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Mr. Banks having reported this matter to me, I took an opportunity, when the chief and his women, with other Indians, were on board the ship, to call up the butcher, and after a recapitulation of the charge and the proof, I gave orders that he should be punifhed, as well to prevent other offences of the fame kind, as to acquit Mr. Banks of his promife; the Indians faw him stripped and tied up to the rigging with a fixed attention, waiting in filent suspense for the event; but as foon as the first stroke was given, they interfered with great agitation, earneftly intreating that the rest of the punishment might be remitted: to this, however, for many reasons, I could not confent, and when they found that they could not prevail by their interceffion, they gave vent to their pity by tears.
Their tears indeed, like those of children, were always ready to express any passion that was strongly excited, and like thofe of children they also appeared to be forgotten as foon as fhed; of which the following, among many others, is a remarkable instance. Very early in the morning of the 28th, even before it was day, a great number of them came down to the fort, and Terapo being observed among the women on the outfide of the gate, Mr. Banks went out and brought her in; he faw that the tears then stood in her eyes, and as foon as the entered they began to flow in great abundance: he inquired
earneftly the caufe, but instead of anfwering the took from under her garment a fhark's tooth, and ftruck it fix or feven times into her head Friday a. with great force; a profufion of blood followed, and fhe talked loud, but in a moft melancholy tone, for fome minutes, without at all regarding his inquiries, which he repeated with still more impatience and concern, while the other Indians, to his great furprife talked and laughed, without taking the leaft notice of her distress. But her own behaviour was ftill more extraordinary. As foon as the bleeding was over, fhe looked up with a fmile, and began to collect some small pieces of cloth, which during her bleeding she had thrown down to catch the blood; as foon as fhe had picked them all up, fhe carried them out of the tent, and threw them into the fea, carefully difperfing them abroad, as if the wifhed to prevent the fight of them from reviving the remembrance of what fhe had done. She then plunged into the river, and after having washed her whole body, returned to the tents' with the fame gaiety and cheerfulness as if nothing had happened.
It is not indeed ftrange that the forrows of these artless people fhould be tranfient, any more than that their paffions fhould be fuddenly and ftrongly expreffed: what they feel they have never been taught either to disguise or fupprefs, and having no habits of thinking which perpetually recal
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recal the past, and anticipate the future, they are affected by all the changes of the paffing hour, and reflect the colour of the time, however frequently it may vary: they have no project which is to be pursued from day to day, the fubject of unremitted anxiety and folicitude, that first rushes into the mind when they awake in the morning, and is last dismissed when they sleep at the night. Yet if we admit that they are upon the whole happier than we, we must admit that the child is happier than the man, and that we are lofers by the perfection of our nature, the increase of our knowledge, and the enlargement of our views.
Canoes were continually coming in during all this forenoon, and the tents at the fort were crowded with people of both fexes from different parts of the land. I was myself bufy on, board the ship, but Mr. Mollineux, our master, who was one of thofe that made the last voyage in the Dolphin, went on fhore. As foon as he entered Mr. Banks's tent he fixed his eyes upon one of the women, who was fitting there with great compofure among the reft, and immediately declared her to be the person who at that time was supposed to be the queen of the island; fhe alfo, at the fame time, acknowledging him to be one of the ftrangers whom she had seen before. The attention of all prefent was now diverted from every other object, and wholly engaged
engaged in confidering a perfon who had made fo diftinguished a figure in the accounts that To had been given of this ifland by its firft difco- Friday 8. verers; and we foon learnt that her name was OBEREA. She feemed to be about forty years of age, and was not only tall, but of a large make; her skin was white, and there was an uncommon intelligence and fenfibility in her eyes: fhe appeared to have been handsome when she was young, but at this time little more than memorials of her beauty were left.
As foon as her quality was known, an offer was made to conduct her to the fhip. Of this the readily accepted, and came on board with two men and several women, who seemed to be all of her family: I received her with such marks of diftinction as I thought would gratify her moft, and was not fparing of my presents, among which this auguft perfonage feemed par ticularly delighted with a child's doll. After some time spent on board, I attended her back to the fhore; and as foon as we landed, she prefented me with a hog, and feveral bunches of plantains, which fhe caused to be carried from her canoes up to the fort in a kind of proceffion, of which the and myself brought up the rear. In our way to the fort we met Tootahah, who, though not king, appeared to be at this time invefted with the fovereign authority; he seemed not to be well pleafed with the diftinction that A a 3
was fhewed to the lady, and became fo jealous when the produced her doll, that to propitiate him Friday 28. it was thought proper to compliment him with another. At this time he thought fit to prefer
doll to a hatchet; but this preference arose only from a childish jealousy, which could not be foothed but by a gift of exactly the fame kind with that which had been presented to Oberea; for dolls in a very fhort time were univerfally confidered as trifles of no value.
The men who had vifited us from time to time had, without fcruple, eaten of our provifions; but the women had never yet been prevailed upon to taste a morfel. To-day, however, though they refused the most preffing folicitations to dine with the gentlemen, they afterwards retired to the fervants' apartment, and eat of plantains very heartily; a mystery of female economy here, which none of us could explain.
On the 29th, not very early in the forenoon, Mr. Banks went to pay his court to Oberea, and was told that she was still afleep under the awning of her canoe; thither therefore he went, intending to call her up, a liberty which he thought he might take, without any danger of giving offence: but, upon looking into her chamber, to his great aftonishment, he found her in bed with a handsome young fellow about five and twenty, whofe name was OBADEE: he retreated