An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty, for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook, in the Dolphin, the Swallow, and the Endeavour: Drawn from the Journals which were kept by the several Commanders, and from the Papers of Joseph Banks, Esq. [Vol. II]
A Description of Poverty Bay, and the Face of the adjacent Country. The Range from thence to Cape Turn-again, and back to Tolaga; with some Account of the People and the Country, and several Incidents that bappened on that Part of the Coast.
The next morning, at six o'clock, we weighed, and stood away from this unfortunate and inhospitable place, to which I gave the name of Poverty-Bay, and which by the natives is called Taoneroa, or Long Sand, as it did not afford us a single article that we wanted, except a little wood. It lies in latitude 38° 42′ S. and longitude 181° 36′ W. it is in the form of an horse shoe, and is known by an island lying close under the north-east point. The two points which form the entrance are high, with steep white cliffs, and lie a league and a half or two leagues from each other, N. E. by E. and S. W. by W. the depth of water in the bay is from twelve to five fathom, with a sandy bottom and good anchorage; but the situation is open to the wind between the south and east; boats can go in and out of the river at any time of the tide in fine weather; but as there is a bar at the entrance, no boat can go either in or out when the sea runs high. The best place to attempt it is on the north-east side, and it is there practicable when it is not so in any other part. The shore of the bay, a little within its entrance, is a low flat sand, behind which, at a small distance, the face of the country is finely diversified by hills and vallies, all clothed with wood and covered with verdure. The country also appears to be well inhabited, especially in the vallies leading up from the bay, where we daily saw smoke rising in clouds one behind another to a great distance, till the view terminated in mountains of a stupendous height.
The south-west point of the bay I named Young Nick's Head, after Nicholas Young, the boy who first saw the land: at noon it bore N. W. by W. distant about three or four leagues, and we were then about three miles from the shore. The main land page 128 extended from N. E. by N. to S. and I proposed to follow the direction of the coast to the southward as far as the latitude of 40 or 41, and then, if I met with no encouragement to proceed farther, to return to the northward.
In the afternoon we lay becalmed, which the people on shore perceiving, several canoes put off, and came within less than a quarter of a mile of the vessel, but could not be persuaded to come nearer, though Tupia exerted all the powers of his lungs and his eloquence upon the occasion, shouting, and promising that they should not be hurt. Another canoe was now seen coming from Poverty-Bay, with only four people on board, one of whom we well remembered to have seen in our first interview upon the rock. This canoe, without stopping, or taking the least notice of the others, came directly along side of the ship, and with very little persuasion we got the Indians on board. Their example was soon followed by the rest, and we had about us seven canoes, and about fifty men. We made them all presents with a liberal hand, notwithstanding which they were so desirous to have more of our commodities, that they sold us every thing they had, even the clothes from their backs, and the paddles from their boats. There were but two weapons among them, these were the instruments of green tale, which were shaped somewhat like a pointed battledore, with a short handle and sharp edges; they were called Patoo-Patoo, and were well contrived for close fighting, as they would certainly split the thickest scull at a single blow.
When these people had recovered from the first impressions of fear, which notwithstanding their resolution in coming on board, had manifestly thrown them into some confusion, we enquired after our poor boys. The man who first came on board immediately answered, that they were unhurt and at home; adding, that he had been induced to venture on board, by the account which they had given him of the kindness with which they had been treated, and the wonders that were in the ship.
While they were on board they shewed every sign of friendship, and invited us very cordially to go back page 129 back to our old bay, or to a small cove which they pointed out, that was not quite so far off; but I chose rather to prosecute my discoveries than go back, having reason to hope that I should find a better harbour than any I had yet seen.
About an hour before sun-set, the canoes put off from the ship with the few paddles they had reserved, which were scarcely sufficient to set them on shore; but by some means or other three of their people were left behind. As soon as we discovered it we hailed them, but not one of them would return to take them on board; this greatly surprized us; but we were surprized still more to observe, that the deserted Indians did not seem at all uneasy at their situation, but entertained us with dancing and singing after their manner, eat their suppers, and went quietly to bed.
A light breeze springing up soon after it was dark, we steered along the shore under an easy sail till midnight, and then brought to, soon after which it fell calm. We were now some leagues distant from the place where the canoes had left us, and at day-break, when the Indians perceived it, they were seized with consternation and terror, and lamented their situation in loud complaints, with gestures of despair and many tears. Tupia, with great difficulty, pacified them; and about seven o'clock in the morning, a light breeze springing up, we continued to stand south-west along the shore. Fortunately for our poor Indians, two canoes came off about this time, and made towards the ship; they stopped, however, at a little distance, and seemed unwilling to trust themselves nearer. Our Indians were greatly agitated in this state of uncertainty, and urged their fellows to come along-side of the ship, both by their voice and gestures, with the utmost eagerness and impatience. Tupia interpreted what they said, and we were much surprized to find, that, among other arguments, they assured the people in the canoe, we did not eat men. We now began seriously to believe, that this horrid custom prevailed among them; for what the boys had said, we considered as a mere hyperbolical expression of their fear. One of the canoes, at length, ventured to come under the ship's side; and an old man came on board, who seemed to be a page 130 Chief, from the finery of his garment, and the superiority of his weapon, which was a Patoo-Patoo made of bone, that, as he said, had belonged to a whale. He stayed on board but a short time, and when he went away he took with him our guests, very much to the satisfaction both of them and us.
At the time when we sailed we were a-breast of a point, from which the land trends S. S. W. and which, on account of its figure, I called Cape Table. This point lies seven leagues to the southward of Poverty-Bay, in latitude 39° 7 S. and longitude 181° 36′ W. It is of a considerable height, makes in a sharp angle, and appears to be quite flat at the top.
In steering along the shore to the southward of the Cape, at the distance of two or three miles, our soundings were from twenty to thirty fathom, having a chain of rocks between us and the shore, which appeared at different heights above the water.
At noon, Cape Table bore N. 20 E. distant about four leagues, and a small island, which was the southermost land in sight, bore S. 70 W. at the distance of about three miles. This island, which the natives call Teahowary, I named the Island of Portland, from its very great resemblance to Portland in the English channel; it lies about a mile from a point on the main, but there appears to be a ridge of rocks, extending nearly, if not quite, from one to the other. N. 57 E. two miles from the south point of Portland, lies a sunken rock, upon which the sea breaks with great violence. We passed between this rock and the land, having from seventeen to twenty fathom.
In sailing along the shore, we saw the natives assembled in great numbers, as well upon Portland Island as the main. We could also distinguish several spots of ground that were cultivated; some seemed to be fresh turned up, and lay in furrows like ploughed land, and some had plants upon them in different stages of their growth. We saw also, in two places, high rails upon the ridges of hills, like what we had seen upon the peninsula at the north-east head of Poverty-Bay; as they were ranged in lines only, and not so as to inclose an area, we could not guess at their use, and therefore supposed they might be the work of superstition.page 131
About noon, another canoe appeared, in which were four men; she came within about a quarter of a mile of us, where the people on board seemed to perform divers ceremonies. One of them, who was in the bow, sometimes seemed to ask and to offer peace, and sometimes to threaten war, by brandishing a weapon that he held in his hand; sometimes also he danced, and sometimes he sung. Tupia talked much to him, but could not persuade him to come to the ship.
Between one and two o'clock, we discovered land to the westward of Portland, extending to the southward as far as we could see; and as the ship was hauling round the south end of the island, she suddenly fell into shoal water and broken ground; we had indeed always seven fathom or more, but the soundings were never twice the same, jumping at once from seven fathom to eleven; in a short time, however, we got clear of all danger, and had again deep water under us.
At this time the island lay within a mile of us, making in white cliffs, and a long spit of low land running from it towards the main. On the sides of these cliffs sat great numbers of people, looking at us with a fixed attention; and, it is probable, that they perceived some appearance of hurry and confusion on board, and some irregularity in the working of the ship, while we were getting clear of the shallow water and broken ground, from which they might infer that we were alarmed or in distress; we thought that they wished to take advantage of our situation, for five canoes were put off with the utmost expedition, full of men, and well armed; they came so near, and shewed so hostile a disposition, by shouting, brandishing their lances, and using threatening gestures, that we were in some pain for our small boat, which was still employed in sounding; a musket was therefore fired over them, but finding it did them no harm, they seemed rather to be provoked than intimidated, and I therefore fired a four pounder, charged with grape-shot, wide of them. This had a better effect. Upon the report of the piece, they all rose up and shouted; but instead of continuing the chace, drew all together, and after a short consultation went quietly away.page 132
Having got round Portland, we hauled in for the land N. W. having a gentle breeze at N. E. which about five o'clock died away, and obliged us to anchor. We had one and twenty fathom, with a fine sandy bottom: the south point of Portland bore S. E. ½ S. distant about two leagues; and a low point on the main bore N. ½ E. In the same direction with this low point, there runs a deep bay, behind the land of which Cape Table is the extremity, so as to make this land a peninsula, leaving only a low narrow neck between that and the main. Of this peninsula, which the natives call Terakako, Cape Table is the north point, and Portland the south.
While we lay at anchor, two more canoes came off to us, one armed, and the other a small fishing-boat, with only four men in her. They came so near that they entered into conversation with Tupia. They answered all the questions that he asked them with great civility, but could not be persuaded to come on board; they came near enough, however, to receive several presents that were thrown to them from the ship, with which they seemed much pleased, and went away. During the night many fires were kept on shore, probably to shew us that the inhabitants were too much upon their guard to be surprized.
About five o'clock in the morning of the 13th, a breeze springing up northerly, we weighed, and steered in for the land. The shore here forms a large bay, of which Portland is the north-east point, and the bay that runs behind Cape Table an arm. This arm I had a great inclination to examine, because there appeared to be safe anchorage in it; but not being sure of that, and the wind being right an end, I was unwilling to spare the time. Four and twenty fathom was the greatest depth with Portland, but the ground was every where clear. The land near the shore is of a moderate height, with white cliffs and sandy beaches; within it rises into mountains; and, upon the whole, the surface is hilly, for the most part covered with wood, and to appearance pleasant and fertile. In the morning nine canoes came after the ship, page 133 ship, but whether with peaceable or hostile intentions we could not tell, for we soon left them behind us.
In the evening we stood in for a place that had the appearance of an opening, but found no harbour; we therefore stood out again, and were soon followed by a large canoe, with eighteen or twenty men all armed, who, though they could not reach us, shouted defiance, and brandished their weapons, with many gestures of menace and insult.
In the morning, we had a view of the mountains inland, upon which the snow was still lying: the country near the shore was low and unfit for culture, but in one place we perceived a patch of somewhat yellow, which had greatly the appearance of a corn field, yet was probably nothing more than some dead flags, which are not uncommon in swampy places: at some distance we saw groves of trees, which appeared high and tapering, and being not above two leagues from the south-west cod of the great bay, in which we had been coasting for the two last days, I hoisted out the pinnace and long-boat to search for fresh water; but just as they were about to put off, we saw several boats full of people coming from the shore, and therefore I did not think it safe for them to leave the ship. About ten o'clock, five of these boats having drawn together, as if to hold a consultation, made towards the ship, having on board between eighty and ninety men, and four more followed at some distance, as if to sustain the attack. When the first five came within about a hundred yards of the ship, they began to sing their war song, and, brandishing their pikes, prepared for an engagement. We had now no time to lose, for if we could not prevent the attack, we should come under the unhappy necessity of using our fire arms against them, which we were very desirous to avoid. Tupia was therefore ordered to acquaint them, that we had weapons which, like thunder, would destroy them in a moment; that we 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 attempts, we should be obliged to use them for our defence. A four pounder, loaded with grape-shot page 134 was then discharged wide of them, which produced the desired effect; the report, the flash, and above all, the shot, which spread very far in the water, so intimidated them, that they began to paddle away with all their might: Tupia, however, calling after them, and assuring them that if they would come un-armed, they should be kindly received, the people in one of the boats put their arms on board of another, and came under the ship's stern: we made them several presents, and should certainly have prevailed upon them to come on board, if the other canoes had not come up, and again threatened us, by shouting and brandishing their weapons: at this the people who had come to the ship unarmed, expressed great displeasure, and soon after they all went away.
In the afternoon we stood over to the south point of the bay, but not reaching it before it was dark, we stood off and on all night. At eight the next morning, being a-breast of the point, several fishing boats came off to us, and sold us some stinking fish: it was the best they had, and we were willing to trade with them upon any terms: these people behaved very well and should have parted good friends if it had not been for a large canoe, with two and twenty armed men on board, which came boldly up along-side of the ship. We soon saw that this boat had nothing for traffick, yet we gave them two or three pieces of cloth, an article which they seemed very fond of. I observed that one man had a black skin thrown over him, somewhat resembling that of a bear, and being desirous to know what animal was its first owner, I offered him for it a piece of red baize, and he seemed greatly pleased with the bargain, 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 possession, and as there could be no transfer of property, if with equal caution I had insisted upon the same condition, I ordered the cloth to be handed down to him, upon which, with amazing coolness, instead of sending up the skin, he began to pack up both that and the baize, which he had received as the purchase of it, in a basket, without paying the least regard to my demand or remonstrances, and soon after, with the fishing boats, put page 135 off from the ship; when they were at some distance, they drew together, and after a short consultation returned; the fishermen offered more fish, which, though good for nothing, was purchased, and trade was again renewed. Among others who were placed over the ship's side to hand up what we bought, was little Tayeto, Tupia's boy; and one of the Indians, watching his opportunity, suddenly seized him, and dragged him down into the canoe; two of them held him down in the fore-part of it, and the others, with great activity, paddled her off, the rest of the canoes following as fast as they could: upon this the marines who were under arms upon deck, were ordered to fire. The shot was directed to that part of the canoe which was farthest from the boy, and rather wide of her, being willing rather to miss the rowers than to hurt him: it happened, however, that one man dropped, upon which the others quitted their hold of the boy, who instantly leaped into the water, and swam towards the ship; the large canoe immediately pulled round and followed him, but some musquets, and a great gun being fired at her, she desisted from the pursuit. The ship being brought to, a boat was lowered, and the poor boy taken up unhurt, though so terrified that for a time be seemed to be deprived of his senses. Some of the gentlemen who traced the canoes to shore with their glasses, said, that they saw three men carried up the beach, who appeared to be either dead or wholly disabled by their wounds.
To the cape off which this unhappy transaction happened, I gave the name of Cape Kidnappers. It lies in latitude 39° 43′, and longitude 182° 24′ W. and is rendered remarkable by two white rocks like hay stacks, and the high white cliffs on each side. It lies S. W. by W. distant thirteen leagues from the isle of Portland; and between them is the bay of which it is the south point, and which, in honour of Sir Edward Hawke, then first Lord of the Admiralty, I called Hawke's Bay. We found in it from twenty-four to seven fathom, and good anchorage. From Cape Kidnappers the land trends S. S. W. and in this direction we made our run along the shore, keeping at page 136 about a league distance, with a steady breeze and clear weather.
As soon as Tayeto recovered from his fright, he brought a fish to Tupia, and told him, that he intended it as an offering to his Eatua, or god, in gratitude for his escape. Tupia commended his piety, and ordered him to throw the fish into the sea, which was accordingly done.
About two o'clock in the afternoon, we passed a small but high white island, lying close to the shore, upon which we saw many houses, boats, and people. The people were concluded to be fishers, because the island was totally barren; we saw several people also on shore, in a small bay upon the main, within the island. At eleven, we brought to till day light, and then made sail to the southward, along the shore. About seven o'clock we past a high point of land, which lies S. S.W. twelve leagues from Cape Kidnappers: from this point the land trends three fourths of a point more to the westward: at ten, we saw more land open to the southward, and at noon, the southermost land that was in sight bore S. 39 W. distant eight or ten leagues, and a high bluff head, with yellowish cliffs, bore W. distant about two miles: the depth of water was thirty-two fathom.
In the afternoon we had a fresh breeze at west, and during the night variable light airs and calms: in the morning a gentle breeze sprung up between the N. W. and N. E. and having till now stood to the southward, without seeing any probability of meeting with a harbour, and the country manifestly altering for the worse, I thought that standing farther in that direction would be attended with no advantage, but on the contrary would be a loss of time that might be employed with a better prospect of success in examining the coast to the northward; about one, therefore, in the afternoon, I tacked, and stood north, with a fresh breeze at west. The high bluff head, with yellowish cliffs, which we were a-breast of at noon, I called Cape Turnagain, because here we turned back. It lies in latitude 40° 34′ S. longitude 182° 55 W. distant eighteen leagues S. S. W. ½ W. from Cape Kidnappers. The land between them is of a very unequal height; in some places page 137 places it is lofty next the sea with white cliffs, in others low, with sandy beaches: the face of the country is not so well clothed with wood as it is about Hawke's bay, but looks more like our high downs in England: it is, however, to all appearance, well inhabited, for as we stood along the shore, we saw several villages, not only in the vallies, but on the tops and sides of the hills, and smoke in many other places. The ridge of mountains, which has been mentioned before, extends to the southward farther than we could see, and was then every where chequered with snow. At night we saw two fires inland, so very large, that we concluded they must have been made to clear the land for tillage; but however that be, they are a demonstration that the part of the country where they appeared is inhabited.
On the 18th, at four o'clock in the morning, Cape Kidnappers bore N. 32 W. distant two leagues: in this situation we had sixty-two fathom, and when the Cape bore W. by N. distant three or four leagues, we had forty five fathom: in the mid-way between the isle of Portland and the Cape we had sixty-five fathom. In the evening, being a-breast of the peninsula within Portland island, called Terakako, a canoe came off from that shore, and with much difficulty overtook the ship; there were on board five people, two of whom appeared to be Chiefs, and the other three servants: the Chiefs, with very little invitation, came on board, and ordered the rest to remain in their canoe. We treated them with great kindness, and they were not backward in expressing their satisfaction; they went down into the cabin, and after a short time told us that they had determined not to go on shore till the next morning. As the sleeping on board was an honour which we neither expected nor desired, I remonstrated strongly against it, and told them, that on their account it would not be proper, as the ship would probably be at a great distance from where she was then, the next morning: they persisted, however, in their resolution, and as I found it impossible to get rid of them without turning them by force out of the ship, I complied: as a proper precaution, however, I proposed to take their servants also on board, and hoist their page 138 canoe into the ship; they made no objection, and this was accordingly done. The countenance of one of these Chiefs was the most open and ingenuous of all I have ever seen, and I very soon gave up every suspicion of his having any sinister design: they both examined every thing they saw with great curiosity and attention, and received very thankfully such little presents as we made them; neither of them, however, could be persuaded, either to eat or drink, but their servants devoured every thing they could get with great voracity. We found that these men had heard of our kindness and liberality to the natives who had been on board before, yet we thought the confidence they placed in us, an extraordinary instance of their fortitude. At night I brought to till day-light, and then made sail; at seven in the morning, I brought to again under Cape Table, and sent away our guests with their canoe, who expressed some surprise at seeing themselves so far from home, but landed a-breast of the ship. At this time I saw other canoes putting off from the shore, but I stood away to the northward without waiting for their coming up.
About three I passed a remarkable head-land, which I called Gable-End Foreland, from the very great likeness of the white cliff at the point to the gable-end of a house: it is not more remarkable for its figure, than for a rock which aises like a spire at a little distance. It lies from Cape Table N. 24 E. distant about twelve leagues. The shore between them forms a bay, within which lies Poverty Bay, at the distance of four leagues from the head-land, and eight from the Cape. At this place three canoes came off to us, and one man came on board; we gave him some trifles, and he soon returned to his boat, which, with all the rest, dropped a-stern.
In the morning I made sail in shore, in order to look into two bays, which appeared about two leagues to the northward of the Foreland; the southermost I could not fetch, but I anchored in the other about eleven o'clock.
Into this bay we were invited by the people on board many canoes, who pointed to a place where they said there was plenty of fresh water: I did not find so page 139 good a shelter from the sea as I expected, but the natives who came about us, appearing to be of a friendly disposition, I was determined to try whether I could not get some knowledge of the country here before I proceeded farther to the northward.
In one of the canoes that came about us as soon as we anchored, we saw two men, who, by their habits, appeared to be Chiefs: one of them was dressed in a jacket, which was ornamented, after their manner, with dog's skin; the jacket of the other was almost covered with small tufts of red feathers. These men I invited on board, and they entered the ship with very little hesitation: I gave each of them about four yards of linen and a spike-nail; with the linen they were much pleased, but seemed to set no value upon the nail. We perceived that they knew what had happened in Poverty-bay, and we had therefore no reason to doubt but that they would behave peaceably; however, for further security, Tupia was ordered to tell them for what purpose we came thither, and to assure them that we would offer them no injury, if they offered none to us. In the mean time those who remained in the canoes traded with our people very fairly for what they happened to have with them: the Chiefs, who were old men, staid with us till we had dined, and about two o'clock I put off with the boats, manned and armed, in order to go on shore in search of water, and the two Chiefs went into the boat with me. The afternoon was tempestuous, with much rain, and the surf every where ran so high, that altho' we rowed almost round the bay, we found no place where we could land: I determined therefore to return to the ship, which being intimated to the Chiefs, they called to the people on shore, and ordered a canoe to be sent off for themselves; this was accordingly done, and they left us, promising to come on board again in the morning, and bring us some fish and sweet potatoes.
In the evening, the weather having become fair and moderate, the boats were again ordered out, and I landed, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander. We were received with great expressions of friendship by the natives, who behaved with a scrupulous attention not to give offence. In particular, they took care not to appear page 140 in great bodies: one family, or the inhabitants of two or three houses only, were generally placed together, to the number of fifteen or twenty, consisting of men, women, and children. These little companies sat upon the ground, not advancing towards us, but inviting us to them, by a kind of beckon, moving one hand towards the breast. We made them several little presents; and in our walk round the bay found two small streams of fresh water. This convenience, and the friendly behaviour of the people, determined me to stay at least a day, that I might fill some of my empty casks, and give Mr. Banks an opportunity of examining the natural produce of the country.
In the morning of the 21 st, I sent Lieutenant Gore on shore, to superintend the watering, with a strong party of men; and they were soon followed by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander, with Tupia, Tayeto, and four others.
The natives sat by our people, and seemed pleased to observe them; but did not intermix with them: they traded, however, chiefly for cloth, and after a short time applied to their ordinary occupations, as if no stranger had been among them. In the forenoon several of their boats went out a-fishing, and at dinner-time every one repaired to his respective dwelling; from which, after a certain time, he returned. These fair appearances encouraged Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander to range the bay with very little precaution, where they found many plants, and shot some birds of exquisite beauty. In their walk, they visited several houses of the natives, and saw something of their manner of life; for they shewed, without any reserve, every thing which the gentlemen desired to see. They were sometimes found at their meals, which the approach of the strangers never interrupted. Their food at this season consisted of fish, with which, instead of bread, they eat the root of a kind of fern, very like that which grows upon our commons in England. These roots they scorch over the fire, and then beat with a stick, till the bark and dry outside fall off, what remains is a soft substance, somewhat clammy and sweet, not unpleasing to the taste, but mixed with three or four times its quantity of strings and fibres, which are very disagreeable; these were page 141 were swallowed by some, but spit out by the far greater number, who had baskets under them to receive the rejected part of what had been chewed, which had an appearance very like that of tobacco in the same state. In other seasons they have certainly plenty of excellent vegetables; but no tame animals were seen among them, except dogs, which were very small and ugly. Mr. Banks saw some of their plantations, where the ground was as well broken down and tilled as even in the gardens of the most curious people among us: in these spots were sweet potatoes, coccos or eddas, which are well known and much esteemed both in the East and West-Indies, and some gourds: the sweet potatoes were planted in small hills, some ranged in rows, and others in quincunx, all laid by a line with the greatest regularity: the coccos were planted upon flat land, but none of them yet appeared above ground; and the gourds were set in small hollows, or dishes, much as in England. These plantations were of different extent, from one or two acres to ten: taken together, there appeared to be from 150 to 200 acres in cultivation in the whole bay, tho' we never saw an hundred people. Each district was fenced in, generally with reeds, which were placed so close together, that there was scarcely room for a mouse to creep between.
The women were plain, and made themselves more so by painting their faces with red ocre and oil, which being generally fresh, and wet upon their cheeks and foreheads, was easily transferred to the noses of those who thought fit to salute them; and that they were not wholly averse to such familiarity, the noses of several of our people strongly testified: they were, however, as great coquets as any of the most fashionable ladies in Europe, and the young ones as skittish as any unbroken filly: each of them wore a petticoat, under which there was a girdle, made of the blades of grass, highly perfumed, and to the girdle was fastened a small bunch of the leaves of some fragrant plant, which served their modesty as its innermost veil. The faces of the men were not so generally painted, yet we saw one whose whole body, and even his garments, were rubbed over with dry ocre, of which he kept a piece constantly in page 142 his hand, and was every minute renewing the decoration in one part or another, where he supposed it was become deficient. In personal delicacy they were not equal to our friends at Otaheite, for the coldness of the climate did not invite them so often to bathe; but we saw among them one instance of cleanliness in which they exceeded them, and of which perhaps there is no example in any other Indian nation. Every house, or every little cluster of three or four houses, was furnished with a privy, so that the ground was every where clean. The offals of their food, and other litter, were also piled up in regular dunghills, which probably they made use of at a proper time for manure.
In this decent article of civil oeconomy they were beforehand with one of the most considerable nations of Europe; for I am credibly informed, that, till the year 1760, there was no such thing as a privy in Madrid, the metropolis of Spain, though it is plentifully supplied with water. Before that time it was the universal practice to throw the ordure out of the windows, during the night, into the street, where numbers of men were employed to remove it, with shovels, from the upper parts of the city to the lower, where it lay till it was dry, and was then carried away in carts, and deposited without the gates. His present Catholic Majesty, having determined to free his capital from so gross a nuisance, ordered, by proclamation, that the proprietor of every house should build a privy, and that sinks, drains, and common-sewers should be made at the public expence. The Spaniards, tho' long acoustomed to an arbitrary government, resented this proclamation with great spirit, as an infringement of the common rights of mankind, and made a vigorous struggle against its being carried into execution. Every class devised some objection against it; but the physicians bid the fairest to interest the king in the preservation of the ancient privileges of his people; for they remonstrated that if the filth was not, as usual, thrown into the streets, a fatal sickness would probably ensue, because the putrescent particles of the air, which such filth attracted, would then be imbibed by the human body. But this expedient, with every other that could be thought of, page 143 proved unsuccessful, and the popular discontent then ran so high, that it was very near producing an insurrection; his Majesty, however, at length prevailed, and Madrid is now as clear as most of the considerable cities in Europe. But many of the citizens, probably upon the principles advanced by their physicians, that heaps of filth prevent deleterious particles of air from fixing upon neighbouring substances, have, to keep their food wholesome, constructed their privies by the kitchen fire.
In the evening, all our boats being employed in carrying the water on board, and Mr. Banks and his company finding it probable that they should be lest on shore after it was dark, by which much time would be lost, which they were impatient to employ in putting the plants they had gathered in order, they applied to the Indians for a passage in one of their canoes: they immediately consented, and a canoe was launched for their use. They went all on board, being eight in number, but not being used to a vessel that required so even a balance, they unfortunately overset her in the surf: no life however was lost, and it was thought advisable that half of them should wait for another turn. Mr. Banks, Dr. Solander, Tupia, and Tayeto embarked again, and without any further accident arrived safely at the ship, well pleased with the good-nature of their Indian friends, who chearfully undertook to carry them a second time, after having experienced how unfit a freight they were for such a vessel.
While these gentlemen were on shore, several of the natives went off to the ship, and trafficked, by exchanging their cloth for that of Otaheite: of this barter they were for some time very fond, preferring the Indian, cloth to that of Europe; but before night it decreased in its value five hundred per cent. Many of these Indians I took on board, and shewed them the ship and her apparatus, at which they expressed equal satisfaction and astonishment.
As I found it exceedingly difficult to get water on board, on account of the surf, I determined to stay no longer at this place; on the next morning therefore, about five o'clock, I weighed anchor and put to sea.page 144
This bay, which is called by the natives Tegadoo, lies in the latitude of 38° 10′ S. but as it has nothing to recommend it, a description of it is unnecessary.
From this bay I intended to stand on to the northward, but the wind being hard against me, I could make no way. While I was beating about to windward, some of the natives came on board, and told me, that in a bay which lay a little to the southward, being the same that I could not fetch the day I put into Tegadoo, there was excellent water, where the boats might land without a surf. I thought it better therefore to put into this bay, where I might compleat my water, and form farther connections with the Indians, than to keep the sea. With this view I bore up for it, and sent in two boats, manned and armed, to examine the watering-place, who confirming the report of the Indians at their return, I came to an anchor about one o'clock, in eleven fathom water, with a fine sandy bottom, the north point of the bay N. by E. and the south point S. E. The watering-place which was in a small cove a little within the south point of the bay, bore S. by E. distant about a mile. Many canoes came immediately off from the shore, and all traded very honestly for Otaheite cloth and glass bottles, of which they were immoderately fond.
In the afternoon of the 23d, as soon as the ship was moored, I went on shore to examine the wateringplace, accompanied by Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander: the boat landed in the cove, without the least surf; the water was excellent, and conveniently situated; there was plenty of wood close to high-water mark, and the disposition of the people was in every respect such as we could wish.
Having, with Mr. Green, taken several observations of the sun and moon, the mean result of them gave 180° 47′W. longitude; but, as all the observations made before exceeded these, I have laid down the coast from the mean of the whole. At noon, I took the sun's meridian altitude with an astronomical quadrant, which was set up at the watering-place, and found the latitude to be 38° 22′ 14″.page 145
On the 24th, early in the morning, I sent lieutenant Gore on shore, 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. After breakfast, I went on shore myself, and continued there the whole day.
Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander also went on shore to gather plants, and in their walks saw several things worthy of notice. They met with many houses in the vallies that seemed to be wholly deserted, the people living on the ridges of the hills in a kind of sheds very slightly built. As they were advancing in one of these vallies, the hills on each side of which were very steep, they were suddenly struck with the sight of a very 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 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.
As they Were returning to the watering-place in the evening, they met an old man, who detained them some time by shewing them the military exercises of the country with the lance and Patoo-Patoo, which are all the weapons in use. The lance is from ten to fourteen feet long, made of a very hard wood, and sharp at both ends: the Patoo-Patoo has been described already; it is about a foot long, made of talc or bone, with sharp edges, and used as a battle-axe. A post or stake was set up as his enemy, to which he advanced with a most surious aspect, brandishing his lance, which he grasped with great firmness; when it was supposed to have been pierced by his lance, he ran at it with his Patoo-Patoo, and falling upon the upper end of it, which was to represent his adversary's head, he laid on with great vehemence, striking many blows, any one of which would probably have split the scull of an ox. From our champion's falling upon his mock enemy with the Patoo-Patoo, after he was supposed to have been piereed page 146 with the lance, our gentlemen inferred, that in the battles of this country there is no quarter.
This afternoon, we set up the armourer's forge, to repair the braces of the tiller which had been broken, and went on getting our wood and water, without suffering the least molestation from the natives; who came down with different forts of fish, which we purchased with cloth, beads, and glass bottles, as usual.
On the 25th, Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander went again on shore; and while they were searching for plants, Tupia staid with the waterers: among other Indians who came down to them, was a priest, with whom Tupia entered into a very learned conversation. In their notions of religion they seemed to agree very well, which is not often the case between learned divines on our side of the ocean: Tupia, however, seemed to have the most knowledge, and was listened to with great deference and attention by the other. In the course of this conversation, after the important points of divinity had been settled, Tupia enquired if it was their practice to eat men, to which they answered in the affirmative; but said that they eat only their enemies who were slain in battle.
On the 26th, it rained all day, so that none of us could go a-shore; and very few of the Indians came either to the watering-place or the ship.
On the 27th, I went with Dr. Solander to examine the bottom of the bay; but though we went a-shore at two places, we met with little worth notice. The people behaved very civilly, shewing us every thing that we expressed a desire to see. Among other trifling curiosities which Dr. Solander purchased of them, was a boy's top, shaped exactly like those which children play with in England; and they made signs that to make it spin it was to be whipped. Mr. Banks in the mean time went ashore at the watering-place, and climbed a hill which stood at a little distance to see a fence of poles, which we had observed from the ship, and which had been much the subject of speculation. The hill was extremely steep, and rendered almost inaccessible by wood; yet he reached the place, near which he found many houses that for some reason had been deserted by their inhabitants. The poles appeared page 147 to be about sixteen feet high; they were placed in two rows, with a space of about six feet between them, and the poles in each row were about ten feet distant from each other. The lane between them was covered by sticks, that were set up sloping towards each other from the top of the poles on each side, like the roof of a house. This rail-work, with a ditch that was parallel to it, was carried about a hundred yards down the hill in a kind of curve; but for what purpose we could not guess.
The Indians, at the watering-place, at our request, entertained us with their war-song, in which the women joined, with the most horrid distortions of countenance, rolling their eyes, thrusting out their tongues, and often heaving loud and deep sighs; though all was done in very good time.
On the 28th we went ashore upon an island that lies to the left hand of the entrance of the bay, where we saw the largest canoe that we had yet met with: she was sixty eight feet and a half long, five broad, and three feet six high; the had a sharp bottom, consisting of three trunks of trees hollowed, of which that in the middle was the longest: the side planks were sixty-two feet long in one piece, and were not despicably carved in bass relief: the head also was adorned with carving still more richly. Upon this island there was a larger house than any we had yet seen; but it seemed unfinished and was full of chips. The wood work was squared so even and smooth, that we made no doubt of their having among them very sharp tools. The sides of the posts were carved in a masterly stile, though after their whimsical taste, which seems to prefer spiral lines and distorted faces: as these carved posts appeared to have been brought from some other place, such work is probably of great value among them.
At four o'clock in the morning of the 29th, having got on board our wood and water, and a large supply of excellent celery, with which the country abounds, and which proved a powerful antiscorbutic, I unmoored and put to sea.
This bay is called by the natives Tolaga; it is moderately large, and has from seven to thirteen fathom, page 148 with a clean sandy bottom and good anchorage; and is sheltered from all winds except the north-east. It lies in latitude 38° 22′ S. and sour leagues and an half to the north of Gable-end Foreland. On the south point lies a small but high island, so near the main as not to be distinguished from it. Close to the north end of the island, at the entrance into the bay, are two high rocks; one is round like a corn-stack, but the other is long, and perforated in several places, so that the openings appear like the arches of a bridge. Within these rocks is the cove where we cut wood, and filled our water casks. Off the north point of the bay is a pretty high rocky island; and about a mile without it, are some rocks and breakers. The variation of the compass here is 14° 31 E. and the tide flows at the full and change of the moon, about six o'clock, and rises and falls perpendicularly from five to six feet: whether the flood comes from the southward or the northward, I have not been able to determine.
We got nothing here by traffic bat a few fish, and some sweet potatoes, except a few trifles, which we considered merely as curiosities. We saw no four-footed animals, nor the appearance of any, either tame or wild, except dogs and rats, and these were very scarce; the people eat the dogs, like our friends at Otaheite; and adorn their garments with the skins, as we do ours with fur and ermine. I climbed many of the hills, hoping to get a view of the country, but I could see nothing from the top except higher hills, in a boundlets succession. The ridges of these hills produce little besides fern; but the sides are most luxuriantly clothed with wood, and verdure of various kinds, with little plantations intermixed; in the woods we found trees of above twenty different forts, and carried specimens of each on board; but there was no body among us to whom they were not altogether unknown. The tree which we cut for firing was somewhat like our maple, and yielded a whitish gum. We found another sort of it of a deep yellow, which we thought might be used in dying. We found also one cabbage-tree, which we cut down for the cabbages. The country abounds with plants, and the woods with birds, in an endless variety, exquisitely beautiful, and of which none of us had the page 149 least knowledge. The soil both of the hills and vallies is light and sandy, and very fit for the production of all kinds of roots; though we saw none except sweet potatoes and yams.