CAPTAIN COOK'S FIRST VOYAGE, I

As it was necessary to fire at the robbers, the little Tahitan profited by the confusion, and jumping into the sea was soon picked up by the pinnace of the Endeavour.

On the 17th of October, Cook, not having been able to find a suitable harbour, and considering himself, as the sea became more and more rough, to be losing time which might be better employed in reconnoitring the northern coast, tacked round and returned the way he had come.

On the 23rd of October, the Endeavour reached a bay called Tedago, where no swell was perceptible. The water was excellent, and it was easy to procure provisions, the more so as the natives appeared friendly.

After having arranged everything for the safety of the workers, Messrs. Banks and Solander landed and collected plants, and in their walk they found many things worthy of note. Below the valley, surrounded by steep mountains, arose a rock so perforated, that from one side the sea could be seen through it, and from the other the long range of hills.

Returning on board, the excursionists were stopped by an old man, who insisted upon their taking part in the military exercises of the country with the lance and the patou-patou.

In the course of another walk, Dr. Solander bought a top exactly resembling European tops, and the natives made signs to show him that he must whip it to make it go.

Upon an island to the left of the bay, the English saw the largest pirogue they had yet met with. It was no less than sixty-eight feet long, five wide, and three feet six inches high. It had in front a sculpture in relief, of grotesque taste, in which the lines were spiral and the figures strangely contorted.

On the 30th of October, as soon as he was supplied with wood and water, Cook set sail and continued along the coast towards the north.

Near an island, to which Cook had given the name of Mayor, the natives behaved most insolently, and were greater thieves than any previously encountered. It was, however, necessary to make a stay of five or six days in this district, to observe the transit of Mercury. With a view to impressing upon the natives that the English were not to be illused with impunity, a robber who had taken a piece of cloth was fired upon with grape shot, but although he received the discharge in the back, it had no more effect upon him than a violent blow with a rattan. But a bullet which struck the water and returning to the surface passed several times over the pirogues, struck such terror into the hearts of the natives, that they hastily paddled to the shore.

On the 9th of November, Cook and Green landed to observe the transit of Mercury. Green only observed the passing, while Cook took the altitude of the sun.

It is not our intention to follow the navigators in their thorough exploration of New Zealand.

The same incidents were endlessly repeated, and the recital of the similar struggles with the natives, with descriptions of natural beauty, however attractive in themselves, could not but pall upon the reader. It is better, therefore, to pass rapidly over the hydrographic portion of the voyage, in order to devote ourselves to our picture of the manners of the natives, now so widely modified.

Mercury Bay is situated at the foot of the long divided peninsula which, running from the east to the north-east, forms the northern extremity of New Zealand. On the 15th of November, as the Endeavour left the bay, several boats advanced towards her.

"Two of their number," says the narrative, "which carried about sixty armed men, approached within hearing, and the natives began their war-song, but seeing that this attracted little attention, they began throwing stones at the English, and paddled along the shore. Soon they returned to the charge, evidently determined to fight the navigators, and encouraging themselves with their war cry."

Without being incited to it, Tupia addressed them reproachfully, and told them that the English had arms, and were in a position to overpower them instantly. But they valiantly replied,—

"Come to land, and we will kill you all!"

"Directly," replied Tupia, "but why insult us as long as we are at sea? We have no wish to fight, and we will not accept your challenge, because there is no quarrel between us. The sea does not belong to you any more than to our ship."

Tupia had not been credited with so much simple and true eloquence, and it surprised Cook and the other English.

Whilst he was in the bay of the islands, the captain reconnoitred a considerable river, which he named after the Thames. It was shaded with trees, of the same species as those on Poverty Island. One of them measured nineteen feet in circumference at the height of six feet above the ground, another was not less than ninety feet long from the root to the lowest branches.

Although quarrels with the natives were frequent, the latter were not invariably in the wrong.

Kippis relates as follows:—

"Some of the men on board, who, after the Indians had once been found in fault, did not fail to exhibit a severity worthy of Lycurgus, thought fit to enter a New Zealand plantation, and to carry off a quantity of potatoes. Captain Cook condemned them to a dozen stripes each. Two of them received them peaceably, but the third persisted that it was no crime for an Englishman to pillage Indian plantations. Cook's method of dealing with this casuist was to send him to the bottom of the hold until he agreed to receive six additional stripes."