Cook - Voyages
Narrative of Captain Cook's first voyage round the world.
There is scarcely any thing from which the natural curiosity of man receives a higher gratification, than from the accounts of distant countries and nations. Nor is it curiosity only that is gratified by such accounts; for the sphere of human knowledge is hereby enlarged, and various objects are brought into view, an acquaintance with which greatly contributes to the improvement of life and the benefit of the world. With regard to information of this kind, the moderns have eminently the advantage over the ancients. The ancients could neither pursue their enquiries with the same accuracy, nor carry them on to the same extent. Travelling by land was much more inconvenient and dangerous than it hath been in later times; and, as navigation was principally confined to coasting, it must necessarily have been circumscribed within very narrow limits.
The invention of the compass, seconded by the ardent and enterprising spirit of several able men, was followed by wonderful discoveries. Vasco di Gama doubled the Cape of Good Hope; and a new way being thus found out to the East Indies, the countries to that part of the earth became more accurately and extensively known. Another world was discovered by Columbus; and, at length, Magalhaens accomplished the arduous and hitherto unattempted task of sailing round the globe. At different periods he was succeeded by other circumnavigators, of whom it is no part of the present narrative to give an account.
The spirit of discovery, which was so vigorous during the latter end of the fifteenth and through the whole of the sixteenth century, began, soon after the commencement of the seventeenth century, to decline. Great navigations were only occasionally undertaken, and more from the immediate views of avarice or war, than from any noble and generous principles. But of late years they have been revived, with the enlarged and benevolent design of promoting the happiness of the human species.
A beginning of this kind was made in the reign of George the Second, during which two voyages were performed; the first under the command of Captain Middleton, and the next under the direction of Captains Smith and More, in order to discover a northwest passage through Hudson's Bay. It was reserved, however, for the glory of the present reign to carry the spirit of discovery to its height, and to conduct it on the noblest principles; not for the purposes of covetuousness or ambition; not to plunder or destroy the inhabitants of newly-explored countries; but to improve their condition, to instruct them in the arts of life, and to extend the boundaries of science.
No sooner was peace restored, in 1763, than these laudable designs engaged his majesty's patronage; and two voyages round the world had been undertaken before Mr. Cook set out on his first command. The conductors of these voyages were the Captains Byron, Wallis, and Carteret, by whom several discoveries were made, which contributed, in no small degree, to increase the knowledge of geography and navigation. Nevertheless, as the purpose for which they were sent out appears to have had a principal reference to a particular object in the South Atlantic, the direct track they were obliged to hold, on their way homeward by the East Indies, prevented them from doing so much as might otherwise have been expected towards giving the world a complete view of that immense expanse of ocean, which the South Pacific comprehends.
[Footnote 4: The Captains Wallis and Carteret went out together
upon the same expedition; but the vessels they commanded having
accidentally parted company, they proceeded and returned by a
different route. Hence their voyages are distinctly related by Dr.
Before Captain Wallis and Captain Carteret had returned to Great Britain, another voyage was resolved upon, for which the improvement of astronomical science afforded the immediate occasion. It having been calculated by astronomers, that a transit of Venus over the Sun's disk would happen in 1769, it was judged that the best place for observing it would be in some part of the South Sea, either at the Marquesas, or at one of those islands which Tasman had called Amsterdam; Rotterdam, and Middleburg, and which are now better known under the appellation of the Friendly Islands. This being a matter of eminent consequence in astronomy, and which excited the attention of foreign nations as well as of our own, the affair was taken up by the Royal Society, with the zeal which has always been displayed by that learned body for the advancement of every branch of philosophical science. Accordingly, a long memorial was addressed to his majesty, dated February the 15th, 1768, representing the great importance of the object, together with the regard which had been paid to it by the principal courts of Europe; and entreating, among other things that a vessel might be ordered, at the expense of government, for the conveyance of suitable persons, to make the observation of the transit of Venus, at one of the places before mentioned. This memorial having been laid before the king by the Earl of Shelburne (now the Marquess of Lansdown), one of the principal secretaries of state; his majesty graciously signified his pleasure to the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, that they should provide a ship for carrying over such observers as the Royal Society should judge proper to send to the South Seas; and, on the 3rd of April, Mr. Stephens informed the society that a bark had been taken up for tire purpose.
The gentlemen who had originally been fixed upon to take the direction of the expedition, was Alexander Dalrymple, Esq. an eminent member of the Royal Society, and who, besides possessing an accurate knowledge of astronomy, had distinguished himself by his inquiries into the geography of the Southern Oceans, and by the collection he had published of several voyages to those parts of the world. Mr. Dalrymple being sensible of the difficulty, or rather of the impossibility, of carrying a ship through unknown seas, the crew of which were not subject to the military discipline of his majesty's navy, he made it the condition of his going, that he should have a brevet commission, as captain of the vessel, in the same manner as such a commission had been granted to Dr. Halley, in his voyage of discovery. To this demand Sir Edward Hawke, who was then at the head of the Admiralty, and who possessed more of the spirit of his profession than either of education or science, absolutely refused to accede. He said, at the board, that his conscience would not allow him to trust any ship of his majesty's to a person who had not regularly been bred a seaman. On being further pressed upon the subject, Sir Edward declared, that he would suffer his right hand to be cut off before he would sign any such commission. In this he was, in some degree, justified by the mutinous behaviour of Halley's crew, who refused to acknowledge the legal authority of their commander, and involved him in a dispute which was attended with pernicious consequences. Mr. Dalrymple, on the other hand, was equally steady in requiring a compliance with the terms he had proposed. Such was the state of things, when Mr. Stephens, secretary to the Admiralty, whose discrimination of the numerous characters, with which by his station he is conversant, reflects as much credit on his understanding, as his upright and able conduct does on the office he has filled for so many years, and under so many administrations, with honour to himself and advantage to the public, observed to the board, that since Sir Edward Hawke and Mr. Dalrymple were equally inflexible, no method remained but that of finding out another person capable of the service. He knew, he said, a Mr. Cook, who had been employed as marine surveyor of Newfoundland, who had been regularly educated in the navy, in which he was a master, and whom he judged to be fully qualified for the direction of the present undertaking. Mr. Stephens, at the same time, recommended it to the board, to take the opinion of Sir Hugh Palliser, who had lately been governor of Newfoundland, and was intimately acquainted with Cook's character. Sir Hugh rejoiced in the opportunity of serving his friend. He strengthened Mr. Stephen's recommendation to the utmost of his power; and added many things in Mr. Cook's favour, arising from the particular knowledge which he had of his abilities and merit. Accordingly, Mr. Cook was appointed to the command of the expedition by the lords of the Admiralty; and, on this occasion, he was promoted to the rank of a lieutenant in the royal navy, his commission bearing date on the 25th of May, 1768.
When the appointment had taken place, the first object was to provide a vessel adapted to the purposes of the voyage. This business was committed to Sir Hugh Palliser; who took Lieutenant Cook to his assistance, and they examined together a great number of the ships which then lay in the river Thames. At length they fixed upon one, of three hundred and seventy tons, to which was given the name of the Endeavour.
While preparations were making for Lieutenant Cook's expedition, Captain Wallis returned from his voyage round the world. The Earl of Morton, president of the Royal Society, had recommended it to this gentleman, on his going out, to fix upon a proper place for observing the transit of Venus. He kept, accordingly, the object in view: and having discovered, in the course of his enterprise, an island called by him George's Island, but which has since been found to bear the name of Otaheite, he judged that Port Royal harbour in this island would afford an eligible situation for the purpose. Having, immediately on his return to England, signified his opinion to the Earl of Morton, the captain's idea was adopted by the society, and an answer conformable to it was sent to the commissioners of the Admiralty, who had applied for directions to what place the observers, should be sent.
Mr. Charles Green, a gentleman who had long been assistant to Dr. Bradley at the royal observatory at Greenwich, was united by Lieutenant Cook in conducting the astronomical part of the voyage; and, soon after their appointment, they received ample instructions, from the council of the Royal Society, with regard to the method of carrying on their inquiries. The lieutenant was also accompanied by Joseph Banks, Esq. (now Sir Joseph Banks, Bart.) and Dr. Solander, who, in the prime of life, and the first of them at great expense to himself, quitted all the gratifications of polished society, and engaged in a very tedious, fatiguing, and hazardous navigation, with the laudable views of acquiring knowledge in general, of promoting natural knowledge in particular, and of contributing something to the improvement and the happiness of the rude inhabitants of the earth.
Though it was the principal, it was not the sole object of Lieutenant Cook's voyage to observe the transit of Venus. A more accurate examination of the Pacific Ocean was committed to him, although in subserviency to his main design; and, when his chief business was accomplished, he was directed to proceed in making farther discoveries in the great Southern Seas.
The complement of Lieutenant Cook's ship consisted of eighty-four persons besides the commander. Her victualling was for eighteen months; and there was put on board of her ten carriage and ten swivel guns, together with an ample store of ammunition and other necessaries.
On the 25th of May, 1768, Lieutenant Cook was appointed, by the lords of the Admiralty, to the command of the Endeavour, in consequence of which he went on board on the 27th, and took charge of the ship. She then lay in the bason in Deptford-yard, where she continued to lie till she was completely fitted for sea. On the 30th of July she sailed down the river, and on the 13th of August anchored in Plymouth Sound. The wind becoming fair on the 26th of that month, our navigators got under sail, and on the 13th of September anchored in Funchiale Road, in the island of Madeira.
While Lieutenant Cook and his company were in this island, they were treated with the utmost kindness and liberality by Mr. Cheap, the English consul there, and one of the most considerable merchants in the town of Funchiale. He insisted upon their taking possession of his house, and furnished them with every possible accommodation during their stay at Madeira. They received, likewise, great marks of attention and civility from Dr. Thomas Heberden, the principal physician of the island, and brother to the excellent and learned Dr. William Heberden of London. Dr. Thomas Heberden afforded all the assistance in his power to Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander in their botanical inquiries.
It was not solely from the English that the lieutenant and his friends experienced a kind reception. The fathers of the Franciscan convent displayed a liberality of sentiment towards them, which might not have been expected from Portuguese friars; and, in a visit which they paid to a convent of nuns, the ladies expressed a particular pleasure at seeing them. At this visit the good nuns gave an amusing proof of the progress they had made to the cultivation of their understandings. Having heard that there were great philosophers among the English gentlemen, they asked them a variety of questions; one of which was, when it would thunder; and another, whether a spring of fresh water, which was much wanted, was any where to be found within the walls of the convent. Eminent as our philosophers were, they were puzzled by these questions.
Lieutenant Cook, having laid in a fresh stock of beef, water, and wine, set sail from the island of Madeira, in the night of the 18th of September, and proceeded on his voyage. By the 7th of November several articles of the ship's provisions began to fall short; for which reason, the lieutenant determined to put into Rio de Janeiro. This place he preferred to any other port in Brazil or to Falkland's Islands, because he could there be better supplied with what he wanted, and had no doubt of meeting with a friendly reception.
During the run between Madeira and Rio de Janeiro, Lieutenant Cook and the gentlemen in the Endeavour had an opportunity of determining a philosophical question. On the evening of the 29th of October, they observed that luminous appearance of the sea which has so often been mentioned by navigators, and which has been ascribed to such a variety of causes. Flashes of light appeared to be emitted, exactly resembling those of lightning, though without being so considerable; and such was the frequency of them, that sometimes eight or ten were visible almost at the same moment. It was the opinion of Mr. Cook and the other gentlemen, that these flashes proceeded from some luminous animal; and their opinion was confirmed by experiment.
At Rio de Janeiro, in the port of which Lieutenant Cook came to an anchor on the 13th of November, he did not meet with the polite reception that, perhaps, he had too sanguinely expected. His stay was spent in continual altercations, with the viceroy, who appeared not a little jealous of the designs of the English: nor were all the attempts of the lieutenant to set the matter right, capable of producing any effect. The viceroy was by no means distinguished either by his knowledge or his love of science; and the grand object of Mr. Cook's expedition was quite beyond his comprehension. When he was told that the English were bound to the southward, by the order of his Britannic majesty, to observe a transit of the planet Venus over the Sun, an astronomical phenomenon of great importance to navigation, he could form no other conception of the matter, than that it was the passing of the North star through the South Pole.
During the whole of the contest with the viceroy, Lieutenant Cook behaved with equal spirit and discretion. A supply of water and other necessaries could not be refused him, and those were gotten on board by the 1st of December. On that day the lieutenant sent to the viceroy for a pilot to carry the Endeavour to sea; but the wind preventing the ship from getting out, she was obliged to continue some time longer in the harbour. A Spanish packet having arrived at Rio de Janeiro on the 2d of December, with dispatches from Buenos Ayres for Spain, the commander, Don Antonio de Monte Negro y Velasco, offered, with great politeness, to convey the letters of the English to Europe. This favour Lieutenant Cook accepted, and gave Don Antonio a packet for the secretary of the Admiralty, containing copies of all the papers that had passed between himself and the Viceroy. He left, also, duplicates with the viceroy, that he might forward them, if he thought proper, to Lisbon.
On the 5th of December, it being a dead calm, our navigators weighed anchor, and towed down the Bay; but, to their great astonishment, two shots were fired at them; when they had gotten abreast of Santa Cruz, the principal fortification of the harbour. Lieutenant Cook immediately cast anchor, and sent to the fort to demand, the reason of this conduct; the answer to which was, that the commandant had received no order from the viceroy to let the ship pass; and that, without such an order, no vessel was ever suffered to go below the fort. It now became necessary to send to the viceroy, to inquire why the order had not been given; and his behaviour appeared the more extraordinary, as notice had been transmitted to him of the departure of the English, and he had thought proper to write a polite letter to Mr. Cook, wishing him a good voyage. The lieutenant's messenger soon returned, with the information that the order had been written several days, and that its not having been sent had arisen from some unaccountable negligence. It was not till the 7th of December that the Endeavour got under sail.
In the account which Lieutenant Cook has given of Rio de Janeiro, and the country round it, one circumstance is recorded, which cannot be otherwise than very painful to humanity. It is the horrid expense of life at which the gold mines are wrought. No less than forty thousand Negroes are annually imported for this purpose, on the king of Portugal's account; and the English were credibly informed, that, in the year 1766, this number fell so short, that twenty thousand more were drafted from the town of Rio.
From Rio de Janeiro, Lieutenant Cook pursued his voyage, and, on the 14th of January, 1769, entered the Strait of Le Maire, at which time the tide drove the ship out with so much violence, and raised such a sea off Cape St. Diego, that she frequently pitched, so that the bowsprit was under water. On the next day, the lieutenant anchored, first before a small cove, which was understood to be Port Maurice, and afterward in the Bay of Good Success. While the Endeavour was in this station, happened the memorable adventure of Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Mr. Monkhouse the surgeon, and Mr. Green the astronomer, together with their attendants and servants, and two seamen, in ascending a mountain to search for plants. In this expedition they were all of them exposed to the utmost extremity of danger and of cold; Dr. Solander was seized with a torpor which had nearly proved fatal to his life; and two black servants actually died. When the gentlemen had, at length, on the second day of their adventure, gotten back to the ship, they congratulated each other on their safety, with a joy that can only be felt by those who have experienced equal perils; and Mr. Cook was relieved from a very painful anxiety. It was a dreadful testimony of the severity of the climate, that this event took place when it was the midst of summer in that part of the world, and at the close of a day, the beginning of which was as mild and warm, as the month of May usually is in England.
In the passage through the Strait of Le Maire, Lieutenant Cook and his ingenious associates had an opportunity of gaining a considerable degree of acquaintance with the inhabitants of the adjoining country. Here it was that they saw human nature to its lowest form. The natives appeared to be the most destitute and forlorn, as well as the most stupid, of the children of men. Their lives are spent in wandering about the dreary wastes that surround them; and their dwellings are no other than wretched hovels of sticks and grass, which not only admit the wind, but the snow and the rain. They are almost naked, and so devoid are they of every convenience which is furnished by the rudest art, that they have not so much as an implement to dress their food. Nevertheless, they seemed to have no wish for acquiring more than they possessed; nor did any thing that was offered them by the English appear acceptable but beads, as an ornamental superfluity of life. A conclusion is hence drawn by Dr. Hawkesworth, that these people may be upon a level with ourselves, in respect to the happiness they enjoy. This, however, is a position which ought not hastily to be admitted. It is, indeed, a beautiful circumstance, in the order of Divine Providence, that the rudest inhabitants of the earth, and those who are situated in the most unfavourable climates, should not be sensible of their disadvantages. But still it must be allowed, that their happiness is greatly inferior, both in kind and degree, to that intellectual, social, and moral felicity, which is capable of being attained in a highly cultivated state of society.
In voyages to the South Pacific Ocean, the determination of the best passage from the Atlantic is a point of peculiar importance. It is well known what prodigious difficulties were experienced in this respect by former navigators. The doubling of Cape Horn, in particular, was so much dreaded, that, to the general opinion, it was far more eligible to pass through the Strait of Magalhaens. Lieutenant Cook hath fully ascertained the erroneousness of this opinion. He was but three-and-thirty days in coming round the land of Terra del Fuego, from the east entrance of the Strait of Le Maire, till he had advanced about twelve degrees to the westward, and three and a half to the northward of the Strait of Magalhaens; and, during this time, the ship scarcely received any damage. Whereas, if he had come into the Pacific Ocean by that passage, he would not have been able to accomplish it in less than three months; besides which, his people would have been fatigued, and the anchors, cables, sails, and rigging of the vessel much injured. By the course he pursued, none of these inconveniences were suffered. In short, Lieutenant Cook, by his own example in doubling Cape Horn, by his accurate ascertainment of the latitude and longitude of the places he came to, and by his instructions to future voyagers, performed the most essential services to this part of navigation. It was on the 26th of January that the Endeavour took her departure from Cape Horn; and it appeared; that, from that time to the 1st of March, during a run of six hundred and sixty leagues, there was no current which affected the ship. Hence it was highly probable that our navigators had been near no land of any considerable extent, currents being always found when land is not remote.
In the prosecution of Lieutenant Cook's voyage from Cape Horn to Otaheite, several islands were discovered, to which the names were given of Lagoon Island, Thrump-cap, Bow Island, The Groups, Bird Island, and Chain Island. It appeared that most of these islands were inhabited; and the verdure, and groves of palm-trees, which were visible upon some of them, gave them the aspect of a terrestrial paradise to men who, excepting the dreary hills of Terra del Fuego, had seen nothing for a long time but sky and water.
On the 11th of April, the Endeavour arrived in sight of Otaheite, and on the 13th she came to an anchor in Port Royal Bay, which is called MATAVIA by the natives. As the stay of the English in the island was not likely to be very short, and much depended on the manner in which traffic should be carried on with the inhabitants, Lieutenant Cook, with great good sense and humanity, drew up a set of regulations for the behaviour of his people, and gave it in command that they should punctually be observed.
[Footnote 5: The rules were as follow: '1. To endeavour, by every
fair means, to cultivate a friendship with the natives: and to
treat them with all imaginable humanity. 2. A proper person or
persons will be appointed to trade with the natives for all manner
of provisions, fruit, and other productions of the earth; and no
officer or seaman, or other person belonging to, the ship
excepting such as are so appointed, shall trade, or offer to
trade, for any sort of provision, fruit, or other productions of
the earth, unless they have leave so to do. 3. Every person
employed on shore, on any duty whatsoever, is strictly to attend
to the same; and if by any neglect he loseth any of his arms, or
working tools or suffers them to be stolen, the full value
therefore will be charged against his pay, according to the custom
of the navy in such cases, and he shall receive such further
punishment as the nature of the offence may deserve. 4. The same
penalty will be inflicted on every person who is found to
embezzle, trade, or offer to trade, with any part of the ship's
stores of what nature soever. 5. No sort of iron, or any thing
that is made of iron, or any sort of cloth, or other useful or
necessary articles, are to be given in exchange for any thing but
provision. J. COOK.']
One of the first things that occupied the lieutenant's attention, after his arrival at Otaheite, was to prepare for the execution of his grand commission. For this purpose, as, in an excursion to the westward, he had not found any more convenient harbour than that in which the Endeavour lay, he determined to go on shore and fix upon some spot, commanded by the guns of the ship, where he might throw up a small fort for defence, and get every thing ready for making the astronomical observations. Accordingly, he took a party of men, and landed, being accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Mr. Green. They soon fixed upon a place very proper for their design, and which was at a considerable distance from any habitation of the natives. While the gentlemen were marking out the ground which they intended to occupy, and seeing a small tent erected, that belonged to Mr. Banks, a great number of the people of the country gathered gradually around them, but with no hostile appearance, as there was not among the Indians a single weapon of any kind. Mr. Cook, however, intimated that none of them were to come within the line he had drawn excepting one, who appeared to be a chief, and Owhaw, a native who had attached himself to the English, both in Captain Wallis's expedition and in the present voyage. The lieutenant endeavoured to make these two persons understand, that the ground, which had been marked out, was only wanted to sleep upon for a certain number of nights, and that then it would be quitted. Whether his meaning was comprehended or not, he could not certainly determine; but the people behaved with a deference and respect that could scarcely have been expected, and which were highly pleasing. They sat down without the circle, peaceably and uninterruptedly attending to the progress of the business, which was upwards of two hours in completing.
This matter being finished, and Mr. Cook having appointed thirteen marines and a petty officer to guard the tent, he and the gentlemen with him set out upon a little excursion into the woods of the country. They had not, however, gone far, before they were brought back by a very disagreeable event. One of the Indians, who remained about the tent after the lieutenant and his friends had left it, watched an opportunity of taking the sentry at unawares, and snatched away his musket. Upon this, the petty officer who commanded the party, and who was a midshipman, ordered the marines to fire. With equal want of consideration, and, perhaps with equal inhumanity, the men immediately discharged their pieces among the thickest of the flying crowd, who consisted of more than a hundred. It being observed, that the thief did not fall, he was pursued, and shot dead. From subsequent information it happily appeared, that none of the natives besides were either killed or wounded.
Lieutenant Cook, who was highly displeased with the conduct of the petty officer, used every method in his power to dispel the terrors and apprehensions of the Indians, but not immediately with effect. The next morning but few of the inhabitants were seen upon the beach, and not one of them came off to the shill. What added particularly to the regret of the English was, that even Owhaw, who had hitherto been so constant in his attachment, and who the day before had been remarkably active in endeavouring to renew the peace which had been broken, did not now make his appearance. In the evening, however, when the lieutenant went on shore with only a boat's crew and some of the gentlemen, between thirty and forty of the natives gathered around them, and trafficked with them, in a friendly manner, for cocoa nuts and other fruit.
On the 17th, Mr. Cook and Mr. Green set up a tent onshore, and spent the night there, in order to observe an eclipse of the first satellite of Jupiter; but they met with a disappointment, in consequence of the weather's becoming cloudy. The next day, the lieutenant, with as many of his people as could possibly be spared from the ship, began to erect the fort. While the English were employed in this business, many of the Indians were so far from hindering, that they voluntarily assisted them, and with great alacrity brought the pickets and facines from the wood where they had been cut. Indeed, so scrupulous had Mr. Cook been of invading their property, that every stake which was used was purchased, and not a tree was cut down till their consent had first been obtained.
On the 26th, the lieutenant mounted six swivel guns upon the fort; on which occasion he saw, with concern, that the natives were alarmed and terrified. Some fishermen, who lived upon the point, removed to a greater distance; and Owhaw informed the English by signs, of his expectation that in four days they would fire their great guns.
The lieutenant, on the succeeding day, gave a striking proof of his regard to justice, and of his care to preserve the inhabitants from injury and violence, by the punishment he inflicted on the butcher of the Endeavour, who was accused of having threatened, or attempted the life of a woman, that was the wife of Tubourai Tamaide, a chief, remarkable for his attachment to our navigators. The butcher wanted to purchase of her a stone hatchet for a nail. To this bargain she absolutely refused to accede; upon which the fellow catched up the hatchet, and threw down the nail; threatening, at the same time, that if she made any resistance, he would cut her throat with a reaping-hook which he had in his hand. The charge was so fully proved in the presence of Mr. Banks, and the butcher had so little to say in exculpation of himself, that not the least doubt remained of his guilt. The affair being reported by Mr. Banks to Lieutenant Cook, he took an opportunity, when the chief and his women, with others of the natives, were on board the ship, to call up the offender, and, after recapitulating the accusation and the proof of it, to give orders for his immediate punishment. While the butcher was stripped, and tied up to the rigging, the Indians preserved a fixed attention, and waited for the event in silent suspense. But as soon as the first stroke was inflicted, such was the humanity of these people, that they interfered with great agitation, and earnestly entreated that the rest of the punishment might be remitted. To this, however, the lieutenant, for various reasons, could not grant his consent; and when they found that their intercessions were ineffectual, they manifested their compassion by tears.
On the 1st of May, the observatory was set up, and the astronomical quadrant, together with some other instruments, was taken on shore. When, on the next morning, Mr. Cook and Mr. Green landed for the purpose of fixing the quadrant in a situation for use, to their inexpressible surprise and concern it was not to be found. It had been deposited in a tent reserved for the lieutenant's use, where no one had slept; it had never been taken out of the packing case, and the whole was of considerable weight: none of the other instruments were missing; and a sentinel had been posted the whole night within five yards of the tent. These circumstances induced a suspicion that the robbery might have been committed by some of our own people, who having seen a deal box, and not knowing the contents, might imagine that it contained nails, or other articles for traffic with the natives. The most diligent search, therefore, was made, and a large reward was offered for the finding of the quadrant, but with no degree of success. In this exigency, Mr. Banks was of eminent service. As this gentleman had more influence over the Indians than any other person on board the Endeavour, and as there could be little doubt of the quadrant's having been conveyed away by some of the natives, he determined to go in search of it into the woods; and it was recovered in consequence of his judicious and spirited exertions. The pleasure with which it was brought back was equal to the importance of the event; for the grand object of the voyage could not otherwise have been accomplished.
Another embarrassment, though not of so serious a nature, was occasioned, on the very same day, by one of our officers having inadvertently taken into custody Tootahah, a chief, who had connected himself in the most friendly manner with the English. Lieutenant Cook, who had given express orders that none of the Indians should be confined, and who, therefore, was equally surprised and concerned at this transaction; instantly set Tootahah at liberty. So strongly had this Indian been possessed with the notion that it was intended to put him to death, that he could not be persuaded to the contrary till he was led out of the fort. His joy at his deliverance was so great, that it displayed itself in a liberality which our people were very unwilling to partake of, from a consciousness that on this occasion they had no claim to the reception of favours. The impression, however, of the confinement of the chief operated with such force upon the minds of the natives, that few of them appeared; and the market was so ill supplied that the English were in want of necessaries. At length, by the prudent exertions of Lieutenant Cook, Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander, the friendship of Tootahah was completely recovered, and the reconciliation worked upon the Indians like a charm; for it was no sooner known that he had gone voluntarily on board the Endeavour, than bread-fruit, cocoa nuts, and other provisions, were brought to the fort in great plenty.
The lieutenant and the rest of the gentlemen had hitherto, with a laudable discretion, bartered only beads for the articles of food now mentioned. But the market becoming slack, they were obliged for the first time, on the 8th of May, to bring out their nails; and such was the effect of this new commodity, that one of the smallest size, which was about four inches long, procured twenty cocoa nuts, and bread-fruit in proportion.
It was not till the 10th of the month that our voyagers learned that the Indian name of the island was OTAHEITE, by which name it hath since been always distinguished.
On Sunday the 14th, an instance was exhibited of the inattention of the natives to our modes of religion. The lieutenant had directed, that divine service should be performed at the fort; and he was desirous that some of the principal Indians should be present. Mr. Banks secured the attendance of Tuobourai Tamaide and his wife Tomio, hoping that it would give occasion to some inquiries on their part, and to some instruction in return. During the whole service, they very attentively observed Mr. Banks's behaviour, and stood, sat, or kneeled, as they saw him do; and they appeared to be sensible, that it was a serious and important employment in which the English were engaged. But when the worship was ended, neither of them asked any questions, nor would they attend to any explanations which were attempted to be given of what had been performed.
As the day approached for executing the grand purpose of the voyage, Lieutenant Cook determined, in consequence of some hints which he had received from the Earl of Morton, to send out two parties, to observe the transit of Venus from other situations. By this means he hoped, that the success of the observation would be secured, if there should happen to be any failure at Otaheite. Accordingly, on Thursday the 1st of June, he dispatched Mr. Gore in the long boat to Eimeo, a neighbouring island, together with Mr. Monkhouse and Mr. Sporing, a gentleman belonging to Mr. Banks. They were furnished by Mr. Green with proper instruments. Mr. Banks himself chose to go upon this expedition, in which he was accompanied by Tubourai Tamaide and Tomio, and by others of the natives. Early the next morning, the lieutenant sent Mr. Hicks, in the pinnace, with Mr. Clerk and Mr. Pickersgill, and Mr. Saunders, one of the midshipmen, ordering them to fix upon some convenient spot to the eastward, at a distance from the principal observatory, where they also might employ the instruments they were provided with for observing the transit.
The anxiety for such weather as would be favourable to the success of the experiment, was powerfully felt by all the parties concerned. They could not sleep in peace the preceding night: but their apprehensions were happily removed by the sun's rising, on the morning of the 3d of June, without a cloud. The weather continued with equal clearness through the whole of the day; so that the observation was successively made in every quarter. At the fort where Lieutenant Cook, Mr. Green, and Dr. Solander were stationed, the whole passage of the planet Venus over the sun's disk was observed with great advantage. The magnifying power of Dr. Solander's telescope was superior to that of those which belonged to the lieutenant and to Mr. Green. They all saw an atmosphere or dusky cloud round the body of the planet; which much disturbed the times of the contact, and especially of the internal ones; and, in their accounts of these times, they differed from each other in a greater degree than might have been expected. According to Mr. Green,
The first external contact, or first appearance h. min. sec.
of Venus on the sun, was . . . . . . . . . . . 9 25 42
The first internal contact, or total immersion,
was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 44 4
The second internal contact, or beginning
of the emersion, was . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 14 8
The second external contact, or total
emersion, was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 32 10
The latitude of the observatory was found to be
17° 29' 15"; and the longitude 149° 32' 30" west
A more particular account of this great astronomical event, the providing for the accurate observation of which reflects so much honour on his majesty's munificent patronage of science, may be seen in the sixty-first volume of the Philosophical Transactions.
The pleasure which Lieutenant Cook and his friends derived, from having thus successfully accomplished the first grand object of the voyage, was not a little abated by the conduct of some of the ship's company, who, while the attention of the officers was engrossed by the transit of Venus, broke into one of the store-rooms, and stole a quantity of spike nails, amounting to no less than a hundred weight. This was an evil of a public and serious nature; for these nails, if injudiciously circulated among the Indians, would be productive of irreparable injury to the English, by reducing the value of iron, their staple commodity. One of the thieves, from whom only seven nails were recovered, was detected; but though the punishment of two dozen lashes was inflicted upon him, he would not impeach any of his accomplices.
Upon account of the absence of the two parties who had been sent out to observe the transit, the king's birthday was celebrated on the 5th, instead of the 4th of June; and the festivity of the day must have been greatly heightened by the happy success with which his majesty's liberality had been crowned.
On the 12th, Lieutenant Cook was again reduced to the necessity of exercising the severity of discipline. Complaint having been made to him, by certain of the natives, that two of the seamen had taken from them several bows and arrows, and some strings of platted hair, and the charge being fully supported, he punished each of the criminals with two dozen of lashes.
On the same day it was discovered, that Otaheite, like other countries in a certain period of society, has its bards and its minstrels. Mr. Banks, in his morning's walk, had met with a number of natives, who appeared, upon inquiry, to be travelling musicians; and, having, learned where they were to be at night, all the gentlemen of the Endeavour repaired to the place. The band consisted of two flutes and three drums; and the drummers accompanied the music with their voices. To the surprise of the English gentlemen, they found that themselves were generally the subject of the song, which was unpremeditated. These minstrels were continually going about from place to place; and they were rewarded, by the master of the house and the audience, with such things as they wanted.
The repeated thefts which were committed by the inhabitants of Otaheite brought our voyagers into frequent difficulties, and it required all the wisdom of Lieutenant Cook to conduct himself in a proper manner. His sentiments on the subject displayed the liberality of his mind. He thought it of consequence to put an end, if possible to thievish practices at once, by doing something that should engage the natives in general to prevent them, from a regard to their common interest. Strict orders had been given by him, that they should not be fired upon, even when they were detected in attempting to steal any of the English property. For this the lieutenant had many reasons. The common sentinels were in no degree fit to be entrusted with a power of life and death; neither did Mr. Cook think that the thefts committed by the Otaheitans deserved so severe a punishment. They were not born under the law of England; nor was it one of the conditions under which they claimed the benefits of civil society, that their lives should be forfeited, unless they abstained from theft. As the lieutenant was not willing that the natives should be exposed to fire-arms loaded with shot, neither did he approve of firing only with powder, which, if repeatedly found to be harmless, would at length be despised. At a time when a considerable robbery had been committed, an accident furnished him with what he hoped would be a happy expedient for preventing future attempts of the same kind. Above twenty of the sailing canoes of the inhabitants came in with a supply of fish. Upon these Lieutenant Cook immediately seized, and, having brought them into the river behind the fort, gave notice, that unless the things which had been stolen were returned, the canoes should be burnt. This menace, without designing to put it into execution, he ventured to publish, from a full conviction that, as restitution was thus made a common cause, the stolen goods would all of them speedily be brought back. In this, however, he was mistaken. An iron coal-rake, indeed, was restored; upon which, great solicitation was made for the release of the canoes; but he still insisted on his original condition. When the next day came, he was much surprised to find that nothing further had been returned; and, as the people were in the utmost distress for the fish, which would in a short time be spoiled, he was reduced to the disagreeable alternative, either of releasing the canoes contrary to what he had solemnly and publicly declared, or of detaining them, to the great damage of those who were innocent. As a temporary expedient, he permitted the natives to take the fish, but still detained the canoes. So far was this measure from being attended with advantage, that it was productive of new confusion and injury; for as it was not easy at once to distinguish to what particular persons the several lots of fish belonged, the canoes were plundered by those who had no right to any part of their cargo. At length, most pressing instances being still made for the restoration of the canoes, and Lieutenant Cook having reason to believe, either that the things for which he detained them were not in the island, or that those who suffered by their detention were absolutely incapable of prevailing upon the thieves to relinquish their booty, he determined, though not immediately, to comply with the solicitations of the natives. Our commander was, however, not a little mortified at the ill success of his project.
About the same time, another accident occurred, which, notwithstanding all the caution of our principal voyagers, was very near embroiling them with the Indians. The lieutenant having sent a boat on shore to get ballast for the ship, the officer, not immediately finding stones suitable to the purpose, began to pull down some part of an enclosure in which the inhabitants had deposited the bones of their dead. This action a number of the natives violently opposed; and a messenger came down to the tents, to acquaint the gentlemen that no such thing would be suffered. Mr. Banks directly repaired to the place, and soon put an amicable end to the contest, by sending the boat's crew to the river, where a sufficient quantity of stones might be gathered without a possibility of giving offence. These Indians appeared to be much more alarmed at any injury which they apprehended to be done to the dead than to the living. This was the only measure in which they ventured to oppose the English: and the only insult that was ever offered to any individual belonging to the Endeavour was upon a similar occasion. It should undoubtedly be the concern of all voyagers, to abstain from wantonly offending the religious prejudices of the people among whom they come.
To extend the knowledge of navigation and the sphere of discovery, objects which we need not say that Lieutenant Cook kept always steadily in view, he set out, in the pinnace, on the 26th of June, accompanied by Mr. Banks, to make the circuit of the island; during which the lieutenant and his companions were thrown into great alarm, by the apprehended loss of the boat. By this expedition Mr. Cook obtained an acquaintance with the several districts of Otaheite, the chiefs who presided over them, and a variety of curious circumstances respecting the manners and customs of the inhabitants. On the 1st of July, he got back to the fort at Matavai, having found the circuit of the island, including the two peninsulas of which it consisted, to be about thirty leagues.
The circumnavigation of Otaheite was followed by an expedition of Mr. Banks's to trace the river up the valley from which it issues, and examine how far its banks were inhabited. During this excursion he discerned many traces of subterraneous fire. The stones, like those of Madeira, displayed evident tokens of having been burnt; and the very clay upon the hills had the same appearance.
Another valuable employment of Mr. Banks was the planting of a great quantity of the seeds of watermelons, oranges, lemons, limes, and other plants and trees, which he had collected at Rio de Janeiro. For these he prepared ground on each side of the fort, and selected as many varieties of soil as could be found. He gave, also, liberally of these seeds to the natives, and planted many of them in the woods.
Lieutenant Cook now began to prepare for his departure. On the 7th of July, the carpenters were employed in taking down the gates and palisadoes of the fortification; and it was continued to be dismantled during the two following days. Our commander and the rest of the gentlemen were in hopes that they should quit Otaheite without giving or receiving any further offence; but in this respect they were unfortunately disappointed. The lieutenant had prudently overlooked a dispute of a smaller nature between a couple of foreign seamen and some of the Indians, when he was immediately involved in a quarrel, which lie greatly regretted, and which yet it was totally out of his power to avoid. In the middle of the night, between the 8th and the 9th, Clement Webb and Samuel Gibson, two of the marines, went privately from the fort. As they were not to be found in the morning, Mr. Cook was apprehensive that they intended to stay behind; but, being unwilling to endanger the harmony and goodwill which at present subsisted between our people, and the natives, he determined to wait a day for the chance of the men's return. As, to the great concern of the lieutenant, the marines were not come back on the morning of the tenth, inquiry was made after them of the Indians, who acknowledged that each of them had taken a wife, and had resolved to become inhabitants of the country. After some deliberation, two of the natives undertook to conduct such persons to, the place of the deserters' retreat, as Mr. Cook should think proper to send; and, accordingly, he dispatched with the guides a petty officer and the corporal of the marines. As it was of the utmost importance to recover the men, and to do it speedily, it was intimated to several of the chiefs who were in the fort with the women, among whom were Tubourai Targaide, Tomio, and Oberea, that they would not be to leave it till the fugitives were returned; and the lieutenant had the pleasure of observing, that they received the intimation with very little indications of alarm, and with assurances, that his people should be secured and sent back as soon as possible. While this transaction took place at the fort, our commander sent Mr. Hicks in the pinnace to fetch Tootahah on board the ship. Mr. Cook had reason to expect, if the Indian guides proved faithful, that the deserters, and those who went in search of them, would return before the evening. Being disappointed, his suspicions increased, and thinking it not safe, when the night approached, to let the persons whom he had detained as hostages continue at the fort, he ordered Tubourai Tamaide, Oberea, and some others, to be taken on board the Endeavour; a circumstance which excited so general an alarm, that several of them, and especially the women, expressed their apprehensions with great emotion and many tears. Webb, about nine o'clock, was brought back by some of the natives, who declared that Gibson, and the petty officer and corporal, would not be restored till Tootahah should be set at liberty. Lieutenant Cook now found that the tables were turned upon him: but, having proceeded too far to retreat, he immediately dispatched Mr. Hicks in the long-boat, with a strong party of men, to rescue the prisoners. Tootahah was, at the same time, informed, that it behoved him to send some of his people with them, for the purpose of affording them effectual assistance. With this injunction he readily complied, and the prisoners were restored without the least opposition. On the next day they were brought back to the ship, upon which the chiefs were released from their confinement. Thus ended an affair which had given the lieutenant a great deal of trouble and concern. It appears, however, that the measure which he pursued was the result of an absolute necessity; since it was only by the seizure of the chiefs that he could have recovered his men. Love was the seducer of the two marines. So strong was the attachment which they had formed to a couple of girls, that it was their design to conceal themselves till the ship had sailed, and to take up their residence in the island.
Tupia was one of the natives who had so particularly devoted himself to the English, that he had scarcely ever been absent from them during the whole of their stay at Otaheite. He had been Oberea's first minister, while she was in the height of her power; and he was also chief priest of the country. To his knowledge of the religious principles and ceremonies of the Indians, he added great experience in navigation, and a particular acquaintance with the number and situation of the neighbouring islands. This man had often expressed a desire to go with our navigators, and when they were ready to depart, he came on board, with a boy about thirteen years of age, and entreated that he might be permitted to proceed with them on their voyage. To have such a person in the Endeavour, was desirable on many accounts; and therefore, Lieutenant Cook gladly acceded to his proposal.
On the 13th of July, the English weighed anchor: and as soon as the ship was under sail, the Indians on board took their leaves, and wept with a decent and silent sorrow, in which there was something very striking and tender. Tupia sustained himself in this scene with a truly admirable firmness and resolution; for, though he wept, the effort he made to conceal his tears concurred, with them, to do him honour.
The stay of our voyagers at Otaheite was three months, the greater part of which time was spent in the most cordial friendship with the inhabitants, and a perpetual reciprocation of good offices. That any differences should happen was greatly regretted on the part of Lieutenant Cook and his friends, who were studious to avoid them as much as possible. The principal causes of them resulted from the peculiar situation and circumstances of the English and the Indians, and especially from the disposition of the latter to theft. The effects of this disposition could not always be submitted to or prevented. It was happy, however, that there was only a single instance in which the differences that arose were attended with any fatal consequence; and by that accident the lieutenant was instructed to take the most effectual measures for the future prevention of similar events. He had nothing so much at heart, as that in no case the intercourse of his people with the natives should be productive of bloodshed.
The traffic with the inhabitants for provisions and refreshments, which was chiefly under the management of Mr. Banks, was carried on with as much order as in any well regulated market in Europe. Axes, hatchets, spikes, large nails, looking-glasses, knives, and beads, were found to be the best articles to deal in; and for some of these, every thing which the inhabitants possessed might be procured. They were, indeed, fond of fine linen cloth, whether white or printed; but an axe worth half-a-crown would fetch more than a piece of cloth of the value of twenty shillings.
It would deviate from the plan of this narrative, to enter into a minute account of the nature, productions, inhabitants, customs, and manners of the countries which were discovered or visited by Mr. Cook; or to give a particular detail of every nautical, geographical, and astronomical observation. It will be sufficient here to take notice, that our commander did not depart from Otaheite without accumulating a store of information and instruction for the enlargement of knowledge and the benefit of navigation.
While the Endeavour proceeded on her voyage under an easy sail, Tupia informed Lieutenant Cook, that, at four of the neighbouring islands, which he distinguished by the names of Huaheine, Ulietea, Otaha, and Bolabola, hogs, fowls and other refreshments, which had latterly been sparingly supplied at Otaheite, might be procured in great plenty. The lieutenant, however, was desirous of first examining an island that lay to the northward, and was called Tethuroa. Accordingly, he came near it; but having found it to be only a small low island and being told, at the same time, that it had no settled inhabitants, he determined to drop any further examination of it, and to go in search of Huaheine and Ulietea, which were described to be well peopled, and as large as Otaheite.
On the 15th of July, the weather being hazy, with light breezes and calms succeeding each other, so that no land could be seen, and little way was made, Tupia afforded an amusing proof, that, in the exercise of his priestly character, he knew how to unite some degree of art with his superstition. He often prayed for a wind to his god Tane, and as often boasted of his success. This, indeed, he took a most effectual method to secure; for he never began his address to his divinity, till he perceived the breeze to be so near, that he knew it must approach the ship before his supplication could well be brought to a conclusion.
The Endeavour, on the 16th, being close in with the north-west part of Huaheine, some canoes soon came off, in one of which was the king of the island and his wife. At first the people seemed afraid; but, upon seeing Tupia, their apprehensions were in part dispersed, and, at length, in consequence of frequent and earnestly repeated assurances of friendship, their majesties, and several others, ventured on board the ship. Their astonishment at every thing which was shewn them was very great; and yet their curiosity did not extend to any objects but what were particularly pointed out to their notice. When they had become more familiar, Mr. Cook was given to understand, that the king was called Oree, and that he proposed as a mark of amity, their making an exchange of their names. To this our commander readily consented; and, during the remainder of their being together, the lieutenant was Oree, and his majesty was Cookee. In the afternoon, the Endeavour having come to an anchor, in a small but excellent harbour on the west side of the island, the name of which was Owharre, Mr. Cook, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Mr. Monkhouse, Tupia, and the natives who had been on board ever since the morning, immediately went on shore. The English gentlemen repeated their excursions on the two following days; in the course of which they found that the people of Huaheine had a very near resemblance to those of Otaheite, in person, dress language, and every other circumstance; and that the productions of the country were exactly similar.
In trafficking with our people, the inhabitants of Huaheine displayed a caution and hesitation which rendered the dealing with them slow and tedious. On the 19th, therefore, the English were obliged to bring out some hatchets, which it was at first hoped there would be no occasion for, in an island that had never before been visited by any European. These procured three very large hogs; and as it was proposed to sail in the afternoon, Oree and several others came on board to take their leave. To the king Mr. Cook gave a small pewter plate, on which was stamped this inscription; 'His Britannic Majesty's ship Endeavour, Lieutenant James Cook, commander, 16th July, 1769, Huaheine.' Among other presents made to Oree, were some medals or counters, resembling the coin of England, and struck in the year 1761; all of which, and particularly the plate he promised carefully and inviolably to preserve. This the lieutenant thought to be as lasting a testimony as any he could well provide, that the English had first discovered the island; and having dismissed his visitors, who were highly pleased with the treatment they had met with, he sailed for Ulietea, in a good harbour of which he anchored the next day.
Tupia had expressed his apprehension, that our navigators, if they landed upon the island, would be exposed to the attacks of the men of Bolabola, whom he represented as having lately conquered it, and of whom he entertained a very formidable idea. This, however, did not deter Mr. Cook, Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander and the other gentlemen, from going immediately on shore. Tupia, who was of the party, introduced them by performing some ceremonies which he had practised before at Huaheine. After this the lieutenant hoisted an English jack, and in the name of his Britannic majesty, took possession of Ulietea, and the three neighbouring islands, Huaheine, Otaha, and Bolabola all of which were in sight.
On the 21st, the master was despatched in the longboat, to examine the coast of the south part of the island; and one of the mates was sent in the yawl, to sound the harbour where the Endeavour lay. At the same time Lieutenant Cook went himself in the pinnace, to survey that part of Ulietea which lies to the north. Mr. Banks likewise, and the gentlemen again went on shore, and employed themselves in trading with the natives, and in examining the productions and curiosities of the country; but they saw nothing worthy of notice, excepting some human jaw-bones, which, like scalps among the Indians of North America, were trophies of war, and had probably been hung up, by the warriors of Bolabola, as a memorial of their conquest.
The weather being hazy on the 22d and 23d, with strong gales, the lieutenant did not venture to put to sea; but, on the 24th, though the wind continued to be variable, he got under sail, and plied to the northward within the reef, purposing to get out at a wider opening than that by which he had entered the harbour. However, in doing this, he was in imminent danger of striking on the rock. The master, who by his order had kept continually sounding in the chains, suddenly called out, 'two fathom.' Though our commander knew that the ship drew at least fourteen feet, and consequently that the shoal could not possibly be under her keel, he was, nevertheless, justly alarmed. Happily, the master was either mistaken, or the Endeavour went along the edge of a coral rock, many of which, in the neighbourhood of these islands, are as steep as a wall.
After a tedious navigation of some days, during which several small islands were seen, and the longboat landed at Otaha, Lieutenant Cook returned to Ulietea, but to a different part of it from that which he had visited before. In a harbour, belonging to the west side of the island, he came to an anchor on the 1st of August. This measure was necessary, in order to stop a leak which the ship had sprung in the powder-room, and to take in more ballast, as she was found too light to carry sail upon a wind. The place where the Endeavour was secured was conveniently situated for the lieutenant's purpose of obtaining ballast and water.
Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander and the gentlemen who went on shore this day, spent their time much to their satisfaction. The reception they met was respectful in the highest degree, and the behaviour of the Indians to the English indicated a fear of them, mixed with a confidence that they had no propensity to commit any kind of injury. In an intercourse which the lieutenant and his friends carried on, for several days, with the inhabitants of this part of the island, it appeared that the terrors which Tupia had expressed of the Bolabola conquerors were wholly groundless. Even Opoony, the formidable king of Bolabola, treated our navigators with respect. Being at Ulietea on the 5th of August, he sent Mr. Cook a present of three hogs, some fowls, and several pieces of cloth, of uncommon length, together with a considerable quantity of plaintains, cocoa-nuts, and other refreshments. This present was accompanied with a message, that, on the next day, he intended to pay our commander a visit. Accordingly, on the 6th, the lieutenant and the rest of the gentlemen all staid at home, in expectation of this important visitor; who did not, however, make his appearance, but sent three very pretty girls as his messengers, to demand something in return for his present. In the afternoon, as the great king would not go to the English, the English determined to go to the great king. From the account which had been given of him, as lord of the Bolabola men, who were the conquerors of Ulietea, and the terror of all the other islands, Lieutenant Cook and his companions expected to see a young and vigorous chief, with an intelligent countenance, and the marks of an enterprising spirit; instead of which they found a feeble wretch, withered and decrepit, half blind with age, and so sluggish and stupid, that he scarcely appeared to be possessed even of a common degree of understanding. Otaha being the principal place of Opoony's residence, he went with our navigators to that island on the next day; and they were in hopes of deriving some advantage from his influence, in obtaining such provision as they wanted. In this respect, however, they were disappointed; for, though they had presented him with an axe, as an inducement to him to encourage his subjects in dealing with them they were obliged to leave him without having procured a single article.
The time which the carpenters had taken up in stopping the leak of the ship having detained our voyagers longer at Ulietea than they would otherwise have staid, Lieutenant Cook determined to give up the design of going on shore at Bolabola, especially as it appeared to be difficult of access. The principal islands, about which the English had now spent somewhat more than three weeks, were six in number; Ulietea, Otaha, Bolabola, Huaheine, Tubai, and Maurua. As they lie contigious to each other, the lieutenant gave them the general appellation of the Society Islands; but did not think proper to distinguish them separately by any other names than those by which they were called by the natives.
On the 9th of August, the leak of the vessel having been stopped, and the fresh stock that had been purchased being brought on board, our commander took the opportunity of a breeze which sprang up at east, and sailed out of the harbour. As he was sailing away, Tupia strongly urged him to fire a shot towards Bolabola; and, though that island was at seven leagues distance, the lieutenant obliged him by complying with his request. Tupia's views probably were, to display a mark of his resentment, and to shew the power of his new allies.
Our voyagers pursued their course, without meeting with any event worthy of notice, till the 13th, when land was discovered, bearing south-east, and which Tupia informed them to be an island called Oheteroa. On the next day, Mr. Cook sent Mr. Gore, one of his lieutenants, in the pinnace, with orders, that he should endeavour to get onshore, and learn from the natives, whether there was anchorage in a bay then in sight, and what land lay further to the southward. Mr. Gore was accompanied in this expedition by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander and Tupia, who used every method, but in vain, to conciliate the minds of the inhabitants, and to engage them in a friendly intercourse. As, upon making the circuit of the island, neither harbour nor anchorage could be found upon it, and at the same time, the disposition of the people was so hostile, that landing would be rendered impracticable without bloodshed, Mr. Cook determined, with equal wisdom and humanity, not to attempt it, having no motive that could justify the risk of life.
From Tupia our navigators learned, that there were various islands lying at different distances and in different directions from Oheteroa, between the south and the north-west; and that to the north-east there was an island called Manua, Bird Island. This he represented as being at the distance of three days' sail; but he seemed most desirous that Lieutenant Cook should proceed to the westward, and described several islands in that situation, which he said he had visited. It appeared from his description of them, that these were probably Boscawen and Keppel's Islands, which were discovered by Captain Wallis. The furthest island that Tupia knew of to the southward, lay, he said, at the distance of about two days' sail from Oheteroa, and was called Moutou. But he added, that his father had informed him of there being islands still more to the south. Upon the whole, our commander determined to stand southward in search of a continent, and to lose no time in attempting to discover any other islands, than such as he might happen to fall in with during his course.
On the 15th of August, our voyagers sailed from Oheteroa; and, on the 25th of the same month was celebrated the anniversary of their departure from England. The comet was seen on the 30th. It was a little above the horizon, in the eastern part of the heavens, at one in the morning; and at about half an hour after four it passed the meridian, and its tail subtended an angle of forty-two degrees. Tupia, who was among others that observed the comet, instantly cried out, that as soon as it should be seen by the people of Bolabola, they would attack the inhabitants of Ulietea, who would be obliged to endeavour to preserve their lives by fleeing with the utmost precipitation to the mountains.
On the 6th of October land was discovered, which appeared to be large. When, on the next day, it was more distinctly visible, it assumed a still larger appearance, and displayed four or five ranges of hills, rising one over the other, above all which was a chain of mountains of an enormous height. This land naturally became the subject of much eager conversation; and the general opinion of the gentlemen on board the Endeavour was, that they had found the _Terra australis incognita_. In fact, it was a part of New Zealand, where the first adventures the English met with were very unpleasant, on account of the hostile disposition of the inhabitants.
Lieutenant Cook having anchored, on the 8th, in a bay, at the entrance of a small river, went on shore in the evening, with the pinnace and yawl, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, and attended with a party of men. Being desirous of conversing with some natives, whom he had observed on the opposite side of the river from that on which he had landed, he ordered the yawl in, to carry himself and his companions over, and left the pinnace at the entrance. When they came near the place where the Indians were assembled, the latter all ran away; and the gentlemen having left four boys to take care of the yawl, walked up to several huts, which were about two or three hundred yards from the water-side. They had not gone very far, when four men, armed with long lances, rushed out of the woods, and, running up to attack the boat, would certainly have cut her off, if they had not been discovered by the people in the pinnace, who called to the boys to drop down the stream. The boys instantly obeyed; but being closely pursued by the natives, the cockswain of the pinnace, to whom the charge of the boats was committed, fired a musket over their heads. At this they stopped and looked around them; but their alarm speedily subsiding, they brandished their lances in a threatening manner, and in a few minutes renewed the pursuit. The firing of a second musket over their heads did not draw from them any kind of notice. At last one of them having lifted up his spear to dart it at the boat, another piece was fired, by which he was shot dead. At the fall of their associate, the three remaining Indians stood for awhile motionless, and seemed petrified with astonishment. No sooner had they recovered themselves, than they went back, dragging after them the dead body, which, however, they were obliged to leave, that it might not retard their flight. Lieutenant Cook and his friends, who had straggled to a little distance from each other, were drawn together upon the report of the first musket, and returned speedily to the boat, in which having crossed the river, they soon beheld the Indian lying dead upon the ground. After their return to the ship, they could hear the people on shore talking with great earnestness, and in a very loud tone of voice.
Notwithstanding this disaster, the lieutenant being desirous of establishing an intercourse with the natives, ordered, on the following day, three boats to be manned with seamen and marines, and proceeded towards the shore, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, the other gentlemen, and Tupia. About fifty of the inhabitants seemed to wait for their landing, having seated themselves upon the ground, on the opposite side of the river. This being regarded as a sign of fear, Mr. Cook, with only Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia, advanced towards them; but they had not gone many paces before all the Indians started up, and every man produced either a long pike, or a small weapon of green talk. Though Tupia called to them in the language of Otaheite, they only answered by flourishing their weapons, and making signs for the gentlemen to depart. On a musket being fired wide of them, they desisted from their threats; and our commander, who had prudently retreated till the marines could be landed, again advanced towards them, with Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia, to whom were now added Mr. Green and Mr. Monkhouse. Tupia was a second time directed to speak to them, and it was perceived with great pleasure that he was perfectly understood, his and their language being the same, excepting only in a diversity of dialect. He informed them that our voyagers only wanted provision and water, in exchange for iron, the properties of which he explained as far as he was able. Though the natives seemed willing to trade, Tupia was sensible, during the course of his conversation with them, that their intentions were unfriendly; and of this he repeatedly warned the English gentlemen. At length, twenty or thirty of the Indians were induced to cross the river, upon which presents were made them of iron and beads. On these they appeared to set little value and particularly on the iron, not having the least conception of its use, so that nothing was obtained in return excepting a few feathers. Their arms, indeed, they offered to exchange for those of our voyagers, and this being refused, they made various attempts to snatch them out of their hands. Tupia was now instructed to acquaint the Indians, that our gentlemen would be obliged to kill them, if they proceeded to any further violence; notwithstanding which, one of them, while Mr. Green happened to turn about, seized his hanger, and retired to a little distance, with a shout of exultation. The others, at the same time, began to be extremely insolent, and more of the natives were seen coming to join them from the opposite side of the river. It being, therefore, necessary to repress them, Mr. Banks fired, with small shot, at the distance of about fifteen yards, upon the man who had taken the hanger. Though he was struck, he did not return the hanger, but continued to wave it round his head, while he slowly made his retreat. Mr. Monkhouse then fired at him with ball, and he instantly dropped. So far, however, were the Indians from being sufficiently terrified, that the main body of them, who, upon the first discharge, had retired to a rock in the middle of the river, began to return, and it was with no small difficulty that Mr. Monkhouse secured the hanger. The whole number of them continuing to advance, three of the English party discharged their pieces at them, loaded only with small shot, upon which they swam back for the shore, and it appeared, upon their landing, that two or three of them were wounded. While they retired slowly up the country, Lieutenant Cook and his companions re-embarked in their boats.
As the lieutenant had unhappily experienced that nothing, at this place, could be done with these people and found that the water in the river was salt, he proceeded in the boats round the head of the bay in search of fresh water. Beside this, he had formed a design of surprising some of the natives, and taking them on board, that, by kind treatment and presents he might obtain their friendship, and render them the instruments of establishing for him an amicable intercourse with their countrymen. While, upon account of a dangerous surf which every where beat upon the shore, the boats were prevented from landing, our commander saw two canoes coming in from the sea, one under sail, and the other worked with paddles. This he thought to be a favourable opportunity for executing his purpose. Accordingly, the boats were disposed in such a manner as appeared most likely to be successful in intercepting the canoes. Notwithstanding this, the Indians in the canoe which was paddled exerted themselves with so much vigour, at the first apprehension of danger, that they escaped to the nearest land. The other canoe sailed on without discerning the English, till she was in the midst of them; but no sooner had she discovered them, than the people on board struck their sail, and plied their paddles so briskly, as to outrun the boat by which they were pursued. Being within hearing, Tupia called to them to come alongside, with assurances that they should not in any degree be hurt or injured. They trusted, however, more to their own paddles than to Tupia's promises, and continued to flee from our navigators with all their power. Mr. Cook, as the least exceptionable expedient of accomplishing his design, ordered a musket to be fired over their heads. This, he hoped, would either make them surrender or leap into the water, but it produced a contrary effect. The Indians, who were seven in number, immediately formed a resolution not to fly, but to fight. When, therefore, the boat came up, they began to attack with their paddles, and with stones and other offensive weapons; and they carried it on with so much vigour and violence, that the English thought themselves obliged to fire upon them in their own defence; the consequence of which was, that four were unhappily killed. The other three, who were boys, the eldest about nineteen, and the youngest about eleven, instantly leaped into the water, and endeavoured to make their escape; but being with some difficulty overpowered by our people, they were brought into the boat.
It is impossible to reflect upon this part of Lieutenant Cook's conduct with any degree of satisfaction. He, himself, upon a calm review, did not approve of it; and he was sensible that it would be censured by the feelings of every reader of humanity. It is probable that his mind was so far irritated by the disagreeable preceding events of this unfortunate day, and by the unexpected violence of the Indians in the canoe, as to lose somewhat of that self-possession, by which his character in general was eminently distinguished. Candour, however, requires, that I should relate what he hath offered in extenuation, not in defence, of the transaction; and this shall be done in his own words. "These people certainly did not deserve death for not choosing to confide in my promises, or not consenting to come on board my boat, even if they had apprehended no danger. But the nature of my service required me to obtain a knowledge of their country, which I could no otherwise effect, than by forcing my way into it in a hostile manner, or gaining admission through the confidence and goodwill of the people. I had already tried the power of presents without effect; and I was now prompted, by my desire to avoid further hostilities, to get some of them on board, as the only method left of convincing them, that we intended them no harm, and had it in our power to contribute to their gratification and convenience. Thus far my intentions certainly were not criminal; and though in the contest, which I had not the least reason to expect, our victory might have been complete without so great an expense of life; yet in such situations, when the command to fire has been given, no man can restrain its excess, or prescribe its effect."
Our voyagers were successful in conciliating the minds of the three boys, to which Tupia particularly contributed. When their fears were allayed, and their cheerfulness returned, they sang a song with a degree of taste, that surprised the English gentlemen. The tune, like those of our psalms, was solemn and slow, containing many notes and semitones.
Some further attempts were made to establish an intercourse with the natives, and Mr. Cook and his friends, on the 10th, went on shore for that purpose; but being unsuccessful in their endeavours, they resolved to re-embark lest their stay should embroil them in another quarrel, and cost more of the Indians their lives. On the next day the lieutenant weighed anchor, and stood away from this unfortunate and inhospitable place. As it had not afforded a single article that was wanted excepting wood, he gave it the name of Poverty Bay. By the inhabitants it is called Taoneroa, or Long Sand. I shall not regularly pursue the course of our commander round New Zealand. In this course he spent nearly six months, and made large additions to the knowledge of navigation and geography. By making almost the whole circuit of New Zealand, he ascertained it to be two islands, with a strength of evidence which no prejudice could gainsay or resist. He obtained likewise a full acquaintance with the inhabitants of the different parts of the country, with regard to whom it was clearly proved, that they are eaters of human flesh. Omitting a number of minute circumstances, I shall only select a few things which mark Mr. Cook's personal conduct, and relate to his intercourse with the natives.
The good usage the three boys had met with, and the friendly and generous manner in which they were dismissed to their own homes, had some effect in softening the dispositions of the neighbouring Indians. Several of them, who had come on board while the ship lay becalmed in the afternoon, manifested every sign of friendship, and cordially invited the English to go back to their old bay, or to a cove which was not quite so far off. But Lieutenant Cook chose rather to prosecute his discoveries, having reason to hope that he should find a better harbour than any he had yet seen.
While the ship was, hauling round to the south end of a small island, which the lieutenant had named Portland, from its very great resemblance to Portland in the British Channel, she suddenly fell into shoal water and broken ground. The soundings were never twice the same, jumping at once from seven fathom to eleven. However, they were always seven fathom or more; and in a short time the Endeavour got clear of danger, and again sailed in deep water. While the ship was in apparent distress, the inhabitants of the islands, who in vast numbers sat on its white cliffs, and could not avoid perceiving some appearance of confusion on board, and some irregularity in the working of the vessel, were desirous of taking advantage of her critical situation. Accordingly, five canoes full of men, and well armed, were put off with the utmost expedition; and they came so near, and shewed so hostile a disposition by shouting, brandishing their lances, and using threatening gestures, that the lieutenant was in pain for his small boat, which was still employed in sounding. By a musket which he ordered to be fired over them, they were rather provoked than intimidated. The firing of a four pounder loaded with grape shot, though purposely discharged wide of them, produced a better effect. Upon the report of the piece the Indians all rose up and shouted; but instead of continuing the chase, they collected themselves together, and, after a short consultation, went quietly away.
On the 14th of October, Lieutenant Cook having hoisted out his pinnace and long boat to search for water, just as they were about to set off, several boats full of the New Zealand people were seen coming from the shore. After some time five of these boats, having on board between eighty and ninety men, made towards the ship; and four more followed at no great distance, as if to sustain the attack. When the first five had gotten within about a hundred yards of the Endeavour, they began to sing their war song, and brandishing their pikes, prepared for an engagement. As the lieutenant was extremely desirous of avoiding the unhappy necessity of using fire-arms against the natives, Tupia was ordered to acquaint them that our voyagers had weapons which, like thunder, would destroy them in a moment; that they would immediately convince them of their power by directing their effect so that they should not be hurt; but that if they persisted in any hostile attempt, they would be exposed to the direct attack of these formidable weapons. A four pounder, loaded with grape shot, was then fired wide of them; and this expedient was fortunately attended with success. The report, the flash, and above all the shot, which spread very far in the water, terrified the Indians to such a degree, that they began to paddle away with all their might. At the instance, however, of Tupia, the people of one of the boats were induced to lay aside their arms, and to come under the stern of the Endeavour; in consequence of which they received a variety of presents.
On the next day a circumstance occurred, which shewed how ready one of the inhabitants of New Zealand was to take an advantage of our navigators. In a large armed canoe, which came boldly alongside of the ship, was a man who had a black skin thrown over him, somewhat like that of a bear. Mr. Cook being desirous of knowing to what animal it originally belonged, offered the Indian for it a piece of red baize. With this bargain he seemed to be greatly pleased, immediately pulling off the skin, and holding it up in the boat. He would not, however, part with it till he had the cloth in his possesssion; and as their could be no transfer of property if equal caution should be exercised on both sides, the lieutenant ordered the baize to be delivered into his hands. Upon this, instead of sending up the skin, he began with amazing coolness to pack up both that and the cloth, which he had received as the purchase of it, in a basket: nor did he pay the least regard to Mr. Cook's demand or remonstrances, but soon after put off from the English vessel. Our commander was too generous to revenge this insult by any act of severity.
During the course of a traffic which was carrying on for some fish, little Tayeto, Tupia's boy, was placed among others over the ship's side; to hand up what was purchased. While he was thus employed, one of the New Zealanders, watching his opportunity, suddenly seized him and dragged him into a canoe. Two of the natives then held him down in the fore part of it, and the others, with great activity, paddled her off with all possible celerity. An action so violent rendered it indispensably necessary that the marines, who were in arms upon the deck, should be ordered to fire. Though the shot was directed to that part of the canoe which was furthest from the boy, and somewhat wide of her, it being thought favourable rather to miss the rowers than to run the hazard of hurting Tayeto, it happened that one man dropped. This occasioned the Indians to quit their hold of the youth, who instantly leaped into the water, and swam towards the ship. In the meanwhile, the largest of the canoes pulled round and followed him; and till some muskets and a great gun were fired at her, did not desist from the pursuit. The ship being brought to, a boat was lowered, and the poor boy was taken up unhurt. Some of the gentlemen, who with their glasses traced the canoes to shore, agreed in asserting that they saw three men carried up the beach, who appeared to be either dead, or wholly disabled by their wounds.
While, on the 18th, the Endeavour lay abreast of a peninsula within Portland Island, called Terakako, two of the natives, who were judged to be chiefs, placed an extraordinary degree of confidence in Mr. Cook. They were so well pleased with the kindness which had been shown them in a visit to the ship, that they determined not to go on shore till the next morning. This was a circumstance by no means agreeable to the lieutenant, and he remonstrated against it; but as they persisted in their resolution, he agreed to comply with it, provided their servants were also taken on board, and their canoe hoisted into the ship. The countenance of one of these two chiefs was the most open and ingenuous that our commander had ever seen, so that he soon gave up every suspicion of his entertaining any sinister design. When the guests were put on shore the next morning, they expressed some surprise at seeing themselves so far from their habitations.
On Monday the 23rd, while the ship was in Tagadoo Bay, Lieutenant Cook went on shore to examine the watering-place, and found every thing agreeable to his wishes. The boat landed in the cove, without the least serf; the water was excellent, and conveniently situated: there was plenty of wood close to the high water mark, and the disposition of the people was as favourable in all respects as could be desired. Early the next morning, our commander sent Lieutenant Gore to superintend the cutting of wood and filling of water, with a sufficient number of men for both purposes, and all the marines as a guard. Soon after he went on shore himself, and continued there during the whole day. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, who had landed on the same day, found in their walks several things worthy of notice. As they were advancing in some of the valleys, the hills on each side of which were very steep, they were suddenly struck with the sight of an extraordinary natural curiosity. It was a rock perforated through its whole substance, so as to form a rude but stupendous arch or cavern, opening directly to the sea. This aperture was seventy-five feet long, twenty-seven broad, and five and forty feet high, commanding a view of the bay and the hills on the other side, which were seen through it; and opening at once upon the view, produced an effect far superior to any of the contrivances of art.
When on the 28th the gentlemen of the Endeavour went on shore upon an island which lies to the left hand of the entrance of Tolaga Bay, they saw there the largest canoe they had yet met with; her length being sixty-eight feet and a half, her breadth five feet, and her height three feet six inches. In the same island was a larger house than any they had hitherto seen; but it was in an unfinished state, and full of chips.
While the ship was in Hicks's Bay, the inhabitants of the adjoining coast were found to be very hostile. This gave much uneasiness to our navigators, and was indeed contrary to their expectation; for they had hoped that the report of their power and clemency had spread to a greater extent. At day-break, on the 1st of November, they counted no less than five and forty canoes that were coming from the shore towards the Endeavour; and these were followed by several more from another place. Some of the Indians traded fairly; but others of them took what was handed down to them without making any return, and added derision to fraud. The insolence of one of them was very remarkable. Some linen hanging over the ship's side to dry, this man without any ceremony untied it, and put it up in his bundle. Being immediately called to, and required to return it, instead of doing so, he let his canoe drop astern, and laughed at the English. A musket which was fired over his head, did not put a stop to his mirth. From a second musket, which was loaded with small shot, he shrunk a little, when the shot struck him upon his back; but be regarded it no more than one of our men would have done the stroke of a rattan, and continued with great composure to pack up the linen which he hard stolen. All the canoes now dropped astern, and set up their song of defiance, which lasted till they were at about four hundred yards' distance from the ship. As they did not appear to have a design of attacking our voyagers, Lieutenant Cook was unwilling to do them any hurt; and yet he thought that their going off in a bravado might have a bad effect when it should be reported on shore. To convince them therefore, that they were still in his power, though far beyond the reach of any missile weapon with which they were acquainted, he ordered a four pounder to be fired in such a manner as to pass near them. As the shot happened to strike the water, and to rise several times at a great distance beyond the canoes, the Indians were so much terrified, that without once looking behind them, they paddled away as fast as they were able.
In standing westward from a small island called Mowtohora, the Endeavour suddenly shoaled her water front seventeen to ten fathom. As the lieutenant knew that she was not far off from some small islands and rocks, which lead been seen before it was dark, and which he had intended to have passed that evening, he thought it more prudent to tack, and to spend the night under Mowtohora, where he was certain that there was no danger. It was happy for himself, and for all our voyagers, that he formed this resolution. In the morning they discovered ahead of them several rocks, some of which were level with the surface of the water, and some below it; and the striking against which could not in the hour of darkness, have been avoided. In passing between these rocks and the main, the ship had only from ten to seven fathom water.
While Mr. Cook was near an island which he called the Mayor, the inhabitants of the neighbouring coast displayed many instances of hostility, and, in their traffic with our navigators, committed various acts of fraud and robbery. As the lieutenant intended to continue in the place five or six days, in order to make an observation of the transit of Mercury, it was absolutely necessary for the prevention of future mischief, to convince these people that the English were not to be ill treated with impunity. Accordingly, some small shot were fired at a thief of uncommon insolence, and a musket ball was discharged through the bottom of his boat. Upon this it was paddled to about a hundred yards' distance; and to the surprise of Mr. Cook and his friends, the Indians in the other canoes took not the least notice of their wounded companion, though he bled very much, but returned to the ship, and continued to trade with the most perfect indifference and unconcern. For a considerable time they dealt fairly. At last, however, one of them thought fit to move off with two different pieces of cloth which had been given for the same weapon. When he had gotten to such a distance, that he thought himself secure of his prizes, a musket was fired after him, which fortunately struck the boat just at the water's edge, and made two holes in her side. This excited such an alarm, that not only the people who were shot at, but all the rest of the canoes, made off with the utmost expedition. As the last proof of superiority, our commander ordered a round shot to be fired over them, and not a boat stopped till they got to land.
After an early breakfast on the 9th of November, Lieutenant Cook went on shore, with Mr. Green, and proper instruments, to observe the transit of Mercury. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were of the party. The weather had for some time been very thick, with much rain; but this day proved so favourable, that not a cloud intervened during the whole transit. The observation of the ingress was made by Mr. Green alone, Mr. Cook being employed in taking the Sun's altitude to ascertain the time.
While the gentlemen were thus engaged on shore, they were alarmed by the firing of a great gun from the ship: and on their return received the following account of the transaction from Mr. Gore, the second lieutenant, who had been left commanding officer on board. During the carrying on of a trade with some small canoes, two very large ones came up full of men. In one of the canoes were forty-seven persons, all of whom were armed with pikes, stones, and darts, and assumed the appearance of a hostile intention. However, after a little time they began to traffic, some of them offering their arms, and one of them a square piece of cloth, which makes a part of their dress, called _haabow_. Mr. Gore having agreed for it, sent down the price, which was a piece of British cloth, and expected his purchase. But as soon as the Indian had gotten Mr. Gore's cloth in his possession, he refused to part with his own, and put off his canoe. Upon being threatened for his fraud, he and his companions began to sing their war song in defiance, and shook their paddles. Though their insolence did not proceed to an attack, and only defied Mr. Gore to take any remedy in his power, he was so provoked, that he levelled a musket, loaded with ball, at the offender, while he was holding the cloth in his hand, and shot him dead. When the Indian fell, all the canoes put off to some distance, but continued to keep together in such a manner that it was apprehended they might still meditate an attack. To secure therefore a safe passage for the boat of the Endeavour, which was wanted on shore, a round shot was fired with so much effect over their heads, as to make them all flee with the utmost precipitation. It was matter of regret to Lieutenant Cook that Mr. Gore had not, in the case of the offending Indian, tried the experiment of a few small shot, which had been successful in former instances of robbery.
On Friday, the 10th, our commander, accompanied by Mr. Banks and the other gentlemen, went with two boats, to examine a large river that empties itself into the head of Mercury Bay. As the situation they were now in abounded with conveniences, the lieutenant has taken care to point them out, for the benefit of future navigators. If any occasion should ever render it necessary for a ship either to winter here, or to stay for a considerable length of time, tents might be built on a high point or peninsula in this place, upon ground sufficiently spacious for the purpose; and they might easily be made impregnable to the whole force of the country. Indeed the most skilful engineer in Europe could not choose a situation better adapted to enable a small number to defend themselves against a greater. Among other accommodations which the Endeavour's company met with in Mercury Bay, they derived an agreeable refreshment from some oyster beds, which they had fortunately discovered. The oysters, which were as good as ever came from Colchester, and about the same size, were so plentiful, that not the boat only, but the ship itself, might have been loaded in one tide.
On Wednesday, the 15th, Lieutenant Cook sailed out of Mercury Bay. This name has been given to it, on account of the observation which had there been made of the transit of that planet over the sun. The river where oysters had been so plentifully found, he called Oyster River. There is another river, at the head of the Bay, which is the best and safest place for a ship that wants to stay any length of time. From the number of mangroves about it, the lieutenant named it Mangrove River. In several parts of Mercury Bay, our voyagers saw, thrown upon the shore, great quantities of iron sand, which is brought down by every little rivulet of freshwater that finds its way from the country. This is a demonstration, that there is ore of that metal not far inland; and yet none of the inhabitants of New Zealand, who had yet been seen, knew the use of iron, or set upon it the least degree of value. They had all of them preferred the most worthless and useless trifle not only to a nail, but to any tool of that metal. Before the Endeavour left the bay, the ship's name and that of the commander were cut upon one of the trees near the watering place, together with the date of the year and month when our navigators were there. Besides this, Mr. Cook, after displaying the English colours took formal possession of the place in the name of his Britannic Majesty, King George the Third.
In the range from Mercury Bay, several canoes, on the 18th, put off from different places, and advanced towards the Endeavour. When two of them, in which there might be about sixty men, came within the reach of the human voice, the Indians sung their war song, but seeing that little notice was taken of them, they threw a few stones at the English, and then rowed off towards the shore. In a short time, however, they returned, as if with a fixed resolution to provoke our voyagers to a battle, animating themselves by their song as they had done before. Tupia, without any directions from the gentlemen of the Endeavour, began to expostulate with the natives, and told them that our people had weapons which could destroy them in a moment. Their answer to this expostulation was, in their own language, 'Come on shore, and we will kill you all.'--'Well,' replied Tupia, 'but why should you molest us while we are at sea? As we do not wish to fight, we shall not accept your challenge to come on shore; and here there is no pretence for a quarrel, the sea being no more your property than the ship.' This eloquence, which greatly surprised Lieutenant Cook and his friends, as they had not suggested to Tupia any of the arguments he made use of, produced no effect upon the minds of the Indians, who soon renewed their attack. The oratory of a musket, which was fired through one of their boats, quelled their courage, and sent them instantly away.
While our commander was in the Bay of Islands, he had a favourable opportunity of examining the interior part of the country and its produce. At daybreak, therefore on the 30th of the month, he set out in the pinnace and long-boat accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia, and found the inlet, at which they entered, end in a river, about nine miles above the ship. Up this river, to which was given the name of the Thames, they proceeded till near noon, when they were fourteen miles within its entrance. As the gentlemen then found the face of the country to continue nearly the same, without any alteration in the course of the stream, and had no hope of tracing it to its source, they landed on the west side, to take a view of the lofty trees which every where adorned its banks. The trees were of a kind which they had seen before, both in Poverty Bay, and Hawke's Bay, though only at a distance. They had not walked a hundred yards into the woods, when they met with one of the trees, which, at the height of six feet above the ground, was nineteen feet eight inches in the girt. Lieutenant Cook, having a quadrant with him, measured its height from the root to the first branch, and found it to be eighty-nine feet. It was as straight as an arrow, and tapered but very little in proportion to its height; so that, in the lieutenant's judgment, there must have been three hundred and fifty-six feet of solid timber in it exclusive of the branches. As the party advanced, they saw many other trees, which were still larger. A young one they cut down, the wood of which was heavy and solid, not fit for masts, but such as would make the finest plank in the world. The carpenter of the ship, who was with the party, said that the timber resembled that of the pitch-pine, which is lightened by tapping. If it should appear, that some such method would be successful in lightening these trees, they would then furnish masts superior to those of any country in Europe. As the wood was swampy, the gentlemen could not range far; but they found many stout trees of other kinds, with which they were totally unacquainted, and specimens of which they brought away.
On the 22d, another instance occurred in which the commanding officer left on board did not know how to exercise his power with the good sense and moderation of Mr. Cook. While some of the natives were in the ship below with Mr. Banks, a young man, who was upon the deck, stole a half minute glass, and was detected just as he was carrying it off. Mr. Hicks, in his indignation against the offender, was pleased to order that he should be punished, by giving him twelve lashes with a cat o' nine tails. When the other Indians, who were on board, saw him seized for the purpose, they attempted to rescue him; and being resisted, they called for their arms, which were handed from the canoes. At the same time, the people of one of the canoes attempted to come up the side of the Endeavour. The tumult having called up Mr. Banks and Tupia, the natives ran to the latter, and solicited his interposition. All, however, which he could do, as Mr. hicks continued inexorable, was to assure them, that nothing was intended against the life of their companion, and that it was necessary that he should suffer some punishment for his offence. With this explanation they appeared to be satisfied; and when the punishment had been inflicted, an old man among the spectators, who was supposed to be the criminal's father, gave him a severe beating, and sent him down into his canoe. Notwithstanding this, the Indians were far from being reconciled to the treatment which their countryman had received. Their cheerful confidence was gone; and though they promised, at their departure, to return with some fish, the English saw them no more.
On the 29th of November, Lieutenant Cook, Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and others with them, were in a situation somewhat critical and alarming. Having landed upon an island in the neighbourhood of Cape Bret, they were in a few minutes surrounded by two or three hundred people. Though the Indians were all armed, they came on in so confused and straggling a manner, that it did not appear that any injury was intended by them; and the English gentlemen were determined that hostilities should not begin on their part. At first the natives continued quiet; but their weapons were held ready to strike, and they seemed to be rather irresolute than peaceable. While the lieutenant and his friends remained in a state of suspense, another party of Indians came up; and the boldness of the whole body being increased by the augmentation of their numbers, they began the dance and song, which are their preludes to a battle. An attempt, that was made by a number of them, to seize the two boats which had brought our voyagers to land, appeared to be the signal for a general attack. It now became necessary for Mr. Cook to exert himself with vigour Accordingly, he discharged his musket, which was loaded with small shot, at one of the forwardest of the assailants, and Mr. Banks, and two of our men, fired immediately afterwards. Though this made the natives fall back in some confusion, nevertheless, one of the chiefs, who was at the distance of about twenty yards, had the courage to rally them, and, calling loudly to his companions, led them on to the charge. Dr. Solander instantly discharged his piece at this champion, who, upon feeling the shot, stopped short, and then ran away with the rest of his countrymen. Still, however, they did not disperse, but got upon rising ground, and seemed only to want some leader of resolution to renew their assault. As they were now gotten beyond the reach of small shot, the English fired with ball, none of which taking place, the Indians continued together in a body. While our people were in this doubtful situation, which lasted about a quarter of an hour, the ship, from which a much greater number of natives were seen than could be discovered on shore, brought her broad side to bear, and entirely dispersed them, by firing a few shot over their heads. In this skirmish, only two of them were hurt with the small shot, and not a single life was lost; a case which would not have happened if Lieutenant Cook had not restrained his men, who either from fear or the love of mischief, shewed as much impatience to destroy the Indians, as a sportsman to kill his game. Such was the difference between the disposition of the common seamen and marines, and that of their humane and judicious commander.
On the same day Mr. Cook displayed a very exemplary act of discipline. Some of the ship's people, who when the natives were to be punished for a fraud, assumed the inexorable justice of a Lycurgus, thought fit to break into one of their plantations, and to dig up a quantity of potatoes. For this the lieutenant ordered each of them to receive twelve lashes, after which two of them were discharged. But the third, in a singular strain of morality, insisted upon it, that it was no crime in an Englishman to plunder an Indian plantation. The method taken by our commander to refute his casuistry, was to send him back to his confinement, and not, permit him to be released, till he had been punished with six lashes more.
The Endeavour, on the 5th of December, was in the most imminent hazard of being wrecked. At four o'clock in the morning of that day our voyagers weighed, with a light breeze; but it being variable with frequent calms, they made little way. From that time till the afternoon they kept turning out of the bay, and about ten at night were suddenly becalmed, so that the ship could neither wear nor exactly keep her station. The tide or current setting strong, she drove toward land so fast; that before any measures could be taken for her security, she was within a cable's length of the breakers. Though our people had thirteen fathom water, the ground was so foul, that they did not dare to drop their anchor. In this crisis the pinnace being immediately hoisted out to take the ship in tow, and the men sensible of their danger, exerted themselves to the utmost, a faint breeze sprang up off the land, and our navigators perceived, with unspeakable joy, that the vessel made headway. So near was she to the shore, that Tupia, who was ignorant of the hair's breadth escape the company had experienced, was at this very time conversing with the Indians upon the beach, whose voices were distinctly heard, notwithstanding the roar of the breakers. Mr. Cook and his friends now thought that all danger was over; but about an hour afterwards, just as the man in the chains had cried 'seventeen fathom,' the ship struck. The shock threw them into the utmost consternation: and almost instantly the man in the chains cried out 'five fathom.' By this time, the rock on which the ship had struck being to the windward, she went off without having received the least damage; and the water very soon deepening to twenty fathoms, she again sailed in security.
The inhabitants in the Bay of Islands were found to be far more numerous than in any other part of New Zealand which Lieutenant Cook had hitherto visited. It did not appear that they were united under one head; and, though their towns were fortified, they seemed to live together in perfect amity.
The Endeavour on the 9th of December, lying becalmed in Doubtless Bay, an opportunity was taken to inquire of the natives concerning their country; and our navigators learned from them, by the help of Tupia, that at the distance of three days' rowing in their canoes, at a place called Moore-Whennua, the land would take a short turn to the southward, and thence extend no more to the west. This place the English gentlemen concluded to be the land discovered by Tasman, and which had been named by him Cape Maria van Diemen. The lieutenant, finding the inhabitants so intelligent, inquired further, if they knew of any country besides their own. To this they answered, that they had never visited any other; but that their ancestors had told them, that there was a country of great extent, to the north-west by north, or north-north west, called Ulimaroa, to which some people had sailed in a very large canoe; and that only a part of them had returned, who reported, that, after a passage of a month, they had seen a country where the people eat hogs.
On the 30th of December, our navigators saw the land, which they judged to be Cape Maria van Diemen, and which corresponded with the account that had been given of it by the Indians. The next day, from the appearance of Mount Camel, they had a demonstration that, where they now were, the breadth of New Zealand could not be more than two or three miles from sea to sea. During this part of the navigation, two particulars occurred which are very remarkable. In latitude 35° S. and in the midst of summer, Lieutenant Cook met with a gale of wind, which, from its strength and continuance, was such as he had scarcely ever been in before: and he was three weeks in getting ten leagues to the westward, and five weeks in getting fifty leagues; for at this time being the 1st of January, 1770, it was so long since he had passed Cape Bret. While the gale lasted, our voyagers ware happily at a considerable distance from the land; since, otherwise, it was highly probable that they would never have returned to relate their adventures.
The shore at Queen Charlotte's Sound, where the English had arrived on the 14th of January, seemed to form several bays, into one of which the lieutenant proposed to carry the ship, which was now become very foul, in order to careen her, to repair some defects, and to obtain a recruit of wood and water. At day-break, the next morning, he stood in for an inlet, and at eight got within the entrance. At nine o'clock, there being little wind, and what there was being variable, the Endeavour was carried by the tide or current within two cables' length of the north-west shore where she had fifty-four fathom water. By the help, of the boats she was gotten clear; and about two, our people anchored in a very safe and convenient cove. Soon after, Mr. Cook, with most of the gentlemen, landed upon the coast, where they found a fine stream of excellent water, and wood in the greatest plenty. Indeed the land, in this part of the country, was one forest, of vast extent. As the gentlemen had brought the seine with them, it was hauled once or twice; and with such success, that different sorts of fish were caught amounting nearly to three hundred weight. The equal distribution of these among the ship's company, furnished them with a very agreeable refreshment.
When Lieutenant Cook, Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Tupia, and some others, landed on the 16th, they met with an Indian family, among whom they found horrid and indisputable proofs of the custom of eating human flesh. Not to resume so disagreeable a subject, it may here be observed once for all, that evidences of the same custom appeared on various occasions.
On the next day a delightful object engaged the attention of our voyagers. The ship lying at the distance of somewhat less than a quarter of a mile from the shore, they were awakened by the singing of an incredible number of birds, who seemed to strain their throats in emulation of each other. This wild melody was infinitely superior to any they had ever heard of the same kind, and seemed to be like small bells, most exquisitely tuned. It is probable, that the distance, and the water between, might be of no small advantage to the sound. Upon inquiry, the gentlemen were informed, that the birds here always began to sing about two hours after midnight; and that, continuing their music till sunrise, they were silent the rest of the day. In this last respect they resembled the nightingales of our own country.
On the 18th, Lieutenant Cook went out in the pinnace to take a view of the bay in which the ship was now at anchor; and found it to be of great extent, consisting of numberless small harbours and coves, in every direction. The lieutenant confined his excursion to the western side, and the coast where he landed being an impenetrable forest, nothing could be seen worthy of notice. As our commander and his friends were returning, they saw a single man in a canoe fishing: rowing up to him, to their great surprise, he took not the least notice of them; and even when they were alongside of him, continued to follow his occupation, without adverting to them any more than if they had been invisible. This behaviour was not, however the result either of sullenness or stupidity; for upon being requested to draw up his net, that it might be examined, he readily complied. He shewed likewise to our people his mode of fishing, which was simple and ingenious.
When, on the 19th, the armourer's forge was set up, and all hands on board were busy in careening, and in other necessary operations about the vessel, some Indians, who had brought plenty of fish, exchanged them for nails, of which they had now begun to perceive the use and value. This may be considered as one instance in which they were enlightened and benefited by their intercourse with our navigators.
While, on the 22d, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander employed themselves in botanizing near the beach, our commander, taking a seaman with him, ascended one of the hills of the country. Upon reaching its summit, he found the view of the inlet, the head of which he had a little before in vain attempted to discover in the pinnace, intercepted by hills still higher than that on which he stood, and which were rendered inaccessible by impenetrable woods. He was, however, amply rewarded for his labour; for he saw the sea on the eastern side of the country, and a passage leading from it to that on the west, a little to the eastward of the entrance of the inlet where the ship lay. The main land, which was on the south-east side of this inlet, appeared to be a narrow ridge of very high hills, and to form part of the south-west side of the strait. On the opposite side, the land trended away east as far as the eye could reach; and to the south-east there was discerned an opening to the sea, which washes the eastern coast. The lieutenant saw also, on the east side of the inlet, some islands which he had before taken to be part of the main land. In returning to the ship, he examined the harbours and coves that lie behind the islands which he had seen from the hills. The next day was employed by him in further surveys and discoveries.
During a visit to the Indians, on the 24th, Tupia being of the party, they were observed to be continually talking of guns and shooting people. For this subject of their conversation, the English gentlemen could not at all account. But, after perplexing themselves with various conjectures, they at length learned, that, on the 21st, one of our officers, under the pretence of going out to fish, had rowed up to a hippah, or village, on the coast. When he had done so, two or three canoes coming off towards his boat, his fears suggested that an attack was intended, in consequence of which three muskets were fired, one with small shot, and two with ball, at the Indians, who retired with the utmost precipitation. It is highly probable, that they had come out with friendly intentions, for such intentions were expressed by their behaviour, both before and afterwards. This action of the officer exhibited a fresh instance, how little some of the people under Lieutenant Cook had imbibed of the wise, discreet, and humane spirit of their commander.
On the morning of the 26th, the lieutenant went again out in the boat, with Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, and entered one of the bays, which lie on the east side of the inlet, in order to obtain another sight of the strait which passed between the eastern and western seas. Having landed, for this purpose, at a convenient place, they climbed a hill of very considerable height, from which they had a full view of the strait, with the land on the opposite shore, which they judged to be about four leagues distant. As it was hazy in the horizon, they could not see far to the south-east; but Mr. Cook saw enough to determine him to search the passage with the ship as soon as he should put to sea. The gentlemen found, on the top of the hill, a parcel of loose stones, with which they erected a pyramid, and left in it some musket balls, small shot, beads, and such other things, which they happened to have about them, as were likely to stand the test of time. These, not being of Indian workmanship, would convince any European, who should come to the place and pull it down, that natives of Europe had been there before. After this, the lieutenant and his friends went to a town of which the Indians had informed them, and which, like one they had already seen, was built upon a small island or rock, so difficult of access, that they gratified their curiosity at the risk of their lives. Here, as had been the case in former visits to the inhabitants of that part of the country near which the ship now lay, they were received with open arms, carried through the whole of the place, and shown all that it contained. The town consisted of between eighty and a hundred houses, and had only one fighting stage. Mr. Cook, Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander, happened to have with them a few nails and ribands, and some paper, with which the people were so highly gratified, that when the gentlemen went away, they filled the English boat with dried fish, of which it appeared that they had laid up large quantities.
A report was spread, that one of the men, that had been so rashly fired upon by the officer who had visited the hippah, under the pretence of fishing, was dead of his wounds. But, on the 29th, the lieutenant had the great consolation of discovering that this report was groundless. On the same day he went again on shore, upon the western point of the inlet, and, from a hill of considerable height, had a view of the coast to the north-west. The furthest land he could see, in that quarter, was an island at the distance of about ten leagues, lying not far from the main. Between this island and the place were he stood, he discovered, close under the shore, several other islands, forming many bays, in which there appeared to be good anchorage for shipping. After he had set off the different points for his survey, he erected another pile of stones, in which he left a piece of silver coin, with some musket balls and beads, and a fragment of an old pendant flying at the top.
On the 30th of January, the ceremony was performed of giving name to the inlet where our voyagers now lay, and of erecting a memorial of the visit which they had made to this place. The carpenter having prepared two posts for the purpose, our commander ordered them to be inscribed with the ship's name, and the dates of the year and the month. One of these he set up at the watering place, hoisting the union-flag upon the top of it; and the other he carried over to the island that lies nearest the sea, and which is called by the natives Motuara. He went first, accompanied by Mr. Monkhouse and Tupia, to the neighbouring village, or hippah, where he met with an old man, who had maintained a friendly intercourse with the English. To this old man, and several Indians besides, the lieutenant, by means of Tupia, explained his design, which, he informed them, was to erect a mark upon the island, in order to shew to any other ship, which should happen to come thither, that our navigators had been there before. To this the inhabitants readily consented, and promised that they would never pull it down. He then gave something to every one present, and to the old man a silver threepence, and some spike-nails, with the king's broad arrow cut deep upon them. These were things which Mr. Cook thought were the most likely to be long preserved. After this, he conveyed the post to the highest part of the island; and, having fixed it firmly in the ground, hoisted upon it the union flag, and honoured the inlet with the name of Queen Charlotte's Sound. At the same time, be took formal possession of this and the adjacent country, in the name and for the use of his Majesty King George the Third. The ceremony was concluded by the gentlemen's drinking a bottle of wine to her majesty's health; and the bottle being given to the old man, who had attended them up the hill, he was highly delighted with his present.
A philosopher, perhaps might inquire on what ground Lieutenant Cook could take formal possession of this part of New Zealand, in the name and _for the use_ of the King of Great Britain, when the country was already inhabited, and of course belonged to those by whom it was occupied, and whose ancestors might have resided in it for many preceding ages. To this the best answer seems to be, that the lieutenant, in the ceremony performed by him, had no reference to the original inhabitants, or any intention to deprive them of their natural rights, but only to preclude the claims of future European navigators, who, under the auspices and for the benefit of their respective states or kingdoms, might form pretensions, to which they were not entitled by prior discovery.
On the 31st, our voyagers having completed their wooding, and filled their water casks, Mr. Cook sent out two parties, one to cut and make brooms, and another to catch fish. In the evening there was a strong gale from the north-west, with such a heavy rain, that the little wild musicians on shore suspended their song, which till now had been constantly heard during the night with a pleasure that it was impossible to lose without regret. The gale, on the 1st of February, increased to a storm, with heavy gusts from the high land, one of which broke the hawser, that had been fastened to the shore, and induced the necessity of letting go another anchor. Though, towards midnight, the gale became more moderate, the rain continued with so much violence, that the brook, which supplied the ship with water, overflowed its banks; in consequence of which ten small casks, that had been filled the day before, were carried away, and, notwithstanding the most diligent search for them, could not be recovered.
The Endeavour, on Monday the 5th, got under sail; but the wind soon failing, our commander was obliged again to come to anchor, a little above Motuara. As he was desirous of making still further inquiries, whether any memory of Tasman had been preserved in New Zealand, he directed Tupia to ask of the old man before mentioned, who had come on board to take his leave of the English gentlemen, whether he had ever heard that such a vessel as theirs had before visited the country. To this he replied in the negative; but said, that his ancestors had told him, that there once had arrived a small vessel from a distant land, called Ulimaroa, in which were four men, who upon their reaching the shore were all killed. On being asked where this country lay, he pointed to the northward. Of Ulimaroa, Lieutenant Cook had heard something before, from the people about the Bay of Islands, who said, that it had been visited by their ancestors. Tupia had also some confused traditionary notions concerning it; but no certain conclusion could be drawn either from his account or that of the old Indian.
Soon after the ship came to anchor the second time, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, who had gone on shore to see if any gleanings of natural knowledge remained, fell in, by accident, with the most agreeable Indian family they had yet seen, and which afforded them a better opportunity of remarking the personal subordination among the natives, than had before offered. The whole behaviour of this family was affable, obliging, and unsuspicious. It was matter of sincere regret to the two gentlemen, that they had not sooner met with these people, as a better acquaintance with the manners and disposition of the inhabitants of the country might hence have been obtained in a day, than had been acquired during the whole stay of the English upon the coast.
When, on the 6th of February, Lieutenant Cook had gotten out of the sound, he stood over to the eastward, in order to get the strait well open before the tide of ebb approached. At seven in the evening, two small islands, which lie off Cape Koamaroo, at the south-east head of Queen Charlotte's Sound, bore east, at the distance of about four miles. It was nearly calm, and the tide of ebb setting out, the Endeavour, in a very short time, was carried by the rapidity of the stream close upon one of the islands, which was a rock rising almost perpendicularly out of the sea. The danger increased every moment, and there was but one expedient to prevent the ship's being dashed to pieces, the success of which a few moments would determine. She was now within little more than a cable's length of the rock, and had above seventy-five fathom water. But, upon dropping an anchor, and veering above one hundred and fifty fathom of cable, she was happily brought up. This, however would not have saved our navigators, if the tide, which set south by east, had not, upon meeting with the island, changed its direction to the south-east, and carried them beyond the first point. In this situation they were not above two cables' length from the rocks; and here they remained in the strength of the tide, which set to the south-east, after the rate of at least five miles an hour from a little after seven till midnight, when the tide abated, and the vessel began to heave. By three in the morning, a light breeze at north-west having sprung up, our voyagers sailed for the eastern shore; though they made but little way, in consequence of the tide being against them. The wind, however, having afterwards freshened, and come to north and north-east, with this, and the tide of ebb, they were in a short time hurried through the narrowest part of the strait, and then stood away for the southernmost land they had in prospect. There appeared, over this land, a mountain of stupendous height, which was covered with snow. The narrowest part of the strait, through which the Endeavour had been driven with such rapidity, lies between Cape Tierawitte, on the coast of Eaheinomauwe, and Cape Koamaroo; the distance between which our commander judged to be four or five leagues. Notwithstanding the difficulties arising from this tide, now its strength is known, the strait may be passed without danger.
Some of the officers started a notion, that Eaheinomauwe was not an island, and that the land might stretch away to the south-east, from between Cape Turnagain and Cape Palliser, there being a space of between twelve and fifteen leagues which had not yet been seen. Though Lieutenant Cook, from what he had observed the first time he discovered the strait, and from many other concurrent circumstances, had the strongest conviction that they were mistaken, he, nevertheless, resolved to leave no possibility of doubt with respect to an object of so much importance. For this purpose he gave such a direction to the navigation of the ship, as would most effectually tend to determine the matter. After a course of two days he called the officers upon deck, and asked them, whether they were not now satisfied that Eaheinomauwe was an island. To this question they readily answered in the affirmative; and all doubts being removed, the lieutenant proceeded to farther researches.
During Mr. Cook's long and minute examination of the coast of New Zealand, he gave names to the bays, capes, promontories, islands, and rivers, and other places which were seen or visited by him; excepting in those cases where their original appellations were learned from the natives. The names he fixed upon were either derived from certain characteristic or adventitious circumstances, or were conferred in honour of his friends and acquaintance, chiefly those of the naval line. Such of the readers of the present work as desire to be particularly informed concerning them, will naturally have recourse to the indications of them in the several maps on which they are described.
The ascertaining of New Zealand to be an island did not conclude Lieutenant Cook's examination of the nature, situation, and extent of the country. After this, he completed his circumnavigation, by ranging from Cape Turnagain southward along the eastern coast of Poenammoo, round Cape South, and back to the western entrance of the strait be had passed, and which was very properly named Cook's Strait. This range, which commenced on the 9th of February, I shall not minutely and regularly pursue; but content myself, as in the former course, with mentioning such circumstances as are more directly adapted to my immediate design.
In the afternoon of the 14th, when Mr. Banks was out in the boat a shooting, our voyagers saw, with their glasses, four double canoes put off from the shore towards him, having on board fifty-seven men. The lieutenant, being alarmed for the safety of his friend, immediately ordered signals to be made for his return; but he was prevented from seeing them by the situation of the gun with regard to the ship. However, it was soon with pleasure observed, that his boat was in motion; and he was taken on board before the Indians, who perhaps had not discerned him, came up. Their attention seemed to be wholly fixed upon the ship. They came within about a stone's cast of her, and then stopped, gazing at the English with a look of vacant astonishment. Tupia in vain exerted his eloquence to prevail upon them to make a nearer approach. After surveying our navigators some time, they left them, and made towards the shore. The gentlemen could not help remarking, on this occasion, the different dispositions and behaviour of the different inhabitants of the country, at the first sight of the Endeavour. The people now seen kept aloof with a mixture of timidity and wonder; others had immediately commenced hostilities; the man who was found fishing alone in his canoe appeared to regard our voyagers as totally unworthy of notice; and some had come on board almost without invitation, and with an air of perfect confidence and good will. From the conduct of the last visitors, Lieutenant Cook gave the land from which they had put off, and which had the appearance of an island, the name of Lookers-on.
When an island, which lies about five leagues from the coast of Tovy-Poenammoo, and which was named Banks's Island, was first discovered in the direction of south by west, some persons on board were of opinion, that they saw land bearing south-south-east, and south-east by east. Our commander, who was himself upon the deck at the time, told them that in his judgment it was no more than a cloud, which, as the sun rose, would dissipate and vanish. Being, however determined to leave no subject for disputation which experiment could remove, he ordered the ship to steer in the direction which the supposed country was said to bear. Having gone in this direction eight and twenty miles, without discovering any signs of land, the Endeavour resumed her intended course to the southward, it being the particular view of the lieutenant to ascertain whether Poenammoo was an island or a continent.
In passing some rocks on the 9th of March, in the night, it appeared in the morning that the ship had been in the most imminent danger. Her escape was indeed critical in the highest degree. To these rocks, therefore, which, from their situation, are so well adapted to catch unwary strangers, Mr. Cook gave the name of the Traps. On the same day he reached a point of land which he called the South Cape, and which he supposed, as proved in fact to be the case, the southern extremity of the country.
In sailing, on Wednesday the 14th, the Endeavour passed a small narrow opening in the land, where there seemed to be a very safe and convenient harbour, formed by an island which lay eastward in the middle of the opening. On the land, behind the opening, are mountains, the summits of which were covered with snow, that appeared to have recently fallen. Indeed our voyagers for two days past, had found the weather extremely cold. On each side the entrance of the opening, the land rises almost perpendicularly from the sea to a stupendous height. For this reason Lieutenant Cook did not choose to carry the ship into the harbour. He was sensible that no wind could blow there but right in or right out: and he did not think it by any means advisable to put into a place whence he could not have gotten out, but with a wind, which, experience had taught him did not blow more than one day in a month. Sagacious as this determination of our commander was, it did not give universal satisfaction. He acted in it contrary to the opinion of some persons on board, who expressed in strong terms their desire of coming to harbour; not sufficiently considering, that present convenience ought not to be purchased at the expense of incurring great future disadvantages.
By the 27th of March, Mr. Cook had circumnavigated the whole country of Tovy-Poenammoo, and arrived within sight of the island formerly mentioned, which lies at the distance of nine leagues from the entrance of Queen Charlotte's Sound. Having at this time thirty tons of empty water-casks on board, it was necessary to fill them before he finally proceeded on his voyage. For this purpose he hauled round the island, and entered a bay, situated between that and Queen Charlotte's Sound, and to which the name was given of Admiralty Bay.
The business of wooding and watering having been completed on the 30th, and the ship being ready for the sea, the point now to be determined was, what rout should be pursued in returning home, that would be of most advantage to the public service. Upon this subject the lieutenant thought proper to take the opinion of his officers. He had himself a strong desire to return by Cape Horn, because that would have enabled him to determine, whether there is or is not a southern continent. But against this scheme it was a sufficient objection, that our navigators must have kept in a high southern latitude, in the very depth of winter, and in a vessel which was not thought to be in a condition fit for the undertaking. The same reason was urged with still greater force, against their proceeding directly for the Cape of Good Hope, because no discovery of moment could be expected in that rout. It was therefore resolved that they should return by the East Indies; and that, with this view, they should steer westward, till they should fall in with the east coast of New Holland, and then follow the direction of that coast to the northward, till they should arrive at its northern extremity. If that should be found impracticable, it was further resolved, that they should endeavour to fall in with the land, or islands, said to have been discovered by Quiros.
In the six months which Lieutenant Cook had spent in the examination of New Zealand, he made very large additions to the knowledge of geography and navigation. That country was first discovered in the year 1642, by Abel Jansen Tasman, a Dutch navigator. He traversed the eastern coast from latitude 34° 43', and entered the strait now called Cook's Strait; but being attacked by the natives soon after he came to an anchor, in the place which he named Murderer's Bay, he never went on shore. Nevertheless, he assumed a kind of claim of the country, by calling it Staaten Land, or the Land of the States, in honour of the States General. It is now usually distinguished in maps and charts by the name of New Zealand. The whole of the country, excepting that part of the coast which was seen by Tasman from on board his ship, continued from his time, to the voyage of the Endeavour, altogether unknown. By many persons it has been supposed to constitute a part of a southern continent; but it was now ascertained by Mr. Cook to consist of two large islands, divided from each other by a strait or passage, which is about four or five leagues broad. These islands are situated between the latitudes of 34° and 48° south, and between the longitudes of 181° and 194° west; a matter which Mr. Green determined with uncommon exactness, from innumerable observations of the sun and moon, and one of the transits of Mercury. The northernmost of these islands is called by the natives Eaheinomauwe, and the southernmost Tovy, or Tavai Poenammoo. It is not, however, certain, whether the whole southern island, or only part of it, is comprehended under the latter name.
Tovy Poenammoo is principally a mountainous, and to all appearance a barren country. The only inhabitants and signs of inhabitants that were discovered upon all the islands, were the people whom our voyagers saw in Queen Charlotte's Sound, some that came off to them under the snowy mountains, and several fires which were discerned to the west of Cape Saunders. Eaheinomauwe has a much better appearance. Though it is not only hilly but mountainous, even the hills and mountains are covered with wood, and every valley has a rivulet of water. The soil in these valleys and in the plains, many of which are not overgrown with wood, is in general light, but fertile. It was the opinion of Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, as well as of the other gentlemen on board, that all kinds of European grain, plants, and fruit would flourish here in the utmost luxuriance. There is reason to conclude, from the vegetables which our navigators found in Eaheinomauwe, that the winters are milder than those in England; and the summer was experienced not to be hotter, though it was more equally warm. If this country, therefore, should be settled by people from Europe, they might, with a little industry, very soon be supplied in great abundance, not merely with the necessaries, but even with the luxuries of life.
In Eaheinomauwe there are no quadrupeds but dogs and rats. At least, no other were seen by our voyagers; and the rats are so scarce that they wholly escaped the notice of many on board. Of birds the species are not numerous; and of these no one kind, excepting perhaps the gannet, is exactly the same with those of Europe. Insects are not in greater plenty than birds. The sea makes abundant recompense for this scarcity of animals upon the land. Every creek swarms with fish, which are not only wholesome, but equally delicious with those in our part of the world. The Endeavour seldom anchored in any station, or with a light gale passed any place, that did not afford enough, with hook and line, to serve the whole ship's company. If the seine were made use of it seldom failed of producing a still more ample supply. The highest luxury of this kind, with which the English were gratified was the lobster, or sea cray-fish. Among the vegetable productions of the country, the trees claim a principal place; there being forests of vast extent full of the straightest, the cleanest, and the largest timber Mr. Cook and his friends had ever seen. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were gratified by the novelty, if not by the variety of the plants. Out of about four hundred species, there were not many which had hitherto been described by botanists. There is one plant that serves the natives instead of hemp and flax, and which excels all that are applied to the same purposes in other countries.
If the settling of New Zealand should ever be deemed an object deserving the attention of Great Britain, our commander thought that the best place for establishing a colony would either be on the banks of the Thames, or in the territory adjoining to the Bay of Islands. Each of these places possess the advantage of an excellent harbour. By means of the river, settlements might be extended, and a communication established with the inland parts of the country. Vessels might likewise be built of the fine timber which is every where to be met with, at very little trouble and expense.
But I am in danger of forgetting myself, and of running into a detail which may be thought rather to exceed the intentions of the present narrative. It is difficult to restrain the pen, when such a variety of curious and entertaining matter lies before it; and I must entreat the indulgence of my readers while I mention two or three further particulars. One circumstance peculiarly worthy of notice, is the perfect and uninterrupted health of the inhabitants of New Zealand. In all the visits made to their towns, where old and young, men and women, crowded about our voyagers, they never observed a single person who appeared to have any bodily complaint; nor among the numbers that were seen naked, was once perceived the slightest eruption upon the skin, or the least mark which indicated that such an eruption had, formerly existed. Another proof of the health of these people is the facility with which the wounds they at any time receive are healed. In the man who had been shot with a musket ball through the fleshy part of his arm, the wound seemed to be so well digested, and in so fair a way of being perfectly healed, that if Mr. Cook had not known that no application had been made to it, he declared that he certainly should have inquired, with a very interested curiosity, after the vulnerary herbs and surgical art of the country. An additional evidence of human nature's being untainted with disease in New Zealand, is the great number of old men with whom it abounds. Many of them, by the loss of their hair and teeth, appeared to be very ancient and yet none of them were decrepid. Although they were not equal to the young in muscular strength, they did not come in the least behind them with regard to cheerfulness and vivacity. Water, as far as our navigators could discover, is the universal and only liquor of the New Zealanders. It is greatly to be wished, that their happiness in this respect may never be destroyed by such a connexion with the European nations, as shall introduce that fondness for spirituous liquors, which hath been so fatal to the Indians of North America.
From the observations which Lieutenant Cook and his friends made on the people of New Zealand, and from the similitude which was discerned between them and the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, a strong proof arose, that both of them had one common origin; and this proof was rendered indubitable by the conformity of their language. When Tupia addressed himself to the natives of Eaheinomauwe and Poenammoo, he was perfectly understood. Indeed it did not appear that the language of Otaheite differed more from that of New Zealand, than the language of the two islands into which it is divided, did from each other.
Hitherto the navigation of Lieutenant Cook had been unfavourable to the notion of a southern continent; having swept away at least three-fourths of the positions upon which that notion had been founded. The track of the Endeavour had demonstrated, that the land seen by Tasman, Juan Fernandes, Hermite, the commander of a Dutch squadron, Quiros, and Roggewein, was not, as they had supposed, part of such a continent. It had also totally destroyed the theoretical arguments in favour of a southern continent, which had been drawn from the necessity of it to preserve an equilibrium between the two hemispheres. As, however, Mr. Cook's discoveries, so far as he had already proceeded, extended only to the northward of forty degrees, south latitude, he could not therefore give an opinion concerning what land might lie farther to the southward. This was a matter, therefore, which he earnestly wished to be examined; and to him at length was reserved the honour, as we shall hereafter see, of putting a final end to the question.
On Saturday the 31st of March, our commander sailed from Cape Farewell in New Zealand, and pursued his voyage to the westward. New Holland, or as it is now called, New South Wales, came in sight on the 19th of April; and on the 28th of that month the ship anchored in Botany Bay. On the preceding day, in consequence of its falling calm when the vessel was not more than a mile and a half from the shore and within some breakers, our navigators had been in a very disagreeable situation; but happily a light breeze had sprung from the land, and carried them out of danger.
In the afternoon the boats were manned; and Lieutenant Cook and his friends, having Tupia of their party, set out from the Endeavour. They intended to land where they had seen some Indians, and began to hope, that as these Indians had paid no regard to the ship when she came into the bay, they would be as inattentive to the advances of the English towards the shore. In this, however, the gentlemen were disappointed: for as soon as they approached the rocks, two of the men came down upon them to dispute their landing, and the rest ran away. These champions, who were armed with lances about ten feet long, called to our navigators in a very loud tone, and in a harsh dissonant language, of which even Tupia did not understand a single word. At the same time, they brandished their weapons, and seemed resolved to defend their coast to the utmost, though they were but two to forty. The lieutenant, who could not but admire their courage, and who was unwilling that hostilities should commence with such inequality of force on their side, ordered his boat to lie upon her oars. He and the other gentlemen then parlied with them by signs; and to obtain their good-will, he threw them nails, beads, and several trifles besides, with which they appeared to be well pleased. After this our commander endeavoured to make them understand that he wanted water, and attempted to convince them by all the methods in his power, that he had no injurious designs against them. Being willing to interpret the waving of their hands as an invitation to proceed, the boat put in to the shore; but no sooner was this perceived, than it was opposed by the two Indians, one of whom seemed to be a youth about nineteen or twenty years old, and the other a man of middle age. The only measure now left for Mr. Cook was to fire a musket between them which being done, the youngest of them brought a bundle of lances on the rock, but recollecting himself in an instant he snatched them up again in great haste. A stone was then thrown at the English, upon which the lieutenant ordered a musket to be fired with small shot. This struck the eldest upon the legs, and he immediately ran to one of the houses, which was at about a hundred yards distance. Mr. Cook, who now hoped that the contest was over, instantly landed with his party; but they had scarcely quitted the boat when the Indian returned, having only left the rocks to fetch a shield or target for his defence. As soon as he came up, he and his comrade threw each of them a lance in the midst of our people, but happily without hurting a single person. At the firing of a third musket, one of the two men darted another lance, and then both of them ran away. After this the gentlemen repaired to the huts, and threw into the house where the children were, some beads, ribbons, pieces of cloth, and other presents. These they hoped would procure them the good will of the inhabitants. When, however, the lieutenant and his companions returned the next day, they had the mortification of finding that the beads and ribbons, which they had left the night before, had not been removed from their places, and that not an Indian was to be seen.
Several of the natives of the country came in sight on the 30th, but they could not be engaged to begin an intercourse with our people. They approached within a certain distance of them, and, after shouting several times, went back into the woods. Having done this once more, Mr. Cook followed them himself, alone and unarmed, a considerable way along the shore, but without prevailing upon them to stop.
On the 1st of May, he resolved to make an excursion into the country. Accordingly, our commander, Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and seven others, all of them properly accoutred for the expedition, set out, and repaired first to the huts near the watering-place, whither some of the Indians continued every day to resort. Though the little presents which had been left there before had not yet been taken away, our gentlemen added others of still greater value, consisting of cloth, beads, combs, and looking-glasses. After this they went up into the country, the face of which is finely diversified by wood and lawn. The soil they found to be either swamp or light sand.
[Footnote 6: In a part of the country that was afterwards
examined, the soil was found to be much richer; being a deep black
mould, which the lieutenant thought very fit for the production of
grain of any kind.]
In cultivating the ground, there would be no obstruction from the trees, which are tall, straight, and without underwood, and stand at a sufficient distance from each other. Between the trees, the land is abundantly covered with grass. Our voyagers saw many houses of the inhabitants, but met with only one of the people, who ran away as soon as he discovered the English. At every place where they went they left presents, hoping that at length they might procure the confidence and good will of the Indians. They perceived some traces of animals; and the trees over their heads abounded with birds of various kinds, among which were many of exquisite beauty. Loriquets and cockatoos, in particular, were so numerous, that they flew in flocks of several scores together.
While the lieutenant and his friends were upon this excursion, Mr. Gore, who had been sent out in the morning to dredge for oysters, having performed that service, dismissed his boat, and taking a midshipman with him, set out to join the waterers by land. In his way, he fell in with a body of two and twenty Indians, who followed him, and were often at no greater distance than that of twenty yards. When he perceived them so near, he stopped, and faced about, upon which they likewise stopped; and when he went on again, they continued their pursuit. But though they were all armed with lances, they did not attack Mr. Gore; so that he and the midshipman got in safety to the watering-place. When the natives came in sight of the main body of the English, they halted at about the distance of a quarter of a mile, and stood still. By this Mr. Monkhouse and two or three of the waterers were encouraged to march up to them; but seeing the Indians keep their ground, they were seized with a sudden fear which is not uncommon to the rash and foolhardy, and made a hasty retreat. This step increased the danger which it was intended to avoid. Four of the Indians immediately ran forwards, and discharged their lances at the fugitives, with such force that they went beyond them. Our people recovering their spirits, stopped to collect the lances, upon which the natives, in their turn, began to retire. At this time Mr. Cook came up, with Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia; and being desirous of convincing the Indians that they were neither afraid of them, nor designed to do them any injury, they advanced towards them, endeavouring, by signs of expostulation and entreaty, to engage them to an intercourse but without effect.
From the boldness which the natives discovered on the first landing of our voyagers, and the terror that afterward seized them at the sight of the English, it appears that they were sufficiently intimidated by our fire-arms. There was not indeed, the least reason to believe that any of them had been much hurt by the small shot which had been fired at them when they attacked our people on their coming out of the boat. Nevertheless, they had probably seen from their lurking places, the effects which the muskets had upon birds. Tupia, who was become a good marksman, frequently strayed abroad to shoot parrots; and while he was thus employed, he once met with nine Indians, who, as soon as they perceived that he saw them, ran from him, in great alarm and confusion.
While on the 3rd of May, Mr. Banks was gathering plants near the watering-place, Lieutenant Cook went with Dr. Solander and Mr. Monkhouse, to the head of the bay, for the purpose of examining that part of the country, and of making further attempts to form some connexions with the natives. In this excursion they acquired additional knowledge concerning the nature of the soil, and its capacities for cultivation, but had no success in their endeavours to engage the inhabitants in coming to a friendly intercourse. Several parties, that were sent into the country, on the next day, with the same view, were equally unsuccessful. In the afternoon our commander himself, with a number of attendants, made an excursion to the north shore, which he found to be without wood, and to resemble in some degree, our moors in England. The surface of the ground was, however, covered with a thin brush of plants, rising to about the height of the knee. Near the coast, the hills are low, but there are others behind them, which gradually ascend to a considerable distance, and are intersected with marshes and morasses. Among the articles of fish which, at different times were caught, were large stingrays. One of them, when his entrails were taken out, weighed three hundred and thirty-six pounds.
It was upon account of the great quantity of plants which Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander collected in this place, that Lieutenant Cook was induced to give it the name of Botany Bay. It is situated in the latitude of 34° south, and in the longitude of 208° 37' west; and affords a capacious, safe, and convenient shelter for shipping. The Endeavour anchored near the south shore, about a mile within the entrance, for the convenience of sailing with a southerly wind, and because the lieutenant thought it the best situation for watering. But afterward he found a very fine stream on the north shore, where was a sandy cove, in which a ship might lie almost land-locked, and procure wood and water to the greatest abundance. Though wood is every where plentiful our commander saw only two species of it that could be considered as timber. Not only the inhabitants who were first discovered, but all who afterward came in sight, were entirely naked. Of their mode of life, our voyagers could know but little, as not the least connexion could be formed with them; but it did not appear that they were numerous, or that they lived in societies. They seemed, like other animals, to be scattered about along the coast, and in the woods. Not a single article was touched by them of all that were left at their huts, or at the places which they frequented; so little sense had they of those small conveniences and ornaments, which are generally very alluring to the uncivilized tribes of the globe. During Mr. Cook's stay at this place, he caused the English colours to be displayed every day on shore, and took care that the ship's name, and the date of the year, should be inscribed upon one of the trees near the watering-place.
At day-break, on Sunday the 6th of May, our navigators sailed from Botany Bay; and as they proceeded on their voyage, the lieutenant gave the names that are indicated upon the map to the bays, capes, points, and remarkable hills which successively appeared in sight. On the 14th, as the Endeavour advanced to the northward, being then in latitude 30° 22' south, and longitude 206° 39' west, the land gradually increased in height, so that it may be called a hilly country. Between this latitude and Botany Bay, it exhibits a pleasing variety of ridges, hills, valleys and plains, all clothed with wood, of the same appearance with that which has been mentioned before. The land near the shore is in general low and sandy, excepting the points, which are rocky, and over many of which are high hills, that, at their first rising out of the water, have the semblance of islands. On the next day, the vessel being about a league from the shore, our voyagers discovered smoke in many places, and having recourse to their glasses, they saw about twenty of the natives, who had each of them a large bundle upon his back. The bundles our people conjectured to be palm leaves for covering the houses of the Indians, and continued to observe them above an hour, during which they walked upon the beach, and up a path that led over a hill of gentle ascent. It was remarkable, that not one of them was seen to stop and look towards the Endeavour. They marched along without the least apparent emotion either of curiosity or surprise, though it was impossible that they should not have discerned the ship, by some casual glance, as they went along the shore, and though she must have been the most stupendous and unaccountable object they had ever beheld.
While on the 17th, our navigators were in a bay, to which Lieutenant Cook had given the name of Moreton's Bay, and at a place were the land was not at that time visible, some on board, having observed that the sea looked paler than usual, were of opinion that the bottom of the bay opened into a river. The lieutenant was sensible that there was no real ground for this supposition. As the Endeavour had here thirty-four fathom water, and a fine sandy bottom, these circumstances alone were sufficient to produce the change which had been noticed in the colour of the sea. Nor was it by any means necessary, to suppose a river, in order to account for the land at the bottom of the bay not being visible. If the land there was as low as it had been experienced to be in a hundred other parts of the coast, it would be impossible to see it from the station of the ship. Our commander would, however, have brought the matter to the test of experiments, if the wind had been favourable to such a purpose. Should any future navigator be disposed to determine the question, whether there is or is not a river in this place, Mr. Cook has taken care to leave the best directions for finding its situation.
On the 22nd, as our voyagers were pursuing their course from Harvey's Bay, they discovered with their glasses that the land was covered with palm-nut trees, which they had not seen from the time of their leaving the islands within the tropic. They saw also two men walking along the shore, who paid them as little attention, as they had met with on former occasions. At eight o'clock in the evening of this day, the ship came to an anchor in five fathom, with a fine sandy bottom. Early in the morning of the next day, the lieutenant, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, the other gentlemen, Tupia, and a party of men, went on shore in order to examine the country. The wind blew fresh, and the weather was so cold, that being at a considerable distance from land, they took their cloaks as a necessary equipment for the voyage. When they landed, they found a channel leading into a large lagoon. Both the channel and the lagoon were examined by our commander with his usual accuracy. There is in the place a small river of fresh water, and room for a few ships to lie in great security. Near the lagoon grows the true mangrove, such as exists in the West India islands, and the first of the kind that had been yet met with by our navigators. Among the shoals and sand banks of the coast, they saw many large birds, and some in particular of the same kind which they had seen in Botany Bay. These they judged to be pelicans, but they were so shy as never to come within reach of a musket. On the shore was found a species of the bustard, one of which was shot that was equal in size to a turkey, weighing seventeen pounds and a half. All the gentlemen agreed that this was the best bird they had eaten since they left England; and in honour of it they called the inlet Bustard Bay. Upon the mud banks, and under the mangroves, were innumerable oysters of various kinds, and among others the hammer oyster, with a large proportion of small pearl oysters. If in deeper water there should be equal plenty of such oysters at their full growth, Mr. Cook was of opinion that a pearl fishery might be established here to very great advantage.
The people who were left on board the ship asserted, that, while the gentlemen were in the woods, about twenty of the natives came down to the beach, abreast of the Endeavour, and, after having looked at her for some time, went away. Not a single Indian was seen by the gentlemen themselves, though they found various proofs, in smoke, fires, and the fragments of recent meals, that the country was inhabited. The place seemed to be much trodden, and yet not a house, or the remains of a house, could be discerned. Hence the lieutenant and his friends were disposed to believe, that the people were destitute of dwellings, as well as of clothes; and that like the other commoner of nature, they spent their nights in the open air. Tupia himself was struck with their apparently unhappy condition; and shaking his head, with an air of superiority and compassion, said that they were taata enos, 'poor wretches.'
On the 25th, our voyagers, at the distance of one mile from the land, were abreast of a point, which Mr. Cook found to lie directly under the tropic of Capricorn; and for this reason he called it Cape Capricorn. In the night of the next day, when the ship had anchored at a place which was distant four leagues from Cape Capricorn, the tide rose and fell near seven feet; and the flood set to the westward, and the ebb to the eastward. This circumstance was just the reverse of what had been experienced when the Endeavour was at anchor to the eastward of Bustard Bay.
While our people were under sail, on the 26th, and were surrounded with islands, which lay at different distance from the main land, they suddenly fell into three fathom of water. Upon this the lieutenant anchored, and sent away the master to sound a channel, which lay between the northernmost island and the main. Though the channel appeared to have a considerable breadth, our commander suspected it to be shallow, and such was in fact the case. The master reported, at his return, that he had only two fathom and a half in many places; and where the vessel lay at anchor, she had only sixteen feet, which was not two feet more than she drew. Mr. Banks who, while the master was sounding the channel, tried to fish from the cabin window with hook and line, was successful in catching two sort of crabs, both of them such as our navigators had not seen before. One of them was adorned with a most beautiful blue, in every respect equal to the ultramarine. With this blue all his claws and joints are deeply tinged; while the under part of him was white, and so exquisitely polished, that to colour and brightness it bore an exact resemblance to the white of old china. The other crab was also marked, though somewhat more sparingly, with the ultramarine on his joints and his toes; and on his back were three brown spots of a singular appearance.
Early the next morning, Lieutenant Cook, having found the passage between the Islands, sailed to the northward, and, on the evening of the succeeding day, anchored at about two miles distance from the main. At this time a great number of islands, lying a long way without the ship, were in sight. On the 29th, the lieutenant sent away the master with two boats to sound the entrance of an inlet, which lay to the west, and into which he intended to go with the vessel, that he might wait a few days for the moon's increase, and have an opportunity of examining the country. As the tide was observed to ebb and flow considerably, when the Endeavour had anchored within the inlet, our commander judged it to be a river, that might run pretty far up into land. Thinking that this might afford a commodious situation for laying the ship ashore, and cleaning her bottom, he landed with the master, in search of a proper place for the purpose. He was accompanied in the excursion by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander; and they found walking exceedingly troublesome, in consequence of the ground's being covered with a kind of grass, the seeds of which were very sharp and bearded. Whenever these seeds stuck into their clothes, which happened at every step, they worked forward by means of the beard, till they got at the flesh. Another disagreeable circumstance was, that the gentlemen were incessantly tormented with the stings of a cloud of musquitos. They soon met with several places where the ship might conveniently be laid ashore; but were much disappointed in not being able to find any fresh water. In proceeding up the country they found gum trees, the gum upon which existed only to very small quantities. Gum trees of a similar kind and as little productive, had occurred in other parts of the coast of New South Wales. Upon the branches of the trees were ants' nests, made of clay as big as a bushel. The ants themselves, by which the nests were inhabited, were small, and their bodies white. Upon another species of the gum trees, was found a small black ant, which perforated all the twigs, and, having worked out the pith, occupied the pipe in which it had been contained. Notwithstanding this, the parts in which these insects, to an amazing number, had formed a lodgment, bore leaves and flowers, and appeared to be entirely in a flourishing state. Butterflies were found in such multitudes, that the account of them seems almost to be incredible. The air was so crowded with them, for the space of three or four acres, that millions might be seen in every direction; and the branches and twigs of the trees were at the same time covered with others that were not upon the wing. A small fish a of singular kind was likewise met with in this place. Its size was about that of a minnow, and it had two very strong breast-fins. It was found in places which were quite dry, and where it might be supposed that it had been left by the tide; and yet it did not appear to have become languid from that circumstance: for when it was approached, it leaped away as nimbly as a frog. Indeed it did not seem to prefer water to land.
Though the curiosity of Mr. Cook and his friends was gratified by the sight of these various objects, they were disappointed in the attainment of their main purpose, the discovery of fresh water; and a second excursion, which was made by them on the afternoon of the same day, was equally unsuccessful. The failure of the lieutenant's hopes determined him to make but a short stay in the place. Having, however, observed from an eminence, that the inlet penetrated a considerable way into the country, he formed a resolution of tracing it in the morning. Accordingly, at sunrise, on Wednesday the 30th of May, he went on shore, and took a view of the coast and the islands that lie off it with their bearings. For this purpose he had with him an azimuth compass; but he found, that the needle differed very considerably in its position, even to thirty degrees; the variation being in some places more, in others less. Once the needle varied from itself no less than two points in the distance of fourteen feet. Mr. Cook having taken up some of the loose stones which lay upon the ground, applied them to the needle, but they produced no effect; whence he concluded that in the hills there was iron ore, traces of which he had remarked both here and in the neighbouring parts. After he had made his observations upon the hill, he proceeded with Dr. Solander up the inlet. He set out with the first of the flood, and had advanced above eight leagues, long before it was high-water. The breadth of the inlet, thus far, was from two to five miles, upon a direction south-west by south; but here it opened every way, and formed a large lake, which to the north-west communicated with the sea. Our commander not only saw the sea in this direction, but found the tide of flood coming strongly in from that point. He observed, also, an arm of this lake extending to the eastward. Hence he thought it not improbable, that it might communicate with the sea in the bottom of the bay, which lies to the westward of the Cape, that on the chart is designated by the name of Cape Townshend. On the south side of the lake is a ridge of hills which the lieutenant was desirous of climbing. As, however, it was high water, and the day was far spent; and as the weather, in particular, was dark and rainy, he was afraid of being bewildered among the shoals in the night, and therefore was obliged to give up his inclination, and to make the best of his way to the ship. Two people only were seen by him, who followed the boat along the shore a good way at some distance; but he could not prudently wait for them, as the tide ran strongly in his favour. Several fires in one direction, and smoke in another, exhibited farther proofs of the country's being in a certain degree inhabited.
While Mr. Cook, with Dr. Solander, was tracing the inlet, Mr. Banks and a party with him engaged in a separate excursion, in which they had not proceeded far within land, before their course was obstructed by a swamp, covered with mangroves. This, however, they determined to pass; and having done it with great difficulty, they came up to a place where there had been four small fires, near to which lay some shells and bones of fish, that had been roasted. Heaps of grass were also found lying together, on which four or five people appeared to have slept. Mr. Gore, in another place, observed the track of a large animal. Some bustards were likewise seen, but not any other bird, excepting a few beautiful loriquets, of the same kind with those which had been noticed in Botany Bay. The country in general, in this part of New South Wales, appeared sandy and barren, and destitute of the accommodations which could fit it for being possessed by settled inhabitants. From the ill success that attended the searching for fresh water, Lieutenant Cook called the inlet in which the ship lay Thirsty Sound. No refreshment of any other sort was here procured by our voyagers.
Our commander, not having a single inducement to stay longer in this place, weighed anchor in the morning of the 31st and put to sea. In the prosecution of the voyage, when the Endeavour was close under Cape Upstart, the variation of the needle, at sunset, on the 4th of June, was 9° east, and at sunrise the next day, it was no more that 5° 35'. Hence the lieutenant concluded, that it had been influenced by iron ore, or by some other magnetical matter contained under the surface of the earth. In the afternoon of the 7th our navigators saw upon one of the islands what had the appearance of cocoa-nut trees; and as few nuts would at this time have been very acceptable, Mr. Cook sent Lieutenant Hicks ashore, to see if he could procure any refreshment. He was accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander; and in the evening the gentlemen returned, with an account that what had been taken for cocoa-nut trees were a small kind of cabbage-palm, and that, excepting about fourteen or fifteen plants, nothing could be obtained which was worth bringing away. On the 8th, when the Endeavour was in the midst of a cluster of small islands, our voyagers discerned with their glasses, upon one of the nearest of these islands, about thirty of the natives, men, women, and children, all standing together, and looking with great attention at the ship. This was the first instance of curiosity that had been observed among the people of the country. The present Indian spectators were entirely naked. Their hair was short, and their complexion the same with that of such of the inhabitants as had been seen before.
In navigating the coast of New South Wales, where the sea in all parts conceals shoals, which suddenly project from the shore, and rocks, that rise abruptly like a pyramid from the bottom, our commander had hitherto conducted his vessel in safety, for an extent of two and twenty degrees of latitude, being more than one thousand three hundred miles. But, on the 10th of June, as he was pursuing his course from a bay to which he had given the name of Trinity Bay, the Endeavour fell into a situation, as critical and dangerous, as any that is recorded in the history of navigation; a history which abounds with perilous adventures, and almost miraculous escapes. Our voyagers were now near the latitude assigned to the islands that were discovered by Quiros, and which, without sufficient reason, some geographers have thought proper to join to this land. The ship had the advantage of a fine breeze, and a clear moonlight night; and in standing off from six till near nine o'clock, she had deepened her water from fourteen to twenty-one fathom. But while our navigators were at supper, it suddenly shoaled, and they fell into twelve, ten, and eight fathom, within the compass of a few minutes. Mr. Cook immediately ordered every man to his station, and all was ready to put about and come to an anchor, when deep water being met with again at the next cast of the lead, it was concluded that the vessel had gone over the tail of the shoals which had been seen at sun-set, and that the danger was now over. The idea of security was confirmed by the water's continuing to deepen to twenty and twenty-one fathom, so that the gentlemen left the deck in great tranquillity, and went to bed. However, a little before eleven, the water shoaled at once from twenty to seventeen fathom, and before the lead could be cast again, the ship struck, and remained immoveable, excepting so far as she was influenced by the heaving of the surge, that beat her against the crags of the rock upon which she lay. A few moments brought every person upon deck, with countenances suited to the horrors of the situation. As our people knew, from the breeze which they had in the evening, that they could not be very near the shore, there was too much reason to conclude, that they were on a rock of coral, which, on account of the sharpness of its points, and the roughness of its surface, is more fatal than any other. On examining the depth of water round the ship, it was speedily discovered that the misfortune of our voyagers was equal to their apprehensions. The vessel had been lifted over a ledge of the rock, and lay in a hollow within it, in some places of which hollow there were from three to four fathom, and in others not so many feet of water. To complete the scene of distress, it appeared from the light of the moon, that the sheathing boards from the bottom of the ship were floating away all around her, and at last her false keel; so that every moment was making way for the whole company's being swallowed up by the rushing in of the sea. There was now no chance but to lighten her, and the opportunity had unhappily been lost of doing it to the best advantage; for, as the Endeavour had gone ashore just at high water, and by this time it had considerably fallen, she would, when lightened, be but in the same situation as at first. The only alleviation of this circumstance was, that as the tide ebbed, the vessel settled to the rocks, and was not beaten against them with so much violence. Our people had, indeed, some hope from the next tide, though it was doubtful whether the ship would hold together so long, especially as the rock kept grating part of her bottom with such force as to be heard in the fore store-room. No effort, however, was remitted from despair of success. That no time might be lost, the water was immediately started in the hold, and pumped up; six guns, being all that were upon the deck, a quantity of iron and stone ballast, casks, hoop-staves, oil jars, decayed stores, and a variety, of things besides, were thrown overboard with the utmost expedition. Every one exerted himself not only without murmuring and discontent, but even with an alacrity which almost approached to cheerfulness. So sensible, at the same time, were the men of the awfulness of their situation, that not an oath was heard among them, the detestable habit of profane swearing being instantly subdued by the dread of incurring guilt when a speedy death was in view.
When Lieutenant Cook and all the people about him were thus employed, the opening of the morning of the 11th of June presented them with a fuller prospect of their danger. The land was seen by them at about eight leagues distance, without any island in the intermediate space upon which, if the ship had gong to pieces, they might have been set ashore by the boats, and carried thence by different turns to the main. Gradually, however, the wind died away, and, early in the forenoon, it became a dead calm; a circumstance this, peculiarly happy in the order of Divine Providence; for if it had blown hard, the vessel must inevitably have been destroyed. High water being expected at eleven in the morning, and every thing being made ready to heave her off if she should float; to the inexpressible surprise and concern of our navigators, so much did the day tide fall short of that of the night, that though they had lightened the ship nearly fifty ton, she did not float by a foot and a half. Hence it became necessary to lighten her still more, and every thing was thrown overboard that could possibly be spared. Hitherto the Endeavour had not admitted much water; but as the tide fell, it rushed in so fast, that she could scarcely be kept free, though two pumps were incessantly worked. There were now no hopes but from the tide at midnight; to prepare for taking the advantage of which the most vigorous efforts were exerted. About five o'clock in the afternoon the tide began to rise, but, at the same time, the leak increased to a most alarming degree. Two more pumps, therefore, were manned, one of which unhappily would not work. Three pumps, however, were kept going, and at nine o'clock the ship righted. Nevertheless, the leak had gained so considerably upon her, that it was imagined that she must go to the bottom, as soon as she ceased to be supported by the rock. It was, indeed, a dreadful circumstance to our commander and his people, that they were obliged to anticipate the floating of the vessel, not as an earnest of their deliverance, but as an event which probably would precipitate their destruction. They knew that their boats were not capable of carrying the whole of them on shore, and that when the dreadful crisis should arrive, all command and subordination being at an end, a contest for preference might be expected, which would increase even the horrors of shipwreck, and turn their rage against each other. Some of them were sensible that if they should escape to the main land, they were likely to suffer more upon the whole, than those who would be left on board to perish in the waves. The latter would only be exposed to instant death; whereas the former, when they got on shore, would have no lasting or effectual defence against the natives, in a part of the country where even nets and fire-arms could scarcely furnish them with food. But supposing that they should find the means of subsistence; how horrible must be their state, to be condemned to languish out the remainder of their lives in a desolate wilderness without the possession or hope of domestic comfort; and to be cut off from all commerce with mankind, excepting that of the naked savages, who prowl the desert, and who perhaps are some of the most rude and uncivilized inhabitants of the earth.
The dreadful moment which was to determine the fate of our voyagers now drew on; and every one saw, in the countenances of his companions, the picture of his own sensations. Not, however, giving way to despair, the lieutenant ordered the capstan and windlass to be manned with as many hands as could be spared from the pumps, and the ship having floated about twenty minutes after ten o'clock, the grand effort was made, and she was heaved into deep water. It was no small consolation to find, that she did not now admit of more water than she had done when upon the rock. By the gaining, indeed, of the leak upon the pumps, three feet and nine inches of water were in the hold; notwithstanding which, the men did not relinquish their labour. Thus they held the water as it were at bay: but having endured excessive fatigue of body, and agitation of mind, for more than twenty-four hours, and all this being attended with little hope of final success, they began, at length, to flag. None of them could work at the pump above five or six minutes together, after which, being totally exhausted they threw themselves down upon the deck, though a stream of water, between three or four inches deep, was running over it from the pumps. When those who succeeded them had worked their time, and in their turn were exhausted, they threw themselves down in the same manner and the others started up again, to renew their labour. While thus they were employed in relieving each other, an accident was very nearly putting an immediate end to all their efforts. The planking which lines the ship's bottom is called the ceiling, between which and the outside planking there is a space of about eighteen inches. From this ceiling only, the man who had hitherto attended the well had taken the depth of the water, and had given the measure accordingly. But, upon his being relieved, the person who came in his room reckoned the depth to the outside planking which had the appearance of the leak's having gained upon the pumps eighteen inches in a few minutes. The mistake, however, was soon detected; and the accident, which in its commencement was very formidable to them, became, in fact, highly advantageous. Such was the joy which every man felt at finding his situation better than his fears had suggested, that it operated with wonderful energy, and seemed to possess him with a strong persuasion that scarcely any real danger remained. New confidence and new hope inspired fresh vigour; and the efforts of the men were exerted with so much alacrity and spirit, that before eight o'clock in the morning the pumps had gained considerably upon the leak. All the conversation now turned upon carrying the ship into some harbour, as a thing not to be doubted; and as hands could be spared from the pumps, they were employed in getting up the anchors. It being found impossible to save the little bower anchor, it was cut away at a whole cable, and the cable of the stream anchor was lost among the rocks; but in the situation of our people, these were trifles which scarcely attracted their notice. The fore topmast and fore yard were next erected, and there being a breeze from the sea, the Endeavour, at eleven o'clock, got once more under sail, and stood for the land.
Notwithstanding these favourable circumstances, our voyagers were still very far from being in a state of safety. It was not possible long to continue the labour by which the pumps had been made to gain upon the leak; and as the exact place of it could not be discovered, there was no hope of stopping it within. At this crisis, Mr. Monkhouse, one of the midshipmen, came to Lieutenant Cook, and proposed an expedient he had once seen used on board a merchant ship, which had sprung a leak that admitted more than four feet water in an hour, and which by this means had been safely brought from Virginia to London. To Mr. Monkhouse, therefore, the care of the expedient, which is called forthering the ship, was, with proper assistance, committed; and his method of proceeding was as follows. He took a lower studding sail, and having mixed together a large quantity of oakum and wool, he stitched it down as lightly as possible, in handfuls upon the sail, and spread over it the dung of the sheep of the vessel, and ether filth. The sail being thus prepared, it was hauled under the ship's bottom by ropes, which kept it extended. When it came under the leak, the suction that carried in the water, carried in with it the oakum and wool from the surface of the sail. In other parts the water was not sufficiently agitated to wash off the oakum and the wool. The success of the expedient was answerable to the warmest expectations; for hereby the leak was so far reduced, that, instead of gaining upon three pumps, it was easily kept under with one. Here was such a new source of confidence and comfort, that our people could scarcely have expressed more joy, if they had been already in port. It had lately been the utmost object of their hope, to run the ship ashore in some harbour, either of an island or the main, and to build a vessel out of her materials, to carry them to the East Indies. Nothing, however, was now thought of but to range along the coast in search of a convenient place to repair the damage the Endeavour had sustained, and then to prosecute the voyage upon the same plan as if no impediment had happened. In justice and gratitude to the ship's company, and the gentlemen on board, Mr. Cook has recorded, that although in the midst of their distress all of them seemed to have a just sense of their danger, no man gave way to passionate exclamations, or frantic gestures. 'Every one appeared to have the perfect possession of his mind, and every one exerted himself to the utmost, with a quiet and patient perseverance, equally distant from the tumultuous violence of terror, and the gloomy inactivity of despair.' Though the lieutenant hath said nothing of himself, it is well known that his own composure, fortitude, and activity, were equal to the greatness of the occasion.
To complete the history of this wonderful preservation, it is necessary to bring forward a circumstance, which could not be discovered till the ship was laid down to be repaired. It was then found, that one of her holes, which was large enough to have sunk our navigators, if they had had eight pumps instead of four, and had been able to keep them incessantly going, was in a great measure filled up by a fragment of the rock, upon which the Endeavour had struck. To this singular event, therefore, it was owing, that the water did not pour in with a violence, which must speedily have involved the Endeavour and all her company in inevitable destruction.
Hitherto none of the names, by which our commander had distinguished the several parts of the country seen by him, were memorials of distress. But the anxiety and danger, which he and his people had now experienced, induced him to call the point in sight, which lay to the northward, Cape Tribulation.
The next object, after this event, was to look out for a harbour, where the defects of the ship might be repaired, and the vessel put into proper order for future navigation. On the 14th, a small harbour was happily discovered, which was excellently adapted to the purpose. It was, indeed, remarkable, that, during the whole course of the voyage, our people had seen no place which, in their present circumstances, could have afforded them the same relief. They could not, however, immediately get into it; and in the midst of all their joy for their unexpected deliverance, they had not forgotten that there was nothing but a lock of wool between them and destruction.
At this time, the scurvy, with many formidable symptoms, began to make its appearance among our navigators. Tupia, in particular, was so grievously affected with the disease, that all the remedies prescribed by the surgeon could not retard its progress. Mr. Green, the astronomer, was also upon the decline. These and other circumstances embittered the delay which prevented our commander and his companions from getting on shore. In the morning of the 17th, though the wind was still fresh, the lieutenant ventured to weigh, and to put in for the harbour, the entrance into which was by a very narrow channel. In making the attempt, the ship was twice run aground. At the first time she went off without any trouble, but the second time, she stuck fast. Nevertheless, by proper exertions, in conjunction with the rising of the tide, she floated about one o'clock in the afternoon, and was soon warped into the harbour. The succeeding day was employed in erecting two tents, in landing the provisions and stores, and in making every preparation for repairing the damages which the Endeavour had sustained. In the meanwhile, Mr. Cook, who had ascended one of the highest hills that overlooked the harbour was by no means entertained with a comfortable prospect; the low land near the river being wholly overrun with mangroves, among which the salt water flows at every tide, and the high land appearing to be altogether stony and barren. Mr. Banks also took a walk up the country, and met with the frames of several old Indian houses, and places where the natives, though not recently, had dressed shell fish. The boat, which had this day been dispatched to haul the seine, with a view of procuring some fish for the refreshment of the sick, returned without success. Tupia was more fortunate. Having employed himself in angling, and lived entirely upon what he caught, he recovered in a surprising degree. Mr. Green, to the regret of his friends, exhibited no symptoms of returning health.
On the 19th, Mr. Banks crossed the river, to take a farther view of the country; which he found to consist principally of sand hills. Some Indian houses were seen by him, that appeared to have been very lately inhabited; and in his walk be met with large flocks of pigeons and crows. The pigeons were exceedingly beautiful. Of these he shot several; but the crows, which were exactly like those in England, were so shy, that they never came within the reach of his gun.
It was not till the 22nd, that the tide so far left the Endeavour, as to give our people an opportunity of examining her leak. In the place where it was found, the rocks had made their way through four planks, and even into the timbers. Three more planks were greatly damaged, and there was something very extraordinary in the appearance of the breaches. Not a splinter was to be seen, but all was as smooth as if the whole had been cut away by an instrument. It was a peculiarly happy circumstance, that the timbers were here very close, since otherwise the ship could not possibly have been saved. Now also it was that the fragment of rock was discovered, which, by sticking in the leak of the vessel had been such a providential instrument of her preservation.
On the same day, some of the people who had been sent to shoot pigeons for the sick, and who had discovered many Indian houses, and a fine stream of fresh water reported at their return, that they had seen an animal as large as a greyhound, of a slender make, of a mouse colour, and extremely swift. As the lieutenant was walking, on the morning of the 24th, at a little distance from the ship, he had an opportunity of seeing an animal of the same kind. From the description he gave of it, and from an imperfect view which occurred to Mr. Banks, the latter gentleman was of opinion that its species was hitherto unknown.
The position of the vessel, while she was refitting for sea, was very near depriving the world of that botanical knowledge, which Mr. Banks had procured at the expense of so much labour, and such various perils. For the greater security of the curious collection of plants which he had made during the whole voyage, he had removed them into the bread room. This room is in the after part of the ship, the head of which, for the purpose of repairing her, was laid much higher than the stern. No one having thought of the danger to which this circumstance might expose the plants, they were found to be under water. However, by the exercise of unremitting care and attention, the larger part of them were restored to a state of preservation.
On the 29th of June, at two o'clock in the morning Mr. Cook, in conjunction with Mr. Green, observed an emersion of Jupiter's first satellite. The time here was 2h 18' 53", which gave the longitude of the place at 214° 42' 30" west: its latitude is 15° 26' south. The next morning the lieutenant sent some of the young gentlemen to take a plan of the harbour, whilst he himself ascended a hill, that he might gain a full prospect of the sea: and it was a prospect which presented him with a lively view of the difficulties of his situation. To his great concern he saw innumerable sand-banks and shoals, lying in every direction of the coast. Some of them extended as far as he could discern with his glass, and many of them did but just rise above water. To the northward there was an appearance of a passage, and this was the only direction to which our commander could hope to get clear, in the prosecution of his voyage; for, as the wind blew constantly from the south-east, to return by the southward would have been extremely difficult, if not absolutely impossible. On this, and the preceding day, our people had been very successful in hauling the seine. The supply of fish was so great, that the lieutenant was now able to distribute two pounds and a half to each man. A quantity of greens having likewise been gathered, he ordered them to be boiled with peas. Hence an excellent mess was produced, which, in conjunction with the fish, afforded an unspeakable refreshment to the whole of the ship's company.
Early in the morning of the 2d of July, Lieutenant Cook sent the master out of the harbour, in the pinnace, to sound about the shoals, and to search for a channel to the northward. A second attempt, which was made this day, to heave off the ship, was as unsuccessful as a former one had been. The next day the master returned, and reported that he had found a passage out to sea, between the shoals. On one of these shoals, which consisted of coral rocks, many of which were dry at low water, he had landed, and found there cockles, of so enormous a size, that a single cockle was more than two men could eat. At the same place he met with a great variety of other shell fish, and brought back with him a plentiful supply for the use of his fellow voyagers. At high water, this day, another effort was made to float the ship, which happily succeeded; but it being found, that she had sprung a plank between decks, it became necessary to lay her ashore a second time. The lieutenant, being anxious to attain a perfect knowledge of the state of the vessel, got one of the carpenters crew, a man in whom he could confide, to dive on the fifth to her bottom, that he might examine the place where the sheathing had been rubbed off. His report, which was, that three streaks of the sheathing, about eight feet long, were wanting, and that the main plank had been a little rubbed, was perfectly agreeable to the account that had been given before by the master and others, who had made the same examination; and our commander had the consolation of finding, that, in the opinion of the carpenter, this matter would be of little consequence. The other damage, therefore, being repaired, the ship was again floated at high water, and all hands were employed in taking the stores on board, and in putting her into a condition for proceeding on her voyage. To the harbour in which she was refitted for the sea, Mr. Cook gave the name of the Endeavour River.
On the morning of the 6th, Mr. Banks accompanied by Lieutenant Gore, and three men, set out in a small boat up the river, with a view of spending a few days in examining the country. In this expedition nothing escaped his notice, which related either to the natural history or the inhabitants of the places he visited. Though he met with undoubted proofs, that several of the natives were at no great distance, none of them came within sight. Having found, upon the whole, that the country did not promise much advantage from a farther search, he and his party re-embarked in their boat, and returned, on the 8th, to the ship. During their excursion, they had slept upon the ground in perfect security, and without once reflecting upon the danger they would have incurred, if, in that situation, they had been discovered by the Indians.
Lieutenant cook had not been satisfied with the account which the master had given of his having traced a passage between the shoals, into the sea. He sent him out, therefore, a second time, upon the same business; and, on his return, he made a different report. Having been seven leagues out at sea, the master was now of opinion, that there was no such passage as he had before imagined. His expedition, however, though in this respect unsuccessful, was not wholly without its advantage. On the very rock where he had seen the large cockles, he met with a great number of turtle; and though he had no better an instrument than a boat hook, three of them were caught, which together weighed seven hundred and ninety-one pounds. An attempt, which, by order of the lieutenant, was made the next morning to obtain some more turtle, failed, through the misconduct of the same officer, who had been so fortunate on the preceding day.
Hitherto the natives of this part of the country had eagerly avoided holding any intercourse with our people: but at length their minds, through the good management of Mr. Cook, became more favourably disposed. Four of them having appeared, on the 10th, in a small canoe, and seeming to be busily employed in striking fish, some of the ships company were for going over to them in a boat. This, however, the lieutenant would not permit, repeated experience having convinced him that it was more likely to prevent than to procure an interview. He determined to pursue a contrary method, and to try what could be done by letting them alone, and not appearing to make them, in the least degree, the objects of his notice. So successful was this plan, that after some preparatory intercourse, they came alongside the ship, without expressing any fear or distrust. The conference was carried on, by signs, with the utmost cordiality till dinner time, when, being invited by our people to go with them and partake of their provision, they declined it, and went away in their canoe. One of these Indians was somewhat above the middle age; the three others were young. Their statue was of the common size, but their limbs were remarkably small. The colour of their skin was a dark chocolate. Their hair was black, but not woolly; and their features were far from being disagreeable. They had lively eyes, and their teeth were even and white. The tones of their voices were soft and musical, and there was a flexibility in their organs of speech, which enabled them to repeat with great facility many of the words pronounced by the English.
On the next morning, our voyagers had another visit from four of the natives. Three of them were the same who had appeared the day before, but the fourth was a stranger, to whom his companions gave the name of Yaparico. He was distinguished by a very peculiar ornament. This was the bone of a bird nearly as thick as a man's finger, and five or six inches long, which he had thrust into a hole, made in the gristle that divides the nostrils. An instance of the like kind, and only one, had been seen in New Zealand. It was found, however, that among all these people the same part of the nose was perforated; that they had holes in their ears; and that they had bracelets, made of plaited hair, upon the upper part of their arms. Thus the love of ornament takes place among them though they are absolutely destitute of apparel.
Three Indians, on the 12th, ventured down to Tupia's tent, and were so well pleased with their reception, that one of them went with his canoe to fetch two others, who had never been seen by the English. On his return, he introduced the strangers by name, a ceremony which was never omitted upon such occasions. From a father acquaintance with the natives, it was found, that the colour of their skins was not so dark as had at first been apprehended, and that all of them were remarkably clean-limbed, and extremely active and nimble. Their language appeared to be more harsh than that of the islanders to the South Sea.
On the 14th, Mr. Gore had the good fortune to kill one of the animals before mentioned, and which had been the subject of much speculation. It is called by the natives Kanguroo; and when dressed proved most excellent meat. Indeed, our navigators might now be said to fare sumptuously every day; for they had turtle in great plenty, and it was agreed that these were far superior to any which our people had ever tasted in England. This the gentlemen justly imputed to their being eaten fresh from the sea, before their natural fat had been wasted, or their juices changed, by the situation and diet they are exposed to when kept in tubs. Most of the turtle here caught were of the kind called green turtle, and their weight was from two to three hundred pounds.
In the morning of the 16th, while the men were engaged in their usual employment of getting the ship ready for the sea, our commander climbed one of the heights on the north side of the river, and obtained from it an extensive view of the inland country, which he found agreeably diversified by hills, valleys, and large plains, that in many places were richly covered with wood. This evening, the lieutenant and Mr. Green observed an emersion of the first satellite of Jupiter, which gave 214° 53' 45" of longitude. The observation taken on the 29th of June had given 214° 48' 30"; and the mean was 214° 48' 7-1/2", being the longitude of the place west of Greenwich.
On the 17th, Mr. Cook sent the master and one of the mates in the pinnace, to search for a channel northward; after which, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, he went into the woods on the other side of the water. In this excursion, the gentlemen had a farther opportunity of improving that acquaintance with the Indians, who by degrees became so familiar, that several of them the next day ventured on board the ship. There the lieutenant left them, apparently much entertained, that he might go with Mr. Banks to take a farther survey of the country, and especially to indulge an anxious curiosity they had of looking round about them upon the sea; of which they earnestly wished, but scarcely dared to hope, that they might obtain a favourable and encouraging prospect. When, after having walked along the shore seven or eight miles to the northward, they ascended a very high hill, the view which presented itself to them inspired nothing but melancholy apprehensions. In every direction they saw rocks and shoals without number; and there appeared to be no passage out to sea, but through the winding channels between them, the navigation of which could not be accomplished without the utmost degree of difficulty and danger. The spirits of the two gentlemen were not raised by this excursion.
On the 19th, our voyagers were visited by ten of the natives: and six or seven more were seen at a distance, chiefly women, who were as naked as the male inhabitants of the country. There being at that time a number of turtles on the deck of the ship, the Indians who came on board were determined to get one of them; and expressed great disappointment and anger, when our people refused to comply with their wishes. Several attempts were made by them to secure what they wanted by force; but all their efforts proving unsuccessful, they suddenly leaped into their canoe in a transport of rage, and paddled towards the shore. The lieutenant, with Mr. Banks, and five or six of the ship's crew, immediately went into the boat, and got ashore, where many of the English were engaged in various employments. As soon as the natives reached the land, they seized their arms, which had been laid up in a tree, and having snatched a brand from under a pitch-kettle that was boiling, made a circuit to the windward of the few things our people had on shore, and with surprising quickness and dexterity set on fire to the grass in that way. The grass, which was as dry as stubble, and five or six feet high, burned with surprising fury; and a tent of Mr. Banks's would have been destroyed if that gentleman had not immediately got some of the men to save it, by hauling it down upon the beach. Every part of the smith's forge that would burn was consumed. This transaction was followed by another of the same nature. In spite of threats and entreaties, the Indians went to a different place, where several of the Endeavour's crew were washing, and where the seine, the other nets, and a large quantity of linen were laid out to dry, and again set fire to the grass. The audacity of this fresh attack rendered it necessary that a musket, loaded with small shot, should be discharged at one of them; who being wounded at the distance of about forty yards they all betook themselves to flight. In the last instance the fire was extinguished before it had made any considerable progress; but where it had first began, it spread far into the woods. The natives being still in sight, Mr. Cook, to convince them that they had not yet gotten out of his reach, fired a musket, charged with ball, abreast of them among the mangroves, upon which they quickened their pace, and were soon out of view. It was now expected that they would have given our navigators no farther trouble; but in a little time their voices were heard in the woods, and it was perceived that they came nearer and nearer. The lieutenant, therefore, together with Mr. Banks, and three or four more persons, set out to meet them; and the result of the interview, in consequence of the prudent and lenient conduct of our commander and his friends, was a complete reconciliation. Soon after the Indians went away, the woods were seen to be on fire at the distance of about two miles. This accident, if it had happened a little sooner, might have produced dreadful effects; for the powder had been but a few days on board, and it was not many hours that the store tents, with all the valuable things contained in it had been removed. From the fury with which the grass would burn in this hot climate, and the difficulty of extinguishing the fire, our voyagers determined never to expose themselves to the like danger, but to clear the ground around them, if ever again they should be under the necessity of pitching their tents in such a situation.
In the evening of this day, when every thing was gotten on board the ship, and she was nearly ready for sailing, the master returned with the disagreeable account that there was no passage for her to the northward. The next morning, the lieutenant himself sounded and buoyed the bar. At this time, all the hills for many miles round were on fire, and the appearance they assumed at night was eminently striking and splendid.
In an excursion which was made by Mr. Banks, on the 23rd, to gather plants, he found the greatest part of the cloth that had been given to the Indians lying in a heap together. This, as well as the trinkets which had been bestowed upon them, they probably regarded as useless lumber. Indeed, they seemed to set little value on any thing possessed by our people, excepting their turtle, and that was a commodity which could not be spared.
As Lieutenant Cook was prevented by blowing weather from attempting to get out to sea, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander seized another opportunity, on the 24th, of pursuing their botanical researches. Having traversed the woods the greater part of the day, without success, as they were returning through a deep valley they discovered lying upon the ground several marking nuts, anacardiam orientale. Animated with the hope of meeting the tree that bore them, a tree which perhaps no European botanist had ever seen, they sought for it with great diligence and labour, but to no purpose. While Mr. Banks was again gleaning the country, on the 26th, to enlarge his treasure of natural history, he had the good fortune to take an animal of the oppossum tribe, together with two young ones. It was a female, and though not exactly of the same species, much resembled the remarkable animal which Mons. de Buffon hath described by the name of phalanger.
On the morning of the 29th, the weather becoming calm, and a light breeze having sprung up by land, Lieutenant Cook sent a boat to see what water was upon the bar, and all things were made ready for putting to sea. But, on the return of the boat, the officer reported, that there were only thirteen feet of water on the bar. As the ship drew thirteen feet six inches, and the sea-breeze set in again in the evening, all hope of sailing on that day was given up. The weather being more moderate on the 31st, the lieutenant had thoughts of trying to warp the vessel out of the harbour; but upon going out himself to the boat, he found, that the wind still blew so fresh, that it would not be proper to make the attempt. A disagreeable piece of intelligence occured on the succeeding day. The carpenter, who had examined the pumps, reported, that they were all of them in a state of decay. One of them was so rotten, that, when hoisted up, it dropped to pieces, and the rest were not in a much better condition. The chief confidence, therefore, of our navigators was now in the soundness of the ship; and it was a happy circumstance, that she did not admit more than one inch of water in an hour.
Early on the 3rd of August, another unsuccessful attempt was made to warp the vessel out of the harbour but in the morning of the next day the efforts of our voyagers were more prosperous, and the Endeavour got once more under sail with a light air from the land, which soon died away, and was followed by sea-breezes from south-east by south. With these breezes the ship stood off to sea, east by north, having the pinnace ahead, which was ordered to keep sounding without intermission. A little before noon the lieutenant anchored in fifteen fathom water, with a sandy bottom, the reason of which was, that he did not think it safe to run in among the shoals, till, by taking a view of them from the mast-head at low water, he might be able to form some judgment which way it would be proper for him to steer. This was a matter of nice and arduous determination. As yet Mr. Cook was in doubt, whether he should beat back to the southward, round all the shoals, or seek a passage to the eastward or the northward: nor was it possible to say, whether each of these courses might not be attended with equal difficulty and danger.
The impartiality and humanity of Lieutenant Cook's conduct in the distribution of provisions ought not to pass unnoticed. Whatever turtle or other fish were caught, they were always equally divided among the whole ship's crew, the meanest person on board having the same share with the lieutenant himself. He hath justly observed, that this is a rule which every commander will find it his interest to follow, in a voyage of a similiar nature.
Great difficulties occured in the navigation from the Endeavour river. On the 5th of August, the lieutenant had not kept his course long, before shoals were discovered in every quarter, which obliged him, as night approached, to come to an anchor. In the morning of the 6th there was so strong a gale, that our voyagers were prevented from weighing. When it was low water, Mr. Cook, with several of his officers, kept a look-out at the mast head, to see if any passage could be discovered between the shoals. Nothing, however, was in view, excepting breakers, which extended from the south round by the east as far as to the north-west, and reached out to sea, beyond the sight of any of the gentlemen. It did not appear that these breakers were caused by one continued shoal, but by several, which lay detached from each other. On that which was farthest to the eastward, the sea broke very high, so that the lieutenant was induced to think, that it was the outermost shoal. He was now convinced, that there was no passage to sea, but through the labyrinth formed by these shoals; and, at the same time, he was wholly at a loss what course to steer, when the weather should permit the vessel to sail. The master's opinion was, that our navigators should beat back the way they came; but as the wind blew strongly, and almost without intermission, from that quarter, this would have been an endless labour: and yet, if a passage could not be found to the northward, there was no other alternative. Amidst these anxious deliberations, the gale increased, and continued, with little remission, till the morning of the 10th, when the weather becoming more moderate, our commander weighed, and stood in for the land. He had now come to a final determination of seeking a passage along the shore to the northward.
In pursuance of this resolution, the Endeavour proceeded in her course, and at noon came between the farthermost headland that lay in sight, and three islands which were four or five leagues to the north of it, out at sea. Here our navigators thought they saw a clear opening before them, and began to hope that they were once more out of danger. Of this hope, however, they were soon deprived; on which account, the lieutenant gave to the headland the name of Cape Flattery. After he had steered some time along the shore, for what was believed to be the open channel, the petty officer at the mast-head cried aloud, that he saw land ahead, which extended quite round to the three islands, and that between the ship and them there was a large reef. Mr. Cook, upon this, ran up the mast-head himself, and plainly discerned the reef, which was so far to the windward, that it could not be weathered. As to the land which the petty officer had supposed to be the main, our commander was of opinion, that it was only a cluster of small islands. The master, and some others, who went up the mast-head after the lieutenant, were entirely of a different opinion. All of them were positive that the land in sight did not consist of islands, but that it was a part of the main: and they rendered their report still more alarming, by adding, that they saw breakers around them on every side. In a situation so critical and doubtful, Mr. Cook thought proper to come to an anchor, under a high point which he immediately ascended, that he might have a farther view of the sea and the country. The prospect he had from this place, which he called Point Look-out, clearly confirmed him in his former opinion; the justness of which displayed one of the numerous instances, wherein it was manifest, how much he exceeded the people about him in sagacity of his judgment concerning matters of navigation.
The lieutenant, being anxious to discover more distinctly the situation of the shoals, and the channel between them, determined to visit the northernmost and largest of the three islands before mentioned; which, from its height and its lying five leagues out to sea, was peculiarly adapted to his purpose. Accordingly, in company with Mr. Banks, whose fortitude and curiosity stimulated him to take a share in every undertaking, he set out in the pinnace, on the morning of the 11th, upon this expedition. He sent, at the same time, the master in the yawl, to sound between the low islands and the mainland. About one o'clock, the gentlemen reached the place of their destination, and immediately, with a mixture of hope and fear, proportioned to the importance of the business, and the uncertainty of the event, ascended the highest hill they could find. When the lieutenant took a survey of the prospect around him, he discovered, on the outside of the islands, and at the distance of two or three leagues from them, a reef of rocks, upon which the sea broke in a dreadful surf, and which extended farther than his sight could reach. Hence, however, he collected, that there was no shoals beyond them; and, as he perceived several breaks or openings in the reef, and deep water between that and the islands, he entertained hopes of getting without the rocks. But though he saw reason to indulge, in some degree, this expectation, the haziness of the weather prevented him from obtaining that satisfactory intelligence which he ardently desired. He determined, therefore, by staying all night upon the island, to try whether the next day would not afford him a more distinct and comprehensive prospect. Accordingly, the gentlemen took up their lodging under the shelter of a bush, which grew upon the beach. Not many hours were devoted by them to sleep; for, at three in the morning, Mr. Cook mounted the hill a second time, but had the mortification of finding the weather much more hazy than it had been on the preceding day. He had early sent the pinnace, with one of the mates, to sound between the island and the reefs, and to examine what appeared to be a channel through them. The mate, in consequence of its blowing hard, did not dare to venture into the channel, which he reported to be very narrow. Nevertheless, our commander, who judged, from the description of the place, that it had been seen to disadvantage, was not discouraged by this account.
While the lieutenant was engaged in his survey, Mr. Banks, always attentive to the great object of natural history, collected some plants which he had never met with before. No animals were perceived upon the place, excepting lizards, for which reason the gentlemen gave it the name of Lizard Island. In their return to the ship, they landed on a low sandy island that had trees upon it, and which abounded with an incredible number of birds, principally sea-fowl. Here they found the nest of an eagle, and the nest of some other bird, of what species they could not distinguish; but it must certainly be one of the largest kinds that exist. This was apparent from the enormous size of the nest, which was built with sticks upon the ground, and was no less than six and twenty feet in circumference, and two feet eight inches in height. The spot which the gentlemen were now upon they called Eagle Island.
When Lieutenant Cook got on board he entered into a very serious deliberation concerning the course he should pursue. After considering what he had seen himself and the master's report, he was of opinion, that by keeping in with the main land, he should run the risk of being locked in by the great reef, and of being compelled at last to return back in search of another passage. By the delay that would hence be occasioned, our navigators would almost certainly be prevented from getting in time to the East Indies, which was a matter of the utmost importance, and indeed of absolute necessity; for they had now not much more than three months' provision on board, at short allowance. The judgment the lieutenant had formed together with the facts and appearances on which it was grounded, he stated to his officers, by whom it was unanimously agreed, that the best thing they could do would be to quit the coast entirely, till they could approach it again with less danger.
In pursuance of this resolution, the Endeavour, early in the morning of the 13th, got under sail, and successfully passed through one of the channels or openings in the outer reef, which Mr. Cook had seen from the island. When the ship had gotten without the breakers, there was no ground within one hundred and fifty fathom, and our people found a large sea rolling in upon them from the south-east. This was a certain sign that neither land nor shoals were near them in that direction.
So happy a change in the situation of our voyagers was sensibly felt in every breast, and was visible in every countenance. They had been little less than three months in a state that perpetually threatened them with destruction. Frequently had they passed their nights at anchor within hearing of the surge, that broke over the shoals and rocks; and they knew, that, if by any accident the anchors should not hold against an almost continual tempest, they must in a few minutes inevitably perish. They had sailed three hundred and sixty leagues, without once, even for a moment, having a man out of the chains heaving the lead. This was a circumstance which perhaps never had happened to any other vessel. But now our navigators found themselves in an open sea with deep water; and the joy they experienced was proportioned to their late danger, and their present security. Nevertheless, the very waves, which proved by their swell that our people had no rocks or shoals to fear, convinced them, at the same time, that they could not put a confidence in the ship equal to what they had done before she struck. So far were the leaks widened by the blows she received from the waves, that she admitted no less than nine inches of water in an hour. If the company had not been lately in so much more imminent danger, this fact, considering the state of the pumps, and the navigation which was still in view, would have been a matter of very serious concern.
The passage or channel, through which the Endeavour passed into the open sea beyond the reef, lies in latitude 14° 32' south. It may always be known by the three high islands within it, to which, on account of the use they may be of in guiding the way of future voyagers, our commander gave the appellation of the islands of Direction.
It was not a long time that our navigators enjoyed the satisfaction of being free from the alarm of danger. As they were pursuing their course in the night of the 15th, they sounded frequently, but had no bottom with one hundred and forty fathom, nor any ground with the same length of line. Nevertheless, at four in the morning of the 16th, they plainly heard the roaring of the surf, and at break of day saw it foaming to a vast height, at not more than the distance of mile. The waves, which rolled in upon the reef, carried the vessel towards it with great rapidity; and, at the same time, our people could reach no ground with an anchor, and had not a breath of wind for the sail. In a situation so dreadful, there was no resource but in the boats; and most unhappily, the pinnace was under repair. By the help, however, of the long-boat and the yawl, which were sent ahead to tow, the ship's head was got round to the northward, a circumstance which might delay, if it could not prevent destruction. This was not effected till six o'clock, and our voyagers were not then a hundred yards from the rock, upon which the same billow had washed the side of the vessel broke to a tremendous height, the very next time it rose. There was only, therefore, a dreary valley between the English and destruction; a valley no wider than the base of one wave, while the sea under them was unfathomable. The carpenter, in the meanwhile, having hastily patched up the pinnace, she was hoisted out, and sent ahead to tow in aid of the other boats. But all these efforts would have been ineffectual, if a light air of wind had not sprung up, just at the crisis of our people's fate. It was so light an air, that at any other time it would not have been observed: but it was sufficient to turn the scale in favour of our navigators; and in conjunction with the assistance which was afforded by the boats, it gave the ship a perceptible motion obliquely from the reef. The hopes of the company now revived: but in less than ten minutes a dead calm succeeded, and the vessel was again driven towards the breakers, which were not at the distance of two hundred yards. However, before the ground was lost which had already been gained, the same light breeze returned, and lasted ten minutes more. During this time a small opening about a quarter of a mile distant, was discovered in the reef; upon which Mr. Cook immediately sent one of the mates to examine it, who reported that its breadth was not more than the length of the ship, but that within it there was smooth water. This discovery presented the prospect of a possibility of escape, by pushing the vessel through the opening. Accordingly, the attempt was made, but it failed of success; for when our people, by the joint assistance of their boats and the breeze, had reached the opening, they found that it had become high water; and, to their great surprise, they met the tide of ebb running out like a mill-stream. In direct contrariety to their expectations, some advantage was gained by this event. Though it was impossible to go through the opening, the stream, which prevented the Endeavour from doing it, carried her out about a quarter of a mile; and the boats were so much assisted in towing her by the tide of ebb, that at noon she had gained the distance of nearly two miles. However, there was yet too much reason to despair of deliverance. For even if the breeze, which had now died away, had revived, our navigators were still embayed in the reef: and the tide of ebb being spent, the tide of flood, notwithstanding their utmost efforts, drove the ship back again into her former perilous situation. Happily, about this time, another opening was perceived, nearly a mile to the westward. Our commander immediately sent Mr. Hicks, the first lieutenant, to examine it; and in the meanwhile the Endeavour struggled hard with the flood, sometimes gaining, and sometimes losing ground. During this severe service, every man did his duty with as much calmness and regularity as if no danger had been near. At length Mr. Hicks returned with the intelligence, that the opening, though narrow and hazardous, was capable of being passed. The bare possibility of passing it was encouragement sufficient to make the attempt; and indeed all danger was less to be dreaded by our people, than that of continuing in their present situation. A light breeze having fortunately sprung up, this, in conjunction with the aid of the boats, and the very tide of flood that would otherwise have been their destruction, enabled them to enter the opening, through which they were hurried with amazing rapidity. Such was the force of the torrent by which they were carried along, that they were kept from driving against either side of the channel, which in breadth was not more than a quarter of a mile. While they were shooting this gulf, their soundings were remarkably irregular, varying from thirty to seven fathom, and the ground at bottom was foul.
As soon as our navigators had gotten within the reef, they came to an anchor; and their joy was exceedingly great, at having regained a situation, which, three days before, they had quitted with the utmost pleasure and transport. Rocks and shoals, which are always dangerous to the mariner, even when they are previously known and marked, are peculiarly dangerous in seas which have never been navigated before; and in this part of the globe they are more perilous than in any other. Here they consist of reefs of coral rock, which rise like a wall almost perpendicularly out of the deep, and are always overflowed at high water. Here, too, the enormous waves of the vast southern ocean, meeting with so abrupt a resistance, break, with inconceivable violence, in a surf which cannot be produced by any rocks or storms in the northern hemisphere. A crazy ship, shortness of provision, and a want of every necessary, greatly increased the danger to our present voyagers of navigating in this ocean. Nevertheless, such is the ardour of the human mind, and so flattering is the distinction of a first discoverer, that Lieutenant Cook and his companions cheerfully encountered every peril, and submitted to every inconvenience. They chose rather to incur the charge of imprudence and temerity, than to leave a country unexplored which they had discovered, or to afford the least colour for its being said, that they were deficient in perseverance and fortitude. It scarcely needs to be added, that it was the high and magnanimous spirit of our commander, in particular, which inspired his people with so much resolution and vigour.
The lieutenant, having now gotten within the reef, determined, whatever might be the consequence, to keep the main land on board, in his future route to the northward. His reason for this determination was, that, if he had gone without the reef again, he might have been carried by it so far from the coast, as to prevent his being able to ascertain whether this country did, or did not, join to New Guinea; a question which he had fixed upon resolving, from the first moment that he had come within sight of land. To the opening through which the Endeavour had passed, our commander, with a proper sense of gratitude to the Supreme Being, gave the name of Providential Channel. In the morning of the 17th, the boats had been sent out, to see what refreshments could be procured; and returned in the afternoon with two hundred and forty pounds of the meat of shell fish, chiefly of cockles. Some of the cockles were as much as two men could move, and contained twenty pounds of good meat. Mr. Banks, who had gone out in his little boat, accompanied by Dr. Solander, brought back a variety of curious shells, and many species of corals.
In the prosecution of the voyage, our people, on the 19th, were encompassed on every side with rocks and shoals: but, as they had lately been exposed to much greater danger, and these objects were now become familiar, they began to regard them comparatively with little concern. On the 21st, there being two points in view, between which our navigators could see no land, they conceived hopes of having at last found a passage into the Indian Sea. Mr. Cook, however, that he might be able to determine the matter with greater certainty, resolved to land upon an island, which lies at the south-east point of the passage. Accordingly, he went into the boat, with a party of men, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. As they were getting to shore, some of the natives seemed inclined to oppose their landing, but soon walked leisurely away. The gentlemen immediately climbed the highest hill, from which no land could be seen between the south-west and west-south-west; so that the lieutenant had not the least doubt of finding a channel, through which he could pass to New Guinea. As he was now about to quit the coast of New Holland, which he had traced from latitude thirty-eight to this place, and which he was certain no European had ever seen before, he once more hoisted English colours. He had, indeed, already taken possession of several particular parts of the country. But he now took possession of the whole eastern coast, with all the bays, harbours, rivers, and islands situated upon it, from latitude 38° to latitude 10°-1/2' south, in right of His Majesty King George the Third, and by the name of New South Wales. The party then fired three volleys of small arms, which were answered by the same number from the ship. When the gentlemen had performed this ceremony upon the island, which they called Possession Island, they re-embarked in their boat, and, in consequence of a rapid ebb tide, had a very difficult and tedious return to the vessel.
On the 23rd, the wind had come round the south-west; and though it was but a gentle breeze, yet it was accompanied by a swell from the same quarter, which, in conjunction with other circumstances, confirmed Mr. Cook in his opinion, that he had arrived to the northern extremity of New Holland, and that he had now an open sea to the westward. These circumstances afforded him peculiar satisfaction, not only because the dangers and fatigues of the voyage were drawing to a conclusion, but because it could no longer be doubted whether New Holland and New Guinea were two separate islands. The north-east entrance of the strait lies in the latitude of 10° 39' south, and in the longitude of 218° 36' west; and the passage is formed by the main land, and by a congeries of islands, the north-west, called by the lieutenant the Prince of Wales's Islands, and which may probably extend as far as to New Guinea. Their difference is very great, both in height and circuit, and many seemed to be well covered with herbage and wood: nor was there any doubt of their being inhabited. Our commander was persuaded, that among these islands as good passages might be found, as that through which the vessel came, and the access to which might be less perilous. The determination of this matter he would not have left to future navigators, if he had been less harassed by danger and fatigue and had possessed a ship in better condition for the purpose. To the channel through which he passed, he gave the name of Endeavour Straits.
New Holland, or, as the eastern part of it was called by Lieutenant Cook, New South Wales, is the largest country in the known world, which does not bear the name of a continent. The length of coast along which our people sailed, when reduced to a strait line, was no less than twenty-seven degrees of latitude, amounting nearly to two thousand miles. In fact the square surface of the island is much more than equal to the whole of Europe. We may observe, with regard to the natives, that their number bears no proportion to the extent of their territory. So many as thirty of them had never been seen together but once, and that was at Botany Bay. Even when they appeared determined to engage the English, they could not muster above fourteen or fifteen fighting men: and it was manifest, that their sheds and houses did not lie so close together, as to be capable of accommodating a larger party. Indeed our navigators saw only the sea-coast on the eastern side; between which and the western shore there is an immense track of land, that is wholly unexplored. But it is evident, from the totally uncultivated state of the country which was seen by our people, that this immense tract must either be altogether desolate, or at least more thinly inhabited than the parts which were visited. Of traffic, the natives had no idea, nor could any be communicated to them. The things which were given them they received, but did not appear to understand the signs of the English requiring a return. There was no reason to believe that they eat animal food raw. As they have no vessel in which water can be boiled, they either broil their meat upon the coals, or bake in a hole by the help of hot stones, agreeably to the custom of the inhabitants of the South Sea islands. Fire is produced by them with great facility, and they spread it in a surprising manner. For producing it, they take two pieces of soft wood, one of which is a stick about eight or nine inches long, while the other piece is flat. The stick they shape into an obtuse point at one end, and pressing it upon the flat wood, turn it nimbly by holding it between both their hands. In doing this, they often shift their hands up, and then move them down, with a view of increasing the pressure as much as possible. By this process they obtain fire in less than two minutes, and from the smallest spark they carry it to any height or extent with great speed and dexterity.
It was not possible, considering the limited intercourse which our navigators had with the natives of New South Wales that much could be learned with regard to their language. Nevertheless, as this is an object of no small curiosity to the learned, and is indeed of peculiar importance in searching into the origin of the various nations that have been discovered, Mr. Cook and his friends took some pains to collect such a specimen of it as might, in a certain degree, answer the purpose. Our commander did not quit the country without making such observations, relative to the currents and tides upon the coast, as, while they increase the general knowledge of navigation, may be of service to future voyagers. The irregularity of the tides is an object worthy of notice.
From the coast of New South Wales, the lieutenant steered on the 23rd of August, for the coast of New Guinea, and on the 25th, fell upon a dangerous shoal. The ship was in six fathom, but scarcely two were found, upon sounding round her, at the distance of half a cable's length. This shoal was of such an extent, reaching from the east round by the north and west to the south-west, that there was no method for the vessel to get clear of it, but by her going back the way in which she came. Here was another hair's breadth escape; for it was nearly high water, and there ran a short cockling sea, which if the ship had struck, must very soon have bulged her. So dangerous was her situation, that, if her direction had been half a cable's length more, either to the right or left, she must have struck before the signal for the shoal could have been made.
It had been Lieutenant Cook's intention to steer north-west till he had made the south coast of New Guinea, and it was his purpose to touch upon it, if that could be found practicable. But in consequence of the shoals he met with, he altered his course, in the hope of finding a clearer channel, and deeper water. His hope was agreeably verified; for by noon, on the 26th, the depth of water was gradually increased to seventeen fathom. On the 28th, our voyagers found the sea to be in many places covered with a brown scum, such as the sailors usually called spawn. When the lieutenant first saw it he was alarmed, fearing, that the ship was again among shoals; but the depth of water, upon sounding, was discovered to be equal to what it was in other places. The same appearance had been observed upon the coasts of Brazil and New Holland, in which cases it was at no great distance from the shore. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander examined the scum, but could not determine what it was, any farther then as they saw reason to suppose that it belonged to the vegetable kingdom. The sailors, upon meeting with more of it, gave up the notion of its being spawn, and finding a new name for it, called it sea sawdust.
At day break, on the 3rd of September, our navigators came in sight of New Guinea, and stood in for it, with a fresh gale, till nine o'clock, when they brought to, being in three fathom water and within about three or four miles of land. Upon this the pinnace was hoisted, and the lieutenant set off from the ship with the boat's crew, accompanied by Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Mr. Banks's servants, being in all twelve persons, well armed. As soon as they came ashore, they discovered the prints of human feet, which could not long have been impressed upon the sand. Concluding, therefore, that the natives were at no great distance, and there being a thick wood which reached to within a hundred yards of the water, the gentlemen thought it necessary to proceed with caution, lest their retreat to the boat should be cut off. When they had walked some way along the skirts of the wood, they came to a grove of cocoa-nut trees, at the fruit of which they looked very wishfully; but not thinking it safe to climb, they were obliged to leave it without tasting a single nut. After they had advanced about a quarter of a mile from the boat, three Indians rushed out of the wood with a hideous shout, and, as they ran towards the English, the foremost threw something out of his hand, which flew on one side of him, and burned exactly like gunpowder though without making any report. The two other natives having at the same instant discharged their arrows, the lieutenant and his party were under the necessity of firing, first with small shot, and a second time with ball. Upon this, the three Indians ran away with great agility. As Mr. Cook had no disposition forcibly to invade this country, either to gratify the appetites or the curiosity of his people, and was convinced that nothing was to be done upon friendly terms, he and his companions returned with all expedition towards their boat. When they were aboard, they rowed abreast of the natives, who had come down to the shore in aid of their countrymen and whose number now amounted to between sixty and a hundred. Their appearance was much the same as that of the New Hollanders; they nearly resembled them in stature, and in having their hair short and cropped. Like them, also, they were absolutely naked but the colour of their skin did not seem quite so dark, which, however, might be owing to their being less dirty. While the English gentlemen were viewing them, they were shouting defiance, and letting off their fires by four or five at a time. Our people could not imagine what these fires were, or what purposes they were intended to answer. Those who discharged them had in their hands a short piece of stick, which they swung sideways from them, and immediately there issued fire and smoke, exactly resembling those of a musket, and of as short a duration. The men on board the ship, who observed this surprising phenomenon, were so far deceived by it, as to believe that the Indians had fire-arms. To the persons in the boat, it had the appearance of the firing of volleys without a report.
The place where this transaction happened lies in the latitude of 6° 15' south, and is about sixty-five leagues to the north-east of Port Saint Augustine, or Walche Caep, and is near what is called in the charts C. de la Colta de St. Bonaventura. In every part of the coast, the land is covered with a vast luxuriance of wood and herbage. The cocoa-nut, the bread-fruit, and the plantain-tree, flourish here in the highest perfection; besides which, the country abounds with most of the trees, shrubs, and plants, that are common to the South Sea islands, New Zealand, and New Holland.
Soon after Mr. Cook and his party had returned to the ship, our voyagers made sail to the westward, the lieutenant having resolved to spend no more time upon this coast; a resolution which was greatly to the satisfaction of a very considerable majority of his people. Some of the officers indeed were particularly urgent that a number of men might be sent ashore, to cut down cocoa-nut trees for the sake of their fruit. This, however, our commander absolutely refused, as equally unjust and cruel. It was morally certain, from the preceding behaviour of the natives, that if their property had been invaded, they would have made a vigorous effort to defend it; in which case, the lives of many of them must have been sacrificed; and perhaps, too, several of the English would have fallen in the contest. The necessity of a quarrel with the Indians would have been regretted by the lieutenant, even if he had been impelled to it by a want of the necessaries of life; but to engage in it for the transient gratification that would arise from obtaining two or three hundred green cocoa-nuts, appeared in his view highly criminal. The same calamity, at least with regard to the natives, would probably have occurred, if he had sought for any other place on the coast, to the northward and westward, where the ship might have lain so near the shore, as to cover his people with the guns when they had landed. Besides, there was cause to believe, that before such a place could have been found, our navigators would have been carried so far to the westward, as to be obliged to go to Batavia, on the north side of Java. This, in Mr. Cook's opinion, would not have been so safe a passage, as that to the south of Java, through the strait of Sunda, Another reason for his making the best of his way to Batavia, was the leakiness of the vessel, which rendered it doubtful, whether it would not be necessary to heave her down when she arrived at that port. Our commander's resolution was farther confirmed by the consideration, that no discovery could be expected in seas which had already been navigated, and where the coasts had been sufficiently described both by Spanish and Dutch geographers, and especially by the latter. The only merit claimed by the lieutenant, in this part of his voyage, was the having established it as a fact beyond all controversy, that New Holland and New Guinea are two distinct countries.
Without staying, therefore, on the coast of New Guinea, the Endeavour, on the same day, directed her course to the westward, in pursuing which, Mr. Cook had an opportunity of rectifying the errors of former navigators. Very early in the morning of the 6th of September, our voyagers passed a small island, which lay to the north-north-west; and at day-break they discovered another low island, extending from that quarter to north-north-east. Upon the last island, which appeared to be of considerable extent, the lieutenant would have landed to examine its produce, if the wind had not blown so fresh, as to render his design impracticable. Unless these two islands belong to the Arrou islands, they have no place in the charts; and if they do belong to the Arrou islands, they are laid down at too great a distance from New Guinea. Some other land which was seen this day ought, by its distance from New Guinea, to have been part of the Arrou islands; but if any dependance can be placed on former charts, it lies a degree farther to the south.
On the 7th, when the ship was in latitude 9° 30' south, and longitude 229° 34' west, our people ought to have been in sight of the Weasel Isles, which, in the charts, are laid down at the distance of twenty or twenty-five leagues from the coast of New Holland. But as our commander saw nothing of them, he concluded that they must have been placed erroneously. Nor will this be deemed surprising, when it is considered, that not only these islands, but the coast which bounds this sea, have been explored at different times, and by different persons, who had not all the requisites for keeping accurate journals which are now possessed; and whose various discoveries have been delineated upon charts by others, perhaps at the distance of more than a century after such discoveries had been made.
In pursuing their course, our navigators passed the islands of Timor, Timor-lavet, Rotte, and Seman. While they were near the two latter islands, they observed, about ten o'clock at night, on the 16th of the month, a phenomenon in the heavens, which in many particulars resembled the Aurora Borealis, though in others it was very different. It consisted of a dull reddish light, which reached about twenty degrees above the horizon; and though its extent, at times, varied much, it never comprehended less than eight or ten points of the compass. Through, and out of the general appearance, there passed rays of light of a brighter colour, which vanished, and were renewed, nearly in the same manner as those of the Aurora Borealis, but entirely without the tremulous or vibratory motion which is seen in that phenomenon. The body of this light bore south-south-east from the ship, and continued, without any diminution of its brightness, till twelve o'clock, and probably a longer time, as the gentlemen were prevented from observing it farther, by their retiring to sleep.
By the 16th, Lieutenant Cook had gotten clear of all the islands which had then been laid down in the maps as situated between Timor and Java, and did not expect to meet with any other in that quarter. But the next morning an island was seen bearing west-south-west, and at first he believed that he had made a new discovery. As soon as our voyagers had come close in with the north side of it, they had the pleasing prospect of houses and cocoa-nut trees, and of what still more agreeably surprised them, numerous flocks of sheep. Many of the people on board were at this time in a bad state of health, and no small number of them had been dissatisfied with the lieutenant for not having touched at Timor. He readily embraced, therefore, the opportunity of landing at a place which appeared so well calculated to supply the necessities of the company, and to remove both the sickness and the discontent which had spread among them. This place proved to be the island of Savu, where a settlement had lately been made by the Dutch.
The great design of our commander was to obtain provisions, which, after some difficulty, and some jealousy on the part of Mr. Lange, the Dutch resident, were procured. These provisions were nine buffaloes, six sheep, three hogs, thirty dozen of fowls, many dozens of eggs, some cocoa-nuts, a few limes, a little garlic, and several hundred gallons of palm syrup. In obtaining these refreshments at a reasonable price, the English were not a little assisted by an old Indian, who appeared to be a person of considerable authority under the king of the country. The lieutenant and his friends were one day very hospitably entertained by the king himself, though the royal etiquette did not permit his majesty to partake of the banquet.
So little in general, had the island of Savu been known, that Mr. Cook had never seen a map or chart in which it is clearly or accurately laid down. The middle of it lies in about the latitude of 10° 35' south, and longitude 237° 30' west; and from the ship it presented a prospect, than which nothing can be more beautiful. This prospect, from the verdure and culture of the country, from the hills, richly clothed, which rise in a gentle and regular ascent, and from the stateliness and beauty of the trees, is delightful to a degree that can scarcely be conceived by the most lively imagination. With regard to the productions and natives of the island, the account which our navigators were enabled to give of them, and which is copious and entertaining, was, in a great measure, derived from the information of Mr. Lange.
An extraordinary relation is given of the morals of the people of this island, and which if true, must fill every virtuous mind with pleasure. Their characters and conduct are represented as irreproachable, even upon the principles of Christianity. Though no man is permitted to have more than one wife, an illicit commerce between the sexes is scarcely known among them. Instances of theft are very rare; and so far are they from revenging a supposed injury by murder, that when any difference arises between them they immediately, and implicitly refer it to the determination of their king. They will not so much as make it the subject of private debate, lest they should hence be provoked to resentment and ill will. Their delicacy and cleanliness are suited to the purity of their morals. From the specimen which is given of the language of Savu, it appears to have some affinity with that of the South Sea islands. Many of the words are exactly the same, and the terms of numbers are derived from the same origin.
On the 21st of September, our navigators got under sail, and having pursued their voyage till the 1st of October, on that day they came within sight of the island of Java. During their course from Savu, Lieutenant Cook allowed twenty minutes a-day for the westerly current, which he concluded must run strong at this time, especially on the coast of Java; and accordingly, he found that this allowance was exactly equivalent to the effect of the current upon the ship. Such was the sagacity of our commander's judgment in whatever related to navigation.
On the 2nd, two Dutch ships being seen to lie off Anger Point, the lieutenant sent Mr. Hicks on board one of them to inquire news concerning England, from which our people had so long been absent. Mr. Hicks brought back the agreeable intelligence, that the Swallow, commanded by Captain Cateret, had been at Batavia two years before. In the morning of the 5th, a prow came alongside of the Endeavour, with a Dutch officer, who sent down to Mr. Cook a printed paper in English, duplicates of which he had in other languages. This paper was regularly signed, in the name of the governor and council of the Indies, by their secretary, and contained nine questions, very ill expressed, two of which only the lieutenant thought proper to answer. These were what regarded the nation and name of his vessel, and whither she was bound. On the 9th, our voyagers stood in for Batavia road, where they found the Harcourt Indiaman from England, two English private traders, and a number of Dutch ships. Immediately a boat came on board the Endeavour, and the officer who commanded having inquired who our people were, and whence they came, instantly returned with such answers as were given him. In the mean time Mr. Cook sent a lieutenant ashore, to acquaint the governor of his arrival, and to make an apology for not having saluted; a ceremony he had judged better to omit; as he could only make use of three guns, excepting the swivels, which he was of opinion would not be heard.
It being universally agreed, that the ship could not safely proceed to Europe without an examination of her bottom, our commander determined to apply for leave to heave her down at Batavia; and for this purpose he drew up a request in writing, which, after he had waited first upon the governor-general, and then upon the council, was readily complied with, and he was told, that he should have every thing he wanted.
In the evening of the 10th, there was a dreadful storm of thunder, lightning, and rain, during which the mainmast of one of the Dutch East Indiamen was split, and carried away by the deck; and the maintop-mast and topgallant-mast were shivered to pieces. The stroke was probably directed by an iron spindle, which was at the maintop gallantmast head. As this ship lay very near the Endeavour, she could scarcely have avoided sharing the same fate, had it not been for the conducting chain, which fortunately had been just gotten up, and which conveyed the lightning over the side of the vessel. But though she escaped the lightning, the explosion shook her like an earthquake; and the chain at the same time appeared like a line of fire. Mr. Cook has embraced this occasion of earnestly recommending similar chains to every ship; and hath expressed his hope that all who read his narrative will be warned against having an iron spindle at the mast-head.
The English gentlemen had taken up their lodging and boarding at an hotel, or kind of inn, kept by the order of government. Here they met with those impositions, in point of expense and treatment, which are too common to admit of much surprise. It was not long, however, that they submitted to ill usage. By a farther acquaintance with the manner of dealing with their host, and by spirited remonstrances, they procured a better furnished table. Mr. Banks, in a few days, hired a small house for himself and his party; and as soon as he was settled in his new habitation, sent for Tupia, who bad hitherto continued on board on account of sickness. When he quitted the ship, and after he came into the boat, he was exceedingly lifeless and dejected; but no sooner did he enter the town, than he appeared to be inspired with another soul. A scene so entirely new and extraordinary filled him with amazement. The houses, carriages, streets, people, and a multiplicity of other objects, rushing upon him at once, produced an effect similar to what is ascribed to enchantment. His boy, Tayeto, expressed his wonder and delight in a still more rapturous manner. He danced along the streets in a kind of extacy, examining every object with a restless and eager curiosity, which was excited and gratified every moment. Tupia's attention was particularly excited by the various dresses of the passing multitude; and when he was informed, that at Batavia every one wore the dress of his own country, he expressed his desire of appearing in the garb of Otabeite. Accordingly, South Sea cloth being sent for from the ship, he equipped himself with great expedition and dexterity.
Lieutenant Cook imagined that at Batavia he should find it easy to take up what money he might want for repairing and refitting, the Endeavour; but in this he was mistaken. No private person could be found who had ability and inclination to furnish the sum which was necessary. In this exigency, the lieutenant had recourse by a written request, to the governor, from whom he obtained an order for being supplied out of the Dutch company's treasury.
When our voyagers had been only nine days at Batavia, they began to feel the fatal effects of the climate and situation. Tupia, after his first flow of spirits had subsided, grew every day worse and worse; and Tayeto was seized with an inflamation upon his lungs. Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander were attacked by fevers, and in a little time almost every person both on board and on shore, was sick. The distress of our people was indeed very great and the prospect before them discouraging in the highest degree. Tupia, being desirous of breathing a freer air than among the numerous houses that obstructed it ashore, had a tent erected for him on Cooper's island, to which he was accompanied by Mr. Banks, who attended this poor Indian with the greatest humanity, till he was rendered incapable of doing it, by the violent increase of his own disorder. On the 5th of November. Mr. Monkhouse, the surgeon of the ship, a sensible, skilful man, whose loss was not a little aggravated by the situation of the English, fell the first sacrifice to this fatal country. Tayeto died on the 9th, and Tupia, who loved him with the tenderness of a parent, sunk at once after the loss of the boy, and survived him only a few days. The disorders of Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander grew to such a height, that the physician declared they had no chance of preserving their lives but by removing into the country. Accordingly, a house was hired for them at the distance of about two miles from the town; where, in consequence of enjoying a purer air, and being better nursed by two Malayan women, whom they had bought, they recovered by slow degrees. At length, Lieutenant Cook was himself taken ill; and out of the whole ship's company, not more than ten were able to do duty.
In the midst of these distresses, our commander was diligently and vigorously attentive to the repair of his vessel. When her bottom came to be examined, she was found to be in a worse condition than had been apprehended. Her false keel and main keel were both of them greatly injured; a large quantity of the sheathing was torn off; and among several planks which were much damaged, two of them, and the half of a third, were so worn for the length of six feet, that they were not above the eighth part of an inch in thickness; and here the worms had made way quite into the timbers. In this state the Endeavour had sailed many hundred leagues, in a quarter of the globe where navigation is dangerous in the highest degree. It was happy for our voyagers, that they were ignorant of their perilous situation; for it must have deeply affected them, to have known, that a considerable part of the bottom of the vessel was thinner than the sole of a shoe, and that all their lives depended upon so slight and fragile a barrier between them and the unfathomable ocean.
The repair of the Endeavour was carried on very much to Mr. Cook's satisfaction. In justice to the Dutch officers and workmen, he hath declared, that in his opinion, there is not a marine yard in the world, where a ship can be laid with more convenience, safety, and dispatch, or repaired with greater diligence and skill. He was particularly pleased with the manner of heaving down by two masts, and gives it a decided preference to the method which had hitherto been practised by the English. The lieutenant was not one of those on whom the bigotry could be charged of adhering to old customs, in opposition to the dictates of reason and experience.
By the 8th of December, the Endeavour was perfectly refitted. From that time to the 24th, our people were employed in completing her stock of water, provisions, and stores, in erecting some new pumps, and in various other necessary operations. All this business would have been effected much sooner, if it had not been retarded by the general sickness of the men.
In the afternoon of the 24th, our commander took leave of the governor of Batavia, and of several other gentlemen belonging to the place, with whom he had formed connexions, and to whom he had been greatly obliged for their civilities and assistance. In the meanwhile, an accident intervened, which might have been attended with disagreable effects. A seaman, who had run away from one of the Dutch ships in the road, entered on board the Endeavour. Upon his being reclaimed, as a subject of Holland, Mr. Cook, who was on shore, declared, that if the man appeared to be a Dutchman, he should certainly be delivered up. When however, the order was carried to Mr. Hicks, who commanded on board, he refused to surrender the seaman, alleging, that he was a subject of great Britain, born in Ireland. In this conduct, Mr. Hicks acted in perfect conformity to the lieutenant's intention and directions. The captain of the Dutch vessel, in the next place, by a message from the governor-general, demanded the man as a subject of Denmark. To this Mr. Cook replied, that there must be some mistake in the general's message, since he would never demand of him a Danish seaman, whose only crime was that of preferring the English to the Dutch service. At the same time the lieutenant added, that to strew the sincerity of his desire to avoid disputes, if the man was a Dane, he should be delivered up as a courtesy; but that, if he appeared to be an English subject, he should be kept at all events. Soon after, a letter was brought from Mr. Hicks, containing indubitable proofs that the seaman in question was a subject of his Britannic majesty. This letter Mr. Cook sent to the governor, with an assurance to his excellency, that he would not part with the man on any terms. A conduct so firm and decisive produced the desired effect, no more being heard of the affair.
In the evening of the 25th, our commander went on board, together with Mr. Banks and the rest of the gentlemen who had resided constantly on shore. The gentlemen, though considerably better, were far from being perfectly recovered. As this time, the sick persons in the ship amounted to forty, and the rest of the company were in a very feeble condition. It was remarkable, that every individual had been ill excepting the sailmaker, who was an old man between seventy and eighty years of age, and who was drunk every day during the residence of our people at Batavia. Three seamen and Mr. Green's servant died, besides the surgeon, Tupia, and Tayeto. Tupia did not entirely fall a sacrifice to the unwholesome, stagnant, and putrid air of the country. As he had been accustomed from his birth, to subsist chiefly upon vegetable food, and particularly on ripe fruit, he soon contracted the disorders which are incident to a sea life, and would probably have sunk under them before the voyage of the English could have been completed, even if they had not been obliged to go to Batavia to refit their vessel.
Our navigators did not stay at this place without gaining an extensive acquaintance with the productions of the country, and the manners and customs of the inhabitants. The information which was obtained on these heads, will be found to constitute a very valuable addition to what was heretofore known upon the subject.
On Thursday the 27th of December, the Endeavour stood out to sea; and on the 5th of January, 1771, she came to an anchor, under the south-east side of Prince's Island. The design of this was to obtain a recruit of wood and water, and to procure some refreshments for the sick, many of whom had become much worse than they were when they left Batavia. As soon as the vessel was secured, the lieutenant, Mr. Banks, and Dr. Solander went on shore, and were conducted by some Indians they met with to a person who was represented to be the king of the country. After exchanging a few compliments with his majesty, the gentlemen proceeded to business, but could not immediately come to a settlement with him in respect to the price of turtle. They were more successful in their search of a watering-place, having found water conveniently situated, and which they had reason to believe would prove good. As they were going off, some of the natives sold them three turtle, under a promise that the king should not be informed of the transaction.
On the next day a traffic was established with the Indians, upon such terms as were offered by the English; so that by night our people had plenty of turtle. The three which had been purchased the evening before were in the mean time dressed for the ship's company, who, excepting on the preceding day, had not, for nearly the space of four months, been once served with salt provisions. Mr. Banks, in the evening, paid his respects to the king at his palace, which was situated in the middle of a rice field. His majesty was busily employed in dressing his own supper; but this did not prevent him from receiving his visitant in a very gracious manner. During the following days the commerce with the natives for provisions was continued; in the course of which they brought down to the trading place, not only a quantity of turtle, but fowls, fish, monkeys, small deer, and some vegetables.
On the evening of the 11th, when Mr. Cook went on shore to see how those of his people conducted their business, who were employed in wooding and watering, he was informed that an axe had been stolen. As it was a matter of consequence to prevent others from being encouraged to commit thefts of the like kind, he resolved not to pass over the offence, but to insist upon redress from the king. Accordingly, after some altercation, his majesty promised that the axe should be restored in the morning, and the promise was faithfully performed.
On the 15th, our commander weighed, and stood out for sea. Prince's Island, where he lay about ten days, was formerly much frequented by the India ships of many nations, and especially those of England, but it had lately been forsaken, on account of the supposed badness of its water. This supposition, however, arose from a want of duly examining the brook by which the water is supplied. It is, indeed, brackish at the lower part of the brook, but higher up it will be found excellent. The lieutenant, therefore, was clearly of opinion, that Prince's Island is a more eligible place for ships to touch at, than either at North Island or New Bay; from neither of which places any considerable quantity, of other refreshments can be procured.
As the Endeavour proceeded on her voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, the seeds of disease, which had been received at Batavia, appeared with the most threatening symptoms, and reduced our navigators to a very melancholy situation. The ship was, in fact, nothing better than an hospital, in which those who could go about were not sufficient for a due attendance upon those who were sick. Lest the water which had been taken in at Prince's island should have had any share in adding to the disorder of the men, the lieutenant ordered it to be purified with lime; and, as a farther remedy against infection, he directed all the parts of the vessel between the decks to be washed with vinegar. The malady had taken too deep root to be speedily eradicated. Mr. Banks was reduced so low by it, that for some time there was no hope of his life; and so fatal was the disease to many others, that almost every night a dead body was committed to the sea. There were buried, in the course of about six weeks, Mr. Sporing, a gentleman who was one of Mr. Banks's assistants; Mr. Parkinson, his natural history painter, Mr. Green, the astronomer; the boatswain, the carpenter, and his mate; Mr. Monkhouse the midshipman, another midshipman, the old jolly sailmaker and his assistant, the ship's cook, the corporal of the marines, two of the carpenter's crew, and nine seamen. In all, the loss amounted to three and twenty persons, besides the seven who died at Batavia. It is probable that these calamitous events, which could not fail of making a powerful impression on the mind of Lieutenant Cook, might give occasion to his turning his thoughts more zealously to those methods of preserving the health of seamen, which he afterwards pursued with such remarkable success.
On Friday the 15th of March, the Endeavour arrived off the Cape of Good Hope; and as soon as she was brought to an anchor, our commander waited upon the governor, from whom be received assurances that he should be furnished with every supply which the country could afford. His first care was to provide a proper place for the sick, whose number was not small; and a house was speedily found, where it was agreed that they should be lodged and boarded at the rate of two shillings a day for each person.
The run from Java Head to the Cape of Good Hope did not furnish many subjects of remark, that could be of any great use to future voyagers. Such observations, however, as occurred to him, the lieutenant has been careful to record, not being willing to omit the least circumstance that may contribute to the safety and facility of navigation.
The lieutenant, having lain at the Cape to recover the sick, to procure stores, and to refit his vessel, till the 14th of April, then stood out of the bay, and proceeded on his voyage homeward. In the morning of the 29th, he crossed his first meridian, having circumnavigated the globe in the direction from east to west. The consequence of which was, that he lost a day, an allowance for which had been made at Batavia. On the 1st of May be arrived at St Helena, where he staid till the 4th to refresh; during which time Mr. Banks employed himself in making the complete circuit of the island, and in visiting the places most worthy of observation.
The manner in which slaves are described as being treated in this island, must be mentioned with indignation. According to our commander's representation, while every kind of labour is performed by them, they are not furnished either with horses or with any of the various machines which art has invented to facilitate their task. Carts might conveniently be used in some parts, and where the ground is too steep for them, wheelbarrows might be employed to great advantage; and yet there is not a wheelbarrow in the whole island. Though every thing which is conveyed from place to place is done by slaves alone, they have not the simple convenience of a porter's knot, but carry their burden upon their heads. They appeared to be a miserable race, worn out by the united operation of excessive labour and ill usage; and Mr. Cook was sorry to observe, and to say, that instances of wanton cruelty were much more frequent among his countrymen at St. Helena, than among the Dutch, who are generally reproached with want of humanity, both at Batavia and the Cape of Good Hope. It is impossible for a feeling mind to avoid being concerned that such an account should be given of the conduct of any who are entitled to the name of Britons. The lieutenant's reproof, if just, hath, it may be hoped, long before this reached the place, and produced some good effect. If slavery, that disgrace to religion, to humanity, and, I will add, to sound policy, must still be continued, every thing ought to be done which can tend to soften its horrors.
[Footnote 7: Near the conclusion of Captain Cook's second voyage,
there is the following short note. 'In the account given of St.
Helena, in the narrative of my former voyage, I find some
mistakes. Its inhabitants are far from exercising a wanton cruelty
over their slaves; and they have had wheel carriages and porters'
knots for many years.' This note I insert with pleasure.
Nevertheless, I cannot think that the lieutenant could have given
so strong a representation of things, if, at the time in which it
was written, it had been wholly without foundation.]
When our commander departed from St. Helena, on the 4th, it was in company with the Portland man-of-war, and twelve Indiamen. With this fleet he continued to sail till the 10th, when, perceiving that the Endeavour proceeded much more heavily than any of the other vessels, and that she was not likely to get home so soon as the rest, he made a signal to speak with the Portland. Upon this captain Elliot himself came on board, and Mr. Cook delivered to him the common log-books of his ship, and the journals of some of the officers. The Endeavour, however, kept in company with the fleet till the morning of the 23rd, at which time there was not a single vessel in sight. On that day died Mr. Hicks, and in the evening his body was committed to the sea, with the usual ceremonies. Mr. Charles Clerke, a young man extremely well qualified for the station, and whose name will hereafter frequently occur, received an order from Mr. Cook to act as lieutenant in Mr. Hicks's room.
The rigging and sails of the ship were now become so bad, that something was continually giving way. Nevertheless, our commander pursued his course in safety; and on the 10th of June, land, which proved to be the Lizard, was discovered by Nicholas Young, the boy who had first seen New Zealand. On the 11th, the lieutenant ran up the channel. At six the next morning he passed Beachy Head; and in the afternoon of the same day, he came to an anchor in the Downs, and went on shore at Deal.
BIOGRAPHY OF CAPTAIN JAMES COOK
CHAP. I. Account of Captain Cook previous to his first
Voyage round the World
CHAP. II. Narrative of Captain Cook's first Voyage round
the World in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771
CHAP. III. Account of Captain Cook during the Period
between his first and second Voyage
CHAP. IV. Narrative of Captain Cook's second Voyage
round the World in the years 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775
CHAP. V. Account of Captain Cook during the Period
between his second and third Voyage
CHAP. VI. Narrative of Captain Cook's third Voyage in
the years 1776, 1777, 1778, and 1779, to the Period of his Death
CHAP. VII. Character of Captain Cook.--Effects of his
Voyages.--Testimonies of Applause.--Commemorations of his Services.--Regard paid
to his Family.--Conclusion