A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14
by Robert Kerr
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This house was situated at one corner of the plantation, and had an area before it on which we were seated. The whole was planted round with fruit and other trees, whose spreading branches afforded an agreeable shade, and whose fragrance diffused a pleasing odour through the air.

Before we had well viewed the plantation it was noon, and we returned on board to dinner, with the chief in our company. He sat at table but eat nothing, which, as we had fresh pork roasted, was a little extraordinary. After dinner we landed again, and were received by the crowd as before; Mr Forster with his botanical party, and some of the officers and gentlemen, walked into the country.[6] Captain Furneaux and myself were conducted to the chief's house, where fruit and some greens, which had been stewed, were set before us to eat. As we had but just dined, it cannot be supposed we eat much; but Oedidee, and Omai, the man on board the Adventure, did honour to the feast. After this we signified our desire of seeing the country. Tioony very readily assented, and conducted us through several plantations, which were laid out with great judgment, and inclosed with very neat fences made of reeds. They were all in very good order, and well planted with various fruit-trees, roots, &c. The chief took some pains to let us know the most of them belonged to himself. Near some of the houses, and in the lanes that divided the plantations, were running about some hogs and very large fowls, which were the only domestic animals we saw; and these they did not seem willing to part with. Nor did any one, during the whole day, offer in exchange any fruit, or roots, worth mentioning, which determined me to leave this island, and to visit that of Amsterdam.

The evening brought every one on board, highly delighted with the country, and the very obliging behaviour of the inhabitants, who seemed to vie with each other in doing what they thought would give us pleasure.[7] The ships were crowded with people the whole day, trafficking with those on board, in which the greatest good order was observed; and I was sorry that the season of the year would not admit of my making a longer stay with them. Early the nest morning, while the ships were getting under sail, I went on shore with Captain Furneaux and Mr Forster, to take leave of the chief. He met us at the landing-place, and would have conducted us to his house, had we not excused ourselves. We therefore were seated on the grass, where we spent about half an hour in the midst of a vast crowd of people. After making the chief a present, consisting of various articles, and an assortment of garden-seeds, I gave him to understand that we were going away, at which he seemed not at all moved. He, and two or three more, came into our boat, in order to accompany us on board; but seeing the Resolution under sail, he called to a canoe to put alongside, into which he and his friends went, and returned on shore. While he remained in our boat, he continued to exchange fish-hooks for nails, and engrossed the trade in a manner wholly to himself; but, when on shore, I never saw him make the least exchange.

[1] "There appeared to be some low land at the bottom of the hills, which contained plantations of fine young bananas, whose vivid green leaves contrasted admirably with the different tints of various shrubberies, and with the brown colour of the cocoa-palms, which seemed to be the effect of winter. The light was still so faint, that we distinguished several fires glimmering in the bushes, but by degrees we likewise discerned people running along the shore. The hills which were low, and not so high above the level of the sea as the Isle of Wight, were agreeably adorned with small clumps of trees scattered at some distance, and the intermediate ground appeared covered with herbage, like many parts of England."-G.F.

[2] "We threw a rope into one of these canoes which ran up close to us, and one of the three people in her came on board, and presented a root of the intoxicating pepper-tree of the South Sea Islands, touched our noses with his like the New Zealanders, in sign of friendship, and then sat down on the deck without speaking a word. The captain presented him with a nail, upon which he immediately held it over his own head, and pronounced fagafetei, which was probably an expression of thanksgiving. He was naked to the waist, but from thence to the knees he had a piece of cloth wrapped about him, which seemed to be manufactured much like that of Otaheite, but was covered with a brown colour, and a strong glue, which made it stiff, and fit to resist the wet. His stature was middle-sized, and his lineaments were mild and tolerably regular. His colour was much like that of the common Otaheiteans, that is, of a clear mahogany or chesnut brown; his beard was cut short or shaven, and his hair was black, in short, frizzled curls, burnt as it were at the tops. He had three circular spots on each arm, about the size of a crown-piece, consisting of several concentric circles of elevated points, which answered to the punctures of the Otaheiteans, but were blacker; besides these, he had other black punctures on his body. A small cylinder was fixed through two holes in the loop of his ear, and his left hand wanted the little finger. He continued his silence for a considerable while, but some others, who ventured on board soon after him, were of a more communicative turn, and after having performed the ceremony of touching noses, spoke a language which was unintelligible to us at that time."—G.F.

[3] "They made a great deal of noise about us, every one shewing what he had to sell, and calling to some one of us, who happened to look towards them. Their language was not unpleasing, and whatever they said, was in a singing kind of tone. Many were bold enough to come on board, without expressing the least hesitation, and one of these seemed to be a chief, or a man of some quality, and was accordingly treated with a number of presents, which he severally laid on his head, when he received them, saying fagafetei every time. Our English cloth and linen he admired most, and iron wares in the next degree. His behaviour was very free and unconcerned; for he went down into the cabin, and wherever we thought fit to conduct him."—G.F.

[4] "The cordial reception which we met with, was such as might have been expected from a people well acquainted with our good intentions, and accustomed to the transitory visits of European ships. But these kind islanders had never seen Europeans among them, and could only have heard of Tasman, who visited the adjacent island, by imperfect tradition. Nothing was therefore more conspicuous in their whole behaviour than an open, generous disposition, free from any mean distrust. This was confirmed by the appearance of a great number of women in the crowd, covered from the waist downwards, whose smiles and looks welcomed us to the shore."—G.F.

[5] "They beat time to the music by snapping the second finger and thumb, and holding the three remaining fingers upright. Their voices were very sweet and mellow, and they sung in parts. When they had gone, they were relieved by others, who sung the same tune, and at last they joined together in chorus."—G.F.

[6] "The inhabitants seemed to be of a more active and industrious disposition than those of Otaheite and instead of following us in great crowds wherever we went, left us entirely by ourselves, unless we entreated them to accompany us. In that case we could venture to go with our pockets open, unless we had nails in them, upon which they set so great a value, that they could not always resist the temptation. We passed through more than ten adjacent plantations or gardens, separated by inclosures, communicating with each other by means of doors. In each of them we commonly met with a house, of which the inhabitants were absent. Their attention to separate their property seemed to argue a higher degree of civilization than we had expected. Their arts, manufactures, and music, were all more cultivated, complicated, and elegant, than at the Society Isles. But, in return, the opulence, or rather luxury, of the Otaheiteans seemed to be much greater. We saw but few hogs and fowls here; and that great support of life, the bread-tree, appeared to be very scarce. Yams, therefore, and other roots, together with bananoes, are their principal article of diet. Their clothing, too, compared to that of Otaheite, was less plentiful, or at least not converted into such an article of luxury as at that island. Lastly, their houses, though neatly constructed, and always placed in a fragrant shrubbery, were less roomy and convenient."—G.F.

[7] "We were accosted with caresses by old and young, by men and women. They hugged us very heartily, and frequently kissed our hands, laying them on their breast, with the most expressive looks of affection that can be imagined."—G.F.


The Arrival of the Ships at Amsterdam; a Description of a Place of Worship; and an Account of the Incidents which happened while we remained at that Island.

As soon as I was on board, we made sail down to Amsterdam. The people of this isle were so little afraid of us, that some met us in three canoes about midway between the two isles. They used their utmost efforts to get on board, but without effect, as we did not shorten sail for them, and the rope which we gave them broke. They then attempted to board the Adventure, and met with the same disappointment. We ran along the S.W. coast of Amsterdam at half a mile from shore, on which the sea broke in a great surf. We had an opportunity, by the help of our glasses, to view the face of the island, every part of which seemed to be laid out in plantations. We observed the natives running along the shore, displaying small white flags, which we took for ensigns of peace, and answered them by hoisting a St George's ensign. Three men belonging to Middleburg, who, by some means or other, had been left on board the Adventure, now quitted her, and swam to the shore; not knowing that we intended to stop at this isle, and having no inclination, as may be supposed, to go away with us.

As soon as we opened the west side of the isle, we were met by several canoes, each conducted by three or four men. They came boldly alongside, presented us with some Eava root, and then came on board without farther ceremony, inviting us, by all the friendly signs they could make, to go to their island, and pointing to the place where we should anchor; at least we so understood them. After a few boards, we anchored in Van Diemen's Road, in eighteen fathoms water, little more than a cable's length from the breakers, which line the coast. We carried out the coasting-anchor and cable to seaward, to keep the ship from tailing on the rocks, in case of a shift of wind or a calm. This last anchor lay in forty-seven fathoms water; so steep was the bank on which we anchored. By this time we were crowded with people; some came off in canoes, and others swam; but, like those of the other isle, brought nothing with them but cloth, matting, &c., for which the seamen only bartered away their clothes. As it was probable they would soon feel the effects of this kind of traffic, with a view to put a stop to it, and to obtain the necessary refreshments, I gave orders that no sort of curiosities should be purchased by any person whatever.

The good effect of this order was found in the morning. For, when the natives saw we would purchase nothing but eatables, they brought off bananoes and cocoa-nuts in abundance, some fowls and pigs; all of which they exchanged for small nails and pieces of cloth: even old rags of any sort, was enough for a pig, or a fowl.

Matters being thus established, and proper persons appointed to trade under the direction of the officers, to prevent disputes, after breakfast I landed, accompanied by Captain Furneaux, Mr Forster, and several of the officers; having along with us a chief, or person of some note, whose name was Attago, who had attached himself to me, from the first moment of his coming on board, which was before we anchored. I know not how he came to discover that I was the commander; but, certain it is, he was not long on deck before he singled me out from all the gentlemen, making me a present of some cloth, and other things he had about him; and as a greater testimony of friendship, we now exchanged names; a custom which is practised at Otaheite, and the Society Isles. We were lucky, or rather we may thank the natives, for having anchored before a narrow creek in the rocks which line the shore. To this creek we were conducted by my friend Attago; and there we landed dry on the beach, and within the breakers, in the face of a vast crowd of people, who received us in the same friendly manner that those of Middleburg had done.[1]

As soon as we were landed; all the gentlemen set out into the country, accompanied by some of the natives.[2] But the most of them remained with Captain Furneaux and me, who amused ourselves some time distributing presents amongst them; especially to such as Attago pointed out, which were not many, but who I afterwards found, were of superior rank to himself. At this time, however, he seemed to be the principal person, and to be obeyed as such. After we had spent some time on the beach, as we complained of the heat, Attago immediately conducted and seated us under the shade of a tree, ordering the people to form a circle round us. This they did, and never once attempted to push themselves upon us like the Otaheiteans.

After sitting here some time, and distributing some presents to those about us, we signified our desire to see the country. The chief immediately took the hint, and conducted us along a lane that led to an open green, on the one side of which was a house of worship built on a mount that had been raised by the hand of man, about sixteen or eighteen feet above the common level. It had an oblong figure, and was inclosed by a wall or parapet of stone, about three feet in height. From this wall the mount rose with a gentle slope, and was covered with a green turf. On the top of it stood the house, which had the same figure as the mount, about twenty feet in length, and fourteen or sixteen broad. As soon as we came before the place, every one seated himself on the green, about fifty or sixty yards from the front of the house. Presently came three elderly men, who seated themselves between us and it, and began a speech, which I understood to be a prayer, it being wholly directed to the house. This lasted about ten minutes; and then the priests, for such I took them to be, came and sat down along with us, when we made them presents of such things as were about us. Having then made signs to them that we wanted to view the premises, my friend Attago immediately got up, and going with us, without showing the least backwardness, gave us full liberty to examine every part of it.

In the front were two stone steps leading to the top of the wall; from this the ascent to the house was easy, round which was a fine gravel walk. The house was built, in all respects, like to their common dwelling-houses; that is, with posts and rafters, and covered with palm thatch. The eaves came down within about three feet of the ground, which space was filled up with strong matting made of palm leaves, as a wall. The floor of the house was laid with fine gravel; except, in the middle, where there was an oblong square of blue pebbles, raised about six inches higher than the floor. At one corner of the house stood an image rudely carved in wood, and on one side lay another; each about two feet in length. I, who had no intention to offend either them or their gods, did not so much as touch them, but asked Attago, as well as I could, if they were Eatuas, or gods. Whether he understood me or no, I cannot say; but he immediately turned them over and over, in as rough a manner as he would have done any other log of wood, which convinced me that they were not there as representatives of the Divinity. I was curious to know if the dead were interred there, and asked Attago several questions relative thereto; but I was not sure that he understood me, at least I did not understand the answers he made well enough to satisfy my enquiries. For the reader must know, that at our first coming among these people, we hardly could understand a word they said. Even my Otaheitean youth, and the man on board the Adventure, were equally at a loss; but more of this by and by. Before we quitted the house we thought it necessary to make an offering at the altar. Accordingly we laid down upon the blue pebbles, some medals, nails, and several other things, which we had no sooner done than my friend Attago took them up, and put them in his pocket. The stones with which the walls were made that inclosed this mount, were some of them nine or ten feet by four, and about six inches thick. It is difficult to conceive how they can cut such stones out of the coral rocks.

This mount stood in a kind of grove open only on the side which fronted the high road, and the green on which the people were seated. At this green or open place, was a junction of five roads, two or three of which appeared to be very public ones. The groves were composed of several sorts of trees. Among others was the Etoa tree, as it is called at Otaheite, of which are made clubs, &c. and a kind of low palm, which is very common in the northern parts of New Holland.

After we had done examining this place of worship, which in their language is called A-fia-tou-ca, we desired to return; but, instead of conducting us to the water-side as we expected, they struck into a road leading into the country. This road, which was about sixteen feet broad, and as level as a bowling-green, seemed to be a very public one; there being many other roads from different parts, leading into it, all inclosed on each side, with neat fences made of reeds, and shaded from the scorching sun by fruit trees, I thought I was transported into the most fertile plains in Europe. There was not an inch of waste ground; the roads occupied no more space than was absolutely necessary; the fences did not take up above four inches each; and even this was not wholly lost, for in many were planted some useful trees or plants. It was everywhere the same; change of place altered not the scene. Nature, assisted by a little art, no where appears in more splendour than at this isle. In these delightful walks we met numbers of people; some travelling down to the ships with their burdens of fruit; others returning back empty. They all gave us the road, by turning either to the right or left, and sitting down or standing, with their backs to the fences, till we had passed.

At several of the cross-roads, or at the meeting of two or more roads, were generally Afiatoucas, such as already described; with this difference, the mounts were pallisadoed round, instead of a stone wall. At length, after walking several miles, we came to one larger than common; near to which was a large house belonging to an old chief, in our company. At this house we were desired to stop, which we accordingly did, and were treated with fruit, &c.

We were no sooner seated in the house, than the eldest of the priests began a speech or prayer, which was first directed to the Afiatouca, and then to me, and alternately. When he addressed me, he paused at every sentence, till I gave a nod of approbation. I, however, did not understand one single word he said. At times, the old gentleman seemed to be at a loss what to say, or perhaps his memory failed him; for, every now and then, he was prompted by one of the other priests who sat by him. Both during this prayer and the former one, the people were silent, but not attentive. At this last place we made but a short stay. Our guides conducted us down to our boat, and we returned with Attago to our ship to dinner. We had no sooner got on board, than an old gentleman came alongside, who, I understood from Attago, was some king or great man. He was, accordingly, ushered on board; when I presented him with such things as he most valued (being the only method to make him my friend,) and seated him at table to dinner. We now saw that he was a man of consequence; for Attago would not sit down and eat before him, but got to the other end of the table; and, as the old chief was almost blind, he sat there, and eat with his back towards him. After the old man had eaten a bit of fish, and drank two glasses of wine, he returned ashore. As soon as Attago had seen him out of the ship, he came and took his place at table, finished his dinner, and drank two glasses of wine. When dinner was over, we all went ashore, where we found the old chief, who presented me with a hog; and he and some others took a walk with us into the country.

Before we set out, I happened to go down with Attago to the landing-place, and there found Mr Wales in a laughable, though distressed situation. The boats which brought us on shore, not being able to get near the landing- place for want of a sufficient depth of water, he pulled off his shoes and stockings to walk through, and as soon as he got on dry land, he put them down betwixt his legs to put on again, but they were instantly snatched away by a person behind him, who immediately mixed with the crowd. It was impossible for him to follow the man barefooted over the sharp coral rocks, which compose the shore, without having his feet cut to pieces. The boat was put back to the ship, his companions had each made his way through the crowd, and he left in this condition alone. Attago soon found out the thief, recovered his shoes and stockings, and set him at liberty. Our route into the country, was by the first-mentioned Afiatouca, before which we again seated ourselves, but had no prayers, although the old priest was with us. Our stay here was but short. The old chief, probably thinking that we might want water on board, conducted us to a plantation hard by, and shewed us a pool of fresh water, though we had not made the least enquiry after any. I believe this to be the same that Tasman calls the washing- place for the king and his nobles.

From hence we were conducted down to the shore of Maria Bay, or north-east side of the isle; where, in a boat-house, was shewn to us a fine large double canoe not yet launched. The old chief did not fail to make us sensible it belonged to himself. Night now approaching, we took leave of him, and returned on board, being conducted by Attago down to the water- side.

Mr Forster and his party spent the day in the country botanizing; and several of the officers were out shooting. All of them were very civilly treated by the natives. We had also a brisk trade for bananoes, cocoa-nuts, yams, pigs, and fowls; all of which were procured for nails, and pieces of cloth. A boat from each ship was employed in trading ashore, and bringing off their cargoes as soon as they were laden, which was generally in a short time. By this method we got cheaper, and with less trouble, a good quantity of fruit, as well as other refreshments, from people who had no canoes to carry them off to the ships.[3]

Pretty early in the morning on the 5th, my friend brought me a hog and some fruit; for which I gave him a hatchet, a sheet, and some red cloth.[4] The pinnace was sent ashore to trade as usual, but soon returned. The officer informed me that the natives were for taking every thing out of the boat, and, in other respects, were very troublesome. The day before, they stole the grapling at the time the boat was riding by it, and carried it off undiscovered. I now judged it necessary to have a guard on shore, to protect the boats and people whose business required their being there; and accordingly sent the marines, under the command of Lieutenant Edgcumbe. Soon after I went myself, with my friend Attago, Captain Furneaux, and several of the gentlemen. At landing, we found the chief, who presented me with a pig. After this, Captain Furneaux and I took a walk into the country, with Mr Hodges, to make drawings of such places and things as were most interesting. When this was done, we returned on board to dinner, with my friend and two other chiefs; one of which sent a hog on board the Adventure for Captain Furneaux, some hours before, without stipulating for any return. The only instance of this kind. My friend took care to put me in mind of the pig the old king gave me in the morning; for which I now gave a chequed shirt and a piece of red cloth. I had tied them up for him to carry ashore; but with this he was not satisfied. He wanted to have them put on him, which was no sooner done, than he went on deck, and shewed himself to all his countrymen. He had done the same thing in the morning with the sheet I gave him. In the evening we all went on shore again, where we found the old king, who took to himself every thing my friend and the others had got.[5]

The different trading parties were so successful to-day as to procure for both ships a tolerably good supply of refreshments. In consequence of which, I, the next morning, gave every one leave to purchase what curiosities and other things they pleased. After this, it was astonishing to see with what eagerness every one caught at every thing he saw. It even went so far as to become the ridicule of the natives, who offered pieces of sticks and stones to exchange. One waggish boy took a piece of human excrement on the end of a stick, and held it out to every one he met with.

This day, a man got into the master's cabin, through the outside scuttle, and took out some books and other things. He was discovered just as he was getting out into his canoe, and pursued by one of our boats, which obliged him to quit the canoe and take to the water. The people in the boat made several attempts to lay hold of him; but he as often dived under the boat, and at last having unshipped the rudder, which rendered her ungovernable, by this means he got clear off. Some other very daring thefts were committed at the landing-place. One fellow took a seaman's jacket out of the boat, and carried it off, in spite of all that our people in her could do. Till he was both pursued and fired at by them, he would not part with it; nor would he have done it then, had not his landing been intercepted by some of us who were on shore. The rest of the natives, who were very numerous, took very little notice of the whole transaction; nor were they the least alarmed when the man was fired at.

My friend Attago having visited me again next morning, as usual, brought with him a hog, and assisted me in purchasing several more. Afterwards we went ashore; visited the old king, with whom we staid till noon, then returned on board to dinner, with Attago, who never once left me. Intending to sail next morning, I made up a present for the old king, and carried it on shore in the evening. As soon as I landed, I was told by the officers who were on shore, that a far greater man than any we had yet seen was come to pay us a visit. Mr Pickersgill informed me that he had seen him in the country, and found that he was a man of some consequence, by the extraordinary respect paid him by the people. Some, when they approached him, fell on their faces, and put their head between their feet; and no one durst pass him without permission. Mr Pickersgill, and another of the gentlemen, took hold of his arms, and conducted him down to the landing- place, where I found him seated with so much sullen and stupid gravity, that notwithstanding what had been told me, I really took him for an idiot, whom the people, from some superstitious notions, were ready to worship. I saluted and spoke to him; but he neither answered, nor took the least notice of me; nor did he alter a single feature in his countenance. This confirmed me in my opinion, and I was just going to leave him, when one of the natives, an intelligent youth, undertook to undeceive me; which he did in such a manner as left me no room to doubt that he was the king, or principal man on the island. Accordingly I made him the present I intended for the old chief, which consisted of a shirt, an axe, a piece of red cloth, a looking-glass, some nails, medals, and beads. He received these things, or rather suffered them to be put upon him, and laid down by him, without losing a bit of his gravity, speaking one word, or turning his head either to the right or left; sitting the whole time like a statue; in which situation I left him to return on board, and he soon after retired. I had not been long on board before word was brought me, that a quantity of provisions had come from this chief. A boat was sent to bring it from the shore; and it consisted of about twenty baskets of roasted bananoes, sour bread, and yams, and a roasted pig of about twenty pounds weight. Mr Edgcumbe and his party were just re-embarking, when these were brought to the water-side, and the bearers said it was a present from the Areeke, that is, the king of the island, to the Areeke of the ship. After this I was no longer to doubt the dignity of this sullen chief.

Early in the morning of the 7th, while the ships were unmooring, I went ashore with Captain Furneaux and Mr Forster, in order to make some return to the king, for his last night's present. We no sooner landed than we found Attago, of whom we enquired for the king, whose name was Kohaghee- too-Fallangou. He accordingly undertook to conduct us to him; but, whether he mistook the man we wanted, or was ignorant where he was, I know not. Certain it is, that he took us a wrong road, in which he had not gone far before he stopped, and after some little conversation between him and another man, we returned back, and presently after the king appeared, with very few attendants. As soon as Attago saw him coming, he sat down under a tree, and desired us to do the same. The king seated himself on a rising ground, about twelve or fifteen yards from us: Here we sat facing one another for some minutes. I waited for Attago to shew us the way; but seeing he did not rise, Captain Furneaux and I got up, went and saluted the king, and sat down by him. We then presented him with a white shirt, (which we put on his back) a few yards of red cloth, a brass kettle, a saw, two large spikes, three looking-glasses, a dozen of medals, and some strings of beads. All this time he sat with the same sullen stupid gravity as the day before; he even did not seem to see or know what we were about; his arms appeared immoveable at his sides; he did not so much as raise them when we put on the shirt. I told him, both by words and signs, that we were going to leave his island; he scarcely made the least answer to this, or any other thing we either said or did. We, therefore, got up and took leave; but I yet remained near him, to observe his actions. Soon after, he entered into conversation with Attago and an old woman, whom we took to be his mother. I did not understand any part of the conversation; it however made him laugh, in spite of his assumed gravity. I say assumed, because it exceeded every thing of the kind I ever saw; and therefore think it could not be his real disposition, unless he was an idiot indeed, as these islanders, like all the others we had lately visited, have a great deal of levity, and he was in the prime of life. At last he rose up, and retired with his mother and two or three more.[6]

Attago conducted us to another circle, where were seated the aged chief and several respectable old persons of both sexes; among whom was the priest, who was generally in company with this chief. We observed, that this reverend father could walk very well in a morning, but in the evening was obliged to be led home by two people. By this we concluded, that the juice of the pepper-root had the same effect upon him, that wine and other strong liquors have on Europeans who drink a large portion of them. It is very certain, that these old people seldom sat down without preparing a bowl of this liquor, which is done in the same manner as at Ulietea. We however must do them the justice to believe, that it was meant to treat us; nevertheless, the greatest part, if not the whole, generally fell to their share. I was not well prepared to take leave of this chief, having exhausted almost all our store on the other. However, after rummaging our pockets, and treasury-bag, which was always carried with me wherever I went, we made up a tolerable present, both for him and his friends. This old chief had an air of dignity about him that commanded respect, which the other had not. He was grave, but not sullen; would crack a joke, talk on indifferent subjects, and endeavour to understand us and be understood himself. During this visit, the old priest repeated a short prayer or speech, the purport of which we did not understand. Indeed he would frequently, at other times, break out in prayer; but I never saw any attention paid to him by any one present.[7] After a stay of near two hours, we took leave, and returned on board, with Attago and two or three more friends, who staid and breakfasted with us; after which they were dismissed, loaded with presents.

Attago was very importunate with me to return again to this isle, and to bring with me cloth, axes, nails, &c. &c. telling me that I should have hogs, fowls, fruit, and roots, in abundance. He particularly desired me, more than once, to bring him such a suit of clothes as I had on, which was my uniform. This good-natured islander was very serviceable to me, on many occasions, during our short stay. He constantly came on board every morning soon after it was light, and never quitted us till the evening. He was always ready, either on board or on shore, to do me all the service in his power: His fidelity was rewarded at a small expence, and I found my account in having such a friend.[8]

In heaving in the coasting cable, it parted in the middle of its length, being chafed by the rocks. By this accident we lost the other half, together with the anchor, which lay in forty fathoms water, without any buoy to it. The best bower-cable suffered also by the rocks; by which a judgment may be formed of this anchorage. At ten o'clock we got under sail; but as our decks were much encumbered with fruit, &c. we kept plying under the land till they were cleared.[9] The supplies we got at this isle, were about one hundred and fifty pigs, twice that number of fowls, as many bananoes and cocoa-nuts as we could find room for, with a few yams; and had our stay been longer, we no doubt might have got a great deal more. This in some degree shews the fertility of the island, of which, together with the neighbouring one of Middleburg, I shall now give a more particular account.

[1] "A party of the marines were posted on the beach in case of danger, to protect the captain's clerk, who traded for provisions. The natives did not express either surprise or dislike at this proceeding, perhaps, because they were unacquainted with its meaning. They received us with acclamations of joy as at Ea-oonhe, and desired us to sit down with them on the rocks along shore, which consisted of coral, and were covered with shell sand. We purchased several beautiful parroquets, pigeons, and doves, which they brought to us perfectly tame; and our young Borabora man, Mahine (or Odeedee), traded with great eagerness for ornaments made of bright red feathers, which he assured us had an extraordinary value at Otaheite and the Society Islands. Here they were commonly pasted to aprons used in their dances, and made of the fibres of cocoa-nuts, or fixed upon bananoe leaves, forming rhomboidal frontlets or diadems; and with a degree of extacy, which gave the greatest weight to his assertion, he shewed us that a little piece of feather-work, as broad as two or three fingers, would purchase the largest hog in his island."—G.F.

[2] "We left the beach after the first acquaintance with the natives, and ascended a few feet into a wild forest consisting of tall trees, intermixed with shrubberies. This wood, though narrow, being in many places not above one hundred yards wide, was continued along the shore of Van Diemen's road, being more or less open in various parts. Beyond it the whole island was perfectly level. We walked across a piece of uncultivated land, about five hundred yards wide, which adjoined to the wood. Part of it appeared to have been planted with yams, but the rest was full of grass, and had a little swamp in the middle, where the purple water-hen, or poula sultane, resided in great numbers. As soon as we left this, we entered into a lane about six feet wide, between two fences of reed, which inclosed extensive plantations on each side. Here we met many of the natives, who were travelling to the beach with loads of provisions, and courteously bowed their heads as they passed by us, in sign of friendship, generally pronouncing some monosyllable or other, which seemed to correspond to the Otaheitean tays. The inclosures, plantations, and houses, were exactly in the same style as at Ea-oonhe, and the people had never failed to plant odoriferous shrubs round their dwellings. The mulberry, of which the bark is manufactured into cloth, and the bread-tree, were more scarce than at the Society Isles, and the apple of those islands was entirely unknown; but the shaddock well supplied its place. The season of spring, which revived the face of all nature, adorning every plant with blossoms, and inspiring with joyful songs the feathered tribe, doubtless contributed in a great measure to make every object pleasing in our eyes. But the industry and elegance of the natives, which they displayed in planting every piece of ground to the greatest advantage, as well as in the neatness and regularity of all their works, demanded our admiration, whilst it gave us room to suppose, that they enjoyed a considerable degree of happiness. One of the lanes between the inclosures, led us to a little grove, which we admired for its irregularity. An immense casuarina tree far out-topped the rest, and its branches were loaded with a vast number of blackish creatures, which we took for crows at a distance, but which proved to be bats when we came nearer. They clung to the twigs by the hooked claws, which are at the extremity of their webbed fingers and toes; sometimes they hung with the head downwards, and sometimes the reverse. We shot at them, and brought down six or eight at once, besides wounding several others which held foot on the tree. They were of the kind which is commonly called the vampyre, and measured from three to four feet between the expanded wings. A great number of them were disturbed at our firing, and flew from the tree very heavily, uttering a shrill piping note; some likewise arrived from remote parts at intervals to the tree, but the greatest number remained in their position, and probably go out to feed only by night. As they live chiefly upon fruit, it is likely that they commit great depredations in the orchards of the natives, some of whom being present when we fired, seemed very well pleased with the death of their enemies." "We had already observed at Otaheite, at the Society Islands, and even at Ea- oonhe, that wherever we met with a casuarina, a burying-place was at hand. Therefore, at sight of this venerable tree, which was hung with ill-omened creatures, we immediately conjectured that it would lead us to a cemetery or place of worship, and the event shewed that we were not mistaken. We found a beautiful green lawn, inclosed on all sides by shady bushes and trees, amongst which casuarinas, pandangs, and wild sago-palms, appeared with their various tints of green. A row of Barringtonians, as big as the loftiest oaks, formed one side of it, and strewed it with their large blushing flowers. At the upper end of it, there was a rising two or three feet high, set out with coral- stones cut square. The area above was covered with a green sod, like the rest of the lawn. Two steps, likewise of coral rock, led up to this part, in the midst of which a house was situated, exactly like that which we saw at Ea-oonhe," &c.—G.F.

[3] "We continued our walk through the plantations, and met with very few inhabitants, they being almost all gone towards the trading-place. Those we saw passed by us, or continued their occupations without stopping on our account. Neither curiosity nor distrust and jealousy excited them to prohibit our farther progress; on the contrary, they always spoke in a kind tone to us, which sufficiently characterized their disposition. We looked into many of the houses and found them empty, but always laid out with mats, and delightfully situated among odoriferous shrubs. Sometimes they were separated from the plantations by a little fence, through which a door, like those of Ea-oowhe, gave admittance, which could be shut on the inside. In that case only the area, which this fence inclosed around the hut, was planted with the odoriferous grove, which is so much in request with the natives. A walk of three miles, brought us to the eastern shore of the island, where it forms a deep angle, which Tasman called Maria Bay. Where we fell in with it, the ground sloped imperceptibly into a sandy beach; but as we walked along towards the north point, we found it rose perpendicularly, and in some places it was excavated and overhanging. It consisted, however, entirely of coral, which is a strong proof of some great change on our globe, as this rock can only be formed under water. Whether it was left bare by a gradual diminution of the sea, or perhaps by a more violent revolution which our earth may formerly have suffered, I shall not venture to determine. So much, however, may be assumed as a certainty, that if we suppose a gradual diminution of the sea, at the rate which they pretend to have observed in Sweden (see Mem. of the Swed. Acad. of Sciences at Stockholm), the emersion of this island must be of so modern a date, that it is matter of astonishment how it came to be covered with soil, herbage, and forests; so well stocked with inhabitants, and so regularly adorned as we really found it." "After a long walk, during which we missed our way, and engaged one of the natives to become our guide, we entered a long narrow lane between two fences, which led us directly to the Fayetooca, or burying-place, we had left before. Here we found Captains Cook and Furneaux and Mr Hodges, with a great number of natives, seated on the fine lawn. They were in conversation with an old blear-eyed man," &c. "From this place we returned to the sea shore, where a brisk trade for vegetables, fowls, and hogs was carried on," &c. "It was near sun-set when we returned on board with our collection, and found the vessels still surrounded by many canoes, and the natives swimming about extremely vociferous. Among them were a considerable number of women, who wantoned in the water like amphibious creatures, and were easily persuaded to come on board, perfectly naked, without professing greater chastity than the common women at Otaheite and the Society Isles," &c.—G.F.

[4] "He was drest in mats, one of which, on account of the coolness of the morning, he had drawn over his shoulders. He resembled all other uncivilized people in the circumstance that his attention could not be fixed to one object for any space of time, and it was difficult to prevail on him to sit still whilst Mr Hodges drew his portrait. After breakfast, the captains and my father prepared to return to the shore with him; but just as he was going out of the cabin, he happened to see an Otaheitean dog running about the deck; at this sight he could not conceal his joy, but clapped his hands on his breast, and, turning to the captain, repeated the word goorree near twenty times. We were much surprised to hear that he knew the name of an animal which did not exist in his country, and made him a present of one of each sex, with which he went on shore in an extacy of joy."—G.F.

[5] "I remained on board all this day to arrange the collection of plants and birds which we had made on our first excursion, and which was far from despicable, considering the small size of the island. The natives continued to crowd about our vessels in a number of canoes, whilst many were swimming to and from the shore, who were probably not rich enough to possess a canoe. Among the great numbers who surrounded us, we observed several whose hair seemed to be burnt at the ends, and were strewed with a white powder. Upon examination we found that this powder was nothing else than lime, made of shells or coral, which had corroded or burnt the hair. The taste of powdering was at its height in this island. We observed a man who had employed a blue powder, and many persons of both sexes who wore an orange powder made of turmerick. St Jerom, who preached against the vanities of the age, very seriously reprehends a similar custom in the Roman ladies: 'Ne irrufet crines, et anticipet sibi ignes Gehennae!' Thus, by an admirable similarity of follies, the modes of the former inhabitants of Europe are in full force among the modern antipodes; and our insipid beaux, whose only pride is the invention of a new fashion, are forced to share that slender honour with the uncivilized natives of an isle in the South Seas,"—G.F.

[6] "Upon enquiry, some of the sportsmen who had met with this man near Maria Bay, had been repeatedly told, that he was the chief of the whole island, in the same manner as Cookee (Captain Cook) was chief of our ships, and that they called him Ko-Haghee-too-Fallango. Whether this was his name or his title I cannot determine, as we never heard it mentioned again by the natives; but they all agreed in telling us, that he was their Areghee, or king. They added, that his name was Latoo-Ni-pooroo, of which we concluded that the former part (Latoo) was a title, it being the same which Schooten and La Maire, the Dutch navigators, in the year 1616, found at the Cocos, Traytors, and Horne islands, which are situated in this neighbourhood, only a few degrees to the northward. We were confirmed in this opinion by the great correspondence of the vocabularies, which these intelligent seamen have left us, with the language which was spoken at Tonga-Tabboo, and still more so by the entire similarity in the behaviour and customs of these islanders."—G.F.

[7] Mr G. Forster agrees with Cook as to the toper-like qualities of this priest, but speaks of his having great authority among the people. This merely apparent difference of statement is quite easily understood, by what one may witness in some other countries, where respect for the ecclesiastical office is not unfrequently accompanied with the most thoroughly merited contempt of the self-degraded hirelings that sustain it. The three-bottle vicar still continues in England, to obtain the accustomed reverence to his surplice, from the wondering parishioners, though the companions of his jovial hours have long ceased to feel the slightest compunctions arising from inward respect, when they laugh at his heinously red nose, or chorus in his ribaldry. The islanders of the South Sea are not singular then, in mentally disjoining official dignity from moral excellence.—E.

[8] "Here, however, as in all other societies of men, we found exceptions to the general character, and had reason to lament the behaviour of vicious individuals. Dr Sparrman and myself having left the beach where the Latoo attracted the attention of all our people, entered the wood in pursuit of farther discoveries in our branch of science. The first discharge of my fowling-piece at a bird brought three natives towards us, with whom we entered into conversation, as far as our superficial knowledge of their tongue would permit. Soon after, Dr Sparrman stepped aside into a thicket in search of a bayonet, which he had lost from the end of his musket. One of the natives, finding the temptation of the moment irresistible, grasped my fowling-piece, and struggled to wrest it from me. I called to my companion, and the two other natives ran away, unwilling to become the accomplices in this attack. In the struggle, our feet were entangled in a bush, and we both fell together; but the native, seeing he could not gain his point, and perhaps dreading the arrival of Dr Sparrman, got up before me, and took that opportunity of running off. My friend joined me immediately; and we concluded, that if there was something treacherous or vicious in the behaviour of this fellow, our separation was also imprudent, because it had furnished him with an opportunity to exercise his talents."—G.F.

[9] "We had made such good use of the four months, after our departure from New Zealand, as to have crossed the South Sea in the middle latitudes, in the depth of winter, examined a space of more than forty degrees of longitude between the tropics, and refreshed our people at Otaheite, the Society Islands, and the Friendly Islands, during one and thirty days. The season for prosecuting our discoveries in high southern latitudes advanced, and the savage rocks of New Zealand were only to give us shelter, whilst we changed our fair-weather rigging, for such as might resist the storms and vigours of more inhospitable climates."—G.F.


A Description of the Islands and their Produce; with the Cultivation, Houses, Canoes, Navigation, Manufactures, Weapons, Customs, Government, Religion, and Language of the Inhabitants. [1]

These islands were first discovered by Captain Tasman, in January, 1642-3, and by him called Amsterdam and Middleburg. But the former is called by the natives Ton-ga-ta-bu, and the latter Ea-oo-wee. They are situated between the latitude of 21 deg. 29' and 21 deg. 3' south, and between the longitude of 174 deg. 40' and 175 deg. 15' west, deduced from observations made on the spot.

Middleburg, or Eaoowee, which is the southernmost, is about ten leagues in circuit, and of a height sufficient to be seen twelve leagues. The skirts of this isle are mostly taken up in the plantations; the S.W. and N.W. sides especially. The interior parts are but little cultivated, though very fit for cultivation. However, the want of it added greatly to the beauty of the isle; for here are, agreeably dispersed, groves of cocoa-nut and other trees, lawns covered with thick grass, here and there plantations, and paths leading to every part of the island, in such beautiful disorder, as greatly enlivens the prospect.[2]

The anchorage, which I named English Road, being the first who anchored there, is on the N.W. side, in latitude 21 deg. 20' 30" south. The bank is a coarse sand; it extends two miles from the land, and on it there is from twenty to forty fathoms water. The small creek before it affords convenient landing for boats at all times of the tide; which here, as well as at the other islands, rises about four or five feet, and is high water on the full and change days about seven o'clock. The island of Tongatabu is shaped something like an isosceles triangle, the longest sides whereof are seven leagues each, and the shortest four. It lies nearly in the direction of E.S.E. and W.N.W.; is nearly all of an equal height, rather low, not exceeding sixty or eighty feet above the level of the sea. This island, and also that of Eaoowee, is guarded from the sea by a reef of coral rocks, extending out from the shore one hundred fathoms more or less. On this reef the force of the sea is spent before it reaches the land or shore. Indeed, this is in some measure the situation of all the tropical isles in this sea that I have seen; and thus nature has effectually secured them from the encroachments of the sea, though many of them are mere points when compared to this vast ocean. Van Diemen's Road, where we anchored, is under the northwest part of the island, between the most northern and western points. There lies a reef of rocks without it, bearing N.W. by W., over which the sea breaks continually. The bank does not extend more than three cables length from the shore; without that, is an unfathomable depth. The loss of an anchor, and the damage our cables sustained, are sufficient proofs that the bottom is none of the best.

On the east side of the north point of the island, (as Mr Gilbert, whom I sent to survey the parts, informed me) is a very snug harbour, of one mile or more in extent, wherein is seven, eight, and ten fathoms water, with a clean sandy bottom. The channel, by which he went in and out, lies close to the point, and has only three fathoms water; but he believes, that farther to the N.E. is a channel with a much greater depth, which he had not time to examine. Indeed, it would have taken up far more time than I could spare to have surveyed these parts minutely; as there lies a number of small islets and reefs of rocks along the N.E. side of the island, which seemed to extend to the N.E. farther than the eye could reach. The island of Amsterdam, or Tongatabu, is wholly laid out in plantations, in which are planted some of the richest productions of nature, such as bread-fruit, cocoa-nut trees, plantains, bananoes, shaddocks, yams, and some other roots, sugar-cane, and a fruit like a nectarine, called by them Fighegea, and at Otaheite Ahuya: In short, here are most of the articles which the Society Islands produce, besides some which they have not. Mr Forster tells me, that he not only found the same plants here that are at Otaheite and the neighbouring isles, but several others which are not to be met with there. And I probably have added to their stock of vegetables, by leaving with them an assortment of garden seeds, pulse, &c. Bread-fruit here, as well as at all the other isles, was not in season; nor was this the time for roots and shaddocks. We got the latter only at Middleburg.[3]

The produce and cultivation of this isle is the same as at Amsterdam; with this difference, that a part only of the former is cultivated, whereas the whole of the latter is. The lanes or roads necessary for travelling, are laid out in so judicious a manner, as to open a free and easy communication from one part of the island to the other. Here are no towns or villages; most of the houses are built in the plantations, with no other order than what conveniency requires; they are neatly constructed, but do not exceed those in the other isles. The materials of which they are built are the same; and some little variation in the disposition of the framing, is all the difference in their construction. The floor is a little raised, and covered with thick strong mats; the same sort of matting serves to inclose them on the windward side, the other being open. They have little areas before the most of them, which are generally planted round with trees, or shrubs of ornament, whose fragrancy perfumes the very air in which they breathe. Their household furniture consists of a few wooden platters, cocoa-nut shells, and some neat wooden pillows shaped like four-footed stools or forms. Their common clothing, with the addition of a mat, serves them for bedding. We got from them two or three earthen vessels, which were all we saw among them. One was in the shape of a bomb-shell, with two boles in it, opposite each other; the others were like pipkins, containing about five or six pints, and had been in use on the fire. I am of opinion they are the manufacture of some other isle; for, if they were of their own, we ought to have seen more of them. Nor am I to suppose they came from Tasman's ships; the time is too long for brittle vessels like these to be preserved.

We saw no other domestic animals amongst them but hogs and fowls. The former are of the same sort as at the other isles in this sea; but the latter are far superior, being as large as any we have in Europe, and their flesh equally good, if not better. We saw no dogs, and believe they have none, as they were exceedingly desirous of those we had on board. My friend Attago was complimented with a dog and a bitch, the one from New Zealand, the other from Ulietea. The name of a dog with them is kooree or gooree, the same as at New Zealand, which shews that they are not wholly strangers to them. We saw no rats in these isles, nor any other wild quadrupeds, except small lizards. The land birds are pigeons, turtle-doves, parrots, parroquets, owls, bald couts with a blue plumage, a variety of small birds, and large bats in abundance. The produce of the sea we know but little of; it is reasonable to suppose, that the same sorts of fish are found here as at the other isles.[4] Their fishing instruments are the same; that is, hooks made of mother-of-pearl, gigs with two, three, or more prongs, and nets made of a very fine thread, with the meshes wrought exactly like ours. But nothing can be a more demonstrative evidence of their ingenuity than the construction and make of their canoes, which, in point of neatness and workmanship, exceed every thing of this kind we saw in this sea. They are built of several pieces sewed together with bandage, in so neat a manner, that on the outside it is difficult to see the joints. All the fastenings are on the inside, and pass through kants or ridges, which are wrought on the edges and ends of the several boards which compose the vessel, for that purpose. They are of two kinds, viz. double and single. The single ones are from twenty to thirty feet long, and about twenty or twenty-two inches broad in the middle; the stern terminates in a point, and the head something like the point of a wedge. At each end is a kind of deck, for about one-third part of the whole length, and open in the middle. In some the middle of the deck is decorated with a row of white shells, stuck on little pegs wrought out of the same piece which composes it. These single canoes have all out-riggers, and are sometimes navigated with sails, but more generally with paddles, the blades of which are short, and broadest in the middle. The two vessels which compose the double canoe are each about sixty or seventy feet long, and four or five broad in the middle, and each end terminates nearly in a point; so that the body or hull differs a little in construction from the single canoe, but is put together exactly in the same manner; these having a rising in the middle round the open part, in the form of a long trough, which is made of boards, closely fitted together, and well secured to the body of the vessel. Two such vessels are fastened to, and parallel to each other, about six or seven feet asunder, by strong cross beams, secured by bandages to the upper part of the risings above mentioned. Over these beams, and others which are supported by stanchions fixed on the bodies of the canoes, is laid a boarded platform. All the parts which compose the double canoe, are made as strong and light as the nature of the work will admit, and may be immerged in water to the very platform, without being in danger of filling. Nor is it possible, under any circumstance whatever, for them to sink, so long as they hold together. Thus they are not only vessels of burden, but fit for distant navigation. They are rigged with one mast, which steps upon the platform, and can easily be raised or taken down; and are sailed with a latteen-sail, or triangular one, extended by a long yard, which is a little bent or crooked. The sail is made of mats; the rope they make use of is exactly like ours, and some of it is four or five inch. On the platform is built a little shed or hut, which screens the crew from the sun and weather, and serves for other purposes. They also carry a moveable fire- hearth, which is a square, but shallow trough of wood, filled with stones. The way into the hold of the canoe is from off the platform, down a sort of uncovered hatchway, in which they stand to bale out the water. I think these vessels are navigated either end foremost, and that, in changing tacks, they have only occasion to shift or jib round the sail; but of this I was not certain, as I had not then seen any under sail, or with the mast and sail an end, but what were a considerable distance from us.

Their working tools are made of stone, bone, shells, &c. as at the other islands. When we view the work which is performed with these tools, we are struck with admiration at the ingenuity and patience of the workman. Their knowledge of the utility of iron was no more than sufficient to teach them to prefer nails to beads, and such trifles; some, but very few, would exchange a pig for a large nail, or a hatchet. Old jackets, shirts, cloth, and even rags, were in more esteem than the best edge-tool we could give them; consequently they got but few axes from us but what were given as presents. But if we include the nails which were given by the officers and crews of both ships for curiosities, &c. with those given for refreshments, they cannot have got less than five hundred weight, great and small. The only piece of iron we saw among them was a small broad awl, which had been made of a nail.

Both men and women are of a common size with Europeans; and their colour is that of a lightish copper, and more uniformly so than amongst the inhabitants of Otaheite and the Society Isles. Some of our gentlemen were of opinion these were a much handsomer race; others maintained a contrary opinion, of which number I was one. Be this as it may, they have a good shape, and regular features, and are active, brisk, and lively. The women, in particular, are the merriest creatures I ever met with, and will keep chattering by one's side, without the least invitation, or considering whether they are understood, provided one does but seem pleased with them. In general they appeared to be modest; although there was no want of those of a different stamp; and as we had yet some venereal complaints on board, I took all possible care to prevent the disorder being communicated to them. On most occasions they shewed a strong propensity to pilfering; in which they were full as expert as the Otaheitans.

Their hair in general is black, but more especially that of the women. Different colours were found among the men, sometimes on the same head, caused by something they put upon it, which stains it white, red, and blue. Both sexes wear it short; I saw but two exceptions to this custom, and the most of them combed it upwards. Many of the boys had it cut very close, except a single lock on the top of the head, and a small quantity on each side. The men cut or shave their beards quite close, which operation is performed with two shells. They have fine eyes, and in general good teeth, even to an advanced age. The custom of tattowing or puncturing the skin prevails. The men are tattowed from the middle of the thigh to above the hips. The women have it only on their arms and fingers; and there but very slightly.

The dress of both sexes consists of a piece of cloth or matting wrapped round the waist, and hanging down below the knees. From the waist, upwards, they are generally naked; and it seemed to be a custom to anoint these parts every morning. My friend Attago never failed to do it; but whether out of respect to his friend, or from custom, I will not pretend to say; though I rather think from the latter, as he was not singular in the practice.

Their ornaments are amulets, necklaces, and bracelets of bones, shells, and beads of mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, &c. which are worn by both sexes. The women also wear on their fingers neat rings made of tortoise-shell, and pieces in their ears about the size of a small quill; but ear ornaments are not commonly worn, though all have their ears pierced. They have also a curious apron made of the outside fibres of the cocoa-nut shell, and composed of a number of small pieces sewed together in such a manner as to form stars, half-moons, little squares, &c. It is studded with beads of shells, and covered with red feathers, so as to have a pleasing effect. They make the same kind of cloth, and of the same materials, as at Otaheite; though they have not such a variety, nor do they make any so fine; but, as they have a method of glazing it, it is more durable, and will resist rain for some time, which Otaheite cloth will not. Their colours are black, brown, purple, yellow, and red; all made from vegetables. They make various sorts of matting; some of a very fine texture, which is generally used for clothing; and the thick and stronger sort serves to sleep on, and to make sails for their canoes, &c. Among other useful utensils, they have various sorts of baskets; some are made of the same materials as their mats; and others of the twisted fibres of cocoa-nuts. These are not only durable but beautiful; being generally composed of different colours, and studded with beads made of shells or bones. They have many little nick-nacks amongst them; which shews that they neither want taste to design, nor skill to execute, whatever they take in hand.

How these people amuse themselves in their leisure hours, I cannot say, as we are but little acquainted with their diversions. The women frequently entertained us with songs, in a manner which was agreeable enough. They accompany the music by snapping their fingers, so as to keep time to it. Not only their voices, but their music was very harmonious, and they have a considerable compass in their notes. I saw but two musical instruments amongst them. One was a large flute made of a piece of bamboo, which they fill with their noses as at Otaheite; but these have four holes or stops, whereas those of Otaheite have only two. The other was composed of ten or eleven small reeds of unequal lengths, bound together side by side, as the Doric pipe of the ancients is said to have been; and the open ends of the reeds into which they blow with their mouths, are of equal height, or in a line. They have also a drum, which, without any impropriety, may be compared to an hollow log of wood. The one I saw was five feet six inches long, and thirty inches in girt, and had a slit in it, from the one end to the other, about three inches wide, by means of which it had been hollowed out. They beat on the side of this log with two drum-sticks, and produce an hollow sound, not quite so musical as that of an empty cask.

The common method of saluting one another is by touching or meeting noses, as is done in New Zealand, and their sign of peace to strangers, is the displaying a white flag or flags; at least such were displayed to us, when we first drew near the shore. But the people who came first on board brought with them some of the pepper plant, and sent it before them into the ship; a stronger sign of friendship than which one could not wish for. From their unsuspicious manner of coming on board, and of receiving us at first on shore, I am of opinion, they are seldom disturbed by either foreign or domestic troubles. They are, however, not unprovided with very formidable weapons; such as clubs and spears, made of hard wood, also bows and arrows. The clubs are from three to five feet in length, and of various shapes. Their bows and arrows are but indifferent; the former being very slight, and the latter only made of a slender reed, pointed with hard wood. Some of their spears have many barbs, and must be very dangerous weapons where they take effect. On the inside of the bow is a groove, in which is put the arrow; from which it would seem that they use but one.

They have a singular custom of putting every thing you give them to their heads, by way of thanks, as we conjectured. This manner of paying a compliment, is taught them from their very infancy; for when we gave things to little children, the mother lifted up the child's hand to its head. They also used this custom in their exchanges with us; whatever we gave them for their goods, was always applied to the head, just as if it had been given them for nothing. Sometimes they would look at our goods, and if not approved, return them back; but whenever they applied them to the head, the bargain was infallibly struck. When I had made a present to the chief of any thing curious, I frequently saw it handed from one to another; and every one, into whose hands it came, put it to the head. Very often the women would take hold of my hand, kiss it, and lift it to their heads. From all this it should seem, that this custom, which they call fagafatie, has various significations according as it is applied; all, however, complimentary.

It must be observed, that the sullen chief or king did not pay me any of these compliments for the presents I made him.

A still more singular custom prevails in these isles: We observed that the greater part of the people, both men and women, had lost one, or both their little fingers.[5] We endeavoured, but in vain, to find out the reason of this mutilation; for no one would take any pains to inform us. It was neither peculiar to rank, age, or sex; nor is it done at any certain age, as I saw those of all ages on whom the amputation had been just made; and, except some young children, we found few who had both hands perfect. As it was more common among the aged than the young, some of us were of opinion that it was occasioned by the death of their parents, or some other near relation. But Mr Wales one day met with a man, whose hands were both perfect, of such an advanced age, that it was hardly possible his parents could be living. They also burn or make incisions in their cheeks, near the cheek-bone. The reason of this was equally unknown to us. In some, the wounds were quite fresh; in others, they could only be known by the scars, or colour of the skin. I saw neither sick nor lame amongst them; all appeared healthy, strong, and vigorous; a proof of the goodness of the climate in which they live.

I have frequently mentioned a king, which implies the government being in a single person, without knowing for certain whether it is so or no. Such an one was however pointed out to us; and we had no reason to doubt it. From this, and other circumstances, I am of opinion that the government is much like that of Otaheite: That is, in a king or great chief, who is here called Areeke, with other chiefs under him, who are lords of certain districts, and perhaps sole proprietors, to whom the people seem to pay great obedience. I also observed a third rank, who had not a little authority over the common people; my friend Attago was one of these. I am of opinion that all the land on. Tongatabu is private property, and that there are here, as at Otaheite, a set of people, who are servants or slaves, and have no property in land. It is unreasonable to suppose every thing in common in a country so highly cultivated as this. Interest being the greatest spring which animates the hand of industry, few would toil in cultivating and planting the land, if they did not expect to reap the fruit of their labour: Were it otherwise, the industrious man would be in a worse state than the idle sluggard. I frequently saw parties of six, eight, or ten people, bring down to the landing place fruit and other things to dispose of, where one person, a man or woman, superintended the sale of the whole; no exchanges were made but with his or her consent; and whatever we gave in exchange was always given them, which I think plainly shewed them to be the owners of the goods, and the others no more than servants. Though benevolent nature has been very bountiful to these isles, it cannot be said that the inhabitants are wholly exempt from the curse of our forefathers: Part of their bread must be earned by the sweat of their brows. The high state of cultivation their lands are in, must have cost them immense labour. This is now amply rewarded by the great produce, of which every one seems to partake. No one wants the common necessaries of life; joy and contentment are painted in every face. Indeed, it can hardly be otherwise; an easy freedom prevails among all ranks of people; they feel no wants which they do not enjoy the means of gratifying; and they live in a clime where the painful extremes of heat and cold are equally unknown. If nature has been wanting in any thing, it is in the article of fresh water, which as it is shut up in the bowels of the earth, they are obliged to dig for. A running stream was not seen, and but one well, at Amsterdam. At Middleburg, we saw no water but what the natives had in vessels; but as it was sweet and cool, I had no doubt of its being taken up upon the island; and probably not far from the spot where I saw it.

So little do we know of their religion, that I hardly dare mention it. The buildings called Afiatoucas, before mentioned, are undoubtedly set apart for this purpose. Some of our gentlemen were of opinion, that they were merely burying-places. I can only say, from my own knowledge, that they are places to which particular persons directed set speeches, which I understood to be prayers, as hath been already related. Joining my opinion with that of others, I was inclined to think that they are set apart to be both temples and burying-places, as at Otaheite, or even in Europe. But I have no idea of the images being idols; not only from what I saw myself, but from Mr Wales's informing me that they set one of them up, for him and others to shoot at.

One circumstance shewed that these Afiatoucas were frequently resorted to, for one purpose or other—the areas, or open places, before them, being covered with a green sod, the grass on which was very short. This did not appear to have been cut, or reduced by the hand of man, but to have been prevented in its growth, by being often trod, or sat upon.

It cannot be supposed that we could know much, either of their civil or religious policy, in so short a time as four or five days, especially as we understood but little of their language: Even the two islanders we had on board could not at first understand them, and yet as we became the more acquainted with them, we found their language was nearly the same spoken at Otaheite and the Society Isles. The difference not being greater than what we find betwixt the most northern and western parts of England, as will more fully appear by the vocabulary.[6]

[1] This subject is resumed in the account of Cook's third voyage, to which we refer for additional information. A few observations, however, are here given from the works already mentioned, as deserving the reader's immediate attention.—E.

[2] "Next to the Society Isles, for richness of productions, and beauty of appearance, we must place that group discovered by the Dutch navigator Tasman, and not unaptly to be distinguished by the name of Friendly Isles, from the peaceable kind disposition of their inhabitants. They are raised so high above the level of the sea, that they can no longer rank with the low islands; and being destitute of mountains, they are equally distinct from the high islands. They are extremely populous, and their uniform surface, therefore, gives the people an opportunity of carrying cultivation very far; and from one end to the other, they are intersected by paths and fences, which divide the plantations. At first, one might be apt to think that this high cultivation would give the botanist very scanty supplies of spontaneous plants; but it is the peculiar beauty of these elegant isles to join the useful to the agreeable in nature, by which means a variety of different wild species thrive among more that are cultivated in that pleasing disorder, which is so much admired in the gardens of this kingdom."—F.

[3] Much of the difference betwixt the Society and Friendly Isles, seems to depend on the greater abundance of water in the former. This is noticed very judiciously by Mr G.F., as will be seen in a following note. His father too was well aware of it. "The Friendly Isles," says he, "seem to be destitute of springs; for though on some of them, as Eaoowhe and Anamocka, there are small hills and rising grounds; they are, however, far from being so high as to attract the clouds, or to cause, from their perpetual moisture, a continual flood of spring water. The natives have ponds, some of which are large, wherein they collect the rain water, but it is sometimes brackish from the vicinity of the sea." He speaks, it may be added, of a large lagoon of salt water in Anamocka, about three miles long, full of small isles, ornamented with clusters of trees, and surrounded by bushes of man- groves and hills, so as altogether to form a romantic landscape. In his opinion, the soil is much the same in both clusters.—E.

[4] The following remarks, collected from Mr F.'s work, may prove useful to the reader:—"In the tropical isles they have but four species of quadrupeds, two of which are domestic; and the remaining ones are the vampyre and the common rat. This last inhabits the Marquesas, Society Isles, Friendly Isles, and the New Hebrides. They are in incredible numbers at the Society Isles, much scarcer at the Marquesas and Friendly Isles, and seldom seen at the New Hebrides. The vampyre is only seen in the more western isles. At the Friendly Isles they live gregarious by several hundreds, and some of them are seen flying about the whole day. The Society Isles alone are fortunate enough to possess both the domestic quadrupeds, the dog and the hog. New Zealand and the low islands must be content with dogs alone; the Marquesas, Friendly Isles, and New Hebrides, have only hogs; and Easter Island and New Caledonia are destitute of both. There is only one tame species of birds, properly speaking, in the tropical isles of the South Sea, viz. the common cock and hen; They are numerous at Easter Island, where they are the only domestic animals; they are likewise in great plenty at the Society Isles, and Friendly Isles, at which last they are of a prodigious size: They are also not uncommon at the Marquesas, Hebrides, and New Caledonia; but the low isles, and those of the temperate zone, are quite destitute of them. The natives of the Friendly and Society Isles sometimes catch and tame certain sorts of parroquets and pigeons, but never have any breeds of them, so that they can scarcely be reckoned as domestic birds. The South Sea is rich in fish, and has a great variety of species, most of which are good eating, many very delicious, and but a few capable of noxious or fatal effects.—E.

[5] This custom is not peculiar to the inhabitants of the Friendly Isles. See Recherches Philosophiques sur les Americains, tom. ii. p. 253, &c. Of this custom, and of many of the topics mentioned in this Section, besides others of equal interest, the reader will be supplied with very ample accounts when he comes to the relation of the 3d voyage.—E.

[6] It appeared upon the whole, that the customs and language of these islanders have a great affinity with those of the Otaheitans, and it would not therefore be very singular to find a coincidence even in their amusements. The greatest differences between these two tribes, who must have originated from the same stock, seem to be owing to the different nature of these islands. The Society Isles are well furnished with wood, and the tops of these mountains are still covered with inexhaustible forests. At the Friendly Isles this article is much scarcer, the surface (at least of those which we have seen) being almost entirely laid out in plantations. The natural consequence is, that the houses are lofty and of immense extent in the first group of islands, but much smaller and less convenient in the last. In one the canoes are numerous, I may almost say innumerable, and many of a vast size; and, in the other, very few in number, and much smaller. The mountains of the Society Isles continually attract the vapours from the atmosphere, and many rivulets descend from the broken rocks into the plain, where they wind their serpentine course, and glide smoothly to the sea. The inhabitants of those islands take advantage of this gift of bountiful nature, and not only drink of the salutary element, but likewise bathe so frequently in it, that no impurity can long adhere to their skin. It is very different with a people who are absolutely denied this blessing, and who must either content themselves with putrid stagnant rain water in a few dirty pools, or go entirely without it. They are obliged to have recourse to expedients in order to preserve a certain degree of cleanliness, which may preclude various distempers. They, therefore, cut off their hair, and shave or clip their beards, which doubtless makes them look more unlike the Otaheitans than they would otherwise do. Still these precautions are not sufficient, especially as they have no fluid for drinking in any quantity. The body is therefore very subject to leprous complaints, which are perhaps irritated by the use of the pepper-root water or awa. Hence also that burning or blistering on the cheekbones, which we observed to be so general among this tribe, that hardly an individual was free from it, and which can only be used as a remedy against some disorders. The soil of the Society Isles in the plains and vallies is rich, and the rivulets which intersect it supply abundance of moisture. All sorts of vegetables, therefore, thrive with great luxuriance upon it, and require little attendance or cultivation. This profusion is become the source of that great luxury among the chiefs, which we do not meet with at Tonga-tabboo. There the coral rock is covered only with a thin bed of mould, which sparingly affords nourishment to all sorts of trees; and the most useful of all, the bread-fruit tree, thrives imperfectly on the island, as it is destitute of water, except when a genial shower happens to impregnate and fertilize the ground. The labour of the natives is therefore greater than that of the Otaheitans, and accounts for the regularity of the plantations, and the accurate division of property. It is likewise to this source we must ascribe it, that they have always set a higher value on their provisions than on their tools, dresses, ornaments, and weapons, though many of these must have cost them infinite time and application. They very justly conceive the articles of food to be their principal riches, of which the loss is absolutely not to be remedied. If we observed their bodies more slender, and their muscles harder than those of the Otaheitans, this seems to be the consequence of a greater and more constant exertion of strength. Thus, perhaps, they become industrious by force of habit, and when agriculture does not occupy them, they are actuated to employ their vacant hours in the fabrication of that variety of tools and instruments on which they bestow so much time, patience, labour, and ingenuity. This industrious turn has also led them, in the cultivation of all their arts, to so much greater perfection than the Otaheitans. By degrees they have hit upon new inventions, and introduced an active spirit, and enlivening cheerfulness even into their amusements. Their happiness of temper they preserve under a political constitution, which does not appear to be very favourable to liberty; but we need not go so far from home to wonder at such a phenomenon, when one of the most enslaved people in all Europe (the French, no doubt, are intended; this was published in 1777,) are characterised as the merriest and most facetious of mankind. Still there may be more sincerity in the cheerfulness of the natives of Tonga-tabboo, for, exclusive of great and almost servile submission, their king does not seem to exact any thing from them, which, by depriving them of the means to satisfy the most indispensable wants of nature, could make them miserable. Be this as it may, so much seems to be certain, that their systems of politics and religion, from their similarity with the Otaheitan, as far as we could judge, must have had one common origin, perhaps in the mother country, from whence both these colonies issued. Single dissonant customs and opinions may have acceded to the primitive ideas, in proportion as various accidents, or human caprices, have given rise to them. The affinity of their languages is still more decisive. The greatest part of the necessaries of life, common to both groups of islands, the parts of the body, in short, the most obvious and universal ideas, were expressed at the Society and Friendly Isles, nearly by the same words. We did not find that sonorousness in the Tonga-tabboo dialect, which is prevalent in that of Otaheite, because the inhabitants of the former have adopted the F, K, and S, so that their language is more replete with consonants. This harshness is compensated, however, by the frequent use of the liquid letters L, M, N, and of the softer vowels E and I, to which we must add that kind of singing tone, which they generally retain even in common conversation."—G.F.

No apology, it is presumed, need be given, for the insertion of so able a specimen of philosophical discernment, and judicious reasoning. Few men have exhibited happier talents for this department of literature, than the younger Forster; and it is perhaps the more generous to yield him this commendation now, as his merit has hitherto been almost totally immersed in the celebrity of greater names. His work is glaringly superior, in perhaps every particular, to the compilation of Dr Hawkesworth; and the writer for one, would feel ashamed of himself, if he had not courage to avow his opinion, that it manifests greater excellencies than Cook's own relation, for which, indeed, it would be easy to specify many reasons. This comparison, it may be said, is invidious, the two men being so differently constituted, as to habits and education, and having such different objects in view in their undertakings, as to imply legitimate and specific dissimilarity. Be it so, in the main. But how is justice to be done them unless by comparison? As navigator and naturalist, they have few or no common features, and cannot, therefore, be confronted; but as authors describing the manners and appearances of distant and singular people, and relating occurrences and transactions common to both, they have only one sort of character, which will and ought to be judged of by the public, according to the same standard.—E.


Passage from Amsterdam to Queen Charlotte's Sound, with an Account of an Interview with the Inhabitants, and the final Separation of the two Ships .

About the time we were in a condition to make sail, a canoe, conducted by four men, came along-side, with one of those drums already mentioned, on which one man kept continually beating; thinking, no doubt, the music would charm us. I gave them a piece of cloth and a nail, for the drum; and took an opportunity to send to my friend Attago some wheat, pease, and beans, which I had forgot to give him when he had the other seeds. As soon as this canoe was gone, we made sail to the southward, having a gentle gale at S.E. by E.; it being my intention to proceed directly to Queen Charlotte's Sound in New Zealand, there to take in wood and water, and then to go on farther discoveries to the south and east.

In the afternoon on the 8th, we made the island of Pilstart, bearing S.W. by W. 1/2 W., distant seven or eight leagues. This island, which was also discovered by Tasman, is situated in the latitude of 22 deg. 26' south, longitude 175 deg. 59' west, and lies in the direction of S. 52 deg. west, distant thirty-two leagues from the south end of Middleburg. It is more conspicuous in height than circuit; having in it two considerable hills, seemingly disjoined from each other by a low valley. After a few hours calm the wind came to S.W.; with which we stretched to the S.E.; but on the 10th, it veered round by the south to the S.E. and E.S.E. and then we resumed our course to the S.S.W.

At five o'clock in the morning of the 21st, we made the land of New Zealand, extending from N.W. by N. to W.S.W.; at noon, Table Cape bore west, distant eight or ten leagues. I was very desirous of having some intercourse with the natives of this country as far to the north as possible; that is, about Poverty or Tolaga Bays, where I apprehended they were more civilized than at Queen Charlotte's Sound; in order to give them some hogs, fowls, seeds, roots, &c. which I had provided for the purpose. The wind veering to the N.W. and north, enabled us to fetch in with the land a little to the north of Portland, and we stood as near the shore as we could with safety. We observed several people upon it, but none attempted to come off to us. Seeing this, we bore away under Portland, where we lay-to some time, as well to give time for the natives to come off, as to wait for the Adventure. There were several people on Portland, but none seemed inclined to come to us; indeed the wind, at this time, blew rather too fresh for them to make the attempt. Therefore, as soon as the Adventure was up with us, we made sail for Cape Kidnappers, which we passed at five o'clock in the morning, and continued our course along-shore till nine, when, being about three leagues short off Black-head, we saw some canoes put off from the shore. Upon this I brought to, in order to give them time to come on board; but ordered the Adventure, by signal, to stand on, as I was willing to lose as little time as possible.

Those in the first canoe, which came along-side, were fishers, and exchanged some fish for pieces of cloth and nails. In the next, were two men, whom, by their dress and behaviour, I took to be chiefs.—These two were easily prevailed on to come on board, when they were presented with nails and other articles. They were so fond of nails, as to seize on all they could find, and with such eagerness, as plainly shewed they were the most valuable things we could give them. To the principal of these two men I gave the pigs, fowls, seeds, and roots. I believe, at first, he did not think I meant to give them to him; for he took but little notice of them, till he was satisfied they were for himself. Nor was he then in such a rapture as when I gave him a spike-nail half the length of his arm. However, at his going away I took notice, that he very well remembered how many pigs and fowls had been given him, as he took care to have them all collected together, and kept a watchful eye over them, lest any should be taken away. He made me a promise not to kill any; and if he keeps his word, and proper care is taken of them, there were enough to stock the whole island in due time; being two boars, two sows, four hens, and two cocks; The seeds were such as are most useful (viz.) wheat, French and kidney beans, pease, cabbage, turnips, onions, carrots, parsnips, and yams, &c. With these articles they were dismissed. It was evident these people had not forgot the Endeavour being on their coast; for the first words they spoke to us were, Mataou no te pow pow (we are afraid of the guns). As they could be no strangers to the affair which happened off Cape Kidnappers in my former voyage, experience had taught them to have some regard to these instruments of death.

As soon as they were gone, we stretched off to the southward, the wind having now veered to the W.S.W. In the afternoon it increased to a fresh gale, and blew in squalls; in one of which we lost our fore-top-gallant mast, having carried the sail a little too long. The fear of losing the land induced me to carry as much sail as possible. At seven in the morning, we tacked and stretched in shore, Cape Turnagain at this time bore about N.W. 1/2 N. distant six or seven leagues. The Adventure, being a good way to leeward, we supposed, did not observe the signal, but stood on; consequently was separated from us. During the night (which was spent in plying) the wind increased in such a manner as to bring us under our courses; it also veered to S.W. and S.S.W., and was attended with rain.

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