Abbildungen der Seite

»76?- A kind of market now began to be kept just without

^Tl^j the lines, and was plentifully supplied with every thing

but pork. Tubourai Tamaide was our constant guest,

imitating our manners, even to the using of a knife and

fork, which he did very handily.

As my curiosity was excited by Mr. Monkhouse's account of the situation of the man who had been shot, I took an opportunity to go with some others to fee it. I'found the shed under which his body lay, close by the house in which he resided when he was alive, some others being not more than ten yards distant; it was about fifteen feet long, and eleven broad, and of a proportionable height; one end was wholly open, and the other end, and the two sides, were partly enclosed with a kind of wicker work. The bier on which the corps was deposited, was a frame of wood like that in which the sea-beds, called cotts, are placed, with a matted bottom, and supported by sour posts, at the height of about five feet from the ground. The body was covered first with a matt, and then with a white cloth; by the side of it lay a wooden mace, one of their weapons of war, and near the head of it, which lay next to the close end of the shed, lay two cocoa-nut shells, such as are sometimes used to carry water in; at the other end a bunch of green leaves, with some dried twigs, all tied together, were stuck in the ground, by which lay a stone about as big as a cocoa-nut: near these lay one of the young plaintain trees, which are used for emblems of peace, and close by it a stone axe. At the open end of the shed also hung, in several strings, a great number of palm-nuts, and without the shed, was stuck upright in the ground, the stem of a plaintain tree, about five feet high, upon the top of which was placed a cocoanut shell full of fresh-water: against the side of one of the posts hung a small bag, containing a sew pieces of bread-fruit ready roasted, which were not all put in at the fame time, for some of them were fresh, and others stale. I took notice that several of the natives observed us with a mixture of solicitude and jealousy in their countenances, and by their gestures expressed uneasiness when we went near the bcdy, standing themselves at a little distance while we were making our

examination, examination, and appearing to be pleased when we I76?' came away. '.

Our residence on shore would by no means have been disagreeable, if we had not been incessantly tormented by the slies, which, among other mischiefs, made it almost impossible for Mr. Parkinson, Mr. Banks's natural history painter, to work; for they not only covered his subject, so as that no part of its surface could be seen, but even eat the colour off the paper as fast as he could lay it on. We had recourse to musquito nets and sly-traps, which, though they made the inconvenience tolerable, were very far from removing it.

On the 22d, Tbotahah gave us a specimen of theSatur. »2. music of this country; four persons performed upom slutes which had only two stops, and therefore could not fend more than four notes, by half tones: they were sounded like our German slutes, except that the performer, instead of applying it to his mouth, blew into it with one nostril, while he stopped the other with his thumb :' to this instrument four other persons fung, and kept very good time; but only one tune was played during the whole concert.

Several of the natives brought us axes, which they had received from on board the Dolphin, to grind and repair ; but among others there was one which became the subject of much speculation, as it appeared to be French: aster much inquiry, we learned that a ship had been here between our arrival and the departure of the Dolphin, which we then conjectured to have been a Spaniard, but now know it to have been the Boudeuse, commanded by M. Bougainville.


An cxcurjion to the Eastward, an Account of several Incidents that happened both on board and on jhore, and of the fir ft Interview with Oberea, the Person who, when the Dolphin was here, was supposed to be the Queen of the Island, with a Description of the sort.

ON the 24th, Mr. Banks and Dr. Sol.mder examin- Monday 14. ed the country for several miles along the shore to the eastward: for about two miles it was slat and


'76?- sertile ; afterthat the hills stretched quite to the water's p' edge, and a little farther ran out into the sea, so that they were obliged to climb over them. These hills, which were barren, continued for about three miles more, and then terminated in a large plain, which was sull of good houses, and people who appeared to live in great affluence. In this place there was a river, much more considerable than that at our fort, which issued from a deep and beautisul valley, and, where our travellers crossed it, though at some distance from the sea, was near one hundred yards wide. About a mile beyond this river the country became again barren, the rocks every where projecting into the sea, for which reason they resolved to return. Just as they had formed this resolution, one of the natives offered them refreshment, which they accepted. They found this man to be of a kind that has been described by various authors, as mixed with many nations, but distinct from them all. His skin was of a dead white, without the least appearance of what is called complexion, though some parts of his body were in a small degree less white than others: his hair, eye-brows, and beard were as whit? as his skin; his eyes appeared as if they were bloodshot, and he seemed to be very short-sighted.

At their return they were met by Tubourai Tamaide, and his women, who, at seeing them, selt a joy, which not being able to express, they burst into tears, and wept some time before their passion could be restrained. Toes, 25. This evening Dr. Solander lent his knise to one of these women, who neglected to return it, and (he next morning Mr. Banks's also was missing; upon this occasion tmust bear my testimony, that the people of this country, of all ranks, men and women, are the errantest thieves upon the face of the earth : the very day after we arrived here, when they came on board us, the Chiess were employed in stealing what they could in the cabin, and their dependants were no less industrious in other parts of the ship; they snatched up every thing that was possible for them to secrete till they got on shore, even to the glass ports, two of which they carried off undetected. Tubourai Tarnaide was the


only one, except Tootahah, who had not been found 176?

guilty, and the presumption, arising from this circumstance, that he was exempt from a vice, of which the whole nation besides were guilty, cannot be supposed to outweigh strong appearances to the contrary. Mr. Banks therefore, though not without some reluctance, accused him of having stolen his knise: he solemnly and steadily denied that he knew any thing of it; upon which Mr. Banks made him understand, that whoever had taken it, he was determined to have it returned: upon this resolute declaration, one of the natives who was present, produced a rag, in which three knives were very caresully tied up. One was thai which Dr. Solander had lent to the woman, another was a table knise belonging to me, and the owner of the third was not known. With these the Chief immediately set out, in order to make restitution of them to their owners at the tents. Mr. Banks remained with the women, who expressed great apprehensions that some mischief was designed against their lord. When he came to the tents he restored one of the knives to Dr. Solander and another to me, the third not being owned, and then began to search for Mr. Banks's in all the places where he had ever seen it. After some time, one of Mr. Banks'3 servants, understanding what he was about, immediately setched his master's knise, which it seems he had laid by the day before, and till now knew nothing of its having been missed. Tubourai Tamaide, upon this demonstration of his innocence, expressed the strongest emotions of mind, both in his looks and gestures; the tears started from his eyes, and he made signs, with the knise, that, if he was ever guilty of such an action as had been imputed to him, he would submit to have his throat cut. He then rushed out of the lines, and returned hastily to Mr. Banks, with a countenance that severely reproached him with his suspicions. Mr. Banks soon understood that the knise had been received from his servant, and was scarcely less affected at what had happened than the Chief; he selt himself to be the guilty person, and was very desirous to atone for his fault. The poor Indian, however violent his passions, was 'a stranger to sullen resentment; and upon Mr.



1ify- Banks's spending a little time familiarly with him, and v__^_^-) making him a few trisling presents, he forgot the wrong that had been done him, and was perfectly reconciled.

Upon this occasion it may be observed, that these people have a knowledge of right and wrong from the mere dictates of natural conscience; and involuntarily condemn themselves when they do that to others, which they would condemn others for doing to them. That Tubourai Tamaide felt the force of moral obligation, is certain; for the imputation of an action which he considered as indifferent, would not, when it appeared to be groundless, have moved him with such excess of passion. We must indeed estimate the virtue of these people, by the only standard of morality, the conformity of their conduct to what in their opinion is right; but we must not hastily conclude that theft is a testimony of the fame depravity in them that it is in us, in the instances in which our people were sufferers by their dishonesty ; for their temptation was such as to surmount would be considered as a proof of uncommon integrity among those who have more knowledge, better principles, and stronger motives to resist the temptations of illicit advantage: an Indian among penny knives, and beads, or even nails and broken glass, is in the fame state of trial with the meanest servant in Europe among unlocked coffers of jewels and gold. Wtdnts.26. On the 26th, I mounted six swivel guns upon the fort, which I was sorry to fee struck the natives with dread: some fishermen who lived upon the point, removed farther off, and Owhaw told us, by signs, that in four days we should fire great guns. Thurs. 27 ^n lhe 27tn» Tubourai Tamaide, with a friend, who eat with a voracity that I never saw before, and the three women that usually attended him, whofe names were Terapo, Tirao, and Omif, dined at the fort: in the evening they took their leave, and set out for the house which Tubourai Tamaide had set up in the skirts of the wood; but in less than a quarter of an hour he returned in great emotion, and hastily seizing Mr. Banks's arm, made signs that he should follow him. Mr. Banks immediately complied, and they soon came up to a place where they found the ship's

but c h

« ZurückWeiter »