Account of New Zealand
As we intend to leave this place tomorrow morn, I shall spend a few sheets in drawing together what I have observd of this countrey and its inhabitants; premising in the mean time that in this, and all others of the same kind which may occur in this Journal, I shall give myself liberty of conjecturing and drawing conclusions from which I have observd, in which I may doubtless often be mistaken; in the daily Journal however the Observations may be seen, and any one who referrs to that may draw his own conclusions from them, attending as little as he pleases to any of mine.
This countrey was first discoverd by Abel Jansen Tasman on the 13th of December 1642 and calld by him New Zealand; he however never went ashore upon it, probably for fear of the natives; who when he had come to an anchor set upon one of his boats and killd 3 or 4 out of 7 people that were in her.
Tasman certainly was an able navigator: he saild into the mouth of Cooks streights, and finding himself surrounded in all appearance with land observd the tide of flood to come from the SE; from thence he conjecturd that there was in that place a passage through the land, which conjecture we provd to be true and he himself had certainly done, had not the Wind changd as he though[t] in his favour, giving him an opportunity of returning the way he came in, which he preferrd to standing into a bay with an on shore wind. Upon the strength of conjecture only again, when he came the lengh of cape Maria Van Dieman he observd hollow waves to come from the NE, from whence he concluded it to be the northermost part of the Land, which we realy found it to be: Lastly, to his eternal credit be it spoken, tho he had been four months absent from Batavia when he made this land, and had saild both Westward and Eastward, his longitude (allowing for an Error of in that of Batavia as he himself has stated it) differs no more than from ours, which is corrected by an innumerable number of observations of the Moon and Sun &c . as well as a transit of Mercury over the Sun; all calculated and observd by Mr Green, a mathematician of well known abilities, who was sent out in this ship by the Royal Society to observe the transit of Venus. Thus much for Tasman: it were much to be wish'd however that we had a fuller account of his voyage than that publis'd by Dirk Rembranse, which seems to be no more than a short extract; and that other navigators would Imitate him in mentioning the Latitudes and Longitudes in which they account the places from whence they take their departure to be situated; which precaution, usefull as it is, may almost be said to have been usd by Tasman alone.
The face of the countrey is in general Mountanous, especialy inland, where probably runs a chain of very high hills parts of which we saw at several times; they were generaly coverd with snow and certainly very high - some of our officers, men of experience, did not scruple to say as much so as The pike of Teneriffe; in that particular however I cannot quite agree with them, tho that they must be very high is sufficiently provd by the hill to the Northward of the mouth of Cooks streights, which was seen, and made no inconsiderable figure, at the distance of Leagues.
The sea coast (should it ever be examind) will probably be found to abound in good harbours: we saw several, of which the Bay of Islands or Motuaro, and Queen Charlots Sound or Totarra nue, are as good as any seaman need desire to come into, either for good anchorage or convenience of Wooding and watering. The outer ridge of Land which lies open to the Sea is (as I beleive is the case in most countries) generaly Barren, especialy to the Southward, but within that the hills are Coverd with thick woods quite to the top, and every Valley produces a rivulet of Water.
The soil is in general light, and consequently admirably adapted to the uses for which the natives cultivate it, whose crops consist intirely of roots. On the Southern and western sides it is the most barren, the Sea being there generaly bounded with either steep hills or vast tracts of Sand, which probably is the reason why the people in these parts were so much less numerous, and livd almost intirely upon fish. The Northern and Eastern sides make however some amends for the Barrenness of the others: in them we often saw very large tracts of Ground which either actualy were or very lately had been cultivated, and an immense quantity of Woodland, which was yet uncleard, but promisd great returns to the people who would take the trouble of Clearing it - of the latter especialy in Taoneroa or Poverty bay, and Tolaga - besides Swamps, which might doubtless Easily be draind, and sufficiently evincd the richness of their soil by the great size of all the plants that grew upon them, and more particularly of the timber trees which were the streightest, cleanest, and I may say the largest I have ever seen - at least speaking of them in the Gross; I may have seen several times single trees larger than any I Observd among them, but it was not one but all these trees which were enormous, and doubtless had we had time and opportunity to Search, we might have found much larger ones than any we saw, as we were never but once ashore among them, and that but for a short time on the banks of the River Thames; where we rowd for many miles between woods of these trees, to which we could see no bounds. The River Thames is indeed in every respect the properest place we have yet seen for establishing a Colony; a ship as large as Ours might be carried several miles up the river, where she would be moord to the trees as safe as alongside a wharf in London river, a safe and sure retreat in case of an attack from the natives, as she might even be laid on the mud and a abridge built to her. The Noble timber, of which there is such abundance, would furnish plenty of materials either for the building defences, houses, or Vessels. The River would furnish plenty of Fish, and the Soil make ample returns of any European Vegetables sown in it. I have some reason to think from observations made upon the vegetables that the Winters here are extreemly mild, much more so than in England; the Summers we have found to be scarce at all hotter, tho more equably Warm.
The South part, which is much more hilly and barren than the North, I firmly beleive to Abound with minerals in a very high degree. This however is only conjecture; I had not, to my great regret, an opportunity of landing in any place where the signs of them were promising except the last; nor indeed in any one, where from the ship the Countrey appeard likely to produce them, which it did to the Southward in a very high degree, as I have mentiond in my Daily Journal.
I[n] all the times that we have landed in this Countrey, we have seen I had almost said no Quadrupeds realy original natives of it. Dogs and rats indeed there are; the former as in other countries companions of the men, and the latter probably brought hither by the men, especialy as they are so scarce that I myself have not had an opportunity of seeing even one. Of Seals indeed we have seen a few, and one Sea Lion; but these were in the sea, and are certainly very scarce, as we have seen no signs of them among the natives except a few teeth of the latter, which they make into a kind of Bodkins and value much. It appears not improbable that there realy are no other species of Quadrupeds in the countrey; for the natives, whose cheif luxury of Dress consists in the skins and hair of Dogs and the skins of divers birds, and who wear for ornaments the bones and beaks of birds and teeth of Dogs, would probably have made use of some part of any other animal they were acquainted with: a circumstance which tho we carefully sought after, we never saw the least signs of.
Of Birds there are not many species, and none except perhaps the Gannet the same as those of Europe. There are however ducks and shags of several kinds sufficiently like the European ones to be calld the same by the seamen, Both which we eat and accounted good food, especialy the former which are not at all inferior to those of Europe. Beside these there are hawks, owls and Quails differing but little at first sight from those of Europe, and several small birds that sing much more melodiously than any I have heard. The sea coast is also frequently visited by many Oceanick birds as Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Pintados &c . and has also a few of the birds calld by Sr Jno Narbourough Penguins, which are truly what the French call Nuance, between birds and fishes, as their feathers especialy on their wings differ but little from Scales; and their wings themselves, which they use only in diving and by no means in atempting to fly or even accelerate their motion on the surface of the water (as young birds are observd to do), might thence almost as properly be calld fins.
Neither are insects in greater plenty than birds: a few Butterflys and Beetles, flesh flies very like those in Europe, Musquetos, and sandflies maybe exactly the same as those of North America, make up the whole list. Of these last however, which are most Justly accounted the curse of any countrey where they abound, we never met with any great abundance; a few indeed there were in almost every place we went into but never enough to make any occupations ashore troublesome, or to give occasion for using shades for the face which we had brough[t] out to defend ourselves from them.
For this scarcity of animals on the land the Sea however makes abundant recompense. Every creek and corner produces abundance of fish not only wholesome but at least as well tasted as our fish in Europe: the ship seldom anchord in or indeed passd over (in light winds) any place whose bottom was such as fish resort to in general but as many were caught with hook and line as the people could eat, especialy to the Southward, where when we lay at an anchor the boats by fishing with hook and line very near the rocks could take any quantity of fish; besides that the Seine seldom faild of success, insomuch that both the times that we anchord to the Southward of Cooks streights every Mess in the ship that had prudence enough salted as much fish as lasted them many weeks after they went to sea.
For the Sorts, there are Macarel of several kinds, one precisely the same as our English ones and another much like our horse macarel, besides several more; these come in immence shoals and are taken by the natives in large Seines from whoom we bought them at very easy rates. Besides these were many species which tho they did not at all resemble any fish that I at least have before seen, our seamen contrivd to give names to, so that hakes, breams, Cole fish &c . were appellations familiar with us, and I must say that those who bear these names in England need not be ashamd of their nam[e]sakes in this countrey. But above all the luxuries we met with the lobsters or sea crawfish must not be forgot, which are possibly the same that in Lord Ansons Voyage are mentiond to be found at the Island of Juan Fernandes; they are large tho not quite so large as those at Juan Fernandes and differ from ours in England in having many more prickles on their backes, and being red when taken out of the water. Of them we bought great quantities of the natives every where to the Northward, who catch them by diving near the shore, feeling first with their feet till they find out where they lie. We had also that fish describd by Frezier in his voyage to Spanish South America by the name of Elefant, Pejegallo, or Poisson Coq, which tho coarse we made shift to Eat, several species of Skates or sting rays which were abominably coarse, but to make amends for that we had among several sorts of dog fish one that was spotted with a few white spots, whose flavour was similar to but much more delicate than our skate. We had flat fish also like Soles and flounders, Eels and Congers of several sorts, and many others which any Europaeans who may come here after us will not fail to find the advantage of, besides excellent oysters and many sorts of shell fish and cockles, clams &c .
Tho the countrey is generaly coverd with an abundant verdure of grass and trees yet I cannot say that it is productive of so great a variety as many countries I have seen. The intire novelty however of the greatest part of what we found recompens'd us as natural historians for the want of variety. Sow thistle, garden nightshade, and perhaps 1 or 2 kinds of Grasses were exactly the same as in England, 3 or 4 kinds of Fern the same as those of the West Indies, and a plant or 2 that are common to almost all the world: these were all that had before been describd by any botanist out of about 400 species, except 5 or 6 which we ourselves had before seen in Terra del Fuego.
Eatable Vegetables there are very few. We indeed as people who had been long at sea found great benefit in the article of health by eating plentifully of wild Celery, and a kind of Cresses which grew every where abundan[t]ly near the sea side. We also once or twice met with an herb like that which the countrey people in England call Lambs Quarters or Fat hen, which we boild instead of Greens, and once only a Cabbage tree the Cabbage of which made us one delicious meal. These with the Fern roots and one other vegetable (Pandanus ) totaly unknown in Europe, which tho eat by the natives no Europaean will probably ever relish, are the whole of the vegetables which I know to be eatable, except those which they cultivate and have probably brought with them from the countrey from whence they themselves have originaly come.
Nor does their cultivated grounds produce many speceis of Esculent plants, three only I have seen - Yams, sweet potatoes, and Coccos, all three well known in both East and West Indies and much esteemd of these, especialy the two former. They cultivate often peices of many acres, and I beleive any ship that was to be to the Northward in the Autumn about the time of digging them up might purchase any quantity. Besides these they cultivate gourds, the fruits of which serve them to make bottles, Jugs &c . and a very small quantity of the Chinese paper mulberry tree, the same as the Inhabitants of the South Sea Islands use to make their garments of. This they very much value, but it is so scarce with them probably having been brought from a hotter countrey and not thriving here, that tho they likewise beat it out into cloth we never saw peices of it larger than what servd to put into the holes they bore in their ears, making an ornament they are very fond of, and this was doubtless the reason why they preferrd the Cloth which we had brought from the South Sea Islands with us to any merchandise we could shew them, and next to it white paper.
Fruits they have none, except I should reckon a few kind of insipid berries which had neither sweetness nor flavour to recommend them and which none but the boys took the pains to gather. The woods however abound with excellent timber trees fit for any kind of building in size, grain, and apparent durability. One which bears a very conspicuous scarlet flower made up [of?] many threads, and is a large tree as big as an oak in England, has a very heavy hard wood which seems well adapted for the Cogs of Mill wheels &c . or any purpose for which very hard wood is us'd. That which I have before mentiond to grow in the swamps, which has a leaf not unlike Yew and bears small bunches of Berries, is tall streight and thick enough to make Masts for vessels of any size, and seems likewise by the streight direction of the fibres to be tough but is too heavy: this however I have been told is the case with the pitch pine in North America, the timber of which this very much resembles, and that the North Americans know how to lighten by tapping it properly and actualy use for Masts. But of all the plants we have seen among these people that which is the most excellent in its kind, and which realy excells most if not all that are put to the Same uses in other Countries, is the plant which serves them instead of Hemp and flax. Of this there are two sorts: the leaves of Both much resemble those of flags: the flowers are smaller and grow many more together, in one sort they are Yellowish in the other of a deep red. Of the leaves of these plants with very little preparation all their common wearing apparel are made and all Strings, lines, and Cordage for every purpose, and that of a strengh so much superior to hemp as scarce to bear a comparison with it. From the same leaves also by another preparation a kind of snow white fibres are drawn, shining almost as silk and likewise surprizingly strong, of which all their finer cloaths are made; and of the leaves without any other preparation than splitting them into proper breadths and tying those strips together are made their fishing nets. So usefull a plant would doub[t]less be a great acquisition to England, especialy as one might hope that it would thrive there with little trouble, as it seems hardy and affects no particular soil, being found equaly on hills and in Valleys, in dry soil and the deepest bogs, which last land it seems however rather to prefer as I have always seen it in such places of a larger size than any where else.
When first we came ashore we imagind the countrey to be much better peopled than we afterwards found it, concluding from the Smoaks that we saw that there were inhabitants very far inland, which indeed in Poverty bay and the Bay of Plenty, which are much the best peopled parts of the countrey that we have seen, may yet be the case. In all the other parts we have been in we have however found the sea coast only inhabited and that but sparingly, insomuch that the number of inhabitants seem to bear no kind of proportion to the size of the countrey which they possess, and this probably is owing to their frequent wars. Besides this the whole Coast from Cape Maria Van Diemen to Mount Egmont and seven eights of the Southern Island seems totaly without people.
The men are of the size of the larger Europaeans, Stout, Clean Limnd and active, fleshy but never fat as the lazy inhabitants of the South Sea Isles are, vigorous, nimble and at the same time Clever in all their excersizes. I have seen 15 paddles of a side in one of their Canoes move with immensely quick strokes and at the same time as much Justness as if the movers were animated by one Soul: not the fraction of a second could be observd between the dipping and raising any two of them, the Canoe all the While moving with incredible swiftness; and to see them dance their War dance was an amusement which never faild to please every spectator, so much strengh, firmness and agility in their motions and at the same time such excellent time kept that I have often heard above 100 paddles &c struck against the sides of their boats, as directed by their singing, without a mistake being ever made. In Colour they vary a little, some being browner than others, but few are browner than a Spaniard a little sun burnd might be supposd to be. The women without being at all delicate in their outward appearance are rather smaller than Europaean women, but have a peculiar softness of Voice which never fails to distinguish them from the men tho both are dressd exactly alike. They are like those of the fair sex that I have seen in other countries, more lively, airy and laughter loving than the men and have more volatile spirits, formd by nature to soften the Cares of more serious man who takes upon [him] the laborious toilsome part as War, tilling the Ground &c . That disposition appears even in this uncultivated state of nature, shewing in a high degree that as well in uncivilizd as the most polishd nations Mans ultimate happiness must at last be plac'd in Woman. The dispositions of Both Sexes seems mild, gentle, and very affectionate to each other but implacable towards their enemies, who after having killd they eat, probably out of a princ[i]ple of revenge, and I beleive never give quarter or take prisoners. They seem innurd to war and in their attacks work themselves up by their War Dance to a kind of artificial courage which will not let them think in the least. Whenever they met with us and thought themselves superior they always attackd us, tho seldom seeming to mean more than to provoke us to shew them what we were able to do in this case. By many trials we found that good usage and fair words would not avail the least with them, nor would they be convincd by the noise of our fire arms alone that they were superior to theirs; but as soon as they had felt the smart of even a load of small shot and had had time allowd them to recollect themselves from the Effects of their artificial courage, which commonly took up a day, they were sensible of our generosity in not taking the advantage of Our superiority and became at once our good freinds and upon all occasions placd the most unbounded confidence in us. They are not like the Islanders addicted to stealing, but would sometimes before peace was concluded, if they could be offering any thing they had to sale entice us to trust something of ours into their hands, refuse to return it with all the coolness in the world, seeming to look upon it as the plunder of an enemy.
Both sexes were much more modest in their carriage and decent in their Conversation than the Islanders, which such of our people who had a mind to form any connexions with the Women soon found, but they were not impregnable: if the consent of their relations was askd and the Question accompanied with a proper present it was seldom refusd, but then the strictest decency must be kept up towards the young lady or she might baulk the lover after all. Upon one of our gentlemen making his adresses to a family of the better sort the following answer was made him by the mistress of the family: 'Any of these young ladies will think themselves honourd by your adresses but you must first make me a proper present and must come and sleep with us ashore, for daylight should by no means be a witness of such proceedings'.
Neither sex are quite so cleanly in their persons as the Islanders, not having the advantage of so warm a climate they do not wash so often. But the most disgustfull thing about them is the Oil with which they daub their hair: this is melted from the fat either of fish or Birds: the better sort indeed have it fresh and then it is intirely void of smell, but the inferior often use that that is rancid and consequently smell something like Greenland dock when they are trying Whale Blubber.
Both sexes stain themselves with the colour of black in the same manner and som[e]thing in the same method as the South Sea Islanders, introducing it under the skin by a sharp instrument furnish'd with many teeth, but the men carry this custom to much greater lenghs and the women not so far, they are generaly content with having their lips black'd but sometimes have patches of black on different parts of their bodies. The men on the contrary seem to add to their quantity every Year of their lives so that some of the Elder were almost coverd with it. There faces are the most remarkable, on them they by some art unknown to me dig furrows in their faces a line deep at least and as broad, the edges of which are often again indented and most perfectly black. This may be done to make them look frightfull in war; indeed it has the Effect of making them most enormously ugly, the old ones at least whose faces are intirely coverd with it. The young again often have a small patch on one cheek or over an eye and those under a certain age (may be 25 or 26) have no more than their lips black. Yet ugly as this certainly looks it is impossible to avoid admiring the immence Elegance and Justness of the figures in which it is form'd, which in the face is always different spirals, upon the body generaly different figures resembling something the foliages of old Chasing upon gold or silver; all these finishd with a masterly taste and execution, for of a hundred which at first sight you would judge to be exactly the same, on a close examination no two will prove alike; nor do I remember to have seen any two alike, for their wild imaginations scorn to copy as appears in almost all their works. In different parts of the coast they varied very much in the quantity and parts of the body on which this Amoco as they call it was placd, but in the spirals upon their faces they generaly agreed, and I have generaly observd that the more populous a countrey was the greater quantity of this Amoco they had; possibly in populous countreys the emulation of Bearing pain with fortitude may be carried to greater lenghs than where there are fewer people and consequently fewer examples to encourage. The Buttocks which in the Islands was the principal seat of this ornament in general here escapes untouchd: in one place only we saw the contrary: possibly they might on this account be esteemd as more noble, as having transferrd the seat of their ornament from the dishonourable cheeks of their tail to the more honourable ones of their heads.
Besides this dying in grain as it may be calld they are very fond of painting themselves with Red Ocre which they do in two ways, either rubbing it Dry upon their skins, which some few do, or daubing their faces with large patches of it mixd with oil which consequently never drys: this latter is generaly practisd by the women and was most universaly condemnd by us, for if any of us had unthinkingly ravishd a kiss from one of these fair Savages our transgressions were wrote in most legible Characters on our noses, which our companions could not fail to see on our first interview.
The common dress of these people is certainly to a stranger at first one of the most uncouth and extrordinary sights that can be imagind. It is made of the leaves of the Flag describd before which are split into 3 or 4 Slips each, and these as soon as they are dry are wove into a kind of Stuff between netting and cloth, out of the upper side of which all the ends, of 8 or 9 inches long each, are sufferd to hang in the same manner as thrums out of a thrum mat. Of these peices of cloth 2 serve for a compleat dress one of which is tied over the shoulders and reaches about their knees, the other about the waist which reaches near the ground; but they seldom wear more than one of these and when they have it on resemble not a little a thachd house. These dresses however, ugly as they are, are well adapted for their convenience who are often obligd to sleep in the open air and live some time without the least shelter even from rain, so that they must trust intirely to their Cloaths as the only chance they have of keeping themselves dry, for which they are certainly not ill adapted as every strip of leaf becomes in that case a kind of Guttar which serves to conduct the rain down and hinder it from soaking through the cloath beneath. Besides this they have several kinds of Cloth which is smooth and ingeniously enough workd: they are cheifly of two sorts, one coarse as our coarsest canvass and ten times stronger but much like it in the lying of the threads, the other is formd by many threads running lenghwise and a few only crossing them which tie them together. This last sort is sometimes stripd and always very pretty, for the threads that compose it are prepard so as to shine almost as much as silk; to both these they work borders of different colours in fine stiches something like Carpeting or girls Samplers in various patterns with an ingenuity truly surprizing to any one who will reflect that they are without needles. They have also Mats with which they sometimes cover themselves, but the great pride of their dress seems to consist in dogs fur, which they use so sparingly that to avoid waste they cut into long strips and sew them at a distance from each other upon their Cloth, varying often the coulours prettily enough. When first we saw these dresses we took them for the skins of Bears or some animal of that kind, but we were soon undeceivd and found upon enquiry that they were acquainted with no animal that had fur or long hair but their own dogs. Some there were who had these dresses ornamented with feathers and one who had an intire dress of the red feathers of Parrots, but these were not common.
The men always wore short beards and tied their hair in a small knot on the top of their heads, sticking into it a kind of comb and at the top two or 3 white feathers. About their Waists was tied a belt from which hung a string which was tied round the preputium and in this seemd to consist most or all of their decency in that particular; for when that was tied they often exposd by different motions every part of their bodies to our view and indeed not seldom threw off all other dress, but shewd visible reluctance and signs of shame when we desird them to untie it from a curiosity to see the manner in which it was tied. The first man we saw when we went ashore at Poverty bay who was killd by one of our people had his dress tied on exactly in the same manner as is represented in Mr Dalrymples account of Tasmans Voyage, in a plat which I beleive is copied from Valentynes history of the East Indies; it was tied over his shoulders cross his breast, again under his armpits, likwise across his breast and round his loins. Of this dress we saw however but one more in[s]tance during our whole stay on the Coast, tho it seems convenient as it leaves the arms quite at liberty while the body is coverd; in general indeed when they chose to set their arms at liberty they at the same time freed all their other limbs by casting off their cloaths intirely.
The Women contrary to the custom of the Sex in general seemd to affect dress rather less than the men. Their hair which they wore short was seldom tied, and if it was it was behind their heads and never ornamented with feathers. Their cloaths were of the same stuff and in the same form as those of the men but in decently covering themselves they far exceeded them; their lower garments were at all times bound fast round them and they never exposd to view any thing even in the neighbourhood of those parts which nature co[n]ceals, except when they gatherd lobsters and shell fish in which occupation they were frequently obligd to dive, but then they never meant to be seen by men and when once or twice accidentaly met by us shewd most evident signs of Confusion, veiling as well as they could their naked beauties with sea weed the only covering their situation afforded. Round their waists instead of a belt they constantly wore a girdle of many platted strings made of the leaves of a very fragrant Grass; into this were tuckd the leaves of some sweet scented plant fresh gatherd which like the fig leaf of our first mother servd as the ultimate guard of their modesty.
Both sexes bord their ears and wore in them a great variety of ornaments; the holes by stretching were generaly large enough to admit a finger at least. These generaly (as if to keep them upon the stretch) were filld up with a plug of some sort or other, either cloth, feathers, Bones of large birds, or sometimes only a stick of wood; into this hole they often also put nails or any [thing] we gave them which could be put there. The women also often wore bunches of the down of the albatross which is snow white near as large as a fist, which tho very odd made by no means an unelegant appearance. Besides these they hung to them by strings many very different thing[s], often chissels or bodkins made of a kind of green talk which they value much, the nails and teeth also of their deceasd relations, dogs teeth, and in short every thing they could get which was either valuable or ornamental. Besides these the Women wore sometimes Bracelets and anclets made of the Bones of Birds, shells, &c . and the men often had the figure of a distorted man made of the beforementiond green talk, or the tooth of a whale cut slauntwise, so as something to resemble a tongue, and furnishd with two eyes; these they wore about their necks and seemd to Value almost above every thing else. I saw one instance also of a very extrordinary ornament, which was a feather stuck through the bridge of the nose and projecting on each side of it over the cheeks; but this I only mention as a singular thing, having met with it only once among the many people I have seen, and never observd in any other even the marks of a hole which might occasionaly serve for such a purpose.
Their houses are certainly the most inartificialy made of any thing among them, scarce equal to an European dog kennel and resembling one in the door at least, which is barely high and wide enough to admit a man crawling upon all fours. They are seldom more than 16 or 18 feet long, 8 or 10 broad and five or 6 high from the ridge pole to the Ground and built with a sloping roof like our Europaean houses. The materials of both walls and roof is dry grass or hay and very tightly it is put together, so that nescessarily they must be very warm. Some are lind with bark of trees on the inside, and many have either over the door or fixd somewhere in the house a peice of Plank coverd with their carving, which they seem to value much as we do a picture, placing it always as conspicuously as possible. All these houses have the door at one end and near it is generaly a square hole which serves for a window or probably in winter time more for a chimney, for then they light a fire in the middle of the house. At the same end where this door and window are placed the side walls and roof project, generaly 18 inches or 2 feet beyond the end wall, making a kind of Porch in which are benches where the people of the house often set. Within is a square place fencd of with either boards or stones from the rest, in the middle of which they can make a fire; round this the sides of the house are thick layd with straw on which they sleep. As for furniture they are not much troubled with it: one chest commonly contains all their riches, consisting of Tools, Cloaths, arms, and a few feathers to stick into their hair; their gourds and Baskets made of Bark which serve them to keep fresh water, provision baskets, and the hammers with which they beat their fern roots, are generaly left without the door.
Mean and low as these houses are they most perfectly resist all inclemencies of the weather and answer consequently the purposes of mere shelter as well as larger would do. The people I beleive spend little of the day in them (except may be in winter): the porch seems to be the place for work, and those who have not room there must set upon a stone or the ground in its neighbourhood.
Some few of the better sort have kind of Court Yards, the walls of which are made of poles and hay 10 or 12 feet high, which as their families are large incloses 3 or 4 houses. But I must not forget the ruins or rather frame of a house (for it had never been finishd) which I saw at Tolaga, as it was so much superior in size to any thing of the kind we have met with in any other part of the land. It was 30 feet in lengh, in breadth and high; the sides of it were ornamented with many broad carvd planks of a workmanship superior to any we saw upon the land; but for what purpose this was built or why deserted we could not find out.
Tho these people when at home defend themselves so well from the inclemencies of the Weather, yet when abroad upon their excursions which they often make in search of fern roots fish &c . they seem totaly indifferent of shelter: sometimes they make a small shade to wind ward of them but oftener omit that precaution. During our stay at Opoorage or Mercury bay such a party of Indians were there consisting of 40 or 50, who during all that time never erected the least covering tho it twice raind almost without ceasing for 24 hours together.
Their food, in the use of which the[y] seem to be moderate, consists of Dogs, Birds, especialy sea fowl as penguins albatrosses &c , fish, sweet potatoes, Yams, Coccos, some few wild plants as sow thistles, Palm Cabbage &c . but Above all and which seems to be to them what bread is to us, the roots of a species of Fern very common upon the hills and which very nearly resembles that which grows on our hilly commons in England and is calld indifferently Fern, Bracken, or Brakes. As for the flesh of men, although they certainly do eat it I cannot in my own opinion Debase human nature so much as to imagine that they relish as a dainty or even look upon it as a part of common food. Tho Thirst of Revenge may Drive men to great lenghs when the Passions are allowd to take their full swing Yet nature through all the superior part of the creation shews how much she recoils at the thought of any species preying upon itself: Dogs and cats shew visible signs of disgust at the very sight of a dead carcass of their species, even Wolves or Bears were never sayd to eat one another except in cases of absolute nescessity, when the stings of hunger have overcome the precepts of nature, in which case the same has been done by the inhabitants of the most civilizd nations.
Among fish and insects indeed there are many instances which prove that those who live by prey regard little whither what they take is of their own or any other species; but any one who considers the admirable chain of nature in which Man, alone endowd with reason, justly claims the highest rank and next to him are placd the half reasoning Elephant, the sagacious dog, the architect Beaver, &c . in Whoom instinct so nearly resembles reason as to have been mistaken for it by men of no mean capacitys, from these descending through the less informd Quadrupeds and birds to the fish and insects, which seem besides the instinct of Fear which is given them for self preservation to be movd only by the stings of hunger to eat and those of lust to propagate their species, which when born are left intirely to their own care, and at last by the medium of the Oyster, &c . &c . which not being able to move but as tost about by the waves must in themselves be furnishd with both sexes that the species may be continued, shading itself away into the vegetable kingdom for the preservation of whoom neither sensation nor instinct is wanting - whoever considers this I say will easily see that no Conclusion in favour of such a practise can be drawn from the actions of a race of beings placd so infinitely below us in the order of Nature.
But to return to my subject. Simple as their food is their Cookery as far as I saw is as simple: a few stones heated hot and laid in a hole, their meat laid upon them and coverd with Hay seems to be the most dificult part of it. Fish and birds they generaly broil or rather toast, spitting them upon a long skewer, the bottom of which is fixd under a stone and another stone being put under the fore part of the skewer it is raisd or lowerd by moving that stone as the circumstances may require. The Fern roots are layd upon the open fire untill they are thouroughly hot and the bark of them burnt to a coal, they are then beat with a wooden hammer over a stone which causes all the bark to fly off and leaves the inside consisting of a small proportion of a glutinous pulp mixt with many fibres, which they generaly spit out after having suckd each mouthfull a long time. Strange and unheard of as it must appear to an Europaean to draw nourishment from a class of Plant which in Europe no animal, har[d]ly even insects, will taste, I am much inclind to think that it affords a nourishing and wholesome diet: these people eat but little and this is the foundation of their meals, all summer at least from the time that their roots are planted till the season for digging them up. Among them I have seen many very healthy old men and in general the whole of them are as vigorous a race as can be imagind.
To the Southward where little or nothing is planted Fern roots and fish must serve them all the Year. Here therefore we saw that they had made vast piles of Both, especialy the latter which were dryd in the sun very well, I suppose meant for winter stock when possibly Fish is not so plentifull or the trouble of catching it greater than in Winter.
Water is their universal drink nor did I see any signs of any other liquor being at all known to them, or any method of Intoxication. If they realy have not happy they must be allowd to be above all other nations that I at least have heard of.
So simple a diet accompanied with moderation must be productive of sound health, which indeed these people are blessd with in a very high degree. Tho we were in several of their towns where Young and old crowded to see us, actuated by the same curiosity as made us desirous of seing them, I do not remember a single instance of a person distemperd in any degree that came under my inspection, and among the numbers of them that I have seen naked I have never seen an eruption on the skin or any signs of one by scars or otherwise. Their skins indeed when they came off to us in their canoes were often markd in patches with a white flowery appearance which at first deceivd us, but we afterwards found that that was owing to their having been in their Passage wetted with the spray of the sea, which when it was dry left the salt behind it in a fine white powder.
Such health drawn from so sound principles must make physicians almost useless: indeed I am inclind to think that their knowledge of Physick is but small from the state of their surgery which more than once came under my inspection. Of this art they seemd totaly ignorant; I saw several who were wounded by our shot without the smallest application upon their wounds, one in particular who had a musquet ball shot through the fleshy part of his arm; he came out of his house and shewd himself to us making a little use of the wounded arm; the wound which was then of several days standing was totaly void of inflammation, seemd well digested, in short appeard to me to be in so good a state that had any application been made use of I should not have faild to enquire carefully what it had Been which had had so good an Effect.
A farther proof and not a weak one of the sound health that these people enjoy may be taken from the number of old people we saw; hardly a canoe came off to us that did not bring one or more and every town had several whoom if we may judge by gray hairs and worn out teeth were of a very advancd age. Of these few or none were decrepid, indeed the greatest number of them seemd in vivacity and chearfullness to equal the young, indeed to be inferior to them in nothing but the want of equal strengh and agility.
That these people have a larger share of ingenuity than usualy falls to the lot of nations who have had so little or indeed no commerce with any others appears at first sight. Their boats, the better sort of them at least, shew it most evidently. They are built of very thin planks sewd together, their sides rounding up like ours, but very narrow for their lengh. Some are immensely long: One I saw which the people laid alongside the ship as if to measure how much longer she was than the Canoe, which fairly reachd from the anchor that hung at the bows quite aft, and consequently could not be less than feet long; but indeed we saw few so large as that. All except a few that we saw at Opoorage or Mercury bay, which were merely trunks of trees hollowd out by fire, were more or less ornamented by carving. The common fishing canoes had nothing but the face of a man with a monstrous tongue and whose eyes were generaly inlayd with a kind of shell like mother of Pearl in the fore part of them, but the larger sort which seemd to be intended for war were realy magnificently adornd. Their heads were formd by a Plank projecting about 3 feet before the canoe, and on their sterns stood up another proportiond to the size of the canoe, from ten to 18 feet high; both these were richly carvd with open work and coverd with loose fringes of Black feathers that had a most gracefull effect; the gunnel boards were often also carvd in a grotesque taste and ornamentd with white feathers in bunches placd upon a black ground at certain intervals. They sometimes joind two small canoes together and now and then made use of an outligger as is practisd in the Islands, seldom towards the north rather oftener to the Southward.
In managing these canoes they are very expert, in the padling of them at least, in one I counted 16 padlers of a side and never did men I beleive keep better time with their strokes, driving on the boat with immense velocity. Their paddles are often ornamented with carving, their blade is of an oval shape pointed towards the bottom, broadest in the middle and again sloping towards the handle, which is about 4 feet long, the whole being generaly near 6 feet long more or less. But in sailing they are not so expert, we very seldom saw them make use of Sails and indeed never unless when they were to go right before the wind. They were made of mat and instead of a mast were hoisted upon two sticks which were fastned one to each side, so that they requird two ropes which answerd the purpose of sheets and were fastned to the tops of these sticks; in this clumsey manner they saild with a good deal of swiftness and were steerd by two men who sat in the stern with each a paddle in his hand. I shall set down the dimensions of one that we measurd that was of the largest size: it was in lengh 68½ feet, breadth 5, depth 3½; this was the only one that we measurd or indeed had an opportunity of measuring.
For the beauty of their carving in general I fain would say something more about it but find myself much inferior to the task. I shall therefore content myself with saying that their taste varied into two materialy different Stiles, I will call them. One was intirely formd of a number of Spirals diff[er]ently connected, the other was in a much more wild taste and I may truly say was like nothing but itself. Of the former the truth with which the lines were drawn was surprizing, but above all their method of connecting several spirals into one peice, which they did inimitably well, intermingling the ends of them in so dextrous a manner that it was next to impossible for the eye to trace their connections. For the other I shall say nothing but referr intirely to the few drawings which I had an opportunity of getting made of them; premising however that the beauty of all their carvings depended intirely on the design, for the execution was so rough that when you came near it was difficult to find any bea[u]ties in the things which struck you most at a distance.
After having said so much of their workmanship it will be nescessary to say something of their tools. As they have no metal among them these are made of Stone of different kinds, their hatchets especialy of any hard stone they can get but cheifly of a kind of Green Talk which is very hard and at the same time tough; with axes of this stone they cut so clean that it would often puzzle a man to say if the wood they have shapd was or was not cut with an Iron hatchet. These axes they value above all their riches and would seldom part with them for any thing we could offer. But their nicer work which requires nicer edge tools they do with fragments of Jasper, which they break and use the edges of it that are sharp like flints till they are blunt, after which they are thrown away as useless, for it impossible ever again to sharpen them; with these fragments of Jasper I suppose it was that at Tolaga they bord a hole through a peice of Glass that we had given to them, just large enough to admit a thread in order to convert it into an ornament. But what method they make use of to cut and polish their weapons calld by them patoo patoo, which are made of very hard stone, I must confess I am quite ignorant.
For their Cloths they are made exactly in the same manner as is usd by the inhabitants of South America, some of whose workmanship procurd at Rio de Janeiro I have on board: the warp or long threads are laid very close together and each crossing of the woof is distant from another an inch at least. But they have besides this several other kinds of cloth and work borders to them all, which I have before mentiond, but as to their manner of doing I must confess myself totaly ignorant. I never but once saw any of this work going forwards, that was done in a kind of frame of the breadth of the Cloth, across which it was spread, and the cross threads workd in by hand which must be very tedious; but howsoever they may be made the workmanship sufficiently proves the workmen to be dextrous in their way. One peice of notability in them I must not forget, which is that to every garment of the better kind is fixd a Bodkin, as if to remind the wearer that if it should be torn by any accident no time should be lost before it is mended.
Netts for fishing they make in the same manner as ours, of an amazing size. A seine seems to be the joint work of a whole town and I suppose the joint property: of these I think I have seen as large as ever I saw in Europe. Besides this they have fish pots and baskets workd with twiggs, and another kind of net which they most generaly make use of that I have never seen in any countrey but this. They are circular and about 7 or 8 feet in diameter and 2 or 3 deep; they are stretchd by two or three hoops and open at the top for near but not quite their whole extent; on the bottom is fastned the bait, a little basket containing the gutts &c . of fish and sea ears which are tied to different parts of the net. This is let down to the bottom where fish are and when enough are supposd to be gatherd together are drawn up with a very gentle motion by which means the fish are insensibly lifted from the bottom; in this manner I have seen them take vast numbers of fish and indeed it is a most general way of fishing all over the coast. Their hooks are but ill made, generaly of bone or shell fastned to a peice of wood; indeed they seem to have little occasion for them for with their netts they take fish much easier than they could do with them.
In tillage they excell, as people who are themselves to eat the fruit of their industry and have little else to do but to cultivate nescessarily must. When we first came to Tegadu their crops were just coverd and had not yet began to sprout: the mould was as smooth as in a garden, and every root had its small hillock rangd in a regular Quincunx by lines which with the pegs still remaind in the feild. We had not an opportunity of seeing them work but once saw their tool, which is a long and narrow stake flatted a little and sharpned, across this is fixd a peice of stick for the convenience of pressing it down with the foot; with this simple tool industry teaches them to turn up peices of ground of 6 or 7 acres in extent; indeed the soil is generaly sandy, is therefore easily turnd up, and the narrowness of the tool the blade of which is not more than 3 inches broad makes it meet with the less resistance.
Tillage, weaving and the rest of the arts of peace are best known and most practisd in the North Eastern parts; indeed in the Southern there is little to be seen of any of them. But War seems to be equaly known to all tho most practisd in the South West parts. The mind of man, ever ingenious in inventing instruments of destruction, has not been Idle here. Their weapons tho few are well calculated for bloody fights and the destruction of numbers, defensive weapons they have none and no Missive ones except stones and darts which are cheifly usd in defending their forts, so that if two bodies should meet either in boats, or upon the plain ground, they must fight hand to hand and the slaughter be consequently immense. Their Weapons are Spears made of hard wood and pointed at both ends, sometimes headed with human bones; of these some are 14 or 15 feet long; they are graspd by the middle so that the end which hangs behind, serving as a balance to keep steady that which is before, makes it much more dificult to parry a push from one of them than it would be from one of a spear only half as long which was held by the end. Battle axes made likewise of a very hard wood about 6 feet long, the bottom of the handle pointed, and the blade which is perfectly like the blade of an axe but broader made very sharp; with these they chop at the heads of their antagonists when an opportunity offers. Patoo patoos as they calld them, a kind of small hand bludgeon of stone, bone or hard wood most admirably calculated for the cracking of sculls; they are of different shapes, some like an old fashiond chopping knife, others of this or always however having sharp edges and a sufficient weight to make a second blow unnescessary if the first takes place; in these they seemd to put their cheif dependance, fastning them by a strong strap to their wrists least they should be wrenchd from them. The principal people seldom stirrd out without one of them sticking in his girdle, generaly made of Bone (of Whales as they told us) or of coarse black Jasper very hard, insomuch that we were almost led to conclude that in peace as well as war they wore them as a warlike ornament in the same manner as we Europaeans wear swords. Darts about 8 feet long made of wood bearded and sharpned, but intended cheifly for the defence of their forts where they have the advantage of throwing them from a hight down upon their enemy; they often brought them out in their boats when they meant to attack us, but so little were they able to make use of them against us who were by reason of the hight of the ship above them that they never but once attempted it, and that dart tho thrown with the utmost effort of the man who held it barely fell on board. Sometimes I have seen them pointed with the stings of stingrays but very seldom: why they do not oftener use them I do not know, nothing is more terrible to a Europae[a]n than the sharp Jagged beards of those bones, but I beleive they seldom cause death tho the wounds made by them must be most troublesome and painfull. Stones however they use much more dextrou[s]ly. Tho ignorant of the use of Slings they throw by hand a considerable distance; when they have pelted us with them on board the ship I have seen our people attempt to throw them back and not be able to reach the Canoes, tho they had so manifest an advantage in the hight of their situation
These are all that can properly be calld arms. But besides these the cheifs when they came to attack us carried in their hands a kind of ensign of distinction in the same manner as ours, or spontoons: they were either the rib of a Whale as white as snow carvd very much and ornamented with dogs hair and feathers, or a stick about 6 feet long carvd and ornamented in the same manner and generaly inlayd with shell like mother of Pearl. Of these cheifs there were in their War Canoes one two or 3 according to the size of them. When within about a Cables lengh of the ship these generaly rose up, dressd themselves in a distinguishing dress, often of Dogs skin, and holding in their hands either one of their Spontoons or a Weapon directed the rest of the people how to proceed; they were always old or at least past the middle age and had upon them a larger quantity than common of the black stains that they call amoco. These Canoes commonly paddled with great vigour till they came within about a stones throw of the ship (having no Idea that any missive weapon could reach them farther) and then began to threaten us, this indeed the smaller canoes did as soon as they were in hearing. Their words were almost universaly the same, 'haromai haromai harre uta a patoo patoo 'oge' - come to us, come to us, come but ashore with us and we will kill you with our Patoo patoos: in this manner they continued to threaten us, venturing by degrees nearer and nearer till they were close alongside, at intervals talking very civily and answering any questions we askd them but quickly renewing their threats till they had by our non-resistance gaind courage enough to begin their war song and dance; after which they either became so insolent that we found it nescessary to chastise them by firing small shot at them, or else threw three or four stones on board and as if content with having offerd such an insult unreveng'd left us.
The War Song and dance consists of Various contortions of the limbs during which the tongue is frequently thrust out incredibly far and the orbits of the eyes enlargd so much that a circle of white is distinctly seen round the Iris: in short nothing is omittd which can render a human shape frightful and deformd, which I suppose they think terrible. During this time they brandish their spears, hack the air with their patoo patoos and shake their darts as if they meant every moment to begin the attack, singing all the time in a wild but not disagreable manner and ending every strain with a loud and deep fetchd sigh in which they all join in concert. The whole is accompanied by strokes struck against the sides of the Boats &c with their feet, Paddles and arms, the whole in such excellent time that tho the crews of several Canoes join in concert you rarely or never hear a single stroke wrongly placd.
This we calld the War song, for tho they seemd fond of using it upon all occasions whether in war or peace they I beleive never omit it in their attacks. Besides this they have several other songs which their women sing prettily enough in parts; they are all in a slow melancholy stile but certainly have more taste in them than could be expected from untaught savages. Instrumental musick they have not, unless a kind of wooden pipe or the shell calld Tritons Trumpet with which they make a noise not much differing from that made by boys with a Cows horn may be calld such. They have indeed besides these a kind of small pipe of wood, crooked and shapd almost like a large tobacco pipe head, but it has hardly more musick in it than a whistle with a Pea in it; but on none of these did I ever hear them attempt to play a tune or sing to their musick.
That they eat the bodies of such of their enemies as are killd in war is a fact which, tho universaly acknowledg'd by them from our first landing at every place we came into, I confess I was very loth to give credit to till I by accident found the bones of men well pick'd in the very baskets where these people keep their provision: so convincing a proof I could not withstand, so I proceeded to inquire as well as I could with the small knowledge of their language which I had and the Assistance of Tupia what were their customs upon this occasion. They told us that a few days before a canoe of their enemies had been surprizd by them and that out of her they killd 7 persons, to one of whoom the bones in the basket had belongd, that now all the flesh of these people was eat up and most of the bones thrown away, which we found to be true for in almost every cove where we landed fresh bones of Men were found near the places where fires had been made. The whole was still more confirmd by the old man who we supposd to be the cheif of an Indian town which was very near us, coming a few days afterwards and at our desire bringing with him in his Canoe 6 or 7 heads of men preservd with the flesh on. These it seems these people keep after having eat the brains as trophies of their victories in the same manner as the Indians of North America do scalps; they had their ornament in their ears as when alive and some seemd to have false eyes. He was very jealous of shewing them. One I bought tho much against the inclinations of its owner, for tho he likd the price I offerd he hesitated much to send it up, yet having taken the price I insisted either to have that returnd or the head given, but could not prevail untill I enforc'd my threats by shewing Him a musquet on which he chose to part with the head rather than the price he had got, which was a pair of old Drawers of very white linnen. It appeard to have belongd to a person of about 14 or 15 years of age, and evidently shewd by the contusions on one side of it that it had receivd many violent blows which had chippd of a part of the scull near the eye: from hence and many more circumstances I am inclind to beleive that these Indians give no quarter, or ever take prisoners to eat upon a future occasion as is said to have been practisd by the Floridan Indians; for had they done so this young creature who could not make much resistance would have been a very proper subject.
The state of war in which they live, constantly in danger of being surprizd when least upon their guard, has taught them not only to live together in towns, but to fortify those towns; which they do by a broad ditch and a pallisade within it of no despicable construction. For these Towns or Forts, which they call Heppas, they chuse situations naturaly strong; commonly Islands or Peninsulas where the sea or steep cliffs defend the greatest part of their works; and if there is any part weaker than the rest a stage is erected over it of a considerable hight, 18 or 20 feet, on the top of which the defendants range themselves and fight with a great advantage as they can throw down their darts and stones with so much greater force than the assailants can throw them up. Within these forts the greatest part of the tribe to whoom they belong reside and have large stocks of provisions, Fern roots and dryd fish laid up but no water; for that article in all that I have seen was not to be had but at some distance without the lines, from whence we were led to conclude that sieges are not usd among them. Some however are generaly out in small parties in the neighbouring creeks and coves employd either in taking fish or collecting Fern roots &c , a large quantity of which they bring back with them, a reserve I suppose for times when the neighbourhood of an enemy or other circumstances make the procuring of fresh provision dificult or dangerous.
Of these Forts or towns we saw many, indeed the inhabitants constantly livd in such from the Westermost part of the Bay of Plenty to Queen Charlots Sound; but about Hawk's bay, Poverty Bay, Tegadu and Tolaga there were none, and the houses were scatterd about; there were indeed upon the sides of hills stages built, sometimes of a great lengh, which might serve as a retreat to save their lives at the last extremity, and nothing else, and these were mostly in ruins. Throughout all this district the people seemd free from apprehension and as in a state of Profound peace. Their cultivations were far more numerous and larger than we saw them any where else and they had a far greater quantity of Fine boats, Fine cloaths, Fine carvd work; in short the people were far more numerous, and livd in much greater affluence, than any others we saw. This seemd to be owing to their being joind together under one cheif or king, so at least they always told us, Whose name is Teratu and who lives far up in the countrey. It is much to be lamented that we could get no farther knowledge of this cheif or king than only his name: his Dominions are certainly for an Indian Monarch most extensive, he was acknowledgd for a lengh of coast of upwards of Leagues and yet we do not know the eastern limits of his dominions; we are sure however that they contain the greatest share of the rich part of the Northermost Island and that far the greatest number of people upon it are his subjects. Subordinate to him are lesser cheifs who seem to have Obedience and respect paid them by the tribes to whoom they belong and probably administer justice to them, tho we never saw an instance of it except in the case of theft on board the ship, when upon our complaint the offender receivd kicks and blows from the cheif with whoom he came onboard. These cheifs were generaly old men; whether they had the office of cheif by birth or on account of their age we never learnt, But in the other parts where Teratu was not acknowledg'd we plainly learnt that the cheifs whoom they obeyd, of which every tribe had some, receivd their dignity by inheritance. In the Southern parts their societies seemd to have many things in common, particularly their fine cloaths and netts, the former of which they had but few. We never saw any body employd in making [them?], it might be that what they had were the spoils of war. They were kept in a small Hut erected for that purpose in the middle of the town; the latter seemd to be the joint work of the whole society. Every house had in it peices of netting upon which they were at work; by the joining together these it is probable that they made the long Seins which we saw.
The Women are less regarded here than at the South Sea Islands, at least so Tupia thought who complaind of it as an insult upon the sex. They eat with the men however. How the sexes divide labour I do not know but I am inclind to beleive that the Men till the ground, fish in boats and take birds, the Women dig up Fern roots, collect shell Fish and lobsters near the beach and dress the Victuals and weave cloth, while the men make netts - thus at least these employments have been distributed when I had an opportunity of Observing them which was very seldom, for our approach generaly made a holiday where ever we went; men women and children flocking to us either to satisfy their curiosity or trade with us for whatever they might have, taking in exchange cloth of any kind, especialy linnen or the Indian cloth we had brought from the Islands, Paper, Glass bottles, sometimes peices of broken glass, Nails &c .
We saw few signs of religion among these people: they had no publick places of Worship among them as the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands, and only one private one came under my observation, which was in the neighbourhood of a plantation of their sweet potatoes. It was a small square, borderd round with stones; in the middle was a spade, and on it was hung a basket of fern roots, an offering (I suppose) to the Gods for the success of the Crop, so at least one of the natives explaind it. They however acknowledged the influence of superior beings and have nearly the same account of the creation of the World, mankind &c . as Tupia; he however seemd to be much better vers'd in such legends than any of them, for whenever he began to preach as we calld it he was sure of a numerous audience who attended with most profound silence to his doctrines.
The Burial of the Dead instead of being a Pompous ceremony as in the Islands is here kept secret. We never saw so much as a grave where any one had been interrd; nor were they always alike in the accounts they gave of the manner of disposing of Dead bodies, in the Northern parts they told us that they buried them in the ground and in the southern said that they threw them into the sea, having first tied to them a sufficient weight to cause their sinking. Howsoever they disposd of the dead their regret for the loss of them was sufficiently visible; few or none were without scarrs and some had them hideously large on their cheeks, arms, thighs, legs &c . which proceeded from the cuts they had given themselves during their mourning. I have seen several with such wounds of which the blood was not yet staunchd and one only, a woman, while she was cutting herself and lamenting. She wept much, repeating many sentences in a plaintive tone of voice, at every one of which she with a shell cut a gash in some part of her body; she however contrivd her cutts in such a manner that few of them drew blood and those that did penetrated a small depth only. She was old and had outlivd probably those violent impressions that greif as well as other passions of the mind make upon young people, her greif also was probably of long standing; the scarrs upon the bodies of the greater part of these people evincd however that they had felt sorrows more severely than she did.
Thus much for the manners and customs of these people as far as they have come to my knowledge in the few opportunities I had of seeing them; they differ in many things but agree in more with those of the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands. Their Language I shall next give a short specimen of which is almost precisely the same at least in fundamentals. It is true that they have generaly added several letters to the words as usd by the inhabitants of Otahite &c . but the original plainly appears in the composition. The language of the Northern and southern parts differ cheifly in this: the one has added more letters than the others, the original words are however not less visible to the slightest observer. I shall give a short table of each compard with the Otahite, taking care to mention as many words as I know which are either of a doubtfull or different original, Premising however two things: first that the words were so much disguisd by their manner of pronouncing them that I found it very dificult to understand them till I had wrote them down; secondly that Tupia at the very first understood and conversd with them with great facility.
I must remark that the greatest part of the southern Language was not taken down by myself and I am inclind to beleive that the person who did it for me made use of more letters in spelling the words than were absolutely nescessary. The Genius of the Language especialy in the Southern parts is to add some particle before a noun as we do 'the' or 'a'; 'the' was generaly He, or Ko; they also often add to the end of any word, especialy if it is in answer to a question, the word Oeia which signifies yes, realy, or certainly. This sometimes led our gentlemen into most longwinded words, one only of which I shall mention as an example. In the Bay of Islands a very remarkable Island was calld by the natives Motu Aro: some of our gentlemen askd the name of this from one of the Natives, Who answerd I suppose as usual Kemotu aro; the Gentleman not hearing well the word repeated his question, on which the Indian again repeated his answer, adding Oeia to the end of the name which made it Kemotuaroeiea: this way at least and no other can I account for that Island being calld in the Log book &c Cumattiwarroweia. The same is practisd by the inhabitants of the South Sea Islands only their Particle instead of He, or She, is To, or Ta; their oeia is exactly the same which when first I began to learn the language producd many difficulties and mistakes.
From the similarity of customs, the still greater of Traditions and the almost identical sameness of Language between these people and those of the Islands in the South Sea there remains little doubt that they came originaly from the same source: but where that Source is future experience may teach us, at Present I can say no more than that I firmly beleive that it is to the Westward and by no means to the East.
Having now intirely circumnavigated New Zealand and found it, not as generaly has been supposd part of a continent, but 2 Islands: and having not the least reason to imagine that any countrey larger than itself lays in its neighbourhood, it was resolvd to leave it and Proceed upon farther discoveries in our return to England being determind to do as much as the state of the Ship and provisions would allow. In consequence of this resolution a consultation was held and 3 schemes proposd: One, much the most elegible, to return by Cape Horn keeping all the way in the high Latitudes, by which means we might with certainty determine whether or not a Southern Continent existed; but this was unanimously agreed to be more than the Condition of the ship would allow. Our provisions indeed might be equal to it - we had six months at 2/3 allowance - but our Sails and rigging, with which the former especialy we were at first but ill provided, were renderd so bad by the blowing weather that we had met with off New Zealand that we were by no means in a condition to weather the hard Gales that must be expected in a winter passage through high latitudes. The second was to steer to the southward of Van Diemens Land and stand away directly for the Cape of Good Hope, but this was likewise immediately rejected: if we were in too bad a condition for the former we were in too good a one for this. 6 months provision was much more than enough to carry us to any Port in the East Indies and the over plus was not to be thrown away in a Sea Where so few navigators had been before us: the third therefore was unanimously agreed to, which was to stand immediately to the Westward, fall in with the Coast of New Holland as soon as possible, and after following that to the northward as far as seemd proper, to attempt to fall in with the Lands seen by Quiros in 1606. In doing this, although we hopd to make discoveries more interesting to trade at least than any we had yet made, we were obligd intirely to give up our first grand object, the Southern Continent: this for my own part I confess I could not do without much regret. - That a Southern Continent realy exists, I firmly beleive; but if ask'd why I beleive so, I confess my reasons are weak; yet I have a preposession in favour of the fact which I find it dificult to account for. Ice in large bodies has been seen off Cape Horn now and then; Sharp saw it in  and Monsr Frezier, in his return from the Coast of Chili, in the month of March 1714; he also mentions that it has been seen by other French Ships in the same place. If this Ice (as is generaly beleivd) is formd by fresh water only there must be land to the Southward: for the Coast of Terra del Fuego is by no means cold enough to produce such an Effect. I should be inclind to think also that it lays well away to the Westward, as the West and South West Winds so generaly prevail that the Ice must be supposd to have followd the direction of these winds, and consequently have come from those points. When we saild to the Southward, in the months of August and Septr 1769, we met with signs of land, sea weed, and a seal: which, tho both of them are often seen at large distances from Land, yet they are not met with in open oceans; and we were at that time to[o] far from the Coast of New Zealand, and much too far from that of South America, to have supposd them to have come from either of these. The Body of this land must however be situated in very high latitudes: a part of it may indeed come to the Northward, within our track; but as we never saw any signs of land, except at the time mentiond above, although I made it my particular business (as well as I beleive the most of us) to look out for such, it must be prodigiously smaller in extent than the theoretical continent makers have supposd it to be. We have by our track provd the absolute falsity of above three fourths of their positions, and after that the rema[in]ing part can not be much rely'd upon; but above all, we have taken from them their firmest Ground work, in Proving New Zealand to be an Island, which I beleive was lookd upon even by the most thinking people to be in all probability at least a part of some Vast Countrey. All this we have taken from them: the land seen by Juan Fernandes, the land seen by the Duch squadron under Hermite, signs of Continent seen by Quiros, and the same by Roggewein, &c &c have by us been provd not to have at all related to a Continent. As for their reasoning about the Balancing of the two poles, which always appeard to me to be a most childish argument, we have already shorn off so much of their supposd counterbalancing land that by their own account the South pole would already be too light, unless what we have left should be made of very ponderous materials. As much fault as I find with these gentlemen will however probably recoil on myself, when I on so slight grounds as those I have mentiond again declare it to be my opinion that a Southern Continent exists, an opinion in favour of which I am strongly preposesd; but foolish and weak as all prepossesions must be thought I would not but declare myself so, least I might be supposd to have stronger reasons which I conceald.
To search for this Continent then the best and readyest way by which at once the existence or nonexistence of it might be Provd appears to me to be this: Let the ship or ships destind for this service leave England in the Spring and proceed directly to the Cape of Good hope, where they might refresh their people and supply in some articles their expence of provision; from thence to proceed round Van Diemens Land to the Coast of New Zealand, where they might again refresh in any of the numerous harbours at the mouth of Cooks streights where they would be sure to meet with plenty of Water, Wood and fish. Here they should arrive by the month of October that they might have the good season before them to run across the South Sea, Which by reason of the Prevailing westerly winds they would easily be able to do in any Latitude; and if in doing this they should not fall in with a Continent they might still be of service by exploring the Islands in the Pacifick Ocean where they might refresh themselves and proceed home by the East Indies. Such a Voyage, as a Voyage of Mere Curiosity, should be promoted by the Royal Society to whoom I doubt not but his majesty would upon a proper application grant a ship, as the subject of such a voyage seems at least as interesting to Science in general and the increase of knowledge as the Observation which gave rise to the Present one. The small expence such an equipment is to goverment is easily shown: I will venture roundly to affirm that the Smallest Station Sloop in his majesties service is every year more expensive than this ship where every rope, every sail, every rope yarn even, is obligd to do its duty most thouroughly before it can be dismissd; how trifling then must this expence appear when in return for it the nation acquires experiencd seamen in those who execute it, and the Praise which is never denied to countries who in this publick spirited manner promote the increase of knowledge.
At the Cape of Good Hope might be procurd Beef, Bread, Flower, Pease, Spirit, or indeed any kind of Provision at Reasonable Rates. The Beef must be bought alive and salted, for which purpose it would be proper to take out salt from Europe; the general price which i[n[deed never varies is two pence a pound, it is tolerable meat but not so fat as ours in England. Pork is scarce and dear, of that therefore a larger proportion might be taken out. Bread, which varies in price, is of the Rusk kind, very good but rather brown. Spirit is Arrack from Batavia, the Price of which after having paid the Duties of Import and Export is 60 Rd, 12 lb Sterling, a Legger of 150 Galls. Wine is in vast plenty and very cheap and while I was there they began to Distill a kind of Brandy, which however at that time was as dear as Arrack and much inferior to it both in Strengh and goodness.
Should a ship upon this Expedition be obligd to go into False Bay, into which the Dutch remove on the 12th of May, most of these articles might be got there at a small advance occasiond by the carriage which is very cheap; and any be wanted which could not, they might be brought from the Cape town either by Dutch Scoots of which there are several belonging to the Company in the Harbour, or by Waggons over land as the Road is good and much frequented at that season of the Year.