« ForrigeFortsæt »
did not long survive the separation from his family and the land of his birth; he died of a broken heart, about three months afterwards, near Juan Fernandez, on the passage to Peru. The termination of Surville's own career, which took place a few days later, may be regarded in a retributory light. After a vain cruise of nearly a twelvemonth in search of an imaginary island full of gold and precious stones, he found himself compelled, though his ship was victualled for three years, owing to the ill health of his crew, to return towards the coast of South America. On the 5th April 1770, he arrived at Callao ; and, being anxious to obtain an early interview with the viceroy, he put off from his vessel in a small boat and perished in the surf.*
The reports that had reached Europe respecting the soil and climate of New Zealand increased the interest taken by the court of France in a country which seemed to hold forth numerous advantages to enterprising settlers. With this view, in October 1771, they despatched two ships, under the command of M. Marion, who received instructions, after attending to some less important objects, to make himself intimately acquainted with the resources of the two islands recently visited by the English navigator. Arriving at Cape Brett on the 3d May the following year, he forthwith established an amicable intercourse with the natives, who readily went on board his vessel, and accepted his civilities in a very good spirit. Encouraged by these symptoms of a friendly disposition towards his people, he landed the sick sailors on one of the numerous islands with which the adjoining bay is studded. Abundance of food was now brought to them by the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages, who, in this respect, were indefatigable in their endeavours to gratify the strangers; while their communication with each other was rendered at once more easy and agreeable
* Regarding this transaction more ample details will be found in Rochon's Voyages aux Indes Orientales, tome iii. p. 388, extracted from the Journal of P. de l’Orme. In this work, the name of the chief is spelled Naginouni.--New Zealanders, p. 39. by the discovery that the language spoken in this part of Polynesia was essentially the same with the dialect of Otaheite. So intimate, indeed, did they become, and such was the state of mutual confidence in which they lived, that while the New Zealanders went at all times freely on board the ships, and occasionally remained all night, the Frenchmen, on their part, were wont to move about on shore with the greatest freedom, and even to make excursions into the interior, entering the houses of the people, and sharing their meals. Crozet, the first lieutenant, from whose notes the account of the voyage was compiled, remarks, that he himself was almost the only one of the officers who did not quite forget all precaution.
A dreadful crisis was now at hand, the motives that led to which it is impossible to comprehend. On the 12th June, Marion went on shore with a party of sixteen men, including four officers, who, being attacked by the treacherous cannibals, were literally murdered and eaten. Next morning, a boat's crew landed for the purpose of procuring wood and water, and being still free from suspicion, they also allowed themselves to be surrounded by a multitude of the savages, who put to death eleven of the twelve individuals of whom the party consisted. The survivor saw the dead bodies of his companions cut up and divided among the assassins, each of whom carried away the portion he had received. But with the thoughtlessness characteristic of barbarians, they used no means to avert the tremendous retribution to which they had exposed themselves. A powerful body of French were landed from the two ships, who; after ascertaining the horrible fate of their commander, and even collecting some remains of his mangled corpse, seized an opportunity presented by the murderers themselves of inflicting a severe punishment. Repeated volleys of musketry were directed against the miserable rabble, who, stupified with terror, allowed themselves to be slaughtered without any attempt either at resistance or retreat. No light has ever been thrown on the cir
cumstances which led to this shocking catastrophe. Crozet repeats the assurance that his countrymen gave not the islanders any cause of offence whatever during their residence among them, and that down to the fatal day when Marion was put to death, the two parties had lived together in the greatest cordiality, occupied in the reciprocation of kindnesses. If the assault on the foreigners was premeditated on the part of the natives, these last are justly chargeable with a degree of deceit not usually incident to such rude minds; but if we suppose that intelligence relative to the conduct of Surville had reached their shores, their atrocity may be explained, though not in any degree palliated.*
A similar event took place in the year 1773, when Captain Furneaux, who commanded the Adventure on Cook's second voyage, lay in Ship Cove, waiting the return of the Resolution. In the month of December he sent a boat to the land, under the care of a midshipman, with instructions to gather a few wild greens, and to return in the evening. The crew, which consisted of ten men, were killed and eaten, as on the former occasion. It was not till 1777, when engaged in his last voyage round the world, that the commodore obtained any explanation of this atrocious crime. Having desired Omai to ask the chief, Kahoora, why he had killed Furneaux's people, the savage folded his arms, hung down his head, and appeared to expect instant death. But no sooner did Cook assure him of his safety than he became cheerful.
“He did not, however, seem willing to give me an answer to the question that had been put to him, till I had again and again repeated my promise that he should not be hurt. Then he ventured to tell us, that one of his countrymen having brought a stone hatchet to barter, the man to whom it was offered took
Crozet, whose narrative is embodied in the volumes of the Abbé Rochon, remarks, that “they treated us with every show of kindness for thirty-three days, in the intention of eating us the thirty-fourth.”_'Voyage de Marion, p. 121, quoted in The New Zealanders, p. 53.
it, and would neither return it nor give any thing for it; on which the owner of it snatched up the bread as an equivalent, and then the quarrel began.'
About the end of last century, some intercourse began to take place between New Zealand and the penal colony established in Australia. Two natives of the former were induced to visit Norfolk Island, where they were kindly treated, and afterwards accompanied home by Governor King, who was exceedingly desirous to become acquainted with their method of cultivating and dressing flax, the most valuable produce of their country. About the same period, ships engaged in whale-fishing in those distant seas found it convenient to land on the coast, and hence an intimacy was gradually formed with the natives, who, though suspicious of the views which led to it, were by no means disposed to resist the approaches of a civilized people. Availing themselves of this opportunity, the authorities at Port Jackson occasionally sent presents of cattle, sheep, pigs, and seeds, with such other things as seemed fitted to add to their comforts, as well as to create among them a taste for the conveniences of cultivated life. At length, a chief named Tippahee, whose dwelling was near the Bay of Islands, expressed a desire to see the English colony. He was accordingly conveyed to Port Jackson, accomipanied by five sons; and, during his stay there, he examined with the utmost attention every thing that fell under his observation, manifesting the greatest anxiety to acquire a full knowledge of the various arts and manufactures which he saw carried on by the settlers. He was so much affected by the contrast between their knowledge and the ignorance of his own countrymen that he burst into tears.
It is not unworthy of notice that, on all occasions, the
* A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, performed under the direction of Captains Cook, Clerke, and Gore, in the Years 1776-1780, vol. i. p. 133. Cook adds, that “ the remainder of Kahoora's account of this unhappy affair differed very little from what we had before learned from the rest of his countrymen.”.
New Zealanders preferred things useful to those which were merely showy or decorative. The first of them who landed in England, whose name was Moyhanger, regarded with much more interest the iron goods and comfortable clothing which he saw in the shops of London, than the brilliant equipages and splendid attire that afterwards met his eyes. It was not without a feeling of dejection that he first beheld the magnitude, bustle, and wealth of the metropolis ; remarking, that in his own land he was a man of some consequence, but that in this country his consequence must be entirely lost. While in town he was taken to visit Lord Fitzwilliam. The ornamental parts of the furniture did not make such an impression upon him as was expected. Of the mirrors and other showy works of art, he merely remarked, that they were very fine;" and while it was thought he was admiring the more striking objects, it was discovered that he was counting the chairs. Having procured a small piece of stick, he had broken it into a number of fragments to assist his recollection; and upon completing the process of enumeration, he said, “ a great number of men sit with the chief.” It was a mystery to him at first how such an immense population could be fed, as he perceived neither cattle nor crops; but the droves of oxen and wagon-loads of vegetables he afterwards saw coming in from the country satisfied him upon this head.*
The favourable opinion which began to be entertained in regard to the people of New Zealand received a material check in the year 1809, when an atrocious murder was perpetrated on the crew of the Boyd, a ship of five hundred tons burden, which, with seventy persons on board, called at the Bay of Wangaroa, to land some natives who had been resident in Australia. Among these last was an individual named Tarra, though he bore among the sailors the more familiar appellation of George, who, having been punished for neglect of duty,
Savage's Account of New Zealand, p. 94.110.