Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

ready to receive them; but, instead of enemies, we found petitioners, with plantain-trees in their hands, which they laid down at my feet, and begged that I would spare a canoe that lay close by, which I readily complied with.

At length, about four in the afternoon, we got to the boats that were waiting at Wharrarade, the district belonging to Tiarataboonoue; but this chief, as well as all the principal people of the place, had fled to the hills; though I touched not a single thing that was their property, as they were the friends of Otoo. After resting our; selves here about an hour, we set out for the ships, where we arrived about eight o'clock in the evening. At that time no account of the goat had been received; so that the operations of this day had not produced the desired effect.

Early next morning, I dispatched one of Omai's men to Maheine, with this peremptory inessage, that, if he persisted in his refusal, I would not leave him a single canoe upon the island, and that he might expect a continuation of hostilities as long as the stolen animal remained in his possession. And, that the messenger might see that I was in earnest, before he left me, I sent the carpenter to break up three or four canoes that lay ashore at the head of the harbour. The plank was carried on board, as materials for building a house for Omai, at the place wliere he intended to settle. I afterward went, properly accompanied, to the next barbour, where we broke up three or four more ca, noes, and burnt an equal number; and then returned on board about seven in the evening. On my arrival, I found that the goat had been brought back, about half an hour before; and, on enquiry, it appeared tbat it had come from the very place where I had been told, the day before, by the inhabitants, that they knew nothing of it. But, in consequence of the message I sent to the chief in the morning, it was judged prudent to trifle with me no longer.

Thus ended this troublesome, and rather unfortunate business; which could not be more regretted on the part of the natives than it was on mine. And it grieved me to reAect, that, after refusing the pressing solicitations of my friends at Otaheite to favour their invasion of this island, I should so soon find myself reduced to the necessity of engaging in hostilities against its inhabitants, which, per

haps,

haps, did them more mischief than they had suffered from Towha's expedition.'

The next morning our intercourse with the natives was renewed; and several canoes brought to the ships breadfruit and cocoa-nuts to barter; from whence it was natural for me to draw this conclusion, that they were conscious it was their own fault if I had treated them with severity; and that the cause of my displeasure being removed, they had a full confidence that no further mischief would ensue.

About nine o'clock, we weighed with a breeze down the harbour ; but it proved so faint and variable, that it was noon before we got out to sea, when I steered for Huaheine, attended by Oinai in bis canoe. He did not depend entirely upon his own judgment, but had got on board a pilot. I observed that they shaped as direct a course for the island as I could do.

At Eineo, we abundantly supplied the ships with firewood. We had not taken in any at Otaheite, where the procuring this article would have been very inconvenient; there not being a tree at Matavai but what is useful to the inhabitants. We also got here good store of refreshments, both in hogs and vegetables; that is, bread-fruit and cocoa-nuts; little else being in season. I do not know that there is any difference between the produce of this island and of Otaheite; but there is a very striking difference in their women that I can by no means account for. Those of Eimeo are of low stature, have a dark hue, and, in general, forbidding features. If we met with a fine woman among them, we were sure, upon enquiry, to find that she had come from some other island. · The general appearance of Eimeo is very different from that of Otaheite. The latter rising in one steep hilly body, has little low land, except some deep valleys; and the flat border that surrounds the greatest part of it toward the

sea.

* It is impossible not to think that Cook carried his resentment farther than the necessity of the case required; at least we may say, that the necessity, besides being in a great degree of his own creating, did not warrant such extensive aggression. His confessing bis regret and concern must be allowed to prove this, and at the same time to indicate the ten. derness of his moral feelings. It is one of the wisest precepts of practical wisdom, not to commit one's self farther in threatenings, or vindictive resolutions, than it will be quite safe and convenient to carry into effect.

E.

sea. Eimeo, on the contrary, has hills running in different directions, which are very steep and rugged, leaving, in the interspaces, very large valleys, and gently-rising grounds about their sides. These hills, though of a rocky disposition, are, in general, covered, almost to their tops, with trees; but the lower parts, on the sides, frequently only with fern. At the bottom of the harbour, where we lay, the ground rises gently to the foot of the hills, which run across nearly in the middle of the island; but its flat border, on each side, at a very small distance from the sea, becomes quite steep. This gives it a romantic cast, which renders it a prospect superior to any thing we saw at Otaheite. The soil, about the low grounds, is a yellowish and pretty stiff mould; but, upon the lower hills, it is blacker and more loose; and the stone that composes the hills, is, when broken, of a blueish colour, but not very compact texture, with some particles of glimmer interspersed. These particles seem worthy of observation. Perhaps the reader will think differently of my judgment, when I add, that, near the station of our ships, were two large stones, or rather rocks, concerning which the natives have some superstitious notions. They consider them as eatooas, or divinities; saying, that they are brother and sister, and that they came by some supernatural means from Ulieta.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Arrival at Huaheine.-Council of the Chiefs.--Omai's Offerings, and Speech to the Chiefs. His Establishment in this Island agreed to.-A House built, and Garden planted for him. Singularity of his Situation.--Measures taken to insure his Safety:-Damage done by Cock-roaches on board the Ships. - A Thief detected and punished. Fire-works exhibited. Animals left with Omai.-His Family-Weapons.--Inscription on his House. His Behaviour on the Ships leaving the Island.--Summary View of his. Conduct and Character.--Account of the two New Zealand Youths.

Having left Eimeo with a gentle breeze and fine weather, at day-break, the next morning we saw Huaheine, extending from S.W. by W. & W., to W. by N. At noon, we anchored at the north entrance of Owharre harbour, which is on the west side of the island. The whole afternoon was spent in warping the ships into a proper birth and mooring. Omai entered the barbour just before us, in his canoe, but did not land. Nor did he take much notice of any of his countrymen, though many crowded to see him; but far more of them came off to the ships, insomuch that we could hardly work on account of their numbers. Our passengers presently acquainted them with what, we had done at Eimeo, and multiplied the number of houses and canoes that we had destroyed, by ten at least. I was not sorry for this exaggerated account, as I saw that it made a great impression upon all who heard it; so that I had hopes it would induce the inhabitants of this island to behave better, to us than they had done during my former visits.

While I was at Otaheite, I had learned that my old friend Oree was no longer the chief of Huaheine ; and that, at this time, he resided at Ulietea... Indeed, he never had been more than regent during the minority of Taireetareea, the present earee rahie; but he did not give up the regeney till he was forced. His two sons, Opoony and Towha, were the first who paid nie a visit, coming on board before the ship was well in the harbour; and bringing a present with them.

Our arrival brought all the principal people of the island to our ships, on the next morning, being the 13th. This was just what I wished, as it was high time to think of settling Omai ; and the presence of these chiefs, I guessed, would enable me to do it in the most satisfactory manner. He now seemed to bave an inclination to establish himself at Ulietea ; and if he and I could have agreed about the mode of bringing that plan to bear, I should have bad no objection to adaptit. His father had been dispossessed by the men of Bolabola, when they conquered Ulielea, of some land in that island; and I made no doubt of being able to get it bestored to the ison in an amicable-manner. Fole that purpose it was necessary that he should be upon good terms with those who now were masters of the island; but he was too great a patriot to listen to any such thing ; and was vain enough to suppose that I would reinstate him in his forfeited lands by force. This made it impossible to fix him at Ulietea, and pointed out to ine Huaheine as the proper place. I, therefore, resolved to avail myself of the presence of the chief men of the island, and to make this proposal to them. is After the hurry of the morning was over, we got ready to pay a formal visit to Taireetareea, meaning then to introduce this business. Omaị dressed himself very properly on the occasion, and prepared a handsome present for the chief himself, and another for his eatpoa. Indeed, after he had got clear of the gang that surrounded him at Otaheite, he behaved with such prudence as to gain respect. Our landing drew most of our visitors from the ships; and they, as well as those that were on shore, assembled in a large house. The concourse of people, on this occasion, was very great; and, amongst them, there appeared to be a greater proportion of personable men and women than we bad ever seen in one assembly, at any of these new islands Not only the bulk of the people seemed, in general, much stouter and fairer than those of Otaheite, but there was also a much greater number of men who appeared to be of consequence, in proportion to the extent of the island, most of whom had exactly the corpulent appearance of the chiefs of Wateeoo. We waited some time for Taireetareea, as I would do nothing till the earee rahie came; but, when he appeared, I found that his presence might have been dispensed with, as he was not above eight or ten years of age. Omai, who stood at a little dislance from this circle of great meg, began with making his offering to the gods, consisting of red feathers, cloth, &c. Then followed another offering, which was to be given to the gods by the chief; and after that, several other small pieces and tufts of red feathers were presented. Each article was laid before one of the company, who, I understood, was a priest, and was delivered with

presence

a set speech or prayer, spoken by one of Omai's friends, who sat by him, but mostly diotated by himself. w In these prayers, he did not forget his friends in England, nor those who had brought him safe back. The

earee rahie so Pretane, Lord Sandwich, Toote, Tatee,' were mentioned in every one of them. When Owai's offerings and prayers were finished, the priest took each article, in the same order in which it had been laid before him, and after repeating a prayer, sent it to the morai, wbich, as

Omai

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« ForrigeFortsæt »