Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

9. that he appeared scarcely to have understanding enough August. jeft to know tnat ^ was probable we should be gratified

~ y either by hogs or women. He did not receive us sitting, or with any state or formality, as the other Chiefs had done: we made him our present, which he accepted, and gave a hog in return. We had learnt that his principal residence was at Otaha; and upon our telling him that we intended to go thither in our boats the next morning, and that we should be glad to have him along with us, he promised to be of the party. ;i .

Mond. 7. Early in the morning, therefore, I set out both with the pinnace and long-boat for Otaha, having some of the gentlemen with me,- and in our way we called upon O-poony, who was in his canoe, ready to join us. As soon as we landed at Otaha, I made him a present of an axe, which I thought might induce him to encourage his subjects to bring us such provision as we wanted; but in this we found ourselves sadly disappointed, for after staying with him till noon, we left him without being able to procure a single article. I then proceeded to the north point of the island, in the pinnace, having sent the long-boat another way. As I went along I picked up. half a dozen hogs, as many fowls, and some plantains and yams. Having viewed and sketched the harbour on this side of the island, I made the best of my way back, with the long-boat, which joined me soon after it was dark; and about ten o'clock at night we got on board the ship.

In this excursion Mr. Banks was not with us; he spent the morning on board the ship, trading with the natives, who came off in their canoes, for provisions and curiosities; and in the afternoon he went on shore with his draughtsman, to sketch the dresses of thedancers which he had seen a day or two before. He found the company exactly the same, except that another woman had been added to it: the dancing also of the women was the fame, but the interludes of the men were somewhat varied; he saw five or six performed, which were different from each other, and very much

Tues. 8. resembled the drama of our stage dances. The next day he went ashore again, with Dr. Solander, and they

directed directed their course towards the dancing company, ■which, from the time of our second landing, had gradually moved about two leagues in their courses round the island. They saw more dancing and more interludes, the interludes still varying from each other: in one of them the performers, who ■were all men, were divided into two parties, which were distinguished from each other by the colour of their clothes, one being brown, and the other white. The brown party represented a master and servants, and the white party a company of thieves: the master gave a basket of meat to the rest of his party, with a charge to take care of it: the dance of the white party consisted of several expedients to steal it, and that of the brown party in preventing their success. After some time, those who had charge of the basket placed themselves round it, upon the ground, and leaning upon it, appeared to go to sleep; the others, improving this opportunity, came gently upon them, and lifting them up from the basket, carried off their prize: the sleepers soon after awaking, missed their basket, but presently fell a dancing, without any farther regarding their loss; so that the dramatic action of this dance was, according to the severest laws of criticism, one, and our lovers of simplicity would here have been gratified with an entertainment perfectly suited to the chastity of their taste.


On the 9th, having spent the morning in trading Wednesd 6 with the canoes, we took the opportunity of a breeze, which sprung up at east, and having stopped our leak, and got the fresh stock which we had purchased on board, we sailed out of the harbour. When we were sailing away, Tupia strongly urged me to fire a shot towards Bolabola, possibly as a mark of his resentment, and to shew the power of his new allies: in this I thought proper to gratify him, though we were seven leagues distant.

While we were about these iflands, we expended very little of the ship's provisions, and were plentifully supplied with hogs, fowls, plantains, and yams, which we hoped would have been of great use to us in our





course to the southward ; but the hogs would not eat European grain of any kind, pulse, or bread-dust, so that we could not preserve them alive; and the fowls were all very soon seized with a disease that affected the head so, that they continued to hold it down ber tween their legs till they died: much dependance there-: fore must not be placed in live stock taken on board at these places, at least not till a discovery is made of some food that the hogs will eat, and some remedy for the disease of the poultry.

Having been necessarily detained at Ulietea so long, by the carpenters in stopping our leak, we determined to give up our design of going on shore at Bolabola, especially as it appeared to be difficult of access.

To these six islands, Ulietea, Otaha, Bolabola, Huaheine, Tubai, and Maurua, as they lie contiguous to, each other, I gave the names of Society Islands, but did not think it proper to distinguish them separately by any other names than those by which they were known to the natives.

They are situated between the latitude of 160 10' and 160 55' S. and between the longitude of 150° 17' and 152' W. from the meridian of Greenwich. Ulietea and Otaha lie within about two miles of each other, and are both inclosed within one reef of coral rocks, so that there is no passage for shipping between them. This reef forms several excellent harbours; the entrances into them, indeed, are but narrow, yet when a ship is once in, nothing can hurt her. The harbours on the east side have been described already; and on the west side of Ulietea, which is the largest of the two, there are three. The northermost, in which we lay, is called Ohamaneno: the channel leading into it is about a quarter of a mile wide, and lies between two low sandy islands, which are the northermost on this side; between, or just within the two islands, there is good anchorage in twenty-eight fathom, soft ground. This harbour, though small, is preferable to the others, because it is situated in the most fertile part of the island, and where fresh water is easily to be got. The other two harbours lie to the southward of this, and not far from the south end of the ifland: in both of them there is good anchorage, with ten, twelve,

and and fourteen fathom. They are easily known by three A'jf^j small woody islands at their entrance. The souther- v—^—o most of these two harbours lies within, and to the southward of the southermost of these islands; and the other lies between the two northermost. I was told that there were more harbours at the south end of this island, but I did not examine whether the report was true.

Otaha affords two very good harbours, one on the east fide, and the other on the west. That on the east side is called Ohamene, and has been mentioned already; the other is called Oherurua, and lies about the middle of the south-west side of the island; it is pretty large, and affords good anchorage in twenty and twenty-five fathom, nor is there any want of fresh water. The breach in the reef, that forms a channel into this harbour, is about a quarter of a mile broad, and like all the rest is very steep on both sides; in general there is no danger here but what is visible.

The island of Bolabola lies N. W. and by W from Otaha, distant about four leagues; it is surrounded by a reef of rocks, and several small islands, in compass together about eight leagues. I was told, that on the south-west side of the island there is a channel through the reef into a very good harbour, but I did not think it worth while to examine it, for the reasons that have been just assigned. This island is rendered very remarkable by a high craggy hill, which appears to be almost perpendicular, and terminates at the top in two peaks, one higher than the other.

The land of Ulieta and Otaha is hilly, broken, and irregular, except on the sea coast, yet the hills look green and pleasant, and are in many places clothed with wood. The several particulars in which these islands and their inhabitants differ from what we had observed at Otaheite, have been mentioned in the course of the narrative.

We pursued our course without any event worthy of note till the 13th, about noon, when we saw landSund»y 13. bearing S. E. which Tupia told us was an island called Oheteroa. About six in the evening, we were Oheteroa. within two or three leagues of it, upon which I shortened sail, and stood off and on all night: the nextMonday 14.



morning stood in for the land. We ran to the leeward of the island, keeping close in shore, and saw several of the natives, tho' in no great numbers, upon the beach. At nine o'clock I sent Mr. Gore, one of my lieutenants, in the pinnace, to endeavour to land upon the istmd, and learn from the natives whether there was anchorage in a bay then in sight, and what land lay further to the southward. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander accompanied Mr. Gore in this expedition, and as they thought Tupia might be useful, they took him with them.

As the boat approached the shore, those on board perceived the natives to be armed with long lances; as they did not intend to land until they got round a point which ran out a little distance, they stood along the coast, and the natives therefore very probably thought they were afraid of them. They had now got together to the number of about sixty, and all of them fat down upon the shore, except two, who were dispatched forward to observe the motions of those in the boat. These men, after walking a-breast of her for some time, at length leaped into the water, and swam towards her, but were soon left behind; two more then appeared, and attempted to board her in the fame manner, but they also were soon left behind; a fifth man then ran forward alone, and having got a good way a-head of the boat, before he took to the water, easily reached her. Mr. Banks urged the officer to take him in, thinking it a good opportunity to get the confidence and good will of a people, who then certainly looked upon them as enemies, but he obstinately refused; this man therefore was left behind like the others, and so was a sixth, who followed him.

When the boat had got round the point, she perceived that all her followers had desisted from the pursuit: she now opened a large bay, at the bottom of which appeared another body of men, armed with long lances like the first. Here our people prepared to land, and pushed towards the shore, a canoe at the same time putting off to meet them. As soon as it came near them, they lay upon their oars, and calling out to them, told them that they were friends, and that if they would come up they would give them nails, which


« ZurückWeiter »