CAPTAIN COOK'S SECOND VOYAGE, I

The same day Forster saw a man with very long nails, of which he was immensely proud, as proving that he was not obliged to work for his bread. In Annam, in China and other countries, this singular and ridiculous fashion is common. A single finger is kept with a shorter nail, being the one used to scratch with, a very frequent occupation in the extreme East.

In another of his walks Forster saw a native, who passed his days in being fed by his wives, quietly lying upon a carpet of thick shrubs. This melancholy person, who fattened without rendering any service to society, recalled Sir John Mandeville's anger at seeing "such a glutton who passed his days without distinguishing himself by any feats of arms, and who lived in pleasure, as a pig which one fattens in a sty."

Who passed his days in being fed by his wives
"Who passed his days in being fed by his wives."

On the 22nd of August, Cook having learned that King Waheatua was in the neighbourhood, and being desirous of seeing him, landed with Captain Furneaux, the Forsters, and several natives. He met him advancing towards him with a numerous suite, and recognized him at once as he had seen him several times in 1769.

This king was then a child, and was called Te Arée, but he had changed his name at the death of his father Waheatua. He made the captain sit down on his stool, and inquired solicitously for the various Englishmen he had known on the former voyage. Cook, after the usual compliments, presented him with a shirt, a hatchet, some nails, and other trifles. But of all his presents, that which appeared most precious to him, and which excited most cries of admiration from his followers, was a tuft of red feathers mounted upon iron wire.

Waheatua, king of Little Tahiti, was about seventeen or eighteen years of age. Tall and well made, his appearance would have been majestic, but for a look of fear and distrust.

He was surrounded by several chiefs and noble personages, remarkable for their height, and one of whom, tattooed in a peculiar manner, was enormously stout. The king, who showed him great deference, consulted him every moment. Cook then learned that a Spanish vessel had put into Tahiti a few months previously, and he afterwards ascertained that it was that of Domingo Buenechea, which came from Callao.

Whilst Eteé, the king's confidant, conversed with some officers upon religious subjects, and asked the English if they had a god, Waheatua amused himself with the captain's watch. Astonished at the noise it made, and venting his surprise in the words, "It speaks!" he inquired of what use it was.

It was explained to him that it told the time, and in that respect resembled the sun. Waheatua gave it the name of the "little sun," to show that he understood the explanation.

The vessels sailed on the morning of the 24th, and were followed for a long time by numbers of pirogues bearing cocoa-nuts and fruit. Rather than lose this opportunity of obtaining European commodities, the natives parted with their wares very cheaply; a dozen cocoa-nuts could be obtained for one glass bead.

The abundant fresh provisions soon restored the health of all on board the vessels, and most of the sailors, who on reaching Osnaburgh could scarcely walk, could get about well when they left.

The Resolution and Adventure reached Matavai Bay on the 26th. A crowd of Tahitians soon invaded the deck. Most of them were known to the captain, and Lieutenant Pickersgill, who had accompanied Wallis in 1767, and Cook two years later, received a warm welcome from them.

Cook had tents erected for the sick, the sail-menders, and the coopers, and then left with Captain Furneaux and the two Forsters for Oparreé. The boat which took them soon passed a "moraï" of stones, and a cemetery known as the "morai of Tootahah." When Cook called it by this name, one of the natives who accompanied him interrupted him by saying that since Tootahah's death it was called O Too.

"A fine lesson for princes, who thus in their lives are reminded that they are mortal, and that after their death the earth which contains their corpse will not be their own. The chief and his wife removed the upper garments from their shoulders as they passed, a mark of respect which natives of all ranks exhibit before a 'morai,' as they appear to attach a particular idea of sanctity to these places."

Cook soon gained admittance to the presence of King O-Too. After many compliments he offered him all that he thought he had which would please him, because he appreciated the advantage this man's friendship would be to him, for his every word showed timidity of disposition.

Tall and well made, the king was about thirty years old. He inquired after Tupia and Cook's companions, although he had seen none of them. Many presents were distributed to those of his cortége who appeared the most influential.