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1769. June,

Saturd. 3.

a present of a long nail, at the same time complimenting Nuna with a shirt.

The first internal contact of the planet with the sun being over, Mr. Banks returned to the observatory, taking Tarrao, Nuna, and some of their principal attendants, among whom were three very handsome young women, with him: he showed them the planet upon the sun, and endeavoured to make them understand that he and his companions had come from their own country on purpose to fee'it. Soon after, Mr. Banks returned with them to the island, where he spent the rest of the examining its produce, which he found to be much the same with that of Otaheite. The people whom he saw there also exactly resembled the inhabitants of that isand, and many of them were persons whom he had seen upon it; so that all those whom he had dealt with, knew of what his trading articles consisted, and the value they bore.

The next morning, having struck the tents, they set out on their return, and arrived at the fort before night.

The observation was made with equal fuccess by the persons whom I had sent to the eastward, and at the fort, there not being a cloud in the sky from the rising to the setting of the sun, the whole passage of the planet Venus over

Sunday 4.


Hours. Min


the sun's disk was observed with great advan- 1769.

June. tage by Mr. Green, Dr. Solander, and myself: Mr. Green's telescope and mine were of the Sunday 4: same magnifying power, but that of Dr. Solander was greater. We all saw an atmosphere or dusky cloud round the body of the planet, which very much disturbed the times of contact, especially of the internal ones; and we differed from each other in our accounts of the times of the contacts much more than might have been expected. According to Mr. Green,

Hours. Min. Sec. The first external contact, or first appearance

of Venus on the Sun, was - - - 9 25 The first internal contact, or total immer

fion, was . - - - - - 9 The second internal contact, or beginning

of the emersion, - - - - 3 14 The second external contact, or total emer. .

fion, - - - - - - 3 32 100s The latitude of the observatory was found to be 17° 29' 15"; and the longitude 149° 32' 20" W. of Greenwich. A more particular account will appear by the tables, for which the reader is referred to the Transactions of the Royal Society, vol. lxi. part 2. page 397 & feq. where they are illustrated by a cut.

But if we had reason to congratulate ourselves upon the success of our observation, we had scarce less cause. to 'regret the diligence with which that time had been improved by some of Dd3



1769. our people to another purpose. While the attenJune.

tion of the officers was engrossed by the Transit Sunday to of Venus, some of the ship's company broke

into one of the store-rooms, and stole a quantity
of spike-nails, amounting to no less than one
hundred weight: this was a matter of public
and serious concern; for these nails, if circulated
by the people among the Indians, would do us
irreparable injury, by reducing the value of
iron, our staple commodity. One of the thieves
was detected, but only seven nails were found in
his custody. He was punished with two dozen
lashes, but would impeach none of his accom-



CH A P.' .!

The Ceremonies of an Indian Funeral parti-

cularly described : General Observations
on the Subject : A Character found among
the Indians to which the Ancients paid
great Veneration : A Robbery at the Fort,
and its Consequences; with a Specimen of
Indian Cookery, and various Incidents.

n N the 5th, we kept his Majesty's birth: 1769.

June. U day; for though it is the 4th, we were unwilling to celebrate it during the absence of Monday 5. the two parties who had been sent out to observe the Transit. We had several of the Indian Chiefs at our entertainment, who drank his Majesty's health by the name of Kihiargo, which was the nearest imitation they could produce of King George.

About this time died an old woman of some rank, who was related to Tomio, which gave us an opportunity to see how they disposed of the body, and confirmed us in our opinion that these people, contrary to the present custom of all other nations now known, never bury their dead. In the middle of a small square, neatly railed in with bamboo, the awning of a Dd 4


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1760. canoe was raised upon two posts, and under June.

ow this the body was deposited upon such a frame Monday so as has before been described : it was covered

with fine cloth, and near it was placed breadfruit, fish, and other provisions : we supposed that the food was placed there for the spirit of the deceased, and consequently, that these Indians had some confused notion of a separate ftate; but upon our applying for further information to Tubourai Tamaide, he told us, that the food was placed there as an offering to their gods. They do not, however, suppose, that the gods eat, any more than the Jews supposed that Jehovah could dwell in a house: the offering is made here upon the same principle as the Temple was built at Jerusalem, as an expression of reverence and gratitude, and a solicitation of the more immediate presence of the Deity. In the front of the area was a kind of stile, where the relations of the deceased stood to pay the tribute of their sorrow; and under the awning were innumerable small pieces of cloth, on which the tears and blood of the mourners had been shed; for in their paroxysms of grief it is a universal custom to wound them. selves with the shark's tooth. Within a few yards two occasional houses were fet up, in one of which some relations of the deceased constant. ly resided, and in the other the chief mourner, who is always a man, and who keeps there a

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