, but a little of the Roman or Grecian painting, to render him a fit stage-companion for almost any of the ancient heroes; and who can tell, but that in some distant aera, when the Otaheitan language shall be read and classical, the drivelling pedants of the south will blazon his fame, as we now do that of his elder fraternity? G.F. had his eye directed to such a kind of comparison betwixt Greeks and Otaheitans, in a passage which the reader will find in the next note, and which is a fair specimen of that gentleman's lively and entertaining style.—E.

[2] "The view of the Otaheitan fleet frequently brought to our minds an idea of the naval force which that nation employed in the first ages of its existence, and induced us to compare them together. The Greeks were doubtless better armed, having the use of metals; but it seemed plain, from the writings of Homer, in spite of poetical embellishment, that their mode of fighting was irregular, and their arms simple, like those of Otaheite. The united efforts of Greece against Troy, in remote antiquity, could not be much more considerable than the armament of Otoo against the isle of Eimea; and the boasted mille carinae were probably not more formidable than a fleet of large canoes, which require from fifty to an hundred and twenty men, to paddle them. The navigation of the Greeks, in those days, was not more extensive than that which is practised by the Otaheitans at present, being confined to short passages from island to island; and as the stars at night directed the mariners through the Archipelago at that time, so they still continue to guide others in the Pacific Ocean. The Greeks were brave; but the numerous wounds of the Otaheitan chiefs, are all proofs of their spirit and prowess. It seems to be certain, that in their battles they rouse themselves into a kind of phrenzy, and that their bravery is a violent fit of passion. From Homer's battles, it is evident, that the heroism which produced the wonders he records, was exactly of the same nature. Let us for a moment be allowed to carry this comparison still farther. The heroes of Homer are represented to us as men of supernatural size and force. The Otaheitan chiefs, compared to the common people, are so much superior in stature and elegance of form, that they look like a different race. It requires a more than ordinary quantity of food to satisfy stomachs of unusual dimensions. Accordingly we find, that the mighty men at the siege of Troy, and the chiefs of Otaheite, are both famous for eating, and it appears that pork was a diet no less admired by the Greeks, than it is by the Otaheitans at this day. Simplicity of manners is observable in both nations; and their domestic character is hospitable, affectionate, and humane. There is even a similarity in their political constitution. The chiefs of districts at Otaheite are powerful princes, who have not more respect for Otoo than the Greek heroes had for the "king of men;" and the common people are so little noticed in the Iliad, that they appear to have had no greater consequence, than the towtows in the South Seas. In short, I believe the similitude might be traced in many other instances; but it was my intention only to hint at it, and not to abuse the patience of my readers. What I have here said is sufficient to prove, that men in a similar state of civilization resemble each other more than we are aware of, even in the most opposite extremes of the world."—G.F.— This gentleman guards against any more particular deductions from such resemblance as he has now noticed, by adverting to the havoc made in history by the modern itch for tracing pedigrees, alluding especially to the affinity imagined betwixt the Egyptians and Chinese. On such subjects, it is certain, human ingenuity has been fruitful of extravagancies, and there is much less risk of absurdity if we abide by merely general inferences; but, on the other hand, it must be admitted, that these are often specious pretexts for avoiding the labours of enquiry, and have very rarely contributed any thing to the stock of useful knowledge. Besides, they are often as fundamentally theoretic, as those more specific notions which they are used to supplant, though far less operative on the minds of those who maintain them, except indeed, in so far as a conceited indolence is concerned, of which, it is often difficult to say, whether they are the parent or the offspring. But at best, your transcendental philosophers are very like those general admirers of the fair sex, who are ready enough to pay compliments which cost them just as little as they signify, but who are too fond of themselves, to squander away on a single individual, any portion of that affection which they think can be much better bestowed elsewhere. Whereas, an attachment to some specific theory, like the ardour of a real lover, excites to active services and solicitous assiduity; and even when it does not obtain its object, is deserving of gratitude at least, and rarely fails to be rewarded by it.—E.

[3] The poor fellow, Mr G.F. informs us, paid a fortnight's confinement in irons for his frolic, a greater price, perhaps, the reader will think, than the matter deserved. One shudders to imagine what would be his anguish at the simple disappointment of his purpose; but that it is possible might render him less sensible to the weight of his bonds. That a solitary hopeless wretch, who had not a friend or relative in any other region of the globe, should form an attachment to these affectionate islanders, and attempt to settle in the midst of their proffered enjoyments, was so imperatively natural, that one cannot help feeling indignation at the mercilessness of an artificial discipline, which exerted so rigorous a retribution. The advantages of this penal system must be great and obvious indeed, that can compensate for such enormous outrage on suffering humanity. G.F. has allowed himself to reason on this subject, in a way not much calculated to ease the mind of his reader: a short specimen may suffice. "The most favourable prospects of future success in England, which this man might form in idea, could never be so flattering to his senses, as the lowly hope of living like the meanest Otaheitan. It was highly probable that immediately on his return home, instead of indulging in repose those limbs which had been tossed from pole to pole, he would be placed in another ship, where the same fatigues, nocturnal watches, and unwholesome food, would still fall to his share; or though he were allowed to solace himself for a few days, after a long series of hardships, he must expect to be seized in the midst of his enjoyments, and to be dragged an unwilling champion to the defence of his country: to be cut off in the flower of his age, or to remain miserably crippled with only half his limbs, might be the alternatives to which he would be reduced." But we forbear the distressing theme, and would willingly direct the reader's eye and hopes, to that most beneficent provision for the repose and comfort of our meritorious sailors, which the wisdom of the legislature, too tardily it must be confessed, has lately contemplated.—E.


The Arrival of the Ship at the Island of Huaheine; with an Account of an Expedition into the Island, and several other Incidents which happened while she lay there.

At one o'clock in the afternoon, on the 15th, we anchored in the north entrance of O'Wharre harbour, in the island of Huaheine; hoisted out the boats, warped into a proper birth, and moored with the bower and kedge anchor, not quite a cable's length from the shore. While this was doing, several of the natives made us a visit, amongst whom was old Oree the chief, who brought a hog and some other articles, which he presented to me, with the usual ceremony.

Next morning, the natives began to bring us fruit. I returned Oree's visit, and made my present to him; one article of which was red feathers. Two or three of these the chief took in his right hand, holding them up between the finger and thumb, and said a prayer, as I understood, which was little noticed by any present. Two hogs were soon after put into my boat, and he and several of his friends came on board and dined with us. After dinner Oree gave me to understand what articles would be most acceptable to him and his friends, which were chiefly axes and nails. Accordingly I gave him what he asked, and desired he would distribute them to the others, which he did, seemingly to the satisfaction of every one. A youth about ten or twelve years of age, either his son or grandson, seemed to be the person of most note, and had the greatest share.

After the distribution was over, they all returned ashore. Mr Forster and his party being out in the country botanizing, his servant, a feeble man, was beset by five or six fellows, who would have stripped him, if that moment one of the party had not come to his assistance; after which they made off with a hatchet they had got from him.

On the 17th, I went ashore to look for the chief, in order to complain of the outrage committed as above; but he was not in the neighbourhood. Being ashore in the afternoon, a person came and told me Oree wanted to see me. I went with the man, and was conducted to a large house, where the chief and several other persons of note were assembled in council, as well as I could understand. After I was seated, and some conversation had passed among them, Oree made a speech, and was answered by another. I understood no more of either, than just to know it regarded the robbery committed the day before. The chief then began to assure me, that neither he, nor any one present (which were the principal chiefs in the neighbourhood) had any hand in it; and desired me to kill, with the guns, all those which had. I assured him, that I was satisfied that neither he nor those present were at all concerned in the affair; and that I should do with the fellows as he desired, or any others who were guilty of the like crimes. Having asked where the fellows were, and desired they would bring them to me, that I might do with them as he had said, his answer was, they were gone to the mountains, and he could not get them. Whether this was the case or not, I will not pretend to say. I knew fair means would never make them deliver them up; and I had no intention to try others. So the affair dropt, and the council broke up.

In the evening, some of the gentlemen went to a dramatic entertainment. The piece represented a girl as running away with us from Otaheite; which was in some degree true; as a young woman had taken a passage with us down to Ulietea, and happened now to be present at the representation of her own adventures; which had such an effect upon her, that it was with great difficulty our gentlemen could prevail upon her to see the play out, or to refrain from tears while it was acting. The piece concluded with the reception she was supposed to meet with from her friends at her return; which was not a very favourable one. These people can add little extempore pieces to their entertainments, when they see occasion. Is it not then reasonable to suppose that it was intended as a satire against this girl, and to discourage others from following her steps?[1]

In the morning of the 18th, Oree came on board with a present of fruit, stayed dinner, and in the afternoon desired to see some great guns fired, shotted, which I complied with. The reason of his making this request was his hearing, from Oedidee, and our Otaheitean passengers, that we had so done at their island. The chief would have had us fire at the hills; but I did not approve of that, lest the shot should fall short and do some mischief. Besides, the effect was better seen in the water. Some of the petty officers, who had leave to go into the country for their amusement, took two of the natives with them to be their guides, and to carry their bags, containing nails, hatchets, &c. the current cash we traded with here; which the fellows made off with in the following artful manner: The gentlemen had with them two muskets for shooting birds. After a shower of rain, their guides pointed out some for them to shoot. One of the muskets having missed fire several times, and the other having gone off, the instant the fellows saw themselves secure from both, they ran away, leaving the gentlemen gazing after them with so much surprise, that no one had presence of mind to pursue them.

The 19th, showery morning; fair afternoon, nothing happened worthy of note.

Early in the morning of the 20th, three of the officers set out on a shooting party, rather contrary to my inclination; as I found the natives, at least some of them, were continually watching every opportunity to rob straggling parties, and were daily growing more daring. About three o'clock in the afternoon, I got intelligence that they were seized and stripped of every thing they had about them. Upon this I immediately went on shore with a boat's crew, accompanied by Mr Forster, and took possession of a large house with all its effects, and two chiefs whom I found in it; but this we did in such a manner, that they hardly knew what we were about, being unwilling to alarm the neighbourhood. In this situation I remained till I heard the officers had got back safe, and had all their things restored to them: Then I quitted the house; and presently after every thing in it was carried off. When I got on board I was informed of the whole affair by the officers themselves. Some little insult on their part, induced the natives to seize their guns, on which a scuffle ensued, some chiefs interfered, took the officers out of the crowd, and caused every thing which had been taken from them to be restored. This was at a place where we had before been told, that a set of fellows had formed themselves into a gang, with a resolution to rob every one who should go that way. It should seem from what followed, that the chief could not prevent this, or put a stop to these repeated outrages. I did not see him this evening, as he was not come into the neighbourhood when I went on board; but I learnt from Oedidee that he came soon after, and was so concerned at what had happened that he wept.

Day-light no sooner broke upon us on the 21st, than we saw upwards of sixty canoes under sail going out of the harbour, and steering over for Ulietea. On our enquiring the reason, we were told that the people in them were Eareeois, and were going to visit their brethren in the neighbouring isles. One may almost compare these men to free-masons; they tell us they assist each other when need requires; they seem to have customs among them which they either will not, or cannot explain. Oedidee told us he was one; Tupia was one; and yet I have not been able to get any tolerable idea of this set of men, from either of them. Oedidee denies that the children they have by their mistresses are put to death, as we understood from Tupia and others. I have had some conversation with Omai on this subject, and find that he confirms every thing that is said upon it in the narrative of my former voyage.[2]

Oedidee, who generally slept on shore, came off with a message from Oree, desiring I would land with twenty-two men, to go with him to chastise the robbers. The messenger brought with him, by way of assisting his memory, twenty-two pieces of leaves, a method customary amongst them. On my receiving this extraordinary message, I went to the chief for better information; and all I could learn of him was, that these fellows were a sort of banditti, who had formed themselves into a body, with a resolution of seizing and robbing our people wherever they found them, and were now armed for that purpose: For which reason he wanted me to go along with him, to chastise them. I told him, if I went they would fly to the mountains; but he said, they were resolved to fight us, and therefore desired I would destroy both them and their house; but begged I would spare those in the neighbourhood, as also the canoes and the Whenooa. By way of securing these, he presented me with a pig as a peace-offering for the Whenooa. It was too small to be meant for any thing but a ceremony of this kind. This sensible old chief could see (what perhaps none of the others ever thought of) that every thing in the neighbourhood was at our mercy, and therefore took care to secure them by this method, which I suppose to be of weight with them. When I returned on board, I considered of the chiefs request, which upon the whole appeared an extraordinary one. I however resolved to go, lest these fellows should be (by our refusal) encouraged to commit greater acts of violence; and, as their proceeding would soon reach Ulietea, where I intended to go next, the people there might be induced to treat us in the same manner, or worse, they being more numerous. Accordingly I landed with forty-eight men, including officers, Mr Forster, and some other of the gentlemen. The chief joined us with a few people, and we began to march, in search of the banditti, in good order. As we proceeded, the chief's party increased like a snow-ball. Oedidee, who was with us, began to be alarmed, observing that many of the people in our company were of the very party we were going against, and at last telling us, that they were only leading us to some place where they could attack us to advantage. Whether there was any truth in this, or it was only Oedidee's fears, I will not pretend to say. He, however, was the only person we could confide in. And we regulated our motions according to the information he had given us. After marching some miles, we got intelligence that the men we were going after had fled to the mountains; but I think this was not till I had declared to the chief I would proceed no farther. For we were then about crossing a deep valley, bounded on each side by steep rocks, where a few men with stones only might have made our retreat difficult, if their intentions were what Oedidee had suggested, and which he still persisted in. Having come to a resolution to return, we marched back in the same order as we went, and saw, in several places, people, who had been following us, coming down from the sides of the hills with their arms in their hands, which they instantly quitted, and hid in the bushes, when they saw they were discovered by us. This seemed to prove that there must have been some foundation for what Oedidee had said; but I cannot believe that the chief had any such design, whatever the people might have. In our return we halted at a convenient place to refresh ourselves. I ordered the people to bring us some cocoa-nuts, which they did immediately. Indeed, by this time, I believe many of them wished us on board out of the way; for although no one step was taken that could give them the least alarm, they certainly were in terror. Two chiefs brought each of them a pig, a dog, and some young plantain trees, the usual peace-offerings, and with due ceremony presented them singly to me. Another brought a very large hog, with which he followed us to the ship. After this we continued our course to the landing-place, where I caused several vollies to be fired, to convince the natives that we could support a continual fire. This being done, we all embarked and went on board; and soon after the chief following, brought with him a quantity of fruit, and sat down with us to dinner. We had scarce dined before more fruit was brought us by others, and two hogs; so that we were likely to make more by this little excursion than by all the presents we had made them. It certainly gave them some alarm to see so strong a party of men march into their country; and probably gave them a better opinion of fire-arms than they had before. For I believe they had but an indifferent, or rather contemptible, idea of muskets in general, having never seen any fired but at birds, &c. by such of our people as used to straggle about the country, the most of them but indifferent marksmen, losing generally two shots out of three, their pieces often, missing fire, and being slow in charging. Of all this they had taken great notice, and concluded, as well they might, that fire-arms were not so terrible things as they had been taught to believe.

When the chiefs took leave in the evening, they promised to bring us next day a very large supply of provisions. In the article of fruit they were as good as their word, but of hogs, which we most wanted, they brought far less than we expected. Going ashore in the afternoon, I found the chief just sitting down to dinner. I cannot say what was the occasion of his dining so late. As soon as he was seated, several people began chewing the pepper-root; about a pint of the juice of which, without any mixture, was the first dish, and was dispatched in a moment. A cup of it was presented to me; but the manner of brewing it was at this time sufficient. Oedidee was not so nice, but took what I refused. After this the chief washed his mouth with cocoa-nut water; then he eat of repe, plantain, and mahee, of each not a little; and, lastly, finished his repast by eating, or rather drinking, about three pints of popoie, which is made of bread-fruit, plantains, mahee, &c. beat together and diluted with water till it is of the consistence of a custard. This was at the outside of his house, in the open air; for at this time a play was acting within, as was done almost every day in the neighbourhood; but they were such poor performances that I never attended. I observed that, after the juice had been squeezed out of the chewed pepper-root for the chief, the fibres were carefully picked up and taken away by one of his servants. On my asking what he intended to do with it, I was told he would put water to it, and strain it again. Thus he would make what I will call small beer.

The 23d, wind easterly, as it had been ever since we left Otaheite. Early in the morning, we unmoored, and at eight weighed and put to sea. The good old chief was the last man who went out of the ship. At parting I told him we should see each other no more; at which he wept, and said, "Let your sons come, we will treat them well." Oree is a good man, in the utmost sense of the word; but many of the people are far from being of that disposition, and seem to take advantage of his old age; Teraderre, his grandson and heir, being yet but a youth. The gentle treatment the people of this isle ever met with from me, and the careless and imprudent manner in which many of our people had rambled about in the country, from a vain opinion that firearms rendered them invincible, encouraged many at Huaheine to commit acts of violence, which no man at Otaheite ever durst attempt.

During our stay here we got bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, &c. more than we could well-consume, but not hogs enough by far to supply our daily expence; and yet it did not appear that they were scarce in the isle. It must be allowed, however, that the number we took away, when last here, must have thinned them greatly, and at the same time stocked the isle with our articles. Besides, we now wanted a proper assortment of trade; what we had being nearly exhausted, and the few remaining red feathers being here but of little value, when compared to the estimation they stand in at Otaheite. This obliged me to set the smiths to work to make different sorts of iron tools, nails, &c. in order to enable me to procure refreshments at the other isles, and to support my credit and influence among the natives.

[1] "Her parents, from whom she had eloped to Otaheite with a favoured lover some years ago, were still alive, and the force of affection urged her irresistibly to visit them. She had concealed herself on board during Otoo's last visit, as he had expressly ordered that no woman should go with us; but being safe at present, she ventured to make her appearance. She was dressed in a suit of clothes belonging to one of the officers, and was so much pleased with her new garments, that she went ashore in them as soon as she arrived at Huaheine. She dined with the officers without the least scruple, and laughed at the prejudices of her country-women with all the good sense of a citizen of the world. With a proper education she might have shone as a woman of genius even in Europe; since, without the advantage of a cultivated understanding, her great vivacity, joined to very polite manners, already were sufficient to make her company supportable."—G.F.

From some of this gentleman's remarks, as well as what Captain Cook says, it appears that these islanders have pretty correct notions of the relative duty of children and parents.—E.

[2] Mr G.F. has entered upon a pretty minute account of this strange society, and does his best to palliate the enormities of which, there seems no reason to doubt, its really profligate members are almost habitually guilty. That gentleman is certainly liberal in his views of the natives in general, and on the whole appears disposed to give more credit to human nature than, perhaps, it will be found on the closest inspection to deserve. Though it may be conceded to him, that criminal individuals are not more numerous in the Society Islands, than among other people, yet it is obvious, that the discovery of the universal prevelancy of vice does not warrant any person to extenuate its malignity in any particular instances where it occurs.—E.


Arrival at Ulietea; with an Account of the Reception we met with there, and the several Incidents which happened during our Stay. A Report of two ships being at Huaheine. Preparations to leave the Island; and the Regret the Inhabitants shewed on the Occasion. The Character of Oedidee; with some general Observations on the Islands.

As soon as we were clear of the harbour, we made sail, and stood over for the South end of Ulietea. Oree took the opportunity to send a man with a message to Opoony. Being little wind all the latter part of the day, it was dark before we reached the west side of the isle, where we spent the night. The same light variable wind continued till ten o'clock next morning, when the trade-wind at east prevailed, and we ventured to ply up to the harbour, first sending a boat to lie in anchorage in the entrance. After making a few trips, we got before the channel, and with all our sails set, and the head-way the ship had acquired, shut her in as far as she would go; then dropped the anchor, and took in the sails. This is the method of getting into most of the harbours which are on the lee-side of these isles; for the channels, in general, are too narrow to ply in: We were now anchored between the two points of the reef which form the entrance; each not more than two-thirds the length of a cable from us, and on which the sea broke with such height and violence, as to people less acquainted with the place, would have been terrible. Having all our boats out with anchors and warps in them, which were presently run out, the ship warped into safety, where we dropt anchor for the night. While this work was going forward, my old friend Oree the chief, and several more, came to see us. The chief came not empty.

Next day we warped the ship into a proper birth, and moored her, so as to command all the shores around us. In the mean time a party of us went ashore to pay the chief a visit, and to make the customary present. At our first entering his house, we were met by four or five old women, weeping and lamenting, as it were, most bitterly, and at the same time cutting their heads, with instruments made of shark's teeth, till the blood ran plentifully down their faces and on their shoulders. What was still worse, we were obliged to submit to the embraces of these old hags, and by that means were all besmeared with blood. This ceremony (for it was merely such) being over, they went out, washed themselves, and immediately after appeared as cheerful as any of the company. Having made some little stay, and given my present to the chief and his friends, he put a hog and some fruit into my boat, and came on board with us to dinner. In the afternoon, we had a vast number of people and canoes about us, from different parts of the island. They all took up their quarters in our neighbourhood, where they remained feasting for some days. We understood the most of them were Eareeoies.

The 26th afforded nothing remarkable, excepting that Mr Forster, in his botanical excursions, saw a burying-place for dogs, which they called Marai no te Oore. But I think we ought not to look upon this as one of their customs; because few dogs die a natural death, being generally, if not always, killed and eaten, or else given as an offering to the gods. Probably this might be a Marai or altar, where this sort of offering was made; or it might have been the whim of some person to have buried his favourite dog in this manner. But be it as it will, I cannot think it is a general custom in the nation; and, for my own part, I neither saw nor heard of any such thing before.

Early in the morning of the 27th, Oree, his wife, son, daughter, and several more of his friends, made us a visit, and brought with them a good quantity of all manner of refreshments; little having as yet been got from any body else. They staid dinner; after which a party of us accompanied them on shore, where we were entertained with a play, called Mididij Harramy, which signifies the Child is coming. It concluded with the representation of a woman in labour, acted by a set of great brawny fellows, one of whom at last brought forth a strapping boy, about six feet high, who ran about the stage, dragging after him a large wisp of straw which hung by a string from his middle. I had an opportunity of seeing this acted another time, when I observed, that the moment they had got hold of the fellow who represented the child, they flattened or pressed his nose. From this I judged, that they do so by their children when born, which may be the reason why all in general have flat noses. This part of the play, from its newness, and the ludicrous manner in which it was performed, gave us, the first time we saw it, some entertainment, and caused a loud laugh, which might be the reason why they acted it so often afterwards. But this, like all their other pieces, could entertain us no more than once; especially as we could gather little from them, for want of knowing more of their language.[1]

The 28th was spent by me in much the same manner as the preceding day, viz. in entertaining my friends, and being entertained by them. Mr Forster and his party in the country botanizing.

Next morning, we found several articles had been stolen, out of our boats lying at the buoy, about sixty or seventy yards from the ship. As soon as I was informed of it, I went to the chief to acquaint him therewith. I found that he not only knew they were stolen, but by whom, and where they were; and he went immediately with me in my boat in pursuit of them. After proceeding a good way along shore, towards the south end of the island, the chief ordered us to land near some houses, where we did not wait long before all the articles were brought to us, except the pinnace's iron tiller, which I was told was still farther off. But when I wanted to go after it, I found the chief unwilling to proceed; and he actually gave me the slip; and retired into the country. Without him I knew I could do nothing. The people began to be alarmed when they saw I was for going farther; by which I concluded that the tiller was out of their reach also. I therefore sent one of them to the chief to desire him to return. He returned accordingly; when we sat down, and had some victuals set before us, thinking perhaps that, as I had not breakfasted, I must be hungry, and not in a good humour. Thus I was amused, till two hogs were produced, which they entreated me to accept. This I did, and then their fears vanished; and I thought myself not ill off, in having gotten two good hogs for a thing which seemed to be quite out of my reach. Matters being thus settled, we returned on board, and had the company of the chief and his son to dinner. After that we all went ashore, where a play was acted for the entertainment of such as would spend their time in looking at it. Besides these plays, which the chief caused frequently to be acted, there was a set of strolling players in the neighbourhood, who performed everyday. But their pieces seemed to be so much alike, that we soon grew tired of them; especially as we could not collect any interesting circumstances from them. We, our ship, and our country, were frequently brought on the stage; but on what account I know not. It can hardly be doubted, that this was designed as a compliment to us, and probably not acted but when some of us were present. I generally appeared at Oree's theatre towards the close of the play, and twice at the other, in order to give my mite to the actors. The only actress at Oree's theatre was his daughter, a pretty brown girl, at whose shrine, on these occasions, many offerings were made by her numerous votaries. This, I believe, was one great inducement to her father's giving us these entertainments so often.

Early in the morning of the 30th, I set out with the two boats, accompanied by the two Mr Forsters; Oedidee, the chief, his wife, son, and daughter, for an estate which Oedidee called his, situated at the north end of the island. There I was promised to have hogs and fruit in abundance; but when we came there, we found that poor Oedidee could not command one single thing, whatever right he might have to the Whenooa, which was now in possession of his brother, who, soon after we landed, presented to me, with the usual ceremony, two pigs. I made him a very handsome present in return, and Oedidee gave him every thing he had left of what he had collected during the time he was with us.

After this ceremony was over, I ordered one of the pigs to be killed and dressed for dinner, and attended myself to the whole operation, which was as follows:—They first strangled the hog, which was done by three men; the hog being placed on his back, two of them laid a pretty strong stick across his throat, and pressed with all their might on each end; the third man held his hind legs, kept him on his back, and plugged up his fundament with grass, I suppose to prevent any air from passing or repassing that way. In this manner they held him for about ten minutes before he was quite dead. In the mean time, some hands were employed in making a fire, to heat the oven, which was close by. As soon as the hog was quite dead, they laid him on the fire, and burnt or singed the hair, so that it came off with almost the same ease as if it had been scalded. As the hair was got off one part, another was applied to the fire till they had got off the whole, yet not so clean but that another operation was necessary; which was to carry it to the sea side, and there give it a good scrubbing with sandy stones, and sand. This brought off all the scurf, &c. which the fire had left on. After well washing off the sand and dirt, the carcase was brought again to the former place, and laid on clean green leaves, in order to be opened. They first ripped up the skin of the belly, and took out the fat or lard from between the skin and the flesh, which they laid on a large green leaf. The belly was then ripped open, and the entrails taken out, and carried away in a basket, so that I know not what became of them; but am certain they were not thrown away. The blood was next taken out, and put into a large leaf, and then the lard, which was put to the other fat. The hog was now washed clean, both inside and out, with fresh water, and several hot stones put into his belly, which were shaken in under the breast, and green leaves crammed in upon them. By this time the oven was sufficiently heated; what fire remained was taken away, together with some of the hot stones; the rest made a kind of pavement in the bottom of the hole or oven, and were covered with leaves, on which the hog was placed on his belly. The lard and fat, after being washed with water, were put into a vessel, made just then of the green bark of the plantain tree, together with two or three hot stones, and placed on one side the hog. A hot stone was put to the blood, which was tied up in the leaf, and put into the oven; as also bread-fruit and plantains. Then the whole was covered with green leaves, on which were laid the remainder of the hot stones; over them were leaves; then any sort of rubbish they could lay their hands on; finishing the operation by well covering the whole with earth. While the victuals were baking, a table was spread with green leaves on the floor, at one end of a large boat-house. At the close of two hours and ten minutes, the oven was opened, and all the victuals taken out. Those of the natives who dined with us, sat down by themselves, at one end of the table, and we at the other. The hog was placed before us, and the fat and blood before them, on which they chiefly dined, and said it was Mamity, very good victuals; and we not only said, but thought, the same of the pork. The hog weighed about fifty pounds. Some parts about the ribs I thought rather overdone, but the more fleshy parts were excellent; and the skin, which by the way of our dressing can hardly be eaten, had, by this method, a taste and flavour superior to any thing I ever met with of the kind. I have now only to add, that during the whole of the various operations, they exhibited a cleanliness well worthy of imitation. I have been the more particular in this account, because I do not remember that any of us had seen the whole process before; nor is it well described in the narrative of my former voyage.

While dinner was preparing, I took a view of this Whenooa of Oedidee. It was a small, but a pleasant spot; and the houses were so disposed as to form a very pretty village, which is very rarely the case at these isles, Soon after we had dined, we set out for the ship, with the other pig, and a few races of plantains, which proved to be the sum total of our great expectations.

In our return to the ship, we put ashore at a place where, in the corner of a house, we saw four wooden images, each two feet long, standing on a shelf, having a piece of cloth round their middle, and a kind of turban on their heads, in which were stuck long feathers of cocks. A person in the house told us they were Eatua no te Toutou, gods of the servants or slaves. I doubt if this be sufficient to conclude that they pay them divine worship, and that the servants or slaves are not allowed the same gods as men of more elevated rank; I never heard that Tupia made any such distinction, or that they worshipped any visible thing whatever. Besides, these were the first wooden gods we had seen in any of the isles; and all the authority we had for their being such, was the bare word of perhaps a superstitious person, and whom, too, we were liable to misunderstand. It must be allowed that the people of this isle are in general more superstitious than at Otaheite. At the first visit I made the chief after our arrival, he desired I would not suffer any of my people to shoot herons and wood-peckers; birds as sacred with them as robin-red-breasts, swallows, &c. are with many old women in England. Tupia, who was a priest, and well acquainted with their religion, customs, traditions, &c. paid little or no regard to these birds. I mention this, because some amongst us were of opinion that these birds are their Eatuas, or gods. We indeed fell into this opinion when I was here in 1769, and into some others still more absurd, which we had undoubtedly adopted, if Tupia had not undeceived us. A man of his knowledge and understanding we have not since met with, and consequently have added nothing to his account of their religion but superstitious notions.[2]

On the 31st, the people knowing that we should sail soon, began to bring more fruit on board than usual. Among those who came was a young man who measured six feet four inches and six-tenths; and his sister, younger, than him, measured five feet ten inches and a half. A brisk trade for hogs and fruit continued on the 1st of June. On the 2d, in the afternoon, we got intelligence that, three days before, two ships had arrived at Huaheine. The same report said, the one was commanded by Mr Banks, and the other by Captain Furneaux. The man who brought the account said, he was made drunk on board one of them, and described the persons of Mr Banks and Captain Furneaux so well, that I had not the least doubt of the truth, and began to consider about sending a boat over that very evening with orders to Captain Furneaux, when a man, a friend of Mr Forster, happened to come on board and denied the whole, saying it was wa warre, a lie. The man from whom we had the intelligence was now gone, so that we could not confront them, and there were none else present who knew any thing about it but by report; so that I laid aside sending over a boat till I should be better informed. This evening we entertained the people with fire-works, on one of the little isles near the entrance of the harbour.

I had fixed on the next day for sailing, but the intelligence from Huaheine put a stop to it. The chief had promised to bring the man on board who first brought the account; but he was either not to be found, or would not appear. In the morning, the people were divided in their opinions; but in the afternoon, all said it was a false report. I had sent Mr Clerke, in the morning, to the farthest part of the island, to make enquiries there; he returned without learning any thing satisfactory. In short, the report appeared now too ill founded to authorize me to send a boat over, or to wait any longer here; and therefore, early in the morning of the 4th, I got every thing in readiness to sail. Oree the chief, and his whole family, came on board, to take their last farewell, accompanied by Oo-oo-rou, the Earee di hi, and Boba, the Earee of Otaha, and several of their friends. None of them came empty; but Oo-oo-rou brought a pretty large present, this being his first and only visit. I distributed amongst them almost every thing I had left. The very hospitable manner in which I had ever been received by these people, had endeared them to me, and given them a just title to everything in my power to grant. I questioned them again about the ships at Huaheine; and they all, to a man, denied that any were there. During the time these people remained on board, they were continually importuning me to return. The chief, his wife and daughter, but especially the two latter, scarcely ever ceased weeping. I will not pretend to say whether it was real or feigned grief they shewed on this occasion. Perhaps there was a mixture of both; but were I to abide by my own opinion only, I should believe it was real. At last, when we were about to weigh, they took a most affectionate leave. Oree's last request was for me to return; when he saw he could not obtain that promise, he asked the name of my Marai (burying-place). As strange a question as this was, I hesitated not a moment to tell him Stepney; the parish in which I live when in London. I was made to repeat it several times over till they could pronounce it; then, Stepney Marai no Toote was echoed through an hundred mouths at once. I afterwards found the same question had been put to Mr Forster by a man on shore; but he gave a different, and indeed more proper answer, by saying, no man, who used the sea, could say where he should be buried. It is the custom, at these isles, for all the great families to have burial-places of their own, where their remains are interred. These go with the estate to the next heir. The Marai at Oparee in Otaheite, when Tootaha swayed the sceptre, was called Marai no Tootaha; but now it is called Marai no Otoo. What greater proof could we have of these people esteeming us as friends, than their wishing to remember us, even beyond the period of our lives? They had been repeatedly told that we should see them no more; they then wanted to know where we were to mingle with our parent dust. As I could not promise, or even suppose, that more English ships would be sent to those isles, our faithful companion Oedidee chose to remain in his native country. But he left us with a regret fully demonstrative of the esteem he bore to us; nor could any thing but the fear of never returning, have torn him from us. When the chief teased me so much about returning, I sometimes gave such answers as left them hopes. Oedidee would instantly catch at this, take me on one side, and ask me over again. In short, I have not words to describe the anguish which appeared in this young man's breast when he went away. He looked up at the ship, burst into tears, and then sunk down into the canoe. The maxim, that a prophet has no honour in his own country, was never more fully verified than in this youth. At Otaheite he might have had any thing that was in their power to bestow; whereas here he was not in the least noticed. He was a youth of good parts, and, like most of his countrymen, of a docile, gentle, and humane disposition, but in a manner wholly ignorant of their religion, government, manners, customs, and traditions; consequently no material knowledge could have been gathered from him, had I brought him away. Indeed, he would have been a better specimen of the nation, in every respect, than Omai. Just as Oedidee was going out of the ship, he asked me to Tatou some Parou for him, in order to shew the commanders of any other ships which might stop here. I complied with his request, gave him a certificate of the time he had been with us, and recommended him to the notice of those who might afterwards touch at the island.

We did not get clear of our friends till eleven o'clock, when we weighed, and put to sea; but Oedidee did not leave us till we were almost out of the harbour. He staid, in order to fire some guns; for it being his majesty's birthday, we fired the salute at going away.

When I first came to these islands, I had some thought of visiting Tupia's famous Bolabola. But as I had now got on board a plentiful supply of all manner of refreshments, and the route I had in view allowing me no time to spare, I laid this design aside, and directed my course to the west; taking our final leave of these happy isles, on which benevolent Nature has spread her luxuriant sweets with a lavish hand. The natives, copying the bounty of Nature, are equally liberal; contributing plentifully and cheerfully to the wants of navigators. During the six weeks we had remained at them, we had fresh pork, and all the fruits which were in season, in the utmost profusion; besides fish at Otaheite, and fowls at the other isles. All these articles we got in exchange for axes, hatchets, nails, chissels, cloth, red feathers, beads, knives, scissars, looking-glasses, &c. articles which will ever be valuable here. I ought not to omit shirts as a very capital article in making presents; especially with those who have any connexion with the fair sex. A shirt here is full as necessary as a piece of gold in England. The ladies at Otaheite, after they had pretty well stripped their lovers of shirts, found a method of clothing themselves with their own cloth. It was their custom to go on shore every morning, and to return on board in the evening, generally clad in rags. This furnished a pretence to importune the lover for better clothes; and when he had no more of his own, he was to dress them in new cloth of the country, which they always left ashore; and appearing again in rags, they must again be clothed. So that the same suit might pass through twenty different hands, and be as often sold, bought, and given away.

Before I finish this account of these islands, it is necessary to mention all I know concerning the government of Ulietea and Otaha. Oree, so often mentioned, is a native of Bolabola; but is possessed of Whenooas or lands at Ulietea; which I suppose he, as well as many of his countrymen, got at the conquest. He resides here as Opoony's lieutenant; seeming to be vested with regal authority, and to be the supreme magistrate in the island. Oo-oo-rou, who is the Earee by hereditary right, seems to have little more left him than the bare title, and his own Whenooa or district, in which I think he is sovereign. I have always seen Oree pay him the respect due to his rank; and he was pleased when he saw me distinguish him from others.

Otaha, so far as I can find, is upon the very same footing. Boba and Ota are the two chiefs; the latter I have not seen; Boba is a stout, well-made young man; and we were told is, after Opoony's death, to marry his daughter, by which marriage he will be vested with the same regal authority as Opoony has now; so that it should seem, though a woman may be vested with regal dignity, she cannot have regal power. I cannot find that Opoony has got any thing to himself by the conquest of these isles, any farther than providing for his nobles, who have seized on best part of the lands. He seems to have no demand on them for any of the many articles they have had from us. Oedidee has several times enumerated to me all the axes, nails, &c. which Opoony is possessed of, which hardly amount to as many as he had from me when I saw him in 1769. Old as this famous man is, he seems not to spend his last days in indolence. When we first arrived here, he was at Maurana; soon after he returned to Bolabola; and we were now told, he was gone to Tubi.

I shall conclude this account of these islands, with some observations on the watch which Mr Wales hath communicated to me. At our arrival in Matavai Bay in Otaheite, the longitude pointed out by the watch was 2 deg. 8' 38" 1/2 too far to the west; that is, it had gained, since our leaving Queen Charlotte's Sound, of its then rate of going, 8' 34" 1/2. This was in about five months, or rather more, during which time it had passed through the extremes of cold and heat. It was judged that half this error arose after we left Easter Island; by which it appeared that it went better in the cold than in the hot climates.

[1] "The man who acted the part of the woman in labour went through the gestures which the Greeks were wont to admire in the groves of Venus-Ariadne, near Amathus, where the same ceremony was acted on the second day of the month Gorpioeus, in memory of Ariadne, who died in child-bed. Thus it appears that there is scarcely a practice, though ever so ridiculous, existing in any corner of the world, that has not been hit upon by the extravagant fancy of men in some other region. A tall, stout fellow, dressed in cloth, personated the new-born infant in such a ludicrous style, that we could not refuse joining in the plaudits which his countrymen bestowed on him. Anatomists and midwives would have been surprised to observe, that this overgrown babe had every necessary character of a child newly born; but the natives were particularly delighted with his running about the stage, whilst the rest of the dancers endeavoured to catch him. The ladies were much pleased with this scene, which, according to the simplicity of their ideas, had not the least indecency; they looked on, therefore, unconcernedly, and were not obliged, like some European dames, to peep through their fans."—G.F.

[2] The two Forsters, particularly the father, a man of great sagacity and of very acute discernment, paid much attention to this interesting subject. The information they procured is contained in their respective works, and is, as might be expected, very similar. From this it would have been easy to add to the contents of the text. But this has been avoided, principally because we may perhaps present the reader with the substance of Forster's observations, in a connected form, on another occasion. That publication indeed is a treasure of most curious and important matter, deserving to be more extensively known, than there is reason to believe it now is.—E.




Passage from Ulietea to the Friendly Isles, with a Description of several Islands that were discovered, and the Incidents which happened in that Track.

On the 6th, being the day after leaving Ulietea, at eleven o'clock a.m., we saw land bearing N.W., which, upon a nearer approach, we found to be a low reef island about four leagues in compass, and of a circular form. It is composed of several small patches connected together by breakers, the largest lying on the N.E. part. This is Howe Island, discovered by Captain Wallis, who, I think, sent his boat to examine it; and, if I have not been misinformed, found a channel through, within the reef, near the N.W. part. The inhabitants of Ulietea speak of an uninhabited island about this situation, called by them Mopeha, to which they go at certain seasons for turtle. Perhaps, this may be the same; as we saw no signs of inhabitants upon it. Its latitude is 16 deg. 46' S. longitude 154 deg. 8' W.

From this day to the 16th, we met nothing remarkable, and our course was west southerly; the winds variable from north round by the east to S.W., attended with cloudy, rainy, unsettled weather, and a southerly swell. We generally brought-to, or stood upon a wind during night; and in the day made all the sail we could. About half an hour after sun-rise this morning, land was seen from the top-mast head, bearing N.N.E. We immediately altered the course, and steering for it, found it to be another reef island, composed of five or six woody islets, connected together by sand-banks and breakers inclosing a lake, into which we could see no entrance. We ranged the west and N.W. coasts, from its southern to its northern-extremity, which is about two leagues, and so near the shore, that at one time we could see the rocks under us; yet we found no anchorage, nor saw we any signs of inhabitants. There were plenty of various kinds of birds, and the coast seemed to abound with fish. The situation of this isle is not very distant from that assigned by Mr Dalrymple for La Sagitaria, discovered by Quiros; but, by the description the discoverer has given of it, it cannot be the same. For this reason, I looked upon it as a new discovery, and named it Palmerston Island, in honour of Lord Palmerston, one of the lords of the Admiralty. It is situated in latitude 18 deg. 4' S. longitude 163 deg. 10' W.

At four o'clock in the afternoon, we left this isle, and resumed our course to the W. by S. with a fine steady gale easterly, till noon on the 20th, at which time, being in latitude 18 deg. 50', longitude 168 deg. 52, we thought we saw land to S.S.W. and hauled up for it accordingly. But two hours after, we discovered our mistake, and resumed our course W. by S. Soon after, we saw land from the mast-head in the same direction; and, as we drew nearer, found it to be an island, which, at five o'clock, bore west, distant five leagues. Here we spent the night plying under the topsails; and at day- break next morning, bore away, steering to the northern point, and ranging the west coast at the distance of one mile, till near noon. Then perceiving some people on the shore, and landing seeming to be easy, we brought-to, and hoisted out two boats, with which I put off to the land, accompanied by some of the officers and gentlemen. As we drew near the shore, some of the inhabitants, who were on the rocks, retired to the woods, to meet us, as we supposed; and we afterwards found our conjectures right. We landed with ease in a small creek, and took post on a high rock to prevent a surprise. Here we displayed our colours, and Mr Forster and his party began to collect plants, &c. The coast was so over-run with woods, bushes, plants, stones, &c. that we could not see forty yards round us. I took two men, and with them entered a kind of chasm, which opened a way into the woods. We had not gone far before we heard the natives approaching; upon which I called to Mr Forster to retire to the party, as I did likewise. We had no sooner joined than the islanders appeared at the entrance of a chasm not a stone's throw from us. We began to speak, and make all the friendly signs we could think of, to them, which they answered by menaces; and one of two men, who were advanced before the rest, threw a stone, which struck Mr Sparrman on the arm. Upon this two muskets were fired, without order, which made them all retire under cover of the woods; and we saw them no more.

After waiting for some little time, and till we were satisfied nothing was to be done here, the country being so overrun with bushes, that it was hardly possible to come to parley with them, we embarked and proceeded down along shore, in hopes of meeting with better success in another place. After ranging the coast for some miles, without seeing a living soul, or any convenient landing-place, we at length came before a small beach, on which lay four canoes. Here we landed by means of a little creek, formed by the flat rocks before it, with a view of just looking at the canoes, and to leave some medals, nails, &c. in them; for not a soul was to be seen. The situation of this place was to us worse than the former. A flat rock lay next the sea; behind it a narrow stone beach; this was bounded by a perpendicular rocky cliff of unequal height, whose top was covered with shrubs; two deep and narrow chasms in the cliff seemed to open a communication into the country. In or before one of these lay the four canoes which we were going to look at; but in the doing of this, I saw we should be exposed to an attack from the natives, if there were any, without being in a situation proper for defence. To prevent this, as much as could be, and to secure a retreat in case of an attack, I ordered the men to be drawn up upon the rock, from whence they had a view of the heights; and only myself, and four of the gentlemen, went up to the canoes. We had been there but a few minutes, before the natives, I cannot say how many, rushed down the chasm out of the wood upon us. The endeavours we used to bring them to a parley, were to no purpose; for they came with the ferocity of wild boars, and threw their darts. Two or three muskets, discharged in the air did not hinder one of them from advancing still farther, and throwing another dart, or rather a spear, which passed close over my shoulder. His courage would have cost him his life, had not my musket missed fire; for I was not five paces from him when he threw his spear, and had resolved to shoot him to save myself. I was glad afterwards that it happened as it did. At this instant, our men on the rock began to fire at others who appeared on the heights, which abated the ardour of the party we were engaged with, and gave us time to join our people, when I caused the firing to cease. The last discharge sent all the islanders to the woods, from whence they did not return so long as we remained. We did not know that any were hurt. It was remarkable, that when I joined our party, I tried my musket in the air, and it went off as well as a piece could do. Seeing no good was to be got with these people, or at the isle, as having no port, we returned on board, and having hoisted in the boats, made sail to the W.S.W. I had forgot to mention in its proper order, that having put ashore a little before we came to this last place, three or four of us went upon the cliffs, where we found the country, as before, nothing but coral rocks, all over-run with bushes, so that it was hardly possible to penetrate into it; and we embarked again with intent to return directly on board, till we saw the canoes; being directed to the place by the opinion of some of us, who thought they heard some people.

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