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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 by Robert Kerr

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and having exchanged some breadfruit and fish for small nails, &c. retired
ashore, the sun being already set. We observed a heap of stones on the bow
of each canoe, and every man to have a sling tied round his hand.

Very early next morning, the natives visited us again in much greater
numbers than before; bringing with them bread-fruit, plantains, and one
pig, all of which they exchanged for nails, &c. But in this traffic they
would frequently keep our goods, and make no return, till at last I was
obliged to fire a musket-ball over one man who had several times served us
in this manner; after which they dealt more fairly; and soon after several
of them came on board. At this time we were preparing to warp farther into
the bay, and I was going in a boat, to look for the most convenient place
to moor the ship in. Observing too many of the natives on board, I said to
the officers, "You must look well after these people, or they will
certainly carry off something or other." I had hardly got into the boat,
before I was told they had stolen one of the iron stanchions from the
opposite gang-way, and were making off with it. I ordered them to fire over
the canoe till I could get round in the boat, but not to kill any one. But
the natives made too much noise for me to be heard, and the unhappy thief
was killed at the third shot. Two others in the same canoe leaped
overboard, but got in again just as I came to them. The stanchion they had
thrown over board. One of them, a man grown, sat bailing the blood and
water out of the canoe, in a kind of hysteric laugh; the other, a youth
about fourteen or fifteen years of age, looked on the deceased with a
serious and dejected countenance; we had afterwards reason to believe he
was his son.[1]

At this unhappy accident, all the natives retired with precipitation. I
followed them into the bay, and prevailed upon the people in one canoe to
come alongside the boat, and receive some nails, and other things, which I
gave them; this in some measure allayed their fears. Having taken a view of
the bay, and found that fresh water, which we most wanted, was to be had, I
returned on board, and carried out a kedge-anchor with three hawsers upon
an end, to warp the ship in by, and hove short on the bower. One would have
thought that the natives, by this time, would have been so sensible of the
effect of our fire-arms, as not to have provoked us to fire upon them any
more, but the event proved otherwise; for the boat had no sooner left the
kedge-anchor, than two men in a canoe put off from the shore, took hold of
the buoy rope, and attempted to drag it ashore, little considering what was
fast to it. Lest, after discovering their mistake, they should take away
the buoy, I ordered a musket to be fired at them; the ball fell short, and
they took not the least notice of it; but a second having passed over them,
they let go the buoy, and made for the shore. This was the last shot we had
occasion to fire at any of them, while we lay at this place. It probably
had more effect than killing the man, by shewing them that they were not
safe at any distance; at least we had reason to think so, for they
afterwards stood in great dread of the musket. Nevertheless, they would
very often be exercising their talent of thieving upon us, which I thought
proper to put up with, as our stay was not likely to be long amongst them.
The trouble these people gave us retarded us so long, that, before we were
ready to heave the anchor, the wind began to increase, and blew in squalls
out of the bay, so that we were obliged to lie fast. It was not long before
the natives ventured off to us again. In the first canoe which came, was a
man who seemed to be of some consequence; he advanced slowly, with a pig on
his shoulder, and speaking something which we did not understand. As soon
as he got alongside, I made him a present of a hatchet and several other
articles: In return, he sent in his pig; and was at last prevailed upon to
come himself up to the gang-way, where he made but a short stay. The
reception this man met with, induced the people in all the other canoes to
put alongside; and exchanges were presently reestablished.

Matters being thus settled on board, I went on shore with a party of men,
to see what was to be done there. We were received by the natives with
great courtesy; and, as if nothing had happened, trafficked with them for
some fruit and a few small pigs; and after loading the launch with water,
returned aboard. After dinner I sent the boats ashore for water, under the
protection of a guard; on their landing, the natives all fled but one man,
and he seemed much frightened; afterwards one or two more came down, and
these were all that were seen this afternoon. We could not conceive the
reason of this sudden fright.

Early in the morning of the 9th, the boats were sent as usual for water;
and just as they were coming off, but not before, some of the natives made
their appearance. After breakfast I landed some little time before the
guard, when the natives crowded round me in great numbers; but as soon as
the guard landed, I had enough to do to keep them from running off: At
length their fears vanished, and a trade was opened for fruit and pigs. I
believe the reason of the natives flying from our people the day before,
was their not seeing me at the head of them; for they certainly would have
done the same to-day, had I not been present. About noon, a chief of some
consequence, attended by a great number of people, came down to the
landing-place. I presented him with such articles as I had with me, and, in
return, he gave me some of his ornaments. After these mutual exchanges, a
good understanding seemed to be established between us; so that we got by
exchanges as much fruit as loaded two boats, with which we returned on
board to dinner; but could not prevail on the chief to accompany us.

In the afternoon, the watering and trading parties were sent on shore,
though the latter got but little, as most of the natives had retired into
the country. A party of us went to the other, or southern cove of the bay,
where I procured five pigs, and came to the house which, we were told, did
belong to the man we had killed. He must have been a person of some note,
as there were six pigs in and about his house, which we were told belonged
to his son, who fled on our approach. I wanted much to have seen him, to
make him a present, and, by other kind treatment, to convince him and the
others that it was not from any bad design against the nation, that we had
killed his father. It would have been to little purpose if I had left any
thing in the house, as it certainly would have been taken by others;
especially as I could not sufficiently explain to them my meaning. Strict
honesty was seldom observed when the property of our things came to be
disputed. I saw a striking instance of this in the morning, when I was
going ashore. A man in a canoe offered me a small pig for a six-inch spike,
and another man being employed to convey it, I gave him the spike, which he
kept for himself, and instead of it, gave to the man who owned the pig a
sixpenny nail. Words of course arose, and I waited to see how it would end;
but as the man who had possession of the spike seemed resolved to keep it,
I left them before it was decided. In the evening we returned on board with
what refreshments we had collected, and thought we had made a good day's

On the 10th, early in the morning, some people from more distant parts came
in canoes alongside, and sold us some pigs; so that we had now sufficient
to give the crew a fresh meal. They were, in general, so small, that forty
or fifty were hardly sufficient for this purpose. The trade on shore for
fruit was as brisk as ever. After dinner, I made a little expedition in my
boat along the coast to the south-ward, accompanied by some of the
gentlemen: At the different places we touched at, we collected eighteen
pigs; and I believe, might have got more. The people were exceedingly
obliging wherever we landed, and readily brought down whatever we

Next morning I went down to the same place where we had been the preceding
evening; but instead of getting pigs, as I expected, found the scene quite
changed. The nails and other things they were mad after but the evening
before, they now despised, and instead of them wanted they did not know
what; so that I was obliged to return, with three or four little pigs,
which cost more than a dozen did the day before. When I got on board, I
found the same change had happened there, as also at the trading place on
shore. The reason was, several of the young gentlemen having landed the
preceding day, had given away in exchange various articles which the people
had not seen before, and which took with them more than nails or more
useful iron tools. But what ruined our market the most, was one of them
giving for a pig a very large quantity of red feathers he had got at
Amsterdam. None of us knew at this time, that this article was in such
estimation here; and, if I had known it, I could not have supported the
trade, in the manner it was begun, one day. Thus was our fine prospect of
getting a plentiful supply of refreshments from these people frustrated;
which will ever be the case so long as every one is allowed to make
exchanges for what he pleases, and in what manner be pleases. When I found
this island was not likely to supply us, on any conditions, with sufficient
refreshments, such as we might expect to find at the Society Isles, nor
very convenient for taking in wood and water, nor for giving the ship the
necessary repairs she wanted, I resolved forthwith to leave it, and proceed
to some other place, where our wants might be effectually relieved. For
after having been nineteen weeks at sea, and living all the time upon salt
diet, we could not but want some refreshments; although I must own, and
that with pleasure, that on our arrival here, it could hardly be said we
had one sick man; and but a few who had the least complaint. This was
undoubtedly owing to the many antiscorbutic articles we had on board, and
to the great attention of the surgeon, who was remarkably careful to apply
them in time.

[1] Mr G.F. represents this unhappy transaction in a somewhat
different manner, affirming that an officer who happened to come on
deck the moment after the second ineffectual shot, and who was totally
ignorant of the nature of the offence committed, snatched up a musket
and fired with such fatal precision. This might be the case unknown to
Captain Cook, whose representation may be considered as perfectly
according with his own immediate understanding of the circumstance,
and not modified, for perhaps valid enough reasons, by subsequent
information. The event, in any view of it that can be taken, is
another melancholy proof of that unprincipled depreciation of human
life, which so strongly characterizes men who are continually risking
it at their own cost. The conduct of Mahine on this event, it seems,
was very striking. He burst into tears, when he saw one man killing
another on so trifling an occasion. "Let his feelings," says Mr G.F.,
"put those civilized Europeans to the blush, who have humanity so
often on their lips, and so seldom in their hearts."--E.

[2] Mr G.F. strongly commends the friendly behaviour and conciliatory
manners of the people. It is unnecessary to quote his words--E.


_Departure from the Marquesas; a Description of the Situation, Extent,
Figure, and Appearance of the several Islands; with some Account of the
Inhabitants, their Customs, Dress, Habitations, Food, Weapons, and

At three o'clock in the afternoon, we weighed, and stood over from St
Christina for La Dominica, in order to take a view of the west side of that
isle; but as it was dark before we reached it, the night was spent in
plying between the two isles. The next morning we had a full view of the
S.W. point, from which the coast trended N.E.; so that it was not probable
we should find good anchorage on that side, as being exposed to the
easterly winds. We had now but little wind, and that very variable, with
showers of rain. At length we got a breeze at E.N.E. with which we steered
to the south. At five o'clock p.m., Resolution Bay bore E.N.E. 1/2 E.
distant five leagues, and the island Magdalena S.E., about nine leagues
distant. This was the only sight we had of this isle. From hence I steered
S.S.W. 1/2 W. for Otaheite, with a view of falling in with some of those
isles discovered by former navigators, especially those discovered by the
Dutch, whose situations are not well determined. But it will be necessary
to return to the Marquesas; which were, as I have already observed, first
discovered by Mendana, a Spaniard, and from him obtained the general name
they now bear, as well as those of the different isles. The nautical
account of them, in vol. i. p. 61, of Dalrymple's Collection of Voyages to
the South Seas, is deficient in nothing but situation. This was my chief
reason for touching, at them; the settling this point is the more useful,
as it will in a great measure fix the situations of Mendana's other

The Marquesas are five in number, viz. La Magdalena, St Pedro, La Dominica,
Santa Christina, and Hood's Island, which is the northernmost, situated in
latitude 9 deg. 26' S., and N. 13 deg. W., five leagues and a half distant from the
east point of La Dominica, which is the largest of all the isles, extending
east and west six leagues. It hath an unequal breadth, and is about fifteen
or sixteen leagues in circuit. It is full of rugged hills, rising in ridges
directly from the sea; these ridges are disjoined by deep vallies which are
clothed with wood, as are the sides of some of the hills; the aspect,
however, is barren; but it is, nevertheless, inhabited. Latitude 9 deg. 44' 30"
S. St Pedro, which is about three leagues in circuit, and of a good height,
lies south, four leagues and a half from the east end of La Dominica; we
know not if it be inhabited. Nature has not been very bountiful to it. St
Christina lies under the same parallel, three or four leagues more to the
west. This island stretches north and south, is nine miles long in that
direction, and about seven leagues in circuit. A narrow ridge of hills of
considerable height extends the whole length of the island. There are other
ridges, which, rising from the sea, and with an equal ascent, join the main
ridge. These are disjoined by deep narrow vallies, which are fertile,
adorned with fruit and other trees, and watered by fine streams of
excellent water. La Magdalena we only saw at a distance. Its situation must
be nearly in the latitude of 10 deg. 25', longitude 138 deg. 50'. So that these
isles occupy one degree in latitude, and near half a degree in longitude,
viz. from 138 deg. 47' to 139 deg. 13' W., which is the longitude of the west end
of La Dominica.

The port of Madre de Dios, which I named Resolution Bay, is situated near
the middle of the west side of St Christina, and under the highest land in
the island, in latitude 9 deg. 55' 30", longitude 139 deg. 8' 40" W.; and north 15'
W. from the west end of La Dominica. The south point of the bay is a steep
rock of considerable height, terminating at the top in a peaked hill, above
which you will see a path-way leading up a narrow ridge to the summits of
the hills. The north point is not so high, and rises with a more gentle
slope. They are a mile from each other, in the direction of N. by E. and S.
by W. In the bay, which is near three quarters of a mile deep, and has from
thirty-four to twelve fathoms water, with a clean sandy bottom, are two
sandy coves, divided from each other by a rocky point. In each is a rivulet
of excellent water. The northern cove is the most commodious for wooding
and watering. Here is the little water-fall mentioned by Quiros, Mendana's
pilot; but the town, or village, is in the other cove. There are several
other coves, or bays, on this side of the island, and some of them,
especially to the northward, may be mistaken for this; therefore, the best
direction is the bearing of the west end of La Dominica.

The trees, plants, and other productions of these isles, so far as we know,
are nearly the same as at Otaheite and the Society Isles. The refreshments
to be got are hogs, fowls, plantains, yams, and some other roots; likewise
bread-fruit and cocoa-nuts, but of these not many. At first these articles
were purchased with nails. Beads, looking-glasses, and such trifles, which
are so highly valued at the Society Isles, are in no esteem here; and even
nails at last lost their value for other articles far less useful.

The inhabitants of these islands collectively, are, without exception, the
finest race of people in this sea. For fine shape and regular features,
they perhaps surpass all other nations. Nevertheless, the affinity of their
language to that spoken in Otaheite and the Society Isles, shews that they
are of the same nation. Oedidee could converse with them tolerably well,
though we could not; but it was easy to see that their language was nearly
the same.

The men are punctured, or curiously _tattowed_, from head to foot. The
figures are various, and seem to be directed more by fancy than custom.
These puncturations make them look dark: But the women, who are but little
punctured, youths and young children, who are not at all, are as fair as
some Europeans. The men are in general tall, that is, about five feet ten
inches, or six feet; but I saw none that were fat and lusty like the
_Earees_ of Otaheite; nor did I see any that could be called meagre.
Their teeth are not so good, nor are their eyes so full and lively as those
of many other nations. Their hair, like ours, is of many colours, except
red, of which I saw none. Some have it long, but the most general custom is
to wear it short, except a bunch on each side of the crown, which they tie
in a knot. They observe different modes in trimming the beard, which is in
general long. Some part it, and tie it in two bunches under the chin,
others plait it, some wear it loose, and others quite short.

Their clothing is the same as at Otaheite, and made of the same materials;
but they have it not in such plenty, nor is it so good. The men, for the
most part, have nothing to cover their nakedness, except the _Marra_,
as it is called at Otaheite; which is a slip of cloth passed round the
waist and betwixt the legs; This simple dress is quite sufficient for the
climate, and answers every purpose modesty requires. The dress of the women
is a piece of cloth wrapped round the loins like a petticoat, which reaches
down below the middle of the leg, and a loose mantle over their shoulders.
Their principal head-dress, and what appears to be their chief ornament, is
a sort of broad fillet, curiously made of the fibres of the husk of cocoa-
nuts. In the front is fixed a mother-o'-pearl shell wrought round to the
size of a tea saucer. Before that is another smaller one, of very fine
tortoise-shell, perforated into curious figures. Also before, and in the
centre of that, is another round piece of mother-o'-pearl, about the size
of half-a-crown; and before this another piece of perforated tortoise-
shell, about the size of a shilling. Besides this decoration in front, some
have it also on each side, but in smaller pieces; and all have fixed to
them, the tail feathers of cocks, or tropic birds, which, when the fillet
is tied on, stand upright; so that the whole together makes a very sightly
ornament. They wear round the neck a kind of ruff or necklace, call it
which you please, made of light wood, the out and upper side covered with
small red pease, which are fixed on with gum. They also wear small bunches
of human hair, fastened to a string, and tied round the legs and arms.
Sometimes, instead of hair, they make use of short feathers; but all the
above-mentioned ornaments are seldom seen on the same person.

I saw only the chief, who came to visit us, completely dressed in this
manner. Their ordinary ornaments are necklaces and amulets made of shells,
&c. I did not see any with ear-rings; and yet all of them had their ears

Their dwellings are in the vallies, and on the sides of the hills, near
their plantations. They are built after the same manner as at Otaheite; but
are much meaner, and only covered with the leaves of the bread-tree. The
most of them are built on a square or oblong pavement of stone, raised some
height above the level of the ground. They likewise have such pavements
near their houses, on which they sit to eat and amuse themselves.

In the article of eating, these people are by no means so cleanly as the
Otaheiteans. They are likewise dirty in their cookery. Pork and fowls are
dressed in an oven of hot stones, as at Otaheite; but fruit and roots they
roast on the fire, and after taking off the rind or skin, put them into a
platter or trough, with water, out of which I have seen both men and hogs
eat at the same time. I once saw them make a batter of fruit and roots
diluted with water, in a vessel that was loaded with dirt, and out of which
the hogs had been but that moment eating, without giving it the least
washing, or even washing their hands, which were equally dirty; and when I
expressed a dislike, was laughed at. I know not if all are so. The actions
of a few individuals are not sufficient to fix a custom on a whole nation.
Nor can I say if it is the custom for men and women to have separate
messes. I saw nothing to the contrary: Indeed I saw but few women upon the

They seemed to have dwellings, or strong-holds, on the summits of the
highest hills. These we only saw by the help of our glasses; for I did not
permit any of our people to go there, as we were not sufficiently
acquainted with the disposition of the natives, which (I believe) is humane
and pacific.

Their weapons are clubs and spears, resembling those of Otaheite, but
somewhat neater. They have also slings, with which they throw stones with
great velocity, and to a great distance, but not with a good aim.

Their canoes are made of wood, and pieces of the bark of a soft tree, which
grows near the sea in great plenty, and is very tough and proper for the
purpose. They are from sixteen to twenty feet long, and about fifteen
inches broad; the head and stern are made of two solid pieces of wood; the
stern rises or curves a little, but in an irregular direction, and ends in
a point; the head projects out horizontally, and is carved into some faint
and very rude resemblance of a human face. They are rowed by paddles, and
some have a sort of lateen sail, made of matting.

Hogs were the only quadrupeds we saw; and cocks and hens the only tame
fowls. However, the woods seemed to abound with small birds of a very
beautiful plumage, and fine notes; but the fear of alarming the natives
hindered us from shooting so many of them as might otherwise have been

[1] Mr G.F. concurs generally with Captain Cook in his account of the
matters spoken of in this section, and is very particular in noticing
the strong and distinct resemblance of the natives of the Marquesas to
those of the Society Islands. What differences he remarked, he thinks
may be specifically ascribed to the nature of the respective
countries, whilst in his judgment the many points of identity imply a
common origin. The reader, it is believed, will hereafter see the most
reasonable grounds, for such an inference.--E.


_A Description of several Islands discovered, or seen in the Passage from
the Marquesas to Otaheite; with an Account of a Naval Review._

With a fine easterly wind I steered S.W.--S.W. by W. and W. by S. till the
17th, at ten o'clock in the morning, when land was seen bearing W. 1/2 N.,
which, upon a nearer approach, we found to be a string of low islets
connected together by a reef of coral rocks. We ranged the northwest coast,
at the distance of one mile from shore, to three quarters of its length,
which in the whole is near four leagues, when we came to a creek or inlet
that seemed to open a communication into the lake in the middle of the
isle. As I wanted to obtain some knowledge of the produce of these half-
drowned isles, we brought-to, hoisted out a boat, and sent the master in to
sound; there being no soundings without.

As we ran along the coast, the natives appeared in several places armed
with long spears and clubs; and some were got together on one side of the
creek. When the master returned he reported that there was no passage into
the lake by the creek, which was fifty fathoms wide at the entrance, and
thirty deep; farther in, thirty wide, and twelve deep; that the bottom was
every where rocky, and the sides bounded by a wall of coral rocks. We were
under no necessity to put the ship into such a place as this; but as the
natives had shewn some signs of a friendly disposition, by coming peaceably
to the boat, and taking such things as were given them, I sent two boats
well armed ashore, under the command of Lieutenant Cooper, with a view of
having some intercourse with them, and to give Mr Forster an opportunity of
collecting something in his way. We saw our people land without the least
opposition being made by a few natives who were on the shores. Some little
time after, observing forty or fifty more, all armed, coming to join them,
we stood close in shore, in order to be ready to support our people in case
of an attack. But nothing of this kind happened; and soon after our boats
returned aboard, when Mr Cooper informed me, that, on his landing, only a
few of the natives met him on the beach, but there were many in the skirts
of the woods with spears in their hands. The presents he made them were
received with great coolness, which plainly shewed we were unwelcome
visitors. When their reinforcement arrived he thought proper to embark, as
the day was already far spent, and I had given orders to avoid an attack by
all possible means. When his men got into the boats, some were for pushing
them off, others for detaining them; but at last they suffered them to
depart at their leisure. They brought aboard five dogs, which seemed to be
in plenty there. They saw no fruit but cocoa-nuts, of which, they got, by
exchanges, two dozen. One of our people got a dog for a single plantain,
which led us to conjecture they had none of this fruit.[1]

This island, which is called by the inhabitants Ti-oo-kea, was discovered
and visited by Commodore Byron. It has something of an oval shape, is about
ten leagues in circuit, lying in the direction of E.S.E. and W.N.W., and
situated in the latitude of 14 deg. 27' 30" S., longitude 144 deg. 56' W. The
inhabitants of this island, and perhaps of all the low ones, are of a much
darker colour than those of the higher islands, and seem to be of a more
ferine disposition. This may be owing to their situation. Nature not having
bestowed her favours to these low islands with that profusion she has done
to some of the others, the inhabitants are chiefly beholden to the sea for
their subsistence, consequently are much exposed to the sun and weather;
and by that means become more dark in colour, and more hardy and robust;
for there is no doubt of their being of the same nation. Our people
observed that they were stout, well-made men, and had the figure of a fish
marked on their bodies; a very good emblem of their profession.[2]

On the 18th, at day-break, after having spent the night snaking short
boards, we wore down to another isle we had in sight to the westward, which
we reached by eight o'clock, and ranged the S.E. side at one mile from
shore. We found it to be just such another as that we had left, extending
N.E. and S.W. near four leagues, and from five to three miles broad. It
lies S.W. by W., two leagues distant from the west end of Ti-oo-kea; and
the middle is situated in the latitude of 14 deg. 37' S., longitude 145 deg. 10' W.
These must be the same islands to which Commodore Byron gave the name of
George's Islands. Their situation in longitude, which was determined by
lunar observations made near the shores, and still farther corrected by the
difference of longitude carried by the watch to Otaheite, is 3 deg. 54' more
east than he says they lie. This correction, I apprehend, may be applied to
all the islands he discovered.

After leaving these isles, we steered S.S.W. 1/2 W., and S.W. by S., with a
fine easterly gale, having signs of the vicinity of land, particularly a
smooth sea; and on the 19th, at seven in the morning, land was seen to the
westward, which we bore down to, and reached the S.E. end by nine o'clock.
It proved to be another of these half-over-flowed or drowned islands, which
are so common in this part of the ocean; that is, a number of little isles
ranged in a circular form, connected together by a reef or wall of coral
rock. The sea is in general, every-where, on their outside, unfathomable;
all their interior parts are covered with water, abounding, I have been
told, with fish and turtle, on which the inhabitants subsist, and sometimes
exchange the latter with the high islanders for cloth, &c. These inland
seas would be excellent harbours, were they not shut up from the access of
shipping, which is the case with most of them, if we can believe the report
of the inhabitants of the other isles. Indeed, few of them have been well
searched by Europeans; the little prospect of meeting with fresh water
having generally discouraged every attempt of this kind. I, who have seen a
great many, have not yet seen an inlet into one.[3]

This island is situated in the latitude of 15 deg. 26', longitude 146 deg. 20'. It
is five leagues long in the direction of N.N.E. and S.S.W. and about three
leagues broad. As we drew near the south end, we saw from the mast-head,
another of these low isles bearing S.E., distant about four or five
leagues, but being to windward we could not fetch it. Soon after a third
appeared, bearing S.W. by S., for which we steered; and at two o'clock p.m.
reached the east end, which is situated in latitude 15 deg. 47' S., longitude
146 deg. 30' W. This island extends W.N.W. and E.S.E., and is seven leagues
long in that direction; but its breadth is not above two. It is, in all
respects, like the rest; only here are fewer islets, and less firm land on
the reef which incloses the lake. As we ranged the north coast, at the
distance of half a mile, we saw people, huts, canoes, and places built,
seemingly for drying of fish. They seemed to be the same sort of people as
on Ti-oo-kea, and were armed with long spikes like them. Drawing near the
west end, we discovered another or fourth island, bearing N.N.E. It seemed
to be low, like the others, and lies west from the first isle, distant six
leagues. These four isles I called Palliser's Isles, in honour of my worthy
friend Sir Hugh Palliser, at this time comptroller of the navy.

Not chusing to run farther in the dark, we spent the night making short
boards under the top-sail; and on the 20th, at day-break, hauled round the
west end of the third isle, which was no sooner done than we found a great
swell rolling in from the south; a sure sign that we were clear of these
low islands; and as we saw no more land, I steered S.W. 1/2 S. for
Otaheite, having the advantage of a stout gale at east, attended with
showers of rain. It cannot be determined with any degree of certainty
whether the group of isles we had lately seen, be any of those discovered
by the Dutch navigators, or no; the situation of their discoveries not
being handed down to us with sufficient accuracy. It is, however, necessary
to observe, that this part of the ocean, that is, from the latitude of 20 deg.
down to 14 deg. or 12 deg., and from the meridian of 138 deg. to 148 deg. or 150 deg. W., is so
strewed with these low isles, that a navigator cannot proceed with too much

We made the high land of Otaheite on the 21st, and at noon were about
thirteen leagues E. of Point Venus, for which we steered, and got pretty
well in with it by sun set, when we shortened sail; and having spent the
night, which was squally with rain, standing on and off, at eight o'clock
the next morning anchored in Matavai Bay in seven fathoms water. This was
no sooner known to the natives, than many of them made us a visit, and
expressed not a little joy at seeing us again.[4]

As my chief reason for putting in at this place was to give Mr Wales an
opportunity to know the error of the watch by the known longitude, and to
determine anew her rate of going, the first thing we did was to land his
instruments, and to erect tents for the reception of a guard and such other
people as it was necessary to have on shore. Sick we had none; the
refreshments we had got at the Marquesas had removed every complaint of
that kind.

On the 23d, showery weather. Our very good friends the natives supplied us
with fruit and fish sufficient for the whole crew.

On the 24th, Otoo the king, and several other chiefs, with a train of
attendants, paid us a visit, and brought as presents ten or a dozen large
hogs, besides fruits, which made them exceedingly welcome. I was advertised
of the king's coming, and looked upon it as a good omen. Knowing how much
it was my interest to make this man my friend, I met him at the tents, and
conducted him and his friends on board, in my boat, where they staid
dinner; after which they were dismissed with suitable presents, and highly
pleased with the reception they had met with.

Next day we had much thunder, lightning, and rain. This did not hinder the
king from making me another visit, and a present of a large quantity of
refreshments. It hath been already mentioned, that when we were at the
island of Amsterdam we had collected, amongst other curiosities, some red
parrot feathers. When this was known here, all the principal people of both
sexes endeavoured to ingratiate themselves into our favour by bringing us
hogs, fruit, and every other thing the island afforded, in order to obtain
these valuable jewels. Our having these feathers was a fortunate
circumstance, for as they were valuable to the natives, they became so to
us; but more especially as my stock of trade was by this time greatly
exhausted; so that, if it had not been for the feathers, I should have
found it difficult to have supplied the ship with the necessary

When I put in at this island, I intended to stay no longer than till Mr
Wales had made the necessary observations for the purposes already
mentioned, thinking we should meet with no better success than we did the
last time we were here. But the reception we had already met with, and the
few excursions we had made, which did not exceed the plains of Matavai and
Oparree, convinced us of our error. We found at these two places, built and
building, a great number of large canoes, and houses of every kind; people
living in spacious habitations who had not a place to shelter themselves in
eight months before; several large hogs about every house; and every other
sign of a rising state.[5]

Judging from these favourable circumstances that we should not mend
ourselves by removing to another island, I resolved to make a longer stay,
and to begin with the repairs of the ship and stores, &c. Accordingly I
ordered the empty casks and sails to be got ashore to be repaired; the ship
to be caulked, and the rigging to be overhauled; all of which the high
southern latitudes had made indispensably necessary.

In the morning of the 26th, I went down to Oparree, accompanied by some of
the officers and gentlemen, to pay Otoo a visit by appointment. As we drew
near, we observed a number of large canoes in motion; but we were
surprised, when we arrived, to see upwards of three hundred ranged in
order, for some distance, along the shore, all completely equipped and
manned, besides a vast number of armed men upon the shore. So unexpected an
armament collected together in our neighbourhood, in the space of one
night, gave rise to various conjectures. We landed, however, in the midst
of them, and were received by a vast multitude, many of them under arms,
and many not. The cry of the latter was _Tiyo no Otoo_, and that of
the former _Tiyo no Towha_. This chief, we afterwards learnt, was
admiral or commander of the fleet and troops present. The moment we landed
I was met by a chief whose name was Tee, uncle to the king, and one of his
prime ministers, of whom I enquired for Otoo. Presently after we were met
by Towha, who received me with great courtesy. He took me by the one hand,
and Tee by the other; and, without my knowing where they intended to carry
me, dragged me, as it were, through the crowd that was divided into two
parties, both of which professed themselves my friends, by crying out
_Tiyo no Tootee_. One party wanted me to go to Otoo, and the other to
remain with Towha. Coming to the visual place of audience, a mat was spread
for me to sit down upon, and Tee left me to go and bring the king. Towha
was unwilling I should sit down, partly insisting on my going with him;
but, as I knew nothing of this chief, I refused to comply. Presently Tee
returned, and wanted to conduct me to the king, taking hold of my hand for
that purpose. This Towha opposed; so that, between the one party and the
other, I was like to have been torn in pieces; and was obliged to desire
Tee to desist, and to leave me to the admiral and his party, who conducted
me down to the fleet. As soon as we came before the admiral's vessel, we
found two lines of armed men drawn up before her, to keep off the crowd, as
I supposed, and to clear the way for me to go in. But, as I was determined
not to go, I made the water, which was between me and her, an excuse. This
did not answer; for a man immediately squatted himself down at my feet,
offering to carry me; and then I declared I would not go. That very moment
Towha quitted me, without my seeing which way he went, nor would any one
inform me. Turning myself round I saw Tee, who, I believe, had never lost
sight of me. Enquiring of him for the king, he told me he was gone into the
country Mataou, and advised me to go to my boat; which we accordingly did,
as soon as we could get collected together; for Mr Edgcumbe was the only
person that could keep with me, the others being jostled about in the
crowd, in the same manner we had been.

When we got into our boat, we took our time to view this grand fleet. The
vessels of war consisted of an hundred and sixty large double canoes, very
well equipped, manned, and armed. But I am not sure that they had their
full complement of men or rowers; I rather think not. The chiefs, and all
those on the fighting stages, were dressed in their war habits; that is, in
a vast quantity of cloth, turbans, breast-plates, and helmets. Some of the
latter were of such a length as greatly to encumber the wearer. Indeed,
their whole dress seemed to be ill calculated for the day of battle, and to
be designed more for shew than use. Be this as it may, it certainly added
grandeur to the prospect, as they were so complaisant as to shew themselves
to the best advantage. The vessels were decorated with flags, streamers,
&c.; so that the whole made a grand and noble appearance, such as we had
never seen before in this sea, and what no one would have expected. Their
instruments of war were clubs, spears, and stones. The vessels were ranged
close along-side of each other with their heads ashore, and their stern to
the sea; the admiral's vessel being nearly in the centre. Besides the
vessels of war, there were an hundred and seventy sail of smaller double
canoes, all with a little house upon them, and rigged with mast and sail,
which the war canoes had not. These, we judged, were designed for
transports, victuallers, &c.; for in the war-canoes was no sort of
provisions whatever. In these three hundred and thirty vessels, I guessed
there were no less than seven thousand seven hundred and sixty men; a
number which appears incredible, especially as we were told they all
belonged to the districts of Attahourou and Ahopatea. In this computation I
allow to each war canoe forty men, troops and rowers, and to each of the
small canoes eight. Most of the gentlemen who were with me, thought the
number of men belonging to the war canoes exceeded this. It is certain that
the most of them were fitted to row with more paddles than I have allowed
them men; but, at this time, I think they were not complete. Tupia informed
us, when I was first here, that the whole island raised only between six
and seven thousand men; but we now saw two districts only raise that
number; so that he must have taken his account from some old establishment;
or else he only meant _Tatatous_, that is warriors, or men trained
from their infancy to arms, and did not include the rowers, and those
necessary to navigate the other vessels. I should think he only spoke of
this number as the standing troops or militia of the island, and not their
whole force. This point I shall leave to be discussed in another place, and
return to the subject.[6]

After we had well viewed this fleet, I wanted much to have seen the
admiral, to have gone with him on board the war-canoes. We enquired for him
as we rowed past the fleet to no purpose. We put ashore and enquired; but
the noise and crowd was so great that no one attended to what we said. At
last Tee came and whispered us in the ear, that Otoo was gone to Matavai,
advising us to return thither, and not to land where we were. We
accordingly proceeded for the ship; and this intelligence and advice
received from Tee, gave rise to new conjectures. In short, we concluded
that this Towha was some powerful disaffected chief, who was upon the point
of making war against his sovereign; for we could not imagine Otoo had any
other reason for leaving Oparree in the manner he did.

We had not been long gone from Oparree, before the whole fleet was in
motion to the westward, from whence it came. When we got to Matavai, our
friends there told us, that this fleet was part of the armament intended to
go against Eimea, whose chief had thrown off the yoke of Otaheite, and
assumed an independency. We were likewise informed that Otoo neither was
nor had been at Matavai; so that we were still at a loss to know why he
fled from Oparree. This occasioned another trip thither in the afternoon,
where we found him, and now understood that the reason of his not seeing me
in the morning was, that some of his people having stolen a quantity of my
clothes which were on shore washing, he was afraid I should demand
restitution. He repeatedly asked me if I was not angry; and when I assured
him that I was not, and that they might keep what they had got, he was
satisfied. Towha was alarmed, partly on the same account. He thought I was
displeased when I refused to go aboard his vessel; and I was jealous of
seeing such a force in our neighbourhood without being able to know any
thing of its design. Thus, by mistaking one another, I lost the opportunity
of examining more narrowly into part of the naval force of this isle, and
making myself better acquainted with its manoeuvres. Such another
opportunity may never occur; as it was commanded by a brave, sensible, and
intelligent chief, who would have satisfied us in all the questions we had
thought proper to ask; and as the objects were before us, we could not well
have misunderstood each other. It happened unluckily that Oedidee was not
with us in the morning; for Tee, who was the only man we could depend on,
served only to perplex us. Matters being thus cleared up, and mutual
presents having passed between Otoo and me, we took leave and returned on

[1] Mr G.F., who was one of the party that went ashore, gives a sketch
of the people. They were a set of stout men, of a dark-brown colour,
not disagreeable features, with dark curling hair and beards,
perfectly naked, and variously marked on different parts of the body.
They had the New Zealand custom of touching noses as a salutation; and
their language seemed a dialect of the Otaheitean.--E.

[2] The following remarks ought not to be omitted.--"Besides fish and
vegetable food, these people have dogs which live upon fish, and are
reckoned excellent meat by the natives of the Society Islands, to whom
they are known. Thus Providence, in its wise dispensations, made even
those insignificant narrow ledges rich enough in the productions of
nature, to supply a whole race of men with the necessaries of life.
And here we cannot but express our admiration, that the minutest
agents are subservient to the purposes of the Almighty Creator. The
coral is known to be the fabric of a little worm, which enlarges its
house, in proportion as its own bulk increases. This little creature,
which has scarce sensation enough to distinguish it from a plant,
builds up a rocky structure from the bottom of a sea too deep to be
measured by human art, till it readies the surface, and offers a firm
basis for the residence of man! The number of these low islands is
very great, and we are far from being acquainted with them all. In the
whole extent of the Pacific Ocean, between the tropics, they are to be
met with; however, they are remarkably frequent for the space of ten
or fifteen degrees to the eastward of the Society Islands. Quiros,
Schouten, Roggewein, Byron, Wallis, Carteret, Bougainville, and Cook,
have each met with new islands in their different courses; and what is
most remarkable, they have found them inhabited at the distance of two
hundred and forty leagues to the east of Otaheite. Nothing is more
probable than, that on every new track other islands of this kind will
still be met with, and particularly between the 16th and 17th degree
of S. latitude, no navigator having hitherto run down on that parallel
towards the Society Islands. It remains a subject worthy the
investigation of philosophers, to consider from what probable
principles these islands are so extremely numerous, and form so great
an archipelago to windward of the Society Islands, whilst they are
only scattered at considerable distances beyond that group of
mountainous islands? It is true, there is another archipelago of coral
ledges far to the westward, I mean the Friendly Islands; but these are
of a different nature, and appear to be of a much older date; they
occupy more space, and have a greater quantity of soil, on which all
the vegetable productions of the higher lands may be raised."--G.F.

How far the opinions here stated are supported by subsequent
investigation, will be afterwards considered.--E.

[3] "The lagoon within this island was very spacious, and several
canoes sailed about upon it. It appears to me, that the most elevated
and richest spots on the coral ledges, are generally to leeward,
sheltered from the violence of the surf. In this sea, however, there
are seldom such violent storms, as might make these isles
uncomfortable places of abode; and when the weather is fair, it must
be very pleasant sailing on the smooth water in the lagoon, whilst the
ocean without is disagreeably agitated."--G.F.

[4] The following passage both strikingly expresses the satisfaction
experienced on again visiting Otaheite, and affords a lively idea of
its peerless beauty. "Every person on board gazed continually at this
species of tropical islands; and though I was extremely ill of my
bilious disorder, I crawled on deck, and fixed my eyes with great
eagerness upon it, as upon a place where I hoped my pains would cease.
Early in the morning I awoke, and was as much surprised at the beauty
of the prospect, as if I had never beheld it before. It was, indeed,
infinitely more beautiful at present, than it had been eight months
ago, owing to the difference of the season. The forests on the
mountains were all clad in fresh foliage, and glowed in many
variegated hues; and even the lower hills were not entirely destitute
of pleasing spots, and covered with herbage. But the plains, above
all, shone forth in the greatest luxuriance of colours, the brightest
tints of verdure being profusely lavished upon their fertile groves;
in short, the whole called to our mind the description of Calypso's
enchanted island."--G.F.

[5] "The difference between the present opulence of these islanders,
and their situation eight months before, was very astonishing to us.
It was with the utmost difficulty that we had been able to purchase a
few hogs during our first stay, having been obliged to look upon it as
a great favour, when the king or chief parted with one of these
animals. At present our decks were so crowded with them, that we were
obliged to make a hog-stye on shore. We concluded, therefore, that
they were now entirely recovered from the blow which they had received
in their late unfortunate war with the lesser peninsula, and of which
they still felt the bad effects at our visit in August 1773."--G.F.

[6] So much curious information is given in the following passage,
that, long as it is, there are few readers, it is believed, who would
willingly dispense with it. "All our former ideas of the power and
affluence of this island were so greatly surpassed by this magnificent
scene, that we were perfectly left in admiration. We counted no less
than one hundred and fifty-nine war-canoes, from fifty to ninety feet
long betwixt stem and stern. All these were double, that is, two
joined together, side by side, by fifteen or eighteen strong
transverse timbers, which sometimes projected a great way beyond both
the hulls, being from twelve to four-and-twenty feet in length, and
about three feet and a half asunder. When they are so long, they make
a platform fifty, sixty, or seventy feet in length. On the outside of
each canoe there are, in that case, two or three longitudinal spars,
and between the two connected canoes, one spar is fixed to the
transverse beams. The heads and sterns were raised several feet out of
the water, particularly the latter, which stood up like long beaks,
sometimes near twenty feet high, and were cut into various shapes; a
white piece of cloth was commonly fixed between the two beaks of each
double canoe, in lieu of an ensign, and the wind swelled it out like a
sail. Some had likewise a striped cloth, with various red chequers,
which were the marks of the divisions under different commanders. At
the head there was a tall pillar of carved-work, on the top of which
stood the figure of a man, or rather of an urchin, whose face was
commonly shaded by a board like a bonnet, and sometimes painted red
with ochre. These pillars were generally covered with branches of
black feathers, and long streamers of feathers hung from them. The
gunwale of the canoes was commonly two or three feet above the water,
but not always formed in the same manner; for some had flat bottoms,
and sides nearly perpendicular upon them, whilst others were bow-
sided, with a sharp keel. A fighting stage was erected towards the
head of the boat, and rested on pillars from four to six feet high,
generally ornamented with carving. This stage extended beyond the
whole breadth of the double canoe, and was from twenty to twenty-four
feet long, and about eight or ten feet wide. The rowers sat in the
canoe, or under the fighting-stage on the platform, which consisted of
the transverse beams and longitudinal spars; so that wherever these
crossed, there was room for one man in the compartment. The warriors
were stationed on the fighting-stage to the number of fifteen or
twenty. Their dress was the most singular, and at the same time the
most shewy, in the whole fleet. They had three large and ample pieces
of cloth with a hole in the middle, put one above another. The
undermost and largest was white, the next red, and the uppermost and
shortest brown. Their targets or breast-plates were made of wicker-
work, covered with feathers and sharks' teeth, and hardly any of the
warriors were without them. On the contrary, those who wore helmets
were few in number. These helmets were of an enormous size, being near
five feet high. They consisted of a long cylindrical basket of wicker-
work, of which the foremost half was hid by a semi-cylinder of a
closer texture, which became broader towards the top, and there
separated from the basket, so as to come forwards in a curve. This
frontlet, of the length of four feet, was closely covered with the
glossy bluish green feathers of a sort of pigeon, and with an elegant
border of white plumes. A prodigious number of the long tail feathers
of tropic birds diverged from its edges, in a radiant line, resembling
that glory of light with which our painters commonly ornament the
heads of angels and saints. A large turban of cloth was required for
this huge unwieldy machine to rest upon; but as it is intended merely
to strike the beholder with admiration, and can be of no service, the
warriors soon took it off, and placed it on the platform near them.
The principal commanders were moreover distinguished by long round
tails, made of green and yellow feathers, which hung down on the back,
and put us in mind of the Turkish bashaws. Towha, their admiral, wore
five of them, to the ends of which several strings of cocoa-nut tree
were added, with a few red feathers affixed to them. He had no helmet
on, but wore a fine turban, which sat very gracefully on his head. He
was a man seemingly near sixty years of age, but extremely vigorous,
tall, and of a very engaging noble countenance. In each canoe we took
notice of vast bundles of spears, and long clubs or battle-axes placed
upright against the platform; and every warrior had either a club or
spear in his hand. Vast heaps of large stones were likewise piled up
in every canoe, being their only missile weapons. Besides the vessels
of war, there were many smaller canoes without the ranks, most of
which were likewise double, with a roof on the stern, intended for the
reception of the chiefs at night, and as victuallers to the fleet. A
few of them were seen, on which banana-leaves were very conspicuous;
and these the natives told us were to receive the killed, and they
called them _e-vaa no t'Eatua_, "the canoes of the Divinity." "The
immense number of people assembled together was, in fact, more
surprising than the splendour of the whole shew; and we learnt to our
greater surprise, that this fleet was only the naval force of the
single district of Atapooroo, and that all the other districts could
furnish their quota of vessels in proportion to their size. This
account opened our eyes, in regard to the population of the island,
and convinced us in a few moments, that it was much more considerable
than we had hitherto supposed. The result of a most moderate
computation gave us one hundred and twenty thousand persons in the two
peninsulas of Otabeite, and this calculation was afterwards confirmed
to be very low, when we saw the fleet of the smallest district, which
amounted to forty-four war-canoes, besides twenty or thirty of a
smaller size."--G.F.


_Some Account of a Visit from Otoo, Towha, and several other Chiefs; also
of a Robbery committed by one of the Natives, and its Consequences, with
general Observations on the Subject._

In the morning of the 27th, I received a present from Towha, consisting of
two large hogs and some fruit, sent by two of his servants, who had orders
not to receive any thing in return; nor would they when offered them. Soon
after I went down to Oparree in my boat, where, having found both this
chief and the king, after a short stay, I brought them on board to dinner,
together with Tarevatoo, the king's younger brother, and Tee. As soon as we
drew near the ship, the admiral, who had never seen one before, began to
express much surprise at so new a sight. He was conducted all over the
ship, every part of which he viewed with great attention. On this occasion
Otoo was the principal show-man; for, by this time, he was well acquainted
with the different parts of the ship. After dinner Towha put a hog on
board, and retired, without my knowing any thing of the matter, or having
made him any return either for this, or the present I had in the morning.
Soon after, the king and his attendants went away also.[1] Otoo not only
seemed to pay this chief much respect, but was desirous I should do the
same; and yet he was jealous of him, but on what account we knew not. It
was but the day before that he frankly told us, Towha was not his friend.
Both these chiefs when on board solicited me to assist them against
Tiarabou, notwithstanding a peace at this time subsisted between the two
kingdoms, and we were told their joint force was to go against Eimea.
Whether this was done with a view of breaking with their neighbours and
allies if I had promised them assistance, or only to sound my disposition,
I know not. Probably they would have been ready enough to have embraced an
opportunity, which would have enabled them to conquer that kingdom, and
annex it to their own, as it formerly was. Be this as it may, I heard no
more of it; indeed, I gave them no encouragement.

Next day we had a present of a hog sent by Waheatoua, king of Tiarabou. For
this, in return, he desired a few red feathers, which were, together with
other things, sent him accordingly. Mr Forster and his party set out for
the mountains, with an intent to stay out all night. I did not go out of
the ship this day.[2]

Early in the morning of the 29th, Otoo, Towha, and several other grandees,
came on board, and brought with them as presents, not only provisions, but
some of the most valuable curiosities of the island. I made them returns,
with which they were well pleased. I likewise took this opportunity to
repay the civilities I had received from Towha.

The night before, one of the natives attempting to steal a water-cask from
the watering-place, was caught in the act, sent on board, and put in irons;
in which situation Otoo and the other chiefs saw him. Having made known his
crime to them, Otoo begged he might be set at liberty. This I refused,
telling him, that since I punished my people, when they committed the least
offence against his, it was but just this man should be punished also; and
as I knew he would not do it, I was resolved to do it myself. Accordingly,
I ordered the man to be carried on shore to the tents, and having followed
myself, with Otoo, Towha, and others, I ordered the guard out, under arms,
and the man to be tied up to a post. Otoo, his sister, and some others,
begged hard for him; Towha said not one word, but was very attentive to
every thing going forward. I expostulated with Otoo on the conduct of this
man, and of his people in general; telling him, that neither I, nor any of
my people, took any thing from them, without first paying for it;
enumerating the articles we gave in exchange for such and such things; and
urging that it was wrong in them to steal from us, who were their friends.
I moreover told him, that the punishing this man would be the means of
saving the lives of others of his people, by deterring them from committing
crimes of this nature, in which some would certainly be shot dead, one time
or another. With these and other arguments, which I believe he pretty well
understood, he seemed satisfied, and only desired the man might not be
_Matterou_ (or killed). I then ordered the crowd, which was very
great, to be kept at a proper distance, and, in the presence of them all,
ordered the fellow two dozen lashes with a cat-o'-nine-tails, which he bore
with great firmness, and was then set at liberty. After this the natives
were going away; but Towha stepped forth, called them back, and harangued
them for near half an hour. His speech consisted of short sentences, very
little of which I understood; but, from what we could gather, he
recapitulated part of what I had said to Otoo; named several advantages
they had received from us; condemned their present conduct, and recommended
a different one for the future. The gracefulness of his action, and the
attention with which he was heard, bespoke him a great orator.

Otoo said not one word. As soon as Towha had ended his speech, I ordered
the marines to go through their exercise, and to load and fire in vollies
with ball; and as they were very quick in their manoeuvres, it is easier to
conceive than to describe the amazement the natives were under the whole
time, especially those who had not seen any thing of the kind before.

This being over, the chiefs took leave, and retired with all their
attendants, scarcely more pleased than frightened at what they had seen. In
the evening Mr Forster and his party returned from the mountains, where he
had spent the night; having found some new plants, and some others which
grew in New Zealand. He saw Huaheine, which lies forty leagues to the
westward; by which a judgment may be formed of the height of the mountains
in Otaheite.[3]

Next morning I had an opportunity to see the people of ten war-canoes go
through part of their paddling exercise. They had put off from the shore
before I was apprised of it; so that I was only present at their landing.
They were properly equipped for war, the warriors with their arms, and
dressed in their war habits, &c. In landing, I observed that the moment the
canoe touched the ground, all the rowers leaped out, and with the
assistance of a few people on the shore, dragged the canoe on dry land to
her proper place; which being done, every one walked off with his paddle,
&c. All this was executed with such expedition, that in five minutes time
after putting ashore, you could not tell that any thing of the kind had
been going forward. I thought these vessels were thinly manned with rowers;
the most being not above thirty, and the least sixteen or eighteen. I
observed the warriors on the stage encouraged the rowers to exert
themselves. Some youths sat high up in the curved stern, above the
steersmen, with white wands in their hands. I know not what they were
placed there for, unless it was to look out and direct, or give notice of
what they saw, as they were elevated above every one else. Tarevatoo, the
king's brother, gave me the first notice of these canoes being at sea; and
knowing that Mr Hodges made drawings of every thing curious, desired of his
own accord that he might be sent for. I being at this time on shore with
Tarevatoo, Mr Hodges was therefore with me, and had an opportunity to
collect some materials for a large drawing or picture of the fleet
assembled at Oparree, which conveys a far better idea of it than can be
expressed by words. Being present when the warriors undressed, I was
surprised at the quantity and weight of cloth they had upon them, not
conceiving how it was possible for them to stand under it in time of
battle. Not a little was wrapped round their heads as a turban, and made
into a cap. This, indeed, might be necessary in preventing a broken head.
Many had, fixed to one of this sort of caps, dried branches of small shrubs
covered over with white feathers, which, however, could only be for

On the 1st of May, I had a very great supply of provisions sent and brought
by different chiefs; and the next day received a present from Towha, sent
by his servants, consisting of a hog, and a boat-load of various sorts of
fruits and roots. The like present I also had from Otoo, brought by
Tarevatoo, who stayed dinner; after which I went down to Opparree, paid a
visit to Otoo, and returned on board in the evening.[4]

On the 3d, in looking into the condition of our sea-provisions, we found
that the biscuit was in a state of decay, and that the airing and picking
we had given it at New Zealand, had not been of that service we expected
and intended; so that we were obliged to take it all on shore here, where
it underwent another airing and cleaning, in which a good deal was found
wholly rotten and unfit to be eaten. We could not well account for this
decay in our bread, especially as it was packed in good casks, and stowed
in a dry part of the hold. We judged it was owing to the ice we so
frequently took in when to the southward, which made the hold damp and
cold, and to the great heat which succeeded when to the north. Be it this,
or any other cause, the loss was the same to us; it put us to a scanty
allowance of this article; and we had bad bread to eat too.

On the 4th, nothing worthy of note.

On the 5th, the king and several other great men, paid us a visit, and
brought with them, as usual, some hogs and fruit. In the afternoon, the
botanists set out for the mountains, and returned the following evening,
having made some new discoveries in their way.

On going ashore in the morning of the 7th, I found Otoo at the tents, and
took the opportunity to ask his leave to cut down some trees, for fuel. He
not well understanding me, I took him to some growing near the sea-shore,
where I presently made him comprehend what I wanted, and he as readily gave
his consent. I told him, at the same time, that I should cut down no trees
that bore any fruit. He was pleased with this declaration, and told it
aloud, several times, to the people about us.

In the afternoon, this chief and the whole of the royal family, viz. his
father, brother, and three sisters, paid us a visit on board. This was
properly his father's visit of ceremony. He brought me, as a present, a
complete mourning dress, a curiosity we most valued.[5] In return, I gave
him whatever he desired, which was not a little, and having distributed red
feathers to all the others, conducted them ashore in my boat. Otoo was so
well pleased with the reception he and his friends met with, that he told
me, at parting, I might cut down as many trees as I pleased, and what sort
I pleased.

During the night, between the 7th and 8th, some time in the middle watch,
all our friendly connections received an interruption, through the
negligence of one of the centinels on shore. He having either slept or
quitted his post, gave one of the natives an opportunity to carry off his
musket. The first news I heard of it was from Tee, whom Otoo had sent on
board for that purpose, and to desire that I would go to him, for that he
was _mataoued_. We were not well enough acquainted with their language
to understand all Tee's story; but we understood enough to know that
something had happened which had alarmed the king. In order, therefore, to
be fully informed, I went ashore with Tee and Tarevatoo, who had slept
aboard all night. As soon as we landed, I was informed of the whole by the
serjeant who commanded the party. I found the natives all alarmed, and the
most of them fled. Tarevatoo slipped from me in a moment, and hardly any
remained by me but Tee. With him I went to look for Otoo; and, as we
advanced, I endeavoured to allay the fears of the people, but, at the same
time, insisted on the musket being restored. After travelling some distance
into the country, enquiring of every one we saw for Otoo, Tee stopped all
at once and advised me to return, saying, that Otoo was gone to the
mountains, and he would proceed and tell him that I was still his friend; a
question which had been asked me fifty times by different people, and if I
was angry, &c. Tee also promised that he would use his endeavours to
recover the musket. I was now satisfied it was to no purpose to go farther;
for, although I was alone and unarmed, Otoo's fears were such, that he
durst not see me; and, therefore, I took Tee's advice, and returned aboard.
After this I sent Oedidee to Otoo to let him know that his fears were ill-
grounded; for that I only required the return of the musket, which I knew
was in his power.

Soon after Oedidee was gone, we observed six large canoes coming round
Point Venus. Some people whom I had sent out, to watch the conduct of the
neighbouring inhabitants, informed me they were laden with baggage, fruit,
hogs, &c. There being room for suspecting that some person belonging to
these canoes had committed the theft, I presently came to a resolution to
intercept them; and having put off in a boat for that purpose, gave orders
for another to follow. One of the canoes, which was some distance ahead of
the rest, came directly for the ship. I went alongside this, and found two
or three women in her whom I knew. They told me they were going on board
the ship with something for me; and, on my enquiring of them for Otoo, was
told he was then at the tents. Pleased with this news, I contradicted the
orders I had given for intercepting the other canoes, thinking they might
be coming on board also, as well as this one, which I left within a few
yards of the ship, and rowed ashore to speak with Otoo. But when I landed,
I was told that he had not been there, nor knew they any thing of him. On
my looking behind me, I saw all the canoes making off in the greatest
haste; even the one I had left alongside the ship had evaded going on
board, and was making her escape. Vexed at being thus outwitted, I resolved
to pursue them; and as I passed the ship, gave orders to send another boat
for the same purpose. Five out of six we took, and brought alongside; but
the first, which acted the finesse so well, got clear off. When we got on
board with our prizes, I learnt that the people who had deceived me, used
no endeavours to lay hold of the ship on the side they were up on, but let
their canoe drop past, as if they meant to come under the stern, or on the
other side; and that the moment they were past, they paddled off with all
speed. Thus the canoe, in which were only a few women, was to have amused
us with false stories as they actually did, while the others, in which were
most of the effects, got off.

In one of the canoes we had taken, was a chief, a friend of Mr Forster's,
who had hitherto called himself an _Earee_, and would have been much
offended if any one had called his title in question; also three women, his
wife and daughter, and the mother of the late Toutaha. These, together with
the canoes, I resolved to detain, and to send the chief to Otoo, thinking
he would have weight enough with him to obtain the return of the musket, as
his own property was at stake. He was, however, very unwilling to go on
this embassy, and made various excuses, one of which was his being of too
low a rank for this honourable employment; saying he was no _Earee_,
but a _Manahouna_, and, therefore, was not a fit person to be sent;
that an _Earee_ ought to be sent to speak to an _Earee_; and as
there were no _Earees_ but Otoo and myself, it would be much more
proper for me to go. All his arguments would have availed him little, if
Tee and Oedidee had not at this time come on board, and given a new turn to
the affair, by declaring that the man who stole the musket was from
Tiarabou, and had gone with it to that kingdom, so that it was not in the
power of Otoo to recover it. I very much doubted their veracity, till they
asked me to send a boat to Waheatoua, the king of Tiarabou, and offered to
go themselves in her, and get it. I asked why this could not be done
without my sending a boat? They said, it would not otherwise be given to

This story of theirs, although it did not quite satisfy me, nevertheless
carried with it a probability of truth; for which reason I thought it
better to drop the affair altogether, rather than to punish a nation for a
crime I was not sure any of its members had committed. I therefore suffered
my new ambassador to depart with his two canoes without executing his
commission. The other three canoes belonged to Maritata, a Tiarabou chief,
who had been some days about the tents; and there was good reason to
believe it was one of his people that carried off the musket. I intended to
have detained them; but as Tee and Oedidee both assured me that Maritata
and his people were quite innocent, I suffered them to be taken away also,
and desired Tee to tell Otoo, that I should give myself no farther concern
about the musket, since I was satisfied none of his people had stolen it.
Indeed, I thought it was irrecoverably lost; but, in the dusk of the
evening it was brought to the tents, together with some other things we had
lost, which we knew nothing of, by three men who had pursued the thief, and
taken them from him. I know not if they took this trouble of their own
accord, or by the order of Otoo. I rewarded them, and made no other enquiry
about it. These men, as well as some others present, assured me that it was
one of Maritata's people who had committed this theft; which vexed me that
I had let his canoes so easily slip through my fingers. Here, I believe,
both Tee and Oedidee designedly deceived me.

When the musket and other things were brought in, every one then present,
or who came after, pretended to have had some hand in recovering them, and
claimed a reward accordingly. But there was no one who acted this farce so
well as Nuno, a man of some note, and well known to us when I was here in
1769. This man came, with all the savage fury imaginable in his
countenance, and a large club in his hand, with which he beat about him, in
order to shew us how he alone had killed the thief; when, at the same time,
we all knew that he had not been out of his house the whole time.

Thus ended this troublesome day; and next morning early, Tee, Otoo's
faithful ambassador, came again on board, to acquaint me that Otoo was gone
to Oparree, and desired I would send a person (one of the natives as I
understood), to tell him that I was still his _Tiyo_. I asked him why
he did not do this himself, as I had desired. He made some excuse; but, I
believe the truth was, he had not seen him. In short, I found it was
necessary for me to go myself; for, while we thus spent our time in
messages, we remained without fruit, a stop being put to all exchanges of
this nature; that is, the natives brought nothing to market. Accordingly, a
party of us set out with Tee in our company, and proceeded to the very
utmost limits of Oparree, where, after waiting some considerable time, and
several messages having passed, the king at last made his appearance. After
we were seated under the shade of some trees, as usual, and the first
salutations were over, he desired me to _parou_ (that is, to speak).
Accordingly, I began with blaming him for being frightened and alarmed at
what had happened, since I had always professed myself his friend, and I
was not angry with him or any of his people, but with those of Tiarabou,
who were the thieves. I was then asked, how I came to fire at the canoes?
Chance on this occasion furnished me with a good excuse. I told them, that
they belonged to Maritata, a Tiarabou man, one of whose people had stolen
the musket, and occasioned all this disturbance; and if I had them in my
power I would destroy them, or any other belonging to Tiarabou. This
declaration pleased them, as I expected, from the natural aversion the one
kingdom has to the other. What I said was enforced by presents, which
perhaps had the greatest weight with them. Thus were things once more
restored to their former state; and Otoo promised on his part, that the
next day we should be supplied with fruit, &c. as usual.

We then returned with him to his proper residence at Oparree, and there
took a view of some of his dock-yards (for such they well deserve to be
called) and large canoes; some lately built, and others building; two of
which were the largest I had ever seen in this sea; or indeed any where
else, under that name. This done, we returned on board, with Tee in our
company; who, after he had dined with us, went to inform old Happi, the
king's father, that all matters were again accommodated.

This old chief was at this time in the neighbourhood of Matavai; and it
should seem, from what followed, that he was not pleased with the
conditions; for that same evening all the women, which were not a few, were
sent for out of the ship, and people stationed on different parts of the
shore, to prevent any from coming off; and the next morning no supplies
whatever being brought, on my enquiring into the reason, I was told Happi
was _mataoued_. Chagrined at this disappointment as I was, I forbore
taking any step, from a supposition that Tee had not seen him, or that
Otoo's orders had not yet reached Matavai. A supply of fruit sent us from
Oparree, and some brought us by our friends, served us for the present, and
made us less anxious about it. Thus matters stood till the afternoon, when
Otoo himself came to the tents with a large supply. Thither I went, and
expostulated with him for not permitting the people in our neighbourhood to
bring us fruit as usual, insisting on his giving immediate orders about it;
which he either did or had done before. For presently after, more was
brought us than we could well manage. This was not to be wondered at, for
the people had every thing in readiness to bring, the moment they were
permitted, and I believe thought themselves as much injured by the
restriction as we did.

Otoo desiring to see some of the great guns fire from the ship, I ordered
twelve to be shotted and fired towards the sea. As he had never seen a
cannon fired before, the sight gave him as much pain as pleasure. In the
evening, we entertained him with fire-works, which gave him great

Thus ended all our differences, on which I beg leave to suggest the
following remarks. I have had occasion before, in this journal, to observe
that these people were continually watching opportunities to rob us. This
their governors either encouraged, or had not power to prevent; but most
probably the former, because the offender was always screened.[6] That they
should commit such daring thefts was the more extraordinary, as they
frequently run the risk of being shot in the attempt; and if the article
that they stole was of any consequence, they knew they should be obliged to
make restitution. The moment a theft of this kind was committed, it spread
like the wind over the whole neighbourhood. They judged of the consequences
from what they had got. If it were a trifle, and such an article as we
usually gave them, little or no notice was taken of it; but if the
contrary, every one took the alarm, and moved off with his moveables in all
haste. The chief then was _mataoued_, giving orders to bring us no
supplies, and flying to some distant part. All this was sometimes done so
suddenly, that we obtained, by these appearances, the first intelligence of
our being robbed. Whether we obliged them to make restitution or no, the
chief must be reconciled before any of the people were permitted to bring
in refreshments. They knew very well we could not do without them, and
therefore they never failed strictly to observe this rule, without ever
considering, that all their war-canoes, on which the strength of their
nation depends, their houses, and even the very fruit they refused to
supply us with, were entirely in our power. It is hard to say how they
would act, were one to destroy any of these things. Except the detaining
some of their canoes for a while, I never touched the least article of
their property. Of the two extremes I always chose that which appeared the
most equitable and mild. A trifling present to the chief always succeeded
to my wish, and very often put things upon a better footing than they had
been before. That they were the first aggressors had very little influence
on my conduct in this respect, because no difference happened but when it
was so. My people very rarely or never broke through the rules I thought it
necessary to prescribe. Had I observed a different conduct, I must have
been a loser by it in the end; and all I could expect, after destroying
some part of their property, would have been the empty honour of obliging
them to make the first overture towards an accommodation. But who knows if
this would have been the event? Three things made them our fast friends.
Their own good-nature and benevolent disposition; gentle treatment on our
part; and the dread of our fire-arms. By our ceasing to observe the second;
the first would have worn out of course; and the too frequent use of the
latter would have excited a spirit of revenge, and perhaps have taught them
that fire-arms were not such terrible things as they had imagined. They
were very sensible of the superiority of their numbers; and no one knows
what an enraged multitude might do.

[1] "Towha paid more attention to the multitude of new objects on
board, to the strength and size of the timbers, masts, and ropes, than
any Otaheitean we had ever seen, and found our tackle so exceedingly
superior to that which is usual in his country, that he expressed a
wish to possess several articles, especially cables and anchors. He
was now dressed like the rest of the people, and naked to the waist,
being in the king's presence. His appearance was so much altered from
what it had been the day before, that I had some difficulty to
recollect him. He appeared now very lusty, and had a most portly
paunch, which it was impossible to discern under the long spacious
robes of war. His hair was of a fine silvery grey; and his countenance
was the most engaging and truly good-natured which I ever beheld in
these islands. The king and he staid and dined with us this day,
eating with a very hearty appetite of all that was set before them.
Otoo had entirely lost his uneasy, distrustful air; he seemed to be at
home, and took a great pleasure in instructing Towha in our manners.
He taught him to make use of the knife and fork, to eat salt to his
meat, and to drink wine. He himself did not refuse to drink a glass of
this generous liquor, and joked with Towha upon its red colour,
telling him it was blood. The honest admiral having tasted our grog,
which is a mixture of brandy and water, desired to taste of the brandy
itself, which he called _e vai no Bretannee_, British water, and drank
off a small glass full, without making a wry face. Both he and his
Otaheitean majesty were extremely cheerful and happy, and appeared to
like our way of living, and our cookery of their own excellent

[2] Of this day's date we find an incident which very strikingly
illustrates the consequences to the morals of the Otaheiteans,
resulting from their acquaintance with strangers. "That our red
feathers had infused a general and irresistible longing into the minds
of all the people, will appear from the following circumstance. I have
observed, in the former part of this narrative, that the women of the
families of chiefs never admitted the visits of Europeans; and also
that whatever liberties some unmarried girls might with impunity allow
themselves, the married state had always been held sacred and
unspotted at Otaheite. But such was the force of the temptation, that
a chief actually offered his wife to Captain Cook, and the lady, by
her husband's order, attempted to captivate him, by an artful display
of her charms, seemingly in such a careless manner, as many a woman
would be at a loss to imitate. I was sorry, for the sake of human
nature, that this proposal came from a man, whose general character
was in other respects very fair. It was Potatow who could descend to
such meanness, from the high spirit of grandeur which he had formerly
shewn. We expressed great indignation at his conduct, and rebuked him
for his frailty."--G.F.

From this specimen of frailty, may be readily inferred the
dissoluteness of those females, who had neither rank nor marriage to
render chastity a virtue. But, alas! one need not visit the South
Seas, to become acquainted with the possible extent of human
infirmity. A cynic might, without such travel, be tempted to parody
the words of Sir Robert Walpole, and say, that every woman had her
price. The proposition is a harsh one, and the more so as obviously
irrefutable. It does, however, read this most important lesson, that
there is much greater safety in avoiding temptation, than in trusting
to any power of resistance. They, it is to be feared, who are least
sensible of this truth, and who feel most indignant at its being
stated, stand most in need of its salutary influence.--E.

[3] Forster the father met with a serious accident during this
excursion. In descending from the hills, rendered exceedingly slippery
from the recent rains, he had the misfortune to fall, which both
bruised his leg in a very severe manner, and also occasioned a

[4] "The number of common women on board our ships considerably
increased, since we had begun to deal in red feathers. Their mirth was
often extravagant and noisy; and sometimes their ideas were so
original as to give great amusement. We had a very weak scorbutic
patient when we arrived at Otaheite; this man being somewhat recovered
by means of fresh vegetable food, and animated by the example of the
crew, wooed one of these girls; about dusk he led her to his birth,
and lighted a candle. She looked her lover in the face, and finding he
had lost an eye, she took him by the hand, and conducted him upon deck
again to a girl that was one-eyed likewise, giving him to understand,
that that person was a fit partner for him, but that for her part she
did not choose to put up with a blind lover."--G.F.

[5] When here before, Captain Cook could not obtain this very singular
article; but, at this time, according to Mr G.F., not less than ten
complete mourning-dresses were purchased by different persons, who
brought them to England. Captain Cook gave one to the British Museum,
and Mr Forster another to the University of Oxford. A sailor sold a
third on his return home for twenty-five guineas, but to whom Mr G.F.
does not mention.--E.

[6] It is still more probable that both reasons concur. The higher
orders, besides, it is certain, were far enough from being disinclined
to exhibit their ingenuity in pilfering. We have seen instances of
this sort before. Mr G.F. relates one of some interest, as presented
in the king's own sister, a woman about twenty-seven years old, and
who possessed great authority over her sex. Her high rank did not
elevate her above some very vulgar propensities, of which,
covetousness, though abundantly conspicuous, was not the most
considerable. The only apology Mr G.F. makes for her, has little
specific excellence to commend it. "In a country," says he, "where the
impulses of nature are followed without restraint, it would be
extraordinary if an exception should be made, and still more so, if it
should be confined to those who are accustomed to have their will in
most other respects. The passions of mankind are similar every where;
the same instincts are active in the slave and the prince;
consequently the history of their effects must ever be the same in
every country." It is both mortifying and consolatory to think, that
the utmost height to which ambition may aspire, will not exempt one
from the polluting agency of "mire and dirt." Death, we see, is not
the only leveller in the world.--E.


_Preparations to leave the Island. Another Naval Review, and various
other Incidents; with some Account of the Island, its Naval Force, and
Number of Inhabitants._

In the morning of the 11th, a very large supply of fruit was brought us
from all parts. Some of it came from Towha, the admiral, sent as usual by
his servants, with orders to receive nothing in return. But he desired I
would go and see him at Attahourou, as he was ill and could not come to me.
As I could not well undertake this journey, I sent Oedidee along with
Towha's servants, with a present suitable to that which I had in so genteel
a manner received from him. As the most essential repairs of the ship were
nearly finished, I resolved to leave Otaheite in a few days; and
accordingly ordered every thing to be got off from the shore, that the
natives might see we were about to depart.

On the 12th, old Oberea, the woman who, when the Dolphin was here in 1767,
was thought to be queen of the island, and whom I had not seen since 1769,
paid us a visit, and brought a present of hogs and fruit. Soon after came
Otoo, with a great retinue, and a large quantity of provisions. I was
pretty liberal in my returns, thinking it might be the last time I should
see these good people, who had so liberally relieved our wants; and in the
evening entertained them with fire-works.

On the 13th, wind easterly, fair weather. Nevertheless we were not ready to
sail, as Otoo had made me promise to see him again; and I had a present to
make him, which I reserved to the last. Oedidee was not yet come back from
Attahourou; various reports arose concerning him: Some said he had returned
to Matavai; others, that he would not return; and some would have it, that
he was at Oparree. In order to know more of the truth, a party of us in the
evening went down to Oparee; where we found him, and likewise Towha, who,
notwithstanding his illness, had resolved to see me before I sailed; and
had got thus far on his journey. He was afflicted with a swelling in his
feet and legs, which had entirely taken away the use of them. As the day
was far spent, we were obliged to shorten our stay; and after seeing Otoo,
we returned with Oedidee on board.

This youth, I found, was desirous of remaining at this isle, having before
told him, as likewise many others, that we should not return. I now
mentioned to him, that he was at liberty to remain here; or to quit us at
Ulietea; or to go with us to England; frankly owning that if he chose the
latter, it was very probable he would never return to his country; in which
case I would take care of him, and he must afterwards look upon me as his
father. He threw his arms about me, and wept much, saying many people
persuaded him to remain at Otaheite. I told him to go ashore and speak to
his friends, and then come to me in the morning. He was well beloved in the
ship; so that every one was persuading him to go with us; telling what
great things he would see in England, and the immense riches (according to
his idea of riches) he would return with. But I thought proper to undeceive
him, as knowing that the only inducement to his going, was the expectation
of returning, and I could see no prospect of an opportunity of that kind
happening, unless a ship should be expressly sent out for that purpose;
which neither I, nor anyone else, had a right to expect. I thought it an
act of the highest injustice to take a person from these isles, under any
promise which was not in my power to perform. At this time indeed it was
quite unnecessary; for many youths voluntarily offered themselves to go,
and even to remain and die in _Pretanee_; as they call our country.
Otoo importuned me much to take one or two to collect red feathers for him
at Amsterdam, willing to risk the chance of their returning. Some of the
gentlemen on board were likewise desirous of taking some as servants; but I
refused every solicitation of this kind, knowing, from experience, they
would be of no use to us in the course of the voyage; and farther my views
were not extended. What had the greatest weight with me was, the thinking
myself bound to see they were afterwards properly taken care of, as they
could not be carried from their native spot without consent.

Next morning early, Oedidee came on board, with a resolution to remain on
the island; but Mr Forster prevailed upon him to go with us to Ulietea.
Soon after, Towha, Potatou, Oamo, Happi, Oberea, and several more of our
friends, came on board with fruit, &c. Towha was hoisted in and placed on a
chair on the quarter-deck; his wife was with him. Amongst the various
articles which I gave this chief, was an English pendant, which pleased him
more than all the rest, especially after he had been instructed in the use
of it.[1]

We had no sooner dispatched our friends, than we saw a number of war-canoes
coming round the point of Oparree. Being desirous of having a nearer view
of them, accompanied by some of the officers and gentlemen, I hastened down
to Oparree, which we reached before all the canoes were landed, and had an
opportunity of seeing in what manner they approached the shore. When they
got before the place where they intended to land, they formed themselves
into divisions, consisting of three or four, or perhaps more, lashed square
and close along-side of each other; and then each division, one after the
other, paddled in for the shore with all their might, and conducted in so
judicious a manner, that they formed and closed a line along, the shore, to
an inch. The rowers were encouraged to exert their strength by their
leaders on the stages, and directed by a man who stood with a wand in his
hand in the forepart of the middlemost vessel. This man, by words and
actions, directed the paddlers when all should paddle, when either the one
side or the other should cease, &c.; for the steering paddles alone were
not sufficient to direct them. All these motions they observed with such
quickness, as clearly shewed them to be expert in their business. After Mr
Hodges had made a drawing of them, as they lay ranged along the shore, we
landed and took a nearer view of them, by going on board several. This
fleet consisted of forty sail, equipped in the same manner as those we had
seen before, belonged to the little district of Tettaha, and were come to
Oparree to be reviewed before the king, as the former fleet had been. There
were attending on his fleet some small double canoes, which they called
_Marais_, having on their fore-part a kind of double bed place laid
over with green leaves, each just sufficient to hold one man. These, they
told us, were to lay their dead upon; their chiefs I suppose they meant,
otherwise their slain must be few. Otoo, who was present, caused at my
request some of their troops to go through their exercise on shore. Two
parties first began with clubs, but this was over almost as soon as begun;
so that I had no time to make my observations upon it. They then went to
single combat, and exhibited the various methods of fighting, with great
alertness; parrying off the blows and pushes which each combatant aimed at
the other, with great dexterity. Their arms were clubs and spears; the
latter they also use as darts. In fighting with the club, all blows
intended to be given the legs, were evaded by leaping over it; and those
intended for the head, by couching a little, and leaping on one side; thus
the blow would fall to the ground. The spear or dart was parried by fixing
the point of a spear in the ground right before them, holding it in an
inclined position, more or less elevated according to the part of the body
they saw their antagonist intending to make a push, or throw his dart at,
and by moving the hand a little to the right or left, either the one or the
other was turned off with great ease. I thought that when one combatant had
parried off the blows, &c. of the other, he did not use the advantage which
seemed to me to accrue. As for instance, after he had parried off a dart,
he still stood on the defensive, and suffered his antagonist to take up
another, when I thought there was time to run him through the body.[2]

These combatants had no superfluous dress upon them; an unnecessary piece
of cloth or two, which they had on when they began, were presently torn off
by the by-standers, and given to some of our gentlemen present. This being
over, the fleet departed; not in any order, but as fast as they could be
got afloat; and we went with Otoo to one of his dock-yards, where the two
large _pahies_ or canoes were building, each of which was an hundred
and eight feet long. They were almost ready to launch, and were intended to
make one joint double _pahie_ or canoe. The king begged of me a
grappling and rope, to which I added an English jack and pendant (with the
use of which he was well acquainted), and desired the _pahie_ might be
called Britannia. This he very readily agreed to; and she was named
accordingly. After this he gave me a hog, and a turtle of about sixty
pounds weight, which was put privately into our boat; the giving it away
not being agreeable to some of the great lords about him, who were thus
deprived of a feast. He likewise would have given me a large shark they had
prisoner in a creek (some of his fins being cut off, so that he could not
make his escape), but the fine pork and fish we had got at this isle, had
spoiled our palates for such food. The king, and Tee, his prime minister,
accompanied us on board to dinner; and after it was over, took a most
affectionate farewell. He hardly ever ceased soliciting me, this day, to
return to Otaheite; and just before he went out of the ship, took a youth
by the hand, and presented him to me, desiring I would keep him on board to
go to Amsterdam to collect red feathers. I told him I could not, since I
knew he would never return; but that if any ship should happen to come from
Britain to this isle, I would either bring or send him red feathers in
abundance. This in some measure satisfied him; but the youth was
exceedingly desirous of going; and if I had not come to a resolution to
carry no one from the isles (except Oedidee if he chose to go), and but
just refused Mr Forster the liberty of taking a boy, I believe I should
have consented. Otoo remained alongside in his canoe till we were under
sail, when we put off, and was saluted with three guns.

Our treatment here was such as had induced one of our gunner's mates to
form a plan to remain at this isle. He knew he could not execute it with
success while we lay in the bay, therefore took the opportunity, as soon as
we were out, the boats in, and sails set, to slip overboard, being a good
swimmer. But he was discovered before he got clear of the ship; and we
presently hoisted a boat out, and took him up. A canoe was observed about
half-way between us and the shore, seemingly coming after us. She was
intended to take him up; but as soon as the people in her saw our boat,
they kept at a distance. This was a pre-concerted plan between the man and
them, which Otoo was acquainted with, and had encouraged. When I considered
this man's situation in life, I did not think him so culpable, nor the
resolution he had taken of staying here so extraordinary, as it may at
first appear. He was an Irishman by birth, and had sailed in the Dutch
service. I picked him up at Batavia on my return from my former voyage, and
he had been with me ever since. I never learnt that he had either friends
or connections, to confine him to any particular part of the world. All
nations were alike to him. Where then could such a man be more happy than
at one of these isles? where, in one of the finest climates in the world,
he could enjoy not only the necessaries, but the luxuries of life, in ease
and plenty. I know not if he might not have obtained my consent, if he had
applied for it in a proper time.[3] As soon as we had got him on board, and
the boat in, I steered for Huaheine, in order to pay a visit to our friends
there. But before we leave Otaheite, it will be necessary to give some
account of the present state of that island; especially as it differs very
much from what it was eight months before.

I have already mentioned the improvements we found in the plains of Oparree
and Matavai. The same was observable in every other part into which we
came. It seemed to us almost incredible, that so many large canoes and
houses could be built in so short a space as eight months. The iron tools
which they had got from the English, and other nations who have lately
touched at the isle, had no doubt greatly accelerated the work; and they
had no want of hands, as I shall soon make appear.

The number of hogs was another thing that excited our wonder. Probably they
were not so scarce when we were here before, as we imagined, and not
chusing to part with any, they had conveyed them out of our sight. Be this
as it may, we now not only got as many as we could consume during our stay,
but some to take to sea with us.

When I was last here, I conceived but an unfavourable opinion of Otoo's
talents. The improvements since made in the island convinced me of my
mistake; and that he must have been a man of good parts. He had indeed some
judicious sensible men about him, who, I believe, had a great share in the
government. In truth, we know not how far his power extended as king, nor
how far he could command the assistance of the other chiefs, or was
controulable by them. It should seem, however, that all had contributed
towards bringing the isle to its present flourishing state. We cannot doubt
that there were divisions amongst the great men of this state, as well as
of most others; or else why did the king tell us, that Towha the admiral,
and Poatatou were not his friends? They were two leading chiefs; and he
must have been jealous of them on account of their great power; for on
every occasion he seemed to court their interest. We had reason to believe
that they raised by far the greatest number of vessels and men, to go
against Eimea, and were to be two of the commanders in the expedition,
which we were told was to take place five days after our departure.
Waheatoua, king of Tiarabou, was to send a fleet to join that of Otoo, to
assist him in reducing to obedience the chief of Eimea. I think, we were
told, that young prince was one of the commanders. One would suppose that
so small an island as Eimea would hardly have attempted to make head
against the united force of these two kingdoms, but have endeavoured to
settle matters by negociation. Yet we heard of no such thing; on the
contrary, every one spoke of nothing but fighting. Towha told us more than
once, that he should die there; which, in some measure, shews that he
thought of it. Oedidee told me the battle would be fought at sea; in which
case the other must have a fleet nearly equal, if not quite, to the one
going against them; which I think was not probable. It was therefore more
likely they would remain ashore upon the defensive; as we were told they
did about five or six years ago, when attacked by the people of Tiarabou,
whom they repulsed. Five general officers were to command in this
expedition; of which number Otoo was one; and if they named them in order
according to the posts they held, Otoo was only the third in command. This
seems probable enough; as being but a young man, he could not have
sufficient experience to command such an expedition, where the greatest
skill and judgment seemed to be necessary. I confess I would willingly have
staid five days longer, had I been sure the expedition would have then
taken place; but it rather seemed that they wanted us to be gone first. We
had been all along told, it would be ten moons before it took place; and it
was not till the evening before we sailed, that Otoo and Towha told us it
was to be in five days after we were gone; as if it were necessary to have
that time to put every thing in order; for, while we lay there, great part
of their time and attention was taken up with us. I had observed that for
several days before we sailed, Otoo and the other chiefs had ceased to
solicit my assistance, as they were continually doing at first, till I
assured Otoo that, if they got their fleet ready in time, I would sail with
them down to Eimea: After this I heard no more of it. They probably had
taken it into consideration, and concluded themselves safer without me;
well knowing it would be in my power to give the victory to whom I pleased;
and that, at the best, I might thwart some favourite custom, or run away
with the spoils. But be their reasons what they might, they certainly
wanted us to be gone, before they undertook any thing. Thus we were
deprived of seeing the whole fleet equipped on this occasion; and perhaps
of being spectators of a sea-fight, and by that means, gaining some
knowledge of their manoeuvres.

I never could learn what number of vessels were to go on this expedition.
We knew of no more than two hundred and ten, besides smaller canoes to
serve as transports, &c. and the fleet of Tiarabou, the strength of which
we never learnt. Nor could I ever learn the number of men necessary to man
this fleet; and whenever I asked the question, the answer was _Warou,
warou, warou te Tata_, that is, many, many, many, men; as if the number
far exceeded their arithmetic. If we allow forty men to each war-canoe, and
four to each of the others, which is thought a moderate computation, the
number will amount to nine thousand. An astonishing number to be raised in
four districts; and one of them, viz. Matavia, did not equip a fourth part
of its fleet. The fleet of Tiarabou is not included in this account; and
many other districts might be arming, which we knew nothing of. I however
believe, that the whole isle did not arm on this occasion; for we saw not
the least preparations making in Oparree. From what we saw and could learn,
I am clearly of opinion that the chief or chiefs of each district
superintended the equipping of the fleet belonging to that district; but
after they are equipped, they must pass in review before the king, and be
approved of by him. By this means he knows the state of the whole, before
they assemble to go on service.

It hath been already observed, that the number of war-canoes belonging to
Attahourou and Ahopata was a hundred and sixty; to Tettaba, forty; and to
Matavia, ten; and that this district did not equip one-fourth part of their
number. If we suppose every district in the island, of which there are
forty-three, to raise and equip the same number of war-canoes as Tettaha,
we shall find, by this estimate, that the whole island can raise and equip
one thousand seven hundred and twenty war-canoes, and sixty-eight thousand
able men; allowing forty men to each canoe. And as these cannot amount to
above one-third part of the number of both sexes, children included, the
whole island cannot contain less than two hundred and four thousand
inhabitants, a number which at first sight exceeded my belief. But when I
came to reflect on the vast swarms which appeared wherever we came, I was
convinced that this estimate was not much, if at all, too great. There
cannot be a greater proof of the riches and fertility of Otaheite (not
forty leagues in circuit) than its supporting such a number of inhabitants.

This island made formerly but one kingdom; how long it has been divided
into two, I cannot pretend to say; but I believe not long. The kings of
Tiarabou are a branch of the family of those of Opoureonu; at present, the
two are nearly related; and, I think, the former is, in some measure,
dependent on the latter. Otoo is styled _Earee de hie_ of the whole
island; and we have been told that Waheatoua, the king of Tiarabou, must
uncover before him, in the same manner as the meanest of his subjects. This
homage is due to Otoo as _Earee de hie_ of the isle, to Tarevatou, his
brother, and his second sister; to the one as heir, and to the other as
heir apparent; his eldest sister being married, is not entitled to this

The _Eowas_ and _Whannos_, we have sometimes seen covered before
the king; but whether by courtesy, or by virtue of their office, we never
could learn. These men, who are the principal persons about the king, and
form his court, are generally, if not always, his relations; Tee, whom I
have so often mentioned, was one of them. We have been told, that the
_Eowas_, who have the first rank, attend in their turns, a certain
number each day, which occasioned us to call them lords in waiting; but
whether this was really so, I cannot say. We seldom found Tee absent;
indeed his attendance was necessary, as being best able to negociate
matters between us and them, on which service he was always employed; and
he executed it, I have reason to believe, to the satisfaction of both

It is to be regretted, that we know little more of this government than the
general out-line; for, of its subdivisions, classes, or orders of the
constituent parts, how disposed, or in what manner connected, so as to form
one body politic, we know but little. We are sure, however, that it is of
the feudal kind; and if we may judge from what we have seen, it has
sufficient stability, and is by no means badly constructed.

The _Eowas_ and _Whannos_ always eat with the king; indeed I do
not know if any one is excluded from this privilege but the
_Toutous_. For as to the women, they are out of the question, as they
never eat with the men, let their rank be ever so much elevated.

Notwithstanding this kind of kingly establishment, there was very little
about Otoo's person or court by which a stranger could distinguish the king
from the subject. I seldom saw him dressed in any thing but a common piece
of cloth wrapped round his loins; so that he seemed to avoid all
unnecessary pomp, and even to demean himself more than any other of the
_Earees_. I have seen him work at a paddle, in coming to and going
from the ship, in common with the other paddlers; and even when some of his
_Toutous_ sat looking on. All have free access to him, and speak to
him wherever they see him, without the least ceremony; such is the easy
freedom which every individual of this happy isle enjoys. I have observed
that the chiefs of these isles are more beloved by the bulk of the people,
than feared. May we not from hence conclude, that the government is mild
and equitable?

We have mentioned that Waheatoua or Tiarabou is related to Otoo. The same
may be said of the chiefs of Eimea, Tapamanoo, Huaheine, Ulietea, Otaha,
and Bolabola; for they are all related to the royal family of Otaheite. It
is a maxim with the _Earees_, and others of superior rank, never to
intermarry with the _Toutous_, or others of inferior rank. Probably
this custom is one great inducement to the establishing of the societies
called _Eareeoies_. It is certain that these societies greatly prevent
the increase of the superior classes of people of which they are composed,
and do not at all interfere with the inferiors, or _Toutous_; for I
never heard of one of these being an _Eareeoy_. Nor did I ever hear
that a _Toutou_ could rise in life above the rank in which he was born.

I have occasionally mentioned the extraordinary fondness the people of
Otaheite shewed for red feathers. These they call _Oora_, and they are
as valuable here as jewels are in Europe, especially those which they call
_Ooravine_, and grow on the head of the green paraquet: Indeed, all red
feathers are esteemed, but none equally with these; and they are such good
judges as to know very well how to distinguish one sort from another. Many
of our people attempted to deceive them by dying other feathers; but I
never heard that any one succeeded. These feathers they make up in little
bunches, consisting of eight or ten, and fix them to the end of a small
cord about three or four inches long, which is made of the strong outside
fibres of the cocoa-nut, twisted so hard that it is like a wire, and serves
as a handle to the bunch. Thus prepared, they are used as symbols of the
_Eatuas_, or divinities, in all their religious ceremonies. I have
often seen them hold one of these bunches, and sometimes only two or three
feathers, between the fore finger and thumb, and say a prayer, not one word
of which I could ever understand. Whoever comes to this island, will do
well to provide himself with red feathers, the finest and smallest that are
to be got. He must also have a good stock of axes, and hatchets, spike-
nails, files, knives, looking-glasses, beads, &c. Sheets and shirts are
much sought after, especially by the ladies; as many of our gentlemen found
by experience.

The two goats which Captain Furneaux gave to Otoo when we were last here,
seemed to promise fair for answering the end for which they were put on
shore. The ewe soon after had two female kids, which were now so far grown
as to be nearly ready to propagate; and the old ewe was again with kid. The
people seemed to be very fond of them, and they to like their situation as
well; for they were in excellent condition. From this circumstance we may
hope that, in a few years, they will have some to spare to their
neighbours; and by that means they may in time spread over all the isles in
this ocean. The sheep which we left died soon after, excepting one, which
we understood was yet alive. We have also furnished them with a stock of
cats; no less than twenty having been given away at this isle, besides
those which were left at Ulietea and Huaheine.

[1] "The good old admiral was so ill that he could not stand on his
legs; he was very desirous, however, to come upon deck; we therefore
slung a chair on ropes, and hoisted him up in it, to his great
delight, and to the astonishment of all his countrymen.
Notwithstanding his illness, he told us he was determined to command
the expedition against Eimea, saying it was of little consequence if
they killed an old man, who could no longer be useful. He was very
cheerful under his infirmities, and his way of thinking was nobly
disinterested, and seemed to be animated by true heroism. He took
leave of us with a degree of cordiality and emotion, which touched the
heart, and might have reconciled a misanthrope to the world."--G.F.--
Who does not see in this noble veteran the radical principles which
characterize a British tar? There needs indeed, but a little of the
Roman or Grecian painting, to render him a fit _stage-companion_ for
almost any of the ancient heroes; and who can tell, but that in some
distant aera, when the Otaheitan language shall be read and classical,
the drivelling pedants of the south will blazon his fame, as we now do
that of his elder fraternity? G.F. had his eye directed to such a kind
of comparison betwixt Greeks and Otaheitans, in a passage which the
reader will find in the next note, and which is a fair specimen of
that gentleman's lively and entertaining style.--E.

[2] "The view of the Otaheitan fleet frequently brought to our minds
an idea of the naval force which that nation employed in the first
ages of its existence, and induced us to compare them together. The
Greeks were doubtless better armed, having the use of metals; but it
seemed plain, from the writings of Homer, in spite of poetical
embellishment, that their mode of fighting was irregular, and their
arms simple, like those of Otaheite. The united efforts of Greece
against Troy, in remote antiquity, could not be much more considerable
than the armament of Otoo against the isle of Eimea; and the boasted
_mille carinae_ were probably not more formidable than a fleet of large
canoes, which require from fifty to an hundred and twenty men, to
paddle them. The navigation of the Greeks, in those days, was not more
extensive than that which is practised by the Otaheitans at present,
being confined to short passages from island to island; and as the
stars at night directed the mariners through the Archipelago at that
time, so they still continue to guide others in the Pacific Ocean. The
Greeks were brave; but the numerous wounds of the Otaheitan chiefs,
are all proofs of their spirit and prowess. It seems to be certain,
that in their battles they rouse themselves into a kind of phrenzy,
and that their bravery is a violent fit of passion. From Homer's
battles, it is evident, that the heroism which produced the wonders he
records, was exactly of the same nature. Let us for a moment be
allowed to carry this comparison still farther. The heroes of Homer
are represented to us as men of supernatural size and force. The
Otaheitan chiefs, compared to the common people, are so much superior
in stature and elegance of form, that they look like a different race.
It requires a more than ordinary quantity of food to satisfy stomachs
of unusual dimensions. Accordingly we find, that the mighty men at the
siege of Troy, and the chiefs of Otaheite, are both famous for eating,
and it appears that pork was a diet no less admired by the Greeks,
than it is by the Otaheitans at this day. Simplicity of manners is
observable in both nations; and their domestic character is
hospitable, affectionate, and humane. There is even a similarity in
their political constitution. The chiefs of districts at Otaheite are
powerful princes, who have not more respect for Otoo than the Greek
heroes had for the "king of men;" and the common people are so little
noticed in the Iliad, that they appear to have had no greater
consequence, than the towtows in the South Seas. In short, I believe
the similitude might be traced in many other instances; but it was my
intention only to hint at it, and not to abuse the patience of my
readers. What I have here said is sufficient to prove, that men in a
similar state of civilization resemble each other more than we are
aware of, even in the most opposite extremes of the world."--G.F.--
This gentleman guards against any more particular deductions from such
resemblance as he has now noticed, by adverting to the havoc made in
history by the modern itch for tracing pedigrees, alluding especially
to the affinity imagined betwixt the Egyptians and Chinese. On such
subjects, it is certain, human ingenuity has been fruitful of
extravagancies, and there is much less risk of absurdity if we abide
by merely general inferences; but, on the other hand, it must be
admitted, that these are often specious pretexts for avoiding the
labours of enquiry, and have very rarely contributed any thing to the
stock of useful knowledge. Besides, they are often as fundamentally
theoretic, as those more specific notions which they are used to
supplant, though far less operative on the minds of those who maintain
them, except indeed, in so far as a conceited indolence is concerned,
of which, it is often difficult to say, whether they are the parent or
the offspring. But at best, your transcendental philosophers are very
like those general admirers of the fair sex, who are ready enough to
pay compliments which cost them just as little as they signify, but
who are too fond of themselves, to squander away on a single
individual, any portion of that affection which they think can be much
better bestowed elsewhere. Whereas, an attachment to some specific
theory, like the ardour of a real lover, excites to active services
and solicitous assiduity; and even when it does not obtain its object,
is deserving of gratitude at least, and rarely fails to be rewarded by

[3] The poor fellow, Mr G.F. informs us, paid a fortnight's
confinement in irons for his frolic, a greater price, perhaps, the
reader will think, than the matter deserved. One shudders to imagine
what would be his anguish at the simple disappointment of his purpose;
but that it is possible might render him less sensible to the weight
of his bonds. That a solitary hopeless wretch, who had not a friend or
relative in any other region of the globe, should form an attachment
to these affectionate islanders, and attempt to settle in the midst of
their proffered enjoyments, was so imperatively natural, that one
cannot help feeling indignation at the mercilessness of an artificial
discipline, which exerted so rigorous a retribution. The advantages of
this penal system must be great and obvious indeed, that can
compensate for such enormous outrage on suffering humanity. G.F. has
allowed himself to reason on this subject, in a way not much
calculated to ease the mind of his reader: a short specimen may
suffice. "The most favourable prospects of future success in England,
which this man might form in idea, could never be so flattering to his
senses, as the lowly hope of living like the meanest Otaheitan. It was
highly probable that immediately on his return home, instead of
indulging in repose those limbs which had been tossed from pole to
pole, he would be placed in another ship, where the same fatigues,
nocturnal watches, and unwholesome food, would still fall to his
share; or though he were allowed to solace himself for a few days,
after a long series of hardships, he must expect to be seized in the
midst of his enjoyments, and to be dragged an unwilling champion to
the defence of his country: to be cut off in the flower of his age, or
to remain miserably crippled with only half his limbs, might be the
alternatives to which he would be reduced." But we forbear the
distressing theme, and would willingly direct the reader's eye and
hopes, to that most beneficent provision for the repose and comfort of
our meritorious sailors, which the wisdom of the legislature, too
tardily it must be confessed, has lately contemplated.--E.


_The Arrival of the Ship at the Island of Huaheine; with an Account of an
Expedition into the Island, and several other Incidents which happened
while she lay there._

At one o'clock in the afternoon, on the 15th, we anchored in the north
entrance of O'Wharre harbour, in the island of Huaheine; hoisted out the
boats, warped into a proper birth, and moored with the bower and kedge
anchor, not quite a cable's length from the shore. While this was doing,
several of the natives made us a visit, amongst whom was old Oree the
chief, who brought a hog and some other articles, which he presented to me,
with the usual ceremony.

Next morning, the natives began to bring us fruit. I returned Oree's visit,
and made my present to him; one article of which was red feathers. Two or
three of these the chief took in his right hand, holding them up between
the finger and thumb, and said a prayer, as I understood, which was little
noticed by any present. Two hogs were soon after put into my boat, and he
and several of his friends came on board and dined with us. After dinner
Oree gave me to understand what articles would be most acceptable to him
and his friends, which were chiefly axes and nails. Accordingly I gave him
what he asked, and desired he would distribute them to the others, which he
did, seemingly to the satisfaction of every one. A youth about ten or
twelve years of age, either his son or grandson, seemed to be the person of
most note, and had the greatest share.

After the distribution was over, they all returned ashore. Mr Forster and
his party being out in the country botanizing, his servant, a feeble man,
was beset by five or six fellows, who would have stripped him, if that
moment one of the party had not come to his assistance; after which they
made off with a hatchet they had got from him.

On the 17th, I went ashore to look for the chief, in order to complain of
the outrage committed as above; but he was not in the neighbourhood. Being
ashore in the afternoon, a person came and told me Oree wanted to see me. I
went with the man, and was conducted to a large house, where the chief and
several other persons of note were assembled in council, as well as I could
understand. After I was seated, and some conversation had passed among
them, Oree made a speech, and was answered by another. I understood no more
of either, than just to know it regarded the robbery committed the day
before. The chief then began to assure me, that neither he, nor any one
present (which were the principal chiefs in the neighbourhood) had any hand
in it; and desired me to kill, with the guns, all those which had. I
assured him, that I was satisfied that neither he nor those present were at
all concerned in the affair; and that I should do with the fellows as he
desired, or any others who were guilty of the like crimes. Having asked
where the fellows were, and desired they would bring them to me, that I
might do with them as he had said, his answer was, they were gone to the
mountains, and he could not get them. Whether this was the case or not, I
will not pretend to say. I knew fair means would never make them deliver
them up; and I had no intention to try others. So the affair dropt, and the
council broke up.

In the evening, some of the gentlemen went to a dramatic entertainment. The
piece represented a girl as running away with us from Otaheite; which was
in some degree true; as a young woman had taken a passage with us down to
Ulietea, and happened now to be present at the representation of her own
adventures; which had such an effect upon her, that it was with great
difficulty our gentlemen could prevail upon her to see the play out, or to
refrain from tears while it was acting. The piece concluded with the
reception she was supposed to meet with from her friends at her return;
which was not a very favourable one. These people can add little extempore
pieces to their entertainments, when they see occasion. Is it not then
reasonable to suppose that it was intended as a satire against this girl,
and to discourage others from following her steps?[1]

In the morning of the 18th, Oree came on board with a present of fruit,
stayed dinner, and in the afternoon desired to see some great guns fired,
shotted, which I complied with. The reason of his making this request was
his hearing, from Oedidee, and our Otaheitean passengers, that we had so
done at their island. The chief would have had us fire at the hills; but I
did not approve of that, lest the shot should fall short and do some
mischief. Besides, the effect was better seen in the water. Some of the
petty officers, who had leave to go into the country for their amusement,
took two of the natives with them to be their guides, and to carry their
bags, containing nails, hatchets, &c. the current cash we traded with here;
which the fellows made off with in the following artful manner: The
gentlemen had with them two muskets for shooting birds. After a shower of
rain, their guides pointed out some for them to shoot. One of the muskets
having missed fire several times, and the other having gone off, the
instant the fellows saw themselves secure from both, they ran away, leaving
the gentlemen gazing after them with so much surprise, that no one had
presence of mind to pursue them.

The 19th, showery morning; fair afternoon, nothing happened worthy of note.

Early in the morning of the 20th, three of the officers set out on a
shooting party, rather contrary to my inclination; as I found the natives,
at least some of them, were continually watching every opportunity to rob
straggling parties, and were daily growing more daring. About three o'clock
in the afternoon, I got intelligence that they were seized and stripped of
every thing they had about them. Upon this I immediately went on shore with
a boat's crew, accompanied by Mr Forster, and took possession of a large
house with all its effects, and two chiefs whom I found in it; but this we
did in such a manner, that they hardly knew what we were about, being
unwilling to alarm the neighbourhood. In this situation I remained till I
heard the officers had got back safe, and had all their things restored to
them: Then I quitted the house; and presently after every thing in it was
carried off. When I got on board I was informed of the whole affair by the
officers themselves. Some little insult on their part, induced the natives
to seize their guns, on which a scuffle ensued, some chiefs interfered,
took the officers out of the crowd, and caused every thing which had been
taken from them to be restored. This was at a place where we had before
been told, that a set of fellows had formed themselves into a gang, with a
resolution to rob every one who should go that way. It should seem from
what followed, that the chief could not prevent this, or put a stop to
these repeated outrages. I did not see him this evening, as he was not come
into the neighbourhood when I went on board; but I learnt from Oedidee that
he came soon after, and was so concerned at what had happened that he wept.

Day-light no sooner broke upon us on the 21st, than we saw upwards of sixty
canoes under sail going out of the harbour, and steering over for Ulietea.
On our enquiring the reason, we were told that the people in them were
_Eareeois_, and were going to visit their brethren in the neighbouring
isles. One may almost compare these men to free-masons; they tell us they
assist each other when need requires; they seem to have customs among them
which they either will not, or cannot explain. Oedidee told us he was one;
Tupia was one; and yet I have not been able to get any tolerable idea of
this set of men, from either of them. Oedidee denies that the children they
have by their mistresses are put to death, as we understood from Tupia and
others. I have had some conversation with Omai on this subject, and find
that he confirms every thing that is said upon it in the narrative of my
former voyage.[2]

Oedidee, who generally slept on shore, came off with a message from Oree,
desiring I would land with twenty-two men, to go with him to chastise the
robbers. The messenger brought with him, by way of assisting his memory,
twenty-two pieces of leaves, a method customary amongst them. On my
receiving this extraordinary message, I went to the chief for better

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